Essay PreviewMore ↓
But, upon reflection, I realized that I would not be doing justice to the school and the class I love if I spent my time up here attacking the parents and the school in that manner. I really owe the school and my peers a lot more than that. If it were not for my Ridgemont education, I probably would never have seen the system for what it is. Ridgemont taught me to despise that system by showing me a better way to do things; by showing me that education, success, and happiness do not have to come at the expense of others, that I could go further if I learned to help, and to be helped, by those around me, rather than compete against them. Ridgemont's emphasis on process versus product will stay with me for the rest of my life.
So when I sat down and tried to pull together what it was about Ridgemont that made it an interesting and wonderful place to attend school, I remembered that my friend Larry had once pointed out to me the distinction between the two types of people that you can associate with. There are those that care about your soul, and those that don't. I think that the Ridgemont education, for many in my class, was one that cared for our souls, and this is what distinguishes it from other schools, and this is why it is so unlike the real world in here.
How to Cite this Page
"Graduation Speech." 123HelpMe.com. 25 Sep 2018
Need Writing Help?
Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.Check your paper »
- As you inhale the aggregate odor of your senior class for the last time, I’m sure there are many burning questions racing through your minds: “Will I find my place in the world?” If you’re lucky. “Am I really going to graduate a virgin?” Yeah, probably. “Who is that incredibly handsome young man addressing us, and how long do we have the privilege of listening to him?” Howdy, Andrew Gonzales here, and hopefully not long; I realize that your robes are making you sweat, your thongs are making you uncomfortable, and my use of the words “virgin” and “thongs” is making your parents sweaty and uncomfortable.... [tags: Graduation Speech, Commencement Address]
891 words (2.5 pages)
- It is probably a mistake that I am standing here giving a speech for graduation. In fact it is probably a mistake that I am even graduating from this school at all -- believe me, just as most people in this class I have tested the limits of attendance, of sleeplessness, and of procrastination. At the beginning of my high schooling, I was even testing dropping out ... and if that wasn't a mistake, I don't know what was. After four years of Starr altering our minds, it seemed most fitting for me to spend my four minutes talking about mistakes.... [tags: Graduation Speech, Commencement Address]
694 words (2 pages)
- When I first began considering a graduation speech, my initial impulse was to spend this time discussing the advent of college preparation at Ridgemont, and the rise of empty values. I thought it would be a good chance to point out the fact that the quest for college admission has ground some of the best people I know into pulp, and that for the most part it seems as though both their parents, and to a large extent the school, seem afraid to confront that system for what it is. I wanted to speak to the changes happening here at Ridgemont, that the focus of the school is being shifted from educating for character to trying to improve the efficiency with which Ridgemont can heard students into... [tags: Graduation Speech, Commencement Address]
1220 words (3.5 pages)
- (Love you mom and dad in Romanian) A lot of people here today probably didn't understand what I just said because I am Romanian, but if you take a look at my parents face they know I love them. I am Romanian and my parents came to the U.S. and could have chosen any state but they chose Washington. For all the people who don't appreciate Washington as much as me let me lay down some vibes. After I went to Arizona and California and some other states I came to realize that everything here is so much greener.... [tags: Graduation Speech, Commencement Address]
1064 words (3 pages)
- Good evening parents, teachers, honored guests and soon to be graduates. My name is Ed Burrower, I'm the senior class president. A few weeks ago, I was told that I would be speaking at graduation. I was asked to put together a speech for tonight -- I've become experienced at speech writing over the past couple of weeks. The speech that you are hearing is the fourth one I've written, the recycle bin needs to be emptied at home and I need a new highlighter. Thank you, Mr. Mier, you get an "A+" for your help as my speech teacher but an "F" for saving trees.... [tags: Graduation Speech, Commencement Address]
825 words (2.4 pages)
- Ladies, gentlemen, parents, friends, family, staff, fellow students: Instead of taking up more time and reading my speech, it is available to you at http://www.olen’s_speech.com. Thank you. No, just kidding. But seriously folks... Today we are gathered here to celebrate our graduation from 12 long years of schooling. The education granted to us has been a privilege. One so graciously given to us by the citizens of our state, by our community, and by our parents. Today would not be possible without them.... [tags: Graduation Speech, Commencement Address]
1011 words (2.9 pages)
- For some of you graduates, this will be the last ceremony you might ever sit through. Most of us, though, and I regret that I am in this group, will sit through many more ceremonies -- ceremonies longer and more tedious that this or anything else you can imagine. If you think this is bad, try a college graduation. Think, that is, attend a wedding. And, if just for a moment you think that that is bad, just be thankful you have never attended or will attend a Bar Mitzvah. The only ceremony I think anybody would truly enjoy attending is a funeral.... [tags: Graduation Speech, Commencement Address]
1006 words (2.9 pages)
- Congratulations everyone, congratulations. If you're participating in this graduation ceremony, you've taken the next step toward your future goals and dreams. For those of you that just finished your transfer degrees, congratulations. To those of you that came back to school after a few years off to get a better education, congratulations. To those of you that came to get a certificate or learn IT or computer programming so you can get a better job, congratulations. Now that you're moving on toward whatever your next step is in life - a university, the job market, whatever - you are more prepared and ready for that next step now.... [tags: Graduation Speech, Commencement Address]
641 words (1.8 pages)
- To the County High School Class of 2012: As you sit in front of me, I know what most of you are thinking at the moment. There are those who are already pondering about what life without high school will be like; those who are debating whether or not to tell your crush tonight about your whispers of adoration you’ve secretly held for four years; some simply want to get out of that ungodly chair, get that thing that isn’t really a diploma but only tells you when to pick up the thing, and then be the first one on the green bus to the grad party — you know who you are.... [tags: Graduation Speech, Commencement Address]
887 words (2.5 pages)
- When they were trying to find someone to give this speech they first asked the most intelligent, smart person they could find. But she turned them down. So then they asked the most beautiful, lovely, attractive person they could find. She also turned them down. Next they asked the nicest, sweetest, kindest, most sincere person they could find. Then I decided it would be rude to turn them down three times in a row, so here I am. How many people here like tomato soup. Come on, raise your hand if you like tomato soup.... [tags: Graduation Speech, Commencement Address]
555 words (1.6 pages)
Much of it comes down to a question of faculty. Some of the finest individuals I have ever met are teachers at Ridgemont. Actually, a few of them used to be on the Ridgemont faculty. Unfortunately, they have since been fired, or have sought employment elsewhere, much to the detriment of the school. Nevertheless, what makes the faculty special at Ridgemont is their commitment to us students and our souls. I have watched teachers and students here enjoy close relationships that extend far beyond the classroom. In addition to this closeness though, the teachers at Ridgemont have a strong sense of passion for their respective subjects and profession. The teachers here are prepared to teach us to think in ways that most other teachers seem to think is above high schoolers. Since I have never attended another school, it is hard for me to compare, but I am constantly amazed at the depth to which Ridgemont students can express themselves or analyze something.
Which brings me to my classmates. I have seen some strange behaviour here, and I have also seen some truly moral, thoughtful, conscientious action, action performed by people with a profound sense of responsibility to something larger than themselves. Ridgemont is either filled with an uncanny number of these people, or it somehow manages to breed this sense of responsibility and commitment in many of its students. Perhaps it is both. Nevertheless, I count myself fortunate to have spent fourteen years surrounded by such exceptional, rare creativity and brilliance. People say that Ridgemont lets its students get away with too much, but now I look at my classmates, and I see people who have learned to use that freedom to make an impression, to do something more productive and interesting with their lives than to simply produce wealth. These are people who have learned how to think.
That is why it pains me to see so much negative pressure placed on students by what should be a life-enriching education. I have seen some of the most brilliant, creative, sensitive and profound individuals I have ever known reduced to nothing because they were not able to properly participate in the competitive academic process. That should not happen, here least of all. And while I watched this, I have talked to parents and listened to them ask me, "Why doesn't Ridgemont have SAT prep classes? Ridgemont is really doing my child a disservice because s/he is not scoring as high on the SATs as they could be." And a student the other day turned to me and actually said, "I feel like all the work I've been doing in school has been for nothing because my [SAT] scores were so low." If this is a feeling generated by standardized testing and the college admission process, then the parents and the school should be doing as much as they can to reject that system and reduce its negative effects on the students' self-esteem. Instead, the trend seems to be towards increasing Ridgemont's participation and acquiescence to this destructive process.
Ridgemont is, and could be, so much more that just a college prep school. The tension over this issue has become more and more obvious to me as I have spent my fourteen years here. The students come to this wonderful school, filled with wonderful, caring faculty and staff, and begin to learn about character. But along with these years of character education comes the realization that grades, prestige, society, competition, and money amount to nothing more than false idols.
The students have been more vocal than usual on these and other issues this year, making for some interesting times. And let me tell you, there is no time like the present here at Ridgemont. This school now stands at a major crossroads. The centennial is quickly approaching, and Ridgemont will soon have to chart a new course for its second century. A new permanent principal is being chosen, the educational council is being reevaluated and reconstituted. Now is the time to affirm Ridgemont's progressivism. It is what makes us great. The advent of the eighties and the change in the neighborhood has lead to a different clientele seeking out the education with different priorities and backgrounds. We must not allow those who with to make a $10,000 a year deposit towards their children's prestigious education to run the school solely as a college preparatory factory. If that is what people want, we should encourage them to enroll down the street. Ridgemont is not about preparing kids for college, it is about preparing them for life. And I think this class is testament to the fact that students educated thus are a hell of a lot more interesting and impressive than those who are forced to spend eighteen years drooling on themselves while being educated primarily for standardized testing.