Seize the Day-Some Other Time 真正精采的畢業演說屈指可數...把握今天？改天再說吧
In days of yore, graduation speeches were fiery or throat-clenched battle cries, highly reliant on one or more familiar themes. Be bold, these call to arms exhorted: Dare to tilt at windmills with your own handmade pole vault. Question everything, they counseled — light a fire underneath your inner Ralph Nader. Make the world a better place, they goaded — you'll be too tired to do so once your newborn is power-blasting your shoulder with boysenberry-hued vomit.
But today's commencement speeches, as evidenced by a new book ("Assume the Worst: The Graduation Speech You'll Never Hear") by novelist Carl Hiaasen and cartoonist Roz Chast, and another ("In Conclusion, Don't Worry About It") by actress Lauren Graham, are less fife-and-drum than plaintive bagpipe. Inspiration is superseded by skepticism or a shiny decal that might read: "You Are Enough."
Hiaasen applies pragmatic scorn to "If you set your mind to it, you can be anything you want to be," pointing out that if Bill Gates had tried to be a professional bronco rider, "he wouldn't have made it past his first rodeo ... and Microsoft would today be a brand of absorbent underwear." Meanwhile, Chast breaks up the text with her signature blend of bug-eyed bedragglement.
Graham's book, like most in this genre, is a speech she actually delivered. Last year the "Gilmore Girls" star told the graduates of Langley High in her hometown McLean, Virginia, that receiving her Langley diploma in 1984 felt like "an empty victory": the pleather folder given to her was empty because Graham had never returned a copy of "Robinson Crusoe" to the school's library.
Indeed, the contemporary commencement speech sometimes posits failure as an end in itself, and not necessarily as a slough from which to rebound. In 2008, JK Rowling praised failure in her Harvard commencement address, several years after Steve Jobs told Stanford's graduating class that death is "the most wonderful invention of life," because it "purges the system of these old models that are obsolete."
In the end, maybe it's only fitting that graduation speeches now sometimes come in a new flavor (bitter melon). Graduating seniors, in the eyes of these texts, are neither lumps of clay nor young warriors equipped with lightsabers. As young folk take their seats and wonder what sort of medicine they'll be dispensed of — wide-eyed cheerleading? grim vérité? — they are getting a powerful preview of the suspense and open-endedness that their next few years will bring them.
「一團團泥土」（lumps of clay）是聖經裡對人的比喻，以窯匠（potter）和泥土闡述神與人的關係，譬如羅馬書寫道：「窯匠難道沒有權柄從一團泥裡拿一塊做成貴重的器皿，又拿一塊做成卑賤的器皿嗎？」意思是人要向造物者臣服，無權決定自己成為怎樣的器皿。
So Many Ways to Celebrate a Century of Leonard Bernstein 指揮家伯恩斯坦百歲冥誕 全球歡慶
Whether you're a fan of show tunes, operas or classical music, the name Leonard Bernstein quite likely inspires a familiar melody.
The composer, conductor and educator, who died in 1990, would have turned 100 on Aug. 25. This year, events to commemorate his centennial, collectively called "Leonard Bernstein at 100," are happening all over the world.
Among the most notable homages to Bernstein is an exhibition, "Leonard Bernstein: The Power of Music," running at the National Museum of American Jewish History in Philadelphia until Sept. 2.
Bernstein has a special connection with Philadelphia. He earned his conducting diploma at the Curtis Institute of Music and frequently returned in subsequent years, according to the exhibition curator, Ivy Weingram.
Spread over 2,200 square feet, the show includes more than 100 artifacts from Bernstein's life, including his Steinway piano (a gift from his piano teacher, Helen Coates), and an annotated copy of "Romeo and Juliet"in which he formulated ideas for "West Side Story."
Another noteworthy commemoration for the artist is BBC Proms, a classical music festival in London's Royal Albert Hall that runs from July 13 to Sept. 8.
But perhaps one of the biggest birthday celebrations will be in Lenox, Massachusetts. The Boston Symphony Orchestra's summer season at Tanglewood, running from June 15 to Sept. 2, is called "Bernstein Centennial Summer — Celebrating Lenny at Tanglewood!" and will pay tribute to Bernstein's contributions to the festival from 1940 to 1990. The lineup has 14 performances that include Bernstein's works like the opera "A Quiet Place" and his operetta "Candide."
The culmination, on Aug. 25, is a gala concert that features artists and ensembles from the worlds of classical music, film and Broadway, including cellist Yo-Yo Ma, concert singers Susan Graham and Isabel Leonard, and Broadway singers Jessica Vosk and Tony Yazbeck.