As regular readers know, I’m a big fan of Robert Krulwich from NPR.

He just gave a very impressive commencement address that he reprinted at his NPR column.

I sometimes wonder how many of the so-called “school reforms” that we and our students are subjected will help further what Krulwich calls the “three important things.”

Here’s an excerpt from his speech:

Because schools like the College of the Atlantic teach you three important things. Other places teach them, too, but I suspect they do it better here. First, they get you comfortable with how to explore and question and learn. Second, they teach persistence. After all, you finished your senior project, made your deadlines, you are graduating. Not everybody made it, but you did. (Congratulations.) And finally, this is a place that teaches that you aren’t stuck with the world you’ve been handed. You can change this world. You can imagine a different one. You can dream. I’ll get back to that in a minute, but all three — the learning, the persisting and the dreaming — they all protect you. Yes, you’re going to get bounced around in the real world, but these three gifts will teach you how to bounce back.

I call this The Chumbawamba Principle, proclaimed by a small group of philosophical musicians in Britain, who said, when facing misfortune:

I get knocked down.
But I get up again.
You’re never going to keep me down ..

…..And this persistence, knowing how to learn, that you can learn, this knowledge will protect you all your life. It will keep you in the game.

I’ve embedded below a short clip from the song Krulwich references (if you’re reading this on an RSS Readers you might have to click through to see it). I’m adding it to The Best Videos Illustrating Qualities Of A Successful Language Learner.