IVC Commencement 2011 Student Speaker CC


Uploaded by IrvineValleyCollege on 13.06.2011

Transcript:
[MUSIC]
[APPLAUSE]
>>JONATHON STEBEL: HELLO, FIRST I'D LIKE TO THANK ALL OF OUR DISTINGUISHED GUESTS UP HERE.
I'D LIKE TO THANK DR. PLANO FOR THAT WONDERFUL INTRODUCTION
AND I'D LIKE TO THANK PRESIDENT ROQUEMORE FOR
BEING A CONSTANT SUPPORT TO PHI THETA KAPPA AND THE REST OF
THE COMMUNITY HERE AT IRVINE VALLEY COLLEGE.
NOW I HOPE YOU'LL FORGIVE ME I'M GOING TO BREAK UP
THE FORMALITY AND SERIOUSNESS OF THE EVENT FOR ONE SECOND.
I'M JUST GONNA GO AHEAD AND JUST GET RID OF THIS.
[LAUGHTER & CHEERING]
AND I APOLOGIZE IF I OFFENDED ANYBODY BY DOING THAT
BUT I DON'T LIKE TO GIVE WRITTEN SPEECHES
AND YOU DON'T LIKE TO HEAR WRITTEN SPEECHES TOO MUCH,
I WOULD ASSUME. SO RIGHT NOW
I'D LIKE TO CONGRATULATE ALL OF MY FELLOW GRADUATES.
YOU MADE IT, YOU'RE HERE, GOOD JOB.
[APPLAUSE]
AND I'D LIKE FOR EACH OF YOU TO THINK BACK TO YOUR
FIRST DAY HERE AT IVC.
WERE YOU NERVOUS? WERE YOU EXCITED, HAPPY, ANGRY, TIRED?
THINK BACK TO THE FIRST CLASS YOU TOOK AND HOW YOU FELT.
I REMEMBER MY FIRST CLASS,
IT WAS AN INTRODUCTION TO CHINESE CLASS
AND IT WAS WITH PROFESSOR JINGFANG SATOW.
I GOT TO CLASS ABOUT 45 MINUTES TO AN HOUR EARLY
AND I SAT THERE READING THROUGH PRETTY MUCH THE ENTIRE TEXTBOOK
TRYING TO MEMORIZE EVERY SINGLE WORLD
TO PREPARE MYSELF FOR THE CLASS.
THE PROFESSOR WALKED IN, LOOKED AT ME,
SURPRISED TO SEE A STUDENT ALREADY THERE AND SAID NI HAO.
AND THEN I REALIZED HOW NERVOUS I WAS
AND I COULD NOT SAY A WORD BACK TO HER.
AND I JUST SAT THERE STARING AT MY BOOK
AND PRETENDED I DIDN'T KNOW WHAT SHE WAS SAYING.
NOW LOOK AT YOURSELVES,
LOOK AT HOW MUCH YOU OVERCOME TO BE HERE TODAY.
LOOK AT EVERY OBSTACLE YOU SURPASSED.
LOOK AT ALL THE CLASSES YOU'VE PASSED WITH FLYING COLORS
JUST TO BE SITTING HERE TODAY.
IT'S A LOT OF STUFF,
MAYBE YOU GOT A WONDERFUL GRADE IN YOUR FIRST ESSAY
IN HUMANITIES CLASS OR WRITING CLASS
AND YOU'RE REALLY PROUD OF YOURSELF.
SO FOR THE NEXT ESSAY YOU WAITED UNTIL THE LAST MINUTE
TO START IT AND THEN YOU RUSHED TO PIECE IT TOGETHER
JUST LITTLE BIT BY LITTLE BIT
IN SCRAMBLING TO GET TOGETHER A COHERENT ESSAY BY THE DEADLINE.
AND MAYBE AS YOU'RE FINISHING UP YOUR WRITING 2
HONORS FINAL 25 PAGE PAPER ON CHINA'S CONSUMERIST CULTURE,
YOUR COMPUTER EXPERIENCED A COMPLETE HARD DRIVE FAILURE
AND YOU LOST EVERYTHING.
THAT'S NOT A PROJECTION OF MYSELF JUST YOU KNOW,
MAYBE THAT HAPPENED TO YOU.
[LAUGHTER]
AND MAYBE THERE ARE A FEW THINGS THAT AREN'T AS EASY
TO LOOK BACK ON AND LAUGH AT.
MAYBE YOU EXPERIENCED THE LOSS OF A LOVED ONE
MADE IT HARD TO COMPLETE YOUR STUDIES HERE,
MADE IT HARD TO GO THROUGH THE SEMESTER.
ALL THIS HAS HAPPENED TO ME THIS SEMESTER
AND WE'VE ALL HAD OUR OWN OBSTACLES TO OVERCOME,
THAT'S WHY WE'RE ALL HERE.
AND SO I'D LIKE TO SHARE A LITTLE BIT OF MYSELF
WITH EVERYONE OF YOU.
SEE IT'S BOTH FITTING AND IRONIC THAT I'M ACTING
AS YOUR STUDENT COMMENCEMENT SPEAKER THIS AFTERNOON
BECAUSE ABOUT 10 YEARS AGO I WAS DIAGNOSED WITH BOTH
ASPERGERS SYNDROME, A FORM OF HIGH FUNCTIONING AUTISM,
AND CROHN'S DISEASE,
WHICH IS A FORM OF INFLAMMATORY BOWELS DISEASE,
BOTH AT THE SAME TIME IT WAS WONDERFUL.
AND SO WHEN I WAS YOUNGER I COULD NOT TALK TO ANYBODY.
I WAS EXTREMELY STRESSED AND ANXIOUS IN ANY SORT OF
SOCIAL ENVIRONMENT AND THAT ANXIETY WOULD
CAUSE ME TO FEEL A GREAT DEAL OF PHYSICAL DISTRESS
DUE TO CROHN'S DISEASE.
AND I WASN'T ABLE TO LOOK MY OWN FAMILY MEMBERS IN THE EYE,
I COULDN'T GIVE MY GRANDPARENTS A HUG,
AND I WASN'T ABLE TO SAY HELLO TO MY OWN FATHER.
I HAD TO LITERALLY WHISPER EVERYTHING I WANTED TO SAY
TO MY MOTHER AND SHE ACTED AS A SORT OF MEGAPHONE TO
SAY WHAT I WANTED TO SAY, RELAY MY MESSAGES.
AND IT WAS IT WAS HARD GROWING UP AND IT'S ONLY
REALLY BEEN IN THESE PAST TWO YEARS THAT
I'VE STARTED TO BE ABLE TO EVEN HAVE A ONE ON ONE CONVERSATION
WITH ANYBODY, WHICH IS HARD TO BELIEVE
SEEING ME UP HERE ADDRESSING YOU ALL NOW.
BUT I GUARANTEE YOU IT'S TRUE.
THINK BACK IT WAS IRONIC THAT I ATTENDED A LANGUAGE CLASS
AS MY FIRST CLASS WHEN I DID NOT KNOW HOW TO TALK TO ANYBODY.
I WAS SURROUNDED BY PEOPLE WHO WERE ALSO DEVELOPING
THEIR OWN WAY TO COMMUNICATE IN A BRAND NEW LANGUAGE
AND IT WAS REALLY A GREAT ENVIRONMENT FOR ME
TO START LEARNING HOW TO COMMUNICATE IN AN ENVIRONMENT
WITHOUT MY MOTHER, WITHOUT MY FAMILY MEMBERS,
WITHOUT PEOPLE THERE TO SUPPORT ME.
BEFORE I ATTENDED IVC, I ATTENDED A SMALL,
A SMALL K THOUGH 12 SCHOOL FOR STUDENTS WITH
LEARNING DISABILITIES KNOWN AS MARDAN ACTUALLY
JUST RIGHT DOWN THE STREET THERE.
I ATTENDED IT FROM SEVENTH GRADE UNTIL GRADUATION
AND I WAS FORCED INTO SOCIAL SITUATIONS.
THIS WAS HOW I WAS FIRST STARTED TO BE ABLE TO LEARN
BASIC HUMAN COMMUNICATION SKILLS
AND FEEL COMFORTABLE LEAVING THE HOUSE IN THE MORNING.
THIS WAS REALLY THE FIRST STEP TO BE ABLE TO BE
WHERE I AM TODAY.
AND OTHER CLASSES, OTHER PROFESSORS HAVE REALLY
HELPED ME COME OUT OF MY SHELL, LEARN HOW TO TALK.
FOR EXAMPLE PROFESSOR GROSSMAN IN HIS HONORS SPEECH 1 CLASS
WHERE I WAS FORCED AGAIN TO TALK TO PEOPLE.
AND I DEVELOPED THE LOVE FOR GIVING SPEECHES IN THAT CLASS
AND OTHER GROUPS AT IVC HAVE GREATLY HELPED ME DEVELOP
MY OWN WAY OF COMMUNICATING AND DEVELOP MY OWN VOICE.
AND ONE OF THOSE GROUPS IS A GROUP THAT I'M SLIGHTLY
FAMILIAR WITH KNOWN WITH IS PHI THETA KAPPA.
[CHEERING]
I WAS INTRODUCED TO THIS GROUP OF SUPER NERDS
BY A FRIEND OF MINE AND I WAS IMMEDIATELY WELCOMED IN.
THEY WERE THE FRIENDLIEST PEOPLE I'VE EVER MET IN MY ENTIRE LIFE.
THEY JUST ALLOWED ME INTO THE GROUP,
LISTENED TO WHAT I HAD TO SAY,
DIDN'T JUDGE ME I CAN TALK WITHOUT HAVING ANY SORT OF FEAR
OF BEING REJECTED OR ANYTHING AT ALL,
I FELT COMPLETELY COMFORTABLE IN THIS GROUP OF PEOPLE
WHO SHARED MY INTEREST IN ACADEMICS
IN JUST REALLY EVERYTHING.
AND IT WAS THANKS TO THE MEMBERS OF THIS ORGANIZATION
AND TO OUR WONDERFUL ADVISORS
PROFESSOR JODI TITUS AND PROFESSOR KURT MEYER
WHO BEGGED ME NOT TO MENTION HIM TODAY.
BUT I DON'T HAVE FILTERS AND I DON'T LISTEN TO PEOPLE SO.
AND REALLY I'M NOT UNIQUE IN THAT I DEVELOPED A VOICE
THAT I LEARNED HOW TO TALK AT IVC,
THAT I GAINED MY OWN VOICE HERE,
EVERY PERSON HERE HAS DEVELOPED THEIR OWN UNIQUE VOICE
AND WHAT'S A VOICE?
IT'S NOT WHAT I'M USING RIGHT NOW TO VERBALLY COMMUNICATE,
A VOICE IS WHAT WE USE TO REPRESENT OURSELVES IN SOCIETY.
IT'S OUR SKILLS AND KNOWLEDGE THAT WE POSSES,
IT'S OUR IDEAS, OUR BELIEFS,
OPINIONS AND JUST REALLY EVERYTHING ABOUT OURSELVES
AND HOW WE APPEAR TO OTHERS IN THE WORLD.
SO WE HAVE ALL DEVELOPED OUR OWN VOICES HERE
NO MATTER WHO YOU ARE, NO MATTER IF YOU'RE THE HIGH SCHOOL
GRADUATE WHO MAY HAVE BEEN DISAPPOINTED AT FIRST
THAT YOU HAD TO ATTEND A COMMUNITY COLLEGE
RATHER THAN GOING TO THE UNIVERSITY OF YOUR CHOICE,
YOU'VE DEVELOPED YOUR OWN VOICE HERE.
YOU'VE GAINED KNOWLEDGE AND YOU'VE SAVED A LOT OF MONEY
BY COMING HERE.
[LAUGHTER]
MAYBE YOU ARE THE NON-TRADITIONAL STUDENT
WHO CAME BACK HERE WANTING MORE FROM LIFE,
WANTING TO EARN A DEGREE. YOU'VE DEVELOPED YOUR OWN VOICE,
YOU'VE GAINED KNOWLEDGE AND YOU'VE GAINED AUTHORITY.
YOU'VE GAINED A SPECIALTY THAT YOU'RE GOING TO BE GROWING IN
IN YOUR NEXT, WHEREVER YOU'RE GOING NEXT.
MAYBE YOU'RE A VETERAN COMING BACK TRYING TO
RE-INTEGRATE INTO CIVILIAN SOCIETY AND YOU'RE
ATTEMPTING TO EARN A DEGREE,
AND YOU'RE GOING TOWARDS A SPECIALTY,
YOU'VE DEVELOPED YOUR OWN VOICE.
OR MAYBE YOU'RE THE SINGLE PARENT WHO CAME TO IVC
TO BETTER YOUR OWN LIFE AND THE LIVES OF YOUR CHILDREN,
AND YOU HAVE DEVELOPED YOUR OWN VOICE AS WELL.
AND SO WE'VE ALL DEVELOPED OUR OWN VOICES
BUT NOT JUST BY OURSELVES,
WE'VE HAD THE SUPPORT OF THE FACULTY HERE,
OUR PROFESSORS WHO PUSH US WITH ESSAY AFTER ESSAY,
TEST AFTER TEST, AND STACKS AND STACKS OF HOMEWORK.
THE COUNSELORS HERE WHO PROVIDE US WITH A ROAD MAP
TO SUCCESS AND TEACH US AND LISTEN TO WHAT WE WANT TO DO
WITH OUR LIVES AND HELP US GET THERE.
AND THE SUPPORTIVE SERVICES HERE AT IVC
WHO HELP OUT STUDENTS LIKE ME WITH LEARNING DISABILITIES
AND WITH FINANCIAL NEEDS AND THEY HELP THEM
TO ATTEND IVC AND TO BE SUCCESSFUL HERE.
AND TO OUR FRIENDS WHO STAY UP WITH US
DOING THOSE ALL NIGHTERS WHICH WE COULD HAVE AVOIDED
BY JUST DOING THE PAPER WHEN IT WAS ASSIGNED TO US,
BUT YOU KNOW THAT'S NOT HOW COLLEGE STUDENTS DO IT
AND DEFINITELY NOT HOW HONORS STUDENTS DO IT,
WE DON'T STUDY AT ALL, OUR LIVES ARE EXTREMELY STRESSFUL.
AND TO OUR FAMILIES AS FOR MYSELF MY MOTHER AND MY FATHER
SITTING RIGHT THERE, YOU CAN GO LOOK AT THEM, HELLO.
WHO FOUGHT TOOTH AND NAIL WITH MY OLD SCHOOL DISTRICT
TO JUST BE ABLE TO PROVIDE AN EDUCATION FOR ME,
TO BE ABLE TO PROVIDE A NORMAL LIFE FOR ME
AND THEY GAVE UP SO MUCH AND THEY SACRIFICED SO MUCH
JUST TO GIVE ME THIS LIFE.
AND TO EVERYONE ELSE'S FAMILY,
YOUR FAMILY IS THE REASON THAT YOU'RE HERE TODAY.
THEY ARE THE MOST IMPORTANT GROUP OF INDIVIDUALS
YOU WILL EVER FIND IN YOUR LIFE
AND THEY'RE PROBABLY REALLY PROUD OF YOU RIGHT NOW.
AND MOST IMPORTANTLY YOURSELVES,
YOU ARE THE REASON THAT YOU'RE HERE TODAY,
YOU COULD HAVE VERY EASILY GIVEN UP WHEN YOU GOT
THAT FIRST BAD GRADE ON AN ESSAY OR WHEN YOU REALIZED
THAT YOU FORGOT AN ENTIRE ASSIGNMENT,
YOU COULD HAVE JUST GIVEN UP,
DROPPED OUT AND JUST GIVEN UP YOUR GOAL OF EARNING A DEGREE,
BUT YOU'RE ALL HERE TODAY SO YOU SHOULD ALL
CONGRATULATE YOURSELVES.
AND SO I WOULD LIKE TO CONGRATULATE EACH
AND EVERY ONE OF YOU FOR YOUR ACCOMPLISHMENTS
FOR EVERYTHING THAT YOU'VE DONE HERE.
YOU KNOW MAYBE RIPPING UP MY ESSAY WASN'T THE BEST THING
TO DO BECAUSE I FORGOT MY OUTRO BUT
[LAUGHTER]
JUST REALLY WHEREVER YOU GO,
TAKE THAT VOICE WITH YOU, BRING THAT VOICE WITH YOU
WHETHER YOU'RE ENTERING THE JOB MARKET
OR WHETHER YOU'RE TRANSFERRING TO A LARGE UNIVERSITY,
BRING THAT VOICE WITH YOU.
MAKE YOURSELF HEARD, USE THAT VOICE FOR THE REST OF YOUR LIFE
AND CONTINUE TO BUILD ON IT AND REALLY
MAKE YOURSELF HEARD AND BE SUCCESSFUL IN WHATEVER
YOU CHOOSE TO DO.
AND SO THANK YOU AND ONCE AGAIN CONGRATULATIONS.
[APPLAUSE]