The Carlisle Mosquito Online

Friday, June 23, 2000


Carlisle School Graduation

Following are the two student speeches chosen to be delivered at the June 16 graduation ceremonies.

Milky Way

As I begin this speech I'm sure many of you are cringing, bracing yourself for a drawn-out ballad to "The-good-times-we'll-never-forget, friends-we'll-have-for-a-lifetime, and teachers-who-changed-our-lives." Many of you are anticipating a double whammy, odes to the class of 2000. Well, breathe out a sigh of relief, because I won't be throwing at you another clichéd tribute to "the best years of our lives." Instead I will offer you my three simple pieces of advice. Not manufactured maxims to live by, but things you would benefit from experiencing or considering at least once before your next graduation.

My first word of advice is to learn to be alone. I'm not telling you to abandon your friends. But middle schoolers often can't even go to the bathroom at school without 15 of their closest friends as an escort. How many of you feel you wouldn't benefit from trying to go somewhere or do something completely by yourself? So many teenagers say they want to be independent, but they cling to their peers for acceptance. So, do something you want, but your friends most likely wouldn't do with you. Have fun! Who cares if you're the only person in the petting zoo over the age of three? Laugh to yourself because you are the only person cool enough to know how great baby cows really are! You'll be surprised how good you feel about yourself, and the next day you can go to the bathroom with Cindy, Nancy, Katie, Joan, Betty, Barbara, Sue, Lee Anne... and know that if ever the situation arose, you could survive going by yourself.

My second piece of advice is to put down that hairbrush and grab a Milky Way! So many of our generation are obsessed with appearance in both themselves and others. So many girls pretend not to be hungry, weigh themselves, and aspire to be sticks. So many guys obsess about muscles and getting that upward flip of the hair "just right." So many girls spend 20 percent of their school day in the bathroom, checking their reflection and borrowing hairbrushes and lipstick. Today's youth is bombarded with images and messages highlighting a desperate need for shiny hair, longer lashes, perfectly clear skin. What are these messages really saying? "You're not good enough, but with our help and a few well-spent dimes, you can be good enough." What kind of effect do you think these sorts of messages have on us, the youth? So I'm going to advise you to put down that hair brush and learn to love and accept yourself without the mask, without the gel, and without your "peer-approved cool clothes." Then, eat a nice Milky Way, and don't even think about the fact that you should be eating something healthier. Kids have a right to eat chocolate.

My third and final piece of advice is to keep your friends as friends, not enemies, and don't blur the line in between. Your friends should be supportive and you should return the favor. If someone is your friend, please treat him/her like one. If other people are making fun of or insulting your friend, defend him/her; don't decide to join in. One thing that takes teenagers a long time to learn is loyalty in the face of peer pressure. To not be afraid to defend and go against the crowd. A cow does not know how to say no, so she remains in a herd. A bird and a sheep cannot say no, so they remain in their flocks. As people, we can say no; we can separate from the crowd, and all it takes is courage and loyalty. And perhaps try this even with those who are not your friends. Are you judging or attacking someone because the crowds said do it, and you said yes?

This advice I pass on to you only came to me with time. I did not begin my middle school passage with this knowledge. It took time. Many of these things I must remind myself of. I'm not saying I'm perfect, I'm not saying you have to be perfect; I'm not saying anyone should be perfect. I simply hope that as you continue on to high school and through your life, you will remember these things, that you will continue to learn, and gain advice of your own. Thank you.

A Time to Celebrate

Graduation: a time to celebrate. The Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines the word "graduate" as follows: "To be granted an academic degree or diploma." The eighth graders here at Carlisle School define the word graduate as follows: "YES!" To me, graduation isn't just a really loud yes, and a high five. It's a time of reflection, a time to look back and say "Look at what we did, look at what I did." Together as a class, we made it. We worked together as a team in order for us to be here today. The people who we owe the most gratitude and thanks for are the teachers. Without them we would not be where we are today. They took their time to help us understand. It didn't matter if it was learning the alphabet, or the quadratic formula; the teachers still took the time to teach us. They should be very proud to see us reach a stepping stone in our lives today.

This place holds the memories of many years of hard work, determination and, the most important, friendship. We have given each other more than just great memories, and great laughs; we have given each other a gift that cannot be taken away: the gift of friendship.

As the years go by, some of us will grow apart, and others will grow closer together. As we go our separate ways today, we must never forget who we are, or where we came from. Without a doubt, these people will remain in our hearts, no matter where life's roads take us.

Of course, we cannot forget about ourr parents. Their countless efforts to help us succeed have paid off. Today is the day we owe our parents thanks for making us turn off the TV, or for picking us up late from practice. Without them and their unconditional love, and their goal to watch us succeed, we owe them two words that mean a whole lot more then what they seem. Thank you.

Even though words may not express the joy we are feeling today, we hope that with your care and support, we may reach many more of life's stepping stones, and continue to succeed in our own individual ways. As life goes on, and we become the adults we always wanted to be, we will come back here, and we will remember the happy memories shared here by so many people. Don't ever think that we will forget, because what we have in common here in this one place is something that cannot be forgotten. As we walk up to thank our teachers, and say our last good-byes, we hope that they also never forget the people we are, and the people they helped us become.

Right now, our diplomas carry more than just a certificate; they carry the memories, laughs, and our childhoods that we shared together. As a member of the class of 2000, I congratulate my friends and my classmates. I congratulate the teachers, for they have succeeded, not alone but along with us. I congratulate the parents, who did a great job! Remember the laughs; remember the memories, but never forget who you are, and where you came from. "Live as if you were to die tomorrow; learn as if you were. to live forever."

Carlisle Middle School Graduates

Andrew David Asriel Alexander

Max Alexander-Gill

Kimberly Jean Anderson

Vanessa C. Pellegrino Badell

Lucas Bennett

Kristin Elizabeth Bergstrom

Ty Bitzer

Emeric Francois Bojarski

Jacob Boxer

Laura Kimberly Bryant

Emma S. Canina

Alyssa Casey

Robert M. Clark

Lauren A. Connors

Elizabeth Suzanne Locken Daltas

Christina L. Daugherty

Tyler Gregory Davis

Charles M. Dennison

Charles Prescott Drew

Meredith L. Eaton

Christopher Fields

Emily Patrice Fiorentino

James A. Ford

Megan Elizabeth Gillard

Meredith Anne Haggerty

Robert Charles Hailer III

Daniel Scott Hoffman

Caleb Hsieh

Stephanie April Ivanov

Alexander W. Jeffers

Edward Kennedy

Ashley Khederian

Joanne Mary Kirkland

Jonathan Matthiessen Kyle

Evan Lewis

Dan L. Lipseir

Paul D. Lucky

Megan Elizabeth Lyons

Susan M. Modeen

Sarah D. Monroe

Jennifer Ann Morin

Rory Christopher Moulton

E. David Nelson

Jessica Ann Nock

Clare Bodman Nosowitz

Jonathan Pan

John Thaddeus Patterson

Craig R. Pedersen

David Pedra

Benjamin J. Peters

Benjamin Thomas Phillippo

Edgar Gray Phillips-Jones

Elizabeth Alexandra Popolo

Nicholas Probolus

Caitlin E. Quinn

Christopher R. Rainville

Amanda Faye Rao

Christian Richard Rice

Lisa Michelle Richards

Christopher Risso

Emily Ann Rolando

Samuel Jonathan Rolley

Keri Rouse

Samantha Maren Saltz

Natalia Samman

Charlotte Marie Siegel

Jennie Ruth Siegel

Mary Ramsey Snell

Mark Christopher Stephens

John Robert Stone

Adam Tambone

Joslyn Louise-Ruth Tarr

Kaitlyn Traynor

Alexandra Vasilia Voyatzakis

Christian Reber Wester

Alex B. Zywiak

2000 The Carlisle Mosquito