Quite recently I officially graduated from University, so I am now Simon Elvery, BBus(Banking&Finance) BInfoTech(InformationSystems).
As is customary at these events there was a keynote speaker. I believe the person appointed to this job is supposed to give a speech full of encouragement and congratulations to the students graduating (though I've heard they are frequently excruciatingly boring speeches). Our keynote speaker was Prof. Alan Underwood. Being an exceedingly smart man (well he is a professor and all), Alan was obviously aware that few of these speeches really make an impression, and more often than not simply bore people silly, so he decided to do something completely different. Doing something completely different is, of course, always a gamble, but this time it paid off. The first couple of minutes were spent doing the usual things:
- Recognise the important people [check]
- Make a couple of average at best jokes [check]
- Congratulate everyone on a job well done [check]
- Say, "I know these speeches are usually long and boring, but I've done my best to make this one neither of those things." [check]
So with all the mandatory (and no doubt important) things out of the way, for the entire rest of the speech he just read a book. Not just read a passage from a book (i.e. do the inspirational quotable quotes kind of thing), but actually read an entire book. I can hear you thinking "damn, that must have been boring", but you'd be wrong. The book he read was Oh The Places You'll Go! by the wonderful Dr. Seuss1.
Out there things can happen
and frequently do
to people as brainy
and footsy as you. And when things start to happen,
don't worry. Don't stew.
Just go right along.
You'll start happening too.
Wikipedia tells me that it was the last book ever written by Dr. Seuss, which for me makes it even better. I'm sure it's still well under copyright but if you want you can get the full text (of course, half the fun with Dr. Seuss books is the illustrations).
Oh, the places you'll go! There is fun to be done!
There are points to be scored. There are games to be won.
And the magical things you can do with that ball
will make you the winning-est winner of all.
Fame! You'll be famous as famous can be,
with the whole wide world watching you win on TV. Except when they don't
Because, sometimes, they won't. I'm afraid that some times
you'll play lonely games too.
Games you can't win
'cause you'll play against you.
- And it's a bargain at $8.95 so I bought it. [↩]