SALUTATORIAN: ‘Chase after what you’re passionate about’
When I was told I was the class Salutatorian, my first thoughts were “Oh great, now I have to give a speech at graduation.”
But as the thought started to sink in, I realized giving this speech was a blessing, because now I can share the experience of growing up with some of the most entertaining and talented students in Rockdale with the community here today. Let me just say, it has always been an experience.
When I was but a three-foot blonde terror in elementar y school, I learned one of my first life lessons: no one is good at everything, and I am not good at sports.
I was the kid who, during “crab soccer” games in P.E., only scored a goal because the kickball bounced off my back and into the goal while I sat in the middle of gym floor, drawing.
I guess not much has changed. In fact, I’m fairly sure during fifth grade Field Day I spent more time tie-dying my shirt than actually on the field, but I digress.
Before I knew it, I was a sixth grader in Rockdale Junior High. It was here that the talents of the Class of 2010 really started to emerge. Some of us (not me) started getting into sports and athletics, the first step to receive a football scholarship our senior year. Others (also not me) joined the Spirit Squad to become future cheerleaders and Golden Girls.
Then there were the cool kids who joined band. Most of us had at least one year in sixth grade band, and though I don’t remember what instrument everyone played, I do remember that we were big, and we were loud.
Yes, junior high with my class was definitely something different. When eighth grade promotion came, we had experienced track meets, band concerts, dances, and even a food fight together, and we thought we were on top of the world.
And then came freshman year, and there was much rejoicing. Yeeeea.
High school taught all of us how to adapt, as my class and I experienced many changes. As fish, we wandered the halls very carefree, and it was up to our teachers to, as Mr. Free would say, “stamp out ignorance.”
Over the past four years we went from color ing maps in Kovar’s class, to filling out college applications.
We experienced the mad rush for parking before the new school was built, watched “Intervention” videos in Doc’s Health class, and discovered the satisfaction of “tiger-bucking it.”
We learned never to walk in front of the office when you’re late coming back from the lunch you weren’t allowed to leave campus for, as well as how it felt to walk by that nice, big golden bell in the rotunda every morning this past year.
We learned that “physics is awesome” was always an appropriate answer on Mr. Landauer’s tests, and that, even two years later, people still tell horror stories about the infamous “Grindlebeast”.
We went to, cheered for, and played at football games and basketball games; we truly became” Tiger Nation.” We expressed our creative sides with somewhat “suggestive” papier-mâché projects in Mrs. Cox’s Art class, as well as learned that, contrary to popular belief, American History really can be interesting (as long as Coach Anderson is the one telling it).
As a class, we learned to support each other in all of our activities, whether that involved cheering for the talent show contestants or cheering for the lovely “single ladies” participating in Miss Globe.
We moved into a new school our senior year, had a snow fight in February, and to this day still can’t find anything quite as shiny as Kerbow’s head.
And through all this we’ve learned that in life, just like in Mrs. Dean’s pre-calculus class, answers may vary. No matter where we go from here, whether we decide to travel or join the armed forces, go into the workforce or to college, we will remember that life is too short to waste.
We must not be afraid to chase after what we are passionate about, no matter where that passion takes us, even if it means ending up in Austin, instead of College Station.
Though we’ve grown up together as boys and girls, tonight we leave on our own way as young men and women, and that is defi- nitely something to celebrate.
So for the teachers who refused to give up on us, the coaches who pushed us to our limits, the custodians who cleaned up after us after all these years, our parents who raised and supported us, our underclassmen who occasionally just needed a good smack, the friends we’ve grown up with and the friends we’re leaving behind, and the community here tonight—thank you, it’s been a pleasure.
Congratulations class of 2010.