You’re Not Special

Discussion in 'Off Topic' started by bruno, Jun 12, 2012.

  1. bruno

    bruno Retired Staff Member

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    http://www.bostonherald.com/news/regional/view.bg?articleid=1061137286

    David McCullough Jr gave a graduation address at Wellesley HS (just west of Boston) this weekend. He didn't sugar coat things and I'm sure that much of his point went right over the head of many of those in attendance- students, faculty and parents alike, but I think what he said is really on target and a valuable reality check:

     
  2. LineInTheSand

    LineInTheSand USCGA 2006

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    Love it.
     
  3. sprog

    sprog Member

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    The Orioles are only one game out of first in the AL East.

    The Red Sox are DFL.
     
  4. Pima

    Pima Parent

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    At our DS's graduation party this was a topic of conversation and all of the parents agreed with the speech, but as bruno stated alot of them missed the big point, which was to say 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.

    The majority of them thought it was more about how common it is now to graduate and that they are not special for a HS graduation. These are the same parents with kids filling every square to get into Bowdoin, etc. When you asked them what their kids did in hs and why, that was the answer, not because they wanted to, but because they had to so they could be competitive to get into college. If you asked the kids why they did all of these things, it was the same answer, I did it so I could be competitive.

    Granted some of them did things they loved, but they also admitted they only did other things because it looked good on their application.
     
  5. SamAca10

    SamAca10 Ensign - DWO

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  6. NorwichDad

    NorwichDad Member

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    “Where’s the reward here in all of that?”

    Gen. Martin Dempsey, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and guest speaker at the May 13, 2012, Norwich University Commencement ceremony

    Dempsey, whose 40-year military career has included time as an English teacher and leadership positions in Saudi Arabia and Iraq, told students the country’s need for their leadership skills was categorical, but that does not mean they have to be perfect. During a 15-minute speech laced with humor, he told a story about writing his English master’s-degree thesis on poet William Blake at Duke University. Figuring a year of hard work had produced a paper of exceptional quality, he was crestfallen to learn it had been graded a “C,” and he went to the teacher for an explanation. “Where’s the reward here in all of that?” he had asked the professor. The instructor’s reply—that a high grade was rewarded to a great paper, not a great effort—has stuck with Dempsey over the years. This is a unique country that needs people to accomplish, he said, and requires the best from all of us as well as a profound sense of trust. If students trust in their country, its people and themselves, they will succeed no matter what life throws at them.
     
  7. Pima

    Pima Parent

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    This was on the news yesterday, and the way Soledad O'Brien from CNN teased it was:

    Coming up the commencement speech that was a real downer!

    Not trying to make this about media, just illustrating how some feel that HS graduations should be the pat on the back and this is their special day.
     
  8. SamAca10

    SamAca10 Ensign - DWO

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    It's not in the earning of the diploma (or butter bar), but what you do with it (them) that should be celebrated.
     
  9. Pima

    Pima Parent

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    I am not disagreeing, I am only trying to illustrate how society has lost sight to what is truly important.
     
    Last edited: Jun 12, 2012
  10. SamAca10

    SamAca10 Ensign - DWO

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    I know Pima. I was just rephrasing it haha
     
  11. Casey

    Casey USMA 2015

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    We don't need to bring that one up...it was painful to watch them implode last season and has been painful to watch them for most of this season thus far.

    On topic though, I figure everyone has their own ways they're going to contribute. Some are more talented in certain areas than others and which are more productive to society. Calling everyone special just plays into the whole entitlement feeling a lot of my generation feels in my opinon
     
  12. Christcorp

    Christcorp Member

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    I've watched this social attitude change over the last 20+ years, and it's always peed me off. Can't keep score in a game of kickball in elementary school. All the players on the little league team getting a trophy at the awards dinner even though they were the last place team of 9 teams.

    Both my son and daughter completed their undergraduate degrees in 4 years. (Son academy and daughter State University). When talking to friends who's kids went to school with my son and daughter, and how they are still in college working on their 5-6th year of their undergraduate, and they learned my kids already graduated; I noticed their immediate defensive reaction of how "It's not a race".

    I've said for years how political correctness has and continues to weaken our society. This attitude that everyone's a winner (Not wanting to hurt anyone's feelings), is part of the political correctness attitude.

    What parents, teachers, and society should be teaching our children is:
    1) If you work hard enough, you can achieve whatever you want.
    2) No matter how hard you try, you can't always achieve what you want.
    3) Life isn't always fair; nor should it be. Some will be better at things and receive things you don't; and you will be better at things and receive things that others don't.
    4) Life and society doesn't owe you ANYTHING other than the right to Life, Liberty, and the PURSUIT of Happiness. Just because you PURSUE it, doesn't mean you'll always obtain it. No one owes you anything.
     
  13. sprog

    sprog Member

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    Number one and number two contradict each other.

    I think that number two is correct.
     
  14. AF6872

    AF6872 Member

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    Christcorp. :thumb: SPROG See #3 for explanation of #2
     
  15. goaliedad

    goaliedad Parent

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    Welcome to Ayn Rand's world???
     
  16. sprog

    sprog Member

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    No arguments from me on #2 or #3. #1 doesn't work for me. You can't have #1 as long as #2 and #3 are true (which they are).
     
  17. Blackbird

    Blackbird Parent

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    +1 :thumb:
     
  18. osdad

    osdad Member

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    Turn #1 around and they all fit:

    If you don't work hard, you will not achieve what you want.
     

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