You may only know him as the voice of a French rat or as Randy Daytona's first comeback opponent in Balls of Fury, but Patton Oswalt gave the commencement speech at his alma mater this last June and really told it like it is.
"And I remember, so clearly, driving home from that dinner, how lucky I felt to have met someone who affirmed what I was already planning to do after high school. I was going to roam and blitz and blaze my way all over the planet.
Anywhere but here. Anywhere but Northern Virginia. NoVa. You know what a “nova” is? It’s when a white dwarf star gobbles up so much hydrogen from a neighboring star it causes a cataclysmic nuclear explosion. A cosmic event.
Well, I was a white dwarf and I was definitely doing my share of gobbling up material. But I didn’t feel like any events in my life were cosmic. The “nova” I lived in was a rural coma sprinkled with chunks of strip mall numbness. I had two stable, loving parents, a sane and wise little brother and I was living in Sugarland Run, whose motto is, “Ooooh! A bee! Shut the door!”
I wanted to explode. I devoured books and movies and music and anything that would kick open windows to other worlds real or imagined. Sugarland Run, and Sterling and Ashburn and Northern Virginia were, for me, a sprawling batter’s box before real experience began."
Now I doubt the high schoolers get how true this is of them and how much their lives and outlooks will change in the next 15 years. I remember spending my entire senior year wanting to stand in the backyard and scream as loud as I could. Klaus is grumbling about feeling trapped, which I can certainly understand. I wish there was a way I could download this speech into his brain without his knowing I put it there. If he thought they were his own ideas, it would be great. Oh well. Make sure you click the link above to read the speech and find the advice Patton got and the lesson he learned about it.