Seriously, Mr. McCullough. Tell us how you really feel.
For most commencement speakers, graduation is an occasion for celebrating advancement and accomplishment. For offering advice based on past experience, and, assuming the mood is light enough, dropping a few groan-worthy japes. One teacher at Wellesley High School chose to forego the platitudes and delivered what might just be the most cynical high school commencement address in history.
When he was asked to give the 2012 address, teacher David McCullough Jr. could have rattled off ten minutes worth of light-hearted inside jokes and a few bits of hackneyed wisdom. Instead, he used the graduation pulpit to call each and every graduating student a self-absorbed ingrate lacking in character and work ethic.
“You are not special. You are not exceptional,” barks McCullough. “You have been pampered, cosseted, doted upon, helmeted, bubblewrapped…Yes, capable adults with other things to do have held you, kissed you, fed you, wiped your mouth, wiped your bottoms, trained you, taught you, tutored you, coached you, listened to you, counseled you, encouraged you again. You've been nudged, cajoled, wheedled and implored. You've been feted and fawned over and called sweetie pie. ... But do not get the idea you're anything special. Because you're not.
See the video below for the complete speech: