I am honored to be with you today at your commencement from one of the finest universitiesin the world. I never graduated from college. Truth be told, this is the closest I've ever gottento a college graduation. Today I want to tell you three stories from my life. That's it. No bigdeal. Just three stories.
The first story is about connecting the dots.
I dropped out of Reed College after the first 6 months, but then stayed around as a drop-in foranother 18 months or so before I really quit. So why did I drop out?
It started before I was born. My biological mother was a young, unwed college graduatestudent, and she decided to put me up for adoption. She felt very strongly that I should beadopted by college graduates, so everything was all set for me to be adopted at birth by alawyer and his wife. Except that when I popped out they decided at the last minute that theyreally wanted a girl. So my parents, who were on a waiting list, got a call in the middle of thenight asking: "We have an unexpected baby boy; do you want him?" They said: "Of course."My biological mother later found out that my mother had never graduated from college and thatmy father had never graduated from high school. She refused to sign the final adoption papers.She only relented a few months later when my parents promised that I would someday go tocollege.