Part of my job is to “compile news headers,” which is just a technical phrasing of “find dumb things people have said recently.” As you newly minted grads will be shocked to discover, I’ve been combing through a whole hell of a lot of commencement speeches. If you ever wanna hocus-pocus a platitude into a profundity, just give it a robe and a stupid hat.
Just consider the Marianas trench-depths of wisdom reached by Commissioner Ed Davis—who Chris Faraone has some choice words for himself in our newly re-instated long form feature on page ##—in his speech to UMass-Lowell’s class of 2013, drum roll please: “Learning doesn’t only occur in a classroom.”
We now pause to allow your mind to properly blow.
Expect to do a lot of learning about Mr. Davis in the next couple pages.
I was sneer-snorting my way through every “you thought I was gonna quote Robert Frost but turns out I’m not” record-scratch when I realized—I say insipid shit like this all the time. Have me send you an email. How many exclamation points and back-slapping bromides do you see in there? Exactly. Hell, I got everyone in edit motivational posters, and I was only being kinda ironic.
Point is—no matter how punk as fuck you may be, sooner or later you’re gonna need a goddamn spreadsheet.
Sometimes it’s good to hear “we learn more from failure than victory,” even if it’s coming from some dude who looks like an assistant high school principal. Don’t be afraid of a little banality in your life—and besides, if the advice sucks, then you got an excuse be twice as smug about it.