Saturday, November 01, 2003

Last Saturday, October 25th marked the eighty-seventh convocation for the conferment of degrees at the University of Waterloo. Like all other convocations, the ceremony was long and monotonous, except for the occasional holler and cheer by appreciating fans.

However, this convocation was unique because it conferred an honorary Doctor of Laws honoris causa to Ms. Pamela Wallin. We then had the privilege to receive Pamela Wallins' address to the Convocation, which, as a broadcaster and journalist by trade, was *much* more engaging than any other Convocation address that I've heard before.

Her message wasn't really original -- by now, even before graduation, we would have already heard x number of generic "charges to anyone enterring society," and indeed, the Convocation started with a [very drawn-out and slow] message by the Chancellor (Mike Lazaridis, Founder, President and Co-CEO of RIM) about the virtues of integrity. [It was like he had just woken up. =p]

But at least, Pamela Wallin's address was engaging, unlike many other convocation addresses... I was going to try and remember what she said, but here is only a brief summary -- i can't remember exactly. =p


Generally, with graduation comes freedom, and with freedom comes the burden of choice -- indeed graduates will be faced with many more choices, and in making those choices, the following are good guidelines to form a framework for decision-making:

1. Be a realist. "An optimist looks to the long run as what is important. A cynic thinks the long-run is irrelevant. A realist believes that what happens in the past determines the long run, and that you can choose what that long run will be like."

2. Character trumps knowledge -- how you treat people speaks louder than how smart you are.

3. "Be stupid." -- meaning, be open-minded. Allow room for other concepts or opinions or ways that are different from yours, and learn from them.

4. Success is how you adapt to your circumstances. Especially given our rapidly changing times, one must constantly reinvent oneself, so a successful person will be able to move along th environment.


Anyway, again, these aren't really revolutionary concepts, but it *was* nice to hear them from a dynamic speaker.

On an unrelated topic, I hope this blog will change the Google ads off of the "relationship problems" topic, e.g., "Save the marriage!" "Relationship saver" "Stop divorce now". Really, the blog was only about clicking... =p

Until next time, this is Gladys Yam.

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