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Speech about Education - For graduation (education, life experience, learning)


answers: 4
May 29, 2010, 10:40pm   #
Hi everyone,

Our school allows 3 people to give speeches at graduation. Two get it because they are valedictorian and president. The third has to enter a competition to get the slot. Here is my speech. It focuses on the importance of education, life experience, and the ability to learn.

Thank you for the help

---------------------------

Four years and seven days ago I was graduating from eighth grade a two miles down the street, I, like many others, looked forward at high school as the best experience yet to happen. I'm not sure if I am the best person to address the graduating class, I haven't been a part of this family for as long as others, but I'll try to impart some experience and knowledge from my perspective.

Now, I'm sure, most of us, if not all, have wondered multiple times during these past four years: "what's the point of high school" or "why do I need to know this." There is an answer to both of these questions; simply put, an education is the cure for ignorance. However, there are three parts to the education you receive in high school, or in college, or in life.

SEE BELOW

May 29, 2010, 11:13pm   #
I know it needs a lot of proofreading, its the first draft and I literally just finished typing it.
May 30, 2010, 05:43pm   #
Revision I got with help from someone.




Graduation Speech Revision 1

Good evening Ms Magee, (other dignitaries), parents, friends, and fellow classmates.
Thank you for giving me this opportunity to speak to you. My name is Jonathan Abboud. I'm grateful to have served as the Student Union president this year. This fall, I will be attending the University of California at Santa Barbara.

Four years and seven days ago many of my fellow classmates and I were graduating from eighth grade two miles down the street. We looked forward to high school as the next best experience in our lives. Although I haven't been a part of this community for as long as some here, I'll try to share with you some of my own thoughts and some of our common concerns.

Most, if not all of us, wondered at various times during these past four years: "what's the point of high school" or "why do I need to know this," when being taught concepts and lessons that seemed unneeded to us at the moment. There is an answer to both of these questions; simply put, education is the cure for ignorance. More to the point, there are three parts to the education you receive in high school, in college, or in life. I will explain more about that later.

One of my favorite quotes is by Robert A. Heinlein, "A human being should be able to change a diaper, plan an invasion, butcher a hog, conn a ship, design a building, write a sonnet, balance accounts, build a wall, set a bone, comfort the dying, take orders, give orders, cooperate, act alone, solve equations, analyze a new problem, pitch manure, program a computer, cook a tasty meal, fight efficiently, die gallantly. Specialization is for insects."

We shouldn't sit idle, learning nothing at all, learning mostly empty information, or learning only about a subject or two that interests us. The latter is what many perceive the point of college to be, which is false. A citizenry who limits itself to a narrow field of information better prepare for a grim world.

We don't want a world where people will learn only about the arts or sciences; yet remain ignorant of economics, simply because it doesn't appeal to them. Such people will fall victim to believing irrational ideas presented by those wanting to take advantage of their ignorance.

We don't want a world filled with people who won't concern themselves with anything outside of personal interests. Because then they can become the ignorant electorate with the power to change their country with their votes, while possibly not choosing anything that will result in meaningful change, or worse, will result in further decline or greater problems.

We don't want a world that nobody wants to live in because it is no longer safe nor free. A citizenry that enriches itself with a varied education is invulnerable to tyranny.

However, academic education is only a fraction of a person's total education. Life after academia gives people experience in situations no school can ever teach. Oscar Wilde said "Education is an admirable thing, but it is well to remember from time to time that nothing that is worth knowing can be taught."

What we may learn in a government or political science class cannot compare to the experience of working with a local, state, or national official either as an office employee or campaign worker.

Any cultural studies class will not enlighten us the way visiting and living in the studied foreign location will.

Learning accounting methods will not give you the "kitchen table economics" knowledge that a single parent learns while trying to balance the family's budget. (Which, by the way, a single parent should not have to do on a mediocre wage and inadequate child support.)

Our formal education lasts for about 17 years, our informal one lasts the rest of our lives. While we must embrace a formal education, we must not underestimate what we can learn while living our lives. We should embrace new experiences that will further our outlook on life. Our unique experiences are the lessons we will pass on to the next generation, not the lessons learned in the classroom. Many people, in the pursuit of more and more academic education have to pay the opportunity cost of sacrificing some years of rich life experiences. Those who can experience the two, come out the best.

Now, receiving both kinds of education is critical, but how do we do it? What do we need? We need the ability to know how to learn. That's it, the holy grail of existence. It's not enough to take great notes and ace a test. It's not enough to successfully overcome a hardship in life. One must be able to take the information, comprehend what happened, analyze its meaning, and synthesize to give it meaning. If we are not able to learn, we can never progress as individuals. You cannot find a book anywhere on our planet which will teach you how to learn. The process of learning to effectively learn is completely derived from receiving an education. That is the point of school. That is the point of a difficult and boring math class. A harmless method to gain the ability to learn. What a novel process. It's like building muscle; at first you have very little, but as you break it down by lifting weights (the equivalent to taking in new material), it will recover better than before. Someone who can effectively learn, from anywhere or anything, is the model citizen. They may make mistakes, they may lose from time to time, but they will never fail in life.

Those of you going off to college don't groan about the required general education courses. The education you receive, in a wide range of topics, will help you more than any piece of paper with words "Bachelor of Arts."
With your degree, hopefully you feel a civic duty to impart your knowledge on others and actively organize for a better World. Even those of you not attending college and for those finished with college, education is now unlimited and almost free, and you also have a whole life full of experience. President Obama said in his commencement address to the University of Michigan "We are the ones we've been waiting for. We are the change that we seek."

I challenge everyone here today, parents, teachers, and students. Go out into the world, use what you know, acquire more knowledge, and make something happen. Anybody who does nothing to alleviate their situation has no right to complain to about it. Drop your idleness and over consumption of useless information, you know gossip about celebrities and the like. Fight for something you believe in. Become like President Obama says the change you seek.

Thank you everyone for coming, showing your support these last 18 years, and for just being there for us.

A special thank you to my family, my closest friends who are here today and the ones who couldn't be, to my teachers over the years, and to everyone I've learned a nugget of information from. I promise that I will not disappoint you.
May 30, 2010, 06:40pm   #
Hi Jonathan,
Nice to see that you are trying your best to make a speak before your graduating class. I spoke to mine and wow, what an experience. Congrats!

I'm not sure how long your speech time is, but I would try, and everyone in the stands will hope that you try to make your speech somewhat shorter (unless the school is a small one, where you may have more time to talk)
cowman809:
Thank you for giving me this opportunity to speak to you. My name is Jonathan Abboud. I'm grateful to have served as the Student Union president this year. This fall, I will be attending the University of California at Santa Barbara.

Things like this, which are more personal, may be unnecessary, I'm not sure.
cowman809:
Although I haven't been a part of this community for as long as some here, I'll try to share with you some of my own thoughts and some of our common concerns.

And this
cowman809:
More to the point, there are three parts to the education you receive in high school, in college, or in life. I will explain more about that later.
Here too, I'm confused. What do you mean three parts?
cowman809:
We shouldn't sit idle, learning nothing at all, learning mostly empty information, or learning only about a subject or two that interests us. The latter is what many perceive the point of college to be, which is false. A citizenry who limits itself to a narrow field of information better prepare for a grim world.
Very wordy. I lost the train of thought twice.
cowman809:
We don't want a world where people will learn only about the arts or sciences; yet remain ignorant of economics, simply because it doesn't appeal to them. Such people will fall victim to believing irrational ideas presented by those wanting to take advantage of their ignorance.

We don't want a world filled with people who won't concern themselves with anything outside of personal interests. Because then they can become the ignorant electorate with the power to change their country with their votes, while possibly not choosing anything that will result in meaningful change, or worse, will result in further decline or greater problems.

Repetitive, a bit wordy, somewhat in need or better word flow. Sounds very critical of a large population of the US.
cowman809:
However, academic education is only a fraction of a person's total education. Life after academia gives people experience in situations no school can ever teach.

This should be an In addition to academia, the life after it gives... Otherwise it sounds like you are contradicting yourself by saying that Academics are VERY important. However, the OTHER part after it is VERY important.
cowman809:
What we may learn in a government or political science class cannot compare to the experience of working with a local, state, or national official either as an office employee or campaign worker.
Here, there's that disconnect again. You say that the real experience outside is more important/better than classroom experience. You need to make it clear that the education we receive is only a beginning. a first dry run before we jump into the real world. It's background knowledge. The real world gives us hands-on experience, that yes, (cannot compare to the other one) <reword "cannot compare." it sounds odd
cowman809:
Any cultural studies class will not enlighten us the way visiting and living in the studied foreign location will.
Pops up suddenly? It does not flow well with the previous thought because you just leave the thought hanging.
cowman809:
Learning accounting methods will not give you the "kitchen table economics" knowledge that a single parent learns while trying to balance the family's budget. (Which, by the way, a single parent should not have to do on a mediocre wage and inadequate child support.)
Inside joke? I'm not quiet clear what you mean here. But it does sound intelligent, whatever that means.
cowman809:
Our unique experiences are the lessons we will pass on to the next generation, not the lessons learned in the classroom.
I disagree.
cowman809:
Many people, in the pursuit of more and more academic education have to pay the opportunity cost of sacrificing some years of rich life experiences. Those who can experience the two, come out the best.
Again, wording is somewhat colloquial, but I'm not getting a clear meaning. Reword?
cowman809:
We need the ability to know how to learn. That's it, the holy grail of existence.
I like the first thought. The second, maybe for you only. "holy grail" is quite a religious term. To say your thought "the ability to know how to learn" is that grail, is controversial.
cowman809:
One must be able to take the information, comprehend what happened, analyze its meaning, and synthesize to give it meaning. ... You cannot find a book anywhere on our planet which will teach you how to learn.
Again, I disagree. But hey, it's your speech.
Do we REALLY need to pump meaning into things? Bloom's taxonomy is a nice way, for some people, to give greater meaning to information. But do we TRULY need it? I say no. Maybe you say yes. Also, any source for that claim?
cowman809:
That is the point of a difficult and boring math class.
You just dissed math. :O I disagree. haha.
cowman809:
It's like building muscle; at first you have very little, but as you break it down by lifting weights (the equivalent to taking in new material), it will recover better than before.
Is that REALLY how we build muscle? interesting.
cowman809:
With your degree, hopefully you feel a civic duty to impart your knowledge on others and actively organize for a better World.
What does the latter mean?
cowman809:
Drop your idleness and over consumption of useless information, you know gossip about celebrities and the like.
Haha. That's America. funny.
cowman809:
Fight for something you believe in. Become like President Obama says the change you seek.
That's a REAL challenge. Rephrase sentence two here.
Ending is somewhat short. Too short.

Overall, I like how you made a strong point about education, about life experience, and about paths taken. Good stuff. Maybe shorten? Maybe make those points clearer? I like the quotes. However, some of this is way too general. Way too over people's head. Unless the point is made stronger, continuously throughout the speech, you may lose people's attention. Good luck on this speech. Cheers~
I'm grateful to have served as --- doesn't make sense to be grateful to have served...
I'm grateful for having been allowed to serve as...

This fall, I will be attending the University of California at Santa Barbara. If you want to have a chance of being chosen, get rid of this out-of-place sentence and write one that expresses a CLEAR THEME for this speech.

End that first paragraph with a sentence that expresses a powerful idea. Make it so that I could ask the reader, "What is this speech about?" and the reader would not have to think about the answer. You mention Obama, whose campaign was based on the idea of "change." What is your campaign based on?

:-)



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