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Thread: High school teacher tells graduating students: you’re not special

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    Re: High school teacher tells graduating students: you’re not special

    Quote Originally Posted by Erod View Post
    Bravo!

    In this "Everybody gets a trophy" and "don't keep score" society we've been racing children in - many of which are now parents themselves - this is refreshing to hear in of all places...Massachusetts.

    I'm sure being the son of David McCullough allowed this teacher the assuredness that he could get away with such a commencement message, but it is refreshing nonetheless. And I have no doubt it shocked a kid or two into reality, and sent their helicopter parents into a tizzy.

    Now, can we get this guy to talk at the Democratic National Convention to tell their entitlement-addicted constituents to grow up to?
    I like that he let them know how many other people and institutions helped them get to where they are. That's something that a lot of people take for granted, especially people who think that success is only a matter of choice and say things like, "I and I alone got me to where I am."

    However, I don't like the conclusion he draws from all this is that the students aren't special. Aside from the fact that it is just simply inaccurate since everyone is special in terms of their individuality, it's also not a good message to send to teenagers who, in the future, will most benefit themselves and society by using and improving what makes them special. The end message is pretty gross.
    Last edited by ThePlayDrive; 06-08-12 at 05:39 PM.

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    Re: High school teacher tells graduating students: you’re not special

    Quote Originally Posted by ThePlayDrive View Post
    However, I don't like the conclusion he draws from all this is that the students aren't special. Aside from the fact that it is just simply inaccurate since everyone is special in terms of their individuality, it's also not a good message to send to teenagers who, in the future, will most benefit themselves and society by using and improving what makes them special. The end message is pretty gross.
    Everyone may be special in terms of individuality, but individuality doesn't pay the bills very well. It's not how one feels about themselves that gives them life skills. It's problem-solving.
    "God is the name by which I designate all things which cross my path violently and recklessly, all things which alter my plans and intentions, and change the course of my life, for better or for worse."
    -C G Jung

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    Re: High school teacher tells graduating students: you’re not special

    A punctuator to this is that many school systems, particularly inner-city schools, are not allowed to give students zeroes for not turning in homework on time or truancy. They are REQUIRED to allow them to make up work any time they want to. (This is the case in Dallas at predominantly Hispanic and African-American high schools.)

    As a result, kids are woefully prepared for the demands of a job, let alone college.

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    Re: High school teacher tells graduating students: you’re not special

    Quote Originally Posted by ThePlayDrive View Post
    I like that he let them know how many other people and institutions helped them get to where they are. That's something that a lot of people take for granted, especially people who think that success is only a matter of choice and say things like, "I and I alone got me to where I am."

    However, I don't like the conclusion he draws from all this is that the students aren't special. Aside from the fact that it is just simply inaccurate since everyone is special in terms of their individuality, it's also not a good message to send to teenagers who, in the future, will most benefit themselves and society by using and improving what makes them special. The end message is pretty gross.
    I could not disagree more.

    I tell my kids this: "Your mom and I love you. So do your grandparents and sisters and a few of your close friends. We feel and share in your pain and your joy.

    "But the rest of the world really doesn't care if you live or die. Your failures only clear the path for their successes. And think about it, we HAVE to be like that to a degree. Imagine how difficult life would be if we carried every tragedy with us all day and every day indefinitely? How could we get through the day knowing what happened in Sudan yesterday or at Auschitz half a century ago? People die and have horrible things happen to them every day. We have the instinctive capacity to press on and worry most about ourselves. It's necessary for survival.

    "And people certainly won't worry about your petty complaints. They'll fake sympathy, then forget about it altogether within seconds of walking away, just like you would. And if you drop the ball, someone will gladly step in and take your place. That's just the way people and life are. That's how we have to be to survive."

    I hope that doesn't sound cold, but it's absolutely the truth. It's just in our DNA.
    Last edited by Erod; 06-08-12 at 05:54 PM.

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    Re: High school teacher tells graduating students: you’re not special

    Can't all be Charlie Sheen!

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    Re: High school teacher tells graduating students: you’re not special

    Should be the speech given to every graduating Senior in the nation.

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    Re: High school teacher tells graduating students: you’re not special

    Quote Originally Posted by Fishstyx View Post
    Should be the speech given to every graduating Senior in the nation.
    I don't know that it would do any good. Probably the best teacher these kids will have is life itself.
    "God is the name by which I designate all things which cross my path violently and recklessly, all things which alter my plans and intentions, and change the course of my life, for better or for worse."
    -C G Jung

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    Re: High school teacher tells graduating students: you’re not special

    Quote Originally Posted by lizzie View Post
    I don't know that it would do any good. Probably the best teacher these kids will have is life itself.
    Smart ones will get it. But your counter is the whole purpose of McCullough's speech. Kids today are protected from "life" until they're on their own. Guess that explains why so many 25-30 year olds are still living in Mom and Dad's basement.

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    Re: High school teacher tells graduating students: you’re not special

    Quote Originally Posted by Fishstyx View Post
    Smart ones will get it. But your counter is the whole purpose of McCullough's speech. Kids today are protected from "life" until they're on their own. Guess that explains why so many 25-30 year olds are still living in Mom and Dad's basement.
    Then if Mom and Dad are supporting their over-grown children, let Mom and Dad pay for it. There is no shortage of dysfunctional parents around. They are the ones who are raising the grandchildren.
    "God is the name by which I designate all things which cross my path violently and recklessly, all things which alter my plans and intentions, and change the course of my life, for better or for worse."
    -C G Jung

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    Re: High school teacher tells graduating students: you’re not special

    Quote Originally Posted by Erod View Post
    I could not disagree more.

    I tell my kids this: "Your mom and I love you. So do your grandparents and sisters and a few of your close friends. We feel and share in your pain and your joy.

    "But the rest of the world really doesn't care if you live or die. Your failures only clear the path for their successes. And think about it, we HAVE to be like that to a degree. Imagine how difficult life would be if we carried every tragedy with us all day and every day indefinitely? How could we get through the day knowing what happened in Sudan yesterday or at Auschitz half a century ago? People die and have horrible things happen to them every day. We have the instinctive capacity to press on and worry most about ourselves. It's necessary for survival.

    "And people certainly won't worry about your petty complaints. They'll fake sympathy, then forget about it altogether within seconds of walking away, just like you would. And if you drop the ball, someone will gladly step in and take your place. That's just the way people and life are. That's how we have to be to survive."

    I hope that doesn't sound cold, but it's absolutely the truth. It's just in our DNA.
    That doesn't sound cold. My mother said a lot of similar things to me. She told me I had to be 100x better than everyone else in school, that I can't focus on my failures, that I am the only one that I can 100% count on and that others will leave you behind as quickly as they can find a way to (or some variation of all that). However, she also taught me to value my individuality and to use it in order to create a life for myself that I will love and to impact the world in exactly the way I want to.

    I accept and believe in the notion that the rest of the world will run you the hell over. However, I reject the notion that individuals, including the high school students mentioned in the OP, are not special. They are because they are individuals and they will not reach their potential if they start to believe the myth that they aren't anything special.

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