Domke's "Last Word" should last a lifetime
Friday is here and so is the sun. Hallelujah!
I attended the "Who Gets the Last Word?" lecture last night at Kane Hall, and I've got to say it was something I really enjoyed. David Domke, associate professor of communications, delivered the lecture and I just think he did a wonderful job.
I'd heard that in years past those who were honored by the senior class to give the Last Word lecture chose to make their speech a little unconventional, a little offbeat. Domke did nothing of the sort, but he did leave those of us in attendance with a message and a mindset that really hits home. My guess is that his words will make a difference in the lives of those who came to the lecture. It won't for all of them. But it will for a few. And that's saying a lot.
Domke is a rising star in the field of communications. He gives numerous lectures each year, publishes hot-topic political books and continually wins the "He's a great guy" award. But last night's lecture was different, even for him. It was fun to see a UW professor stripped down like that, speaking from the heart and speaking to a group of people who are about to graduate college and have no idea what might happen to them over the course of the next 12 months.
It was true. It was honest. And it should make an impact. I believe that. The theme of the lecture was "The Something We Can Do," and Domke said that everybody can make a difference if they choose to. Not everybody can change the world, he admitted, but everybody can make a difference, some way, somehow, on a day-to-day level. He challenged us to make that choice, to make a difference, big or small. He said it's much easier nowadays to point fingers and mock the people who say they care about something because to care is to be vulnerable and to be vulnerable is to show weakness. He said it's difficult to show how much we care about things, or about people. Why, he asked? Why can't we express how we feel? Why can't we show compassion? Why, of all things, is that seen as a weakness? It's a good question and one I think the entire group will think long and hard about.
Well done, Dr. Domke. Thank you for your honesty.