Before being sidelined by stomach bees, I had a very full (and I mean that both physically and mentally, in both the rewarding and exhausting assumptions of the word) work weekend. On Friday night, I attended an outstanding dinner in honor of the new library at Williams College (for my Eph readers, do watch the video for a taste of its awesomeness), and in honor of our annual Bicentennial medalists. Kristen Anderson-Lopez ’94, one half of the duo that wrote the Academy-award winning music for “Frozen,” was among this year’s medalists. I had worked with her on a program for Williams in June, and of course was thrilled that she was to be honored in this capacity for her talented AND progressive songwriting.
Semi-related story: For the dinner on Friday, I braided my hair back primarily because I was too lazy to wash it and so it was dingy enough to hold a decent braid. When I emerged from the bathroom, Kaki stopped dead in her tracks and declared adoringly, “Mama, you look like Elsa!” (The highest praise from a preschooler). Upon greeting Kristen at the dinner a few hours later, her first words to me were, “Great Elsa braid!” (which is arguably the highest praise of all coming from one of the character’s creators, however unintentionally).
And finally, I encourage everyone, particularly my fellow Ephs, to watch (or read) this speech from Ethan Zuckerman ’93 at Saturday’s Convocation. It is hands down the best speech I’ve heard at one of these ceremonies. It will leave you feeling moved and inspired in all the ways one hopes such speeches do. And for the Eph audience, you’ll get in a few laughs at Lord Jeff’s expense.
This is something the college does very consciously, for the simple reason that who we know is going to help determine who we are. I don’t mean this in the narrow sense that, if the person sitting next to you founds the next Facebook, maybe you’ll get some stock options. I mean it in a much broader sense: that who you know, who you care about tends to determine how you view the world, what you pay attention to, and ultimately will shape your path through the world.
Like the library, like the internet, the class of 2015 is too big to know. But if the challenge of a really great library is not just to explore what you already know, what you already care about, the challenge is the same, to challenge yourself to expand your picture of the world by expanding who you know and who and what you care about.
– See more at: http://www.ethanzuckerman.com/blog/#sthash.W3lZBNsL.dpuf