(The following was a graduation speech by a boy graduating from Discovery School of Virginia. This is printed with permission. -Lon)
Art Linkletter had a television show called Kids Say the Darndest Things. In a similar fashion the following is a humorous metaphor as presented recently by a student speaking to the student body, staff and family when he graduated from the Discovery School with his high school diploma:
"I'd first like to thank all of my family that came out today. Your support is much appreciated.
Well those of you who know me know my obsession with cars so it's only natural that I ramble on relating myself to a car. You see, I started out as a blue-print, or drawing, of a car in a design studio. Completely open to influence and suggestion. I thank my lucky stars that my parents were good designers or I would be in a far worse spot than I am now. Some years went by and I established myself as someone who was rather a pain to be around and a pretty bad student in school. Around 9 or 10 I got into a really bad car accident because I wandered out of the proverbial lane into oncoming traffic. I limped around the roads for a while with my broken parts becoming worse and worse until they seemed irreparable. Finally in 8th grade I got stuck in a rut that I couldn't get out of on my own. Thankfully the tow truck that was my parents took me to another school much like this one. At this repair shop they did a lot of body work and fixed some minor problems I had in my interior. I came out with the new ability to make friends but most of the underlying problems were still there.
Two years later I found myself stuck in yet another rut. The parental tow truck was by now getting understandably fed up with their dysfunctional car so they sent me to another repair shop known as the Discovery School. At the Discovery School we discovered that my transmission, or speed of understanding things, was stilled paired up with an engine that was far too powerful, or my brain. My power steering, which helps you steer a car with less difficulty, wasn't working so it was impossible for me to stay on that ever twisting road to success. My voice command system was made by Ford, so it was terrible, and therefore I didn't listen to others requests for me to stop my nonsense very well. My fuel efficiency was terrible which translates into my selfishness. And finally my radiator wasn't doing its job so my engine was always overheating which caused me to get stressed out. On the whole I was like a Delorean which is the car from back to the future: on first glance I appeared to be an amazing sports car. My when you got to know me, you realized I was just a gas-guzzling, slow, dysfunctional car that wasn't going to be a true success.
Luckily, here at the Discovery School there are some top notch mechanics. Ms. Williams repaired my radiator so that I could breathe and deal with stress better. My teachers installed a transmission that would keep up with the big Corvette LS9 6.2 liter V8 so that I could figure things out quicker and more efficiently. Mr. Clegg installed new voice command software so I could listen to people. Mr. Dufort, Mr. Outland, and Mr. Trochim fixed my power steering so that I wouldn't have so much trouble staying on the road to success. Mr. McGee and later Mr. Beauvais taught me how to use my brakes more so that I didn't make dumb decisions without thinking. My group improved my aerodynamics, installed cylinder shut-off, and took un-needed weight off of me so that I was more fuel efficient and less selfish. Finally and most importantly, my family, through and alongside Mr. Forman, supercharged my engine to motivate me all the way through this amazing program. My group also tried to install a stereo that played something other than classic rock but I wouldn't let them.
I came into this program as a selfish, resentful, immature adolescent who was going nowhere in life. I am now a mature, hard-working, self-less, adult who has a future. Because of all this I am now graduating High school with more than just a diploma, but the tools I need to be successful as well. I am forever indebted to all of you.