I’ve probably attended more graduation ceremonies that I can count in my lifetime.
Recently, I came to the conclusion that – at high school graduations, especially – maybe it’s time to flip the script. I mean, each commencement exercise is so predictable: Speeches from the valedictorian and salutatorian, remarks from the senior class officers and special recognition for the top 10 percent of the class.
Don’t get me wrong; I’m not begrudging those honors to any deserving student. If you have a child who falls into any of those categories, you both should be congratulated for hard work, dedication and all that it takes to consistently perform well academically. What I’m saying is why not let us hear from some other kids too?
After all, every student who actually graduates has made a major accomplishment. As many will discover years after graduation, some of the students who distinguished themselves the least academically turn out to be people who have the most interesting things to say. If you take look at many of the dignitaries who are asked to come back to speak to graduation classes, they are not the necessarily the ones who were straight-A students in high school.
Popular commencement speaker Dolly Parton says, she hated school. “Even to this day,” she’s said, “when I see a school bus, it’s just depressing to me.”
Bill Cosby, who is a great advocate of education and one of the most sought-after speakers, dropped out of high school to join the Navy.
I’ve been blessed to have gotten several honorary doctorate degrees, and I’ve never made a secret of my average GPA. And as much as I love to read about and hear from people who have been super-achievers for most of their lives, I know that college campuses, factories, corporations, communities and the world are made up of all kinds of people: Brilliant, average, boring and funny – so why shouldn’t a graduation ceremony include all of those people? Why not a few remarks from the class clown? What words of advice does the defensive back of the football team have to offer? What is the outlook of the kid who’s been bullied since the first day of school?
I have a feeling even the best and the brightest wouldn’t mind sharing the spotlight on the day that belongs to every student in the class. In these days especially, when dropout rates are at record levels, the student who comes from a broken home, raised by a single grandmother on a fixed income who hangs in there, puts in the work and walks across that stage on Graduation Day is worthy of more than the role of an ”extra,” in my opinion.
The Bible says the first shall be last, not as a put down to the winners, but to remind those at the bottom to be hopeful and to endure.
Time and time again, the ones who get the least attention in high school go on to distinguish themselves in all kinds of ways. But I say it’s time for them to take their place at center stage a lot sooner than that. Maybe if the strengths of more average students were celebrated on Graduation Day, more below-average students would stick around until the end.
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This Week’s Celebrity Instagrams (11/26-12/2)
30 photos Launch gallery
1. Little Legend and Puddy 😍😍😍😍
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2. "You on point Phife?" "all the time,Tip". 💥 #bannedfromnormal
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3. Vegan! The Impossible burger at Crossroads
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4. Lawrence #BeforeandAfterEpisodes 1-4: 184lbs 13% body fatEpisode 8: 196lbs 8% body fat S/O @coachdaveboxing with the works outs and @kildareriordan with the nutrition
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5. Jus haaaanngin out
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6. Meanwhile back at home in Atlanta GA someone mad they not on the 🛳. 😳
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7. No limits... Photo cred: Chris Bridges @ludacris
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8. new new
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9. Apparently my 260lbs is too much for the actual vines in the Hawaiian jungles to hold me without breaking and me falling hundreds of feet. So for safety purposes, I'm forced to swing thru #Jumanjj on wires strong enough to hold 12 adult buffaloes and 1 adult Rock. #OnSet #Jumanji #IronicallyIEatBuffaloDailyForLunch #MoreManThanNatureKnowsWhatToDoWith
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10. hey ma! 🎎#wcw 💙
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11. Surprise visit to our factories!!! #GoodAmerican #USA
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13. Peachy Keen 🔥✨⚡️
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14. If this don't look thankful I don't know what does. Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours. #UltraBlessed #24kMagic #SweetPotatoFly
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15. Late nights @nbcmarlon with the writers... we in here!!!
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16. There goes my baaaaaaaaabbbbyyyyy #QueenKingMagic!!! We're up to something! Ira BIG!!! Stay out our buisness -
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17. You want to win every game you play but when you come home to these faces... who cares. #ILoveYouGirls best part of my day, everyday!
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18. Steady,steady..... full size jenga.. "I got this one "???? Or do I ?
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19. Cornrows kind of day 😉@dontaysavoy2 you convinced me and I love. ❤️️
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20. #BrotherlyLove #tbt
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22. #basel #TeamLOVE @kingcombs
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23. Just introduced a special screening of @directher 's groundbreaking (must see) documentary @13thfilm with my brother @themichaelealy | @unitedblackout #blackoutblackfriday
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24. Me & Vanessa Williams giving #DuckLips #Pose on the set of #DaytimeDivas @vh1 - Coming Soon to a tv near you. Lol. - My make up done by @makeupsurgeon
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25. This picture just makes me wanna praise the Lord, you hear me!!!!!! Yes Lord brotha #TEDDYCAMPBELL What a #man !!! You are everything right on this picture husband ......... #gorgeous #stylish #classy #strong #masculine #king #sexy #debonair #gentlemenstyle And that #bible in your hand just seals the deal for me (probably cause i know that, that is what helped you become just as amazing as you look😘). While my heart and mind experiences the goodness of God at #church on Sundays, my eyes experiences the goodness of Teddy😍. Amen somebody🙌🏽. "Bless the Lord oh my soul and all that is within me bless his holy name" #myman #myhusband #goodman #blackman #dapperman #godlyman #goodfather #mybestfriend
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26. Yesterday was my mama's 53rd birthday!!!!! Got to celebrate with her all day. If this is what I have to look forward to I can't wait. Looking like a soft bucket a cocoa butter. Yaaaaaaaaaas! 😍😍😍 love you mommy!
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27. "Shout out to @PureAtlanta for getting the family right"....I'm loving this jogger. 😍😍
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28. This pic warms my heart ❤️ #myLogiebeans and aunt aunt umba @itowandabraxton 😘
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29. You will always be my baby😜. #HappyBirthdayReginae #mybaby18
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30. GC "Gods Child" Red on Red SweatSuit available now at www.MonicaApparel.com ... Take Your Crown wherever you go!! I'm pictured in a Medium... Go to the site now for other options ... cc: @trukernell
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