High school teacher tells graduating students: you’re not special

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posted on Jun, 9 2012 @ 09:14 AM
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post removed because the user has no concept of manners

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posted on Jun, 9 2012 @ 09:28 AM
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i remember before i graduated all i heard was, "you think the world owes you something? they owe you nothing!" (in a hateful voice) and do you know what i got out of that kind of attitude? nothing. i just always thought they were A holes. different people work different ways. i need all the encouragement i can get. maybe some need to be cut down to size. anyway that has been over eight years ago and i am doing great. God, or whatever you would like to call him, has blessed me greatly, and i never expected anything from anyone. Try your best to do what's right, try to stay motivated and in your own right you will be successful. doesn't encouragement sound a little better than "you're not special."

i for one think that is a lie. everyone is special in there own way. we are all unique and young kids like this shouldn't allow themselves to think that they are not. just my two cents. i'm sure i will be crucified.



posted on Jun, 9 2012 @ 09:33 AM
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reply to post by yampa
 


Dear ATS Readers, Writers, Readers... and the ATS GOD, Yampa....

The mere mentioning of the psy-op Martin-Zimmerman case... and some dark humor on getting Black Panthers to add this teacher to the list,

NOW WAIT FOR IT....

I AM NOW A RACIST!!!!

JESUS CHRIST... errr I mean Yampa, can you please forgive me??????????

You have now reached the highest degree of trollism.. and I am amazed at your great insight and knowledge,

A misanthrope, fascist, and racist...are you sure, oh great one, that you havent missed one or two, perhaps three... ??

Its my writing style, you dont like it, tough nuts..lmao.. English professor Yampa..

You have completely diverted the topic of a teacher telling some HIGH SCHOOL graduates they are not SPECIAL, and in fact, they really arent special...

Into a kill the messenger... accused of a number of maladies.. and terribly serious issues... thread..

If you would like to engage brain instead of insults, and discuss the TOPIC of the thread then please add to the thread..

Otherwise.... take a hike..

Pravdaseeker... Shucks, posted my handle again.... make you mad? Angry again??? Now WHO has issues?? lmao



posted on Jun, 9 2012 @ 09:40 AM
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The speaker happens to be the son of my favorite biographer, David McCullough, and while the majority of what people are focusing on, including that of Unity_99 in their first response, is the use of calling the not-quite-adults in the audience "not special" or "not extraordinary".

This is evident because this is basically what all pundits, stories and talking heads are focusing on. But if one reads what he completely said, you would see that there were great words of wisdom connected to WHY they shouldn't be considered special or extraordinary.

He mentions that we have to earn those words and titles. We have to get up and make something for ourselves and not sit around thinking that everything will continue to be magically handed down so we don't get "hurt".

I honestly think the whole of the message was good and I am keeping most of them so I can pass them onto my own two sons. To me of course, my kids are special. But they are not growing up thinking that everything is rewarded regardless of effort or standing. Everything isn't always okay and outside of this home, you are just another kid among the thousands of other kids in the area.

The speaker was spot on.

Post Script:

Some positives from his speech that everyone is overlooking.


I also hope you’ve learned enough to recognize how little you know… how little you know now… at the moment… for today is just the beginning. It’s where you go from here that matters.



As you commence, then, and before you scatter to the winds, I urge you to do whatever you do for no reason other than you love it and believe in its importance. Don’t bother with work you don’t believe in any more than you would a spouse you’re not crazy about, lest you too find yourself on the wrong side of a Baltimore Orioles comparison.



Resist the easy comforts of complacency, the specious glitter of materialism, the narcotic paralysis of self-satisfaction. Be worthy of your advantages. And read… read all the time… read as a matter of principle, as a matter of self-respect. Read as a nourishing staple of life.


And this is why he was saying they were nothing special.....


The fulfilling life, the distinctive life, the relevant life, is an achievement, not something that will fall into your lap because you’re a nice person or mommy ordered it from the caterer. You’ll note the founding fathers took pains to secure your inalienable right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness–quite an active verb, “pursuit”–which leaves, I should think, little time for lying around watching parrots rollerskate on Youtube

edit on 9-6-2012 by ownbestenemy because: (no reason given)



posted on Jun, 9 2012 @ 09:40 AM
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Finally, a teacher telling it like it is.
Hopefully it will act as a form of reverse psychology, leading students to try and prove the teacher wrong, thus resulting in even more productive members of society.



posted on Jun, 9 2012 @ 09:42 AM
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lets assume the message is correct and beneficial for the kids, wouldn't this message be more effective if given on the way IN to high school ?

just a bitter rant from a frustrated mind



posted on Jun, 9 2012 @ 09:48 AM
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If people want to move away from focusing on the negative of what people are reporting about this story, I recommend you read ALL of his commencement speech.

The link is down because of "exceeded bandwidth" but here is the "cached" page. I implore all to read it and then make an informed decision not based on emotional discharge but intellectual and critical thought.

www.theswellesleyreport.com...&cd=1&hl=en&ct=clnk&gl=us" target="_blank" class="postlink">Wellesley High Commencement Speech

ETA -- The link looks that way because its cached. Sorry I will continue to try and find the speech at a site that is not exceeding bandwidth
edit on 9-6-2012 by ownbestenemy because: (no reason given)



posted on Jun, 9 2012 @ 09:48 AM
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Originally posted by pravdaseeker

I AM NOW A RACIST!!!!



I'm just saying like. Maybe you should try and attend a high school before you bag those who graduated from it..



posted on Jun, 9 2012 @ 09:57 AM
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Woah, someone told the little kiddies the truth. The world is an uncaring, harsh place......and no matter how you cry and bitch and moan, it will always be that way.

Too bad some people will never understand that.



Originally posted by White Locust
Obviously somebody missed the thread on the power of a single thought from earlier in the week. Although this guy has a valid point, a good parent and role model would not come out and ram this down someone's throat and put out their fire. So while you tell your kids they are not special, I am meanwhile teaching my kids how to be a soldier in this ultra competitive world we have. My own mom and stepdad beat the odds and moved my brother and i out from under welfare, food stamps, government housing, through doctorate and grad school level educations. It was no accident. It all started with a thought and a lot of willpower.

While some of you may be laughing at this story, some of the students probably did too. But i think it is terribly sad if even one student has his fire put out. One last thought, the OP, sorry you got picked on in HS. Sure sounds like you have some anger to deal with.


Your first paragraph was gold then you shot it all to hell with the second.

Your mom and stepdad worked their asses off to improve their families lives but they knew it was worth it. If that little speech was enough to damp someones fire then they don't have what it takes to make it in this world.....and to bad for that kid. To bad his/her parents didn't teach their child better.

Nothing is guaranteed in the world, you have to have skill, luck and some luck to make it.

edit on 9-6-2012 by MidnightTide because: (no reason given)
edit on 9-6-2012 by MidnightTide because: (no reason given)



posted on Jun, 9 2012 @ 10:00 AM
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Originally posted by The Sword
reply to post by PurpleChiten
 


Unless there's subtitles, watching it would be a moot point.

Do you have anything useful to add or are you going to continue to goad people?



Then at least read the transcript, it was posted as well.



posted on Jun, 9 2012 @ 10:02 AM
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For the love of GOD people, READ the transcript and at least know what was actually said before you go on and on and on about how horrible the guy was!!!! Sheeeesh.

www.bostonherald.com...



posted on Jun, 9 2012 @ 10:03 AM
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Originally posted by MidnightTide
Woah, someone told the little kiddies the truth. The world is an uncaring, harsh place......and no matter how you cry and bitch and moan, it will always be that way.

Too bad some people will never understand that.


Which people? What happens when they don't understand it?

Do you believe it requires graduation speakers telling it how it is for people to realise that life always has suffering and pain involved? Are you suggesting there are a group of people who somehow don't suffer because they were never properly told that people suffer?

What the hell is your post even supposed to mean? Looks like another one of those oppressive authoritarian rants to me.



posted on Jun, 9 2012 @ 10:04 AM
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Here, you don't have to click a link or anything, here's the transcript!!!


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... life’s great forward-looking ceremony. (And don’t 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 there’s the frequency of failure: statistics tell us half of you will get divorced. A winning percentage like that’ll get you last place in the American League East. The Baltimore Orioles do better than weddings.)

But this ceremony... commencement... a commencement works every time. From this day forward... truly... 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.



No, commencement is life’s great ceremonial beginning, with its own attendant and highly appropriate symbolism. Fitting, for example, for this auspicious rite of passage, is where we find ourselves this afternoon, the venue. Normally, I avoid cliches like the plague, wouldn’t touch them with a ten-foot pole, but here we are on a literal level playing field. That matters. That says something. And your ceremonial costume... shapeless, uniform, one-size-fits-all. Whether male or female, tall or short, scholar or slacker, spray-tanned prom queen or intergalactic X-Box assassin, each of you is dressed, you’ll notice, exactly the same. And your diploma... but for your name, exactly the same.

All of this is as it should be, because none of you is special.

You are not special. You are not exceptional.

Contrary to what your u9 soccer trophy suggests, your glowing seventh grade report card, despite every assurance of a certain corpulent purple dinosaur, that nice Mister Rogers and your batty Aunt Sylvia, no matter how often your maternal caped crusader has swooped in to save you... you’re nothing special.

Yes, you’ve been pampered, cosseted, doted upon, helmeted, bubble-wrapped. Yes, capable adults with other things to do have held you, kissed you, fed you, wiped your mouth, wiped your bottom, trained you, taught you, tutored you, coached you, listened to you, counseled you, encouraged you, consoled you and encouraged you again. You’ve been nudged, cajoled, wheedled and implored. You’ve been feted and fawned over and called sweetie pie. Yes, you have. And, certainly, we’ve been to your games, your plays, your recitals, your science fairs. Absolutely, smiles ignite when you walk into a room, and hundreds gasp with delight at your every tweet. Why, maybe you’ve even had your picture in the Townsman! And now you’ve conquered high school... and, indisputably, here we all have gathered for you, the pride and joy of this fine community, the first to emerge from that magnificent new building...

But do not get the idea you’re anything special. Because you’re not.

The empirical evidence is everywhere, numbers even an English teacher can’t ignore. Newton, Natick, Nee... I am allowed to say Needham, yes? ...that has to be two thousand high school graduates right there, give or take, and that’s just the neighborhood Ns. Across the country no fewer than 3.2 million seniors are graduating about now from more than 37,000 high schools. That’s 37,000 valedictorians... 37,000 class presidents... 92,000 harmonizing altos... 340,000 swaggering jocks... 2,185,967 pairs of Uggs. But why limit ourselves to high school? After all, you’re leaving it. So think about this: even if you’re one in a million, on a planet of 6.8 billion that means there are nearly 7,000 people just like you. Imagine standing somewhere over there on Washington Street on Marathon Monday and watching sixty-eight hundred yous go running by. And consider for a moment the bigger picture: your planet, I’ll remind you, is not the center of its solar system, your solar system is not the center of its galaxy, your galaxy is not the center of the universe.



posted on Jun, 9 2012 @ 10:04 AM
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reply to post by pravdaseeker
 


I listened to this guy's speech on the television news and my first gut reaction was, WOW! Finally someone who's going to say it like it should!

This is what we NEED to be teaching the youth, to be selfless.... yes, I do believe that each and every person carries their own purpose in this world but this generally takes many more years of life experiences before such purpose can or ever will manifest. So many kids blindly go through high school, barely recognizing the programming they've just endured and fell for. They've spent their high school career forming and developing clique's of who's cool AND who's NOT, forming divides and judgements (or attempting to rebel these programs)

They leave the confines of their clique's and familiar hallways to embark in another set of preconceived expectations of who and what they should be and what it means to be successful, but they generally lack a full understanding of what a mortgage, car payment, care insurance, water, sewer, garbage, electric, cable, medical, etc. etc. entails, along with maintaining a career, starting, establishing, and keeping a relationship, raising a family, and managing to find time to go on vacation once a year, and making sure the yard gets landscaped and new cabinets get placed in the kitchen.... if you got the extra money for that.

But that's the American dream, right?! Little do they realize, the system doesn't see them as special, merely another cow in the herd. But someday, hopefully they may understand what that crazy guy's speech really meant, and see that he was giving the best forewarned speech they could ever receive.



posted on Jun, 9 2012 @ 10:05 AM
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reply to post by PurpleChiten
 


Exactly!

Here is the ending of his speech:


The sweetest joys of life, then, come only with the recognition that you’re not special.

Because everyone is.

Congratulations. Good luck. Make for yourselves, please, for your sake and for ours, extraordinary lives.


I am sorry but this man gave some of the best advice I have heard in a long time.



posted on Jun, 9 2012 @ 10:06 AM
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continued

In fact, astrophysicists assure us the universe has no center; therefore, you cannot be it. Neither can Donald Trump... which someone should tell him... although that hair is quite a phenomenon.

“But, Dave,” you cry, “Walt Whitman tells me I’m my own version of perfection! Epictetus tells me I have the spark of Zeus!” And I don’t disagree. So that makes 6.8 billion examples of perfection, 6.8 billion sparks of Zeus. You see, if everyone is special, then no one is. If everyone gets a trophy, trophies become meaningless. 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. We have come to see them as the point — and we’re happy to compromise standards, or ignore reality, if we suspect that’s the quickest way, or only way, to have something to put on the mantelpiece, something to pose with, crow about, something with which to leverage ourselves into a better spot on the social totem pole. No longer is it how you play the game, no longer is it even whether you win or lose, or learn or grow, or enjoy yourself doing it... Now it’s “So what does this get me?” As a consequence, we cheapen worthy endeavors, and building a Guatemalan medical clinic becomes more about the application to Bowdoin than the well-being of Guatemalans. It’s an epidemic — and in its way, not even dear old Wellesley High is immune... one of the best of the 37,000 nationwide, Wellesley High School... where good is no longer good enough, where a B is the new C, and the midlevel curriculum is called Advanced College Placement. And I hope you caught me when I said “one of the best.” I said “one of the best” so we can feel better about ourselves, so we can bask in a little easy distinction, however vague and unverifiable, and count ourselves among the elite, whoever they might be, and enjoy a perceived leg up on the perceived competition. But the phrase defies logic. By definition there can be only one best. You’re it or you’re not.

If you’ve learned anything in your years here I hope it’s that education should be for, rather than material advantage, the exhilaration of learning. You’ve learned, too, I hope, as Sophocles assured us, that wisdom is the chief element of happiness. (Second is ice cream... just an fyi) I also hope you’ve learned enough to recognize how little you know... how little you know now... at the moment... for today is just the beginning. It’s where you go from here that matters.

As you commence, then, and before you scatter to the winds, I urge you to do whatever you do for no reason other than you love it and believe in its importance. Don’t bother with work you don’t believe in any more than you would a spouse you’re not crazy about, lest you too find yourself on the wrong side of a Baltimore Orioles comparison. Resist the easy comforts of complacency, the specious glitter of materialism, the narcotic paralysis of self-satisfaction. Be worthy of your advantages. And read... read all the time... read as a matter of principle, as a matter of self-respect. Read as a nourishing staple of life. Develop and protect a moral sensibility and demonstrate the character to apply it. Dream big. Work hard. Think for yourself. Love everything you love, everyone you love, with all your might. And do so, please, with a sense of urgency, for every tick of the clock subtracts from fewer and fewer; and as surely as there are commencements there are cessations, and you’ll be in no condition to enjoy the ceremony attendant to that eventuality no matter how delightful the afternoon.
The fulfilling life, the distinctive life, the relevant life, is an achievement, not something that will fall into your lap because you’re a nice person or mommy ordered it from the caterer. You’ll note the founding fathers took pains to secure your inalienable right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness–quite an active verb, “pursuit”–which leaves, I should think, little time for lying around watching parrots rollerskate on Youtube. The first President Roosevelt, the old rough rider, advocated the strenuous life. Mr. Thoreau wanted to drive life into a corner, to live deep and suck out all the marrow. The poet Mary Oliver tells us to row, row into the swirl and roil. Locally, someone... I forget who... from time to time encourages young scholars to carpe the heck out of the diem. The point is the same: get busy, have at it. Don’t wait for inspiration or passion to find you.



posted on Jun, 9 2012 @ 10:08 AM
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conclusion:

Get up, get out, explore, find it yourself, and grab hold with both hands. (Now, before you dash off and get your YOLO tattoo, let me point out the illogic of that trendy little expression–because you can and should live not merely once, but every day of your life. Rather than You Only Live Once, it should be You Live Only Once... but because YLOO doesn’t have the same ring, we shrug and decide it doesn’t matter.)

None of this day-seizing, though, this YLOOing, should be interpreted as license for self-indulgence. Like accolades ought to be, the fulfilled life is a consequence, a gratifying byproduct. It’s what happens when you’re thinking about more important things. Climb the mountain not to plant your flag, but to embrace the challenge, enjoy the air and behold the view. Climb it so you can see the world, not so the world can see you. Go to Paris to be in Paris, not to cross it off your list and congratulate yourself for being worldly. Exercise free will and creative, independent thought not for the satisfactions they will bring you, but for the good they will do others, the rest of the 6.8 billion–and those who will follow them. And then you too will discover the great and curious truth of the human experience is that selflessness is the best thing you can do for yourself. The sweetest joys of life, then, come only with the recognition that you’re not special.

Because everyone is.

Congratulations. Good luck. Make for yourselves, please, for your sake and for ours, extraordinary lives.


Now at least you can SEE what it is that you're railing against.



posted on Jun, 9 2012 @ 10:11 AM
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reply to post by solongandgoodnight
 


Hello solongand goodnight,

You wont get crucified by me.... cant speak for Yampa though..lol

To be honest with you, I didnt think the teachers speech was an original topic either, he just discussed it in his own words.

And it isnt the type of speech I would give to a graduating class of high school students..( I am sure some trolls who know it all would disagree lmao) .although it is a topic I would probably touch on... because SO many of my friends, and their kids have even mentioned it..

That, in fact, MANY of who called themselves friends will act like they dont know you..6 weeks after graduation It happened to ALL of my kids as well..my stepdaughter was devistated by three of her "friends" doing this to her..very shallow spoiled rich girls...drove BMW's etc...and all she had was a used Honda Civic..lol.

This is/will be probably the graduates first real good lesson on just WHO are REAL friends..those who were real friends will keep in touch, and even if they go to Yale, and your folks could only afford the local 2 yr college for now, these REAL FRIENDS will STILL keep in touch with you, and speak kindly to you..etc.

Many of my friends said the same thing.. 1 out of 5 is the random local average here for those who claimed to be friends, and those who really were friends..

So in imaginary graduation speech I would most certainly encourage effort, but also try to give them a sense of reality for those who ARE deeply hurt by those who act like that after graduation.. or that once they do get to their college of choice or affordability... as some have posted, they wont be so special on college campus..

Its a whole new game, or they wont be so special if they enter the work force.. the boss wont let them ruin a product, then let them ask to do it over..lol.

I just felt it was a very valid point he made, and do agree with many of his points..otherwise they are in for a rude awakening down the road as the world will not "cater" to them...

As you stated, try to do what is right, stay motivated, and in your own right you will be successful... Correct...well said, and hopefully well done..

LOL.. yes everyone is special in their own way... just NOT "THAT" SPECIAL!!! That "extra special" that cheerleaders, and jocks seem to think sometimes, for one example, or the NHS (National honor Society straight A types) student think they are. etc. etc...was one of them, and thought several co-NHS-ers were real butthead snobs.. in fact.. they were! lol

There are many levels of "SPECIALNESS" LMAO.... let some astute poster count the ways on levels of special-ness.

Special-ness may even transcend dimensions...

4th dimension special-ness... cool what a concept... umm, more dark humor by the way...

Pravdaseeker



posted on Jun, 9 2012 @ 10:11 AM
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Originally posted by yampa

Originally posted by MidnightTide
Woah, someone told the little kiddies the truth. The world is an uncaring, harsh place......and no matter how you cry and bitch and moan, it will always be that way.

Too bad some people will never understand that.


Which people? What happens when they don't understand it?

Do you believe it requires graduation speakers telling it how it is for people to realise that life always has suffering and pain involved? Are you suggesting there are a group of people who somehow don't suffer because they were never properly told that people suffer?

What the hell is your post even supposed to mean? Looks like another one of those oppressive authoritarian rants to me.


What happens when you don't understand it? When little John and Sally go out of school and expect everything to be handed to them and when it doesn't they crumple and expect the government (and you and me) to look after them.

These kids should feel lucky that someone told them the cold hard facts of life, most parents don't teach their children that anymore.



posted on Jun, 9 2012 @ 10:20 AM
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Originally posted by pravdaseeker

What you have are young adults with a huge over inflated sense of self importance, who dont know ANY real skills for the real world in general. Kids whose world is DESTROYED because so and so "UNFRIENDED" them at Facebook...(Hey it happened to my buddies daughter, just this week..lol)


And who's fault is this?

It's the fault of the system and society they are brought up in.

Children are born with a blank slate.

I think the teacher is an A number one a-hole since he is part of the decayed system, that allows for these things to happen.

What a damn hypocrite!
edit on 9-6-2012 by Realtruth because: (no reason given)





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