This part of valedictorian Erica Goldson's graduation speech (via Fark.com) echoed a thought I had few days ago:
I am now accomplishing that goal. I am graduating. I should look at this as a positive experience, especially being at the top of my class. However, in retrospect, I cannot say that I am any more intelligent than my peers. I can attest that I am only the best at doing what I am told and working the system.
The other day I was musing (with pride!) about my guessing strategy on multiple choice tests, for when I stumped by a question (how to eliminate answers, avoid runs in one letter, etc, nothing elaborate). And I thought to myself, "Wow, that's sure a useful life skill. Knowing how to game a multiple choice test".
On a similar note, I had a teacher in grad school that used to complain about students coming up to her and saying "Just tell me what I have to do to get an 'A'." I definitely felt that way sometimes. Just tell me the stuff I have to learn and I'll go about doing it.
Anyways, nice speech. I don't agree with all of it or some of the language (indoctrinate is a bit harsh) but it definitely made me think.