Farewell Address to Speech Communication Class

Fall 2001

Bill Bly

One year ago today, I had a fat job as a Consultant in Educational Technology at New York University.

Two months later, I didn't have any job -- and I remained unemployed until that steamy morning in August, when I first beheld your shining faces, upturned toward me in eagerness to learn.

At first, I was grateful for the gig -- well, for the income that the doing the gig would provide, if not exactly the work I'd have to do to earn it: let's face it, when you're unemployed, you can't beat the hours -- it's just that everything else gets pretty screwed up.

But gradually, over the weeks we've spent together, the reason for my gratitude has changed -- to you guys. If you gotta work for a living, this is the job to have -- the pay's not that great, the homework sucks, but the people are the best -- enthusiastic, courageous, hardworking.

Above all, this is a hopeful enterprise, and there just ain't that many of those around these days.

So I thank you for your example to me. Some of you have done better than others. Some of you have worked harder than others. Some of you have had it easier than others. Some of you have been luckier than others. That's the way it is -- always, and in everything.

But you've all done your work, and you've all improved. Most important, you've all survived, or you wouldn't be here. And for that, I applaud you -- and I think you should applaud each other and yourselves.

So in token of my gratitude, let me leave you with some words of wisdom from my dead grandfather -- well, he was alive when he bestowed them on me:

Have a great holiday, and a safe and sane New Year.

Last updated 19 Dec2001.