The blog is taking a hiatus while I shift my attention to research. Nothing like a conference paper deadline to make you set aside distractions.

Before I go completely dark, though, I want to say congratulations to this spring’s crop of Auburn journalism graduates. Commencement was yesterday, I could hear the partying in all four directions from my place near the downtown fire station, and the campus was filled with happy grads and their families.

Commencement is a time for advice, so I’d like to leave you with some words of wisdom from George Saunders’ convocation speech at Syracuse University in 2013:

Your life is going to be a gradual process of becoming kinder and more loving: Hurry up. Speed it along. Start right now. There’s a confusion in each of us, a sickness, really: selfishness. But there’s also a cure. So be a good and proactive and even somewhat desperate patient on your own behalf — seek out the most efficacious anti-selfishness medicines, energetically, for the rest of your life.Do all the other things, the ambitious things — travel, get rich, get famous, innovate, lead, fall in love, make and lose fortunes, swim naked in wild jungle rivers (after first having it tested for monkey poop) – but as you do, to the extent that you can, err in the direction of kindness. Do those things that incline you toward the big questions, and avoid the things that would reduce you and make you trivial. That luminous part of you that exists beyond personality — your soul, if you will — is as bright and shining as any that has ever been. Bright as Shakespeare’s, bright as Gandhi’s, bright as Mother Teresa’s. Clear away everything that keeps you separate from this secret luminous place. Believe it exists, come to know it better, nurture it, share its fruits tirelessly.

I’m awfully proud of you all. Go make the world a better place.