Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Unleash the Dragon

The following is a real email exchange between my best friend Chaci, and an administrator from a local university.

Background: In the fall of 2010, Chaci was about to complete his masters degree and was in the process of preparing all of the commencement paperwork and logistics.  This included choosing a personal picture to show while they called his name during the official diploma ceremony.

Please note: certain names have been changed to protect the ignorant...uhhhh, i mean, innocent.  Enjoy. 

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Dr. Smith
Date: Thu, Oct 7, 2010 at 1:31 PM
Subject: your MarchingOrder slide
To: Chaci 

Hi Chaci,

We noticed that the photo you used for your personalized slide for the upcoming graduation is of a celebrity.  Would you prefer to use one of yourself or another photo that is reflective of who you are and the message you want to send and publically display?  Typically, the personalized slide is an opportunity to give thanks to individuals who have contributed to their academic achievements or to wish others well.  We see that your message does mention Sisqo.  Perhaps Sisqo is a friend of yours.

Please let me know.  Thank you.

Dr. Smith
Assistant Dean
Academic & Student Affairs
Boston, MA 02115

From: Chaci
Sent: Thursday, October 07, 2010 2:24 PM
To: Dr. Smith
Subject: Re: your MarchingOrder slide

Hello Dr. Smith,

I hope this email finds you well.  It terms of the type of person I am, perhaps you are right, Sisqo would not be the best representation.

Although his music has gotten me through some difficult times in my life that corresponded with his 1999 release of "Unleash the Dragon", it may be too embarrassing to admit to publicly.

I met Mark Althavean Andrews, a.k.a.Sisqo, during his younger years in Baltimore when he was with the singing sensation Dru Hill.  We've grown a part since his minor fame and I haven't had too much communication with him.

I would refer to him as an acquittance at this point, rather than a personal friend.

I rediscovered his music again when I was having difficulties managing my hectic full-time job and course work at BU.  Studying with his track "Got to Get It" surely made me realize his influential power and inspiration.

He has meant a great deal to me in achieving my degree, something many never believed I would accomplish.

I do; however, understand the public and professional setting of the commencement (something I'm looking forward to for sure!).

If you would like me to change it to something a little more standard I will do so immediately.

Thank you very much,


On Thu, Oct 7, 2010 at 2:30 PM, Dr. Smith wrote:
Hi Chaci,

Thank you for your response.  It really helped me understand why you used Sisqo’s photo instead of yours.  Given what you have indicated, I truly believe that you should be the spotlight of your personalized slide.  This is YOUR moment, not Sisqo’s.  I am sorry that there were those you encountered who doubted you.  You persevered.  That’s what’s important.  Sisqo made a song.  I’m glad that it touched you but in the end, you were the one who had to work very hard to accomplish all you have.  You were the one who allowed his song to touch and motivate you.  Instead of giving him credit for what you have done, when he personally did not contribute to your success, consider honoring those who have.  This includes you. 

Dr. Smith


  1. Chaci, I hope you one day rekindle your friendship with Sisqo.

  2. HAHA this is awesome. I want to buy your friend a beer.