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Deliberatepixel / The 'Joke' Class: Rowling's Harvard Speech

The 'Joke' Class: Rowling's Harvard Speech

What's with the hating on the fact J.K. Rowling gave Harvard University's commencement address?

"It's definitely the 'A' list, and I wouldn't ever associate J.K. Rowling with the people on that list," says senior Andy Vaz. "From the moment we walk through the gates of Harvard Yard, they constantly emphasize that we are the leaders of tomorrow. They should have picked a leader to speak at commencement. Not a children's writer. What does that say to the class of 2008? Are we the joke class?"

Sure, makes sense. Except for the fact that J.K. Rowling, a former single mother who didn't have the privilege of a Harvard education, used little more than her own wits to build a media empire and can now buy and sell your 22-year-old ass ten times over because she's one of the richest women in the world. Maybe you don't feel you can look to her as a leader. But surprise - the world has more types of people in it than male Harvard grads. To less-privileged women in particular, Rowling's example is a powerful one, and the fact she was invited to give Harvard's commencement speech sends a message beyond campus boundaries - it says that women like her can not only be honored, but their opinions can be listened to. Dismissing her accomplishments, and claiming that being addressed by her is beneath you, is showing a profound and embarrassing ignorance about the realities of modern life and society.

Yeah, there's a joke here. And it's not Rowling.



Dan · 11 June, 09:15 AM · #

And what’s more, if you read it, it turns out to be a really good speech.

nick · 14 June, 08:49 PM · #

To Dan
and a very funny one too!

“…This liberating discovery enables me to proceed without any fear that I might inadvertently influence you to abandon promising careers in business, law or politics for the giddy delights of becoming a gay wizard.”
I love her!
To D.B.
Thank you so much for this great post you always manage to find a lot of interesting stuff out there that I would miss otherwise…
By the way what happened to your saturday morning podcast posts? Please keep em coming…

Jen · 15 June, 07:01 AM · #

Thanks, Nick! Yeah, I dropped the ball on the Saturday Morning Podcast – maybe I’ll do a special Sunday edition :)

nick · 15 June, 05:07 PM · #

Hi there again Jen!
Too bad about the saturday morning podcast…
I am totally gagging to listen to firecracker…
I’ll reccomend you to get in touch with Amanda from bloggerbuster She’s a great British blogger and if I am not much mistaken more than willing to start podcasting herself…

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