Grab hold with both hands.

11 06 2012

In one of my recent posts, I briefly mentioned how unimpressed I was by the graduation speech at the convocation ceremony I attended at my Alma Mater. No matter where you went to school, the underlying messages are all the same in these speeches, and I was getting frustrated because it sounds a little bit like an empty guarantee of some sort. Seriously, someone needs to tell these grads that just because you did the work and paid your dues for that piece of paper we call credentials does not mean the hard part is over. Yes, you are now more equipped to face the world, but you still have to face the world and you will lose sometimes, it’s inevitable.

Then today, I came across this article about David McCullough, a high school teacher from the United States that did just that – he told the truth and only the truth. This is my favourite part from his speech:

As you commence, then, and before you scatter to the winds, I urge you to do whatever you do for no reason other than you love it and believe in its importance. Don’t bother with work you don’t believe in any more than you would a spouse you’re not crazy about, lest you too find yourself on the wrong side of a Baltimore Orioles comparison. Resist the easy comforts of complacency, the specious glitter of materialism, the narcotic paralysis of self-satisfaction. Be worthy of your advantages. And read… read all the time… Dream big. Work hard. Think for yourself. Love everything you love, everyone you love, with all your might. And do so, please, with a sense of urgency, for every tick of the clock subtracts from fewer and fewer; and as surely as there are commencements there are cessations, and you’ll be in no condition to enjoy the ceremony attendant to that eventuality no matter how delightful the afternoon.

The fulfilling life, the distinctive life, the relevant life, is an achievement, not something that will fall into your lap because you’re a nice person or mommy ordered it from the caterer. Don’t wait for inspiration or passion to find you. Get up, get out, explore, find it yourself, and grab hold with both hands.

Yes, this is a little wordy but these are good words. If you want to read the entire thing, you can find the article (with his entire speech) here.

And to make up for the wordiness of this post, I thought I would further showcase my inner nerd with these *ahem* beautiful dance moves.

Yes, I love Calculus. I may have majored in Math in college if there were more I could do with that degree other than being a teacher. And maybe then, I might have eventually turned in to those teachers that think their students will all change the world and write these unrealistic speeches. I guess I’ll enjoy my math elsewhere..

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