I promised more cogitation from graduation, and I think that I'm ready for that. But first, if you're so inclined, head on over to Tri-ing My Hardest! Carly's got another giveaway, and you could be the big winner this time!
Ok, I've been to my fair share of graduation ceremonies. I try to go every year, and I've got to say that our graduation this year was just wonderful. It went quite smoothly and the only hideousness was the wretch sitting behind us with her horrible air horn that she felt she needed to blow on a semi-regular basis. We were about to go all Teacher on her ass and tell her that she could pick it up after the ceremony was over. But we wussed out.
All of the addresses were fabulous (and free from air horn). What makes them fabulous is that I remember them! Seriously, how many graduation speeches do you actually remember? Our principal spoke about what a genuinely nice class this year's class was: how kind and thoughtful and selfless they are, and how they give us all hope for the future. He was 100% correct, and quite eloquent. Our salutatorian spoke about influences: how we are all influenced by those around us, and how we influence those around us. She encouraged us to be aware of this and be sure to make a good influence. Our valedictorian spoke about education: the importance of global education and our responsibility to be educated global citizens.
We have a special student speaker each year, and this year's speaker told us about his experiences moving here from his village in Africa. He made sure to thank all of the people that had helped him get where he is, and recognized that he will never be able to thank them enough. Instead, he told us all to "pay it forward" and to take a day to celebrate accomplishments, but to get back to work tomorrow to make the world a better place and help those who can't always help themselves. The senior class president spoke about (basically) making new friends and keeping the old, although she put it out there in the form of stamp collections.
I think that what I liked the most about all of the speeches is that they were all very un-self-centered. It seems that the tendency with graduation speeches is to talk about yourself and how you got to be where you are and how hard you've all worked and how great you all are. This wasn't like that at all. The general theme seemed to be along the lines of: "Nice job, this is just the beginning, though. Get out there and make a difference. Make the world a better place." I think that I particularly appreciated this because this kind of tends to be my credo. I'm not so sure how I'm doing with it sometimes, but I'm sure that time will tell. And, I know that there are some absolutely amazing students in the Class of 2010 that have the potential to be fabulously productive and positive influences to those around them.
So, go get 'em! I'll be your cheerleader, if you need one.