"The fairest blog in all the land" • • • Roquemore: 11 miserable years is quite enough
Barbara Kruger is great! What happened to Rebel Girl?
Our colleagues sometimes really let us down.
It could be that what we're seeing is a splintering of shared values within the faculty. There was a time when it was important to resist the corporatization of higher education and remind students of values beyond the marketplace.
Barbara Kruger takes me back to the 80s. Great stuff. How about Nancy Spero?
It's a smell world...
Is it the Commencement Speaker committee meeting that you attended? Did they once again select businessmen and exercise gurus?
I think Rebel Girl sits on that marketing committee.
The speakers lately have been pretty good. each seems to have some connection to the college which is nice. They know who we are and what we do and who are students are. I liked Mr. Martinez the best. I know the students families really liked him. I do think the whole ceremony is too long. They should cut out the prayers and all the different welcomes from all those other people. No one really cares.
Martinez was a good speaker but I think they want corporate success stories not community success stories. Sort of like the candidates running for president. Millionaires only please - preferably male and white and some version of Christian. As if that is what all our students will become. As if that is who are students are.
Besides the featured speaker, why else do people attend graduation? To support the students graduating! So, how about having name-pronouncing readers at the podium who can pronounce five-syllable names?
I agree, 9:30 - I always thought that the language professors would be great for this honor at commencement. I sympathize with the people who have traditionally held this role but you're right - the students and their families deserve better. After all, it is not about us and our egos. It's about them.If this post IS about the Commencement Speaker committee, I am sorry if it didn't go as well as it has been going. I thought the trend to more suitable speakers had been a positive one. ...
The Commencement Speaker committee (made up of staff, faculty, administrators and students) forwards a number of finalists to Glen who chooses one. It's my understand that there was pressure to please the students this year. The committee had a lot of new members on it who didn't understand the past practice which had been developed thoughtfully by Helen Lock or didn't care. If the student perspective is most important one wonder why staff are put on the committee at all. No discussion really - only after the voting was done. Disappointing.
I think we should do away with most of the speakers at commencement - they say the same things over and over again. We need to streamline the ceremony not to reduce it but to make it more meaningful. It just goes on and on...Why not make the teacher of the year the commencement speaker?I think the proposal to have faculty who can pronounce the student names be the ones to announce the graduate names is BRILLIANT. It's so awkward otherwise. People do the best they can - but they can't do it. So why not ask faculty who can? good idea.
Who is on the committee that designs the ceremony? is there anyway to get some of these ideas to them?I agree, the inevitable mispronounciation of the graduates' names could be avoided if we asked faculty who can pronounce the names to do so. I think that would be a great touch - and a long awaited and respectful recognition of the changing nature of the community we serve.
TWO GOOD IDEAS: better announcers of graduate names and fewer speeches!These ideas don't come up in committee discussion because everyone is devoted to preserving the status quo and so afraid of offending the powers-that-be.So it will never change!But good ideas everybody!
About five years ago (we reported this at the time), the trustees commenced improving and streamlining commencements--from their authoritarian and anti-intellectualist perspective. They, too, felt that there was too much speechifying. Further, they were offended by some of the things said by some of the "Teachers of the Year," who occasonally actually had something to say. As I recall, they actually muzzled Rebecca Welch, when she was selected for that honor (they conveniently established the rule that the T of the Y would not speak; at the time, it was plain that the likes of Welch would subtly communicate dissatisfaction with the board and its toady, Raghu P. Mathur). As with so much at Irvine Valley College, the saga of Commencement planning has been inconsistent, even incoherent. I have served on the committee at least twice in recent years and I know many of the participants. We/they made definite progress in recent years bringing about commencement speakers who reflected academic or scholarly values. It is quite plain that President Roquemore has responded to this by putting Diane Oaks in charge of the process and insuring that the right people (e.g., Lisa Davis Allen, an administrative shill) are on the committee. Owing to these changes, during the most recent go-round, the faculty/scholarly perspective was overwhelmed by the administrative perspective according to which a "good" commencement speaker would be chirpy and, if at all possible, a successful businessman. And I do mean "man." In the last twenty years, only one woman has been selected as commencement speaker, and she was very good. The Glenn Roquemores (and LDAs) of this world would rather hear from the Fish Taco guy or maybe the head of Disneyland.
That's what we do at our college - have the people with talent and ability announce the graduates' names. That IS the most important moment of the whole ceremony - those names.It's not the pledge or some guy's speech (YAWN) - it is the graduate's names. Why wouldn't you give that honor to someone who could do it? Who would want to suggest otherwise is better?
It seems that the clock has been set back. A CEO in a suit isn't "a political choice" but a woman or a man of a particular ethnic descent is. Business and success transcends "politics." Right.
If you have a view or position, approach it as something that ought to be supported with reasons. If you can’t do that, you need to move on.