Good Morning, ladies and gentlemen, board of trustees, administrators, teachers, parents, grandparents, brothers, sisters, uncles, aunts, cousins¦and seniors.
Everybody, take a deep breath, if you please¦.As you inhale the aggregate odor of your senior class for the last time, I™m sure there are many burning questions racing through your minds: ?Will I ever find my place in the world? eh¦If you™re lucky. ?My god¦how many more speeches before they let me graduate?…you™d be surprised¦ ?Who is that incredibly handsome young man addressing us, and for how long do we have the privilege of listening to him? Howdy there, Diego Arroyo here, and hopefully not for long.
I™m not up here to ask amazingly insightful questions though. I™m not even up here because of my charm and good looks. I™m up here because I have been granted this wonderful opportunity to speak to you today in order to compensate for the misery that went into my earning the title ?valedictorian, and all the misery that will envelope the rest of my life as a result of it. Whenever I walk out of the bathroom with my fly down and shirt tail hanging out, I™ll hear, ?And you were valedictorian? If I™m desperately looking for my glasses and I find them atop my heat I™ll hear, ?You were valedictorian? If I were to have been caught skipping in the middle of the valedictorian announcement, I might have heard, ?¦che Diego sacaste Valedictorian!!!
Yes, I earned the privilege to be valedictorian and for some reason, that’s supposed to mean that I somehow know more about life, and I should represent the class in imparting some final wisdom to everyone before running out the door with diploma in hand. Unfortunately, I™m rather short on life experience, so you really shouldn™t believe any so-called advice I have. Call this a disclaimer for the rest of my speech: <Results not typical. Your own mileage may vary. And so on:
The purpose of a graduation speech, as it has been laid out before me, is not to complain, though, but rather to bore the hell out of you. That why my speech will last for 5 hours, 8 minutes, 13.21 seconds, be filled with uninspiring poetry readings, mathematical allusions, bland quotes, meaningless anecdotes and the traditional candied assortment of shameless clich?©s and platitudes. Of course, I do realize that my speech is a compulsory formality, and that, in all likelihood, nothing I say will haunt your memories for more than a few minutes after we leave. I could just as well say a random string of words: toaster-oven, yellow-fever, Communism, shoehorn, Rebelde, Punky Brewster, Fig Newton, hobbledehoy.
Well, it does seem wrong though to dismiss you with erratic phrases and funny words. So¦for the rest of this speech I am going to pretend that I am in a position to give you the advice you will need when we enter the quote unquote ?real world soon. Hey, Take it¦I don™t use it anyway.
In a few years, you™ll all have your very first taste of alcohol, and, who knows, maybe even a couple years later you™ll experience your first kiss A whole magical world of delights will be opening up to you, disguised as at least four more years of arduous schoolwork and but a lifetime in a tedious, thankless job. To make sure you don™t screw all that up, I want to tell you all to be honest”I don™t necessarily mean with regards to other people; lying is an important part of any relationship. I want you to be honest with yourselves. When your cute little teenage faces and bodies curl-up into ugly lumps of fat, admit it. And when your hair flies south for the winter of your life, please, please don™t grow out the sides and comb it over. Nobody will believe that you have hair.
What I™m saying may seem pessimistic, but the important part of this honesty lesson is humor. Don™t succumb to the awesome power of your baldness”laugh at it. Polish your head and strut that shiny bulb around with pride. So¦ you want to look thinner? Get some fat friends¦
Humor has an amazing power. It emancipates us from the oppressive, uncontrollable facts of life. It emboldens us, enabling us to accept our condition and move on. The insane man has no sense of humor, but the man in possession of it has a rational, realistic view of the world. He can laugh equally hard when he fails as when he triumphs. Laughter makes us human; Koko the gorilla may know sign language, and could probably slaughter most of us on a standardized test, but that hairy ape will never get to laugh at Robin Williams, Bill Cosby, and George W. Bush. I originally was going to make a political joke here, but unfortunately, it got elected.
In conclusion, you are the future, follow your dreams, if at first you don’t succeed, skydiving is not for you. Blah, blah blah blah. But, most importantly, laugh¦and cherish this gift of spasms and primitive noises as a part of human nature, before you age to the point where your heart will stop if you laugh. Laugh at life ironies and disappointments. Laugh at society, your friends, and most importantly laugh at yourselves¦
I™m going to end with a fitting quote. It not by Jefferson, Emerson, or Lincoln, as is customary in graduation speeches, but by a fictitious, incestuous, comical, redneck hillbilly”Joe Dirt, ?Life is a garden¦dig it
Thank you and congratulation Class of 2006!