My Graduation Speech
I recently found a copy of my old graduation speech and thought it deserved a bit more light than the cobwebs of an unused desktop folder, filed under the name “Congrads”.. (Humour failure on so many levels).
Humour failures aside, it really was a song ending on a high note, a great conclusion to a year that I’m sure I will always look back on with pride and fulfilment, as well as that bitter sweet feeling of nostalgia.
A bit if context: The speech started after showing a video of myself and one of my fellow class mates rapping about the highlights of the year, over an instrumental version of Gangsters Paradise.. (No copy of the video was kept despite my deepest desire to show the world how similar my lyrical rapping skills were to the likes of Coolio and Biggie.. )
“After hearing that, I’m sure everyone is asking themselves the same question.
Why did they go to Red & Yellow when they could so easily have pursued careers as Young money hip hop artists representing the east side?
But our intention for today was not show off the magnitude of a very clear weakness. Rather, it was just to show that we still need to try different things, enjoy whatever we do and to not let our behaviour be confined to a status quo. All of which are valuable lessons learnt during a year at Red & Yellow.
To the class of 2013, my fellow students
We are all opening the door to the rest of our lives, an exciting yet daunting experience.
But we are more than ready.
We have the invaluable privilege of being brought up in stimulating environments, being exposed to great education and meeting many interesting people.
All we need to do now is make sure we don’t miss the bus.
Red & Yellow has given us the ticket and told us where the bus stop is.
The ticket is the skill of being able to constructively work with other people. In a world where we are becoming more and more connected with others, there is no doubt that it will be an invaluable asset to have.
And secondly they have shown us where the bus stop is by teaching how to learn and extract meaningful insight from the environments around us.
In a world that is changing constantly, and at a rapidly accelerating rate, there is more value in the ability to extract, learn and adapt quickly, than there is to consume a body of knowledge that is most relevant to a finite amount of questions on an old test paper.
And so for this,
I think I speak on behalf of the entire class when I say that we are all extremely appreciative of the time, guidance, thinking and inspiration that everyone involved at Red & Yellow has shared with us.
John, Peta, Di, Bully, Wendy and Shereen, you have truly given us one of the most valuable years of our lives. I think they deserve a round of applause.
We of course need to also thank our parents for investing so much in our growth and development. They have sacrificed a lot for us and I’m sure they deserve our appreciation.
Personally I’d just like to take this opportunity to appreciate my own mother and father, who have both been through some tough times over the last few years, but have always supported my decisions, visions and direction, and for that I would like you to know that I am truly grateful.
Please could all my fellow students give their parents a round of applause.
I feel it is important to voice our gratification for the dice that we’ve all been rolled in this life, because it will give us humility and therefore a real appreciation of our position as part of the privileged few, who have been able reach the level of education that we are at.
But I honestly don’t think we can simply afford to stop there.
What we all need to realize is we are the fortunate leaders of a new and exciting era. The pioneers in a world that is incomparably different to anything that previous generations have experienced. We cannot play by the same rules, move along the same path or restrict ourselves to the same way of thinking.
If we do, we will be left behind as the bus drives away, sitting miserably on the side walk bathing in the contemplation of “what if?”
So recognize your passions my friends and pursue them like a 1st year student pursues an oily fast food meal after a big night out on the town.
Use the incredible education that Red & Yellow and other institutions have given us, add value to others lives, be curious, keep learning, don’t confine yourself to the status quo, appreciate your responsibility and hopefully I will see you all of on that bus towards a bright and exciting future.