Sunday, August 28, 2011

Pearls of Wisdom-- Meryl's 2010 Barnard College commencement speech

This weekend I took a road trip up to International Falls with my friend Carolyn to visit our friend Kimmy. Mind you this was a five hour drive to the border of Canada on a Friday night, and it is by no means scenic (considering most of the drive was in the dark). Carolyn wanted to close her eyes for a bit while I drove, so before she would no longer be available to flip through songs for me, I asked if she'd open up the youtube clip of Meryl's commencement speech at Barnard College last year on my phone so I could listen to it. After assuring me that I was completely weird, she obliged by cuing up the video.

I've watched this video a few times, and I heart it for the insights and humor Meryl provides in it. As many of you know, she attended Vassar (a women's school at the time) for her undergraduate studies. In this speech, she eloquently delivers her perspectives on how the world has positively changed for women, and the so-called "adaptation of men." Love it. She accomplishes this through a self-deprecating look back at how her abilities as a convincing actor were established and honed. I loved this segment (where she describes herself in high school). Meryl's recollection is so introspective and intelligent, articulating how she transitioned into a young woman who didn't defer to men. Before I add anything else, it's probably best you just watch the speech:

She's such a great speaker. In particular toward the end, I enjoy how she passes along suggestions about keeping alert, studying the world with empathy, and staying involved in the lives of family members. Overall a very (per Joe) humanist speech, and it makes sense to me. I'll end with my favorite quote: "No matter what you see/hear me saying when I'm on your tv holding a statuette and spewing...that's acting. Being a celebrity has taught me to hide. Being an actor has opened my soul."

Ok, reading this back it seems a bit serious and corny but whatev. Meryl's a smarty.

1 comment:

  1. this is my fevorits meryl speach ever...i also liked the part when she describe her high school years, she was helarious....