Tuesday, May 22, 2012

See Jane graduate

There’s always something beautifully sad, sadly beautiful about this time of year. It’s graduation time. Granted, my graduations (high school, college, school of hard knocks) were all ages ago. But the inescapable feeling of a chapter closing, pages turning and unlimited possibilities always fill the air this time of year. I remember my graduations as a heady mix of pride, excitement, anxiousness and uncertainty. It’s the unknown – leaving the familiar and stepping into the exhilarating newness. It’s sometimes best expressed in a beautifully rendered commencement speech. And, no, not just that one about the sunscreen.

While it’s still early in the 2012 commencement season, I dare say our good friend Jane Lynch has already set a high bar for the experience. Over the weekend she addressed Smith College. And, as the self-professed “solid C student” said, her speech, “Today is all about you. But just a little bit about me.” Delightfully wry, just the right amount of sentimental and charming as ever, Jane managed to get reproductive rights, “Glee” and porno all into one speech. It’s well worth the 22 minutes and 36 seconds. And if that won’t convince you, this is Smith College after all. So you can always just scan the graduating class and test your gaydar. So on the eve of the big McKinley High graduation finale, I can’t think of a better person to send us off with pomp and circumstance. Take it away, Jane.


Lucy Hallowell said...

I like to think of this as Smith's giant "Fuck You" to the lady who wrote this in a letter to the Alumnae Mag:

“The people who are attending Smith these days are A) lesbians or B) international students who get financial aid or C) low-income women of color who are the first generation in their family to go to college and will go to any school that gives them enough money. Carol emphasizes that this is one of her goals, and so that’s why the school needs more money for scholarships or D) white heterosexual girls who can’t get into Ivy League schools.”


Anonymous said...

Guess I haven't been paying attention to the Alumnae Quarterly.

I like to think of this as a great way to start the morning - thanks for posting . . . and good to know there's hope yet for us late bloomers.


Wiley said...

Just wanted to say this is my alma mater and we had both Jane Lynch (this year) and Rachel Maddow (when I graduated). REP. REP REP REP.

Anonymous said...


Amanda said...

I graduated sunday and it felt great. Our commencement speaker was Amy Kule, alum. and exec. producer of Macy's Day Parade. She was both funny and insightful. But the greatest part of her speech, was her mention of her "18 year old relationship with a person" and her closing comments: "go to the dentist, and come out of the closet." I can't tell you how special that was for me and a lot of my friends to hear. She was an amazing and inspiring speaker.

She starts around 1:29:00. You can see me giggling later on in the speech. So good!

egghead said...

Fabulous speech!! This speech in fact tops Meryl Stree's commencement speech at some college a few years back.

See Jane graduate.
See funny Jane talk.

Yes and.

Yes, Jane I know all about riding bikes in summer, etc. I understand.

Anonymous said...

So proud to be a Smithie, thanks Dorothy for posting this! Saw Jane speak on Sunday and was great! And I agree with Lucy, Jane's speak was a perfect FU to the cashmere and pearls letter. (By the way, that lovely (sarcasm here) letter went to the college newspaper, not the Alumnae Quarterly).

Lucy Hallowell said...

Sorry, I stand corrected (thanks!)-newspaper not magazine. A friend of mine posted it on her facebook when it first came out and I just assumed that's where it was published.

The rest of the letter is even more ridiculous than the part I pulled out so it's worth a quick read (if only to roll your eyes)

kilik said...

Awesome Jane!..Really worth watching.

.....Bravo Sue Sylvester!

Anonymous said...

Best. Commencement. Speech. Ever! Thanks for sharing.

I graduated this year. Unfortunately I could not attend my graduation ceremony as I fell down some stairs 2 days before and blew my knee and was still layed up on the day.


Ms. Mullins said...

I like this "Yes and" theme... at my graduation this past weekend, Danny Smith--producer, writer and voice actor of Family Guy (not as cool as Jane, but it's nice to see a famous guy coming from my little RI state school)--emphasized the same point.

I like their lessons a lot--unlike most graduation speakers, it's something I will actually remember and cherish.

Anonymous said...

I almost didn't take the time to watch this. Now, I am SO glad I did. That was the single best commencement speech I've ever seen!

Anonymous said...

Smith - where women are on top.

MakingSpace said...

McKinley High? Aloha?