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Fabulous HS Graduation Speech

post #1 of 20
Thread Starter 
I was told I can not post this in homeschooling so I am sharing here.

I looked and didn't see that anyone else had posted this yet... so here it is. A clearly bright and very bold girl -- top of her class - lays it on the line about why school is broken as her graduation speech!
MUST READ!!

http://americaviaerica.blogspot.com/...an-speech.html
post #2 of 20
...page not found.
post #3 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by jess_paez View Post
...page not found.
http://americaviaerica.blogspot.com/...an-speech.html
post #4 of 20
I would say that it is quite clear that she learned a great deal in her educational establishment. She learned to be a great writer, to use quotations in an appropriate manner, to use language to inspire a group. She learned leadership skills. She had a teacher/mentor who obviously encouraged some of her qualities.

Despite the fact that she 'worked the system' she clearly learned some awe inspiring facts, methods and leadership abilities. I would say her educational institution did a pretty good job with her!!
post #5 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by lauren View Post
I would say that it is quite clear that she learned a great deal in her educational establishment. She learned to be a great writer, to use quotations in an appropriate manner, to use language to inspire a group. She learned leadership skills. She had a teacher/mentor who obviously encouraged some of her qualities.

Despite the fact that she 'worked the system' she clearly learned some awe inspiring facts, methods and leadership abilities. I would say her educational institution did a pretty good job with her!!
That is very true. She seems to be claiming that the education system failed her...yet she is thriving. Are there problems with the education system? Yes. But that doesn't mean there aren't a lot of good things about it too. Personally I think this post should be on homeschooling not on schooling, as it is obviously geared toward bashing the very school system which most of us here have our children in.
post #6 of 20
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Heavenly View Post
That is very true. She seems to be claiming that the education system failed her...yet she is thriving. Are there problems with the education system? Yes. But that doesn't mean there aren't a lot of good things about it too. Personally I think this post should be on homeschooling not on schooling, as it is obviously geared toward bashing the very school system which most of us here have our children in.
I agree - I am not sure why it got booted out of homeschooling
I apologize you all -- I was told to move it here.
post #7 of 20
um, did you guys actually read HOW she felt her educational experience failed her? It's the same way mine failed me and it's correctable if you work to counteract it in your kids.
post #8 of 20
I like the article. I have long said I felt like the goal of highschool was for me to regurgitate information the school had given me....so I completely understand where she is coming rom.
post #9 of 20
Amazing speech. I wish I could have been there when it was given.
post #10 of 20
I've seen this many times over the past two weeks... but early on, someone also posted a link to this article, which is from the newspaper in the town where this speech was allegedly given. Erica Goldson was indeed the valedictorian at Coxsackie-Athens high school, but the speech the newspaper heard her give seems very different from the one repeatedly being posted online. Here's a quote from the article:
Quote:
“Remember to hold onto your value system, your work ethic and, most importantly, your humanity,” Goldson said during commencement exercises on Friday. “It is these qualities that will guide you further on your journey.”
This quote appears nowhere in the version of the speech being circulated on the internet, leading me to suspect that this is some sort of urban legend...
post #11 of 20
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dar View Post
I've seen this many times over the past two weeks... but early on, someone also posted a link to this article, which is from the newspaper in the town where this speech was allegedly given. Erica Goldson was indeed the valedictorian at Coxsackie-Athens high school, but the speech the newspaper heard her give seems very different from the one repeatedly being posted online. Here's a quote from the article:

This quote appears nowhere in the version of the speech being circulated on the internet, leading me to suspect that this is some sort of urban legend...
Wow that's very interesting. I wonder if somebody somewhere video taped the speech?
post #12 of 20
I wondered the same thing, as the first place I saw this speech was in a "note" on Facebook. It is printed with the Letters to the Editor in this paper: http://www.phoeniciatimes.com/phoenicia/letters.html. However, I haven't dug further yet to determine if the paper's source was legitimate.
post #13 of 20
It's posted on this blog http://americaviaerica.blogspot.com/...an-speech.html but of course there's no way to verify it's actually the person credited as giving this speech who created the blog, even though it has her name on it. There's no contact info, it's the only post and she doesn't appear to have replied to any of the comments.

In any case, whoever wrote that piece captured what many people who have gone through the system think about it, even if it wasn't given as the valedictorian speech. It certainly represents my experience in public school, I wasn't valedictorian but was a "good" student.
post #14 of 20
Ok great speech, but I always see a flaw in that reasoning. You need to know the facts, basics, in order to think critically or out of the box. I guess I am harping on Blooms Taxonomy. In college, as a history student, any arguments or ideas I may have had would have been weak had I not the knowledge to draw opinions from or back up my claims.

In regards to only learning what interests you, that does not allow for someone to find perhaps a field of study they never knew about. I realized I enjoyed geology very much, and have found a great love of nature because of it. Where would I be if I wasn't forced to take science classes for my major?

Just some thoughts. I realize their are parts of our system are flawed, but lets not throw the baby out with the bathwater.

BTW, I also homeschooled and may again in the future; however, right now, we are at a charter school. So, I hope I am coming from a pretty neutral position.
post #15 of 20
As Dar pointed out, the Hudson Valley Freeman quoted Erica Goldson's speech as follows:
Quote:
"Remember to hold onto your value system, your work ethic and, most importantly, your humanity,” Goldson said during commencement exercises on Friday. “It is these qualities that will guide you further on your journey.”
The lines quoted are also available on Free Graduation Speeches website:
http://www.find-the-words.com/free-g...-speeches.html

As it turns out, it appears that Erica Goldson herself turned in a "fake" speech to that administration, perhaps apprehensive that her planned speech would be censored. This is reported in a correction published in the Daily Freeman: Tuesday, July 27, 2010 http://www.dailyfreeman.com/articles...1898874838.txt
post #16 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by aravinda View Post
As it turns out, it appears that Erica Goldson herself turned in a "fake" speech to that administration, perhaps apprehensive that her planned speech would be censored. This is reported in a correction published in the Daily Freeman: Tuesday, July 27, 2010 http://www.dailyfreeman.com/articles...1898874838.txt
Interesting.

When I first read it, I thought she has that passionate youthful way of seeing things only in black and white. She's clearly articulate but her vent doesn't express anything new about the faults of the educational system. Really, the only reason it's noteworthy and getting attention is because she took advantage of her valedictory award to say it.

It seemed somehow...lacking in grace ....to rant on at a ceremony where many - students and teachers - were celebrating often hard-won accomplishments. How were they supposed to feel when she finished?
post #17 of 20
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9M4td...=youtube_gdata


I think it was a fantastic speech. I'm sure she didn't think the world was going to change in an instant and it isn't necessary for her to have the answers to change but it is certainly important to be a conversation for as many people to join as possible. I think her thoughts and views are valuable. I applaud her bravery since she must have known she was going to get shot down and attacked by many people, especially in her own community.
post #18 of 20
Not sure why this is in learning at school. Hm.

Her speech reminds me of one given by a former unschooler at a conference. I wish I could remember whom she was. I'll go back in my emails to find it. She says many of the same things about her feelings regarding "working the system" and learning to regurgitate facts and say what she knew her teachers wanted to hear.

FTR, my kids were unschooled until Wednesday when we placed them in a charter for science and technology. I still feel there will be many things lacking in their day-to-day simply because they are sitting among nearly same-age peers (though multi-aged classes, but only w/in 3 years range) for 6 hours, and their materials will be limited to what is on hand, but we have promised to give it a go. As ingoing students, they are adept at critical thinking and finding their own way. I am confident they will let us know if and when it feels off to them. Right now, it is mostly about being in a "classroom" with a "teacher"--that mystical magical place they have heard about from friends and family.

While I do understand what some of you are saying about how her "institution" must have done her some good--look at her speech--there is, unfortunately, no way of knowing whether or not it was the institution or her own natural abilities (many kids I know are as brilliant and insightful sans any form of schooling) that now shines through. I tend to believe it is the latter. What else must have her coming up with such "lacking in grace" thoughts (interesting word choice, but I suppose I could see where you are coming from) than her very own mind?

I applaud her, and hope she continues to cause such a stir in the current culture of American education.
post #19 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by ollyoxenfree View Post
It seemed somehow...lacking in grace ....to rant on at a ceremony where many - students and teachers - were celebrating often hard-won accomplishments. How were they supposed to feel when she finished?
I can't say, but I'd have been thrilled to hear a speech like that. It would have been so refreshing to hear someone calling out the many flaws in the school system like that. Admittedly, my only hard won accomplishment (and it was hard won) in high school was actually making it to grad.
post #20 of 20
Forgot to mention the link I provided is a recording of the actual speech. And that I found that link through a homeschool mail list.
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