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The John Green commencement speech encourages the graduating class of 2013 at Butler University to...

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John Green's Speech on Learning on the Phenomenon of Paper Towns

By: Alyson Wyers - May 11, 2015
References: youtu.be
In his speech on learning, John Green discusses the copyright trap known as paper towns and how this relates to educational communities. The novelist and YouTuber (whose third book is not coincidentally called Paper Towns, and also has a movie based on it coming out this summer) shares how paper town Agloe, New York became a real life place and how this acts as a metaphor for how the world is changed by our maps of the world. Furthermore, what we map changes the lives we lead.

The speaker shares his personal experience finding a community of learners, made up of people who celebrated intellectualism. The speech on learning positions YouTube as a classroom, indicating the far corners of the internet have become spaces for a new generation of learners that serve as the sort of cartographic communities John Green had in high school and college. Finding this again as an adult not only encourages him personally, but is aspirational for audiences of his talk.