Skip to comments.Wellesley High grads told: “You’re not special”
Posted on 06/08/2012 12:44:49 PM PDT by ransomnote
Wed been hearing good things over the weekend about Wellesley High School English teacher David McCullough, Jr.s faculty speech to the Class of 2012 last Friday. Here it is, in its entirety, courtesy of Mr. McCullough:
Dr. Wong, Dr. Keough, Mrs. Novogroski, Ms. Curran, members of the board of education, family and friends of the graduates, ladies and gentlemen of the Wellesley High School class of 2012, for the privilege of speaking to you this afternoon, I am honored and grateful. Thank you.
So here we are commencement lifes great forward-looking ceremony. (And dont say, What about weddings? Weddings are one-sided and insufficiently effective. Weddings are bride-centric pageantry. Other than conceding to a list of unreasonable demands, the groom just stands there. No stately, hey-everybody-look-at-me procession. No being given away. No identity-changing pronouncement. And can you imagine a television show dedicated to watching guys try on tuxedos? Their fathers sitting there misty-eyed with joy and disbelief, their brothers lurking in the corner muttering with envy. Left to men, weddings would be, after limits-testing procrastination, spontaneous, almost inadvertent during halftime on the way to the refrigerator. And then theres the frequency of failure: statistics tell us half of you will get divorced. A winning percentage like thatll get you last place in the American League East. The Baltimore Orioles do better than weddings.)
But this ceremony
a commencement works every time. From this day forward
in sickness and in health, through financial fiascos, through midlife crises and passably attractive sales reps at trade shows in Cincinnati, through diminishing tolerance for annoyingness, through every difference, irreconcilable and otherwise, you will stay forever graduated from high school, you and your diploma as one, til death do you part.
At my daughter’s HS in North Dakota, the running joke among the students was:
“You’re special: JUST LIKE EVERYONE ELSE!”
Probably the first time in their insulated lives they’ve been told that.
It brings to mind yesterday’s thread of complaints that some (and all) mediocre (but always somebody’s favorite) rock bands (a complete list was provided, and it included such distinguished “rockers” as Ella Fitzgerald and Lou Rawls) ) had not been inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
Filled to the brim with limousine liberals and their pampered progeny.
The word is getting out, heard it recently on a 5 PM talk show, that the most prevalent grade in colleges and university is now an A-, B+.
Translation: It’s the average, which traditionally means its a C., which is exactly what the good man was saying.
If everyone gets a trophy, it’s really not a trophy, it’s a party favor.
“You’re special” is the standard line of the personal growth and therapy gurus and people pay big bucks to hear it.
If I’m so special, then why do I find myself one step from the gutter?
I recall reading a rather persuasive analysis of the Columbine shooting which pointed to creating narcissism in students that the rest of the world won’t support as they get older. So, winning at ‘everything’ without trying begets that expectation in students and leaves them more than merely under-prepared for rejection in other quarters.
That analysis noted the supplanting of achievement, which earns self-esteem, with awards for non-existent achievement.
They should have had R. Lee Ermey tell them “Here you are all equally worthless.”
As I read the whole transcript of the address, I could picture a sea of upturned faces, pierced and/or tattoed, iPod buds sticking out of their ears, hands moving in their laps from texting their BFF’s, all expressing their individuality by being emo-goth together.
And then I remind myself...
They can vote.
I need a drink.
In order for their to be beauty there has to be ugly in order for their to be expensive their has to be cheap in order for their to be smart their has to be stupid in order for their to be informed their has to be ignorant ....and so it goes on and on ...
Pass the bottle this way please!