Selected items from May 2014

• On May 19, at Warren Easton Charter School in New Orleans, Sandra Bullock told the graduating class, “Stop worrying …. I don’t remember any of the moments in my life where I worried. So that’s a lot of time I could never get back.”

• Opera star Joyce DiDonato on the 23rd told graduating students at the Juilliard School, “… in our fear, we stop contributing that which is unique to us.”

• On the 23rd during commencement at Albany High School in New York state, senior Vanessa Ulrich, comparing their life to writing, told her fellow students, “As we head into a new volume, hold your pen with pride and make good use of every word and phrase ….”

Local items from May 2014

• On the 21st, Holden seniors Emily Hedrick and Sarah Fisher addressed their classmates. Hedrick said, “I hope each of you lives life to its fullest.” Fisher quoted Mark Twain, “The two most important days in your life is the day you are born and the day you find out why,” to encourage them to find their purpose in life.

• At Chilhowee on the 29th, speeches were given by salutatorian Kara Williams and valedictorian Samantha Andrews. Williams advised her fellows to make mistakes, quoting Winston Churchill, “Success is stumbling from failure to failure with no loss in enthusiasm.” Andrews encouraged them to express themselves, quoting Dr. Seuss, “… say what you feel because those who mind don’t matter and those who matter, don’t mind.”

• Bailee Manley, one of 24 graduating students from Leeton High School, reminisced about their years together and the importance of their future on the 30th. Tyler Gantz quoted GE executive David Calhoun saying, “… grow intellectually, tackle the toughest jobs, know the difference between progress and purpose.”

Personal perspective for May 2014

By that time, I had managed to present both my models of reasoning and my theory of appeals at professional conventions and my public speaking text online. However, for various reasons, they received little attention academically. I was stymied.

Looking backward, I could have benefited from advice given to that year’s graduates.

Okay, you’re right, I could still benefit from those speeches. But, then, perhaps everyone could gain from the quotes.

Copyright 2019 W. Clifton Adams. Additional writing from Adams can be found at

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