Graduation speeches are tough. You have to avoid the usual cliches about how students are floating on the sea of life or opening the doors to their future, and that isn’t easy. My college graduation speaker—some bigwig woman at the World Bank—hit both of those. Not that you could hear over the protesting of my fellow classmates. So I’m feeling a teensy bit jealous that the lucky ducks over at Harvard have such an awesome graduation speaker—the amazing and hilarious Amy Poehler. “We wanted someone people could recognize, who could give a funny and engaging speech,” the school’s class marshal explained. “During her time on ‘SNL,’ Amy was a part of our growing up, and there’s no doubt she’s pretty hilarious.” Not to mention that she’s also a Boston native.
This got me thinking—who would I have liked to see give my commencement address? Some picks after the jump. Keep reading »
Earlier this winter, Yale Law Professor Amy Chua published Battle Hymn Of The Tiger Mother, a memoir about her strict parenting style rooted in her Chinese upbringing. A “Chinese mother” is a broad term to describe a sub-set of strict parents who expect excellence from their children and force them to both study and rehearse instruments for hours a day. Chua’s two kids were not allowed play dates or sleepovers; she harshly admonished them and punished them throughout their childhood for not devoting themselves to schoolwork and musical study. The book — and her Wall Street Journal op-ed excerpted from it — unsurprisingly caused a huge kerfluffle among parents. Many thought she was was downright abusive.
But consider this: earlier in the week, Amy Chua’s elder daughter, Sophia Chua-Rubenfeld, learned that she was accepted to Harvard University‘s class of 2015, and plans to attend. It begs the question, was growing up with a “tiger mother” worth it? Keep reading »
Last week, the interwebs frothed over an email written by a Harvard Law student who is a member of their famed Law Review. The author of said email wrote that she could not rule out “the possibility that African Americans are, on average, genetically predisposed to be less intelligent.” It’s a statement even more extreme than the one that got Larry Summers in deep doo-doo a while back. This email was forwarded to the website Above the Law and while they kept the writer’s name under wraps, other websites began to identify the author as third-year law student Stephanie Grace. (Above, on the left.) Harvard top brass quickly denounced the email and folks started petitioning the judge Grace was set to clerk for to make sure she didn’t get the position.
So how did this whole nasty thing start? Supposedly, with one friend confronting another about sleeping with a third friend’s ex-boyfriend. Keep reading »
Ding dong, Justice John Paul Stevens is retiring! Surely you remember when President Obama nominated Justice Sonia Sotomayor to the Supreme Court last summer? Well, gird your loins, kiddies, because it’s time to do it all again.
White House gossips say Obama is considering about 10 possible replacements for Stevens and U.S. Solicitor General Elena Kagan is thought to be on the short list. (Hillary Clinton‘s name is also being mumbled, but somehow I don’t see girlfriend ditching her Secretary of State post.) Let’s get acquainted with Elena Kagan, shall we? Keep reading »
Camille from “NYC Prep” may not get accepted next year into her dream school, Harvard, but if she doesn’t mind donning menswear — and something tells me she probably doesn’t — she now has the chance to dress the part a little more easily. That’s because the Ivy League school has curiously launched a new men’s fashion line called Harvard Yard. Harvard and fashion? It’s not exactly the modern marriage we might expect, but nevertheless, the university has signed a ten-year licensing deal with a clothing manufacturer for a line of preppy men’s apparel. Inspired by photos of students lounging in Harvard Yard in the ’60s, the line includes “short-sleeve plaid shirts, Liberty print wovens, seersucker shorts, regimental stripes, sporty knits, patterned jackets and fancy pants — all in a contemporary, tapered fit.” Prices range from $165 for pants to $495 for sports coats. Keep reading »
The Ivy League is making waves toward greater acceptance this week. First, Katie Couric was the first woman to give a commencement speech at Princeton. Now, Harvard University has become the first institute of higher education to create an endowed professorship in lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender studies. Although other colleges and universities offer courses and degree programs in sexuality studies, Harvard is the first to set up an endowed professorship on the subject. Visiting scholars will teach on sexuality and issues affecting sexual minorities for one semester each.
The Harvard Gay & Lesbian Caucus raised $1.5 million to fund the role, which is named after F.O. Matthiessen, an American studies scholar and literary critic who kept his homosexuality a secret while chairing a Harvard undergraduate program. “It’s not so much that we’ve been able to raise this money, it’s that Harvard and the faculty at Harvard have accepted this perpetual endowment for gay and lesbian studies,” said Mitchell Adams of the Harvard Board of Overseers. Now, if we could only get same sex marriage legalized across the board, we’d be one progressive society. [Reuters] Keep reading »
What happens when a bunch of hormone-ridden college co-eds party together week after week? Apparently nothing. Hot fantasies aside, the cold hard data is in. Kathleen Bogle, author of Hooking Up: Sex, Dating and Relationships on Campus, has filed her report. While the number of nuns may be dropping, the number of women who qualify is rising — 39% of women enter college as virgins, and 31% leave with a degree and their “purity” too. For male students, their annual number has dropped from 2.1 partners in 2001 to 1.6 in 2006 (but weâ€™re sure theyâ€™re really missing the best .5 of a lady). Itâ€™s really a sad state of affairs, especially at the Ivy Leagues. While they were able to slip into Harvard, nearly half the undergrads claim they donâ€™t have carnal knowledge. Arenâ€™t the smarty-pants the ones we want to procreate? The good news is, thanks to DIY media (from â€˜zines to the internet), students are documenting their sexual experiences in record numbers. So while the pickinâ€™s may be slim, they are juicy!
Keep reading »