I had writer's blocks for the LONGEST time and really
struggled with this speech. What can I say in a time like this? How
does one properly send off their classmates in a pandemic? I don’t
think there’s any clear answer here. So I’m just gonna cut to the
I want you to close your eyes and imagine with me. Imagine you’re a
fresh faced 18 year old student (with a couple zits) at Mount
Pulaski High School. You’ve worked all your life to graduate. You’ve
had sleepless nights after bombing your first bio test with Mrs.
Clark, dreaded every Wednesday mile, and RACED every single day to
the lunch line. You were yelled at as a freshman for being on the
wrong side of the hallway, you had lockers that were stuck shut half
the time, and you watched games from the top of the student section.
You have paid your dues. It’s time to go. And now…. YOU CAN’T. It’s
like a bad breakup. You want to leave and give a proper goodbye but
your boyfriend JB won’t let you. And then, JB says, “Well you see,
there’s a new girl in town… her name is Rona…” “WHAT?!” you think?
This thing called Rona has ended my senior year. And now I'm giving
a speech to a video camera? Oh dear… I can do this though! So here
The class of 2020 is one of the kindest, most understanding, and
strongest classes I have seen in awhile. We are also the largest
class that MPHS has seen in a minute (at a whopping 51 students) and
yet are one of the closest. Whether one of us gets a butchered
haircut, takes one too many Benadryl, or spends their entire high
school career on crutches, we all stick together like a
family. I truly believe that Mt. Pulaski is a special place with
very unique connections. There aren’t many places where your summer
boss at the pool is also the basketball coach, track coach, and
usher at church. I wouldn’t trade this town for the world. There’s
also not many places where you can drive a tractor to school and not
receive a single question about it. This community has taught us and
prepared us more than they’ll ever know for our future. Whether it’s
the advice from the wise men at the Casey’s table after school or
Mr. Morgan telling you to “square up” in the principal's office,
it’s all out of love and has done nothing but better us.
Usually at commencement ceremonies, the speaker
mentions how the class is venturing into “the GREAT unknown”. Which
was true— but is more applicable now than ever. The class of 2020 is
venturing DEEP into the great unknown. A brave new world is awaiting
all of us.
COVID-19 threw us all the curveball of a lifetime. Our plans and
futures have been temporarily altered. Our senior year was totally
hijacked!! I do know one thing for sure— in life, I have yet to
experience an obstacle, pain, or discomfort through which I have not
found evolution, growth, or love. This too will pass, and we will
find ourselves as weathered giants.
[to top of second column]
All of our lives, whether we knew it or not, we have
been collecting important tools for this very day. Now that we are
getting royally flushed into the world, we need to use those tools.
I’m sure all those Spanish books seemed pointless at the time, but
weren’t you proud of yourself when you went to El Maz and said “por
favor” or “no gracias” to the waiter? Trust me, what you learn now
will help you.
The class of 2020 is coming into the world guns a blazin’, and I
don’t think you guys are ready.
To my fellow classmates, I want to express how proud I am of each
and every one of you. I’ve watched you all grow into who you are
today and each of you never fail to amaze me. You are all so smart
and so talented in your own ways. Whether you know every single bone
in the body, know perfect calculus, know how to gut a deer, or know
how to farm; you’ve got a head start.
I’m honestly stoked for our future reunions just so I can see where
you'll end up. You guys have some bright futures ahead of you.
To wrap things up, I would like to give thanks. I want to thank God
for giving me this life and all that it may encompass. I want to
thank my parents and family for always supporting and loving me
unconditionally. You have always provided me with the best life
(even when we lived in a shed… it’s a long story). I want to thank
my dearest friends. You guys really anchor me and keep me on the
somewhat right path. I will forever be grateful for the tears,
laughs, overall excitement we have shared. Next, I want to thank my
teachers. From preschool to my senior year, each and every one of
you has had a significant impact on my life. You have helped shape
and mold me to be the person I am today. I love each and every one
of you and I wish we could have spent more time in the classroom
together. Lastly, I would like to thank the community.
Mount Pulaski is such a special place and always will be. On my
hardest days, you have always been so supportive and like a family.
Only having 4 restaurants, a Casey’s, and public pool really builds
character. But seriously, from the bottom of my heart, thank you.
Thank you for taking the time to watch this and join my classmates
and I on this strange and special day.
What a long, strange trip it’s been at the Mount Pulaski High