Friday, 24 July 2009 00:00
For the past several years we’ve made it a practice to comment on the commencement speeches given by a chosen senior at the Schreiber High School June graduation ceremonies. They’ve all been high-spirited and the one just given by Daniel Ehrlich was no exception.
In his opening remarks, Daniel said, obviously with tongue-in-cheek, “Sit back, relax and enjoy the next few years in college. The heavy lifting is done…” After we finish high school, we all find out there’s plenty of “heavy lifting” ahead of us, i.e., getting through college, taking on our first professional job, et al.
However, after we’ve done that “heavy lifting” in high school all the future lifts will go along more smoothly. As I found out early on in my own life, “When you know how to do it, it goes along easily.”
Back when I was teaching high school in Cleveland eons ago, many of the administrations didn’t trust the students to delivery commencement speeches – the faculty chose a committee to do the actual writing and the students would read them off. Not at Schreiber! The students do it. And through both hearing and reading these addresses, we get a pretty good insight as to what our youngsters are thinking. That is extremely important.
I always try to pick out one line from a Schreiber commencement speech, one that really sticks out and makes me think … in this regard, Daniel said: “Remember: Amateurs built the ark (Noah’s). Professionals built the Titanic.”
Schreiber High School should put together all graduation ceremony commencement addresses into a bound volume so that we can all reflect upon them in the years to come.