Hello Principal Diamond, faculty, teachers, students, parents, grandparents, my girlfriend Sara who is in college, my cousin Sarah who is not my girlfriend and has an H in her name, our school janitor Boris, and also, to my favorite part of our school, hello vending machines. I will miss getting Starbursts from you.
My name is Alex Simpson and this is a graduation speech. I’m giving a graduation speech because we’re graduating. This is nice, right? I love giving graduation speeches. I wish I’d done this more in high school. Right now, you’re probably wondering why I was chosen to give the graduation speech. It’s not because I am the valedictorian. It’s not because I am abnormally good-looking, although, as you can see, I certainly am. It’s because my father’s company gave a large donation to the school. This speech is sponsored by your local Simpson’s Toyota dealer. Come on down and get your hands on some recently recalled vehicles with 0% APR financing. Ask for Alexander Simpson Senior.
So, I’ve been told that graduation is a time for inspiration and reflection. I think reflection is difficult because it requires us to think.
Thinking is hard. This is a nugget of wisdom I want you to take away and remember forever. My dad told me that in order to make a speech to be effective, you have to repeat things more than once, so again, let me say, thinking is hard.
That’s one of the reasons I’m glad to be graduating from Mount Pleasant High School. I won’t have to think all that much, because when I go to college, I plan on having my father make donations there too. No more reflection for me. The only kind of reflection I like is the one I see the mirror. You like it too, right?
Even though I didn’t want to do that much thinking, I wanted everyone in the Class of 2010 to feel like this speech was really one of the best speeches they’ve ever heard, right on par with the Gettysburg address, the “ I Have a Dream Speech,” or my personal favorite, “The Seven Words You Can Never Say on Television.” That’s some life-changing stuff, right? Right, people?
So that is what I am saying to you, Class of 2010. Yes we can. Yes we can graduate school. Yes we can get accepted into colleges because our dads are powerful businessmen. Yes we can now forget the elements in the periodic tables. Yes we can live in dorms and hang up posters to make people think we are interesting and
smart. Yes we can forget how to forge our doctor’s signatures to get out of gym. Yes we can flunk Spanish and still graduate. Yes we can enjoy our summers, and if you’re me or one of my three friends, you can enjoy the summer at my lake house sipping on virgin daiquiris, but pretending to be drunk.
That part of the speech was called the “Yes We Can Reprise.” Now is the part of the speech where I ask: Does anybody have a sandwich?
In the event that no one stands up to offer me a sandwich, I have alerted my friend Daniel to stand up and bring me some Subway I purchased this morning. Though it is a few hours old and a bit soggy, I still want Danny to bring it to me. Danny?
This is the part of the speech where I take a bite of the sandwich. I was going to say something about how Mount Pleasant High School is kind of like a sandwich. We too are made up of a lot of different ingredients—athletes, gangsters, people who read. Together, we make up one really tasty thing. Also, our school cafeteria has awesome pokie sticks and Subway has really good bread, so in my mind that’s similar too. I was going to say more, but I've decided I want to end early. My parents are throwing me a graduation party at the Simpson Toyota dealer. It’s just up the road. There will be hotdogs, hamburgers and virgin daiquiris, but no Subway sandwiches. Please pretend you’re drunk and that my speech changed your life. And remember, thinking is hard.