Good evening, everyone. Now is the time for me to come in front of these 400 students in identical caps and gowns and tell them to go out and be individuals. Looks like I have my work cut out for me. Seriously, though, consider what we've gone through. 13 years of schooling, 18 years of growing up! And reflecting back on these years, what do we have to show for it? We have our memories. Some of you may know the old saying, "Knowledge is not what the pupil remembers but what he cannot forget." What will remain in our minds after tonight? What memories will become those valuable gems of unforgettable knowledge?
Who in the audience knows the phases of Mitosis, or can name the capitol of Togo? Not many. But one of us will ever forget that counselor who listened to us when no one else would ... that librarian who, with the kind of vision that would put Superman to shame, saw one single book out of order on the shelves, and made sure you knew about it ... or how about that custodian who astounds us all with his uncanny ability to scoop up spilled ketchup with feline grace. We can develop our minds with information as much as we want, but the truth is, those simple, rare smiles from a caring teacher mean more to all of us than any amount of knowledge ever could.
Simple gratitude is all we have to offer these educators who have shaped our lives, and still these teachers continue to give every day. Routinely, we blame them for such things as the Culminating Exhibition, overcrowded lunches, and that disgusting feeling we all have when we realize there is, once again, no soap in the bathroom. But these teachers have shaped the lives of the 150 students they see daily and have given of themselves something that is irreplaceable. Who they are has become a part of who we are.
We can look back at our high school years to see how we've grown. Our freshmen year, we still had that leftover feeling of needing to be "cool," that carried over from middle school We'd spy out the upperclassmen and latch on to them like leeches, hoping that somehow their "coolness" would rub off. In sports, we were the tackle-dummies, the worthless 3rd string ball boys who dreamed of the day we'd be first string. Yes, this first year as a Bruin was a wonder of new experiences.
Our sophomore year, we realized just how immature freshmen really were. In a flash of embarrassment, we realized how stupid it was to ride the freshman limo. Instead, we thought it would be much more preferable to be seen getting a ride with our parents ... . yeah right. This was the year when we felt a little bit freer to participate in school We went to Homecoming, stood in frigid conditions for the Food Drive, or got involved in Honor Society. A few of us even came out of the closet and admitted that we were in Marching Band, all the while anticipating being called "band geek." We were starting to make our mark on Hosea.
Our junior year was our year of power. We all gloried in the term...