Wednesday, June 16, 2010

My Cousin Benji's Rejected Elementary School Graduation Speech

I wanted to showcase it here. The kid's name is Benjamin Fields. Remember that name.

Grad Speech

The Jabberwocky:

Twas brillig and the slithy toves
Did gyre and gimble in the wabe,
All mimsy were the borogroves
And the mome raths outgrabe.

These were the first few words of “The Jabberwocky” by that deranged genius, Lewis Carroll, author of Alice in Wonderland. Lewis Carroll was the pen name of Charles Dodgson, a Cambridge mathematics professor who wrote literature that turned logic itself upside down. \ He was writing about existentialism—you know, that philosophy that says that the universe is all nutter butter! \ It’s the idea of randomness! The basis of quantum physics and chaos theory. There is no order. It is the idea of everything having the improbability factor of 100. It’s the wonderful idea that a butterfly flapping its wings could make a rain forest grow in Antarctica. It’s where old Dodgson got some of his crazy cheese doodle book ideas. So, how appropriate that our school’s namesake just happens to be “Wonderland,” Mr. Dodgson’s own version of the most bizarre parallel universe known to man. It actually makes sense, considering our school is very quirky. There is endless nutter butter here at Wonderland! Like that time Mr. Rosner threw my shoe out the window and made me hop around all day. And who can forget good old Mr. Alpert when he took out a bone saw in the middle of class and lunged at us! Of course, special thanks to my dear kindergarten teacher, Jane, who taught me to read. Without that I never would have managed to build the first flux capacitor arhlg reactor!
We all know Wonderland has given us a lot. But here’s the question: What have we done for Wonderland? The main takeaway message of that rogue philosophy existentialism is that one individual can greatly impact the universe. (Remember the butterfly?) Boaster that I am, even I wouldn’t claim that I have impacted the universe. However, I can easily say that I’ve impacted Wonderland. Hopefully we all have. And as we go out from this school, hopefully we will all impact our new world too. Because, here on Earth we live in a broken world and the worst crime that can be committed is to do nothing about it. What would’ve happened if our founding fathers felt too threatened by the Red Coats to stage a revolution? What would have happened if Churchill thought that the Nazis were too hard to defeat? Or Jonas Salk, what if he thought polio was too hard to conquer in a lab? What if Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin thought going to the moon would be too treacherous ?
` So, don’t listen to the naysayers. Be bold. As Winston Churchill said,“ We shall never give in.” Don’t be afraid of of pushing for a recycling bin at your new school. Don’t be afraid of helping a bullied outcast get back on his feet. Let us all work together. You know what they say – 100 heads are better than one. And 100 heads from Wonderland are better than 100 who aren’t, that’s what I think. 100 people from this parallel universe of Wonderland – well maybe that’s just what we need to change things out there. So let us go forth and reach for the future we wish to create!
And with that, as Mr. Alpert says at the end of every school day while Pavarotti sings opera in the background, it is time to say good-bye. I will miss you These wondrous moments will never leave me. I love you all. Every teacher I had, every friend I made. And you too, Bertha. No matter how much fame and fortune I attain, my quirky soul will live in these quirky halls forever: Wonderland!

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