Oh, man. All those speeches. So many of them.

Summary of all those hours:
1. Be! Be all that is possible to BE!**
2. Give back to the community that has raised you so well.
3. Remember when you were shy freshmen? Look at you now, you accomplished, articulate individuals. 3a. But don't get cocky.
4. Reach for the heights! Within yourself and out in the world!
5. Don't settle for less than the best in yourself!
6. Throw out mayonnaise that been out in the sun for more than four hours!
7. Be the butterfly!
8. Control the butterfly!
9. Be aware of the butterfly and do what you can to change its course!
10. Live every day to its fullest and that means get off the computer occasionally!
11. I won't detain you much longer [clapping]
12 I'll wait until you stop playing with that beach ball.
13. Give back to the community but make sure you embrace the whole wide world! Don't stay here and think you've got a real education.
14. Whatever your path, don't forget your roots!
15. Service! It's the only thing that matters!
16. Stop and watch the rainbows now and then.
17. We had fun, didn't we? Don't forget to write.
18. BE aware! Be alive! Be conscientious! Be yourself, only better!!
19. You are the best of the best!
20. Better than all the rest!
21. Make us proud!
22. Stay humble!
23. Be proud!

Okay, no one actually said 6. But I got tired of writing advice that's not specific, you know?
Why so many damned butterflies? Lorenz grew up here. The kids are supposed to go out and be Like Lorenz. which reminds me of my favorite:

24. We got 4 Nobel Prize types raised around here. Well, Lorenz didn't win the Nobel but he would have, if there'd been a prize for weather reporting. And Morley would have won one for sure, but Alfred hadn't invented it yet. So not really four, but close enough. You guys go and rack up some more of those prizes, 'k?

** A Summer Devon ebook for the first person to identify the author of this woetry. (Googling is cheating but how would I know?)
The past is dead.
To-morrow is not born.
Be to-day!
Be with every nerve,
With every muscle,
With every drop of your red blood!


  1. It's P. G. Wodehouse, Kate m'love. (I was thinking Greene at first, and had to go doublecheck through the anthologies here. Is that cheating?)

    Don't you hate graduation speeches? we let our students take control of that this year and didn't have a guest speaker. The service was still too long. They like to talk about themselves.

  2. Anonymous1:38 PM

    "It was printed opposite the frontispiece of a magazine with a sort of scroll round it, and a picture in the middle of a fairly-nude chappie, with bulging muscles, giving the rising sun the glad eye. Rocky said they gave him a hundred dollars for it, and he stayed in bed till four in the afternoon for over a month."

    Love the list. You could work this up into a chapter to be included in School Administration For Dummies. Or is that already published? I better check Dummies Books For Dummies...

  3. Gosh, UA, Linda won. Which is a relief because I can't see me sending a Summer Devon book to anyone I actually know. You did have the salient quote. Rocky is the laziest devil in the USA

    Also. I forgot 26: "Today marks not the end, but the beginning."

    I pretty sure I didn't split enough infinitives to be a real Grad Speaker.

  4. So we're saying you don't know me? After I hijacked your blog?

    I see how this is. I'm miffed. ;-)

    The best speech we had at graduation involved the charter group's fifth grade teacher talking about all the "bad" stuff they'd done as fifth graders. It was great.

  5. I meant someone with whom I'd go on vacation (though I expect I might run into you some day at a conference which in some ways is even better than a vacation on account of not needing to do cooking and it's tax deductible).

    Best graduation speech I've heard was from Miss Manners. She was even funnier in person.

  6. LOL, okay I'll be mollified, then.

    I would ditto the conference thing except I only ever get to go to teacher conferences. Sigh. I have yet to attend a writing conference. Although, the last teacher conference was a blast -- we commandeered the piano in the lobby and took requests.

  7. I loved that list. Very funny. The butterflies were scary. Is that what they mean by the butterfly effect.

  8. yep, the butterfly effect was lorenz, but I don't think he meant anything about a lot of air currents being moved by the more-than-warm air coming out of people discussing butterflies.

  9. Anonymous1:11 AM

    Wodehouse? Wodehouse?

    I thought it was Sara Connor in Terminator II.


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