One new element today were the student speeches. After the seniors sat for a run through of the processional and recessional, most were dismissed as the five students speakers practiced with the on-field microphone. While I don't want to give anything away or steal their thunder, I can say that I was pleased with the multiple extended metaphors applied across the high school experience. It seems that, whether they admit it or not, there were a few students that paid attention to literary devices lessons.
And yet, one thing continues to strike me about "people giving speeches". No matter if its a school board member, a class president, a famous politician, a sales pitch, or a pastor, something strange happens when people have to formally give a speech. This isn't the same as talking in front of a group, but rather something about having a pre-arranged set of words and phrases completely changes the composition of these otherwise fluent individuals. The words, however poetic, seems holo. The pacing seems off, and the message almost rings as insincere. As I know I've written in the past, this is because there are two different types of language: the spoken and the written. Despite both being English, these styles are remarkably different. Just try reading this blog post out loud and see how ridiculous at sounds at times. Conversely, transcribe an average conversation into text and it appears just as awkward. There's something about these two types of language that keep them forever separate.
There are a select few individuals able to merge these styles. Playwrights can sometimes find a way to write the spoken, and actors can find a way to speak the written. Additionally, you'll find rare individuals throughout time that can bridge this gap. These are your truly gifted speakers and the ones that get remembered.
Will Baldwin be able to merge speaking and writing in the speeches tomorrow? I'm not quite sure just yet. The writing is becoming more "speak-like" but will the speaking match? Will we be able to take in the best of both? Perhaps some of the speakers are reading this right now as they prepare for tomorrow's big presentation...perhaps they'll use this as a challenge. We'll have to wait and see....Until then.