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YOU’RE NOT SPECIAL’: WELLESLEY HIGH SCHOOL TEACHER GIVES THE MOST BLUNT COMMENCEMENT ADDRESS EVER
The Blaze ^ | June 7, 2012 | MYTHEOS HOLT

Posted on 06/08/2012 5:46:21 AM PDT by j_tull

For those of you who have long since gotten sick of the trend among education experts toward “self esteem” rather than actual learning, this story will be extremely cathartic.

Wellesley High School teacher David McCullough, Jr. (son of historian David McCullough) had apparently had enough of feeding blithering platitudes to his students and decided to tell the truth. The result sparked controversy among the parents, who didn’t like hearing their children accused of being cosseted and pampered little brats who believed they were special for no reason. But sometimes the truth hurts. Read the greatest hits below:

(Excerpt) Read more at theblaze.com ...


TOPICS: Education; Society
KEYWORDS: learning; teaching
Refreshing take.
1 posted on 06/08/2012 5:46:27 AM PDT by j_tull
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To: j_tull

I’m sending it to my high-school graduating kid.


2 posted on 06/08/2012 5:55:10 AM PDT by PapaBear3625 (If I can't be persuasive, I at least hope to be fun.)
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To: j_tull

The tide is turning....once again....


3 posted on 06/08/2012 6:05:30 AM PDT by Sioux-san
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To: j_tull
Boston talker Howie Carr lives in Swellesley, and a daughter just graduated from the HS.

New HS, in the library, the last names of famous literary figures are carved into the molding or the like.

"Obama" is one. My guess is that they just took a reading list from Oprah, rather than spending any effort looking at what classics still resonate with readers decades after publication.

After all, how long did it take for people to know that Obama wrote that he was a dog eater?

4 posted on 06/08/2012 6:06:57 AM PDT by Calvin Locke
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To: j_tull
In our unspoken but not so subtle Darwinian competition with one another-which springs, I think, from our fear of our own insignificance, a subset of our dread of mortality – we have of late, we Americans, to our detriment, come to love accolades more than genuine achievement.

Quite true.

It struck me recently how many movies of the last three decades or so end with the hero being lauded by the crowd, as if nothing else could possibly be more important.

Which ties in, of course, with our "famous for being famous" culture.

5 posted on 06/08/2012 6:08:58 AM PDT by Sherman Logan
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To: j_tull

The “self esteem” movement has always been part of the agenda to devalue human life anyway.


6 posted on 06/08/2012 6:09:59 AM PDT by reasonisfaith (Why do you seek the living among the dead? (Luke 24:5))
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To: reasonisfaith

McCullough is an existentialist—he believes our identity is defined by our actions.

Of course merit is important, but it’s not the ultimate definition of man.


7 posted on 06/08/2012 6:16:07 AM PDT by reasonisfaith (Why do you seek the living among the dead? (Luke 24:5))
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To: j_tull

This is extraordinary- have sent to Rush and Drudge... worthy of a viral explosion.

Thank you very much for posting this.


8 posted on 06/08/2012 6:16:40 AM PDT by SE Mom (Proud mom of an Iraq war combat vet)
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To: j_tull

I was there for my niece’s graduation, except my daughters and I showed up an hour late, and then hung out under the bleachers watching “King of the Hill” on my Droid until my niece’s name was called.

Don’t tell my sister!

I’m LOL over this because my semi-liberal sister teaches in precious Wellesley and this must have shocked her.


9 posted on 06/08/2012 6:17:09 AM PDT by St_Thomas_Aquinas (Viva Christo Rey!)
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To: Sioux-san
The tide is turning....once again....

I hope you are right. I'm praying Wisconsin is the signal of a general wake up call.

10 posted on 06/08/2012 6:20:25 AM PDT by j_tull (Massachusetts once lead the American Revolution. Under Mitt Romney, it lead the demise.)
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To: reasonisfaith
Of course merit is important, but it’s not the ultimate definition of man.

Not the ultimate definition, agreed, but pretty high on my list!

11 posted on 06/08/2012 6:22:25 AM PDT by j_tull (Massachusetts once lead the American Revolution. Under Mitt Romney, it lead the demise.)
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To: j_tull

This is what the lib is actually saying: “You’re not capable of taking care of yourself. Socialism will take care of you.”


12 posted on 06/08/2012 6:23:15 AM PDT by Kirkwood (It's not a lie. It's a composite.)
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To: j_tull

This guy must be getting tarred and feathered by parents in Wellesley.

Great speech.


13 posted on 06/08/2012 6:23:58 AM PDT by Col Frank Slade
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To: St_Thomas_Aquinas
my semi-liberal sister

That makes her a conservative around here, if grading on a curve.

14 posted on 06/08/2012 6:25:06 AM PDT by j_tull (Massachusetts once lead the American Revolution. Under Mitt Romney, it lead the demise.)
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To: Calvin Locke
This is great:

"...if everyone is special, then no one is. If everyone gets a trophy, trophies become meaningless".

Someone ought to have taught that to Obama, but they were busy trying to spread socialism - the philosophy of value-destruction and leveling - in place of properly raising a child.

15 posted on 06/08/2012 6:31:18 AM PDT by andy58-in-nh (America does not need to be organized: it needs to be liberated.)
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To: Col Frank Slade
This guy must be getting tarred and feathered by parents in Wellesley.

Imagine the audience as he spoke...the squirmming, the shuffling, the throat-clearing and general unease..

16 posted on 06/08/2012 6:33:05 AM PDT by SE Mom (Proud mom of an Iraq war combat vet)
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To: j_tull

Comedian Daniel Tosh gave a high school commencement speech and he gave a blunt speech too. He said something to the effect of, “When I look out here, I don’t see future doctors and lawyers. I see criminals. Some of you will die in a DUI accident tonight.”


17 posted on 06/08/2012 6:37:50 AM PDT by VA_Gentleman ("Poor Al Gore. Global warming completely debunked via the very internet you invented." -Jon Stewart)
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To: j_tull

The logic of this depends on whether or not Christian doctrine is true.

If the Bible is just a fairy tale, then the most likely explanation for the universe is probably naturalism, in which case we can believe that life on earth is all that matters, and the Nietschean superman and his “will to power” is a good example of what the ideal life might be. In other words, achievement through merit is of primary importance.

But if Jesus Christ really did rise from the dead and Holy Scripture is true, then nothing we do on earth—actions, work, merit—has any primary meaning. Everything is defined by what we believe and earthly achievement is only secondary.


18 posted on 06/08/2012 6:44:22 AM PDT by reasonisfaith (Why do you seek the living among the dead? (Luke 24:5))
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To: VA_Gentleman

I’ll bet that went over like a turd in the punchbowl.


19 posted on 06/08/2012 6:51:17 AM PDT by j_tull (Massachusetts once lead the American Revolution. Under Mitt Romney, it lead the demise.)
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To: reasonisfaith
Everything is defined by what we believe and earthly achievement is only secondary.

I've never liked or believed that. It has also been used to justify the actions of our enemies.

20 posted on 06/08/2012 6:51:17 AM PDT by NativeSon ( Grease the floor with Crisco when I dance the Disco)
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To: j_tull

Good speech!

What with speeches at my own graduations, my wife’s, those of our four kids and then assorted relatives & friends, I’ve heard a few commencement speeches over the years.

Among the very best was one given to the HS graduating class in our small Appalachian town by an alumnus, Nick Searcy.

Nick is Hollywood actor, famous locally for his part as the sheriff in the (partly) locally filmed Harrison Ford movie, The Fugitive. He also played in Nell, Cast Away, Head of State, and as the abusive husband in Fried Green Tomatoes, who end up in the BBQ.

His speech was not what one might expect from a “Hollywood type” and was in a similar vein to this speech by Wellesley High School teacher David McCullough, Jr.

Teach kids that which is Truth, teach them to recognize Truth and teach them to deal with the truth about themselves and the world around them. This is the antithesis of Political Correctness and the essence of a classical education.


21 posted on 06/08/2012 6:53:39 AM PDT by BwanaNdege (Man has often lost his way, but modern man has lost his address - Gilbert K. Chesterton)
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To: j_tull

Bravo! This is the kind of speech I would have given, which explains why I never will be asked to give one ;-)


22 posted on 06/08/2012 6:54:25 AM PDT by bigbob
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To: SE Mom

That is what the audience was doing at my brother’s high school graduation. Our school was fortunate to get Alan Keyes as the commencement speaker. As Alan Keys does, he made it clear as to the source of our liberties and our responsibilites as citizens of the country.

There was quite a bit of squirming and unease in the audience that day, back in 1994.


23 posted on 06/08/2012 7:06:00 AM PDT by Crolis ("To have a right to do a thing is not at all the same as to be right in doing it." -GKC)
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To: j_tull

Helen: Dashiell Robert Parr, you are an incredibly competitive boy, and a bit of a show-off. The last thing you need is temptation.
Dash: You always say ‘Do your best’, but you don’t really mean it. Why can’t I do the best that I can do?
Helen: Right now, honey, the world just wants us to fit in, and to fit in, we gotta be like everyone else.
Dash: But Dad always said our powers were nothing to be ashamed of, our powers made us special.
Helen: Everyone’s special, Dash.
Dash: [muttering] Which is another way of saying no one is.


24 posted on 06/08/2012 7:13:26 AM PDT by allmendream (Tea Party did not send GOP to D.C. to negotiate the terms of our surrender to socialism)
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To: allmendream

Great movie.


25 posted on 06/08/2012 7:14:14 AM PDT by dfwgator
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To: j_tull

http://www.theswellesleyreport.com/2012/06/wellesley-high-grads-told-youre-not-special/

The direct link so you can skip the Blaze.


26 posted on 06/08/2012 7:19:55 AM PDT by Excellence (9/11 was an act of faith.)
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To: Excellence

I wouldn’t have found it, but for The Blaze; I have no problem posting their link.


27 posted on 06/08/2012 7:24:38 AM PDT by j_tull (Massachusetts once lead the American Revolution. Under Mitt Romney, it lead the demise.)
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To: j_tull

Other than the part about selflessness vs. selfishness, I like the speech. The use of language was extraordinary. Perhaps I’ll have my college freshmen learn all of the words in the speech. That could be a great vocabulary building exercise.


28 posted on 06/08/2012 7:39:20 AM PDT by Poser (Cogito ergo Spam - I think, therefore I ham)
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To: j_tull

Excellent post, excellent speech. It’s about doing things for others and not for self. Seems Jesus tried to teach that...and they crucified him.


29 posted on 06/08/2012 7:47:42 AM PDT by MeneMeneTekelUpharsin (Freedom is the freedom to discipline yourself so others don't have to do it for you.)
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To: NativeSon

“It has also been used to justify the actions of our enemies.”

Only when misinterpreted, or when misused in discussion by atheists including Sam Harris, Christopher Hitchens and Richard Dawkins.

To know Jesus Christ is to understand and to revere the second most important Commandment.


30 posted on 06/08/2012 7:57:48 AM PDT by reasonisfaith (Why do you seek the living among the dead? (Luke 24:5))
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To: j_tull
Read the entire speech...look, Junior is a leftie like his father...he wants nobody to be special, except elitists such as himself...yes, today's children are too pampered and marinated in “self-esteem” BS...however, Junior just wants (most) everyone to be part of the unwashed masses. Not a good speech...one can uplift and challenge without over-praising the over-indulged.
31 posted on 06/08/2012 8:08:37 AM PDT by twister881
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To: j_tull

I’m wondering if the kids listening would interpret “You’re not special” as meaning “You’re not mentally handicapped.”

I have a special nephew.

Anyway, I was thinking about my kid. He was in no way special when he graduated (I wonder what the stats are in regards to U.S. graduation rates and how many graduates can read their diploma) but he is now. He joined the Corps.


32 posted on 06/08/2012 8:10:13 AM PDT by huldah1776
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To: reasonisfaith
I'm not familiar with the writings of Sam Harris, Christopher Hitchens or Richard Dawkins (probablybecause I do not follow Christianity or any eastern religion.

by enemies, I was referring to more of the head-choppy/human claymore variety.

I was taught that this life is it, there is no after life to speak of, no "happy hunting grounds". What we do with our lives, the path we follow, the way we live must be done in a particular way to reach balance, to remain in harmony/beauty, the term is 'hozro' but it doesn't lend itself to description.

33 posted on 06/08/2012 8:23:17 AM PDT by NativeSon ( Grease the floor with Crisco when I dance the Disco)
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To: NativeSon

But your cosmology is refuted by the fact that physical, concrete reality cannot produce—intrinsic to itself—a coherent explanation for its existence.


34 posted on 06/08/2012 8:48:03 AM PDT by reasonisfaith (Why do you seek the living among the dead? (Luke 24:5))
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To: j_tull; Slings and Arrows; GeronL; Chode

“happy days are here again....”


35 posted on 06/08/2012 9:11:50 AM PDT by Morgana (I only come here to see what happens next. It normally does.)
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To: reasonisfaith
But if Jesus Christ really did rise from the dead and Holy Scripture is true, then nothing we do on earth—actions, work, merit—has any primary meaning. Everything is defined by what we believe and earthly achievement is only secondary.

True, but for myself, if I follow His call and become half the man he calls me to be, I'd sure be more than twice the man I am now. If we could simply follow the Greatest Commandment, we'd be quite far along to making the green hills of earth a reflection of heaven itself.

36 posted on 06/08/2012 9:16:51 AM PDT by zeugma (Those of us who work for a living are outnumbered by those who vote for a living.)
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To: reasonisfaith
But your cosmology is refuted by the fact that physical, concrete reality cannot produce—intrinsic to itself—a coherent explanation for its existence.

an assumption. My beliefs are not based upon purely physical and/or observable reality. We were not always in this world or in this form.

Keeping with the thread topic, much of the current trends in society are incongruent with my beliefs.

37 posted on 06/08/2012 10:38:58 AM PDT by NativeSon ( Grease the floor with Crisco when I dance the Disco)
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To: j_tull

Neal Boortz Faux Commencement Speech:

http://www.boortz.com/news/news/local-education/commencement-speech/nCG7H/

Neal didn’t deliver this for a commencement but he did deliver it to a happy crowd at Kennesaw State University all to benefit Make A Wish Foundation May 20, 2009.


38 posted on 06/08/2012 11:46:58 AM PDT by rawhide
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To: Morgana
Deteriorata!


The following poem was not found in an old Baltimore church:

Introduction

You are a fluke
Of the universe.
You have no right to be here.....
Deteriorata! Deteriorata!

Go placidly
Amid the noise and waste.
And remember what comfort there may be
In owning a piece thereof.

Avoid quiet and passive persons
Unless you are in need of sleep.

Ro-tate your tires.

Speak glowingly of those greater than yourself
And heed well their advice,
Even though they be turkeys.

Know what to kiss.....and when!

Consider that two wrongs never make a right
But that THREE.........do.

Wherever possible, put people on hold.

Be comforted that in the face of all aridity and disillusionment
And despite the changing fortunes of time,
There is always a big future in computer main-te-nance.

Chorus

You are a fluke
Of the universe.
You have no right to be here.
And whether you can hear it or not
The universe is laughing behind your back.

Remember the Pueblo.

Strive at all times to bend, fold, spindle and mu-ti-late.

Know yourself.
If you need help, call the FBI.

Exercise caution in your daily affairs,
Especially with those persons closest to you.
That lemon on your left, for instance.

Be assured that a walk through the ocean of most souls
Would scarcely get your feet wet.

Fall not in love therefore;
It will stick to your face.

Gracefully surrender the things of youth:
The birds, clean air, tuna, Taiwan
And let not the sands of time
Get in your lunch.

Hire people with hooks.

For a good time call 606-4311;
Ask for "Ken."

Take heart amid the deepening gloom
That your dog is finally getting enough cheese.

And reflect that whatever misfortune may be your lot
It could only be worse in Milwaukee.

Chorus

You are a fluke
Of the universe.
You have no right to be here.
And whether you can hear it or not
The universe is laughing behind your back.

Therefore, make peace with your god
Whatever you conceive him to be---
Hairy thunderer, or cosmic muffin.

With all its hopes, dreams, promises and urban renewal
The world continues to deteriorate.

GIVE UP!

Reprise

You are a fluke
Of the universe.
You have no right to be here.
And whether you can hear it or not
The universe is laughing behind your back.


Performed by National Lampoon on "National Lampoon Radio Dinner," a 1972 recording by Blue Thumb Records. Lyrics by Tony Hendra.

39 posted on 06/08/2012 11:48:04 AM PDT by Slings and Arrows (You can't have Ingsoc without an Emmanuel Goldstein.)
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To: Slings and Arrows

LOL, I had forgotten about that. Now on YouTube:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ey6ugTmCYMk


40 posted on 06/08/2012 1:49:48 PM PDT by TexasRepublic (Socialism is the gospel of envy and the religion of thieves)
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To: Morgana
finally the truth is told...
41 posted on 06/08/2012 3:10:51 PM PDT by Chode (American Hedonist - *DTOM* -ww- NO Pity for the LAZY)
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To: TexasRepublic

Excellent - thanks!


42 posted on 06/08/2012 3:31:28 PM PDT by Slings and Arrows (You can't have Ingsoc without an Emmanuel Goldstein.)
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