"You are not special. . . . Across the country no fewer than 3.2 million seniors are graduating about now from more than 37,000 high schools. That's 37,000 valedictorians ... 37,000 class presidents ... 92,000 harmonizing altos ... 340,000 swaggering jocks ... 2,185,967 pairs of Uggs," English teacher David McCullough Jr. told Boston-area graduates. . . .

 

"You see, if everyone is special, then no one is. If everyone gets a trophy, trophies become meaningless. . . . We have of late, we Americans, to our detriment, come to love accolades more than genuine achievement. . . ."