Our Commencement speaker at graduation back in May was Jawed Karim, one of the co-founders of YouTube. He attended here but left before graduating to join the dot-com boom at Pay Pal. Unlike so many of the other kids I knew who left school to pursue riches, he actually finished his degree out west, which I always found sort of honorable.
Nevertheless, when he made a special request to see some of our telecommunications facilities while he was here as commencement speaker, and when I got tapped as one of the people to lead him on his tour, I was a little prejudiced, I'm afraid, and had more than one unflattering imagining of him in my head.
So I was very pleasantly surprised when he turned out to be soft-spoken, polite, interested, and full of relevant questions. I had a really nice time leading him around and was left with a very positive impression.
Today I checked my work mailbox (I really should check it more often but there's rarely anything of interest in it) and found it crammed full, most of the space taken up by a cardboard box. Thinking it just advertising junk, I ripped it open to find that there was book inside. The box was in fact from Amazon, and when I couldn't remembering ordering anything from them, I slowed way down and looked again in the box to find the packing slip.
It was a thank-you gift from Jawed, a copy of A Thread Across the Ocean: The Heroic Story of the Transatlantic Cable by John Steele Gordon. I was immediately enthralled, and have already torn into it. It was a very thoughtful and apropos gift, and I'm impressed and grateful that he took the time to choose something besides a meaningless trinket.