Delivering a commencement address is a great responsibility; or so I thought until I cast my mind back to my own graduation. The commencement speaker that day was the distinguished British philosopher Baroness Mary Warnock. Reflecting on her speech has helped me enormously in writing this one, because it turns out that I can’t remember a single word she said. This liberating discovery enables me to proceed without any fear that I might inadvertently influence you to abandon promising careers in business, the law or politics for the giddy delights of becoming a gay wizard.
You see? If all you remember in years to come is the ‘gay wizard’ joke, I’ve come out ahead of Baroness Mary Warnock. Achievable goals: the first step to self improvement.
Actually, I have wracked my mind and heart for what I ought to say to you today. I have asked myself what I wish I had known at my own graduation, and what important lessons I have learned in the 21 years that have expired between that day and this.
I have come up with two answers. On this wonderful day when we are gathered together to celebrate your academic success, I have decided to talk to you about the benefits of failure. And as you stand on the threshold of what is sometimes called ‘real life’, I want to extol the crucial importance of imagination.
These may seem quixotic or paradoxical choices, but please bear with me.
Looking back at the 21-year-old that I was at graduation, is a slightly uncomfortable experience for the
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On February 11th, 2016 I attended the Houston Independent School District’s (HISD) school board meeting. I received a first-hand experience of how educational decisions are made and I also witnessed all the intricacies of the process. An article entitled Understanding Your School Board states that “school boards are entrusted by the public to translate the needs of students into policies, plans, and goals that will be supported by the community” (www.tasb.org). In other words, the board and its members are responsible for making and enforcing essential decisions for the school district. They are ultimately a strong determining factor for their students’ academic success.
The last writing that I had the pleasure of enjoying to write was my valedictorian speech for high school graduation. What made me enjoy this writing was the freedom to be able to express myself with no boundaries. Often times when writing a paper for a class, it is required that the paper stays focused on a single topic, and does not allow for any branching out and creative thinking. While writing my speech, I kept in mind all the things that I wanted to say to my peers and school faculty before walking off of campus. I was not just writing a paper that I would have to present in front of my English class or give a presentation on. The speech would have to captivate a large audience, tell a story, have a sense of humor, and yet be serious
“Just read the title: Indiana, 1952. Mary Talish, kidnapping, ritual torture, execution. She appears as a ghost on the 19th of every month and stops nearby cars with just the driver who won't survive this. Damn, somebody should just tell that girl to rest in peace.” -Dr. L██████
Memorial Day is a federal holiday in the United States for remembering the people who died while serving in the country's armed forces. The holiday, which is observed every year on the last Monday of May, originated as Decoration Day after the American Civil War in 1868, when the Grand Army of the Republic, an organization of Union veterans founded in Decatur, Illinois, established it as a time for the nation to decorate the graves of the war dead with flowers. By the 20th century, competing Union and Confederate holiday traditions, celebrated on different days, had merged, and Memorial Day eventually extended to honor all Americans who died while in the military service. It typically marks the start of the summer vacation season, while Labor Day marks its end.
Ladies and gentlemen, faculty, family, and my fellow classmates of the class of 2018, today is nothing short of auspicious and I’m ecstatic to share this milestone with all of you. Before I begin, I would like to thank those teachers who chose this modest speech among the outstanding collection of speeches submitted by my simply amazing peers. Although it is ironic that 99% of this class is older than me and I have been chosen to address the class and impart wisdom and reflection, I find it to be a great honor to deliver the T.C. Abbey Oration, and I promise I do not take it lightly. I have carefully chosen every word and phrase with an understanding of the responsibility bestowed on me.
I hope all is well. I would like to thank you for the card and money it is greatly appreciated. I had a wonderful Easter and I hope you did as well.
Memorials some people like them and some don’t but i'm here to tell you that memorials aren’t what they seem and that we should keep them. You wouldn’t want someone to remove your grandma's headstone would you (assuming that she had died). Memorials are so valuable, these are examples and reasons why they are so meaningful.
Hi Stephanie! Thank you for the words of encouragement! I was an ABH (Aviation Boatswains Mate Handler) but I always made my way to the office and worked as a Yeoman. I may have worked in my rate for two years. I didn’t mind working in the office because being on deck was a beast. My husband is an ABF (Aviation Fuel Handler). My husband has been in the Navy for 22 years and he says he will retire next year. Good luck and yes we will have a huge grin on our face when we
A lot of questions go through my mind throughout the day. I get up in the morning and ask myself what I should wear today. I ask myself how hard I really studied for my third period stats test. Today is different than all the others because today, a different question is being asked. How I’ve changed over the four years I’ve spent in high school? From the beginning to the end of high school I’ve changed in ways where I’ve learned that no one has the right to judge others, mistakes are the best guides to success, and prioritizing is key.
That’s why I am speaking to you tonight, I want you to ground yourself in this moment… I want you to remember your achievements and your failures thus far. While neither define you, in in the end both will mold who you come to be. Be present tonight because, as with those evenings before it, it too will slip away. Too much of our lives are spent anticipating what is next, and not cherishing what is now. Class of 2016, this is your time… savor your hard work and be proud of yourselves because soon this ceremony will recede into the shadows of memory.
Remember during your time of being a jump off you tried to display to people it was me not poor Tiffany, but you are you and no matter how hard you try to hide it, you will display who you are.
Graduates I want you to know that today your parents, family members and teachers are very proud of you. They know that your future is filled with success and that today you have only reached the tip of your potential and prosperity. Take a good look behind you. They’re all smiling and taking pictures so that they can forever record this special day. They’re all just as excited and joyous as you, but for different reasons. The teachers are happy and relieved because they don’t have to spend another year with you wild children who always complain about homework or projects. But on the other hand the parents are elated due to the fact that you got through 10 years of school. But parents hold your horses you still
As the end of the night approached us, I couldn’t stop thinking about how many mixed emotions I had about starting a whole new chapter in my life. I couldn't wait to go to college, meet all new people, get a degree so that I could start my career path, but I knew that meant I had to say goodbye to my two best friends, who were moving several hours away from me. This was one of the hardest things I had ever had to do in my life. We all cried a little, and then made promises to keep in touch, and then we were off into the real world! I was very happy to be at this point in my life, but I was scared deep down inside.
"Few will have the greatness to bend history itself; but each of us can work to change a small portion of events, and in the total of all those acts will be written the history of this generation."
Standing in the hallway, alone with nothing but my memories, I do not feel alone. The halls may be empty as it is long after bell for dismissal, but memories flash all around me. The silence is filled with laughter from the recent lightsaber battle and the beating of the drums from the senior parade of instruments. The aroma of fresh baked cookies causes my mouth to water as the memory of baking cookies with National Honor Society flashes by. The white poster brings back the snowy day of sophomore semi-formal with the scent of sweaty teens packed in like sardines trying to watch an old lady dance with a fellow student filling my nostrils. My feet ache with remembrance of sprinting from gym class to