>> DR. VIZZINI: Thank you so much. Good morning. I am Tony Vizzini. I’m the Provost and Senior Vice President. I’m here to welcome you to the 2nd Annual Academic Convocation. This is an event that aims to bring our learning community together to celebrate a new academicyear and tie into the ideas and themes from the WSU Reads Program. Our common read bookthis year is The Influencing Machine: Brooke Gladstone on the Media, by Brooke Gladstone,and it’s being used in a number of classes this year and serves as the foundation formany of our programs that will unfold over the coming months. This year, we challengeyou to find positive ways that you can influence the world around you. I know that many of you are watching this on a streaming video and I want to welcomeyou to this as well. A special shout‑out to our PA students in Old Town. So as we begin our program, I would like to welcome President Bardo to the stage to kickoff our event. Help me welcome President Bardo. (Applause) >> PRESIDENT BARDO: Dr. Vizzini, thank youvery much. It’s great to see this good crowd in here. Many years ago I used to teachin this room, and when it’s full, it’s a serious class. For how many of you is this yourfirst semester at Wichita State? Would you raise your hands? (Applause) >> PRESIDENT BARDO: Those of you that arefirst‑year students, you are part of the largest class in the history of the University. (Applause) >> PRESIDENT BARDO: We’re really excited about that. Unless we really messed up ourdata, our enrollment is going to look great this fall. I want to talk to you a little bit about who you are and what it means to be a collegestudent. I want to talk to you just a minute about why Wichita State will give you an opportunitythat you probably may not have thought fully about yet. If you came from another university,if you came from high school, you bring some kind of a track record with you. And I usedto tell students to kind of close your eyes and think about all the things you did, whoyou went out with, what you did when you weren’t studying, what classes you liked, what musicyou listened to, what video games you play, take all of that and put it in a little boxin your mind, and in your mind, slide it under your bed. Those are really important thingsthat are who you were, but they don’t have to be who you are, and they don’t have tobe where you’re going. Now, for some of you they will be, and that’sterrific. But for others, this is a time to start anew. It’s a time to think differentlyabout what’s possible, and so think about that little box. It’s an important box,and it will be important to you the rest of your life. Keep it safe, keep it in yourmemory, but just remember that whatever happened before you came here really doesn’t have todetermine what happens while you’re here. You have opportunity to make yourself whoyou want to be. Now, the second thing, universities are aplace of challenge, and that’s not comfortable for a lot of people. They like going throughlife reading their own social media so that everybody agrees with them, and if they meetsomebody that disagrees with them, it’s a traumatic and difficult day. That is theexact opposite of what a university is. From the founding of the University of Parisand the University of Bologna back in the Middle Ages, universities have been aboutwrestling with ideas, hearing people with whom you disagree, hearing things that offendyou, and figuring out why they offend you. No one’s asking you to change who you are. No one’s asking you to believe differently. What a university is about is causing youto reflect on the meaning of what you’re doing. So if you want to be an accountant, that’ssuper. But you’re not going to account 24 hours a day. You’re going to do other things withyour life. And so a university should teach you how to be a great accountant. If we’renot doing that, we’re really messing up. But we should also teach you how to be aroundpeople that don’t look like you. We should also teach you about how to deal with peoplewho don’t sound like you, care about the same things you do, or believe exactly the oppositeof what you believe. We’re not asking you to change anything aboutwho you are, but we are asking you to wrestle with ideas, because out of that wrestlingwith ideas, something great will happen. Some of you will change your major. I thoughtI was going to be a dentist. I took a class because I had to have a requirementfilled, and I was in line, and I turned to a friend of mine and I said, I need anothersocial science. He said, oh, why don’t you take sociology. I said, what’s that? Oh,they talk about people in groups. I thought, well, that’s as good as anything. Six yearslater I popped out a Ph.D. in sociology and became a professor. Never heard of it whenI got in line for my courses.
became a professor. Never heard of it whenI got in line for my courses. So you’re going to get challenged in areasyou’ve never heard of before. You’re going to be expected to hear things you’ve neverheard before. I’m not asking you to believe them. We’re not asking you to agree withthem. But we are asking you to give others the right to speak and to be able to reflecton, do I believe that or do I not? The essence of a university is not what degreeswe offer, what sources we have, what departments we have, what colleges we have. The essenceof a university is the ability to wrestle with ideas, to think, to try, to explore,to grab that thing you never thought you could grab and to wrestle it to the ground and understandit. And out of that, you’ll learn a lot more about who you are, what you value asa human being, and you will become a much better contributor to your family, to yourcommunity, to society, but even more than that, when you look back on your life, youwill be able to say, I mattered. It made a difference that I was here and that I dida good job as an accountant or an engineer or a social worker or a social reformer ora physician or a lawyer. What matters is you can put that little box under your bed,pull it out every once in a while, remember who you were, but think about the opportunityyou have while you’re at Wichita State to make yourself into who you can be. It’sa once‑in‑a‑lifetime opportunity. That’s why we have academic convocation, tobring people together, to think about really critical issues of our day and how they relateto education. You have come to a wonderful university. I taught here early in my career. My wife has three degrees from Wichita State, and the first chance I had to come back, Igrabbed it, and I’m so glad to do so. You know, you look at the morning; it’s absolutelygorgeous. We’ve got the largest freshman class in history. We’ve got lots of newstudents on campus, new athletic league, doing exciting things. You know, it is a greatday to be a Shocker. Thank you all for being here. (Cheers and applause. ) >> DR. VIZZINI: Thank you, President Bardo,for being the educator that you are. Each year, we recognize faculty for setting theShocker standard for teaching and research activities at WSU. On the screen, you willsee the name of our nine faculty members who were honored during the 2017 Faculty Awardslast May. Faculty Award winners, please stand as I read your name to be recognized. Please hold your applause until the end. Academy for Effective Teaching Award, RamazanAsmatulu, Gayla Lohfink. Excellence Award for Community Research, Trisha Self. Excellencein Research, Ramazan Asmatulu. Excellence in Teaching, Kim Cluff. Faculty Risk Taker,Khawaja Saeed, Jingjun Xu. Leadership in the Advancement of Teaching Award, Gergana Markova. Young Faculty Risk Taker, Ali Eslami. Young Faculty Scholar, Esra Buyuktahtakun Toy. Thank you for your outstanding work in your field and within our community. (Applause) >> DR. VIZZINI: At this time I would liketo introduce Dr. Kim Cluff to the stage to introduce your first student speaker. Helpme welcome Dr. Kim Cluff. (Applause) >> DR. CLUFF: Thank you. Alongside of our outstanding faculty are students who arepositively contributing to Shocker Nation and beyond. This year, part of the programincludes a student spotlight for which we asked students to submit a story on how theyare influencing the world around them. We have two incredible stories that we will besharing with you today. Our first speaker will be Subash Bhandari. He is a sophomorepursuing a major in Biomedical Engineering with a minor in Chemistry. He is 19 yearsold from Nepal and the first in his family to go to college. He is a member of theNational Society of Collegiate Scholars and a GEICO Scholar. He is an Engineering UndergraduatePeer Partner or UPP mentor, is involved with the Biomedical Engineering Society and servesas the Vice President of the Wichita State Table Tennis Team. He has been activelyinvolved in undergraduate research since he arrived at WSU. He has been working in theWSU Biomedical Sensors, Imaging, and Modeling Engineering Laboratory. During this pastsummer he was designing biosensors to detect the presence of melanoma skin cancer. Hehas started working on making bench top models for the detection depth of biofluid shiftsin the brain. Please help me welcome him to the stage. (Applause) >> SUBASH BHANDARI: It’s a story dated12 years ago but still resonates in my mind. It’s a story of struggle, a struggle of apoor boy who got bullied in school. The boy thinks and rethinks every day to kissa path he had chosen to be a biomedical engineer so that one day he can save the lives of innocentpeople dying back in his country who simply died because of lack of medical equipmentor the inability to afford them.
died because of lack of medical equipmentor the inability to afford them. But his parents think less about themselvesbut more about collecting money to send their son to the United States of America. Theday finally comes. The boy gets in an airplane for the first time to fly halfway across theglobe, loses his phone, misses his flight in London, does not get his bags in Chicago,and spends an hour crying because he does not know how to put the next piece in thepuzzle. Someone was supposed to pick the boy up at3:40 p.m., but they returned and the boy didn’t show up until 7:00. In fact, the boy didn’tshow up until midnight. It’s a story of the guy who got lost at Chicago airport butfinally ends up having a dinner at a house with people from Germany and Turkey. I still remember those nights when I used to pull my father’s index finger home fromschool. The walk would take 20 minutes, and those 20 minutes were questions aboutwhat the longest river of the world was. Those were the moments when my father toldme how to be respectable and dream big. I love what I do and think of influencingother people through my decisions. I am truthful to myself because a sense of strengthreally motivates me to do something new and great. I got involved on campus. I think of participating in activities and opportunities no matterif I’m capable or not. You have known it so far, but it’s the story of that last guywho comes to WSU on the 21st of August, emails a biomedical professor on the 22nd, talksand get interviewed by the professor on the 23rd and starts the path of innovation asan undergraduate research assistant to do research on melanoma cancer. As it may seem difficult as an international student, the boy gets his first paycheck fromWSU in September, starts getting involved in campus on October, gets a 4.0 in December,participates in the table tennis tournament in February. It’s a story about me, ladies and gentlemen. It’s the same story that I experience howit feels how to walk on 105 degrees in the sun for 30 minutes to the lab and back homeevery day, including the weekends. Getting expensive biomedical equipment and researchtakes a lot of equipment. Here’s the message that I give to everyone in here. If I knowof something that can change you, it’s your willpower. It’s the hard work and dedicationyou put in to accomplish something you really want. It’s never too early to begin things. I am here for a reason; so you are. Do you know what influences the world? Let’snot overexaggerate. Begin with something small. Influence a single person near youto do things, to be innovative, to influence other people, help them build connections. I inspire you to get involved with research on campus. I suggest people to stop complainingabout things because life owes us nothing. We have to create things. But do you knowwhat, begin from something small. Meditate every morning. Speak politely with people,because that’s what changes other people. It changes yourself. It changes your thoughts. It changes your words and your actions, and that is what melts people’s heart. I am very fortunate today. Today is my dad’s birthday. I never got a chance to wish mydad a happy birthday face‑to‑face because I lived in a boarding school since startingin Grade 3. I would like to wish my dad a happy birthday. Thanks for being a rolemodel in my life. Do you know what? I still remember your bye‑bye kiss and thewords you whispered in my ears. I hear, I forget. I do, and I understand. Yes,I’m doing great things here. Yes, this is my story. A story of struggle and also astory of hope. Thank you very much. (Applause)>> DR. CLUFF: Thank you, Subash. Your accomplishments are incredible, and we lookforward to seeing more from you in the field of biomedical engineering and chemistry. Our next speaker is Vanessa Rials. She is a graduate of Wichita State pursuing a master’sdegree in Social Work. She is originally from Lawrence, Kansas and after high schoolgraduation, she decided to call Wichita home. She is involved in the Big Brothers and BigSisters program and also serves as the Unit Director of the Boys and Girls Club of SouthCentral Kansas Opportunity Drive location here in Wichita, Kansas. She loves the workthat she does and loves being part of such a wonderful movement. Please help me welcomeVanessa to the stage. >> VANESSA RIALS: Thank you. Life isfull of positive experiences. Some we can recall in detail; some we can’t, but in oneway or another they influence the way that we think or act. One positive experiencecan change a life. So what is a positive experience? It’s a moment generated by acombination of our talents, beliefs, and passion. I remember sitting at a university class my first year here at Wichita State. The professorasked for volunteers, and I was a transfer
action awox first year here at Wichita State. The professorasked for volunteers, and I was a transfer
first year here at Wichita State. The professorasked for volunteers, and I was a transfer student determined to step out of my comfortzone, so I raised my hand. She explained that she was going to ask a series of questionson diversity, and we each would have to answer. I was about fifth in line, so I had plentyof time for that panic to set in. I was experiencing a level of vulnerability thatI had never experienced before, kind of like right now. (Laughter.) >> VANESSA RIALS: After I spoke, somethingamazing happened, though. People clapped. In a room full of strangers, my own personalstory allowed me to connect so quickly and I felt supported. I remember leaving classthinking, wow, that was one great experience. Throughout middle school and high school,I was bullied and because of that, I never really felt like I had a voice. After thatexperience, I started to believe that not only did my voice matter, but it could makea difference. And I decided to act. Aristotle says, “Where your talents and theneeds of the world cross, there lies your vocation.” Simply meaning, in order to findour calling, all we have to do is figure out what our natural abilities can answer thecall of someone in need. One evening some friends and I made burritosfor those experiencing homelessness. We were in downtown Wichita handing them out. We took time to hear their stories, setbacks, hopes, and dreams. We used nothing morethan our time and privilege to show people who are often overlooked that they, too, mattered. I remember one woman coming up to me, and I handed her the burrito and her eyes filledup with tears. She explained that she didn’t know where her next meal was going to comefrom, and she thanked me for giving her hope. Another experience was a debate night feeding members from the local Boys and Girls Club. Myself and a handful of WSU students helped teens prepare, learning the fundamentals ofdebate, working and researching on their topics and presentation, and the debate was heldhere. For many of these students it was the first time stepping foot on this campusand speaking in front of an audience. I was sitting with one of the members after,and I’ll never forget what they said to me: Miss Vanessa, I never thought that I was importantenough for people to know my name. I never thought that I could do something like this. I hope I get to do it again. That one positive experience awakened a beliefin that member that he didn’t know he had. Think of the many positive experiences youcould create. You don’t have to have a title or a lot of money. All you have to haveis the desire to make a change and the belief that you can put those ideas into action. You matter. You can change a life. Ask yourself, what would I do if I knew Icouldn’t fail? And do it. Many of you are familiar with the term “mission statement.” It’s a statement that captures goals and philosophies, and I challenge you to create a mission statementfor your life. And I’d like to leave you with mine: I’m living with a purpose that’sbigger than I am. I’m here to advocate and empower individuals and communities not fora paycheck but because it’s my passion. One person can make a difference. One personcan be the reason why someone decided not to give up. I want to be, and I can be,that person. I’m bold enough to say I can, and I’m humble enough to say I have a lotto learn. I surround myself with people I want to be like. I ask questions and makemistakes and always do more than what is required. I have learned that in life it’s the thingsthat the world cannot take away that matter the most. That’s the love we share, give,receive, and the positive experiences that we create. That’s my mission statement, and I challenge you to create your own. Thank you. (Applause) >> Brooke Gladstone is a Peabody award‑winningjournalist. She is the co‑host of “On the Media.” Prior to that, she was a Moscow‑basedreporter for NPR, senior editor of NPR’s “All Things Considered” and senior editor of the”Weekend Edition” with Scott Simon. She is also the author of “The Trouble WithReality: A Rumination on Moral Panic in our Time,” and “The Influencing Machine,”a media manifesto in graphic form. Listed among the top books of 2011 by the New Yorkerand among the 10 Masterpieces of Graphic Nonfiction by the Atlantic. Please help me welcomeBrooke Gladstone. >> BROOKE GLADSTONE: Welcome to college,everyone, or welcome back. I realized watching those extraordinary speeches that I was askedabout video and I said I didn’t have any, but Professor Ray the photography teacherand my daughter took me to the rodeo bar last night and I got on the bull and they filmedit, and I realized I could have put that up there, but it would have been a short video. These are amazing times we live in, the more traumatic among them; I call it a class ofcivilizations. Certainly, the war we seem
traumatic among them; I call it a class ofcivilizations. Certainly, the war we seem to be in with Mother Nature could make itseem almost Apocalyptic, but I like to take the long view. Humans are durable. Welive in fear of what we don’t understand; the unfamiliar, the new. We live in fearof our technology, because it’s evolved faster than we have, and it always has. Around370 B.C. Plato tells us Socrates disdained writing. In 1883 experts condemned foolishexperts with overtaxing their children’s minds with reading, especially girls’ minds, becausethey could go insane. I’m not kidding; you’ll see it in “The Influencing Machine.” Inthe 1930s radio drama was said to induce disabling nightmares in children. Television, we allremember, or some of us will, was called a vast wasteland. Frankly, you’ll see in thebook that I lean toward the wisdom of the late lamented author of The Hitchhiker’s Guideto the Galaxy who predicted the smart phone decades before it existed. He came up witha set of rules that describe our reaction to technology: One, anything that is inthe world when you’re born is normal and ordinary and just a natural part of the way the worldworks. Two, anything that’s invented between when you’re 15 and 35 is new and excitingand revolutionary, and you can probably get a career out of it. Three, anything inventedafter you’re 35 is against the natural order of things. (Laughter.) >> BROOKE GLADSTONE: Of course, the Internethas escalated that fear, especially those of us over 35. I mean, come on, it spawns,bullies, stockers and scam artists and legions of innocent victims; it degrades personalrelationships; it shreds the social fabric, suppresses empathy and causes ADHD. Andthe children, how do we protect the children? And all of that is true, but it also offers entry into the accumulated knowledge of theworld, the wisdom of the ages, encounters and experiences once unimaginable. It providesanyone with the chance to participate in the rich creations of countless minds, for thosewho like that sort of thing. Ultimately what the Internet does is make us more ofwhat we already were. For the bitter or spiteful, it provides an opportunity for evenmore malice and aggression. For the innocent or heedless, danger lurks behind every click. For the curious, oh, what wonders there are! Humans are a durable species; but humanity,our individual humanity, is fragile. We know all about the neuro science that describestechnology, the stimulation it offers, the utter lack of down time, of quiet. Boredomcan interfere with our ability to imagine, to ponder, to plan, to empathize. Sciencetells us technology is rewiring our brains, and since our ancestors first picked up aclub, it always has. The problem, you see, doesn’t start with our smart phones. Theproblem begins in our heads, the way we’re wired from the moment we’re born. So cast your mind back a mere seven months after the Presidential election. Half thecountry feared we might succumb to horrors not experienced in our lifetime. They blamedthe other half, also the media, especially cable. George Orwell’s fantasy “NineteenEighty‑Four” was flying off the shelves, a bestseller 70 years after it was first penned. Written in 1949 after the horrors of Nazi devastation, he wrote a cautionary tale offashionism in its most brutal form. No one was free of crying eyes. Love was a crime. Illegal thoughts were prosecuted and crushed. History was rewritten daily, and citizenswere fed a steady diet of lies and absurdities that changed the whim of Big Brother. But there was another fantasy written in the previous decade, Brave New World, and it paveda different world of positive future. In that world, people were genetically engineeredfor their roles in life, well‑fed, complacent and put on steady drugs and government‑sanctionedorgies. Before the government we know today, critics wrote amusing ourselves, and in itthey compared Orwell’s vision in 1984 to Huxley’s Brave New World ‑‑ sorry, what Huxleyfeared was that there would be no reason to ban a book for there would be no one who wantedto read one. Orwell feared that the truth would be concealed from us. Huxley fearedthat the truth would be drowned in a sea. Orwell feared that we will be a captive culture. Huxley remarked that those ever on the alert to oppose tyranny failed to take into accountman’s almost infinite appetite for distractions. In Brave New World they are controlled byinflicting pleasure. In short, Orwell feared that what we hate will ruin us. Huxley fearedthat what we love will ruin us. It’s so easy to amuse ourselves to death metaphoricallyspeaking, because distraction feels good, too, too, good. Here’s the first study I’ll cite, and like most, it involves undergrads like yourselves,because universities conduct most of these studies because, hey, you’re there and usuallythey pay. Three or four years ago a couple of researchers, one from the University ofVirginia and one from Harvard, asked students to sit alone and to entertain themselves withtheir thoughts. This comes, by the way, from the brand‑new book, Bored and Brilliant. Okay. So once inside the room, they were exposed to different stimuli like music andpictures and given mild electric shocks. Then the researchers asked them if they wouldpay to avoid being shocked. Not surprisingly, most of them, 42 out of 55, said they would. Now, here’s where things get interesting. After this conversation, each student was asked to spend the next 15 minutes alone justthinking. They could press a button to give themselves a shock, if they wanted to. Didthey? Yeah, they did. Even people who said that they would pay to avoid it, a thirdof the men and a quarter of the women were apparently so unnerved by the boredom thatthey preferred the distraction of a shock. One participant shocked himself 190 times. (Laughter.) >> BROOKE GLADSTONE: Recent data suggests that people are shifting their attention every45 seconds when they work online. An email from a boss or friend, a colleague pokingin her head with a quick question, maybe a preplanned limited peek at Facebook. Buthere’s the thing, let’s say that the interruptions wane a little, you know what happens; youinterrupt yourself at the same rate. Interruptions are self‑perpetuating. They’re a rhythm. They get into your brain. Suddenly it feels weird when you aren’t interrupted. Now, the thing is that once not that long ago half the time we spent awake was spentdaydreaming. That seems like a lot. But think about the time you aren’t working. You’re waiting in line for something, maybe you’re sitting in the doctor’s office, oryou’re on public transportation, or maybe you’ve just finished one task and you’re pausingbefore you do another one, or you’re waiting for the water to boil, countless things, technicalthings that you do in your life that don’t take brain power take up about half your day. Once that time was spent daydreaming. Now that is no longer the case. There’s a lotof research that demonstrates that’s no longer the case, and it sounds like good; right? Daydreaming is a waste. But it’s not. There’s also a lot of research that demonstrates,as Jobber wrote in the New Yorker, that mental down time, I mean blank time, I mean boredtime, helps the brain rehearse what has been recently learned. It replenishes our reservesof attention and delivers some great creative insights. I know that even when I get stuckon writing a radio script I have to just sometimes just go outside and stand there with nothing. I have nothing in my mind except I have a pad in my hand. And I just try and clearthings for a second. And it’s amazing, it’s as if those ideas are there. But I’m a queenat distractions; I have 8 games of Words With Friends going simultaneously at every moment. So boredom, it feels like crap, but we oftendiscover that a solution to an unsolved problem happens precisely when we let our attentionwander away from it. Jobber wrote: We could try to navigate what circumvents theunpleasant, or we could face the looking glass, press through, and wander. Now, this entering class, I’m assuming can’t remember a time, at least since you were oldenough to own a smart phone, when all of those little slices in your day waiting in lineor on hold or whatever it would be couldn’t be filled with distraction. You may everhave actually known how it really feels to be bored. You know Dopamine, the motivator, the mother of invention, we really like Dopamine, evenrats like it when they can self‑administer it right to their brains. Well, that’s kindof what happens when we get Facebook Likes or the ping of a text; it’s novelty, expectation. It releases a little squirt of Dopamine. But I recently learned we only have a limitedamount of Dopamine. We waste it on stupid stuff. We don’t have it when we need it. Like when we lie to ourselves, very important. And here’s where I turn the corner. Theworld is too vast, too complex, frankly too incomprehensible to grasp. We are constructed,we are wired to filter so we can function. We have to filter, or we freeze and die. Put simply, we cannot know the world. But we have to live somewhere, so we constructcozier, more comprehensible versions and move in and hunker down. It may not be the worldwe want it to be, but it is the world we expect it to be. And to preserve its integrity, to keep it whole, we allow ourselves to believe the illusionof cause and effect where it doesn’t exist or deny it where it does, all in order topreserve our hand‑made reality and to keep whole the web of beliefs that sustain it. Example, in 2012 Australian psychologist StephanLewandowsky reported to a survey of thousands of readers’ climate blogs and found that thereis a strong correlation in belief in the free market and climate change denial, and denialthat HIV causes AIDS and denial that smoking causes cancer, denies science, strengthenyour hold on the total belief in the free market, preserve your web of beliefs. Another example, in an FMRI study, Emory professor used brain scans to look inside voter’s headswhen confronted with evidence that their candidate or the opposing candidate was lying. Turnsout that when partisans were conflicted with lies of the opposing candidate, they didn’thave a problem. The reasoning, part of their brain lit up and they were calm. But whentheir preferred candidate was presented as a liar, all hell broke loose. The firstthing that lit up was negative emotion series, you could see it all over their brains, hesaid. Then you saw the part of the brain call called the anterior cingulate come alive. They were trying to figure a way out, and then once they had figured out a way to explainit, to resolve it, to lie to themselves, you saw activation in parts of the brain thatare rich in neurotransmitters involved in rewarding, and the circuits activated justlike the way junkies get their fix, and they got this huge blast of Dopamine. And I askedhim, you mean the same thing you get when you take coke? And he said: Exactly right. There was no reasoning at all going on. We’re wired to lie to ourself. This is whatyou’re up against. I have one more example involving collegestudents back in 1967, more than 100 undergrads, not unlike yourselves. In a series of experimentsthey were given headphones, and they were asked to listen to tape‑recorded messagesthat disputed the link between smoking and cancer. The recordings were full of static,but they could push a button that would relieve the static for a few seconds. The researchersfound over and over again that smokers pressed more than non‑smokers when the message arguedagainst the link between smoking and cancer. And they pressed it less often than nonsmokerswhen the tape message affirmed the cancer link. You don’t think you do that? Youdon’t think every single one of us does that I don’t know, a dozen times a day, a hundreddozen times a day? We live in a continuous filter. We can fight it, if we want to,and I think that ultimately whatever your goal for the future may be, this place whereyou sit offers you your best shot at it. I mean, you could ask, why bother? But yousee, assuming you only go around once, your future depends on it, and I don’t mean howmuch money you make, but how you evolve, how strong your humanity is, how you can strengthenit. Also, our future depends on it because we have entered a world when all of our littlehand made worlds, millions of worlds seemed to have crashed, collided, and burned. We listen to our fellow Americans and we think they speak in foreign tongues. We can’tunderstand them. We don’t want to. Perhaps we need to be bored. When your phoneis off, you notice things. You see someone, you might imagine what they’re thinking. When your phone is off, you weave fantasies, make plans, because you’re bored. Now there are schools, back‑to‑nature places, hands‑on activity‑based learning,very popular in Silicon Valley, people from Google, Apple all send their kids there. They aren’t allowed computers until the seventh grade. Steve Jobs didn’t let his kids play withthe iPad. Your phone is like a baby; it whines, beeps, needs immediate attention rightnow. It’s also like your mommy; it’s a pacifier, knows you better than anyone. It answersall your questions, soothes you. You’re stronger than that. It’s a cool tool. It’s an essential tool. It’s not your friend. All I’m saying is boredom can feel miserable at first, but it’s necessary because the onething your phone can’t supply is true self‑knowledge, and you have to be alone for that. And whenyou are truly alone, you see more clearly where you are, where you could be, and whoyou could be. Right now amidst all of this stimulation righthere this new climate of colleagues and companions and the novelty of learning things you neverknew, you can fill that quiet time, the slices of down time with fascinating speculation. Your random musings, daydreams will be so rich. Your life could be so full, if yougive it a chance. And let’s face it, we’re counting on you to help us get out of oursilos, echo chambers. And I speak especially now to the most comfortableamong you and also the least comfortable among you, because you have built the strongestprivate worlds, and you have the most to lose if they go down. But you also have the mostto bring in some ways to the table, while the rest of us struggle along. So, hey,help us out, okay? And thanks a lot. (Applause). >> DR. VIZZINI: Thank you, Brooke, for your remarks and thought‑provoking presentationtoday. I also want to thank Subash and Vanessa. The three of you have talked about growth,and convocation is a good time to think about our future year, about how we grow, know moreabout ourselves and the world, and I do believe that each of us individually can make a difference. So thank you, all three, for your remarks today. We are excited, Brooke, to be incorporatingyour book into our classes and campus activities this year. Let’s give one more round ofapplause to Brooke Gladstone. (Applause) >> DR. VIZZINI: This morning we will be distributing lapel pins to everyone attendingthe program. The pins commemorate this annual tradition that celebrates our community oflearning. We hope they remind you of the positive contributions you are expected tomake and are already making in Shocker Nation and beyond. While distributing the pins, we will show a video that illustrates the engagement ofour students in applied learning activities which are important elements of our University’sstrategic plan. These photos were submitted by your faculty and staff. So at this timeI would like to direct your attention to the screen. (Video – Upbeat Music) (Applause) >> DR. VIZZINI: What a great representation we’ve had today of students, faculty, andstaff all working together to make Wichita State a great place to be! I’d like toinvite the A Cappella Choir and Concert Chorale to take their place and officially close theprogram with the Alma Mater. After the Alma Mater, we will invite you to exit out themain entrance where you will find refreshments and Brooke Gladstone, who will be happy tosign your book and chat with you. Please stand and join the choir as they lead us insinging the Alma Mater. (Singing of Alma Mater). (Applause)