Graduates, faculty, staff, guests. Rob. It’s a real honor to have the opportunity to speak to you on this momentous day. I have to say, when I was asked to give an address to the class of 2016, my first thought was, ‘Oh - you still have my number then? Didn’t lose your phone or anything? Well that’s just peachy.’
But my second was, ‘How can I possibly do justice to the character, attributes, and achievements of this group of people who have meant so much to me, and to whom I really thought I meant something too?’
And I think I’d have to start with the memories. God, there are so many of those. All the passionate debate that would sometimes last all through the night. The dreams we shared of a future we might create. The commitment to ideas about who we were, and where we were going together. Or so we thought. Because we thought we could trust each other. That what we said in moments of heated discourse was what we actually believed - not just something we said to keep the debate going.
But we all have to grow up sometime, right? We have to learn to move on. That’s what our friends all tell us, isn’t it? And our teachers, and our mentors, and our parents, and the guy behind the counter at that gyro place we used to go to, late night. Remember? Paul? He remembered us. And just for the record, he thinks you’re being selfish. There’s more than one law school in the world, you know. We could make it work if we wanted to. But I guess you just don’t want to. When it comes down to it? I just don’t make you feel that...Excuse me. Ahem. Wasn’t meant to be, huh? Haha. Hrm.
The, um...The lessons we’ve learned here together will always stay with us, though. We studied hard. And not just historical facts and philosophical theories and scientific principles. We studied each other. Hard. We really took stock of who we were and what we could do when we believed that anything was possible. That’s something you can’t put a price on. It’s something no one can ever take away from us, even if we find that no one really cares about the degree we earned in the real world. I mean, why would they, right? It’s not like we dedicated years of our lives to this. It’s not like we thought this was leading to something valuable. That we were building a relationship with society we could be sure would be there when we needed it. No, I guess the value of a college education is intangible, huh? You just have to take it as it comes and not worry that you’re probably going to end up alone forever in this job market. Or else you’ll have to put up with some shitty new job who can never compare to you…
I’m sorry. Hey, what was that huh? I’ll find something. I have a lot to offer. The best years of my life are ahead of me. A few years and this place will just be a distant memory, along with the class of 2016, which really didn’t deserve me anyway. I was too good for you. I always was. All my friends said so. Hell, all your friends said so. This isn’t how it was supposed to go. You were the one who was supposed to be pining over me. I’m a fucking queen!
So I guess what we’ve really learned here is that this storied institution didn’t actually teach you what you needed to know. Well guess what? I’m giving the fucking commencement address, Rob. You hear me? I’m the one saying farewell to you! Because unlike you, I tell people what I’m thinking. I don’t just go off the radar and make me call your parents’ house four times. And I’m the one who gets to tell you that though you graduate today, your learning of how to treat people - people who used to matter to you - has just begun.
Congratulations to the class of 2016, and don't ever call me again.