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The Case for Vetting Graduation Speakers

Raidra May 22, 2016 User blog:Raidra

Today my nephew graduated from high school. Mom didn’t go even though she felt well because there were a couple concerns (For those of you who didn’t know, my mother had surgery recently. Thankfully her recovery is going well). Luckily my brother showed us how to watch the stream of the graduation, so we were able to watch the graduation live on the computer. :-D However, something happened during the event. I was going to share this with just a few people, but this is so bad I decided to share it with everybody. The valedictorian spoke and then it was time for the salutatorian to speak. The thing is the girl cheated; it was an open secret that she had plagiarized and maybe had other people do some of her work for her. This fraud was still allowed to be salutatorian because her parents had some kind of clout in the school, which is utterly disgraceful. I was going to look down on any speech she made because of the back story, but the one she gave ended up being a doozy. She started talking about animals, saying that the gazelle woke up knowing it had to be faster than the fastest lion if it wanted to stay alive, and the lion woke up knowing it had to be faster than the slowest gazelle if it wanted to eat. Not bad so far, but then it got convoluted. She talked about lions being focused on a goal (which seemed to be a good thing in her eyes), but then she said lions were single-minded (which seemed to be a bad thing in her eyes), and said something about how nice it would be to get to sleep 21 hours a day. At this point I started played mahjong solitaire on the iPad because I didn’t know what was her point was. She eventually said she looked at herself as a lion (Lioness, you goof), though it sure sounded like she was saying that it was better to be a gazelle. Then I heard her say something about the first time she had macaroni and cheese. What the what? Sadly that wasn’t the worst graduation speech I’ve ever heard. I should also note that talking about working to achieve your goals, staying focused, etc. isn’t really fitting for an academic fraud. At least Lance Armstrong was actually on the bicycle pedaling. Afterward Mom and I looked at each other wondering what on earth her speech had to do with the price of eggs in China. It gets worse. My aunt, who was able to go to the event, came home and told us that my brother had said beforehand, “I bet she’ll plagiarize her speech.” After the ceremony he looked it up, and sure enough, she had copied parts of another speech. Another man Googled it and found the same thing. I may have misheard/misunderstood some of what she said, but there’s no doubt that she plagiarized at least one speech. Shoot, she probably stole parts of several. I bet that lowlife has never even had macaroni and cheese. Thankfully the rest of the ceremony was good. Congratulations, Alex! We’re proud of you and all your hard work! :-D

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