Wellesley English Teacher To High School Graduates: “You Are Not Special”

Video by AwestruckVids

11 thoughts on “Wellesley English Teacher To High School Graduates: “You Are Not Special”

  1. I think people thought he was being funny and entertaining. It’s difficult to think of an English teacher delivering this kind of speech. He used circular reasoning, and toward the end, made some supportive comments, but it all makes no sense. If each graduate isn’t special, then doing the special things, outside of themselves, and all doing these special things, leaves everyone as un – special as he says they are to begin with. Everybody’s doing it, and nobody’s special. This was the biggest load of horse shit I’ve heard in a long, long time.

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    • I’ll have to respectfully disagree with you on this one. I think his point is that all those kids have been raised their entire life telling them how oh so special they are. Every single one of them. So special in fact that when they hit the job market, they won’t find a job unless they make an effort to get themselves above the pack, or by being inventive enough to come up with their own path. So special that they’ll all be treated as numbers by so many institutions unless they make a point of not being one. So special that they’ll never advance in their career unless they do something to. So special that… well, why would they bothers about others since they are so not-as-special-as-they-are. In his own words “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”. I can agree with that conclusion. :)

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      • Or in other words: don’t rest on your laurels, waiting for things to fall from the sky, right onto your laps. They most likely will not. “Carpe the heck out of the diem”! ;)

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      • My husband and I had a heated discussion about this very speech, earlier in the day. He’d only listened to a portion of it, and here, we listened in it’s entirety. He stood firmly with the same position you hold. I’ll concede that the English teacher’s intent MIGHT as you say, but as an English teacher, I’d have expected his delivery to be clearer and not wrought with circular reasoning. I still think it’s a shitty speech, and he might have worked on practicing it a bit longer, as he couldn’t keep his head up…
        Thanks for sharing. Cool!

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