This just in: J.K. Rowling will be the commencement speaker for Harvard’s graduation on June 5. Prepare to shut down, our dear fair city, Cambridge. But really… um… I’m nursing a slight resentment here, on account of the fact that in 1999 we got Alan Greenspan, then-Chairman of the Federal Reserve. No offense to the importance of your job, Mr. Greenspan, especially not these days, but I really can’t remember what you said (she says, stifling the yawn that springs forth unbidden at the hazy memory of a speech).
J.K. Rowling! Wow. I foresee in my crystal ball the hawking of many a graduation ticket. Isn’t it only 2 tickets per graduate? I’m scanning my mental rolodex as we speak for any class of 2008 siblingless, friendless, orphans I might know. If you fit the bill, please call me post haste. I WILL be your friend. Or your sister. Or mother.
J.K. Rowling. Wow. Did I already say that? Now there’s a woman to vote for in a heartbeat without a smidgen of vacillation. As for speaking at graduation, I might even pick her over Jesus. Ooops. Am I going to hell? Sorry Jesus, I mean no offense, really. Actually, from everything printed in red in my Bible, you would certainly not be one to take offense. And, upon reflection, I WOULD pick you to speak for graduation….
…too. Sorry, but only if it could be too. Jesus and J.K. Yeah, that’d be good. And how ‘bout the Buddha? If we’re adding people, why not. I know he and Jesus are friends if there is such a thing as friendship up there, out there, where-ever there, and why wouldn’t there be? And Rumi. What I wouldn’t give to hear him, and watch him whirl in the ecstatic dervish thing he is said to have done. Oh and maybe T.S. Eliot too. And Rilke. And Pablo Neruda. Heavily weighted toward poets, I’m seeing, and compassionate, awakened beings, or at least creative beings doing their damdest to awaken and live compassionately. Hmmm… I’m still not feeling it for Greenspan… sorry Alan. You may very well be a lovely man. And I have no doubt bright as could be. Hmmm… Coffee? I’d be happy to meet you for a latte…
How about you? Who’d you pick to speak if you were?
Wow! JK Rawlings. Too cool. My grandson, Eli, is a big fan of hers. Maybe he’ll be able to hear her.
I’m mad at Greenspan for not doing something about the sub-prime mortgage mess when he had the chance. I’d vote not for him (too late I realize). I appreciated your choices for commencement speakers. I’ve heard Thich Nhat Hanh speak. I’d vote for him because Harvard grad could do a lot worse than take in some his wisdom. I’ve also heard Paul Hawken. He’s great. A friend is driving to Portland to hear Mary Oliver read. Byron Katie will be here in Ashland this weekend. I will go hear her, of course. That’s it for now.
Hey! That’s just not fair; you picked all the good ones!
Well, actually, you left out a few. Martin Luther King Jr would fit right in, and what a speaker he’d be! But we’d have to keep him for last, ’cause who’d want to be the speaker to follow him? 🙂
So before Martin, we might listen to Mary Oliver (hey, another poet!), and perhaps spend some time musing with Leonardo Da Vinci.
I might even suggest Bahá’u’lláh, but he’s probably just sharing a beer down at the Leaky Cauldron with Jesus and Buddha, and I’d hate to interrupt their discussion. Alan was listening in for a while, but he left early; perhaps Mr. King can take his place at the table — he’d love that, I’m sure.
Ooooh! Bear, now that’s a table to hang out at (or at least evesdrop on, perhaps in an invisibility cloak) at the Leaky Cauldron!
And, loved your added choices Sharry and Bear…
I’d pick Greenspan over Rowling, actually. We had some character actor at my college graduation who had attended SUNY Albany; and there was no celebrity speaker when I got my Master’s degree, which was fine with me.
If I could choose, I’d want to hear from someone who perhaps came up the hard way and who makes inspiring and helping others a priority. I guess it’s too late for Dr. King…or Barbara Jordan…or Rumi.:)
Modern-day heroes of mine who fit the description include Bill Clinton, Byron Katie of course, Muhammad Yunus.
Neil Gaman, hands down. In college I took a Science Fiction Literature class, and we read his Stardust comic book series, and at the end of the course our professor invited him to come and give a lecture. I don’t remember a thing he said, only that I was madly in love. He’s such an optimist, so funny, has this knack for making you feel hopeful about the future. I heart Neil Gaman.
@Kelly – will totally have to check out this Gaman guy!