Essay on Graduation Speech

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We live in a time in which everything is categorized by lists, whether it’s a dreaded school rubric or a David Letterman Top Ten List. As the millennium turns, we are deluged with lists: the best books of the millennium, the greatest songs of the millennium, the most influential people of the millennium. Personally, I may be sick of all these lists, but no graduating class of 2006 could let this occasion slip by without one more list: The Top Ten Things I Learned in High School. So listen along and see if your experience parallels mine. Here goes:

Lesson No. 10: It is 10 percent of the people who do 90 percent of the work. I’ve heard that, unfortunately, this is true in the real world, too. Whether we were organizing food drives or
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Talent, drive and strength sometimes are well-hidden in that little short girl with the curly hair who just needs a chance.

Lesson No. 7: Chemistry closets are not a good place to hide away from the world. They may be an easy solace in times of despair, but eventually you have to put down the chemicals and come out again.

Lesson No. 6: Now that my teachers no longer have the power to adjust my grades, I’d still like to point out that most teachers really do care. That’s why they’re here, not for the long summer vacations or the short paychecks. Whether you knew it or not, they had a great influence on each and every one of us. They deserve a thank-you, even the ones who actually made you work.

Lesson No. 5: After careful analysis of speech patterns, I have discovered that it is impossible … to … speak … more … slowly … than … our … principal. At least no one ever has any difficulty understanding him.

Lesson No. 4: It is not necessary to wake up at 3:30 a.m. to get a senior parking-lot permit. But if you do, you’ll be the first one in line.

Lesson No. 3: Grades aren’t everything. It took me a long time to learn this one. I thought achievement was measured by the first four letters of the alphabet — really, by the first letter alone. But what I’ve discovered is that there are many better ways to measure our worth as students and as people: how much we’ve really learned and retained, and what we do with that

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