I usually know a number of seniors pretty well but, since I like to cycle through classes, every couple of years I have a group that I've been with from 10th grade to 12th.
This was one of those years
It was extra special because it was also my daughter Batya's graduating class.
It's been an amazing gift to be able to work at her school for the past four years and she's been amazingly tolerant. Particularly with both her and her boyfriend in my class this year.
Actually, they're both terrific and I think I only embarrassed her a couple of times.
Every few years, my seniors ask me if I want them to nominate me as faculty speaker at graduation. Usually I say no - stage fright. This year, Batya asked. I thought it would be really cool. I said yes and the troops came through and voted me in. I wasn't sure I would be the winner, but as Peter commented "but you lead the most popular cult at Stuy!" It would have been enough of an honor to speak to the graduating class, including many students that I feel connected to and it would have been a great honor to speak at Batya's graduation. To add to it all, the guest keynote speaker was my dear childhood friend Ben Fried.
Truly a career highlight.
Ben was terrific. I was watching the audience as he spoke - he delivered a great message and really kept the classes attention. No video as of yet, but Ben published the text on Google+.
You can find it here
Here's a video of my speech. Jennifer said some very nice things to introduce me. I was tempted to go off script right at the beginning and point out that many of the nice things she said were really about our CS team and not just me:
I really didn't read the speech, just used the printed text as notes, but here's what I worked from: gradspeech.pdf
The graduating class seemed to enjoy it, at least as much as one can enjoy any graduation speech, but, for me, as I said, a career highlight.