Economics and the mid-life crisis have much in common: Both dwell on foregone opportunities

C'est la vie; c'est la guerre; c'est la pomme de terre . . . . . . . . . . . . . email: jpalmer at uwo dot ca

. . . . . . . . . . .Richard Posner should be awarded the next Nobel Prize in Economics . . . . . . . . . . . .

Tuesday, June 14, 2005

More Notes from Convocation

I have attended LOTS of graduation ceremonies. This morning something happened that I hadn't heard before. After one young woman's name was announced, a guy in the audience yelled out, "Will you marry me?" We didn't see that she answered either way.
Yesterday, one of the people shaking hands and confirming the degrees was a bit nervous since he hadn't had much experience at the job. He wanted to do a good job, so he tried to make sure he called each student by name. In one instance, he couldn't quite make out the name because audience members were making some noise, so he asked the student, "What's your name again?"

To which the equally nervous student replied, "Thank you very much."

I have seen variants on that theme several times over the years.
One person has suggested that it would be an interesting strategy for the University of Western Ontario to give the honorary degree to pioneer abortionist, Henry Morgantaler, tomorrow (Wednesday), without announcing the change in advance, instead of waiting until Thursday. That idea has some fun implications....
Speaking of Henry Morgentaler, recall from my earlier posting that the Chair of the Board of Governors issued an open letter dissing the selection committee for their choice. I wrote then that the guy should resign.

He didn't resign; in fact, he showed up at yesterday afternoon's ceremony, where the talk was given by a long-time fund-raiser and donor to the university. I doubt, though, that he will show up at the Morgentaler ceremony on Thursday morning.
One more thing about Morgentaler. The Chair of the Board of Governors alleged in his open letter that the invitations to the honorary degree recipients are always the result of a unanimous, consensual decision of the committee. He argued that since the committee wasn't unanimous in its vote on Morgantaler's invitation, he shouldn't have been invited.

That is pure nonsense. The President of the University, Paul Davenport, is a respectable and respected economist. He sits on that committee, and I cannot imagine that he voted in favour of inviting Maude Barlow to speak this morning.
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