Free Essay

Thought of Kenyon Commencement Speech

In: English and Literature

Submitted By littlefox27
Words 344
Pages 2
In the speech “Kenyon Commencement Speech” given by David Foster Wallace, he addresses an idea that education is not about teaching people how to think but about how to actually control our “default settings” in order to raise our awareness of everything in adult’s life. According to Wallace, same experience makes different people think differently; by not using the automatically default settings enables us to see more possibilities and truth, which requires will and efforts. By giving out two short suggestive stories, Wallace tries to express the opinion of hoping us to raise the level of daily awareness and to think properly and differently. In the first story, the two young fish don’t even know what water is when asked “How’s the water” by the old fish. Wallace is saying that don’t be like the two young fish who ignore the surroundings, which is a foreshadowing in his later speech about the “natural default settings”. If we just use our default settings to think in our daily life, we cannot even aware the simple realities and truth around us. I think he’s right, even though he says he’s not the “wise old fish”. And then, the second story is a conversation between a religious person and an atheist. After surviving in a terrible blizzard, the atheist still doesn’t believe in the existence of God. Because he prayed to God, it turned out to be two Eskimos who helped him. If the religious person were in the same situation, he would definitely believe in God more. Same experience makes different people think so differently, and Wallace suggests us to adjust our “default settings” in order to free to think. I am completely persuaded by his story. Everything has two sides; if we can think about it in both sides, we won’t be struggling with the real adult’s world miserably. At last, Wallace emphasizes his main point--capital-T Truth, the real value of a real education which is not about knowledge but about the awareness of what is around us and what is realities.…...

Similar Documents

Premium Essay

Speech

...Journal #1 My speech wasn’t as bad as I thought it was going to be, but it could have been better if I put more time into getting more information from my partner. The body paragraphs needed to give more information and go into more detail. Although it wasn’t that bad of a speech giving the thought that we met up for about thirty minutes. Back in high school when someone was giving a speech, we, the audience always tried to make them laugh, or simply just didn’t pay attention to the speaker and did something else. Now the audience was paying attention and being respectful which calmed me down when giving my speech. As the speaker I needed to be more enthusiastic while giving my speech, because how is the audience going to be interested if I don’t even seem interested. I noticed very few people glancing at their phones or just with a blank look in their face; this made me relax a little more for some reason. Even though I could have had more information and gone more into detail, my speech did flow from the thesis statement to my conclusion paragraph. I was getting more nervous as the names kept getting closer to mine, once my partner Aldo, brought me up when he gave his speech, which calmed my nervousness down a bit because it wasn’t that bad being in front of the class and having everyone’s eyes looking at you. Once my turn came to speak, I took deep breaths as I made my way to the front of the classroom, and once there I paused, and took one last deep breath, and......

Words: 388 - Pages: 2

Free Essay

Rhetorical Analysis of Bono's Commencement Speech

...Bono Rhetorical Essay Rock Star and AIDS activist, Bono, in his commencement speech to the ’04 class of UPENN (entitled “Because We Can, We Must”) explains that since we are able to, we should find a cause and fight for it. Bono’s sole purpose is to inspire the UPENN graduates to make a difference in this world.. He adopts an informal tone in order to connect with and motivate his primary audience, the graduates, and to engage his secondary audience, the family (parents, grandparents, etc.) of the graduates. Bono begins his speech by explaining why he is at UPENN giving this speech and by sharing a personal anecdote (a pattern that is seen throughout his speech). His first sentence is a simple, declarative statement, “My name is Bono, and I am a rock star.” He opens with this kind of sentence to not only catch the attention of the audience, but to also establish his informal tone which is continued throughout the entire speech. His use of first person also makes the essay in entirety more relatable. While contemplating why someone like him was being honored with the title Doctor of Law and allowed to give a speech, Bono compares the situation to “[a] King Charles spaniels in little tartan sweats and hats” claiming “it’s not natural.” This self-deprecating statement is effective in establishing an informal tone because it sets Bono up to be seen as equal, to anyone sitting in there listening to him. He goes on to share a story about how he came to realize his......

Words: 835 - Pages: 4

Premium Essay

Steve Jobs Commencement Speech Summary

...Steve Jobs is the co-founder/CEO of Apple Computer and Pixar Animation. In his commencement address to a Stanford University student graduating class, Jobs shared with the hopeful college graduates anecdotes from his own personal life. In his first story, he states that he dropped out of college during his first year at college and instead opted to attend school as a drop-in where he was only required to take classes in which interested in. He decided to take a calligraphy class, in which he became fascinated with. He then goes on to say that ten years after taking the class, when designing the first Macintosh computer, he was able to draw from his memory all that he had learned from the calligraphy class he took and as a result create the first personal computer with beautiful typography. In addition, Jobs tells how he was fired from his company and how it allowed him to focus his attention other endeavors. Steve Jobs’ decision to drop out of college was a very bold decision to make. However, he trusted his gut instinct and trusted that everything was going to work out well. He was able to tap into his intuition and allow it to guide him. In the end, he was able to connect the dots and realize that had he not dropped out and became a drop in, he would have never been able to produce the beautiful typography seen on modern personal computers today. After getting fired from a company that he founded and help build, Steve Jobs decided that he wasn’t going to let one bad......

Words: 490 - Pages: 2

Free Essay

Speech

...Tom Lawton Basic Principles of Speech 9/28/11 Self-Assessment Preparing for a speech and delivering a speech are two very different things. Many factors can take over before going in front of an audience and discussing a topic. Being nervous can prevent you from performing to the best of your abilities, which can result in a negative attitude about the presentation. Although preparation is important, most speeches just come down to being able give your speech effectively. Because this was our first big speech there were many areas that needed improvement as well as some that were done exceptionally well. There were distinct areas that needed improvement in the speech that our group presented. The first of which would be the use of fillers. “Umm”, “and”, and “uh” are one of my biggest pet peeves because it makes it seem as if the presenter is not ready to deliver the speech. Although this is also an outlet for people who are nervous it reflects negatively on how much preparation took place. Unfortunately I said “umm” 8 times in the speech as well as “and” and the occasional “uh”. The other members in my group did this as well, but to me it wasn’t as noticeable. Another thing that I looked down upon was the lack of volume that our group possessed. Volume is key when giving a speech because it allows the listener to not strain in order to hear. When some topics are important the volume should increase in order for the listener to......

Words: 709 - Pages: 3

Premium Essay

Thoughts

...A thought, as defined by the oxford dictionary is “An idea or opinion produced by thinking, or occurring suddenly in the mind. It is common to hear a person say that, “I had a thought about X the other day.” Thoughts are usually short lived, discrete events. Everyone experiences thoughts and have no problem identifying them. Thought can refer to the ideas or the arrangement of ideas that result from thinking, the act of producing thoughts, or the process of producing thoughts. Thoughts are the result or product of spontaneous act of thinking. Thoughts, especially in humans, are not that independent, they can be much more complicated and it can appear to be nothing as it seems. All the information received by the mind triggers a chain of thoughts. Edward Chace Tolman, a great experimentalist and a theoretician in psychology was the first to demonstrate thought influence action. After Tolman, a psychologist Roger Shepherd showed that people can actually manipulate thoughts or mental representations. Thoughts are electro-chemical reactions taking place in the brain, but the number and the complexity of these reactions makes it hard to completely understand these reactions. Because thought underlies many human actions and interactions, understanding it’s physical and metaphysical origins, processes and ......

Words: 323 - Pages: 2

Free Essay

Thoughts

...to hold forever. The stars and you are the same. You are beautiful but only at a distance. And kissed me like sending a thousand lightning on my spine. I tasted salt in your mouth as if you drank the waters of the ocean; good thing you didn’t drown. My skin had blood marks on because you held me so tight that winter night. But that didn’t matter because I love you. And I mean it. -End- It’s a little bit funny how I cut fringes out of my long hair And I would feel very sad every time I look at the mirror. Like I was carry kettle bells with each of my finger I thought every girl in school was perfect and not fat And I curse myself for not being alike. I wasn’t good with words spoken or written, and I was ashamed of myself every time I stood in front to say , perhaps stutter. I look above with a beaten heart. The stars at night became my mother. My father was the moon. Or so I thought. As days went by, I became even sadder. I kept on dropping hints Of sadness and they fall like nothing. As nobody noticed....

Words: 255 - Pages: 2

Premium Essay

University of the Arts Commencement 2012

...Honors 101 8/27/14 The video “University of the Arts Commencement 2012” incorporates many ideas that I, and many college students alike also have. Coming into college, I had no clue what I wanted to achieve or what was in store for me. Sure enough, three days into college, I am still unsure on a major and unsure on a potential career. Just like Gaiman, one of my biggest fears is going to work everyday and hating every minute between 9 and 5. I am terrified that I will pick a major that will be wrong and end up with a job I hate or a degree that I don't use. I want a career/degree tailored to the exact specification that I need for my ideal job. Gaiman talks about someone coming to his door in a shirt and tie with a clipboard telling him he has to enter the real world and get a different job. He was afraid of falling into a rut, like many college students who are undecided. The last thing I enjoyed in his speech, is his reassurance that you don’t need a clearcut path to a certain career or your dream job. Gaiman shares how, on many occasions, he had lied about his previous jobs and experience in order to get hired. He points out that sometimes people get a job and aren’t the most qualified, but they simply got the job because they got it. Although it is smartest to plan ahead for a career as much as possible, sometimes opportunity falls in your lap. I’ve learned first hand that when it does, pick it up and run with it. In the article “Major Decisions” Burtchaell......

Words: 640 - Pages: 3

Premium Essay

Commencement

...doors. However, you have to decide which door to open and walk through. Graduation gives you that control. You are now entitled to decide and pursue your career after college. I believe in my heart, all of you will attend college and make something wonderful of your lives. Keep in mind, you must choose wisely. Take the key today. It is yours forever, and it could possibly be the most precious gift you will ever receive. Use it wisely and with respect, but above all use it, appreciate it and know that the reason you can’t place a value on your education to this point, is because it is literally priceless. After all this is a very special day in your life. It is the day that will never be repeated. School, whatever you may have thought of it, brought with it a certain sense of security. From this day forth, you must provide that security for yourself. You may find that the rules and regulations of school have to be replaced by your own rules that you must set for yourselves. Not only do you have to set your own rules, but you must ensure you follow them. That is the greatest challenge of all. When you are able to master that, you will begin ensuring your own success. There will be many new challenges. There will be many new pressures. We know you will make the right choices. Always remember you have the power to create your own future. Do not wait for your big break, go and find it or create it on your own. Be proactive. Look for your career, do not......

Words: 1063 - Pages: 5

Premium Essay

Speech

...2008-06-05 J.K.罗琳在美国哈佛大学毕业典礼的演讲 The Fringe Benefits of Failure, and the Importance of Imagination --Harvard University Commencement Address J.K. Rowling June 5, 2008 失败的额外收益与想象力的重要性 ——在美国哈佛大学毕业典礼上的演讲 J.K.罗琳 2008年6月5日 President Faust, members of the Harvard Corporation and the Board of Overseers, members of the faculty, proud parents, and, above all, graduates, 福斯特校长,哈佛董事会和监督委员会的各位成员,各位老师、家长、全体毕业生们: The first thing I would like to say is "thank you." Not only has Harvard given me an extraordinary honour, but the weeks of fear and nausea I’ve endured at the thought of giving this commencement address have made me lose weight. A win-win situation! Now all I have to do is take deep breaths, squint at the red banners and convince myself that I am at the world’s largest Gryffindors' reunion. 首先请允许我说一声谢谢。哈佛不仅给了我无上的荣誉,连日来为这个演讲经受的恐惧和紧张,更令我减肥成功。这真是一个双赢的局面。现在我要做的就是深呼吸几下,眯着眼睛看看前面的大红横幅,安慰自己正在世界上最大的魔法学院聚会上。 Delivering a commencement address is a great responsibility; or so I thought until I cast my mind back to my own graduation. The commencement speaker that day was the distinguished British philosopher Baroness Mary Warnock. Reflecting on her speech has helped me enormously in writing this one, because it turns out that I can't remember a single word she said. This liberating discovery enables me to proceed without any fear that I might inadvertently influence you to abandon promising careers in business, law or politics for the giddy delights of becoming a gay...

Words: 3247 - Pages: 13

Premium Essay

Commencement Address

...B. Commencement Address Essay by Tone M. H. Petersen Most people know that it is important to show kindness towards other people and it might seem like a very trivial piece of advice to give people if you tell them to remember to be more kind. However sometimes in the grand scheme of things and in the overpowering and overwhelming light of our own ambition and need for success we still let opportunities of kindness pass us by. This is what George Saunders[1] addresses in his commencement addres that he delivered in May 2013 at Syracuse University in New York State. In his speech Saunders uses 2nd person singular/plural, 1st person plural, and 1st person singular. The use of 2nd person plural makes it clear that Saunders is addressing the audience directly and that he wants them to think, take action and be responsible. The use of 1st person plural (“we”) creates a bond between Saunders and the audience: “Each of us is born with a series of built-in confusions […]: (1) we’re central to the universe […]; (2) we’re separate from the universe […] and (3) we’re permanent […]. Now, we don’t really believe these things - intellectually we know better. (ll.19-120) In this quote we can see how he includes the audience in his statement and therefore he is also stating that what he is saying applies to everyone, even himself - and that they all know better, meaning that they are collectively responsible. The values that he are advocating are relevant to everyone and......

Words: 1235 - Pages: 5

Free Essay

Commencement Address: Elon Musk at Caltech

...Commencement Address: Elon Musk at Caltech (California Institute of Technology) Elon Musk is a extaordinary billionaire with a innovative vision. He made a speech in Caltech in 2012, where he told a story about his business history. That involves getting to America, studying in Wharton School of University of Pennsylvania, his first steps in business and which difficulties it brought. The inventing thing started, when he read a quote from Arthur C. Clark, 'A sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.' If you go back say, 300 years, the things we take for granted today, you'd be burned at stake for. Being able to fly. That's crazy. Being able to see over long distance, being able to communicate, the Internet as a group mind of sorts, and having access to all the word's information instantly from anywhere on the earth. This really would be considered magic in times past. So he thought, If he can do some of those things -- if he can advance technology, that is like magic and that would be really cool. The first serious product of Musk’s was PayPal. Initially, the goal with PayPal was create a conglomeration for financial services, so all financial services could be seamlessly integrated to work smoothly. They had a little feature, e-mail payments. Whenever they would show the system off, they would show the hard part, the conglomeration of financial services, which is difficult to put together. Nobody was interested. Then they showed people e-mail......

Words: 526 - Pages: 3

Free Essay

Steve Jobs 2005 Stanford Commencement Speech Analysis Essay

...Steve Jobs 2005 Stanford Commencement Speech Analysis Essay In his speech, Jobs explores the crucial role of failure in finding success, specifically in the situations when he shows that it takes hard work, deliberate practice, and the ability to learn from failure and to persevere. The first point that Jobs makes, is that to be successful, you have to work hard. During the commencement speech, Jobs shares that, “If I had never dropped out, I would have never dropped in on this calligraphy class, and personal computers might not have the wonderful typography that they do,” (7). Though Jobs admits to having dropped out of the class he was originally attending and ‘dropping in’ on a new one the decision he made was one that, in the long run, furthered his career. By making the decision, and putting in the work to go through the calligraphy class, Jobs ended up creating the future of typefaces on the personal computer. By putting himself and his career on the line, Jobs tells the Stanford graduating class of 2005, “Again, you can’t connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backwards. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future,” (8). Jobs let his actions decide his fate for his career, and at the time, he didn’t know that the decisions he was making would land him where it did. It took years of hard work for him to get to where he ended up, at the top of an internationally known company. Jobs later went on to say, “We......

Words: 965 - Pages: 4

Premium Essay

Speech

...Brittney Chandler Dr. Teri Maddox SPEECH 1010-06 31 January 2012 “Listening is a 10 Part Skill.” Listening to another person speak can be very difficult sometimes. A lot of students might find sitting still and listening to someone lecture or saying a speech can be quiet boring. All audience should be content and pay attention. Some students tend to get distracted though. There are times when I am like that and can get distracted by my own thoughts. Good listeners focus on central ideas. Poor listeners concetrate too much on trying to commit too many facts to memory too fast. Being flexible in note taking is a very important skill. If you write too much on your notes you could easily get misplaced in your speech and things can get very unorganized. To have nice prepared notes you should write main topics and highlight the main details to keep the speeker on track. Also if a speeker over writes too much on their notes they tend to sound like reading aloud instead of saying a speech. Another problem is a lack of eye contact. Keeping your head and mind open and clear will help you be an attenative listener. A lot of students may get distracted and let their mind wonder while there is a speaker making a speech for the class. For example, students will think about what they might be doing the coming up weekend. The listener should be full focused on the speaker. They should be making eye contact and sitting up. If the listener is sitting up and leaning forward......

Words: 386 - Pages: 2

Premium Essay

Critical Evaluation of the Representation of Speech and Thought in Justin Bieber’s Never Say Never and Kanye West’s Can’t Tell Me Nothing.

...In this essay I will analyse the representation of speech in Justin Bieber’s Never Say Never and thought in Kanye West’s Can’t Tell Me Nothing using approaches developed by G.N. Leech, M.H. Short and S. Rimmon-Kenan. I will use the aspects of Leech and Short’s essay ‘Speech and Thought Presentation’ that I consider to be constructive and compensate the shortcomings of their essay with the improvements – in my view – made in Rimmon-Kenan’s essay. Also, since Rimmon-Kenan’s essay ‘Narration: speech representation’ does not include an account of thought representation, I will convert his distinctions of speech representation. Thus “diegetic summary” (DS) will be “diegetic thought summary” (DTS); “Summary, less ‘purely’ diegetic” will be “Thought Summary, purely diegetic” (TS); “Indirect content paraphrase”(ICP) will be “Indirect thought content paraphrase” (ITC); “Indirect discourse, mimetic to some degree”(ID) will be “ Indirect thought, mimetic to some degree” (IT): “Free indirect discourse” (FID) will be “Free indirect thought” (FIT); “Direct discourse” (DD) will Be “Direct thought” (DT) and “Free direct discourse”(FDD) will be “Free Direct thought” (FDT). ITC, FIT, DT and FDT correspond with Leech and Short’s distinctions (in definition and symbol, except for ITC which correspond with their IT). I will give examples of DTS, TS and ITS: DTS: The bare report of a thought, without any specification of how the thinker felt or the language the thinker used to think. E.g.,...

Words: 2580 - Pages: 11

Premium Essay

David Foster Wallace Commencement Speech

...David Foster Wallace was the commencement speaker for the 2005 graduating class of Kenyon College. Throughout his commencement speech, he made certain he entertained the young college students and not bore them with his speech. He does this by first telling a story that would first attract their attention and after he has caught their attention, he gives them information that would help them understand his speech, he talks about different extreme situations, he uses the phrase capital-T twice to gain attention and importance, and then proceeds to telling stories that the audience can relate to. Wallace’s main point he wanted to get across was that we should not live our live with a blind certainty and we should not live our lives based on assumptions. We should not live in a way that our default way of thinking can imprison our choice to choose what we want to think and that we should not live our lives thinking we are the absolute center of the universe and everything revolves around us. When we do this, we become imprisoned and start to think that we are the only one that has a problem but when we don’t live that way, we soon realize that we have a choice to think about everyone else’s problem and how it can be worse than ours. In his speech, Wallace talks about how someone can commit suicide and shoot themself in the head. If by any chance, the audience were not listening through his speech, when they heard that, they surely would have listened up again just because of......

Words: 1324 - Pages: 6