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Thread: Teacher under fire for graduation speech for telling grads "they're not all special"

  1. #46
    Elite Member witchcurlgirl's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sputnik View Post
    smarter-than-thou? trying to impress?
    how? by referencing zeus, epictetus, darwin, thoreau and walt whitman? who the hell doesn't know who they are by the time he/she graduates high school? do you think knowing that guatemala is a country is an impressive feat?

    exactly. and therein lies the problem.

    It was once taken for granted that high school students knew these things, but they've dumbed it down so much over the years in the name of fairness that so many don't. It's sad.
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  2. #47
    Elite Member Sarzy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by witchcurlgirl View Post
    exactly. and therein lies the problem.

    It was once taken for granted that high school students knew these things, but they've dumbed it down so much over the years in the name of fairness that so many don't. It's sad.
    I was gonna say, I can think of a few people who wouldn't have a clue who they were.

  3. #48
    Elite Member MohandasKGanja's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MontanaMama View Post
    Ah but it got attention and will be remembered. I thought it was great and absolutely see nothing wrong with humbling 18 year olds and reminding them that world existed before they were born, has had no discernible change since they've walked the earth and will (probably) continue long after they have departed. If they want to make an impression, do something. It's a great message.
    I have a lot of respect for your opinion, but totally disagree about the quality and effectiveness of his speech. For one, right-wing web sites are having a field day with this as being about bringing uppity, coddled students down to size. And the LA Times, which is a fairly liberal paper, has that interpretation, too.

    However, by McCullough's own admission, that wasn't the point of his speech in the first place.

    All he needed to do was cite the college costs awaiting them, the likelihood that they will have a tougher time gaining useful employement after college. That they will probably have to live with their parents for 5 years or more to pay off crippling student loans. That even the success of their own country is highly dependent on other countries around the world getting their financial acts in order and also working in concert to combat global climate change, etc. Those are very daunting and confidence-shaking things that their generation will have to solve - because it's not happening with the current generation.

  4. #49
    Elite Member witchcurlgirl's Avatar
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    who gives a shit what right wing sites are saying? this is not a political issue.
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  5. #50
    Elite Member MohandasKGanja's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by witchcurlgirl View Post
    who gives a shit what right wing sites are saying? this is not a political issue.
    If he had written the speech he said he intended to write, it wouldn't be a political football for right wing sites.

  6. #51
    Elite Member witchcurlgirl's Avatar
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    I think he's quite clear- you earn things, instead of just expecting them to come to you. If people aren't bright enough to understand it- right or left- that's on them.
    Last edited by witchcurlgirl; June 12th, 2012 at 12:47 PM.
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  7. #52
    Elite Member MohandasKGanja's Avatar
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    9 or 10 paragraphs in, he gets to his thesis. That's not clear, that's ponderous and shitty.

  8. #53
    Elite Member MontanaMama's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MohandasKGanja View Post
    I have a lot of respect for your opinion, but totally disagree about the quality and effectiveness of his speech. For one, right-wing web sites are having a field day with this as being about bringing uppity, coddled students down to size. And the LA Times, which is a fairly liberal paper, has that interpretation, too.

    However, by McCullough's own admission, that wasn't the point of his speech in the first place.

    All he needed to do was cite the college costs awaiting them, the likelihood that they will have a tougher time gaining useful employement after college. That they will probably have to live with their parents for 5 years or more to pay off crippling student loans. That even the success of their own country is highly dependent on other countries around the world getting their financial acts in order and also working in concert to combat global climate change, etc. Those are very daunting and confidence-shaking things that their generation will have to solve - because it's not happening with the current generation.
    And would have been like almost every other speech given to any graduating class. I don't think there is anything to defend in his speech at all (but I guess I've said that already). Yes, I know that the right wing universe's mantra is "American Exceptionalism" despite any and all rational thought or evidence to the opposite and we are, in fact, only exceptional in our blind largely uneducated/uninformed hubris.

    There are about 5 generations of recent American high school graduates that need to be brought down to size - starting with the Baby Boomers. My hat's off to this guy, whatever his intent was.
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  9. #54
    Elite Member witchcurlgirl's Avatar
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    I like how he deliberately contradicted his premise in the beginning, an excellent tool to see who could get through it to the point at the end. I've had numerous good teachers do that over the years when I was in school.
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  10. #55
    Elite Member DeadDwarf's Avatar
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    I so agree with the posters who talked about how graduating high school should be a basic achievement and there shouldn't be big expectations regarding gifts or praise. I will go to a high school graduation and party, but the "graduation" that bugs me the most is 8th grade (from jr. high). It's like really, I have to go to your ceremony, congratulate you, praise you to high heaven, go to your party and bring you gifts because you finished 8th grade??? That blows my mind that it's such a big deal. Geez. My husband thinks I am grumpy about that, but who shouldn't be able to finish 8th grade?!

    /grinch
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  11. #56
    Elite Member hustle4alivin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DeadDwarf View Post
    I so agree with the posters who talked about how graduating high school should be a basic achievement and there shouldn't be big expectations regarding gifts or praise. I will go to a high school graduation and party, but the "graduation" that bugs me the most is 8th grade (from jr. high). It's like really, I have to go to your ceremony, congratulate you, praise you to high heaven, go to your party and bring you gifts because you finished 8th grade??? That blows my mind that it's such a big deal. Geez. My husband thinks I am grumpy about that, but who shouldn't be able to finish 8th grade?!

    /grinch
    5th Grade "Graduations" annoy me even more for the same reason.

  12. #57
    Elite Member DeChayz's Avatar
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    Not to mention Kindergarten graduations
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  13. #58
    Elite Member hustle4alivin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DeChayz View Post
    Not to mention Kindergarten graduations
    OMG...I'll never forget my cousins Pre-school "graduation." That was a mess. The director of the day-care center had the ceremony held at the biggest hotel in the city, made all the parents order caps and gowns for their kids, had someone introduce her as the mistress of ceremonies, and had a state senator speak for the occasion.

    The ceremony was damn near two hours long and the adults were antsy and miserable, so you know how the kids were crying, screaming, whining for their parents, etc. I had a "WTF" expression on my face the whole time. Oh, and people were pissed off because they thought they were going to be served a meal after the ceremony but all they had were some cookies and punch.

    Oh yeah, the day care director had to close the center a year later due to misappropriating funds. Womp-womp.
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  14. #59
    Elite Member DeadDwarf's Avatar
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    Damn, I forgot about preschool, kindergarten and 5th grade "graduations" too. I am rolling my eyes! Lol

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    Yeah, preschool graduations.....wtf. And when I was out of 5th grade, it was like oh good, school's over we can go outside and play. Nobody would have wanted to sit through a ceremony or cared about it, we just wanted OUT.

    I did, though, have 8th grade graduation, probably because it was a grades 1-8 school, but from talking to other people, I guess at the time that kind of thing was pretty rare.
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