วันศุกร์ที่ 5 ธันวาคม พ.ศ. 2557



Picture 1: The King of Thailand became a monk at Wat Bowonniwet for 15 days in 1956.

 In Thailand, their Majesties the King and Queen are the heart of Thai people, and all non-Thai speaking people around the world who well know them as the King and Queen of Thailand. Today 5th December,2014, it is the happiest day of Thai people, well known as "Father's Day of Thailand". Certainly, Thais from all walks of life hold important ceremonies and Thai traditional shows in their provinces across the country in order to mark the King's Birthday such as candle-lighting ceremony, morning alms-giving ceremony,  singing songs of the King, and fireworks display. All these symbolize the King's Birthday celebration.


Picture 2: I and my stepfather in monk-robe were sitting in front of sacred Buddha images inside the ordination hall of a temple in 2012, Chumphon, Thailand. 

Picture 3: In 2012, I myself snapped a  picture of my father talking on phone with someone in his home during my 2-day visit, Chumphon, Thailand.

A brief writing about my fathers as you see above

Family problems

3 years after my birth, my parents got divorced due to family problems I've never ever known. Because of this, my mom had a serious talk with my dad about taking care of children before my mom took me and my younger sister to Ranong where there is full of forests, mountains, and canals. I can remember when I and my younger sister first were in Ranong with my mom, at that time I was going to turn 4, while my younger sister was going to turn 2. The fact is that I couldn't really imagine how my mom looked after me and my 1-year-old sister without family leader, how difficult she was, how tolerant she was to fight with obstacles around her, etc.  The more I think about my 3-year-old life, the more I love my mom. 

However, my father is always meaningful to me now even though I thought he wasn't good enough to be my father after my mother had got away of my father's life. As the time was my best answer, all my negative thoughts were destroyed completely when I was young because I could understand more about why it was this or why it was that. 

After I entered to younghood, my life got brighter than ever before because of my stepfather. He had first met with my mom since I was about 7 years old, and finally he fell in love with my mother in Ranong, Thailand. 

From my observation at that time, he seemed like he could be responsible for me and my mother. He showed a lot of things he could to me. Finally, my observation was right because of his actions. What I can reveal is that he devoted himself to support my education and take care of my mom properly. Believe or not, he almost made me forget my real father. 

Amazingly, he had spent almost 20 years living with my mother before he became a monk at a temple in Chumphon. 

The current temple of my stepfather now is Wat Por Ta Hin Chang, Chumphon. 

วันศุกร์ที่ 28 พฤศจิกายน พ.ศ. 2557

The First Three Weeks of Thesis Progress Report 2014, MCU Wat Srisudaram, Bangkok

First off, I'm sorry for the lack of updates due to my thesis. Today is seemed to be my proper time to write something special on my personal blog here. Ready? Let's go! 

After initially passing thesis proposal test a few months ago, I and my fellow classmates have been working hard on thesis for months. Surely, the ultimate goal is to pass the last hardest checkpoint of thesis defense (M.A. in English) as it is going to hold in late February, 2015. 

As the fact that the time is running out quickly, now it's almost 3 months long after attaining the test of thesis proposal. It's indicating that I have around two full months to complete my uphill work. However, I've never thought of giving up the goal I've set since I entered to the gate of Mahachula Buddhist University. I always think that a great work makes me great too. 

Looking at the recent picture, it is when I was seriously presenting about my research process, which it is widely used in conducting a research to my great advisers, great classmates, and great junior graduate students at Mahachula Buddhist university, Wat Sri Su Da Ram, Bangkok. 

My thesis-progress-report class is held once a week in the 3rd floor MCU classroom, Bangkok. 

Of course, holding the once-a-week class of thesis progress report obviously benefits me and my fellow classmates in terms of responsibility, self-discipline, progress of thesis, and so on. 

From my point of view on the university life, I think that having man-to-man friends is one of unmissable things. It's sure to say that my small notebook does not have enough space to write about how important it is. 

As an expert said "Great work takes time", this is absolutely true. Thinking about a beautiful building in a city of paradise like Bangkok, it of course must take many years to make it come true and to attract all  pedestrians who are looking for. It seems to me that this saying can apply to everything such as educational success, sports, politics, being a figure in society, and so on. 

Finally, I would very much like to give a big round of applause for hugely congratulating myself and my fellow classmates who've completely reached an half way of success. I'm extremely happy to have passed my hard halftime of the MA game, but the game is not completely over.

Note: MCU = Mahachulalongkornrajavidyalaya University


วันพุธที่ 20 สิงหาคม พ.ศ. 2557

25+ คำพูดยอดฮิตสำหรับแฟนผี แฟนทีมอื่นห้ามอ่าน


1. ชนะไปเพื่ออะไร ถ้าหากสุดท้ายก็ยังว่าวแชมป์เหมือนเดิม
2. การที่เราคว้าถ้วยแชมป์พรีเมียร์ลีกมากที่สุดจนแทบจะไม่มีห้องให้ไว้นั้น มันทำให้เรารู้สึกเบื่อที่สุด
3. บางครั้งชัยชนะมันก็ไม่ใช่ทุกอย่าง เราอยากจะแพ้บ้าง เพื่อลดระดับตัวเองให้เท่ากับทีมอื่น
4. ให้ได้ 20 สมัยก่อน แล้วค่อยมาคุยกัน เพราะถ้าเราอยู่คนละระดับกัน มันก็ยากที่จะเข้าใจกัน
5. เราอยากทำในสิ่งที่เราไม่ชินบ้าง มันผิดด้วยเหรอ
6. ถ้าคุณบอกว่าแมนยูอ่อน กาก แล้วทีมที่ได้แชมป์น้อยกว่า 20 สมัยละ จะเรียกว่าอะไรดี ทีมโคตรอ่อน ทีมโคตรกาก?
7. ทีมใหญ่ต้องใจเย็น ไม่วู่วาม
8. มันอยู่ที่เราว่าจะนิ่งพอไหม ถ้านิ่งพอ เราก็ชนะ
9. ชนะแล้วได้แชมป์ไหม
10. การแพ้ของแมนยู คือ การทำบุญให้ทีมอื่น


1. ชนะถือว่าเป็นเรื่องธรรมดาของเรา
2. ยังไม่ได้เอาจริงเลยนะ
3. แทบจะนอนเล่น
4. มีดีแค่นี้เองเหรอ
5. พอเอาจริง แล้วแบบนี้ทุกที
6. เบื่อชัยชนะจัง
7. มีวิธีไหนบ้างที่จะทำให้เราแพ้ เพราะบางครั้งชัยชนะมันก็ไม่ใช่ทุกอย่าง
8. เข็มในมหาสมุทรที่ว่าหายากแล้ว ยังไม่ยากเท่ากับการหาทีมระดับเดียวกับเรา
9. เหมือนเจอทีมซ้อมเลย
10. อย่าให้ผมพูดเลยนะ

วันพุธที่ 6 สิงหาคม พ.ศ. 2557

English in the headlines from the Bangkok Post and the Nation

4 August, 2014: ในฐานะเด็กหลังห้องคนหนึ่งที่กำลังเรียนนานาชาติ ก็อยากจะแชร์สิ่งที่รู้เกี่ยวกับภาษาอังกฤษเกี่ยวกับหัวข้อข่าว วันนี้ผมจะเอา Headline ของ Bangkok Post มาฝาก คือ 'Suited' to be PM = Adj. + to + be + noun จริงๆถ้าเอาหลักไวยากรณ์ก็น่าจะเป็น General Prayuth Chan-ocha is suited to be prime minister (of Thailand). ประมาณว่า พลเอก ประยุทธ์ จันโอชา เหมาะสมที่จะเป็นนายกรัฐมนตรีของไทย ...... คำที่น่าสนใจ คือ 
1. คำว่า General ในที่นี้ไม่ได้หมายความว่า ทั่วไป แต่มันมีความหมายว่า แม่ทัพ นายพล พลเอก ซึ่งในที่นี้ก็คือ พลเอก ประยุทธ์ จันโอชา ส่วน Prayuth Chan-ocha ไม่ต้องถามนะครับว่าแปลว่าอะไร ดิกชั่นนารีคงไม่มี 
2. Suit คำนี้ มีอำนาจเยอะ เพราะมันเป็น คำนาม ก็ได้ กริยา ก็ได้ และ เป็น คุณศัพท์ก็ได้ คือ Suited แปลว่า ซึ่งเหมาะสม ดังนั้น Suit (Suited) ถ้าเป็นนักบอลก็เล่นได้หลายตำแหน่งอะ อย่างน้อย 3 ตำแหน่ง แต่อยู่ที่ Coach ว่าจะให้เขาเล่นตำแหน่งไหน
3. ส่วน PM ในที่นี้คือ Prime minister นายกรัฐมนตรี ภาษาข่าวเขานิยมใช้ตัวย่อมากกว่าตัวเต็ม เพราะเขาไม่มีเวลามากที่จะมาเขียนแบบเต็มๆ แต่ถ้า p.m. / pm/ PM ใช้กับเวลาก็หมายถึง หลังเที่ยง (คำย่อของ post meridiem) relate:{ช่วงเวลาตั้งแต่เที่ยงวันจนถึงเที่ยงคืน}

:Beboy Manyou

4 August, 2014 
Headline จาก The Nation วันนี้ ดูแล้วความหมายไม่ต่างจากของ Bangkok Post ด้านล่าง คือ >> Prayuth right for PM post: Navy commander

(General) Prayuth (Chan-ocha is) right for PM post (Thailand's prime minister post): Navy commander ( กล่าวโดย ผบ.ทร = ผู้บัญชาการทหารเรือ) ประมาณว่า พลเอกประยุทธ์ จันโอชาเหมาะสมสำหรับตำแหน่งนายกรัฐมนตรี กล่าวโดย ผบ.ทร
คำที่น่าสนใจ คือ

1. Right (N./Adj./Adv.) แต่ในที่นี้เป็น Adj. แปลว่า เหมาะสมสำหรับ To be right for + noun

2. Post (N./ VT / PRF) ในที่นี้เป็นคำนาม แปลว่า ตำแหน่ง

3. Navy commander (N.) แปลว่า ผู้บัญชาการทหารเรือ >> Command (N,/VT/VI) >> Command+er (N. ผู้บังคับบัญชา) -er เป็น suffix ตัวที่เพิ่มเข้าไปท้ายคำทำให้กลายเป็นคำนาม ดัง Commander มันเป็นวิธีการสร้างคำวิธีหนึ่งของภาษาอังกฤษ (Word formation)

Beboy Manyou (เด็กหลังห้อง)

5 August, 2014 ภาษาอังกฤษจากฟุตบอล

หลังจากที่ทีมใหญ่(ใจเย็น)ที่สุดในวงการฟุตบอลอย่างแมนยูเอาชนะลิเวอร์พูลไป 3-1 แบบไม่ต้องออกเเรงอะไรมาก ก็มีคำศัพท์ที่น่าสนใจอยู่ วันนี้ผมไปเอามาจากเว็บทางการของสโมสรแมนยู http://www.manutd.com/ เขาใช้สำนวนดีๆที่ว่า Reds come from behind to win the International Champions Cup in Maimi. แปลแบบง่ายๆคือ แมนยูพลิกกลับมาคว้าแชมป์รายการ เนชั่นเเนล แชมป์เปี้ยนส์ คัพ ในเมืองไมอามี (สหรัฐ)

1. Come from behind (to win) หมายถึง ตกอยู่ในสถานการณ์ที่แพ้อยู่ก่อน แล้วสามารถกลับมาชนะได้ในที่สุด หรือ พลิกกลับมาชนะได้นั่นเอง เป็นสำนวนที่สวยงามดี

2. To win................ แปลว่า คว้าชัยชนะ ในที่นี้ คือ ถ้วยเนชั่นแนล แชมป์เปี้ยนส์คัพ

3. In Maimi แปลว่า ในเมืองไมอามี่ ประเทศสหรัฐ

4. Reds ในที่นี้ หมายถึง ทีมแมนยู / นักแตะแมนยู

:Beboy Manyou

6 August, 2014 
ยาวหน่อยนะครับ!! ภาษาอังกฤษจาก Headline ของ Bangkok Post วันนี้

Chatty motorists fined >>> Chatty motorists (are/were) fined (by police). ประมาณว่า คนที่ขับรถยนต์ ยานพาหนะในขณะแชท เล่นมือถือ เล่นเกมส์เศรษฐี สร้างแลนด์มาร์ค หรือ พูดคุยโทรศัพท์ (ก็จะ)ถูกตำรวจปรับเงิน (งดกิจกรรมทุกอย่างเกี่ยวกับมือถือในขณะขับรถ)

คำที่น่าสนใจ มีดังนี้

1. Chatty เป็นคุณศัพท์ แปลว่า ซึ่งชอบคุย ซึ่งชอบแชท เป็นคำที่แต่งตัวใหม่เพื่อจะได้ทำหน้าที่เป็นคุณศัพท์โดยการใช้เติม Suffix เข้ามา -ty แน่นอนว่า มันสิ้นสุดด้วยตัวพยัญชนะ T เลยจำเป็นต้องเติม T มาอีกตัว ก่อนใส่ Y เลยกลายเป็น -ty (Suffix) จริงๆตัวตนของมัน คือ Chat (root word) เป็นนามก็ได้ เป็นกริยาก็ได้ แปลว่า การคุยกันแบบสนุกๆ เล่นๆ ไม่จริงใจและไม่จริงจัง / พูด คุย (ไม่เน้นสาระ ไม่เน้นวิชาการ)

2. Motorist เป็นคำนาม แปลว่า คนขับรถยนต์ คำนี้ก็แปลงร่างมาจาก คำว่า Motor ที่แปลว่า รถยนต์ เครืองยนต์ เป็นกริยาก็แปลว่า ขับรถ เป็นคุณศัพท์ ก็แปลว่า ซึ่งเกี่ยวกับพาหนะที่ขับเคลื่อนโดยเครื่องยนต์ คงไม่ใช่รถจักรยานแน่นอน แต่ พอเติม Suffix -ist เข้ามาต่อท้ายคำ ก็กลายเป็นคำนาม Motorist หมายถึง คนขับรถยนต์ แถมยัง เติม -s เข้ามาอีก ซึ่ง S ไม่ใช่คำ แต่มีความหมาย คือ มากกว่าหนึ่ง เป็นรูปพหูพจน์ ดัง Motor-ist-s

3. Fine มีตำแหน่ง 3 ตำแหน่ง คือ ตำแหน่ง คำนาม (ค่าปรับ) คำกริยา (ปรับเงิน) และ คำคุณศัพท์ (ดี สบายดี ละเอียด บาง) แต่ใน Headline นี้ น่าจะแปลว่า ปรับเงิน แต่เขาทำในรูปของ Passive voice ประธานถูกกระทำโดย...... เขาก็เลยเติม -ed เป็น fined แล้วแกล้งคนอ่านโดยการซ่อน V. to be ไว้ คือ มีอยู่ แต่ไม่ปรากฏ อ่าว งง ดีแล้วครับ ตามแบบ passive voice ก็คือ Sub. + V.to be + fined + by + noun (person).

4. ส่วนคำว่า Police คำนี้เมื่อก่อนผมก็เคยงงว่าทำไม Police are........ คำนี้เป็น 2 วิญญาณใน 1 คน คือ เป็นรูปเอกพจน์ก็ได้ เป็นรูปพหูพจน์ก็ได้ ส่วนใหญ่ในข่าวเขาจะไม่นิยมเติม S เป็นการแกล้งคนอ่านไปในตัว

ประมาณนี้ครับ เรียนรู้ไปด้วยกัน เพราะความรู้เกิดจากการแบ่งปัน ถ้ามีรองเท้า แล้วไม่ใช้ ก็ไม่รู้ว่าจะมีไว้ทำไม มีไว้เพื่ออะไร

Beboy Manyou

William Shakespeare's quotes

Resource:  http://www.brainyquote.com/ 


วันศุกร์ที่ 25 กรกฎาคม พ.ศ. 2557

Short yesterdays trip in the heart of Bangkok

Hanging out after a while away from going outside due to my uphill thesis, I firstly intended to buy some interesting books from three bookstores (TU bookstore, Naiin bookstore, and MCU bookstore) near the grand palace, Bangkok. 

Certainly, There are some photos taken at Thammasat university, hoping that you enjoy my selection of the following nice photos below. Let's view them! 

>> (Picture above) This is called "the wall of time" reflected long history, political concerns, social promotion, and other important roles of Thammasat university or in brief name as TU.

>> You can read the meaningful summary of "the wall of time" of TU, Bangkok. 

>> You can find the right answer of the origination of the university's name and the history of TU. 

>> Now you know the meaning of "the wall of time: 80 Years of Thammarat University."

>> What happened in 1935? There are a lot of memorial things appeared on this poster. 

>>> Looking back to 1936, you can enlarge the picture to read what happened in 1936 clearly.

>>  What happened in 1939?

>>  What happened in 1940?

Here is Thai-and-English poster.


 SPENDING more than 15 minutes to read the very long history of TU on the sidewalk alongside the main road in front of Thammasat university (TU) before leaving for my temple.

>> AGAIN, this is the wall of time which conveys all milestones happened in the past 80 years of Thammasat university.

Let's sum up the meaning of the wall of time again. It's readable on this last poster.

>> BOOKS IN NEED:  Before getting back to my temple, I spent a short time to intentionally buy three interesting books from three popular bookstores (Naiin bookstore, TU bookstore and MCU bookstore) near Thammasat University, Bangkok.

วันจันทร์ที่ 14 กรกฎาคม พ.ศ. 2557

My note-taking paper on Dhamma talk (14 July, 2014)

My note-taking paper on Dhamma talk (13 July, 2014)

วันพุธที่ 25 มิถุนายน พ.ศ. 2557

Are new technologies killing Thai children’s future? What can help them?

Frankly speaking, many hi-so children may have been much impressed with a variety of new technologies that quickly come up in the IT world. Deeply looking two sides of the same coin, it seems to have a lot of new technologies' merits in support of easiness to access new information, availability in online working connection, comfortability of connecting people, potentially aiding people to shine ongoing new creation out to the world of IT, and so on. That would be fine and positive.

Looking another side of the same coin, it can be negative impacts to children as well especially uprooted children. The fact is that most children waste a lot of valuable time with playing games on their cell phones and computers more than spending time with their families. Obviously, when they spend time getting in touch with new technologies (such as cell phone, small computer, game player, and so on), they would face following negative impacts which will go out to harm them unconsciously such as poor human interaction, lack of spending-life skill, poor study result, etc. That are the facts that you can see in daily life. I do believe it’s solvable even it is problematic. 

These serious problems of children in the period of IT remind me of the majesty the king’s advice on the philosophy of SELF-SUFFICIENCY. Significantly, self sufficiency philosophy can always be applied in everything as the point of new technologies addiction of children. Just know the word ENOUGH, everything will be better.

According to the point of Buddhist view on spending life in the IT world, Buddhism specially teaches people to have a good awakening, right view, and right action (the eightfold path or middle way) to lead the life go to the better future. It is also can be applied to use for developing the quality of life to real well-being. With linking these three vital Buddhist teachings to progress of new technologies, parents easily can keep their children in control, if they (parents or those who they live with) always teach their children to have a good sense of awareness, right concentration and wisdom. I mean they finally can be away from those new technologies that can be negatively affected to your children.

Certainly, it doesn't mean that they must get far away from those new technologies, but it means that they must consume them appropriately (not too much). That's the point. I'm amazed by many creative men who can make a lot of money to support their families by creating new things and shining out abilities they have on the internet in particular YOUTUBE. As you know that YOUTUBE is an entertaining channel for all people around the world that’s easily accessible to go in. I think those creative young people (children) should be gotten an admiration from general public for the long-term progress in their future.

However, new technologies are still necessary to all people around the world. It has both positive and negative ways in itself. I don’t worry about adults those who consume them usefully, but children must be under parents’ care closely. If they are far away from their parents, it possibly can bring a big problem back to families as the case of COOKIE RUN which is a popular game on cell phone.

Pick them up and give them a raise!

วันจันทร์ที่ 23 มิถุนายน พ.ศ. 2557

Orientation Activities for New Graduate Students in 2014, MCU Watsrisudaram, Bangkok

Regrouping of class 2012 and class 2013 graduate students to hold a greeting and orientation activities for building up a good relationship between seniors and juniors in order to lead them to proudly successfulness in long-term study in M.A. in English. 

 Generally speaking, orientation activities are very essential to all the new graduate students in terms of building love, harmony, determination, tolerance, and desire of the success. All these things are the educational keys to hold onto for encouraging them to the wonderful finish line in the near future as Beboy Manyou said  "One who has well-educated is like a man who standing on the mountain high, when he is on the top of mountain, he can view everything beneath."
Of course, when they come to study in the higher education, there is nothing easy for them. Everything in higher education system is very complicated. It's like you go to a different-culture country which looks much different from your hometown. I think you know how hard it is when you have to stay there where is new for you. So the important thing you should do first is to adapt oneself for self-benefits in long-term living in regard to life-spending, well-being, social interaction, social participation, and so on. Entering to the gate of a university is the same as you go to a non-native country. 

 What have we done for our new junior graduate students on orientation day (M.A. in English)? 

As universally know that being a good senior graduate student is not easy to behave because one who is a good senior must have a lot of particular abilities of English skills, being a good example, having a good human interaction, boosting an enthusiasm for a good study result, being reliable person, etc. From a point of view on being a senior graduation student, I think it is not different from being a good brother.  

 A lot of good things we have done on that orientation day were:
1. we have invited the head of department of foreign languages and all English professional teachers to give an inspirational speech to all the new graduate students in the classroom 341 on the 4th floor of classroom building, MCU Wat srisudam, Bangkok.

2. After finishing listening to all English professional teachers' speeches, we took them to officially orientation activities, starting from MA course guidance, giving a personal education tips to all the new graduate students by five representatives of class 2012-2013 students who're seniors of MA inter-program.

 3. Opening up the golden opportunity by allowing some of new graduate students to greet and speak to everyone in the classroom 341 where we held orientation activities. Speaking points mostly focused on self-introduction, revealing the self-perspectives on why did you come to study MA program in MCU, self-inspiration, giving self-opinion on English learning, personal education tips in learning English, sharing some experiences from previous study, and so on. 
 4. water-drinking time--- there were more than 40 new graduate students of humanities faculty, MCU who attended the orientation activities. Definitely, we provided some cold healthy drinks in advance to serve them after a 3 hour orientation activities.

5. Re-turning to the classroom 341 for the last orientation activity before heading back to their temples / homes: the last orientation activity was freely friendly group participation between seniors and juniors in order to exchange the view and attitude on MA in English program.
FIVE significant things I've experienced when I first came to M.A. English program in 2012:
1.     1.  FRIENDS----friends are so important to you as Elbert Hubbard ( he was An American writer, publisher, artist, and philosopher) said “A friend is someone who knows all about you and still loves you.”   
           2.       SENIOR STUDENTS------Senior students are so important to your class learning performance as MA study in terms of guiding the good ways of everything that relates to field of study. 

3.      Friendly teacher--- it can talk everything to him freely when you have a problem about your study, referring to Marva Collins (She was an American educator), she said  “The good teacher makes the poor student good and the good student superior. When our students fail, we, as teachers, too, have failed.

    4. READINESS OF CLASSROOMMicrophone, Computer for assignment presentation, cleanness of classroom, etc. These are able to negatively impact to the students. It would be well prepared in advance.

5   5. PREPARE YOURSELF FOR THE CLASS IN ADVANCE- Review what you learn from the class, you should prepare questions to ask teacher in the class beforehand, class participation, taking responsibility of what the teachers order you to do especially class-assignments, homework, group-work presentation, single work presentation, etc.    A great quote from Joe Gibbs  ( He is a former American football coach) said “A winning effort begins with preparation”. 


   Written by Beboy Manyou

         Thanks for reading 

วันอังคารที่ 17 มิถุนายน พ.ศ. 2557

Learning English from News

Learning English from News

Resource: May 29, 2014 http://news.harvard.edu/gazette/story/2014/05/snapshots-of-a-sun-splashed-day/

 By Corydon Ireland, Christina Pazzanese, Alvin Powell, Colleen Walsh, Harvard Staff Writers
Begone cold. Begone rain. This was Harvard’s Commencement Day, where the annual outdoor ceremony depends on……… (cooperation from the heavens to run pleasantly, smoothly, effortlessly).
The 363rd Commencement Day got………( that assist, and then some). The unusually sunny and warm conditions were……….( pitch perfect for the vast Harvard Yard celebration, with dapples of light piercing the verdant tree canopy of Tercentenary Theatre).
Soon-to-be graduates beamed with bittersweet joy as they passed into the Yard, the joy that comes with reaching a goal hard-won, but also with knowing that the achievement means something deeply meaningful will be left behind.
In the arriving throng, mothers, fathers, sisters, and brothers mastered the art of walking sideways, shouldering through the packed crowds, polite but determined to reach their seats because Commencement is a triumph for families too.
As the echoes faded from the high sheriff’s thrice-tapped staff and his loud, top-hatted declaration that the “meeting will be in ordeeeeer!” the crowd was asked to stand for the national anthem and first gasped, then cheered when the singer was announced: Aretha Franklin, the “queen of soul,” on hand to receive an honorary degree.
The morning held Aretha and more: dignitaries in black robes and colorful hoods, replete with pomp and tradition as only a centuries-old institution can muster. There was held a former president and a former mayor, and the august treasure of some of society’s most accomplished individuals.
But the morning was most pointed at the future, as a new generation of leaders, artists, teachers, scientists, designers, chaplains, doctors and many others received their degrees and prepared to make their marks in the wide world. The story of Harvard’s Commencement Day is woven from the treads of hundreds of individual stories, a sampling of which follow.
— Alvin Powell

Warm welcome for former president
Just before Commencement began, a crowd gathered on the grass just east of Harvard and Massachusetts halls to watch this year’s honorary degree recipients line up for the traditional procession. They were difficult to see from the back. With images of glamour dancing and no idea who the honorands were, one young woman asked another: “Who’s that chick everyone is taking pictures of?”
Well, the cameras were flashing and graduates in robes were leaning back smiling for selfies with an honored guest, but it was no chick. It was George H.W. Bush, 41st president of the United States, smiling up from his wheelchair. He looked much like his old self, an impression enhanced by his now-signature colorful socks, visible between his hiked-up pants and brown loafers. (For the ceremony, he wore zigzag stripes in a rainbow of hues.)
“My only disappointment,” said Richard Griffin ’51, watching the hubbub around Bush, “was that he didn’t arrive by parachute. That would have been something.”
— Corydon Ireland
Back-row seat, front-row day
Sitting as far from the stage as you could get in the last row, tucked on a muddy patch of grass wedged between Widener Library and Boylston Hall, it was hard to see the massive video screens stationed around Tercentenary Theatre. But Debra Mendoza and her mom, Anita Hernandez, of East Chicago, Ind., didn’t mind. While they didn’t have an ideal vantage point to watch Mendoza’s son Manny graduate from Harvard College, they were grateful that the weather on this Commencement morning was sunny and warm, unlike the Class Day celebration. “It was cold, rainy. I’ll take this any day,” Mendoza said. The women were most eager to see Manny get his diploma later at Leverett House. Manny Mendoza, 22, won’t have much time to celebrate, however. Next week, he heads to Oklahoma as a chemistry instructor for two years as part of Teach for America.
— Christina Pazzanese
Say cheese for the smartphones
Smartphones were the item du jour during the first official ceremony on Commencement morning, a service at Memorial Church that included songs and a brief sermon. Seniors texted family and friends to see if they had secured seats in Tercentenary Theatre, and snapped photos of their classmates in their caps and gowns. And even with classes long over, one Kirkland House resident took notes.
“I wrote it down,” said social studies concentrator Jasmine Omeke, who used her smartphone to capture the line “for no vision and we will perish” from Pusey Minister Jonathan Walton’s address. “It’s very humbling to hear that at the end of these four years,” added Omeke. “We just have to have a goal in mind, and we can reach it and achieve it.”
Walton used his own phone for perhaps the most important purpose of all: a selfie. “Let me begin by getting the most important thing taken care of: Everybody say cheese,” he said, proceeding to raise his arm for a shot of himself with the seniors jammed into the pews behind him.
On a more serious note, Walton urged his young audience to use their educations to help combat rising inequality and unequal access, saying, “Our planet cannot afford another generation of those who place profits over people and who embrace the ‘greed is good’ ideology over global sustainability. Your class gets this.”
— Colleen Walsh
And over there, Turkey’s president
With all the visiting dignitaries and VIPs swirling around Harvard Yard, including former President George H.W. Bush, former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, and singer Aretha Franklin, security, police, and the Secret Service had little to do, and calmly stood in the background. But shortly before Commencement began, one graduate’s father arrived at Morgan Gate with a grander flourish. A motorcade of state police motorcycles, black SUVs, vans, and a limousine pulled up, slipping into the Yard, and out came Turkish President Abdullah Gül, whose son Mehmet Emre Gül was graduating from the College.
— Christina Pazzanese

Cute puppy: 1, Yard procession: 0
As students from Leverett House, the last College graduates to enter Tercentenary Theatre, made their way up the walkway, a well-meaning interloper threatened to derail their procession. A cute and spirited golden retriever puppy, sporting a jaunty scarf bearing the words “Future Leader Dog,” proved irresistible to a crush of students who hopped out of line to greet and pat the fuzzy yellow pooch, causing temporary disarray.
— Christina Pazzanese

Representing Classes of  ’39, ’40 
It was late morning when George V. Kaplan ’40, M.B.A. ’47, sat down on a folding chair in front of Stoughton Hall. Across Harvard Yard and past University Hall, the crowds thickened toward the stage where Morning Exercises were underway. But a chair was free next to Kaplan, a trim man wearing a narrow-brimmed straw hat.
“The Yard hasn’t changed,” he said, looking back on his own time there, starting 78 years ago. “That’s one of the few things.” When Kaplan graduated with a degree in political science in 1940, for one thing, there were no women in Harvard classrooms. (That would change in 1943.) “They didn’t think of it,” he said.
By 1941, Kaplan had been drafted into the U.S. Army, where he spent the next 39 months as an enlisted man, much of it in combat in the Pacific theater. After the attack on Pearl Harbor, he was aboard a troopship heading through the Panama Canal. The first stop was Australia, where Kaplan said all the beer and Coca Cola was offloaded and replaced with ammunition. He and his ship continued on to Guadalcanal, where his unit went into the fighting in support of U.S. Marines.
After the war, Kaplan enrolled at Harvard Business School. He graduated in 1947 and went into the insurance business.
Kaplan doffed his straw hat. Inside, the hatband revealed that it was a souvenir from his 25th Harvard College reunion, “49 years ago!” Kaplan had spent part of the morning scanning the crowd for old classmates. So far, there weren’t any. “I read the obituaries every morning,” he said, “to see if I’m there.”
Representing the oldest College class was Robert Rothschild ’39. He studied physics as an undergraduate, and during World War II instructed radar officers and worked on some of the first early-warning systems. Returning after that to the family furniture business, he continued to cultivate his passions for mathematics, art, and saltwater sailing.
The traditional alumni procession formed up near the John Harvard Statue. Rothschild — sporting a crimson Class of 1939 ball cap, a green tie, and bright violet socks — was seemingly being interviewed by Ann Grace ’39. She held a small electronic device up to him as they talked. “You’re young,” said Rothschild, who is 97. (Grace is 95.)
The device turned out to be part of her hearing aid system. “But the best hearing aid I have is my daughter, Ann,” said Grace, gesturing to a woman on her left. Someone nearby said, “I thought you were interviewing Mr. Rothschild for an oral history.” Grace’s daughter spoke up, saying of her mother: “She is oral history.”
— Corydon Ireland

Recalling when tuition was $400 a year
Lillian Sugarman ’37, snow-haired and lively at 98, represented the oldest Harvard-Radcliffe class during Commencement. “You can’t imagine all the eras I’ve lived through,” she said, since she was born in 1915. “When I grew up, there wasn’t even radio, much less television.”
Sugarman, the daughter of Lithuanian immigrants, was Lillian Sher at college. She had applied only to Radcliffe, encouraged by a high school Latin teacher in her native Lynn, Mass. “We had our own campus,” Sugarman said of those happy undergraduate years, which started in 1933. “We had our own library.” (She could not recall being in Harvard Yard, which was then closed to women.)
First, she majored in mathematics (not a good profession for a woman, someone at the time advised), then music (but Radcliffe’s program was “not well developed,” said Sugarman), and finally German literature, made easier by her parents speaking Yiddish at home. “I was glad,” she said. “It opened up worlds to me.”
Tuition was $400 a year; a shared room on Sacramento Street cost $2.50 a week. Breakfast at a drugstore was 15 cents; dinner at a coffee shop on Shepard Street cost half a dollar. “Fifty cents was a lot of money,” said Sugarman of those Depression-era college years. “I felt like Mrs. Vanderbilt.”
She still does Zumba four times a week and started using a wheelchair only last year. As for probably being the oldest graduate on hand at Commencement, she quipped, “I’m trying for 100. After that I don’t care.”
— Corydon Ireland
Khurana bids departing Cabot students adieu 
Led by bagpiper Bob Cameron, the procession of 105 graduating seniors from Cabot House made the long but joyful walk across the grassy quadrangle this afternoon to collect their diplomas and bid farewell to a place they’ve called home for the last three years.
Rakesh Khurana, the Marvin Bower Professor of Leadership Development atHarvard Business School (HBS) and professor of sociology in the Faculty of Arts and Sciences (FAS), presided over the intimate celebration as co-master ofCabot House along with his wife, Stephanie. They were joined onstage by Emily Stokes-Rees, the Allston Burr resident dean and Benjamin Solomon-Schwartz, one of the resident House tutors. Although well familiar with Harvard’s many charms, first as a grad student at Faculty of Arts and Sciences and then later, as member of the HBS faculty, Khurana said that for year, he never quite grasped what people meant when they described the College as “the crown jewel of the University.”
I enjoyed being a graduate student and a [teaching fellow] and a professor, but it was not until I got a chance to be co-master at Cabot House that I understood what it was like to love a community,” he told the assembly of students, parents, friends and loved ones. “We’ve learned so much from you.”
The couple is wrapping up their fourth year as House Masters, a role they will continue to hold even after Khurana assumes his new post as dean of Harvard College July 1.
Invoking Cabot’s rich history as part of Radcliffe College, where the women who lived there a century ago demanded suffrage and later full integration into the University, Khurana spoke of honoring the trust that society has placed in them as Harvard graduates and coming together during this period of great change on campus and in the world.
“I would contend that there’s never been a time when the demand for what you have… — your talents, your passions, your sense of optimism and understanding of each other — has been more needed,” he said. “We need people who bring strong values to work, people who are committed to lives of integrity, who care about other people and want to do things that make the lives of people they don’t even know, or will know, better.”
Harvard “has its flaws, it has its problems,” Khurana said, “But I do believe that it is one of the greatest places in the world because it’s never been simply about bringing people together who are the best in the world, but rather about bringing people together who want to be the best for the world.”
— Christina Pazzanese

Intimate moments in the Houses
The morning Commencement exercises in Tercentenary Theatre are partially a pageant, complete with top hats, tails, black robes, Latin speeches, famous honorands, and conferring of degrees. But the afternoon brings smaller ceremonies at the Houses, where the newly minted graduates receive their diplomas, and where tears and hugs flow freely among family and friends.
In a corner of the Winthrop House courtyard, Bo Han, a computer science concentrator, and his mother gazed at his diploma, sheathed in a crimson folder. “I am very excited,” said Han who will head to San Francisco shortly for a job at Google. His parents, who made the trip from Hong Kong for graduation, beamed. Han’s father summed up his feelings about the day, saying simply: “It’s great.”
Nearby, senior and Marine Corps 2nd Lt. Taylor Bruce Evans, his year-old son Connor in his arms, reflected on his time in Cambridge as a student and husband and father of two. “Everything becomes much more deliberate. You have to be very cognizant of how you spend your time, what your priorities are. You always have to-do lists,” said Evans, who heads to the Basic School in Quantico, Va., next month.
Sociology concentrator Michelle Matsuba’s family, who had traveled from Hawaii and California, swarmed the new graduate as she stepped off the stage in the Winthrop House courtyard. The party’s matriarch, Sue Matsuba, 93, wore a new crimson fleece and hat with Harvard in white letters across the front. Next to her, the graduate’s mother, Jo-Anne Prophete Matsuba, struggled to take it all in. “It’s just amazing. It’s just so phenomenal. I just can’t even get wrapped around it. We’ve always been very proud of her. She’s always been a smart child, and we knew that she was going to do great things, and she is.”
“Harvard has given me an opportunity to encounter people and learn perspectives that I never could have otherwise,” said Jasmine Park, a history and East Asian studies concentrator who posed for pictures with her proud mother and aunt. “I am super, super excited to see what my classmates are going to do and how they are going to change the world,” said Park, who hopes to work for a nonprofit in international development and then head to graduate school.
 — Colleen Walsh
Courtesy of Chicago, a refurbished gate
What was likely the last official Commencement event in Harvard Yard late this afternoon had some swing to it, not like Aretha Franklin’s singing in the morning, but the kind of swing you might find, say, at Johnston Gate.
Harvard’s main portal, on the west side of the Yard facing Massachusetts Avenue, will be 125 years old in December. Its filigreed wrought iron gates were built to accommodate the width of a carriage.
A crowd of donors gathered at the gate to celebrate the spot’s recent facelift, including two new trees, soil, mulch, and groundcover (liriope) that will soon spread and bloom in season with violet flowers. Landscape architect Michael Van Valkenburgh provided the design pro bono. He is the Charles Eliot Professor in Practice of Landscape Architecture at Harvard’s Graduate School of Design.
The $5,000 landscaping project was funded largely by the Harvard Club of Chicago and was inspired by 2012-13 Nieman Fellow Blair Kamin, the Chicago Tribune’s Pulitzer Prize-winning architecture critic. Without Kamin’s acumen and eye, said club spokesman Richard W. Shepro ’75, J.D. ’79, Harvard’s often-used but little-noticed gates might just be something “which many of us pass by.” (In early 2013, Kamin led a January Arts Intensive on the gates and edited an e-book about them.)
It was Samuel Johnston, Class of 1855, who bequeathed $10,000 to build Harvard’s first formal gate. His idea not only inspired 25 other gates, said Kamin, “but changed the course of Harvard architecture for the next century” by returning the aesthetically eclectic Yard to the classical Georgian style once established by Harvard and Massachusetts halls.
Surveying the donors and friends, Philip W. Lovejoy, the Harvard Alumni Association’s new executive director, quipped, “This is proof it takes a village to take care of a gate.”
— Corydon Ireland

Resource: May 29, 2014 http://news.harvard.edu/gazette/story/2014/05/snapshots-of-a-sun-splashed-day/

By Corydon Ireland, Christina Pazzanese, Alvin Powell, Colleen Walsh, Harvard Staff Writers