E. Goldson, (2010) wrote a valedictorian address, “Here I Stand”, a speech dedicated to explain that too much concentration and effort towards memorization and following directions can hinder or distract creativity and the general learning processes.. Goldson describes the educational experience as an uneventful routine Goldson (2010) stated, “Perhaps, you only learned how to memorize names, places and dates to later on forget in order to clear your mind for the next test. School is not all that it can be.”
Goldson (2010) moves on with her speech belittling her own accomplishments by stating, “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.” There has to be more to life than a dull routine of going to school, following all directions, and then preparing to work. This sort of depressing picture is usually painted by a negative attitude. However, Goldson proves to have a superior attitude in order for her to gain the position of being top of her class.
Goldson shows real talent in her creative writing, unless someone else wrote this speech for her. She must have a more probable reason to belittle her own achievements. One trap some teenagers of high school fall into is displaying a vain or conceited demeanor. Goldson most probably wanted to gain respect from her audience by presenting a humble tone to avoid being accused of thinking of herself as being better than everyone else. Also, most high school students love to show contempt once in a while just to have an outlet of the stress associated with a high school crowded with students many of whom do not want to be there.. This speech definitely shows rebelliousness against the structure of our education system.
This criticism of our educational system appeals to the rebel student in her audience. Who can deny that the system is not perfect and that there is always room for improvement? However, Goldson’s speech does not offer any solutions to help improve the system. She does not appreciate her own writing skills, reading comprehension, math abilities and good memory. All of these attributes Goldson gained by following directions and doing extra credit can actually enhance new ideas, inspire creativity and open many opportunities. Think of all the scholarships Goldson could take advantage of. Her grades alone qualify her for the most prestigious universities.
The only reference Goldson (2010) used to back up her claim was a hypothetical conversation between a Zen student and master. There is no proof this conversation took place, and so it is most likely to be fictitious. The simple truth of the matter remains; that several highly educated people have proven that Godson’s argument is outright weak.
People in real life have proven beyond any doubt that education does now, and has in the past; inspired new ideas. John F. Kennedy, for example, graduated from Choate (high school) in 1935. He graduated Harvard University in 1940. Martin Luther King Jr. shows tremendous credit to Yonge Street Elementary School, and Booker T. Washington High School: because of his high score on the college entrance examinations in his junior year of high school, he advanced to Morehouse College without formal graduation from Booker T. Washington. Having skipped both the ninth and twelfth grades, Dr. King entered Morehouse at the age of fifteen.
From there he then received his Bachelor of Arts degree from Morehouse College in 1948 at age 19 and his Bachelor of Divinity degree in 1951 from Crozer Theological Seminary and Ph.D. from Boston University in 1955. Goldson failed to recognize the opportunities she had well earned from her experience in Athens high school. It was most likely due to her low esteem that Goldson failed to recogonize the skills and abilities learned from her hard work and dedication in Athens High School. She did, after all, bring discredit to achieving the top of her own class of 2010. References
Goldson E. (2010, June 25) Here I Stand Retrieved from: http://laborenglishzone.blogspot.com/2013/07/here-i-stand-graduation-speech-by-erica.html