This is a brave young woman, I think, to stand there before her friends, teachers, and loved ones to offer this critique on the day she is being honored for being the best and the brightest. I'm guessing she got scolded afterwards for being insufficiently grateful, for being inappropriate, for being rude. And I'm guessing she knew she was setting herself up for those criticisms. How many of us, as 18-year-olds, could have had the wisdom, let alone the courage to give this speech?
Of course, she didn't come to be standing there in her graduation gown with such a clear perspective on her own accomplishments without the help of teachers along the way, ones who stepped outside the dictates of state mandated curriculum, standardized tests, and goal oriented education, and nudged, prodded, and challenged her. The best teachers are always the ones who are at least a little subversive.
There is a story of a young, but earnest Zen student who approached his teacher, and asked the Master, "If I work very hard and diligently, how long will it take for me to find Zen?"
The Master thought about this, then replied, "Ten years."
The student then said, "But what if I work very, very hard and really apply myself to learn fast. How long then?"
Replied the Master, "Well, twenty years."
"But, if I really, really work at it, how long then?" asked the student.
"Thirty years," replied the Master.
"But, I do not understand," said the disappointed student, "at each time that I say I will work harder, you say it will take me longer. Why do you say that?"
Replied the Master, "When you have one eye on the goal, you only have one eye on the path."
I hope that she goes off into the world, has great adventures full of catastrophic failures and soul-lifting successes, then one day returns to teach our children.