Good Morning! I am pleased to introduce you to Sonny Sidhu, who was chosen by his classmates to be their senior class speaker.
Sonny will graduate this morning with a Special Major in Film and Media Studies, dual minors in History and Religion, and a passion for exploring the potential of human-computer interactions to alter and enrich human experience.
Sonny loves Swarthmore — its faculty, the friendships he has made, and the freedom it gave him to immerse himself in the dynamics of computer games — not only as a source of continuing excitement and joy, but as a new lens for understanding how narrative, perceptions of human agency, and aesthetic sensibility and form are, and can, be recast in an interactive, electronic, age.
His senior thesis, entitled "Advanced Preferences," combined live-action footage with animation of his own design, creating a computer-based narrative of a Swattie torn between obsessive engagement with computer chess and the world outside, the student's own sentiments manipulated by the computer over which he ostensibly has control. Sonny captures a new age that others fear, but in which he sees exciting theoretical challenge, and singular productive opportunities.
He looks forward to strengthening his technical preparation and pursuing graduate study, which will place him at the forefront of both critical theory and revolutionary application in that new age.
At Swarthmore, Sonny worked for War News Radio, played as an avid member of the Earl Grey and the Teabags Band, which, to Sonny's great delight, triumphed over its competition to gain a seat at the Worthstock Festival, and drew cartoons and illustrations for The Phoenix, that evidence amazing imaginative and technical skill, even within the constraints of a two-dimensional world.
Sonny brings to this community a seriously analytic and exuberantly creative mind, a contagious embrace of the new, and a wonderful talent for offering others — through his vision, his energy and his care — a fuller interaction with both technology and life.
I am delighted to welcome Sonny Sidhu to the podium, as the speaker for the Class of 2009. Sonny!