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(Swift Kick Online)   Valedictorian uses graduation speech to rip the entire educational system a new one   (blog.swiftkickonline.com) divider line 303
    More: Hero, American education, H.L. Mencken, Zen, English teacher, tenth grade, concrete masonry unit, graduation, standardized tests  
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38904 clicks; posted to Main » on 07 Aug 2010 at 5:26 PM (4 years ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2010-08-07 03:40:46 PM  
Weird Al Yankovic used his valedictorian speech to talk about how the polar ice caps would eventually melt and flood the world.

I gotta give this one to Al solely on the basis of his delivery.
 
2010-08-07 03:47:48 PM  
Erica Goldson graduated as valedictorian of Coxsackie

sounds more appropriate based on that snowflake's whine.
 
2010-08-07 03:55:29 PM  
She sure talked about herself a lot.
 
2010-08-07 04:00:28 PM  
 
2010-08-07 04:01:14 PM  
I only read the first paragraph of the speech, but having lived in different countries, I think American students tend to have the greatest opportunity to "develop" themselves. In Turkey all university entrance rests on ONE TEST. Not a test, grades, social activities, personal essays, recommendations, etc. Just one test. If anything a liberal arts education allows you to explore what interests you. No one's forcing you to be an overachiever (well, except maybe your parents).

Nice shout-out to Ivan Illich, though. You don't see that every day.
 
2010-08-07 04:22:12 PM  
That's all BS. She didn't have to "excel" like she did to make it in the world. She's just bitter, I suppose, that she's looking back at a lot of missed opportunity.

Plenty of people blow off high school and do very well in college. Plenty of people blow off high school AND college and do very well in life.

At least she's smart enough to realize the charade. But she wasn't smart enough to not play it.
 
2010-08-07 04:22:16 PM  
coco ebert: If anything a liberal arts education allows you to explore what interests you. No one's forcing you to be an overachiever (well, except maybe your parents).

And the bevy of people on Fark who think a degree that's not in chemistry, law, or business makes you a horrible waste of oxygen.
 
2010-08-07 04:29:30 PM  
She sounds like she's already going through a midlife crisis.

And so young too. Shame.
 
2010-08-07 04:37:04 PM  
That was rather good. I enjoyed it. I agree with a lot of it actually. Fark is a haven for people who want to call everyone a snowflake and accuse them of whining, but this student isn't whining -- she is informing. What she is saying is relevant, and people will ignore it. (Not saying I agree with 100% of what she said, but I'll say like 95% I did.)

downstairs: That's all BS. She didn't have to "excel" like she did to make it in the world. She's just bitter, I suppose, that she's looking back at a lot of missed opportunity. Plenty of people blow off high school and do very well in college. Plenty of people blow off high school AND college and do very well in life. At least she's smart enough to realize the charade. But she wasn't smart enough to not play it.

I don't think you understood at all what she was saying. It has nothing to do with her and everything to do with the educational system.
 
2010-08-07 04:54:32 PM  
Even money some psych professor gets her knocked up first semester she's in college.
 
2010-08-07 05:29:07 PM  
This is what we refer to as "burn out". She's worked too hard for something realizes now is meaningless and is looking back at all the fun she missed out on because that tenth of a GPA point meant so much.
 
2010-08-07 05:30:41 PM  
www3.timeoutny.com
 
2010-08-07 05:33:05 PM  
Is she hot? is she legal?
 
2010-08-07 05:33:56 PM  
tl;dr tit or gtfo, lady
 
2010-08-07 05:35:06 PM  
DarthBrooks: Even money some psych professor gets her knocked up first semester she's in college.

I'd also put money on her whining a biatching to the professor if she didn't get anything less than a perfect A on her tests or papers.
 
2010-08-07 05:35:07 PM  
 
2010-08-07 05:35:39 PM  
downstairs: That's all BS. She didn't have to "excel" like she did to make it in the world. She's just bitter, I suppose, that she's looking back at a lot of missed opportunity.

Plenty of people blow off high school and do very well in college. Plenty of people blow off high school AND college and do very well in life.

At least she's smart enough to realize the charade. But she wasn't smart enough to not play it.


People that miss high school and do well in life generally didn't "blow off" high school willingly, and generally care enough about it to at least get a GED later.

But yeah, other than that I'm with you 100%. Barring your profession requiring certain technical aptitudes, you never have to go to college. Go loaf around and split logs for a living, or work your way up to management in a service industry job or something, four years of work is four years of work and if you don't suck at life, it'll get you as far outside a classroom as in.
 
2010-08-07 05:36:31 PM  
gadian: This is what we refer to as "burn out". She's worked too hard for something realizes now is meaningless and is looking back at all the fun she missed out on because that tenth of a GPA point meant so much.

Yeah, I started to realize this pretty early junior year, though I was never THAT grade crazy. Our HS work should be like middle school work, tops. And we should teach WAY more science than we do, honestly, cut out some farking math and history/lit for it. With computers math isn't very important beyond basic skills (which if you aren't retarded you'll pick up while you use those skills for other applications) and with real references in the digital age, memorizing dates is a bunch of outdated horseshiat.
/Of course that only scratches the surface of the problems, I just think that all other things corrected, we should really focus more on science
//Google can do your farking math and history homework perfectly well anyway
 
2010-08-07 05:36:34 PM  
She sees what it takes most people 30 years to.
 
2010-08-07 05:37:06 PM  
media3.washingtonpost.com

GO BACK!!!
 
2010-08-07 05:38:12 PM  
Well judging by that speech I got a lot out of high school. Hell, I barely went to class.

Not sure how I graduated.
Come to think of it, did I graduate?
 
2010-08-07 05:38:20 PM  
Lighten up, Frances.
 
2010-08-07 05:39:09 PM  
fano: Greetings and salutations.
 
2010-08-07 05:39:17 PM  
downstairs: Plenty of people blow off high school and do very well in college. Plenty of people blow off high school AND college and do very well in life.

Can you define "plenty" and provide citations please.

I agree that some people do, just as I know that some people do well in high school and then fail at college. Some also do well in high school and college don't do very well in life. But, I think, these are the exceptions.
 
2010-08-07 05:39:20 PM  
May I spooge on your face: tl;dr tit or gtfo, lady

Exactly that.

Point; get to it, snowflake.
 
2010-08-07 05:39:21 PM  
Sounds like this young woman learned an ugly truth early in life: the last thing the "leaders" of this nation want is a well educated populace. They're quite content with the goofs in the ghetto that crank out kids from different baby daddies with pants hanging around their knees, or rednecks in the trailer park with their Dale Earnhardt commerative plates and the belief that Larry the Cable Guy is funny and Sarah Palin is a leader: these types of people are easily pushed around and easy to manipulate. But well educated people? Nope, can't have that.
 
2010-08-07 05:39:26 PM  
Waaaa! I wasted my time! Waaaa!
 
2010-08-07 05:39:47 PM  
But I contest that I am a human being, a thinker, an adventurer - not a worker. A worker is someone who is trapped within repetition - a slave of the system set up before him. But now, I have successfully shown that I was the best slave.

Oh good another future Liberal Arts major, we need more of those. Have fun "finding yourself" in Europe on your parents dime for a couple years before Daddy pulls the plug, and you spend the next 20 years in the HR department of some company making reference calls and organizing pumpkin carving contests that no one wants to participate in.
 
2010-08-07 05:40:16 PM  
pedagogic - My new favorite word.
 
2010-08-07 05:40:41 PM  
I imagine most of her teachers were seething at her for trying to reveal what a joke most of them are. That being said, it's her fault more than the school's that she didn't explore her interests. She said in the speech that while her friends were making music and pursuing hobbies, she was working on extra credit she didn't need. That's not the school's fault, that's hers.

I want a followup in a few years when she has a nervous breakdown in college and ends up on meth.
 
2010-08-07 05:43:43 PM  
What we have here...is a failure to communicate.
 
2010-08-07 05:43:49 PM  
We should return to a basically agrarian society and base our educational system on apprenticeships.

/Am I serious? I'm not sure, either. Actually... I agree with a lot of what she said. It DOES all tie back to capitalism revolving around getting a paycheck. We're working toward the wrong goal.
 
2010-08-07 05:46:51 PM  
jayhawk88: But I contest that I am a human being, a thinker, an adventurer - not a worker. A worker is someone who is trapped within repetition - a slave of the system set up before him. But now, I have successfully shown that I was the best slave.

Oh good another future Liberal Arts major, we need more of those. Have fun "finding yourself" in Europe on your parents dime for a couple years before Daddy pulls the plug, and you spend the next 20 years in the HR department of some company making reference calls and organizing pumpkin carving contests that no one wants to participate in.


I felt really bad for thinking exactly what you just said.

Free-thinking feels great but in the absence of organized thnking is destined to fail. The fact that we have to take tests doees not mean that we may not be inspired or learn creatively - that is the indivdual student's choice.
 
2010-08-07 05:47:47 PM  
I don't see how people can disagree with her. Unless you graduated from a high school in an affluent district, you know exactly what she's talking about. School has degenerated into 'Memorize this. Now memorize this. Now this.' without anyone preaching understanding and comprehension. You don't need to be smart to get a perfect GPA any more, you just need to be able to do piles of busy work.

Anyone complaining about her whining or whatever is seriously missing the point.
 
2010-08-07 05:47:57 PM  
She makes it sound one-sided -- that all students are yearning to be free and it is the teachers that stifle them.

I wish my students cared more about learning than grades. But they don't. They ask for homework and quizzes and tests, as long as they have the opportunity to get that A.

Here's a secret: most teachers don't give a shiat about grades. We give them out because we are made to.

I teach mainly collegiate pre-meds, so I clearly have a biased sample. Whatever the faults of the educational system, there's plenty of blame to go around.
 
2010-08-07 05:48:59 PM  
So she's on the fast track for ending up like the Valedictorian at my high school. Unemployed, with 1 kid, one on the way and living in a mobile home by the time she was 21
 
2010-08-07 05:49:15 PM  
She made some good points, but she could use to work on acquiring the art of brevity. That was damn near as bad as John Galt's Radio Speech.
 
2010-08-07 05:49:29 PM  
She should have watched this guy first. It might have helped lighten her tone, and make her speech briefer and more succinct.

/long but worth the watch
 
2010-08-07 05:52:45 PM  
Sounds like she's going to be an awesome ex-wife.
 
2010-08-07 05:53:51 PM  
IronTony: Unless you graduated from a high school in an affluent district, you know exactly what she's talking about.

I graduated from a high school in a very affluent district, and I know exactly what she's talking about. And I don't mean affluent like Malibu affluent. These were the powerful people's kids, so my district was considered either 1 or 2 in the US at the time. There was still a lack of creativity being pushed on everyone, but if one is intelligent, one knows how to subvert it and do their own thing while still accomplishing the goals being sold to them.
 
2010-08-07 05:55:18 PM  
I found her denunciation of the educational system entirely too learned. Her diatribe against homework was littered with well-researched, historical asides.
 
mjg
2010-08-07 05:55:18 PM  
She's a virgin.
 
2010-08-07 05:55:27 PM  
my high school's valedictorian gave a speech that was mostly bland and included arnold schwarzenegger soundboard jokes
 
2010-08-07 05:56:56 PM  
Just to add some dimension to the argument...Coxsackie Athens is a quasi-rural district 30 miles south of Albany, NY. So....no...not affluent.
 
2010-08-07 05:57:19 PM  
May I respectfully suggest that if she really cares about the dysfunctional American educational system, that she take a position within it where she can make a difference.

Otherwise, I'd just as soon you said "thank you" and went on your way.

/I'll bet that crazy astronaut diaper lady started out like this. We haven't heard the last of this gal.
 
2010-08-07 05:57:36 PM  
I smell a bit of a contradiction. On the one hand she is ranting/whining about the school system not really doing a good job of teaching students. On the other hand she is a product of that system and clearly writes and applies critical thinking skills very well. I would argue that her speech is proof that the current system works reasonably well.
 
2010-08-07 05:57:36 PM  
You're a high school senior. STFU, get busy living or get busy dying. You know NOTHING. HL Mencken? Suck my dick.
 
2010-08-07 05:57:59 PM  
I always get annoyed by these kinds of speeches, cause when you ask "Ok how do you fix it?" they give BS answers that are just as BS as the current situation.

Maybe I'm challenged, but what I learned from school wasn't the fact that A^2 + B^2 = C^2. It was the use of taking simple facts and theorems and using them to understand more complex facts and theorems, then taking those complex facts and using them to un....etc. Most of the solutions to "how to teach kids" seem to always end up trying to make education into a vocational school. "Oh you want to be an engineer?" just take engineering classes, you don't need to learn music. "Want to be a painter?" just take art classes, you don't need chemistry. Which I'd be fine with, if there were no cultural expectations to help the people who don't choose a financially stable job. (FYI not typing this like a "welfare is evil" post, just that "If you want A, then expect B")

You want more involved teachers, smaller classrooms to help students learn more than just recite, though you'll vote someone out of office if they try to increase taxes to pay for it.

/realizes his rant is slightly hypocritical...ok really hypocritical, but MEH! THIS IS INTERNET!
//when do we choose when to stop teaching all the kids the same stuff and let them "choose their own destiny", and is it the teachers job to one day look at the kid and just go "No....just...no"
 
2010-08-07 05:58:33 PM  
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9M4tdMsg3ts

if you want to hear it instead of read it..
 
2010-08-07 05:59:04 PM  
She'll really be disappointed when she graduates from college ...
 
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