Farmer to Deliver NU Commencement Address, Offer Realistic View of Students’ Futures

EVANSTON – Northwestern University seniors were surprised to learn that the 2012 Commencement Address would be delivered by a farmer named Paul from central Illinois.

“I mean, I guess I understand how farming might be important in light of the food crisis in, like, Africa and whatever,” Weinberg senior Jonah Goldblum told Flipside, “but I was expecting someone a little more… academic.”

Northwestern University President Morton Schapiro reacted to the lukewarm response to the farmer, saying, “This Spring, thousands of graduates will listen to speakers who tell them that they can do anything now that they have a college degree, but here at Northwestern, we decided to take a more realistic approach. We thought, hey, a lot of these kids are going to be unemployed and living in their moms’ basements until they take a job that will have nothing to do with their Philosophy major, so why don’t we just bring in a real average guy and knock down their expectations a few notches.”

Possible speech topics Farmer Paul has discussed with NU administrators include “More Corn, Less Calculus: The Backbone of America,” “At Least I’m Employed,” and “Really, the Midwest Isn’t That Bad.”

As many schools began to release convocation information online this past week, students at other institutions were quick to take a few jabs at Farmer Paul’s unglamorous vocation. “Ugh, how plebeian,” Harvard student Liam VanBuerman III wrote in his blog Musings in Cambridge: the Quandaries of the Intellectually and Socially Superior, “though I suppose students at a Big Ten school couldn’t be expected to appreciate the same kind of entertainment as students at such an elite institution as this.”

Harvard recently announced its commencement day speaker will be author and social pundit Fareed Zakaria, who will deliver a speech entitled, “Your Life After Harvard: Complaining about Society and Being Better than Other People.”

After hearing President Schapiro’s explanation, Goldblum sighed and consented, “I mean, I guess it might be nice to hear something more realistic than your standard ‘go forth and change the world’ commencement address. I’ve been struggling to find real world applications for my Existentialism degree, and who knows, maybe the dairy industry is the place for me.”

Mr. VanBuerman could not be reached when contacted for further comment. His girlfriend Mimi Birnbauch informed Flipside reporters earlier this morning that he had collapsed under the weight of his own ego.

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