grad day speech-morals/ethics dilema

  1. i have been awarded the valedictorian of my class of 25 or so. i have to prepare something to address the class and guests with at graduation. i originally was going to do a very p.c. bit. lots of congrats and kudos to fellow grads and thanks to all who were there to make it happen.

    i am not the type of student who is constantly at the instructor's or administrator's door or desk. i work hard, study hard, and do the best i can. i generally prefer to be a face in the crowd. i am glad to do well, but i normally have no need to announce it. so my speech was a very humble thing, acknowledging that we all had different obstacles and motivators.

    well, my study partner does happen to be one of those students who is always in with the instructor and administrator. i value her for other things and wonder why she is so dependent on the acknowledgment of others when she is obviously smart and talented. one of her flaws is constantly trying to differentiate herself from the others in the class who have a similar lower income background.

    now, she tells me that there are other students who have been in to the administrator's office to get their grades changed. student's who bragged all the last semester to me about slacking, while at the same time throwing their family problems at the administrator for sympathy.

    my respect for my fellow students is waning. i am so disgusted, i don't even want to go to the ceremony. i could try and say something in a speech, but i don't think it is appropriate.

    arrrrg. moral dilema
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  2. 9 Comments

  3. by   LilPeanut
    Do not address it in the speech; it will only make you look bad.

    As for the rest, I don't know what to tell you, sorry
  4. by   FutureNurse2005
    congrats on your honor!! could you speak with a professor or director? I mean to ask for guidance with the speech. You dont have to mention specifics, but i'm sure they could help!
    good luck!
  5. by   chris_at_lucas_RN
    Congratulations on your well deserved honor! Go with your instincts. This is a time to be nice, give kudos, acknowledge everyone's hard work, and to be grateful that the obstacles (large and small, obvious and invisible) were managed.

    Ignore what your study buddy tells you. You do not have this as fact, and the type of personality you describe suggests that she may strongly suspect this and presents it as the truth.

    This is a time to be very pc. You go, girl! Make it NICE. Don't punish your instructors, classmates and their families by using your speech to slam anyone or anything. This is a time for celebration. It is a very traditional moment. You are there to honor your new profession and humbly express gratitude for having arrived.

    Again, congrats!
  6. by   waves
    "that the obstacles (large and small, obvious and invisible)"

    oh, that is a good line!

    you are all right about not using the speech as a tool to harm. all i had to do was think about what would make my mother proud. that made it pretty easy.

    i think i was just distressed that my fellow classmates are still worried about our grades, things that are behind us and unchangeable, instead of looking forward to the great big nursing world in front of us.

    the meat of my speech does address professionalism, commitment, and integrity....but in an abstract way, where people can take what they want from it. the ones who need to listen hardest probably won't hear a thing.

    thanks to everyone for re-lighting the lanterns along the good path. i don't feel all alone out here. just wish the good were as visible as the not-so-good.
  7. by   chris_at_lucas_RN
    You sound like a lovely person that anyone would be proud to know.

    As an aside, your comments inspired a thought in me: we never really go wrong if we retain grace in our interactions. Very hard to do in the heat of the moment, but certainly worth striving for. (Right back to "do the right thing," I think.)

    Your Mom should be proud--she did a good job!
  8. by   waves
    Quote from chris_at_lucas_RN
    You sound like a lovely person that anyone would be proud to know.

    As an aside, your comments inspired a thought in me: we never really go wrong if we retain grace in our interactions. Very hard to do in the heat of the moment, but certainly worth striving for. (Right back to "do the right thing," I think.)

    Your Mom should be proud--she did a good job!

    i feel like i've just been HUGGED! thanks
  9. by   CarVsTree
    I agree with the other posters.

    Just give your speech from your heart about your experience and about those that you know have worked as hard as you and for the right reasons. Focus on why you and most of your classmates were there. About what nursing is about, etc. Just ignore the whiners and give your inspiring speech.

    Congratulasions on getting valedictorian!
  10. by   Tweety
    Don't judge your class on a few. I'm sure while some are butt kissing to get their grades changed. Very few of them will actually get their grades changed.

    Be proud of your accomplishments of yourself and your fellow students. Most of them I'm sure worked as hard as you did.

    Congratuations!!
  11. by   UM Review RN
    now, she tells me that there are other students who have been in to the administrator's office to get their grades changed. student's who bragged all the last semester to me about slacking, while at the same time throwing their family problems at the administrator for sympathy.

    my respect for my fellow students is waning. i am so disgusted, i don't even want to go to the ceremony. i could try and say something in a speech, but i don't think it is appropriate.
    I agree with the advice about taking the high road in this case. Because you're hearing about other students, you should take it with a grain of salt. You didn't get where you are today by worrying about how other students were handling their studies, after all. Some of them really may have had mitigating circumstances, and got by in class, but they still have to take the NCLEX, and they'd better have a satisfactory knowledge base or they won't pass it.

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