Graduation Speech: What Lies Ahead

Graduation Speech: What Lies Ahead

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I cried on my 18th Birthday. I cried because to me it signified that my childhood was over -- That I would never be able to relive some of the greatest moments of my life. I remember that day after school I was talking to one of my good friends, Betty Lou, and I mentioned to her how sad it was that we would all soon be leaving County HIgh. Betty smiled and looked at me and said, "But there is so much more in store for us ahead."
Last October I was sitting in Mr. Fooler's British Literature class and he had us read this poem by Louis MacNiece:

Birds flitting in and out of the barn

Bring back an Anglo-Saxon story:

The great wooden hall with the long fires down the center,

Their feet in the rushes their hands tearing the meat.

Suddenly high above them they notice a swallow enter

from the black storm and zigzag over their heads

Then out once more into the unknown night;

And that, someone remarks is the life of man.

As that poem had compared life to that of the flight of a swallow that enters a room, stays shortly and leaves, our teacher wanted each of us students to come up with their own analogy "What Life Is Like!"

Life is Like a flower, which sprouts, and blooms, and finally withers with age.

Life is Like a candle, which sparks, flickers briefly, then fades.

Life is like a box of chocolates! you never know what you're going to get.

Life is like a poker game, each person is dealt different circumstances and we have to make the most of what we have.

Life is like the sun, which rises, keeps moving constantly and finally sets on each new life.

And as I tried to draw an analogy to lives that all of us have led and the paths we are about to embark on, I could not find a metaphor that accurately depicts all that has happened to us and all that will.

There is no way to lump together the feelings of the first time you rode your bicycle without your father holding onto the handle bars, with the time you brought home an "A" on the essay you spent many sleepless nights perfecting. The embarrassment you felt when you fell down at recess in a mud puddle and your mom had to bring you clean clothes to change into and the lesson you learned when you set your binder on the top of your car, forgot about it, and drove off only to see your papers flying all over the road in the rear view mirror.

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