Individual Diversity speech

Sunday Supper “Individual Diversity” Speech

This document is a speech I (David Bruant) have given on May 2nd 2010 during the Spring quarter Sunday Supper at the Great Hall of UCSD iHouse


Hi, for those who don’t know me yet, I’m David, I live in iHouse since Fall quarter.

Tonight, I would like to create emotions in you. First of all, I would like to create deception in you,
then surprise you. Finally, I hope to make you more curious than you were entering the Great Hall
tonight.

I would like to talk about diversity. This is the deception part of my speech. I already know what
most of you think iHouse, diversity, we already know the lyrics of that song. And I think exactly the
same. Before arriving here, I was very attracted by this diversity. Cultures, nationalities and why not,
skin/eye/hair color, religion. Though, at the beginning of the year, I realized that we were all students,
about the same age. The conversations were weirdly all the same: Hi, I’m David Where are you from?
What’s your major?.

Then I thought Is it really the advertised diversity?. I was disappointed by what I call now the
“superficial diversity”. But I want to talk about diversity anyway and this is the surprise part of the
speech.

After the beginning of the year, I began to meet individuals. What I want to share with you tonight is
this habit of mine to notice details about people, about these individuals. Those details may be daily
routines, something liked or disliked, a passion, a past-time, a state of mind. Those details which tell
more about you than the country you are from, what you study.

This year, I have met…

  • I’ve met this girl with strong political convictions and ready for revolution and is always looking for
    alternative solutions. About food, about economics, politics. Even her computer.
  • I’ve met this boy who plays the guitar and chose
    iWalk as his favorite stage. He keeps falling in love
    with almost any French girl he meets.
  • I’ve met this girl, half crazy, half sexy, an hidden painter who loves chocolate as much as I do.
  • I’ve met this boy who is so passionate by his mother tongue that he keeps a book with beautiful but
    rarely used words.
  • I’ve met this boy who decided to let his beard growing throughtout the year. And by the way, guys
    with beards are the coolest ones. He is always ready to accept crazy challenges like singing in Korean
    or to walk on all fours for a fashion show.
  • I’ve met this happy girl. Hmm… “Happy” may not be enough to describe her. When you are around
    her, you may have the impression that she could be the source of happiness on Earth. No matter the
    quantity of work she has, no matter the rush she is in, she always has this true smile and true laugh.
    Another detail about her, she can change her outfit four times a day.
  • I’ve met this girl who is so frightened by death that she studies bioengineering to face this issue.
  • I’ve met this boy who is always complaining about everything but is one of the most interesting
    person to talk to when it’s about education.
  • I’ve met this energic girl who wants to know how to say “elephant” in every single language.
    I’ve met this girl. When you look at her, you can see a girl who is not the most smiling one, who
    might not look like the most enthousiastic one, but she has dreams. One of them is to play piano, all
    alone, along the beach.
  • I’ve met this boy, occasional patio drummer, activist always ready to fight for causes he finds right.
  • I’ve met this boy who is very careful about moon cycles and weather to make sure he takes
    amazing landscape or building pictures.

I have met a lot of fantastic people this year, but all the mentioned details are from people I have met
through iHouse. They might be your roomate, your noisy upstairs neighbour, why not your RA,
someone you saw once on iWalk or someone you might have met at a party.

It’s been a while now that I have stopped asking new people I meet where they are from and
what is their major, because I have realized that it is not what matters to me; it is insufficient to define
anyone.

Tonight, I hope to have made you more curious about what I would call “individuals diversity”.

Thank you.

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