Tis’ the season to Commence

by allthingsace

The New York Times made this neat awesome article with snipits of the speeches that were given during the 2010 commencement season. President Obama, at West Point and Michelle, at George Washington University, had a go at inspiring recent grads; as well as Meryl Streep and Lionel Richie. This season’s tour seemed so good, I wish they would have sold passes to travel the country and watch the speeches. Second best though, the Times has video of many of these speeches-third best, they have audio.
Additionally, as a Pratt Institute dropout I feel compelled to post this snipit from Patti Smith.

Patti Smith
Pratt Institute

My greatest urge is to speak to you of dental care. My generation had a rough go dentally. Our dentists were the Army dentists who came back from World War II and believed that the dental office was a battleground. You have a better chance at dental health. And I say this because you want at night to be pacing the floor because your fuse is burning inside of you, because you want to do your work, because you want to finish that canvas, because you want to help your fellow man. You don’t want to be pacing because you need a damn root canal. So, floss. Use salt and baking soda. Take care of your damn teeth.

In reading this I feel twinges of jealousy, regret and confusion about being an art school dropout. Do not be blinded by the quirky subject matter that drives Ms. Smith’s speech, her message really sheds light on rationalizing and prioritizing. The deep connection I feel with with my creative self via Smith’s articulation of dental health is overwhelming. What is balancing out this wave of jealousy, regret and confusion is that and the fact that my undergraduate conclusion was completely anti-climactic, I couldn’t even tell you who spoke at my commencement. Ultimately, however, it is what it is.