Children of the Sun > Reading & Writing

Graduation speech

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Matt:
Here's my high school graduation speech. Each year, we have speeches from the valedictorian, salutatorian, and a student speaker, who is selected from however many applicants. I was the student speaker this year, this is my speech. Whenever I retrieve the interview and nonfic article I wrote (which I'm intensely dissatisfied with, in retrospect), I'll post those too. See how many science fiction references you can spot.


begin

The poet Lord Alfred Tennyson once wrote, "For I dipped into the Future, far as human eye could see; saw the vision of the world, and all the wonder that would be." Ladies and gentlemen, I have a vision of what may be, of what is to come. I have a vision of the world as we can make it, a vision of the distant horizon that we can explore, that we must explore.

For we are, all of us; explorers, each with a journey to take. We are driven to this great adventure by need, by purpose, to seek not only the answers to our questions, but new questions. And we are at the point in our lives where our ship is leaving the harbor to set sail across the wide seas of life. Graduation is the commissioning, our moment of reflection before we christen our dreams. We pause before we raise our flag and hoist our sails, before we take hold of this wheel before us. Soon we shall leave this port and embark for strange new worlds, strange new shores. Let us set a course for thos dreams, and those distant unknown shores that lay just over the horizon.

We stand here overlooking the future, the "undiscovered country." To be or not to be is the question that confronts us. Will we realize our existence and take that future into our hands, and claim it as our own? This is no easy undertaking. We face the hardest enterprise of our lives. Rocks and shoals are in these uncharted waters, waiting to ground us and stop us in our tracks. These straits are but a passage for us. Why let them stop the greatest discoveryof our lives, of who we are and who we can become? It is said that fortune favors the bold. Be bold, then, and strike out in the ambition to not only go farther than any man has gone, but as far as it is possible to go, to boldly go where no man has gone before. The storms we will face are but passing rain, and when we emerge on the other side we will be all the stronger for those tempests that sought to tear us apart, for we are not only voyaging on these dreams, but we are also the ships we sail. We are the dreamer, and the dream. Far beyond all the stars, beyond the distant shore, we shall see our dreams into being.

We have nothing to fear from these storms, not as long as we stand firm and stand together. This school has been a community to us. We are about to step outside this community, where we were all citizens, to step into the larger world, to become citizens of a vast community of humanity. High school has been said to be a microcosm of the real world, of the big picture. I don't think it's so much a picture as it is a tapestry, in which we are all woven together, woven together in brotherhood and friendship. Four years ago, on a bitter September morning, that tapestry was attacked and our lives unalterably changed. But I stand here today with you, my brothers, in defiance of those who would tear us apart. No matter the color of my skin or the ideas in my head, I stand by my brother. I hope all of you, as my companions in this ship, do the same. Stand with me, proud and defiant, in this brave new world we weave together. Apart we are but strands; bound together we are stronger than any hate, stronger than any who would seek to break our fellowship.

We have spent so much time here, so many memories; it's hard to leave. Cherish every moment, because it will never come again. What we leave behind is not as important as how we've lived. After all, we're only mortal. And our ship is ready. H. G. Wells wrote, "The past is but the beginning of a beginning, and all that is and has been is but the twilight of the dawn." We are the dawn. We are the undiscovered country. Our time spent here was the prelude to what we shall achieve in the coming years, charting the endless possibilities of life, discovering our future. That is our mission. It is not the destination we reach that matters, but instead, the journey, into that final frontier.

In graduation, we receive a salutation and a valediction. I would like to give a benediction, a well-wish of hope in the face of all adversity that lies before us. As we leave here today, remember: we are the captains of our soul, the masters of our fate. Let us set sail then, against the winds of chance and change, and all those that follow us shall know our velocity. Godspeed ye mighty captains! May your North Star shine ever brightly, guiding you back to this safe harbor once more. But as for now . . . bring me that horizon. Second star to the right, friends, and straight on 'til morning.

end

Tyson:
Or you could have saved yourself the hours you spent writing that and just planned on showing up on stage drunk with tattered notes.

"Oh. Mic? Mic. Ok ok. Right."

*paper rustling*

"I... Uh. Hold on. Mic? Right right. Ok. Graduates. It was said by the great philosopher Black Kenya. Keys? Whatever. 'What about tonight?' I urge you to think about tonight. Can I get a show of hands: who's parent's are out of town and have a keg? Good. Right. Talk to me afterwards.

Our ship is at port, Dr. Spock! What about tonight. Did I drop my paper?"

With that speech, I hope you're making some face time at the parties with the girls. They'll be fawning over you for sure!

Tyson:
Someone doesn't have fond memories...

My advice, Matt: Keep stuff from your old relationships. Then when you get all old and "emo fag" like me, you'll be glad you have something you can laugh at.

My 3rd night of drinks in a row! I'm an alcoholic! And I play the guitar better, oddly enough. I'm almost able to play the opening line to "I Could've Lied" by the Red Hot Chili Peppers. That's saying something for someone who doesn't play the guitar, really.

I can play "Leaving on a Jet Plane", some Beastie Boys song, and, soon, the opening line to a RCP song! I rule!

Goblin_Queen:

--- Quote from: Tyson ---Someone doesn't have fond memories...

My advice, Matt: Keep stuff from your old relationships. Then when you get all old and "emo fag" like me, you'll be glad you have something you can laugh at.

My 3rd night of drinks in a row! I'm an alcoholic! And I play the guitar better, oddly enough. I'm almost able to play the opening line to "I Could've Lied" by the Red Hot Chili Peppers. That's saying something for someone who doesn't play the guitar, really.

I can play "Leaving on a Jet Plane", some Beastie Boys song, and, soon, the opening line to a RCP song! I rule!
--- End quote ---


Tyson, are you sure you don't just think you play better?  I mean, everytime my aunt has ever been drunk she tells me how well I sing.

Tyson:
Oh no. I haven't even had very much yet. I don't think I will either. I doubt alcohol makes me play better.

Practice does, you know?

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