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Rejected Student Speaker Applications

by Flip Ptarmigan

Aspiring Speechwriter


What If You Put Two Sandwiches Together Into a Double Sandwich, a Graduation Speech By Me

“Imagine that college is like a BLT, and after-college is like a grilled cheese. They’re both great on their own, but together they’re taller and have more bread.”

East High School Oberlin College Commencement Speech

“We’ve survived so many hard things together . . . the AP Calc test . . . the time a bird flew into the cafeteria and everyone threw chairs at it . . . when Mr. Rolf’s fly was down and it was really funny but also sad. The adult world isn’t going to know what hit it!”

A Commencement Speech by Guest Speaker Richard Fairbrass of Right Said Fred

“I'm too sexy for my love, too sexy for my love; love's going to leave me. I'm too sexy for my shirt—too sexy for my shirt—so sexy, it hurts. And I'm…too sexy for Milan. Too sexy for Milan, New York, and Japan. And I'm too sexy for your party, too sexy for your party, no way I'm disco dancing! I'm a model…you know what I mean. And I do my little turn on the catwalk; on the catwalk, on the catwalk, yeah, I shake my little tush on the catwalk! I'm too sexy for my cat, too sexy for my cat; poor pussy! Poor pussy cat! I'm too sexy for my love, too sexy for my love—love's going to leave me. And I'm…too sexy for this song. Thank you.”

In Defense of the Vest: an Oral History of the Waistcoat at Oberlin College

“There’s been a lot said in the commencement speech space about the waistcoat: it’s ‘dorky,’ it’s ‘uncool,’ it’s ‘anathema to most people you meet at parties.’ But I’m here today, in front of you, the class of 2023 and your precious families, to prove the merit of the humble vest. In the following 120-minute oral history—” [gets yanked offstage with a cane]

Illustration by Maia Hadler, Art Director

What I Learned From My Time Here

“There were these two pigeons on the sidewalk having some kind of bird fight—awesome—and I looked away for a moment, and when I looked back, there were just a couple feathers floating on the breeze. Once you realize that birds can explode, it really opens up your worldview; I wouldn’t be the person I am today if not for that one critical juncture. A couple years later, my girlfriend said that they probably just flew away, but my worldview was already open.”

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