Posted by: GeekHiker | April 16, 2009

The Commencement Speaker I Wish I’d Had

I’ve mentioned my love for “Dirty Jobs” before, and how much I appreciate the fact that Mike Rowe shows respect to any and all the people he meets on the show.

WordPress just started a new site called TED, on which are a lot of interesting speeches and talks.

In their post about it, they happened to use a speech by Rowe as an example, so I popped over and listened to it.

And my respect level went up several dozen notches.

Truth is, the speech he gives is the commencement speech I wish I’d had *mumble* years ago when I graduated from college.  Because, truthfully?  I don’t remember anything about the actual commencement speech at my graduation.*

This is the speech I wish we’d had.  Or the speech that my youthful self had heard.  What he talks about, using humor, philosophy, a bit of Greek, and a tale of sheep’s testicles (yes, you read that right), definitely makes you think.

Which is what a commencement speech is supposed to do.  I rather wish Rowe had been our speaker on that foggy day those many years ago.

I’ve listened to this twice so far now, mulling over different parts of it.

The speech is 20 minutes long.  My humble opinion?  It’s worth twenty minutes of your time.

Mike Rowe Speech

One thing I know for sure: I like working IT okay, but I don’t whistle while I work…

* Our actual speaker was then-mayor of San Francisco Willie Brown, who had both some very impressive achievements as well as numorous political criticisms.  As to whether or not my lack of memory of his speech is due to the speech itself or my youthful bull-bullheadedness, I have no idea.



  1. TED is awesome – I have been watching the video podcasts from iTunes for a while now. Rowe’s speech cracked me up – thanks for sharing.

  2. We had two commencement speakers at my college graduation: Bob Cousey and Dr. J. How cool is that?

  3. K – If you know any other good ones, feel free to share.

    Hebba – Heh, just about everyone I know had more interesting grad speakers! LOL

  4. I love TED. And Mike Rowe. That was an excellent speech.

    Here’s one of my favs:

  5. Oh, I LOVE Mike Rowe! There is something so endearing about him. I watch Dirty Jobs religiously. I’ll have to check out the speech when I have a bit more time!

  6. Thanks! Y’all should visit Mike’s site at and let us know what you think.

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