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May 11, 2015
by Larry Ferlazzo
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Video: “First Lady Michelle Obama Commencement Speech”

If you haven’t already heard Michelle Obama’s commencement speech at The Tuskegee Institute this past weekend, I’d suggest you make some time to watch/listen/read it.

Here’s the video, and you can read the transcript here.

I’m adding it to A Collection Of Useful Posts, Articles & Videos On Race & Racism – Help Me Find More.

May 11, 2015
by Larry Ferlazzo
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It’s That Time Of Year – Here Are The Best Commencement Speeches (So Far)

The Commencement Speech time is nearly upon us again!

I’ve accumulated The Best Commencement Speeches, which you might want to check out.

And I’m sure I’ll be adding at least one or two more over the next month….

May 20, 2014
by Larry Ferlazzo
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More Great Commencement Speeches

'Commencement' photo (c) 2008, Kantlers - license: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nd/2.0/

Here are some new additions to The Best Commencement Speeches:

Charlie Day’s Commencement Speech Is the Only One You Need to Hear is from Slate.

What We Learned From The Best Commencement Speeches Ever is from NPR and includes a data base of 300 of them.

The Greatest Commencement Speech Ever is from The Washington Post.

May 15, 2014
by Larry Ferlazzo
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The Best Commencement Speeches

'Occidental Commencement 2010' photo (c) 2010, Jason Bache - license: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/

I’ve published a number of posts about notable commencement addresses, and thought I’d bring them altogether here.

I was prompted to do so by Vox’s great post today sharing their picks for The 21 greatest graduation speeches of the last 50 years.

Here are my posts (let me know what Vox and I are missing):

Animated Video: George Saunders’ Commencement Speech On “The Importance of Kindness”

Video: “George Saunders Commencement Speech 2013″

Video: Bill Clinton’s Commencement Speech Is Quite Good

Excellent Commencement Address On Failure By Atul Gawande

Quote Of The Day: “It’s Harder To Be Kind Than Clever”

Quote Of The Day: “The Satisfaction Of Teaching…”

Michelle Obama On “Grit”

President Obama On Perseverance

“Be ashamed to die until you have won some victory for humanity”

“You’re Never Going To Keep Me Down”

How I’ll Use Part Of The President’s Kalamazoo Speech

And here’s a piece from The Washington Post: The funniest commencement speeches.

Charlie Day’s Commencement Speech Is the Only One You Need to Hear is from Slate.

What We Learned From The Best Commencement Speeches Ever is from NPR and includes a data base of 300 of them.

The Greatest Commencement Speech Ever is from The Washington Post.

Commencement Mashup: The Speech In Eight Easy Steps
is from NPR.

Anatomy Of A Great Commencement Speech is from NPR.

Commencement 2014 | Things to Read, Watch, Debate, Teach and Learn is from The New York Times Learning Network.

John Lewis: “You Must Find A Way To Get In Trouble”

The Best Commencement Speeches, Ever is from NPR.

May 20, 2013
by Larry Ferlazzo
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Video: Bill Clinton’s Commencement Speech Is Quite Good

I learned about Bill Clinton’s speech at Howard University from The Atlantic’s post, The Best Commencement Speeches of 2013, and it’s quite good.

I couldn’t find a written transcript, but here’s a good excerpt The Atlantic published:

But the most important thing is that we are all 99 and a half percent the same … The half a percent matters. It gave Einstein the biggest brain ever measured. He made pretty good use of it. It’s a good thing. That half a percent means LeBron James is hard to stop if he is driving for a basket. The half a percent matters. But so does the 99 and a half percent … And when you leave here I want you to never to forget for the rest of your life in the good times and bad that we live in an interdependent world and we’ve got to pull it together which means to be a good citizen you’ve got to something sometime for someone else because they are just like you are.

You can see what other commencement speeches over the year I’ve found worth watching here.

June 4, 2012
by Larry Ferlazzo
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Excellent Commencement Address On Failure By Atul Gawande

I’m a big fan of Atul Gawande’s writing, and have previously written about his work on instructional coaching.

Yesterday, he gave an impressive commencement address on “Failure and Rescue” at Williams College.

You can read it here (and I’d strongly encourage you to do so), but here’s my quick summary and his ending:

He points out that perhaps we don’t need to encourage people to take risks and make mistakes — we all are going to have our fair share of failures no matter what. The key, though, is in planning for that possibility and what we do with it:

So you will take risks, and you will have failures. But it’s what happens afterward that is defining. A failure often does not have to be a failure at all. However, you have to be ready for it—will you admit when things go wrong? Will you take steps to set them right?—because the difference between triumph and defeat, you’ll find, isn’t about willingness to take risks. It’s about mastery of rescue.

I’m adding this to The Best Posts, Articles & Videos About Learning From Mistakes & Failures.