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Skorton Increasingly Lehman-esque

As we noted back in October, President Skorton's speeches are increasingly becoming Lehman-esque in their style and content. Yesterday, Skorton delivered a commencement address complete with literary references to E.M. Forester and Water for Elephants, while also including an itemized list of charges to newly minted Cornellians:

1) Forge connections with those around you
2) Improvise when life throws you the unexpected
3) Learn to ask for help
4) Take time to enjoy the wonder of the world

The fourth charge, no doubt, might be impeded by certain fences on campus. At any rate, while adopting some of his techniques, Skorton has forgone the extended (and sometimes mixed) metaphors of Lehman's addresses for a more concise, direct delivery. I'm not certain much of the Crescent wanted to receive an extended treatise on the nature of the Star Wars Dark Side in tandem with a lengthy discussion of Thomas Pynchon's The Crying of Lot 49.

The other big address this weekend was Nancy Pelosi's. Reading through her remarks, I found the first and last third passable, but the middle third -- which dealt with education, health care, and energy policy -- unnecessarily political. (And this coming from a person who is a big fan of the education and health care reforms enacted by our current Congress and is desperately hoping for a carbon tax one of these days.)

As I suggested last year, and as Elie blogged this weekend politicians don't usually work as commencement speakers, and a better policy would be to limit speakers to professors or alumni.

But I digress. Congratulations to the Class of 2010. I've been blogging from far beyond Cayuga's waters for a couple years now, but for whatever reason I developed more connections with the Class of 2010 than other recent graduating classes. Here's an A.R. Ammons poem from a couple years back.

Matthew Nagowski | Posted on May 31, 2010 (#)

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