Hidden within Ellen DeGeneres's humor there is pure evidence that she is in concert with many things we talk about within Clear Thinking Institute. It might be interesting for you to identify the words, the language, she employs and the concepts she is conveying.
Thank you, President Cowan, Mrs. President Cowen; distinguished guests, undistinguished guests - you know who you are, honored faculty and creepy Spanish teacher. And thank you to all the graduating class of 2009, I realize most of you are hungover and have splitting headaches and haven't slept since Fat Tuesday, but you can't graduate 'til I finish, so listen up.
When I was asked to make the commencement speech, I immediately said yes. Then I went to look up what commencement meant. Which would have been easy if I had a dictionary, but most of the books in our house are Portia's, and they're all written in Australian. So I had to break the word down myself, to find out the meaning.
Commencement: common, and cement. Common cement. You commonly see cement on sidewalks. Sidewalks have cracks, and if you step on a crack, you break your mother's back. So there's that. But I'm honored that you've asked me here to speak at your common cement.
I thought that you had to be a famous alumnus - alumini - aluminum - alumis - you had to graduate from this school. And I didn't go to college here, and I don't know if President Cowan knows, I didn't go to any college at all. Any college. And I'm not saying you wasted your time, or money, but look at me, I"m a huge celebrity.
Although I did graduate from the school of hard knocks, our mascot was the knockers. I spent a lot of time here growing up. My mom worked at (?) and I would go there every time I needed to steal something out of her purse. But why am I here today? Clearly not to steal, you're too far away and I'd never get away with it.
I'm here because of you. Because I can't think of a more tenacious, more courageous graduating class. I mean, look at you all, wearing your robes. Usually when you're wearing a robe at 10 in the morning, it means you've given up. I'm here because I love New Orleans. I was born and raised here, I spent my formative years here, and like you, while I was living here I only did laundry six times. When I finished school, I was completely lost. And by school, I mean middle school, but I went ahead and finished high school anyway. And I - I really, I had no ambition, I didn't know what I wanted to do. I did everything from - I shucked oysters, I was a hostess, I was a bartender, I was a waitress, I painted houses, I sold vaccuum cleaners, I had no idea. And I thought I'd just finally settle in some job, and I would make enough money to pay my rent, maybe have basic cable, maybe not, I didn't really have a plan, my point is that, by the time I was your age, I really thought I knew who I was, but I had no idea. Like for example, when I was your age, I was dating men. So what I'm saying is, when you're older, most of you will be gay. Anyone writing this stuff down? Parents?
Anyway, I had no idea what I wanted to do with my life, and the way I ended up on this path was from a very tragic event. I was maybe 19, and my girlfriend at the time was killed in a car accident. And I passed the accident, and I didn't know it was her and I kept going, and I found out shortly after that, it was her.