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Reviews => Speech Reviews => Started by: Sargesatt on 06/08-19:18

Title: You Are NOT Special
Post by: Sargesatt on 06/08-19:18
A wonderful high school commencement speech: The Swellesley Report (http://www.theswellesleyreport.com/2012/06/wellesley-high-grads-told-youre-not-special/)


Dr. Wong, Dr. Keough, Mrs. Novogroski, Ms. Curran, members of the board of education, family and friends of the graduates, ladies and gentlemen of the Wellesley High School class of 2012, for the privilege of speaking to you this afternoon, I am honored and grateful.  Thank you.

            So here we are… commencement… life’s great forward-looking ceremony.  (And don’t say, “What about weddings?”  Weddings are one-sided and insufficiently effective.  Weddings are bride-centric pageantry.  Other than conceding to a list of unreasonable demands, the groom just stands there.  No stately, hey-everybody-look-at-me procession.  No being given away.  No identity-changing pronouncement.  And can you imagine a television show dedicated to watching guys try on tuxedos?  Their fathers sitting there misty-eyed with joy and disbelief, their brothers lurking in the corner muttering with envy.  Left to men, weddings would be, after limits-testing procrastination, spontaneous, almost inadvertent… during halftime… on the way to the refrigerator.  And then there’s the frequency of failure: statistics tell us half of you will get divorced.  A winning percentage like that’ll get you last place in the American League East.  The Baltimore Orioles do better than weddings.)

            But this ceremony… commencement… a commencement works every time.  From this day forward… truly… in sickness and in health, through financial fiascos, through midlife crises and passably attractive sales reps at trade shows in Cincinnati, through diminishing tolerance for annoyingness, through every difference, irreconcilable and otherwise, you will stay forever graduated from high school, you and your diploma as one, ‘til death do you part.

            No, commencement is life’s great ceremonial beginning, with its own attendant and highly appropriate symbolism.  Fitting, for example, for this auspicious rite of passage, is where we find ourselves this afternoon, the venue.  Normally, I avoid clichés like the plague, wouldn’t touch them with a ten-foot pole, but here we are on a literal level playing field.  That matters.  That says something.  And your ceremonial costume… shapeless, uniform, one-size-fits-all.  Whether male or female, tall or short, scholar or slacker, spray-tanned prom queen or intergalactic X-Box assassin, each of you is dressed, you’ll notice, exactly the same.  And your diploma… but for your name, exactly the same.

            All of this is as it should be, because none of you is special.

            You are not special.  You are not exceptional.

            Contrary to what your u9 soccer trophy suggests, your glowing seventh grade report card, despite every assurance of a certain corpulent purple dinosaur, that nice Mister Rogers and your batty Aunt Sylvia, no matter how often your maternal caped crusader has swooped in to save you… you’re nothing special.

            Yes, you’ve been pampered, cosseted, doted upon, helmeted, bubble-wrapped.  Yes, capable adults with other things to do have held you, kissed you, fed you, wiped your mouth, wiped your bottom, trained you, taught you, tutored you, coached you, listened to you, counseled you, encouraged you, consoled you and encouraged you again.  You’ve been nudged, cajoled, wheedled and implored.  You’ve been feted and fawned over and called sweetie pie.  Yes, you have.  And, certainly, we’ve been to your games, your plays, your recitals, your science fairs.  Absolutely, smiles ignite when you walk into a room, and hundreds gasp with delight at your every tweet.  Why, maybe you’ve even had your picture in the Townsman!  [Editor’s upgrade: Or The Swellesley Report!] And now you’ve conquered high school… and, indisputably, here we all have gathered for you, the pride and joy of this fine community, the first to emerge from that magnificent new building…

            But do not get the idea you’re anything special.  Because you’re not.

            The empirical evidence is everywhere, numbers even an English teacher can’t ignore.  Newton, Natick, Nee… I am allowed to say Needham, yes? …that has to be two thousand high school graduates right there, give or take, and that’s just the neighborhood Ns.  Across the country no fewer than 3.2 million seniors are graduating about now from more than 37,000 high schools.  That’s 37,000 valedictorians… 37,000 class presidents… 92,000 harmonizing altos… 340,000 swaggering jocks… 2,185,967 pairs of Uggs.  But why limit ourselves to high school?  After all, you’re leaving it.  So think about this: even if you’re one in a million, on a planet of 6.8 billion that means there are nearly 7,000 people just like you.  Imagine standing somewhere over there on Washington Street on Marathon Monday and watching sixty-eight hundred yous go running by.  And consider for a moment the bigger picture: your planet, I’ll remind you, is not the center of its solar system, your solar system is not the center of its galaxy, your galaxy is not the center of the universe.  In fact, astrophysicists assure us the universe has no center; therefore, you cannot be it.  Neither can Donald Trump… which someone should tell him… although that hair is quite a phenomenon.

            “But, Dave,” you cry, “Walt Whitman tells me I’m my own version of perfection!  Epictetus tells me I have the spark of Zeus!”  And I don’t disagree.  So that makes 6.8 billion examples of perfection, 6.8 billion sparks of Zeus.  You see, if everyone is special, then no one is.  If everyone gets a trophy, trophies become meaningless.  In our unspoken but not so subtle Darwinian competition with one another–which springs, I think, from our fear of our own insignificance, a subset of our dread of mortality — we have of late, we Americans, to our detriment, come to love accolades more than genuine achievement.  We have come to see them as the point — and we’re happy to compromise standards, or ignore reality, if we suspect that’s the quickest way, or only way, to have something to put on the mantelpiece, something to pose with, crow about, something with which to leverage ourselves into a better spot on the social totem pole.  No longer is it how you play the game, no longer is it even whether you win or lose, or learn or grow, or enjoy yourself doing it…  Now it’s “So what does this get me?”  As a consequence, we cheapen worthy endeavors, and building a Guatemalan medical clinic becomes more about the application to Bowdoin than the well-being of Guatemalans.  It’s an epidemic — and in its way, not even dear old Wellesley High is immune… one of the best of the 37,000 nationwide, Wellesley High School… where good is no longer good enough, where a B is the new C, and the midlevel curriculum is called Advanced College Placement.  And I hope you caught me when I said “one of the best.”  I said “one of the best” so we can feel better about ourselves, so we can bask in a little easy distinction, however vague and unverifiable, and count ourselves among the elite, whoever they might be, and enjoy a perceived leg up on the perceived competition.  But the phrase defies logic.  By definition there can be only one best.  You’re it or you’re not.

            If you’ve learned anything in your years here I hope it’s that education should be for, rather than material advantage, the exhilaration of learning.  You’ve learned, too, I hope, as Sophocles assured us, that wisdom is the chief element of happiness.  (Second is ice cream…  just an fyi)  I also hope you’ve learned enough to recognize how little you know… how little you know now… at the moment… for today is just the beginning.  It’s where you go from here that matters.

            As you commence, then, and before you scatter to the winds, I urge you to do whatever you do for no reason other than you love it and believe in its importance.  Don’t bother with work you don’t believe in any more than you would a spouse you’re not crazy about, lest you too find yourself on the wrong side of a Baltimore Orioles comparison.  Resist the easy comforts of complacency, the specious glitter of materialism, the narcotic paralysis of self-satisfaction.  Be worthy of your advantages.  And read… read all the time… read as a matter of principle, as a matter of self-respect.  Read as a nourishing staple of life.  Develop and protect a moral sensibility and demonstrate the character to apply it.  Dream big.  Work hard.  Think for yourself.  Love everything you love, everyone you love, with all your might.  And do so, please, with a sense of urgency, for every tick of the clock subtracts from fewer and fewer; and as surely as there are commencements there are cessations, and you’ll be in no condition to enjoy the ceremony attendant to that eventuality no matter how delightful the afternoon.

            The fulfilling life, the distinctive life, the relevant life, is an achievement, not something that will fall into your lap because you’re a nice person or mommy ordered it from the caterer.  You’ll note the founding fathers took pains to secure your inalienable right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness–quite an active verb, “pursuit”–which leaves, I should think, little time for lying around watching parrots rollerskate on Youtube.  The first President Roosevelt, the old rough rider, advocated the strenuous life.  Mr. Thoreau wanted to drive life into a corner, to live deep and suck out all the marrow.  The poet Mary Oliver tells us to row, row into the swirl and roil.  Locally, someone… I forget who… from time to time encourages young scholars to carpe the heck out of the diem.  The point is the same: get busy, have at it.  Don’t wait for inspiration or passion to find you.  Get up, get out, explore, find it yourself, and grab hold with both hands.  (Now, before you dash off and get your YOLO tattoo, let me point out the illogic of that trendy little expression–because you can and should live not merely once, but every day of your life.  Rather than You Only Live Once, it should be You Live Only Once… but because YLOO doesn’t have the same ring, we shrug and decide it doesn’t matter.)

            None of this day-seizing, though, this YLOOing, should be interpreted as license for self-indulgence.  Like accolades ought to be, the fulfilled life is a consequence, a gratifying byproduct.  It’s what happens when you’re thinking about more important things.  Climb the mountain not to plant your flag, but to embrace the challenge, enjoy the air and behold the view.  Climb it so you can see the world, not so the world can see you.  Go to Paris to be in Paris, not to cross it off your list and congratulate yourself for being worldly.  Exercise free will and creative, independent thought not for the satisfactions they will bring you, but for the good they will do others, the rest of the 6.8 billion–and those who will follow them.  And then you too will discover the great and curious truth of the human experience is that selflessness is the best thing you can do for yourself.  The sweetest joys of life, then, come only with the recognition that you’re not special.

            Because everyone is.

            Congratulations.  Good luck.  Make for yourselves, please, for your sake and for ours, extraordinary lives.

                                                                                    David McCullough
Title: Re: You Are NOT Special
Post by: Sargesatt on 06/08-19:20
http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=_lfxYhtf8o4
Title: Re: You Are NOT Special
Post by: superpsycho on 06/08-19:27
Interesting and amusing speech.
Title: Re: You Are NOT Special
Post by: Sargesatt on 06/08-19:31
Interesting and amusing speech.

I'm making my daughter listen to it.
Title: Re: You Are NOT Special
Post by: MissRis on 06/08-20:31
Everything except the first paragraph is great. I take major issue with the first paragraph, but agree with the rest. My generation has been coddled too much.
Title: Re: You Are NOT Special
Post by: 123456789 on 06/08-21:45
What's wrong with first paragraph? Aren't you supposed to make acknowledgments before you give your speech??????
Title: Re: You Are NOT Special
Post by: superpsycho on 06/08-21:47
What's wrong with first paragraph? Aren't you supposed to make acknowledgments before you give your speech??????
i was going to ask that same question but I'd never get away with it, I could never out run her.
Title: Re: You Are NOT Special
Post by: 123456789 on 06/08-22:02
Hahah.

The speech is well written and a lot of fun, but it is cliche at this point to rip apart the new generation for being soft and coddled, and some of the things he implies are downright condescending.

Calling adults 'competent', and claiming they have coddled the new generation is a means of separating the shortcomings of our generation from the last. Liv

People are people. Yes, younger people like crappy music and are obsessed with youtube, but then again so are plenty of adults. Barring that, I know plenty of people from the last generation (let's say 40s and 50s now) who are far from competent and are no less shallow than their children. They are not profound, or passionate,or even wise and have never sought the low road. Being special or living a full life has nothing to do with generations.

The speech would have been more heartfelt had the speaker included himself in the speech by saying 'WE are not special', cut out the generational crap, and simply focused on the core of the philosophy, which I might add is still pointless considering you are either special or you or not, and if you're not, you're going to interpret the speech in exactly the same way as most everyone else.

I can't stand when people say things either directly or indirectly aimed at boosting their own egos, especially at the detriment of others.

Btw, I loved the second paragraph.
Title: Re: You Are NOT Special
Post by: Sargesatt on 06/08-22:08
Everything except the first paragraph is great. I take major issue with the first paragraph, but agree with the rest. My generation has been coddled too much.

What about the first paragraph is an issue?  It's a tongue-in-cheek treatise, setting up the rest of the speech.
Title: Re: You Are NOT Special
Post by: Sargesatt on 06/08-22:13
Hahah.

The speech is well written and a lot of fun, but it is cliche at this point to rip apart the new generation for being soft and coddled, and some of the things he implies are downright condescending.

Calling adults 'competent', and claiming they have coddled the new generation is a means of separating the shortcomings of our generation from the last. Liv

People are people. Yes, younger people like crappy music and are obsessed with youtube, but then again so are plenty of adults. Barring that, I know plenty of people from the last generation (let's say 40s and 50s now) who are far from competent and are no less shallow than their children. They are not profound, or passionate,or even wise and have never sought the low road. Being special or living a full life has nothing to do with generations.

The speech would have been more heartfelt had the speaker included himself in the speech by saying 'WE are not special', cut out the generational crap, and simply focused on the core of the philosophy, which I might add is still pointless considering you are either special or you or not, and if you're not, you're going to interpret the speech in exactly the same way as most everyone else.

I can't stand when people say things either directly or indirectly aimed at boosting their own egos, especially at the detriment of others.

Btw, I loved the second paragraph.

The point of the speech is right on.  When you remove the concept of being special, then nothing is special.

We are not teaching our children properly, and it is showing.

As for egos, if one does not have an ego to boost, they wouldn't be writing, speaking, creating art, etc.
Title: Re: You Are NOT Special
Post by: 123456789 on 06/09-00:39
The message itself is good, but the tone of the speech is condescending and self serving, which makes me feel like the speaker is immature. How I to respect the words of an immature speaker?

Something a little more humble and a little less pointed  would go a long way to making this message more digestible. As is, this speech does exactly what every other act of authority in high school made me want to do, say '**** you' and rebel.

But that's high school for you I guess, belittling you to the very last day.

And of course teaching could be improved (starting with stronger emphasis on mathematics and physical sciences, less on imposing authority and making students jump through hoops with grades), but let's not imply that the generations before us were better taught than we are.
Title: Re: You Are NOT Special
Post by: MissRis on 06/09-08:09
Quote
What's wrong with first paragraph? Aren't you supposed to make acknowledgments before you give your speech??????

Sorry, I guess it's technically the second paragraph. I kind of ignored the address.

i was going to ask that same question but I'd never get away with it, I could never out run her.

hahaha.

Quote
(And don’t say, “What about weddings?”  Weddings are one-sided and insufficiently effective.  Weddings are bride-centric pageantry.  Other than conceding to a list of unreasonable demands, the groom just stands there.  No stately, hey-everybody-look-at-me procession.  No being given away.  No identity-changing pronouncement.  And can you imagine a television show dedicated to watching guys try on tuxedos?  Their fathers sitting there misty-eyed with joy and disbelief, their brothers lurking in the corner muttering with envy.  Left to men, weddings would be, after limits-testing procrastination, spontaneous, almost inadvertent… during halftime… on the way to the refrigerator.  And then there’s the frequency of failure: statistics tell us half of you will get divorced.  A winning percentage like that’ll get you last place in the American League East.  The Baltimore Orioles do better than weddings.)

This paragraph just seems like a vitriolic rant by a spurned man. It's not that I don't disagree about the pageantry of weddings and the semi-hysterical tizzy it causes some women, but it's such a broad brushstroke of women and weddings.

In July I will be married for two years and I was neither given away, I am not a piece of property, nor did I change my last name.

If I had made "unreasonable demands" of my groom, he would've told me to go and marry myself and left me. He was actively engaged in all areas of planning that he cared about -- food, tuxedos, guest lists, music, invitations, centre pieces and colour schemes. The only thing he left entirely up to me was picking my flowers. And before you suggest that my husband is unique, I have two male cousins who are getting married this summer and they are both equally active in the planning.

I am more than practical about everything -- including my wedding dress. I considered renting it because they cost so much money, but the rental fee was about as much as I found my wedding dress for. However, I never wanted to spend an amount on my dress that could be a good down payment on a house (see the television show "Say Yes to the Dress." I've seen women spend between $10,000 to $20,000 on a DRESS they will wear ONCE!) Oh and my bridesmaid and I made our bouquets to save money.

All this practicality, you would barely think that my background is Italian, but it was a big fat Italian wedding with tons of food and an open bar.
Title: Re: You Are NOT Special
Post by: MissRis on 06/09-08:15
Oops somewhere in here I was going to mention that this second paragraph is such a gendered stereotype of men: watching sports and being lazy. Not to mention its a huge gender stereotype for women, but I figured that went without saying.

I didn't even think I'd ever get married until I met my husband. And contrary to popular opinion, women don't all sit there pining for love and anxiously watching their biological clock ticking away. Nor do little girls sit there dreaming about dresses shaped like pastries wearing princess tiaras. PLEASE
Title: Re: You Are NOT Special
Post by: superpsycho on 06/09-08:23
I was involved in my wedding to the extent my wife wanted me involved. But this shows a distinct difference between how many men and women see things. I read it as tongue in cheek, no real complaint just making fun at the concept to some degree, exaggerating everything out of proportion. But to many women it's something not to be joked about.

Our wedding had a couple unusual things. It was held in the bird sanctuary in Griffith park. Yes, the one with the Observatory. The pillow carried by the ring bearer was used in her mother's wedding, where I was the ring bearer.
Title: Re: You Are NOT Special
Post by: Sargesatt on 06/09-08:48
The speech was satire, pure and simple.  The reaction of the crowd showed they took it as satire.  The tongue-in-cheek elements indicated satire.

One can find condescension in almost any writing, especially if one is looking for it.

No one can "make" you want to rebel.

"Belittling"?  See satire.  When my teachers told me I wasn't up to snuff, I didn't feel belittled, I felt challenged.  Go through Infantry training, then come talk to me about belittling.

I challenge anyone to teach young children without imposing authority.  It was tried, and failed on a massive scale.  If one attempts to learn without accepting the authority of the teacher, learning will NOT take place.

What I see is that the speech is dead on, that many of today's children are spoiled beyond belief, egocentric, and feel entitled. 

Title: Re: You Are NOT Special
Post by: Former Member on 06/09-09:20
Everyone from my mother to my guidance counselor, to 2/3s of the women I dated and most of my employers have criticized my core values.  That's almost five decades.

Off my back like requests for BHO's birth certificate.

Mom was a drunk, my guidance counselor couldn't find real work, most of the woman I dated provided me relief when leaving, and the reason I worked for these business owners was that my specialty was staving off bankruptcy.

It's not so hard to take criticism from failures.

Yeah, the article might have had strains in satire.  But often the truth is said in jest.  Take free advice for what it's worth.  It's easy to 'boo' from the sidelines, quite another thing to take a blind-side hit.
Title: Re: You Are NOT Special
Post by: Sargesatt on 06/09-10:31
Humor is much better when you can see an element of truth in yourself.  My wife asked a LOT of advice from me for our wedding, and accepted NONE of it, other than the suggestion that she marry me.  I am a Type A personality.  I have led men in the Army, in education, in Transportation, and in School Safety.  Yet I let her boss me around for the wedding because it WAS for her.  The only important thing to me were the vows.  23 years later, our relationship is still like that.

Today, I wanted to write.  She came up and said, "Why don't you come with Carole and I to go shopping?"  I looked her right in the eye and said, "Hey!  Alright!"  So guess where we're going today?  Shopping.  Well, I get to play Secret Service, and she'll throw some food down my neck for lunch.

Marriage used to be about a man claiming a woman as his own.  It's the same now, but in a different context. 

My wife is not my property, she's my boss.  ;)
Title: Re: You Are NOT Special
Post by: superpsycho on 06/09-13:54
If you haven't had the task of putting together a speech and then have to stand in front of a large audience of your peers to give that speech, think twice before you criticize what you haven't experienced. The fact he kept people entertained and got across a point is an accomplishment.

If you ever have to do the same you'll find you'll be glad to do half as well and finish without making a fool out of yourself. Public speaking isn't easy, even when you do it regularly. Being called upon unexpectedly to give something as noteworthy as a commencement address would have most of you shitting your pants and you'd be lucky to get more then three words out without long pauses.
Title: Re: You Are NOT Special
Post by: 123456789 on 06/09-15:23
The speech was satire, pure and simple.  The reaction of the crowd showed they took it as satire.  The tongue-in-cheek elements indicated satire.

One can find condescension in almost any writing, especially if one is looking for it.

No one can "make" you want to rebel.

"Belittling"?  See satire.  When my teachers told me I wasn't up to snuff, I didn't feel belittled, I felt challenged.  Go through Infantry training, then come talk to me about belittling.

I challenge anyone to teach young children without imposing authority.  It was tried, and failed on a massive scale.  If one attempts to learn without accepting the authority of the teacher, learning will NOT take place.

What I see is that the speech is dead on, that many of today's children are spoiled beyond belief, egocentric, and feel entitled.

Authority is good, but only when the people having it are deserving of it.

In high school you couldn't get me to care about anything. Three months later in university I was a (near) perfect student. Coincidence?  Good authority figures don't need to demand authority, they earn it. When my teacher is a professor with a PhD and could care less whether I attend class or not, because I'd be the one missing out, not them, I want to go. It's that simple.

Show people respect and that you are worthy of respect and they will respect you.

Telling me "I" am not special, when you could have said "We" are not special will cause me to resent you. It's simple psychology.
Title: Re: You Are NOT Special
Post by: 123456789 on 06/09-15:28
If you haven't had the task of putting together a speech and then have to stand in front of a large audience of your peers to give that speech, think twice before you criticize what you haven't experienced. The fact he kept people entertained and got across a point is an accomplishment.

If you ever have to do the same you'll find you'll be glad to do half as well and finish without making a fool out of yourself. Public speaking isn't easy, even when you do it regularly. Being called upon unexpectedly to give something as noteworthy as a commencement address would have most of you shitting your pants and you'd be lucky to get more then three words out without long pauses.

Like I said, I thought the speech was well written and highly entertaining, and I make no claim at being able to do better. But once I left the room I'd forget all about it. That's just the truth.
Title: Re: You Are NOT Special
Post by: superpsycho on 06/09-15:40
Like I said, I thought the speech was well written and highly entertaining, and I make no claim at being able to do better. But once I left the room I'd forget all about it. That's just the truth.
No one is saying you can't comment or criticize. The point is to keep it all in perspective. You got a guy under extreme pressure trying to put together this speech. The odds are he's not going to realize the significance between "I" and "we" under the circumstances. At other times he may or may not, it is an unknown.

To judge someone by the use of one word, on one occasion, would seem less then wise. I'm sure you'd ask more of others if the situation was reversed. Pointing out the issue considering the context would be expected and proper. But one mistake should not make us who we are or should it define us.
Title: Re: You Are NOT Special
Post by: 123456789 on 06/09-16:20
You're right.

My criticisms of his speech comes close to nitpicking. In the context you mention, it's a great speech. It challenges the listener and catches their ear. It would be difficult to do much better under the conditions you mention.
Title: Re: You Are NOT Special
Post by: superpsycho on 06/09-16:26
Everyone is the same, yet every individual also is unique and special. Most people fail to discover what they are really good at. In some cases it is a matter of circumstances, other times it's simply a lack of desire on the part of the individual themselves. Some can be motivated when shown what they are missing. Many will not be motivated unless their lives depend on it. A few not even then.

In the end it's up to each person to grasp the opportunities available to them and make the most of them. 
Title: Re: You Are NOT Special
Post by: superpsycho on 06/09-16:29
You're right.

My criticisms of his speech comes close to nitpicking. In the context you mention, it's a great speech. It challenges the listener and catches their ear. It would be difficult to do much better under the conditions you mention.
I'd say it was a decent piece. I simply accept it for what it is. You are still free to nitpick anytime you chose. It's all a learning experience. At some point if we're lucky, that's all we'll have left. I look forward to that time with anticipation. 
Title: Re: You Are NOT Special
Post by: Former Member on 06/09-18:14
If you think about this, the idea is thousands of years old.

Remember the line about the "mote in your neighbor'e eye and the beam in yours"?

I look at criticism only on certain elements, and specifics.  I am not a good ballet dancer, high board diver, soft shoe dancer or safari guide.  I am a very good sharpener.

Technically, you could truthfully say like my edges, but my rendition of Swan Lake left you wanting.

Is that really criticism?
Title: Re: You Are NOT Special
Post by: superpsycho on 06/09-18:32
If you think about this, the idea is thousands of years old.

Remember the line about the "mote in your neighbor'e eye and the beam in yours"?

I look at criticism only on certain elements, and specifics.  I am not a good ballet dancer, high board diver, soft shoe dancer or safari guide.  I am a very good sharpener.

Technically, you could truthfully say like my edges, but my rendition of Swan Lake left you wanting.

Is that really criticism?
I would honestly say from such a rendition it would stink to high heaven, if I was judging you as a professional dancer. If I was judging you as a sharpener I would want to know why in hell were you destroying Swan Lake.
Title: Re: You Are NOT Special
Post by: Sargesatt on 06/09-18:34
Authority is good, but only when the people having it are deserving of it.

In high school you couldn't get me to care about anything. Three months later in university I was a (near) perfect student. Coincidence?  Good authority figures don't need to demand authority, they earn it. When my teacher is a professor with a PhD and could care less whether I attend class or not, because I'd be the one missing out, not them, I want to go. It's that simple.

Show people respect and that you are worthy of respect and they will respect you.

Telling me "I" am not special, when you could have said "We" are not special will cause me to resent you. It's simple psychology.

Who decides who is worthy of the authority?  Certainly not the students.  What I see here is exactly what the speech is about.  Students are not special just by being a student.  A student who came into my classroom and attempted that line of logic would be doomed to fail.  Being a teacher is a position of authority.  There are some teachers who fail in that position, and they, as people, are not worthy of respect based upon their actions.

Success in high school does not necessarily lead to success in college, and vice versa.  There are numerous examples of students who struggled in high school who later became successful in college.  That's nothing special.  It's a different kind of schooling, and people are supposed to mature as they get older.

I always show people respect.  Is it so difficult to ask students for the same courtesy?

If a child comes into my classroom and disrespects me, does holding the student accountable equate to disrespect?  No.

Going into a classroom with a chip on your shoulder will get you nowhere fast.  THAT is simple psychology.
Title: Re: You Are NOT Special
Post by: superpsycho on 06/09-18:55
Most the teachers I had as a kid and in high school were fairly decent. Some were obviously better then others.  There were a few who shouldn't have been a teacher. There are some professors I've known who were decent professors but I'd never trust in the field they taught if I actually had to work with them. Many of the teachers my kids had were decent, but I was surprised to see so many that should not be teaching. They had zero empathy and were more robots then teachers.

I'm sure it varies location to location based on who is doing the hiring and how lazy the were. Laziness seems to be more prevalent today then when I was a kid. They are more concerned about making things easy for themselves, rather then doing the job right. There are exceptions. There are great teachers whose jobs are made much harder because of the lazy ones.   
Title: Re: You Are NOT Special
Post by: Sargesatt on 06/09-19:10
Most the teachers I had as a kid and in high school were fairly decent. Some were obviously better then others.  There were a few who shouldn't have been a teacher. There are some professors I've known who were decent professors but I'd never trust in the field they taught if I actually had to work with them. Many of the teachers my kids had were decent, but I was surprised to see so many that should not be teaching. They had zero empathy and were more robots then teachers.

I'm sure it varies location to location based on who is doing the hiring and how lazy the were. Laziness seems to be more prevalent today then when I was a kid. They are more concerned about making things easy for themselves, rather then doing the job right. There are exceptions. There are great teachers whose jobs are made much harder because of the lazy ones.

+10  As an educator, I have seen what you are talking about, first-hand.
Title: Re: You Are NOT Special
Post by: 123456789 on 06/09-19:11
Who decides who is worthy of the authority?  Certainly not the students.  What I see here is exactly what the speech is about.  Students are not special just by being a student.  A student who came into my classroom and attempted that line of logic would be doomed to fail.  Being a teacher is a position of authority.  There are some teachers who fail in that position, and they, as people, are not worthy of respect based upon their actions.

Success in high school does not necessarily lead to success in college, and vice versa.  There are numerous examples of students who struggled in high school who later became successful in college.  That's nothing special.  It's a different kind of schooling, and people are supposed to mature as they get older.

I always show people respect.  Is it so difficult to ask students for the same courtesy?

If a child comes into my classroom and disrespects me, does holding the student accountable equate to disrespect?  No.

Going into a classroom with a chip on your shoulder will get you nowhere fast.  THAT is simple psychology.

In my high school the cafeteria was closed off room with no windows. You weren't allowed to leave the building to get your own lunch. The lunch they served was usually frozen bread sticks. Single moms serving as chaperones would monitor the cafeteria and write down our names for the most trivial nonsense.

If I wanted to go to the bathroom during class I had to request a pass and then show it to one of those monitors in the hall.

Tell me how this is respect.
Title: Re: You Are NOT Special
Post by: superpsycho on 06/09-19:18
In my high school the cafeteria was closed off room with no windows. You weren't allowed to leave the building to get your own lunch. The lunch they served was usually frozen bread sticks. Single moms serving as chaperones would monitor the cafeteria and write down our names for the most trivial nonsense.

If I wanted to go to the bathroom during class I had to request a pass and then show it to one of those monitors in the hall.

Tell me how this is respect.
The quality of many schools in California has suffered over the years. It was one of the reason I accepted the position out here years ago. Things were better here for a while but also went south not long after. That's why one set grand kids are home schooled. The others are in a small community in Delaware and their mother is a member of the faculty at their school.   
Title: Re: You Are NOT Special
Post by: 123456789 on 06/09-19:24
Actually this high school was in New York 40 minutes north of the city.

It's always nice to hear when someone offers to teach for the right reasons.

And home school is definitely the way to go.
Title: Re: You Are NOT Special
Post by: Sargesatt on 06/09-19:28
In my high school the cafeteria was closed off room with no windows. You weren't allowed to leave the building to get your own lunch. The lunch they served was usually frozen bread sticks. Single moms serving as chaperones would monitor the cafeteria and write down our names for the most trivial nonsense.

If I wanted to go to the bathroom during class I had to request a pass and then show it to one of those monitors in the hall.

Tell me how this is respect.

Again, this is exactly what the speech describes.

There were rules.  As a child, you felt they were inconsequential, and therefore, lacked respect.  Since you didn't respect them, they were not worthy of being followed, or 'trivial nonsense', as you called it.

What did you expect, to be able to sit in on the meetings where the cafeteria rules were developed?  How the staffing of the cafeteria would be accomplished?

Some of my best relationships with students came from those who felt like you.  Every one of them were wrong, and many of them took a long time to learn that the system, and the world, doesn't revolve around them.  When they learned that, they shed a LOT of stress, and became more productive in the world.

I seriously doubt you had "frozen breadsticks" everyday.  But let's just say you are correct.  So what?  You couldn't bring food from home?  There are people in the world who kill others for the chance to eat anything, including frozen breadsticks.

There is such a thing as being happy with what you have, and making do with what you've got.  Or you can piss and moan about it, accomplishing nothing but making yourself, and those around you, miserable.

Perhaps, to make it feel like you were respected, they should have let you, and everyone else, come and go as they please.  Nothing is more safe than a school where students go wherever they want, whenever they want, right?

Maybe if Mike Dorn's school had better supervision, he wouldn't have been so horribly assaulted.  More than once.  The perspective you need is that there are rules in place for a reason.  Sure there are a few stupid ones, but people have put their heads together to develop rules and procedures that try to make the school safe, and orderly.  When they enforce the rules, or adhere to procedures, they don't do so to piss off individual students.  They do it because it's the best thing to do in the circumstance.

Title: Re: You Are NOT Special
Post by: superpsycho on 06/09-19:31
Actually this high school was in New York 40 minutes north of the city.

It's always nice to hear when someone offers to teach for the right reasons.

And home school is definitely the way to go.
New York isn't a bad place to visit if you want to visit but I hate driving there. When they double park three deep because the ticket is cheaper then the parking, and the odds are they won't get towed, then you know the people just don't give a shit.
Title: Re: You Are NOT Special
Post by: 123456789 on 06/09-19:40
Again, this is exactly what the speech describes.

There were rules.  As a child, you felt they were inconsequential, and therefore, lacked respect.  Since you didn't respect them, they were not worthy of being followed, or 'trivial nonsense', as you called it.

What did you expect, to be able to sit in on the meetings where the cafeteria rules were developed?  How the staffing of the cafeteria would be accomplished?

Some of my best relationships with students came from those who felt like you.  Every one of them were wrong, and many of them took a long time to learn that the system, and the world, doesn't revolve around them.  When they learned that, they shed a LOT of stress, and became more productive in the world.

I seriously doubt you had "frozen breadsticks" everyday.  But let's just say you are correct.  So what?  You couldn't bring food from home?  There are people in the world who kill others for the chance to eat anything, including frozen breadsticks.

There is such a thing as being happy with what you have, and making do with what you've got.  Or you can piss and moan about it, accomplishing nothing but making yourself, and those around you, miserable.

Perhaps, to make it feel like you were respected, they should have let you, and everyone else, come and go as they please.  Nothing is more safe than a school where students go wherever they want, whenever they want, right?

Maybe if Mike Dorn's school had better supervision, he wouldn't have been so horribly assaulted.  More than once.  The perspective you need is that there are rules in place for a reason.  Sure there are a few stupid ones, but people have put their heads together to develop rules and procedures that try to make the school safe, and orderly.  When they enforce the rules, or adhere to procedures, they don't do so to piss off individual students.  They do it because it's the best thing to do in the circumstance.

My girlfriend is from eastern Europe. Despite their problems, which are many, their high school systems are just better. People there just know math and science better than we do, in general. And how about this? They could go get lunch wherever and whenever they pleased.

Back to America, I've taught laboratory classes several years ago. I tested my own beliefs. I was never condescending to my students, never chastised them for being late or missing an assignment, never got upset if someone interrupted me. I respected them as individuals, and acted as a mentor rather than a boss. They loved me for it and we had a great year.

That is how I would like to see schools run, with love and trust. When someone severely abuses that system, treat with that person on an individual basis. As things are now, I cannot help but think that public school systems are geared toward creating  robots who follow authority with question, and not toward actually educating them.

You would imply my reactions to my high school say that I think the world revolves around me. How so? I merely feel that highschool revolves around its students. My complaints were for all students.

Moreso, when you impose too many rules on a person, they never understand what the purpose of those rules are for the first place. Once you take away those rules, guess what happens? If you don't believe me, I will give you an example from my high school in my next post. For now, all I will say is I'd rather see HS systems motivate students rather than coerce them.
Title: Re: You Are NOT Special
Post by: superpsycho on 06/09-19:43
It's unfortunate that there are some places that are so dangerous that schools have become almost like jails. It's done for many reasons, good and bad, but rarely out of disrespect for the students. Often it's a response to events that make the faculty feel they've lost control of things and are disparately trying to get ahead of the problem.

Most people are just trying to do the best they can and spend a good part of their lives feeling overwhelmed. Often they loose sight of what others may be dealing with. It's to bad the faculty never considered keeping the kids informed as to what was going on. Often adults feel kids can't deal with it, don't know how to go about explaining it or so wrapped up in their own problems, it never crosses their mind. 
Title: Re: You Are NOT Special
Post by: Sargesatt on 06/09-20:17
My girlfriend is from eastern Europe. Despite their problems, which are many, their high school systems are just better. People there just know math and science better than we do, in general. And how about this? They could go get lunch wherever and whenever they pleased.

You are going to throw up a European educational system, and expect me to accept this as evidence?  European schools do not teach everyone.  European schools suffer from rampant disrespect, and they have their share of school violence.   

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Back to America, I've taught laboratory classes several years ago. I tested my own beliefs. I was never condescending to my students, never chastised them for being late or missing an assignment, never got upset if someone interrupted me. I respected them as individuals, and acted as a mentor rather than a boss. They loved me for it and we had a great year.

Good for you.  I've taught for 23 years.  Don't confuse demanding respect for the position as condescension.  Teachers are not there to be loved by students.  That love develops out of respect for pushing them, for holding them accountable, and for providing consequences when they are needed.

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That is how I would like to see schools run, with love and trust. When someone severely abuses that system, treat with that person on an individual basis. As things are now, I cannot help but think that public school systems are geared toward creating  robots who follow authority with question, and not toward actually educating them.

Then get out and visit some real public school systems.  There are more of them than there are of the failures.

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You would imply my reactions to my high school say that I think the world revolves around me. How so? I merely feel that highschool revolves around its students. My complaints were for all students.

You don't speak for all students.  You can only speak for yourself.  And I haven't implied anything, I have directly stated, at least twice, that your words exemplify what the speech spoke of.  Stating that high school revolves around students is a direct statement from you that you agree.

Quote
Moreso, when you impose too many rules on a person, they never understand what the purpose of those rules are for the first place. Once you take away those rules, guess what happens? If you don't believe me, I will give you an example from my high school in my next post. For now, all I will say is I'd rather see HS systems motivate students rather than coerce them.

Understanding for the purpose of the rules comes with experience, and maturity.
Title: Re: You Are NOT Special
Post by: superpsycho on 06/09-21:33
The purpose of any school is to serve as a place of learning for their students. Unfortunately, many have become places to warehouse students instead. This is not a blanket situation but one that is specific to location, faculty, school board or parents.

Often the need to protect students can cause some to lose sight of their primary function. The foundation of a good education is a sense of individual responsibility, an understanding of how to look at things objectively and the ability to make rational choices. None of which is being taught formally or even considered except in the most general terms.

When the schools become so structured that kids have no ability to practice decision making, then a major key of learning itself will be absent. It doesn't matter how good the intentions might be nor does it matter where some one wants to put the blame, what matters is fixing the problem in a way that allows kids to learn, how to learn.

At the same time you should never teach kids that they are special in a way that grants them some entitlement from others. That somehow they're owed something from others just because they exist or they have the right to dictate how others should conduct themselves. Unfortunately, many people in position of authority are doing just that.

Title: Re: You Are NOT Special
Post by: 123456789 on 06/09-22:47
Here's two points you made earlier I wanted to refute but forgot to.

1." Perhaps, to make it feel like you were respected, they should have let you, and everyone else, come and go as they please.  Nothing is more safe than a school where students go wherever they want, whenever they want, right?"

If a student is old enough to get behind the wheel of a vehicle, put his or her own life and the lives of everyone else on the road at risk, he or she is old enough to go to the bathroom when they need to, and eat lunch without being monitored.

"Success in high school does not necessarily lead to success in college, and vice versa.  There are numerous examples of students who struggled in high school who later became successful in college.  That's nothing special.  It's a different kind of schooling, and people are supposed to mature as they get older."

The fact that students who do poorly in high school do well in college and vice versa only proves my point. Since college comes after high school, and an HS diploma means nothing nowadays, success in college is more important of the two.

Now, if a student succeeds in college but not so much in high school, one can only wonder if he would have succeeded more in HS had the environment been the same as in college.

If a student succeeds in HS but not in college, then obviously HS failed to prepare that student.

You accuse HS students of being taught to pursue superficial goals. That very concept goes hand in hand with stern authority. HS is all about "jump through this hoop" to get an meaningless letter, and don't do that or it will go on your permanent record.

College (at least more so) inspires critical thinking and lets students take on responsibility for themselves. How can you call this simply a "different way of schooling"? It's a superior way of schooling.

The reason some kids drown in college is because they were never prepared to handle themselves without authority on their backsides all day long. The choices are their own and because of HS, they don't know how to make them. The kids in college, who can make those choices, presumably, suffered needlessly in HS where they were not allowed to act freely.

You say people are more mature in college than in HS. Really? Have you been to college? First off, freshman in college are only several months away from still being in HS. BTW, I started excelling in college literally the first day I started. I was not any wiser than I was in high school, I just appreciate being respected as a human being.

Second off, many college kids, especially american college kids, are extremely immature. They party and can't get to class on time.  Why? Because they're so damn excited that they can eat lunch wherever, whenever they want, and don't need a pass to go to the bathroom, and can walk around (gasp) outdoors in between classes, that they go bonkers. Plus, since they were never given a chance to handle freedom, they are unable to do so now when they finally have it.
Title: Re: You Are NOT Special
Post by: Sargesatt on 06/10-00:20
Here's two points you made earlier I wanted to refute but forgot to.

1." Perhaps, to make it feel like you were respected, they should have let you, and everyone else, come and go as they please.  Nothing is more safe than a school where students go wherever they want, whenever they want, right?"

If a student is old enough to get behind the wheel of a vehicle, put his or her own life and the lives of everyone else on the road at risk, he or she is old enough to go to the bathroom when they need to, and eat lunch without being monitored.

Not every child who gets behind the wheel of a car handles that responsibility well.  You falsely assert that teenagers can't go to the bathroom when they need to, even after describing them doing so, only after getting a pass.  Having been in numerous high school cafeterias, I know teenagers are NOT ready to eat lunch without supervision, certainly not when the school is held liable for their safety and well-being.

Quote
"Success in high school does not necessarily lead to success in college, and vice versa.  There are numerous examples of students who struggled in high school who later became successful in college.  That's nothing special.  It's a different kind of schooling, and people are supposed to mature as they get older."

The fact that students who do poorly in high school do well in college and vice versa only proves my point. Since college comes after high school, and an HS diploma means nothing nowadays, success in college is more important of the two.

Now, if a student succeeds in college but not so much in high school, one can only wonder if he would have succeeded more in HS had the environment been the same as in college.

If a student succeeds in HS but not in college, then obviously HS failed to prepare that student.

You accuse HS students of being taught to pursue superficial goals. That very concept goes hand in hand with stern authority. HS is all about "jump through this hoop" to get an meaningless letter, and don't do that or it will go on your permanent record.

College (at least more so) inspires critical thinking and lets students take on responsibility for themselves. How can you call this simply a "different way of schooling"? It's a superior way of schooling.

Clearly some work is needed on your logic.  You first attempt to argue apples with oranges.   "Since college comes after high school, and an HS diploma means nothing nowadays, success in college is more important of the two."  The first phrase is a fact not in dispute, the second is an opinion used as a false premise, and the third was a point not argued.

"Now, if a student succeeds in college but not so much in high school, one can only wonder if he would have succeeded more in HS had the environment been the same as in college."  First, there has to be some level of success in high school to even get into college.  The wondering described in the second statement is a non sequitur.  College and high school aren't the same type, or style, of education.  One is mandated, the other is voluntary.  If you attempted to set this up as a science experiment in an attempt to equate the two, you would be laughed out of the lab.

"If a student succeeds in HS but not in college, then obviously HS failed to prepare that student."  A patently false assertion.  Prepared the student for what?  College?  Life?  Your attempt to place a college student, or graduate, on a pedestal above all others is condescending, and arrogance.  A student who succeeds in HS has succeeded in fulfilling a goal, and has numerous opportunities to succeed in life without college.  I know, I've seen them do it.

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The reason some kids drown in college is because they were never prepared to handle themselves without authority on their backsides all day long. The choices are their own and because of HS, they don't know how to make them. The kids in college, who can make those choices, presumably, suffered needlessly in HS where they were not allowed to act freely.

Another patently false statement.  This is an oversimplification of a complex issue.

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You say people are more mature in college than in HS. Really? Have you been to college? First off, freshman in college are only several months away from still being in HS. BTW, I started excelling in college literally the first day I started. I was not any wiser than I was in high school, I just appreciate being respected as a human being.

Have I been to college?  Bachelor of Science in Math Education from Indiana University.  Master of Science in School Administration from Indiana University/Purdue University in Indianapolis.  I'm currently in a Master's Certificate in Homeland Security from IUPUI.

Unless you have some evidence to refute my assertion that college students are physiologically, mentally and emotionally more mature than high school students, then my point stands.  And I fully reject your assertion that high school students are not respected as human beings.  Other than your emotive descriptions of your experiences, you have provided no evidence that such is the case.

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Second off, many college kids, especially american college kids, are extremely immature. They party and can't get to class on time.  Why? Because they're so damn excited that they can eat lunch wherever, whenever they want, and don't need a pass to go to the bathroom, and can walk around (gasp) outdoors in between classes, that they go bonkers. Plus, since they were never given a chance to handle freedom, they are unable to do so now when they finally have it.

American college kids score better in college than their European counterparts, despite having what you consider to be inferior preparation, and immaturity.  Let's not forget that many Europeans come here for college education.  Perhaps they do so because what they can get here is better than what they can get at home?

Well, since this is a writing forum, and not a debate forum, I'll let you have the last word as I head off to write my book and several other projects.  I urge you to continue to educate yourself, and to have a more open mind than I'm seeing here.

It will happen.  I've been there myself.
Title: Re: You Are NOT Special
Post by: 123456789 on 06/10-00:42
My post was admittedly arrogant and condescending and so is yours. Let's leave it at that. If I offended anyone, please accept my apologies. I mean that sincerely.

Oh, and your statement about setting (what exactly??) up as an experiment in a lab made absolutely no sense.
Title: Re: You Are NOT Special
Post by: superpsycho on 06/10-00:56
I doubt very seriously anyone is offended, least of all the Sarge. I don't think I've ever heard of an old drill sergeant getting offended, annoyed yes, but the veins in their neck will tell you when that happens, along with the size eleven boot up your ass.  It's not exactly a pleasant experience.



Title: Re: You Are NOT Special
Post by: Sargesatt on 06/10-12:05
I doubt very seriously anyone is offended, least of all the Sarge. I don't think I've ever heard of an old drill sergeant getting offended, annoyed yes, but the veins in their neck will tell you when that happens, along with the size eleven boot up your ass.  It's not exactly a pleasant experience.

I wear size 13, thank you very much.   8)
Title: Re: You Are NOT Special
Post by: superpsycho on 06/10-12:09
I wear size 13, thank you very much.   8)
I was trying not to make it seem like you were an ape, and more towards the human norm. Now what are people going to think.
Title: Re: You Are NOT Special
Post by: Sargesatt on 06/10-12:41
I was trying not to make it seem like you were an ape, and more towards the human norm. Now what are people going to think.

That I have size 13 feet.  You've done an excellent job of describing me as a neanderthalic, knuckle-dragging, uni-browed Drill Sergeant.  I'm just making sure you remain factual.   >:D
Title: Re: You Are NOT Special
Post by: superpsycho on 06/10-13:47
That I have size 13 feet.  You've done an excellent job of describing me as a neanderthalic, knuckle-dragging, uni-browed Drill Sergeant.  I'm just making sure you remain factual.   >:D
Now you're just playing into the image the young have of the previous generation.
Title: Re: You Are NOT Special
Post by: Sargesatt on 06/10-15:49
Now you're just playing into the image the young have of the previous generation.

<Takes a bow>  Guilty as charged!
Title: Re: You Are NOT Special
Post by: Sargesatt on 06/15-16:10
Audience – Appropriate for the audience?
The audience was primarily graduating high school seniors, although their parents were a secondary audience.   The speech kept it relevant.

Factual – Facts supported with reference or data from nowhere?
As a commencement speech, it's not supposed to be fraught with citations.  That being said, he uses a  few facts without attribution at all, and uses several historical references, again without attribution.

Persuasive – Would it move a range of people outside the target audience?
Judging by the viral nature of its web presence, I would say yes, certainly.

Logical – Was it presented logically or random statements intended to pump people up?
The speech had organization.  As an opinion piece, it was set up randomly, but there was a central thesis.

Concise  - Ways the presentation clear and to the point or were the sentences long and rambling?
For a commencement speech, it was clear, and to the point.

Expectation – Did the speaker meet expectations considering the situation and their background.
Yes.  This is the type of speech I would expect a high school English teacher.  I don't know their background in public speaking, but they handled themselves pretty well.
Title: Re: You Are NOT Special
Post by: superpsycho on 06/15-17:22
Bill O'Reilly did a segment on this speech. He had two so called education experts. What was interesting was they didn't really disagree on the content, just whether it was appropriate for "their big day" is how the commentator phrased it. 
Title: Re: You Are NOT Special
Post by: Sargesatt on 06/15-18:38
Bill O'Reilly did a segment on this speech. He had two so called education experts. What was interesting was they didn't really disagree on the content, just whether it was appropriate for "their big day" is how the commentator phrased it.

Then both "experts" are simps, and they proved the speech maker right.
Title: Re: You Are NOT Special
Post by: superpsycho on 06/15-18:44
Then both "experts" are simps, and they proved the speech maker right.
I thought it showed a level of simplistic thinking from people that were supposed to be of high intelligence. But that's nothing new.
Title: Re: You Are NOT Special
Post by: MissRis on 06/15-23:06
...and they were on the Bill O'Reilly show, how intelligent can they be?
Title: Re: You Are NOT Special
Post by: Sargesatt on 06/15-23:10
...and they were on the Bill O'Reilly show, how intelligent can they be?

<RIM SHOT!>
Title: Re: You Are NOT Special
Post by: superpsycho on 06/15-23:57
<RIM SHOT!>
More like a razor down someone's back. You could almost hear the hiss in the post.
Title: Re: You Are NOT Special
Post by: Former Member on 06/16-08:38
Finding a road map and various celestial references by sextant, I'd like to return  to the basic premise of the OP.  I think the underlying problem here is that society has become fickle with any trend, object or more' that does not immediately provide instant gratification.

Working on a marriage is hard.  Lifting weights is hard.  Heck, scrubbing the bottom of your motorcycle is hard.  Even adults want an instant "reset button" when things don't immediately pan out.

So we start cranking out immediate friends on the 'net, minor mechanical changes to make every car style seem new, cell phones that fall out of our hype zone within six months--creating disposable girl friends, disposable jobs, disposable entertainment modes, resulting in hyper vigilance and hyper boredom all at the same time.

We tune ourselves to be watchful for the next big thing to such a degree that a flowery speech of any kind becomes a rock solid vocation no matter how many meaningless buzzwords are strung together.

Sadly, it's creeping into my sphere, as well.  For example Harley-Davidson has the oldest rider demographic in the sport.  Most owners are in their late fourties.  They want younger customers.

So they created the "dark custom" series.  Bikes stripped of chrome, cheaper to buy, easier to maintain.  The outcome of failure is not tolerated.

They built the "Nightster."  Wasn't a big success.  Now we have the "48."  Minor changes, but the back end is the exact some bike.  Even I bought one of those.

A few days ago I was at the shop and saw two bikes parked side by side.  One of them was a year old "Blackline," the other was the "Softail Slim."  Same bike, slightly differing tinware, different handlbars, but the same bike.  The Blackline is not selling well.

We hype products, food, clothes and lifestyle choices, so why not the warm-fuzzy dreams of children?  Do any of these kids have real mentors, a gym pass, a career choice that doesn't include a computer or a rifle, or even knowledge on the name of the capital of Maine?

And if these kids don't work out, heck, there is another passle of new kids next year.  You don't have to hype something that's good.  My dad told me that they once had a new sales promotion--same padlocks just a different, new box...
Title: Re: You Are NOT Special
Post by: superpsycho on 06/16-09:17
It depends on the world you live in. Everyone lives in a different world, to some degree or other. Each of our worlds is based on the things we chose to be aware of. Some worlds are based solely on their family, others work. Most are focused on a combination of family, work and leisure associated activity. This may include variations of friends and hobbies. The young most often are centered on leisure associated activity.

People get into habits, routines they are comfortable with. But comfortable doesn't always mean happy.
Title: Re: You Are NOT Special
Post by: MissRis on 06/16-10:09
More like a razor down someone's back. You could almost hear the hiss in the post.

No hiss. Just stating the truth that a) Bill O'Reilly is an imbecile who creates bandwagons with misinformation (like most media sources, but Fox News is particularly ridiculous. We have an equivalent in Canada that is equally ridiculous) and b) if someone is touted as an "expert" I often find them suspect.

The only person who could be an expert on this speech in particular would be the individual who wrote it, a student and parent who received it, and perhaps another teacher that was there during the ceremony.

Title: Re: You Are NOT Special
Post by: superpsycho on 06/16-10:25
No hiss. Just stating the truth that a) Bill O'Reilly is an imbecile who creates bandwagons with misinformation (like most media sources, but Fox News is particularly ridiculous. We have an equivalent in Canada that is equally ridiculous) and b) if someone is touted as an "expert" I often find them suspect.

The only person who could be an expert on this speech in particular would be the individual who wrote it, a student and parent who received it, and perhaps another teacher that was there during the ceremony.
Well I can only go on my experience, when I've seen the event directly and then see the news, consistently Fox was the one that got it right. A good part of the time they are the only one that reported it at all. My wife watches Bill often. I find him more then a bit pompous at times and he has a tendency to bend over backwards to do the every man bit on many issues but he's there to play his role. Of course if you don't like his opinion you're going to say he's inaccurate. But more accurately you just have a different opinion.

He is entertaining to most people, I don't enjoy him that much but that's just my personal taste.
Title: Re: You Are NOT Special
Post by: Sargesatt on 06/16-14:36
No hiss. Just stating the truth that a) Bill O'Reilly is an imbecile who creates bandwagons with misinformation (like most media sources, but Fox News is particularly ridiculous. We have an equivalent in Canada that is equally ridiculous) and b) if someone is touted as an "expert" I often find them suspect.

It is difficult to take the label of 'imbecile' seriously without something to back it up.  The same with accusations of inaccuracy.  Bill O'Reilly is not a reporter, he is paid to opine.  If any of his opinions can be found to be inaccurate, then it should be a simple matter to demonstrate.  Otherwise it is just a difference of opinion.  Like Super, I often find him pompous, and he often goes out of his way to say he's not conservative just to be conservative (I think he would actually label himself a moderate if pushed to it).

As for 'experts', if someone labels themselves an expert, then I would suspect that.  Mike Dorn is a world renowned school safety expert, but you will never see nor hear him call himself that.  In my first published article, I was touted as an 'expert' on tornado safety.  That was not something I asked for, it was something the editor chose to do.  I have done quite a bit of research on tornadoes, and on how to survive them.

Quote
The only person who could be an expert on this speech in particular would be the individual who wrote it, a student and parent who received it, and perhaps another teacher that was there during the ceremony.

Query.  Why would a student or parent who heard the speech be an expert on it?  Or a teacher who was there?  I posted the video of the speech here.  If one listens to it, would that make them an expert on the speech?
Title: Re: You Are NOT Special
Post by: 123456789 on 06/16-14:39
It depends on the world you live in.

Absolutely. For example, nobody in my area would say lifting weights is hard. Everybody and their mother does it.
Title: Re: You Are NOT Special
Post by: superpsycho on 06/16-15:42
Absolutely. For example, nobody in my area would say lifting weights is hard. Everybody and their mother does it.
You hanging out on Venice Beach?
Title: Re: You Are NOT Special
Post by: Former Member on 06/16-17:43
Absolutely. For example, nobody in my area would say lifting weights is hard. Everybody and their mother does it.

You're not lifting enough.
Title: Re: You Are NOT Special
Post by: 123456789 on 06/16-18:43
You hanging out on Venice Beach?

Close enough. OC. What the guys do on Venice beach is a lot harder than lifting. They got tight ropes there.
Title: Re: You Are NOT Special
Post by: superpsycho on 06/16-19:01
Close enough. OC. What the guys do on Venice beach is a lot harder than lifting. They got tight ropes there.
I used to live right near where the 405 and Newport fwy meet. Close to where you're at.
Title: Re: You Are NOT Special
Post by: 123456789 on 06/17-15:34
Santa Ana?
Title: Re: You Are NOT Special
Post by: superpsycho on 06/17-15:48
Santa Ana?
Yeah, for several years. Worked for Western Digital which used to have a facility there in Irvine.
Title: Re: You Are NOT Special
Post by: 123456789 on 06/17-16:08
Nice. Electrical Engineer or materials?
Title: Re: You Are NOT Special
Post by: superpsycho on 06/17-16:31
Nice. Electrical Engineer or materials?
Electronic, Computer and a few others. I was Senior project Engineer for their R&D group then, called tiger team.
Title: Re: You Are NOT Special
Post by: 123456789 on 06/18-02:12
Senior project engineer, eh? Sounds like one of my dream jobs.
Title: Re: You Are NOT Special
Post by: superpsycho on 06/18-02:43
Senior project engineer, eh? Sounds like one of my dream jobs.
Maybe design a rail gun firing system for JPL. Design controls and algorithms to reduce pollution in power plants and refiners. Travel all over the world teaching other engineers some of the technology you've developed. Work with top engineers from major corporations all over the world on varies problem. 

Any of that sound like a dream job.  The list is a lot longer but it sounds more exciting then it was. Most of it was long nights, a lot of boring time in airports and planes. But I loved doing most of it. It was interesting. I liked solving problems, designing new technology, chips, algorithms, inventing new ways of doing things.

What's your major?
Title: Re: You Are NOT Special
Post by: 123456789 on 06/18-13:12
chem but doing nanotech now .

And solving problems is solving problems.
Title: Re: You Are NOT Special
Post by: superpsycho on 06/18-13:15
chem but doing nanotech now .

And solving problems is solving problems.
chem and nanotech are both interesting stuff.