Mes cher amisâ€“
It is a great honor today to accept from thees fellow with thee funny hat the honorary doctorate degree.Â For too long, how you say, â€œsmart aleckâ€ rock critics have made fun of me because I have 3,000 pairs of shoes or something like that.Â Well, to them I sayâ€“â€Phooey.â€Â What doÂ they have, a worthless English degree from a cow college in one of Americaâ€™s square states, or one that begins with an â€œMâ€ such as Missourissippie or something.Â Fat lot of good that will do you when you apply for the job of mutli-talented singer with her own theatre in Las Vegas!
I see you back there, Monsieur and Mademoiselle Protestor!Â You say University Laval has lowered its standards by giving me an honorary degree.Â What do you know, you who have spent five or six years sucking down American cola drinks in the student union to stay up for your crummy calculus mid-term, while I was winning the hearts of millions?Â Let me tell you what you knowâ€“zero for nothing!Â Who do you think should get the honorary degreeâ€“maybe Alanis Morrissette, who is only beginning to be somewhat good-looking after years of stringy, fly-away hair.
You cannot know how long my lack of a high school degree has haunted me, like a hidden scar on my body that you would die to haveâ€“if you are une femmeâ€“or to touch if you are un homme!Â Now, I skip over the awful high school yearsâ€“and college too!Â I am Celine Dion, Ph. D, like Brenda Starr, Reporter, or Nancy Drew, Girl Detective!
How many plus often times after a wonderful performance would I attend a reception with powerful people, and my lack of education would hinder me.Â â€œCeline,â€ someone would say after introductions and pleasantries, â€œI know you are beautiful and have a voice that would blanch an almond, but what are the principal exports of the Benelux Countries, and when did they dig the Suez Canal?â€Â To these questions, I could only respond with that determined-petite-jeune-fille look I get when I play air guitar, and sing â€œMy Heart Will Go Onâ€ to change the subject.
But no more.Â Now, when someone asks me â€œDr. Dion, who wrote Voltaireâ€™s â€˜Candideâ€™?â€ I simply sayâ€“â€I cannot answer that now.Â Come see me during office hours between 10 and 11 p.m. on the fifth Tuesday of each month.â€