Read poet Endre Ruset’s speech to the candidates that were honoured at todays graduation ceremony at Molde campus:
Du mener livet er en kamp
Jeg er enig
Men rett som det er
er det hjemmekamp
Og vi topper laget
Har sola i ryggen
Alle heier på oss
Dear Students, dear all.
Congratulations. What better way to celebrate this glorious moment than on a day like this. Blue sky over the 222 mountains grazing The Molde Fjord. A gentle breeze from the Atlantic . On a day like this you forget the irritating seagulls that attack you every morning on your way to the university and might even see an sea eagle floating on the first sunny touch of summer.
And you all did it. Years of hardship. In a field I must admit I know very little about – logistics – I actually had to google it – oh my god – oh my god –
It’s absolutely amazing that anyone could study this. It’s like Greek to me – but here u are – with your finished doctoral degree and master’s degrees. Amazing. Not to forget the ones here that has studied health, sport management.
Everything is set for a celebration to remember for the rest of your lives. And by standing here watching you, handsome healthy good looking youth ready to – for a split second I can remember how it felt. To be young, handsome, good looking and progressing into life. Molde University College. And to repeat myself: What better day to celebrate it on than this. Blue sky over the 222 mountains grazing the fjord.
Molde. Our tiny little place here on the North West Coast. Where great international artists and writers through decades has come to find inspiration. Where national icon Bjørnstjerne Bjørnson wrote his first piece as a kid almost – a letter to the inhabitants of Molde – the speech of freedom. Where Henrik Ibsen came to reside and write the Lady from the Sea. Molde. Here in the mirrorblue and green fjord of Molde. Where greatness such as Wilhelm II, German Emperor, spent all his vacations in his ship Hohenzollern, before the outbreak of World War 1. Think about that .. Later today. When you pop ur champagne to mark studies finished. You are in very good company.
Take Alexander Kielland for example. The national writer that lived here between 1902 – 1906. And served as amtmann – or county bailiff. Very unofficial historicans claims that it was Kielland who gave the people of Molde the first idea of establishing an logistic study in this town. Long before it was actually established. Cause few, if any where worse when it came to economy and logistics than Alexander Kielland. The iconic writer – part of the big four with Ibsen and Bjørnson – was (amtmann) in Molde at that time. Always in economical trouble. Always struggling to make ends meet. He had been given this job by more famous Bjørnson, as a helping hand. And the population of Molde must have shook their heads. And thought: We can not have it likes this. We cant let broke romantic writers run this county. This has to stop. We need a University. We need proper people. To run this country,
And 90 years later you, dear ladies and gentlemen! What better way to celebrate than this day in this city. In this area where famous businessmen, athletes and artist have been born and raised. Like Kjell Inge Røkke, Gjelsten. Ane Brun! Åge Hareide! Ole Gunnar Solskjær! Jim Solbakken! Kjell Magne Bondevik! Karita Bekkemellem! Jo Nesbø! And then u have me. Standing here? And you might ask who the hell is this guy deliviering your graduation speech? Even Bernt Hulsker, or Glenn Henriksen, finalist in Paradise hotel 2013 would be better to throw some stardust on you than this poor unkown poet on this special day!? Is the standard of this university this low? Do they not even have money to attract a C-celebrity here today? You might think! But I have a suspsicion why its like this. And ill explain it in a moment.
1994 – the year the Høgskolen in Molde was established. My cousin studied here in her early years. As a kid, thirteen fourteen years of age, sometimes I had the great privilege to join her as a guest. In one of the rooms there where computers, big white shiny machines and I got to borrow one. This must have been 1994 – 95 – the beginning of internet – and these computers had a program called Mirc. A service, – where u could connect and talk to random people all across the world.
This was for me more than magic. Divine magic. To be able to visit this university and with a couple of mouseclicks talk to people from the far end of the world. In realitiy I think I mostly spoke to people from Rekdal, Vestnes and Misund, only miles away from Molde, but who cares. The point was that høgskolen was where a kid like me could connect with the far ends of the world, for the first time. And here we are today. 25 years later. And you out there in this audience, celebrating your degree, are people from here in the city, from all across the country, and probably some of you from the far ends of the world. In flesh. The world, near and far, has come to Molde through this study. And høgskolen has become one of this magical places where people from across the nation and across the world come together to gain knowledge and education. And hopefully make their own lives and the world a better place.
For that Høgskolen in Molde should have a shoutout. Here you are. Well educated, decent citizens, today celebrating the hard work and genuiny effort you have put down during these last years to become ressources for your society, could be here at home, in Molde, in Norway and abroad, you have succeeded in studies that will give you the opportunity to affect and improve our society on a global level.
Here you have learned. Efficiency, structure. Growth. How to maximize profit in margins. How to save money. And how to make profits grow. In many ways the exact opposite from what I have learned in life. In many ways the best example for the benefits of your studies is standing here right in front of you. In many ways I am the result of a life you are blessed not to live! Buy the most expencive wine. Forget about the bill. Fall in love with the most beatuiful girl, and do not do any background check if she is completely crazy an insane. Go on vacation to Rome and Firenze to read avantgarde novels and dine at expensive restaurants – live life like a king – don’t worry about the bill! I assure you. After a wild an exciting life without studies at høgskolen, the bill will arrive for a wild and poetic existence. A hot tip to everyone who – against all odds should have a problem gaining work – apply for a job at Statens Lånekasse or Statens Innkrevvingssentral – then you have a secure job, at least as long as I live.
And I am thinking. What the hell can I teach or advise such amazingly talented people like you. Me, whose only levels are higher than your grades are my cholestrole levels. And that’s when I decided to take of my shoes and go barefeet.
The Mayor I heard. He turned up here in a suit and running shoes. When he talked about his runnings shoes – he said. “It’s because. People from here. People such as us. We are always going forward.» His runnings shoes a symbol of progress.
But sometimes you cant go forward. Sometimes you have to stop. And take a break. And watch and reflect on what is around you. I’m not refusing lifes realitiyes Most of the time you need your running shoes. To stay ajour. To stay fit. To stay in competition. To move forward. But sometimes, a few days in life, you need to take off your Adidas and Nikes and Asics shoes. And go barefoot. This is a tip I got from someone who actually studied here at høgskolen. My best friend. That died very young. And before he died he wrote me a letter. And in that letter he wrote. Remember. Always to take off your shoes. And walk along the stones by the sea. Do it on an late summer evening. After the stones by the sea has been warming up throughout the day. So they will be comforting and warm. Take off your shoes. And walk on them. For a while. From time to time. And just feel that smooth warm rock under your footblades for a while. Theres is nothing more to it than that.
So that’s my advice to you. No matter how good or bad life is at moments. Don’t forget to go down to the sea. For example Høstmarksberga. No matter what political view you have. Or what chocies or standards we choose to live our lives after. It never hurts to go barefeet on slick rocks by the sea, from time to time.
Life is not always easy. Even when you succeed. There will be doubt. There will be heartache. There will be personal problems. There will be greats moments of joy and ecstasy, and there will be haunting shadows of desperation and helplessness. Many of you have experienced some of it already. And there is more to come. But if u stick in there. It will be worth it. I thought I should end this speech with a poem. Not one of my own. As don’t consider them fine enough for an audience by you. The poem is written by an down and out – human sceptic. A drunkard that lived in California and died the same year as Molde University College was established – his names is Charles Bukowski. A guy that usually hated people and wrote poems about drunkenness and despair. A kind of guy that should have had some help from people like you. But he refused it.
He worked in an post office much of his life. And spent the other half of his life in run down bars in Los Angelese and the San Pedro-area Anyway. He wrote one poem about life. That poem is my tiny tiny gift to u on this glorious sunny day . Soon u will be ready to go out pop a bottle of champagne and be happy. That I hope some of u will take with u further in life, as a note to self. And this poem is called the Laughing Heart. By Charles Bukowski:
your life is your life
don’t let it be clubbed into dank submission.
be on the watch.
there are ways out.
there is a light somewhere.
it may not be much light but
it beats the darkness.
be on the watch.
the gods will offer you chances.
you can’t beat death but
you can beat death in life, sometimes.
and the more often you learn to do it,
the more light there will be.
your life is your life.
know it while you have it.
you are marvelous
the gods wait to delight
ditt liv er ditt liv
ikke la det bli skamslått inn i klam underkastelse.
vær på vakt.
det finnes veier ut.
det er lys et eller annet sted.
det er kanskje ikke mye lys, men
det slår mørket.
være på vakt.
gudene vil gi deg sjanser
du kan ikke overvinne døden, men
du kan overvinne døden i livet, av og til
jo oftere du lære å gjøre det,
jo mer lys vil det være.
ditt liv er ditt liv
kjenn det mens du har det.
du er fantastisk
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