Hail To The Chief

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Here is what Columbia's campus looks like on a normal day...

Now, here is what it looks like on a day with the President comes to speak...

No parking from 114th to 125th on Broadway or Amsterdam.  116th and 114th closed completely.  Closed campus offices and operations surrounding College Walk (116th Street inside the gates) or the lawn where Barnard's commencement was held.  Rumors of the 116th subway stop being closed.  NYPD everywhere.  Needless to say, it was crazy.  Also needless to say, I watched on TV with everyone else.  No tickets to be had for me.  

And as far as graduation speeches go, it was a pretty good one.  It's a campaign year, so obviously there were some politics involved.  Here are some highlights...

"My first piece of advice is this:  Don’t just get involved.  Fight for your seat at the table.  Better yet, fight for a seat at the head of the table."  

"So don’t accept somebody else’s construction of the way things ought to be.  It’s up to you to right wrongs.  It’s up to you to point out injustice.  It’s up to you to hold the system accountable and sometimes upend it entirely.  It’s up to you to stand up and to be heard, to write and to lobby, to march, to organize, to vote.  Don’t be content to just sit back and watch."

"Don’t wait for the person next to you to be the first to speak up for what’s right.  Because maybe, just maybe, they’re waiting on you." 

"You can be stylish and powerful, too.  That's Michelle’s advice."

And obviously, my favorite part of the whole entire thing had absolutely nothing to do with what President Obama had to say.  All I could really think about was that doctoral regalia he was sporting, and how I'm a good part of the way to earning my very own.  

Oh, and on that note, now might be a good time to tell The Chief (Mom, not this guy) that that beautiful doctoral regalia is going to cost about $900.  I might need to borrow some cash for that, ok?

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