May 25, 2011

Casey at the Bat (with a speech)

This is the season when school speeches are prepared.  Each provide some unique insight to a period of time and a small bit of prognosticating for the future. My youngest daughter, Casey, recently completed a speech that was considered for her 8th grade ceremony.  While another was selected, fatherly pride got the best of me and I wanted to share her effort (a great effort) with you.

Welcome and thank you for attending this special event. As the student body, we are so thankful for all parents, family members, and teachers. We couldn’t have made it through middle school if it weren’t for your support and guidance. Teachers, we think of you as our gateway to education. You help us understand homework and make us smile when we’re down. Most importantly, you help us to reach the next level in our education. Thank you. Mothers, fathers, great friends and family members, we think of you as our moral guidance. Telling us right from wrong and helping us with our issues. We students are so thankful for your support through our middle school years.

We have learned so much as students. So well done, eighth graders, for completing some pretty tough years of middle school. The past years are so memorable, from Mr. Guy’s hilarious jokes to Ms. Bapty’s never-ending exams. I’m so glad that I could have you all as my classmates.

Apple Mountain 2008 was a great trip to learn about ourselves and our new classmates. Learning new things about myself that I never knew before was the most memorable part for me. All of the sixth graders sitting inside on a rainy night, holding candles and letting loose of our feelings. This moment was very emotional toward many of my classmates including me. I felt like I really learned a lot then. The other activities were also great, while the weather changed from hot to cold to rainy and back to hot and then to gloomy again. The constant change during that trip provided us a taste for the change we would expect for the remaining of our middle school experience.

Ten years ago I can remember sitting at my window waiting for my dad to return from New York City so our family could go to the State Fair. The built up excitement, anticipated exhilaration, and the thoughts of having fun raced through my head. I couldn’t wait. Like the State Fair, I know that so many of us are so excited to be in high school already. But I hope that we don’t take high school as something we’re so excited for that we don’t live for the moment. High school will be memorable, that’s for sure, but I hope that we’ll live for life one day at a time.

September 11th, 2001. A fearful and memorable date for many people. We think of the bad and the sorrow that happened instead of looking into today. For me, it was waiting for my dad to get back home from New York City, which he did several weeks later.  Since that date, a whole lot has changed in this world. Back then it was the event that we thought of, today it’s the relief of Osama Bin Laden’s death. But how will these feelings affect our future? We find ourselves worrying about things like this that aren’t in our control. We fear that the future will hold events like this for us to be concerned about. So what do we do? The only thing we can- look to the future and hold responsibility for the choices that lay there for us. Like high school, for example. There will be trials and decisions that we will be looked at to deal with. All we can do is to keep going and to be conscientious about the next four years. The world is changing fast. Every event and understanding that we’ve experienced whether is it on the global, national or local level will impact us as of today on.

I’m going to read a favorite quote of mine by Al Gore written in 2005. “My bet is that thirty years from now, you won’t have any idea what was said here, but you will remember the parties tonight. You will remember your families being here, you will remember the hard work that got you to this point, and you’ll remember how you felt. And I hope you feel great, because this is a remarkable achievement we are honoring here today.” Al Gore has carved us a path. We’re not only celebrating an end, but looking forward to a beginning. Our slates are clean, and our mind’s are prepared, so let’s make it happen. Let’s put in our all for a great four years of high school. No matter what happens, never give in. Never let go of your potential because you all have a lot of it. Our biggest obstacle next year will be ourselves. So I wish the good and the bad to you. Fall down and get back up, make a mess clean it up, and maybe make another one. Our lives aren’t over until we stop trying.

Our middle school years are past, taking along some of our young memories. Eighth Graders- You’ve matured now and moved on, and made space for new experiences. You’ve tested, written essays, done your homework (sometimes succeeding from the dog getting to it), and you’re prepared for the future. Class of 2015- Congratulations on finishing a fabulous middle school.

Yup, that’s my girl!

1 Comment

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: