Graduation Speech: We Are the Dreamers of Dreams


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Though our state isn't known for its cold winters, the winter of my junior year seemed to be the most frigid of my life. Every morning I would trudge through mud puddles on my way to the distant portable toliet that received no announcements and was supplied with absolutely no heat. We were all assured that this was an underhanded scheme of Mr. Rives to keep us all awake in the morning. It got so bad that in a show of rage each student came to class with a blanket and sad face the day Mr. Rives was to be observed by administration. Soon enough, the heater was fixed. This event was just one of many casualties of construction; the remodel of Staten our junior year threw us back in with the freshmen, walking around dazed but impressed with what we saw, and leaving my first period class confused by the inability to solve our heater dilemma. The sense of confusion and entering something bigger than ourselves that we're confronted with our freshmen year never really leaves us - no matter how comfortable we became at Staten we were always caught in a whirlpool of change. After today we'll all be embarking into different worlds, but the lessons we've learned together throughout these four years of friendship, trauma, and dreams will help guide us through the new mazes set up for us, and though we may not be together, the experiences we've shared will help us through.
Ferris Bueller, an icon of all that is high school, stated that, "Life moves pretty fast. If you don't stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it." Though some of us will still testify that these years have gone by much too slowly, most will be willing to admit that they've gone faster than we initially expected. Our freshmen year we entered Staten firmly locked in the cliques that carried over from middle school, only to watch them slowly dissipate as we met new, exciting people in each of our classes. This was the year of the blessed late start days and the introduction of the seemingly impossible new standards. Our freshmen football team battled its way to an undefeated season as we powerhoused our way through the year, struggling to stay afloat in the sea of new faces, traditions, and teacher reputations. Treading water we finally broke in to summer, eager to carry out plans with friends, new and old, and to take a break from the homework we had finally grown accustomed to.

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As sophomores we were able to wander in to our first day of school well rested and with stories to share. This would be the year that our last names would become the great divider. That first initial of our last names would not only determine our room for the WASL testing and our monitor for the coming years but also the deadlines that paved the road to graduation. It was this year that both basketball teams went to state and the student body piled on rooter busses and into cars to caravan down to the Tacoma Dome. Excused from school for all three days of the event, those who went cheered and those who stayed home reveled in the school free atmosphere. Sophomore year we became more deeply enmeshed in the clubs and activities that we had only just tasted our freshmen year. Band geeks accepted their place in the ongoing soap opera, drama students auditioned for their first play, and athletes strived to letter. No longer the youngest, we began to leave our mark across Staten.

Junior year we met the largest obstacle yet - the Scholarly Paper. Being the lab rats for this new requirement, we kicked and screamed and raised a big fuss, but by sitting here today we proved we could do it. Toward the middle of the year most of us were assured that senioritis had hit us and that we were ready to be done. It wasn't until we made it to senior year that we realized how untrue that was. Our senior year was a big year for successes, though not many were made by the athletes. The football team managed to win a game or two, but the Hi-Q team ended up with an overall better record. The girls' basketball made it to state but got knocked out, whereas both Tyro and Stehekin won national awards. Though the sports didn't always come out on top, what does it matter? I mean, hey! The marching band took second place at state!

We have all had many teachers throughout our years at Staten High School - but we've had more than teachers of Math, Science, and English. Our true teachers are the experiences and people that have taught us of independence, creativity, individualism, and friendship. The teachers of these lessons are the people who we chose to surround ourselves with and they taught us what may be the most important lessons of our high school career. They taught us how to be ourselves.

We've endured four years of learning, growing, and being together and we all have different people who have taught us. We need to remember these people for many different reasons. We need to remember the teachers and friends that taught us to be independent thinkers by leaving us to tackle that one tough assignment with no guidance; those that taught us of commitment by making sure we were at every practice, rehearsal or event; those that helped develop our senses of humor by making us laugh at ourselves; those that taught us how to be good friends by always being there for us; and most importantly of all, taught us to have confidence in ourselves by assuring us that we would be successes and even smiling when we dyed our hair weird colors.

The world awaits us, the class of 2012, ready to confuse us all over again, but because of what we've learned and who we've met, we're ready to put up a strong fight and are confident in facing our futures. In the words of Willy Wonka, "We are the music makers, and we are the dreamers of the dreams."


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