June 2013, Rundle College, Calgary, Alberta, Canada
My name’s Evan, and I’m here today to reflect upon the past years of our high school, predict our outstanding, bright futures, and hopefully reduce you all to tears.
I would like to start by saying this is a huge huge honour ... for you to all be here listening to me, what a treat for you!
This speech is lovingly titled, life beyond the Rundle vest... and I’m going to begin by saying, I’m not going to feed you all the Hallmark versions of a valedictory address, you know what I’m referring to [mimics] ‘as I look out here, I see future pioneers of technology, lawyers and surgeons' ... Don’t get your hopes up!
No no it’s cruel to give you such high hopes. We’re all going to be broke students for the next sixteen years, so get used to it.
Having high school come to an end is a bit surreal.
If anything for the reason that now I’ll have to buy my own loose grey slacks so that construction workers have something to whistle at.
More importantly, it accurately and concisely ends what has been for most of us three six, and for some twelve years of education at Rundle.
Throughout those years we’ve created special bonds with the physical campus, the teaching staff, and undoubtedly each other. Admittedly, when I began writing this, it was difficult to encapsulate what Rundle had been to me.
Apart from a place to go and worship Mr Howk every day.
And a place that says ‘there’s no excuse for speeding in the parking lot’. It sounds like a challenge!
I liken it to a big community, our diversity being our strength. And I would like to say that it has been a privilege to be part of this community for so long.
We all know the warm, safe, familiar feel of our Rundle sweaters. You know, forty percent nylon, sixty percent cotton. And pre-washed with the tears of school children.
For a long time now, this has been our identity. Something that identified us merely by appearance.
I grew fond of the uniform, because, personally I’m sick and tired of being outdressed by the overly stylish Keenan McVeigh.
The only one who could pull it off would be Lucas with his longshawn suit.
Although the scratch wool uniform made it seem as though we were all the same, it enabled us to have a certain unity, a togetherness. Similar itchy, red patches of eczema could only draw us closer together.
It was in those clothes that I learned math, English, most of chemistry, Mr. Franklin has a very soft voice, it’s not my fault, however this stylish ensemble has served a larger purpose than just covering my tattoos all these years.
It has become a constant in all of our lives. Something that nobody will physically miss, but the familiarity and the security we will all wish to have back.
So when I was looking back at the time spent at Rundle, between the embarrassing haircuts and everyone having braces at some point, it was the only thing that was consistent.
So when we finish our last diploma and we take our sweaters off for the very last time, we aren’;t just saying goodbye to highly fashionable outer wear, we say goodbye to years of memories and experiences that we’ve had.
In this regard, I’m not surprisingly not ashamed to admit that I’m going to miss the uniform.
But most importantly all the people I’ve met in it.
I would be remiss had I not take time to actually thanks some people.
Without # and her help, this speech would not exist, and I would certainly not be literate enough to read it. And with out Miss # something Ukrainian I would not actually be graduating, so her wonderful introduction would never have existed.
I thank both of those teachers from the bottom of my heart, that is already filled with love for myself.
When I look out at this auditorium today, I’m surprised that the # of Tim # isn’t actually here. Manages will surely be sad to see one of his best customers go.
What I do see are the smiles of good friends that have grown up with me, through the truly greasy years of junior high. It is with this sight that I speak directly to you, my fellow graduates.
There are seventy seven of us graduating today.
I feel as though I barely know some of you, something that I regret.
I also regret knowing far far too much about some of you.
For example, nobody should ever be comfortable enough with somebody to ask, ‘Brooke, yogurt doesn’t’ have an expiry date, right?’
To hear the answer is ‘you’re fine, the good folks at Yoplait would not do that to you.’
Your all lucky to see Josh here today, and not in his natural habitat of the West Side Gym. I’ll be surprised if he doesn’t try to bicep curl his diploma.
To have the future Yankees hall of famer, Ryan Cozoli graduate with us today, it’s a true honour.
There’s one guy who doesn’t need a high school diploma to know how to spell win.
And Angus, I won’t make any jokes about you. Please don’t hurt me!
This is the first time I’ve seen some of you girls without Starbucks cups in your hands. I’m al little weirded out that you were able to sit still for so long. Yeah, resting heart rate, it’s weird isn’t it?
I would like to have something insightful to say about the future. But the simple truth is, I’m absolutely terrified of it. I have not marketable skills, reading gives me a headache, I’m not a particularly hard worker.
I put the fun, in fundamentally incapable. And the can in ‘cannot do most simple tasks’.
Most of you will never see me again, depending how often you check the FBI’s most wanted list.
Although I’ve established that many of you are much more talented than I, and thus more qualified to give this advice, my final and only partition of wisdom is this:
Regardless of your experience here over the past years, we have shaped each other, for better or for worse. We all wore that uniform together, becoming strong, capable individuals. And that is due to the people you are sitting with, right now.
Try to remember them as they are now, and not at that tall awkward stage of grade 8 that some of us may still be in.
I would like to truly thank all of you for giving me the honour of speaking on your behalf.
But most importantly, for being the best community that I could ask for for the last six years of my life.
We’ve now all gotten through high school, which is no easy feat. Most importantly, we got through it together.
Congratulations, class of 2013.