Wednesday, June 11, 2014

"Vomiting is now also off the table. Neutralized it. We're good."

My newest hero is Shonda Rhimes. I first knew her as a contributor and spelling bee fanatic on the eclectic blog "A List of Things Thrown Five Minutes Ago." This was actually before I realized she was the writer for Grey's Anatomy. For those of you who actually know me, this progression makes complete sense.

Online commencement addresses, rife with inspiration and great messages for the future, are a burgeoning phenomenon nowadays, as Shonda acknowledges. But I don't know...Shonda just seems to take the commencement address to another level. I'd be curious to know the last time a commencement speaker (and alum) at Dartmouth used the words "poop," "vomit," and "asshole" so often in her speech. Or the last time any alum so publicly acknowledged lying on the floor of her dorm room the day after her graduation, paralyzed with anguish and crying while her mother packed her things for her. But at the same time, she's incredibly eloquent, and has that poise that sets people at ease immediately. Speaking on what looked like a perfect late spring day at Dartmouth certainly didn't hurt, either. And, of course, the Toastmaster in me counted the number of times she said "um"...and decided halfway through that it was an exercise in futility. None that I heard.

I guess what really made this speech one of my favorites ever was that she threw common wisdom out the window and on its head more than once. Don't dream? You can't do it all successfully? If you try to, you will inevitably be failing? Tomorrow will be the worst day ever? Homo say what?

Compelled? Good. Watch this. It's SO worth the 24 minutes.

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