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Saturday, June 18, 2005

Head of the Class

I have a confession to make. I wasn’t the valedictorian of my class in high school. If all of the K grades were a race to the finish at graduation, I stopped being a contender sometime around second grade. By the time I graduated from high school I was so far at the back of the pack that if I had been any further back I would have been held back. Not only did I not know who was the valedictorian of my class, I don’t think that I understood what it meant to be a valedictorian. Valedictorian would have been just another word on the SAT test for which I would randomly choose ‘C’ as the answer.

I now know that the valedictorian is the top student of the graduating class, an honor some students will take drastic measures to pursue. I have read accounts where some kids actually studied and did homework. The things is, nobody told me about the whole valedictorian thing. I didn’t know you were supposed to study and do homework in high school so you could be the head of your class. I feel that I was cheated out of my chance to be the class leader.

I never got to give a commencement address. About all that I can hope for is that because of something remarkeable that I may do I will be asked to give a speech to graduating students at a high school or a university. I know that eventuality is rather unlikely, considering that I haven’t exactly been blazing any trails anywhere since my mediocre high school days. If I ever do become rich and famous it will be through no fault of mine. If I have one talent in life it is making sure that I don’t become rich and famous. I survived not being valedictorian of my class; I think I can live without being rich and famous.

Just because I wasn’t the head of my class, and I don’t have a prayer of achieving the kind of status required to be asked to give a speech to a graduating class, this doesn’t mean I can’t write the speech just in case. Lots of people become rich and famous completely by accident. Why not me?

Ideas for Graduation Speech:

I think that the key to graduation addresses is that they be incredibly short. Nobody really wants to hear your speech. Just make it quick so the kids can go out and get drunk, or drunker if they started early. As a humorist, my first idea would be to drink a glass of club soda, walk up to the microphone, and let out a tremendous belch. Although there is a lot to be said for this minimalist approach, I think I can come up with something a little more tasteful.

Graduation speech haiku

Knock-knock joke graduation speech

Graduation Speech sung to the tune of The Beverly Hillbillies theme song

Graduation speech as a crude limerick (This idea would only work for Nantucket High School)

With these brilliant ideas you can understand why no one has asked me to give a commencement address.

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