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Valedictorian Speaks Out Against Schooling in Graduation Speech

Valedictorian Speaks Out Against Schooling in Graduation Speech

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Here's an excerpt of an interesting speech that's been circulating of late by the valedictorian of Coxsackie-Athens High School. She roasts the drill-n-kill system -- and her fellow students to some degree -- with great aplomb.

Anyone else read this? What do you think?

Here I stand, and I am supposed to be proud that I have completed this period of indoctrination. I will leave in the fall to go on to the next phase expected of me, in order to receive a paper document that certifies that I am capable of work. But I contest that I am a human being, a thinker, an adventurer - not a worker. A worker is someone who is trapped within repetition - a slave of the system set up before him. But now, I have successfully shown that I was the best slave. I did what I was told to the extreme. While others sat in class and doodled to later become great artists, I sat in class to take notes and become a great test-taker. While others would come to class without their homework done because they were reading about an interest of theirs, I never missed an assignment. While others were creating music and writing lyrics, I decided to do extra credit, even though I never needed it. So, I wonder, why did I even want this position? Sure, I earned it, but what will come of it? When I leave educational institutionalism, will I be successful or forever lost? I have no clue about what I want to do with my life; I have no interests because I saw every subject of study as work, and I excelled at every subject just for the purpose of excelling, not learning. And quite frankly, now I'm scared.

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Cristi Kimes's picture

I couldn't agree more with the valedictorian who wrote the speech. I hate the model whereby students study, take a test and then forget everything that they had studied. What is studied should be applied to doing real things--like sewing, building, cooking, farming, animal husbandry, getting involved in local politics and inventing, just to name a few things.

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