Tuesday, January 25, 2005

Cup 48: Speaking Truth to Power

tues 2
Originally uploaded by matt_leclair.
Location: Augusta Civic Center
When: January 25, 2005, 8:30 am
Present: Owen & Meghan and hundreds of others
Coffee: Unknown
Mood: charged

I really didn't mean to. Up there on stage, though I wanted to say one thing, but the words that kept coming out didn't have anything to do with that. Back at the conference in Augusta, this time with Owen, chair of the New Media department, and Meghan, a student in the same department. We've been asked to give a short talk about what we are doing with New Media. Unless you're majoring in engineering or computer science, the New Media dept offers what is probably the most technologically advanced education in the state. So I'm up there, coffee in hand, and I'm supposed to talk about how great we are and all that. And we are great, so that should be easy to talk about, but something has been bugging me all morning. On the trip down, Meghan told me about Renee, a former student of mine who'd graduated from the program and had to leave the state to get a job. This is what all the best students do. It is a shame, but it is true. There is nothing for them here. Our best and brightest have to leave the state if they want careers doing what they love. These are talented, highly skilled, self-motivated individuals, and their loss is a loss to Maine's future. If Maine really wants to have a future, we need to find a way to keep our best right here. When it came time for me to talk to all these people who are helping to shape Maine's future, it seemed more important to me to tell them that than anything else I'd been planning on saying. I think they heard me. A number of people came up and thanked me for saying it. You're welcome, now if you really want to thank me, do something about it!

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