IVC's commencement went well, I think. Near as I can tell, students loved it.
It was brief, which worked out well for several reasons, not the least of which being the sub-academic Motivational Claptrap served up by some speakers. Still, there were no howlers, no pratfalls, and for once Raghu didn't utter his "three fingers" bromide.
I came late and missed the invocation, evidently given by Bush Appointee and noted Spanophile Thomas A. Fuentes. No doubt, it was memorable. (If you heard it, tell us about it!)
Here sit the South Orange County Community College District Board of Trustees, et al. (Fuentes is off-camera.)
EARNEST, EFFECTIVELY DELIVERED CODSWALLOP:
AS SEEN ON TV: Keynote speaker John Spencer Ellis.
Apparently oblivious of (or indifferent to?) logic or science, Dr. Ellis (he has a doctorate in education, just like the Chancellor) declared that there "are no coincidences" and there "is no randomness." One should, he said, set about to establish "self-efficacy"—evidenty a condition beyond mere efficacy.
He offered "10 words" that are more important, he said, than all other words put together: please, thank you, I love you, how may I help?
Sure enough, they add up to 10. (They're not really ten words, though. Four utterances, perhaps?)
Ellis urged students to find their voice, and "their bliss," too. He was particularly determined that they find their bliss.
The handsome fellow ended with, "Welcome to the first day of the rest of your life."
For more of John's wisdom (and for an opportunity to spend a great deal of money), go to John Spencer Ellis Enterprises. There, one learns that, according to the New York Post, "John is a combination of Tony Robbins & Jack Lalanne."
(Our Rebel Girl was on the "commencement speaker" committee, where, armed with carefully written proposals, she urged its membership to consider other candidates, including prominent writers and editors. Nope. Too boring, it seems.)
Student speaker Alexandra Shaygan, eschewing motivational twaddle, charmed; Trustee Don Wagner, eschewing decorum, scowled, albeit intermittently. He scowled consistently when he looked my way! What's up, Don? (But at least we agree on the Claptrap, don't we Don? I just know you're cringing when you hear that stuff about "bliss"!) (See Raghu Successorizes.)
THE CHANCELLOR: NO NATTERING NABOB OF NEGATIVISM HE:
Chancellor Raghu Mathur told his "yacht" story. Evidently inspired by his extensive reading list—it runs the gamut from A to B—the Chancellor advised that "you become what you practice most." Were he an educated man, Mathur would realize that Aristotle gave that advice 2400 years ago. It's a tad familiar in academic circles.
Mathur's message: "always do your best." Why? Because of the "new global economy," he said.
Aristotle gave a different answer.
A retiring colleague is honored.
IT WAS A BEAUTIFUL DAY:
A GOOD VIBE AT OUR LITTLE COLLEGE:
IVC President Glenn Roquemore and Academic Senate President Wendy Gabriella
One odd factoid that emerged during today's commencements was the increasing dominance of women among the community college studentry. (Soon, it seems, 2/3 of Saddleback's students will be female!)
At IVC today, women seemed to dominate the task of documenting the event.