On a recent afternoon, the class of 2012 gathered for commencement, an annual rite of passage typically marked by impassioned speeches about how they, the new graduates, are the best and the brightest.
Privileged, exceptional, wonderfully unique and destined to go forth and make a difference.
But the difference, on this sun-dappled afternoon, was the message David McCullough Jr., an English teacher at the school, had for the crop of Wellesley kids in their crimson graduation caps and gowns.
“You are not special,” he told them.
“You are not exceptional,” he said.
“Contrary to what your U9 soccer trophy suggests, your glowing seventh grade report card, despite every assurance of a certain corpulent dinosaur, that nice Mister Rogers and your batty Aunt Sylvia, no matter how often your maternal caped crusader has swooped in to save you, you’re nothing special.”