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Graduation Speech (draft)

(2012-05-15 10:45:43)
标签:

2012

杂谈

分类: 建筑/教育

Good morning, graduates, families, and friends.

 

The Chinese have a saying:  it takes one year to grow grass; ten years to grow a tree.

 

When we say “tree,” we are speaking of material that is useful, ideas that are hopeful, and purpose that is meaningful.

 

By that measure, you graduates are only halfway to being a “tree”! However we must already put you out into the wild world!

 

Congratulations! Class of 2012!

It has been my pleasure and privilege to watch you grow and flourish.

 

Parents and families, I must also congratulate you.  This moment of achievement belongs to you as well.  It is your support that has enabled this accomplished group to reach this point, and all of you can be proud.

 

An architecture education, as so many here can bear witness, is a grueling course that tests each student’s commitment to design and passion for life.  In addition to sleepless nights and nonstop deadlines, students must deal with every facet of environment and space, from their internal psyche to local urbanism to ecologies around the world.

 

It would be nice to be able to tell you that this was the hard part, but we all know that this is not the case—that your time here has been nothing but preparation to situations that are harder, prelude to challenges that are greater.  For a tree to be fully grown, it must withstand storms, draught, and other catastrophes.

 

Allow me to express this through a realm I have a special fondness and knowledge of:  Winemaking.

 

You come to USC—promising, shining, beautiful young fruit handpicked. In first year, you are de-stemmed and cleaned for the rigorous process ahead.  You may or may not recall, but let me share with you the secret to success in the first year:  You are crushed! But we crush gently and sensitively.  Real winemakers use hand, foot, and even bodies.  We use something more gentle—head and mind.

 

Then we bring you the second phase: fermentation, You lie crushed, split from your skin, as painful as it might be felt, your essence extracted, your energy starts to release.  We work to make sure that your energies are elongated and balanced.

 

Next, through process called me-lactic fermentation, we linger over every attribute you carry, to make sure you have maximized your potential in aroma, alcohol, and tannin.

 

Then we bring you in the process of fining. To bring equilibrium in you. We work create a balance between your diverse strengths. Your taste is rounded with clarity and projected with beauty.

 

Finally.  Defined and refined, your unique strength is being repeatedly tested and matched with those who present different but complementary characteristics. You are blended into a community of diversity, contributing to the whole with individuality.

 

And now, it is the moment of your accomplishment.  Graduation! Congratulations again.

 

USC and the School of Architecture may have been a vineyard for each of you and all of us.  Through this long process of great accomplishment, you have already enriched our soil with the work you’ve shared with us.  And now, like any good wine, our labors of love must bear and be shared with the world.

 

However, let us slow down and allow me to encourage you, encourage you to continue to develop your vintage in good barrels with patience. You are still young wine that has not yet achieved its highest potential. This may sound controversial in the troubled economic time. But this is the right time and best time to think one word:  Invest! Invest with patience and persistence!

 

Invest in great relationships; work and relate to great, cool people, people who have new ideas, the courage to experiment, generosity towards young minds, and most importantly, honesty of character.  Such Coolness may also mean that you do not get paid well.  (Parents do not like to hear this)  But these early experiences and friendships are invaluable and often affordable only when you are young.

 

Invest in your peers and classmates.  You may learn a great deal from mentors, but your peers side-by-side with you through your years in school are best assets for your future. such fellowship and collaboration will be the greatest rewards of your creative future path. Nurture this unique Trojan family you’ve spent years growing with.

 

Invest in yourself and make learning a lifelong commitment. For many of you, your pedagogical exploration of architecture began within Watt and Harris Hall, but this exploration must continue in your journey. Think critically, do creatively, and go globally. It is criticality and creativity that will harvest your investment anywhere in the world.

 

Regardless of the barrel and treatment of a great wine, its essential character remains the same: true to it’s land, true to it’s plant, and true to it’s value.  Similarly, I encourage you to remain true to yourself and your vision, in spite of the pressures and influences you will face.

 

No matter how the world transforms, and how this transformation challenges Architecture, Architecture is the most clear and pervasive manifestation of thoughts and ideals for each society and time.  It represents one of the most enduring legacies of each generation, and I can only imagine the exciting legacy that this graduating class will shape with their ingenuity, spirit, and creativity. We have tried our best to make your label shine, and with it, it is now your turn to make your alma mater shine.

 

Be creative with your future.  Be creative with your life.  Be creative through design.

 

Thank you and congratulations, the Vintage of 2012.

 

 

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