It was the high school commencement address heard ‘round the world. When English teacher David McCullough, Jr. addressed 2012 graduates from the public high school in Wellesley, Massachusetts, he told them, "You are not special."
In the 1980s classic comedy revenge of the nerds, there was a clear cut boundary between the titular nerds and the preppy, popular frat boys that sought to humiliate them. A recent culture trend in Silicon Valley is looking to completely upend that convention by fusing the two. A new breed of software engineers is on the horizon, and they are just as likely to fine tune code as they are to lift weights and party on the weekend.
Charles Wheelan’s unconventional advice for graduates got us talking about the twists and turns of our own post-graduate lives. The path life takes, as we know, zigs as often as it zags…so Virginia Prescott asked a few colleagues to record what they wish they’d been told on that expectant day.
CHARLES WHEELAN, professor at Dartmouth College and the University of Chicago and is author of 10 ½ Things No Commencement Speaker Has Ever Said and Naked Economics, veered off the motivational script when addressing the 2011 class at Dartmouth, telling the graduates “your worst days lie ahead.”