Graduation season always brings with it entertaining tales of lazy, desperate, or just plain dumb graduation speakers, who chose to plagiarize their speeches. Already this year we've had a medical school dean ripping off Atul Gawande, and a law school graduate pleading ignorance about the fact that plagiarism is frowned upon. But now, I think we've found our official Dumbest Speech Plagiarism of the 2011 Graduation Season.
Joseph Anderson, principal of Manhattan's Clinton School for Writers and Artists, gave a graduation speech last week that plagiarized parts of David Foster Wallace's famous Kenyon College graduation speech in 2005—one of the most famous graduation speeches of our generation. This makes me strongly suspect that Joseph Anderson just Googled "great graduation speech," then clicked on the first link.
It is this level of passion and commitment to research that will help you succeed in a world with nothing to fear but fear itself, kids. When you reflect upon the lessons instilled in you by your principal, always remember: It takes a big man to cry, but it takes a bigger man to laugh at that man.