2003 Commencement Address

Patricia Goedicke retired from teaching in 2003 and this commencement address was, in a sense, her final lecture as a full-time professor at The University.  In it, she touches upon a number of dualities, mind/body, presence/absence, self/other.  These dualities define one of the challenges of writing, that is translating personal thoughts and experiences into a shared experience between writer and reader.

In her speech, Goedicke begins by identifying a gap that exists between us all arguing that "nobody...really "knows" anyone else."  In other words, each of us has a unique perspective to the degree that we cannot say exactly what someone else is thinking or feeling. This is why misunderstandings occur even within the closest of relationships and how friendships can remain vibrant and suprising over many years. In this, Goedicke establishes the gap between self and other and states that this gap is "a large part of what is known as The Human Condition."  It is this basic difficulty to which this speech and the works presented in this exhibit respond.

To conclude, I would like to suggest simply that this speech presents how Goedicke works through certain dualities that arise throughout her work.  Linking, for example, mind and body through the imagination, which she describes as "the inextricalbe fusion" of mind and body.  Through the use of images, metaphors, and similes, one can begin to present to others what is not physically present, what is not directly available to the senses.