Well, that was a wild ride. I gave the student commencement speech at my graduation this year. I graduated from Cornish College of the Arts. I earned a BFA in Theater with a concentration in acting, playwriting and directing. Also known as: Original Works.
Each year, there is a request for seniors to submit a five minute speech to be performed at the annual commencement ceremony. Mine was selected. Though the one I originally provided was not the one that I ended up delivering. The same message was delivered, but it took twelve drafts to get there. I was told that that is the most drafts ever for a commencement speech at Cornish. I love accolades like that. I am both proud and bothered by that. Ha!
Originally, the speech was completely personal and completely theater centric. There are seven departments at Cornish, and there would be families and friends attending that wouldn't know what the heck I was talking about. So, upon prompting from our Dean and the Writing Center, I was willing to re-write my script in order to make it accessible to the general audience.
This does not mean I didn't get frustrated with the process. It was actually wonderful. I learned that I know about as much as a knat's ass about writing a speech, so this was a concentrated, mind bending and rewarding experience. Thank you Writing Center. Here's a PLUG! If you are a student and your school has a writing center - a place where you can submit your writings to and students/staff provide timely feedback - it's GOLD! Do it!
I will write more about this speech, but I need to take a break now.
You'll find a personal recording of the speech here.