Dessa at commencement

On the uses of failure

CLA alumna Dessa in cap and gown speaking into a microphone before a crowd at CLA's commencement cermeony

Dessa—rapper, artist, essayist, singer signed to Doomtree Records—delivered the 2012 CLA commencement address. She's a 2003 CLA graduate in philosophy.
Photo by Lisa Miller


"If you pursue only those goals you know you're really, really likely to achieve, you live like an iceberg with the vast majority of yourself undiscovered and unknowable, even to yourself. Failure is the tool that we use to demarcate the edges of our abilities.

Go and find out empirically what you can and what you can't do. Don't leave the marking of those borders to speculation—to yours, or your friends', or your parents'. Go find out ... . It's all electives now, homey."

Watch at z.umn.edu/dessa

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This page contains a single entry by Colleen Ware published on July 6, 2012 1:51 PM.

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