Orlando Bound

I'm here in Orlando, Fl. Sure as I know anything, I know this: I aim to misbehave.

Location: Orlando, Florida, United States

Friday, July 01, 2005

Ordering Harry Potter

The NY Times has a story on pre-ordering Harry Potter versus standing in queue to be one of the first to get your copy at midnight. Believe it or not the author's story resembled ours fairly closely. Only substitute Stacey for his two daughters.

Thursday, June 30, 2005


Commencement. That is the typical term for the ceremony that occurs when you graduate school. It's also the term for the process of beginning; something we do every day upon waking, even upon finishing one project and beginning another. Each commencement is a chance to reflect on accomplishments and prepare for the future.

So next chance you get for commencement in your life, pause and read the following speech given to the graduates at Kenyon University by David Foster Wallace. Here's a small excerpt:
Twenty years after my own graduation, I have come gradually to understand that the liberal arts cliché about teaching you how to think is actually shorthand for a much deeper, more serious idea: learning how to think really means learning how to exercise some control over how and what you think. It means being conscious and aware enough to choose what you pay attention to and to choose how you construct meaning from experience. Because if you cannot exercise this kind of choice in adult life, you will be totally hosed. Think of the old cliché about quote the mind being an excellent servant but a terrible master.

This, like many clichés, so lame and unexciting on the surface, actually expresses a great and terrible truth. It is not the least bit coincidental that adults who commit suicide with firearms almost always shoot themselves in: the head. They shoot the terrible master. And the truth is that most of these suicides are actually dead long before they pull the trigger.

The speech at my college commencement was grand and quite memorable, for the next few weeks, any way. If someone gave a speech like this to me, I would likely print it up and carry it with me to refer to... which may not be such a bad idea.

I'm thirteen years past college and am still learning many of the lessons Wallace mentions. Reading this today, I think I have learned a few more still.