Posts Tagged ‘space shuttle’

You can’t walk away from education

May 16, 2011

It wasn’t my turn to walk with our graduating class this year, so I was surprised to find myself seeking out the live stream of Vanderbilt’s commencement ceremonies the other day. By “tradition” Vanderbilt saves a dime and has its Chancellor deliver the big send-off address. That’s usually a let-down. Maybe it was again, for most of the graduates. But I was excited when Chancellor Zeppos cited John Dewey and quoted him at length, on what’s best about education. The gist of it was that education is not something you can ever walk away from, if you mean to be an educated and intelligent organism. It’s a lifelong endeavor. “The heart of the sociality of man is education,” you can’t commence anything worthwhile if you already think you know it all. Good message.

And so is Tali Sharot’s, in yesterday’s Times, on the value of “cautious optimism”:

That may be the most useful message to communicate to graduates — believe you can fly, with a parachute attached, and you will soar like an eagle.

But most college graduates these days won’t be impressed by commencement cliches. They just need a little positive encouragement. They don’t need to soar, they just want to get off the ground.

Like the shuttle Endeavour, in about an hour…

POSTSCRIPT: “Expanding our knowledge, expanding our lives in space.”