Reality bites—but is there a need to talk about this stinging truth at a happy and commemorative celebration?
Well, some people believe that the English teacher from Wellesley High School, David McCullough Jr., was something like a prophet-truth telling-Socrates, who told the graduating class of 2012 the reality that lies beneath the glam that high-schoolers view college and life beyond.
Others view this speech as a little disturbing—due to the fact of the repetitive nature of the line “you are not special.” However, McCullough agrees that graduation is a special time, he even said it himself twice saying, “commencement, life’s great forward looking ceremony…commencement is life’s great ceremonial beginning”-he just had a unique way of celebrating this important time in his speech.
Although, despite the whole “you are not special” thing, McCullough’s speech had a memorable and meaningful message.
Today, McCullough is experiencing the heat that comes from the media, ready to jump on the next juicy story. And he defends himself this morning on the CBS Morning Show saying,
“It’s been upsetting to me for a couple reasons, one is I have become the story and it was their graduation…and the other was the distortion of what I said.”
Despite the teacher’s choice of words and structuring of his graduation speech, his message was solid. He said it took him, “26 years and 2 hours” to make this speech because “with time you come to see what kids need to be told.”
So, the point McCullough wanted to get across was for his students to not forget “with their privilege comes responsibility,” and this message-or maybe speech-surely won’t be forgotten.