Sarina Strohl’s Graduation Speech Reply

As I focus my attention on the crowd that sits before me, I am making an imprint of every subtle detail, promising myself never to forget this day. The blue tassels on each of the graduates right side is a simple symbol of coming of age. The obvious excited anticipation of each of our parents is reflected  through their fidgety movements and inconsistent blinks. I must question, as each senior in the crowd is also questioning, how did we get here? Although our presence in this quaint theater is most easily explained by the many nights where sleep was relinquished in the name of a relentlessly cruel  monster otherwise known as IB, I’d like to believe our high school experience has been a much more than IB orals and World Lits, with no disrespect to Ms. You, of course.
As we know all too well, the Baccalaureate School is a small community. In this room sits the 70 some odd graduates who have spent most of their teenage years being forced to love and therefore sometimes caused to hate each other. Yes, there have been numerous occasions in which we wanted to throttle each other. However, standing here right now, looking at each of my fellow classmates, I’m as reminiscent of those tense moments as I am the happy-go lucky times. You see, very often we define a good experience by how enjoyable it was.  But I think that is where we are mistaken.  BSGE was not just a good experience, though some of us have had the best times of our lives with the people in this room. Instead, BSGE created life-changing experiences for each of us. To quote a cliché, “we laughed, and sometimes we suffered”.  But we made it to this point together. Most importantly, we are becoming the people we are meant to be, due to the dedication of our often intimidating and always demanding   teachers and the pivotal role we have all played in each others lives.
Now, I know on a day as joyous as this it is sometimes frowned upon  to bring up the plight of the world. But nonetheless I believe its necessary. In the past year IB has not been the only struggle we have faced. Our parents have been confronted with economic hardship and job loss. America is now experiencing an  oil spill that will ruin our water irreparably and continues to threaten the livelihood of various animals, industries and families. And of course, the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq which have cast a dark shadow over our heads for nearly a decade. I  mention this not to lecture the senior class on how much work is cut out for them, or to accentuate the dreariness of the world we are entering. In actuality, my reasons are quite different.
Firstly, I would just like us all to realize how incredibly resilient each person in this room is. Through out the financial struggles we have faced, each graduate  is able to rejoices today along with their loved ones, celebrating  successes that should not be taken lightly.  In addition, the tribulations I have listed should be important to each of us, for the simple reason that we are no longer children, but adults who are about to inherit the world. I know there are those in the audience who disagree with the significance of what I have just mentioned. I accept this wholeheartedly for often with the most important matters in life, cannot come without controversy. Again, I am not lecturing the senior class to all go out and save the world. Rather, I just hope that if we learned anything at all from IB, it was the profound and lasting affect that our decisions can have on the world. Graduates, weather its for the livelihood of the planet, for your community or solely for the people you love the most, make decisions and chose your beliefs wisely, and always be passionate.
So, in a moment, let us raise our hats to the class of 2010. There have been none like us before us and there will certainly been none like us in the years to come. In the future  Antonique  James will dance for Alvin Ailey while Amanda Perez makes her debut in fashion week, all in a city inspired by the architecture of Alexa Oaknine . Christina Rukki will  join the ASPCA,  and will travel through out the country on plains built my the infamous DJ Ous. And maybe, when any of us have had a stressful day, we will turn on the radio and listen to the rhythmic poetry of Steve Sanchez. I’d like to think so.
For all the trouble we caused at BSGE,  the rest of our lives  will be spent making  phenomenal strides, and this school will be proud to call us their alumni. And so good night to  all our families, who have had to put up with us since the beginning, and have done so lovingly. Good night to our teachers, who have been waiting for this day for six  long years, and  will surely be cracking open some Champaign after the ceremony. And good night to my classmates. Its been quite an adventure. Lets all embrace the next one.

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