Valedictorian bashes school system in graduation speech

<p>"Last month, Erica Goldson graduated as valedictorian of Coxsackie-Athens High School. Instead of using her graduation speech to celebrate the triumph of her victory, the school, and the teachers that made it happen, she channeled her inner Ivan Illich and de-constructed the logic of a valedictorian and the whole educational system."</p>

<p>The speech can be found [url="<a href=""&gt;"]here[/url&lt;/a&gt;].&lt;/p>

<p>What do you guys think?</p>

<p>I thought it was an interesting speech. I agree with some things in it.</p>

I cannot say that I am any more intelligent than my peers. I can attest that I am only the best at doing what I am told and working the system.


<p>What the? </p>

<p>"The saddest part is that the majority of students don't have the opportunity to reflect as I did. The majority of students are put through the same brainwashing techniques in order to create a complacent labor force working in the interests of large corporations and secretive government, and worst of all, they are completely unaware of it. "</p>

<p>"We are more than robotic bookshelves, conditioned to blurt out facts we were taught in school. We are all very special, every human on this planet is so special, so aren't we all deserving of something better, of using our minds for innovation, rather than memorization, for creativity, rather than futile activity, for rumination rather than stagnation?"</p>

<p>Okay, so what about these kids...</p>

<p>"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."</p>

<p>I don't buy any of it. She practically blames the school for suppressing peoples' individuality and creativeness?</p>


<p>the school administration told me unflinchingly that they would cut the mike if I deviated from the pre-approved script even a little.</p>

<p>Blah blah blah.</p>

<p>She's quick to criticize, but I bet she can't even provide an alternative.</p>

<p>She's an idealistic maniac.</p>

<p>She's telling us that her school suppresses qualities of humanity so the students can work in mindless corporations and secretive governments? It's her own fault for not finding any interest in her subject. She's the result of her own mentality!</p>

<p>This just great, wish I could have been there, to see the principal's face.</p>

But now, I have successfully shown that I was the best slave


<p>LMFAO She just implied that the last ranked person "beat the system"; in other words, that person is real "winner." The Kid with the lowest grades is the winner.</p>

I will never be able to turn back these 18 years. I can't run away to another country with an education system meant to enlighten rather than condition. This part of my life is over, and I want to make sure that no other child will have his or her potential suppressed by powers meant to exploit and control.


<p>LOLOLOLOL She is way too serious; somebody needs a chill pill</p>

<p>She pretty much destroyed not only her school repuation, but also those of past and future good one</p>

<p>^^ That's a bit of a stretch...</p>

<p>Why is that?
If she thought the educational system was making slaves, and she happened to be the "best slave", you can infer that she thought the last person to have beaten the system. Why is that a stretch?</p>

<p>^I agree with redivorys. </p>

<p>The person who beat the system was the person who didn't do homework or spent time in class doodling. Win. LOL</p>

<p>Yea this is essentially what I would do.</p>

<p>Different wording perhaps, and different emphasis.</p>

<p>I wish I could've been there too!</p>

<p>It was also an amazing speech in itself.</p>

<p>Although I hope this doesn't cause some people to mistake it for a criticism of the material we have to learn (i.e. a math major shouldn't have to learn english, or government/etc.). Instead it is a criticism of the system in which we learn it and the pedagogy.</p>

<p>The value of the material we are supposed to learn is a bit more distinct from this.</p>

<p>Just read the full speech (previous comment was just based on the posted parts) and commented on the website. Very good, I like it.</p>

<p>Can we make a poll on if we disagree/agree with the speech? </p>

<p>Agree: 0
Disagree: 1</p>

<p>I can't believe the author made an Ivan Illich reference. I officially want to marry the blogger, though I feel like s/he is ignoring the fact that Tolstoy's points in the novella were cogent, practical, and valid rather than unrealistically idealistic.</p>

<p>(I thought this thread was going to be about this</a> speech.)</p>

<p>^^You just want to quantify it in strict this-or-that terms because you're a slave of the system! Be free!</p>

<p>^Hahahahaha. What can I say I'm the best slave ;)</p>

<p>Very interesting. But what is her point? Is she telling us to quit school? Is she telling us to drop out while shes heading off to college?</p>

<p>It is obvious that some of the things we learn in school are futile, but does that mean we should skip it? I think not.</p>

I think not.


Descartes once said that. No one ever figured out what happened to him :/</p>