President Liebowitz. . . Faculty . . . Families . . . and of course classmates. I’m honored to be here. I do feel a bit funny speaking to you today. I haven’t fought as many jellyfish as Diana Nyad. And unlike our resident geographer president Liebowitz, I can’t point out Tajikistan on a map, nor pronounce it correctly. In short, I’m no older than you, so I hardly feel qualified to offer towering insights or advice.
Instead, I thought I’d share two stories. Both are about regrets.
First story. My father reads the New Yorker every week. And Years ago, he cut out a cartoon and framed it. It’s been sitting on his desk for as long as I can remember. It’s a picture of an old man lying in the hospital looking out a window. He’s in a small room that is sparsely decorated, like a jail cell or a Battel double. His family is gathered around him. His daughter is crying. And his son is holding his hand. A small table, holds cards and flowers. He is on his deathbed.
Excuse me – I should say, “it appears the man is on his death bed.” Maybe this man just likes flowers and holding other men’s hands. If there is one thing I’ve learned at Midd, it’s not to be so hetero-normative. But, for the sake of the cartoon, let’s say the man is on his deathbed.
He’s speaking. Presumably his last words. His family is leaning in to listen. And in little more than a whisper, he says:
“I should have bought more crap.” Continue reading