Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Graduation Clichés

Note to commencement speakers: There are a few lines you might want to delete from your speeches. They’re nice sentiments, but we’ve heard them too many times already.

“I want to congratulate each of you on your journey.”

“Each of you has incredible talents.”

“This isn’t an end, but rather a beginning.”

“Always follow your passion.”

12 comments:

goat89 said...

HAHAHA. Experience sir? ;) I am graduating by end of this semester... we shall see... :D

Erik Johnson said...

I just graduated from the Columbus College of Art and Design this past weekend. I would have been ashamed to hear something like that from a speech at an art school. Our speaker started with kept it very brief and to the point thankfully. I only wish that had been the case back in high school.

My Pen Name said...

I remember my high school valedictorian said, 'if these are the best years of our lives, then what do we have to look forward to?"

etc, etc said...

At least offer them some useful cliches at college graduation. For example, in most cases the real working world bears little resemblance to what you have studied, and most everything revolves around personal politics and the employer's perceptions.

Dan Gurney said...

Sitting next to you, watching you sketch, I was amused to see that the quotes you jotted down at another graduation some months before seemed to have been taken right there, on the spot.

Good advice!

David Patel said...

haha this is hilarious! so true though

Andrew Finnie said...

I like one of my own "One door shuts ..... and another door shuts."

Thanks for running this site Gurney. It's a great blog to visit.

Beth said...

Hear, hear. I graduated from IUPUI a few weeks ago, so I had to sit through a ceremony with several speakers each from both IU and Purdue. The IU speaker gave a better speech, but the Purdue speaker was shorter, and after all the other crap we had to sit through, I really wished the IU guy would just shut up and let us get on with it.

(And yes, some of these cliches were definitely in there.)

Deborah Secor said...

How about: "Fall in love with what you do and you will never work another day in your life." Nice thought but the fact is no matter how much you love it, there WILL be work involved.

Roberto said...

Commencement addresses aren’t always long, boring clichés. Here are a couple of my favorites, one from the 1960s and one from this year:

Commencement address from The Eden Express: A Memoir of Schizophrenia by Mark Vonnegut: http://tinyurl.com/27shukw

“The Perfect GPA”: http://tinyurl.com/2g2ectt

By the way, James, let me take this opportunity once again to congratulate you on your journey. It's a great blog. -- RQ

Arborescence said...

There couldn't be more appropriate post for today. I am going to my niece's kindergarten graduation tonight. Ugh.

In addition, thank you for the wonderful site. After a ten year hiatus, I have decided to take up painting once more. Many of your posts have given me courage to try again.

Sarah said...

Ah, 'tis the season. I'll be attending the convocation ceremony for my own degree next week... and seeing how long it took me to get the bloody thing, it's been an experiment in paranoia, since it appears to be the one thing in post-secondary education that I HAVEN'T done yet.

Paranoia aside, though, it feels kinda exciting. I've been told by alumni that this particular university's ceremony is as formal as you can get without saying everything in Latin, and the idea of the robes as ceremonial dress makes me feel all the more interested in the idea of achieving academic rank. Here's hoping I'll avoid hearing some of those overtired phrases, though... Latin or no Latin.

When I was in high school, the chosen theme of the ceremony was 'The World's Greatest'. My social studies instructor disagreed in his speech, saying, "You're not the world's greatest... yet."