My sister used to love the show “Dawson’s Creek”. And though you may be loath to admit it, I know many of you know what I’m talking about. She would surround herself with this show, including putting up posters of Pacey and Joey in her room, inadvertently covering up her unicorn wallpaper. We would hear the CD soundtrack emanating through the walls. And I think she even modeled her life against the drama she watched unfold on the tv. It’s an interesting concept: that we can submerse ourselves so deeply into fiction.
The point of this is not so much to make fun of my sister, or to conjure up mental images of James Van Der Beek - but to revisit how transient things become that once seemed so important to us. The shows get cancelled, people grow up, Katie Holmes - well, let’s not get into that. I suppose all we can really depend on is that things change and we evolve.
And the world has changed in magnificent and terrifying ways! The technological age practically demands us
to expect instant gratification. There’s an overwhelming sense of immediacy, simply because we’ve created a world where everything comes to us with very little difficulty. If this were not enough, we also demand perfection. This expectation compels us to impetuously live in a fantasy. In fact, it sometimes seems to me that we’ve developed ourselves in such a way that fantasy and that fantastic have overlapped themselves with what reality once was. This is vaguely reminiscent of my sister fashioning her life from Dawson’s Creek. But these ideologies enter our minds as though completely natural. Our authenticity has dissolved into a whirlwind of pixels and mega-bytes.
You see, our instructors still urge us to use the library! I mean, they should, as it has a wealth of
resources, and there are merits to this seemingly old-fashioned way of studying. But more and more the medium
of books on paper becomes a dying vehicle. It’s been suggested that modernity is all about using the fast-forward
button, and that the humanities research is like pressing pause. Perhaps our studies here at Cap are like a
pause button before the fast-forward nature of entering the real world. Maybe it’s about the responsibility of
understanding the circumstances. Maybe it’s about being prepared. A book takes so long to publish that by the time anyone actually reads it, it’s obsolete. But some things persist. The importance of education remains with us
and reaffirms its prevalence continuously. I speak these words of our inherent impatience while underlining that
though so much of our lives are consumed with immediacy and perfection, here we remain, completing university degrees and diplomas in which we’ve spent countless hours investing and enriching our minds. Here we are, understanding that perfection - while lovely and ostensibly ideal - is not necessarily required in order to succeed at betterment.
This patience, and this acknowledgement of our weaknesses brings us together today, amidst the chaos of the external, to celebrate. I urge you to embrace the fact that not everything must come to us easily, and to value all of life’s imperfections. The education that we’ve now equipped ourselves with is something with permanency.
In this all too transient world - yes, James Van Der Beek, I’m talking about you—we can bask in finding and attaining something that shapes our future and will remain with us. If time is a commodity, and slipping from our very grasp, then we must congratulate ourselves for choosing to use our time to attend this university and learn.
If the faculty and administration of the Department of Legal Studies here at Cap is a good cross-section and representation for the rest of the university, then I can say with great confidence that we are all unreservedly fortunate to have studied here. And by this, I don’t only mean the instructors, who were remarkably stellar, by the way, but I also refer to my classmates, who challenged and encouraged each other. I thank you for allowing me the opportunity to reflect on my time here. On behalf of the graduates, I wish to express unending gratitude for all the support we’ve received from all avenues, including ourselves.
Capilano University | 2055 Purcell Way, North Vancouver, British Columbia Canada V7J 3H5 Tel: 604.986.1911
Sunshine Coast | 5627 Inlet Avenue, Sechelt, British Columbia Canada V0N 3A0 Tel: 604.885.9310
Capilano University is named after Chief Joe Capilano, an important leader of the Squamish (Sḵwx̱wú7mesh) Nation of the Coast Salish people. We respectfully acknowledge that our campuses are located on the territories of the Lil’wat, Musqueam, Sechelt (shíshálh), Squamish and Tsleil-Waututh Nations.