So what happened when this speech was given at a high school graduation?
Education can be defined a number of different ways. For me, it is the product of human curiosity. Intellectual thought, as far as I can tell, is nothing but the asking and answering of questions. In my reflection, however … I found that many of life’s most important questions are ignored here…
We read for the sake of reading, to talk about our interpretations in class as though we were in a book club. … And this pattern, grade for the sake of grade, work for the sake of work, can be found everywhere. Ladies and gentlemen, the spirit of intellectual thought is lost. I speak today not to rant, complain or cause trouble. … Rather, I was moved by the countless hours wasted in those halls.
The principal interrupted the speech, of course, ushered the student off the stage and called the speech “hypocritical” and “an insult”. But, and this is the funniest part, the principal said: “My hope was [other students] did not hear or understand what he was saying.” If the valedictorian’s analysis of the schools is accurate then I don’t think the principal has anything to worry about.
[Thanks Digg]5:53 pm on July 5, 2006 Email Stephen W. Carson