The Tech - Online EditionMIT's oldest and largest
newspaper & the first
newspaper published
on the web
Boston Weather: 39.0°F | A Few Clouds


Reflecting on ‘Click and Clack’

I would like to comment on the recent column by Julia C. Lipman ’99 [“Historical Perspective and Commencement,” April 16] as well as some of the student comments printed in The Tech regarding the selection of “Click and Clack” to speak at commencement. I wonder to myself why some students seem displeased with this choice. I suspect it is a lack of perspective, but not of the historical variety.

One thing to note is that bringing in terms such as “historical perspective” leads us to believe that the 1999 commencement speaker at MIT is of historical significance, which unfortunately stirs our worst collective trait, self-importance.

In the story from April 13 [“Seniors Mixed on ‘Click and Clack’ Choice”], comments such as “the whole point of going to a good school is having someone impressive speak at graduation,” or “felt embarrassed that these two guys [they’]ve never heard of are speaking at [their] graduation,” lead me to believe that some students are disappointed because they are not able to brag to their friends about the speakers. These students are not content to have distinguished graduates, members of the Radio Hall of Fame, or successful broadcasters as commencement speakers. But, maybe, that’s appropriate since it appears that the very value of their entire educational experience seems to be at stake.

The most disturbing comment for me was “this year we get two guys who own a [sic] gas station.” The confusion of the terms “gas station” and “garage” highlights what I sincerely hope is not a reason to be disappointed with this choice of commencement speakers: these guys work for a living and even (gasp!) may have occasionally gotten their hands

By James Hockenberry G