Tuesday, June 15, 2010

PBK by way of AMPAS

It's not just post-Actress exhaustion that has kept me quiet on this blog for four days. We are in the middle of Graduation Week here at Northwestern, which is a surprisingly busy time for faculty even as, and rightly so, it's a fairly leisurely interlude for the students who are still hanging around campus, waiting to toss their caps. One of the coolest gigs I scored at work this year was being asked to be the speaker at the Phi Beta Kappa induction ceremony for our most accomplished seniors. Reading the unsolicited recommendation letters that these students prompted among their professors and mentors—students whom, I stress, didn't even know they were contending for this honor—cast a welcome, humbling light on a staggering series of undergraduate accomplishments. Maybe because I feel moved to celebrate these inspiring students as publicly as possible, maybe because I'm still not sure what to do with this blog post-Judy, maybe because I think you'll find it funny that I can't not talk about the Oscars, or maybe because I know I'm always interested when hobbyist bloggers reveal something about their "real" work lives, I am posting the text of my speech.

Enjoy, if you're so inclined ...or else, hang tight for something more closely resembling the usual programming. I might even catch a current release tomorrow. The possibilities are boundless, even if my energy at the moment is not!

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Blogger StinkyLulu said...

Elegantly accomplished, Prof. Thanks for sharing it here...

8:26 PM, June 15, 2010  
Blogger James T said...

I don't want to say nice things again so I'm not going to say that that was lovely :p

10:06 PM, June 15, 2010  
Blogger Joe Reid said...

I think it goes without saying that I desperately wish, as I freshman, I could have taken a class as stimulating and clearly up my alley as yours.

10:09 PM, June 15, 2010  
Blogger NATHANIEL R said...

i so wish someone had said these things to me when i graduated ;)

12:42 PM, June 16, 2010  
Blogger JKlorfein said...

Well done, sir.

3:38 PM, June 16, 2010  
Blogger Andrew K. said...

Oh, Mr. Davis I am now certain that you exist primarily to litter with the world with wisdom. I wish you were teaching me. That was just lovely...and now off to study for my Linguistics Final.

7:03 PM, June 16, 2010  
Blogger Unknown said...

Having recently bid goodbye to my graduating seniors at Notre Dame, Nick, I only wish your speech had been available then to share with them. As beautifully as you express yourself and use and understand the reflective complexity of language, what really gives your pieces the heft of "words to be remembered" is that they are, ultimately, grounded in an embracing emotionality. Thank you for sharing.

9:48 PM, June 16, 2010  
Blogger CCW said...

Bravo! I agree that those 1988 Best Picture candidates leave a lot to be desired. I watched Dead Ringers for the first time last week and it was quite an experience. As great as Irons was, it was Bujold's subtle work that really blew me away.
I was happy to see that River Phoenix made it into your 1988 Oscar ballot (and 1991, for that matter). I've actually just recently discovered his work and I really treasure those two performances.

9:57 PM, June 16, 2010  
Blogger Tabb said...

Very nice, Nick. I found particularly resonant "...but because of how you impressed people in ways you may not realize anyone noticed, watched by people you didn’t realize were taking an interest." Speaks to both an appreciation of how people conduct themselves in life - and very relevant here - to "fandom" at all its levels and in all its guises.

10:09 PM, June 16, 2010  

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