Friday, June 25, 2010
Pearls of wisdom from the Class of 2010
I remember this day, two years ago, sitting in the very chairs you are sitting in now. I was looking up at my best friend. I remember seeing her all pretty with her white dress and her hair done. I was so happy for her, but so unbelievably sad at the same time. I was watching my best friend leave right before my eyes. I was watching her leave our family in which she and I both felt so integrated, a place where she just belonged. She was going to a place that was, at that time, still intangible for me. Now I cannot believe I am here, in the same seats where she sat two years ago, with everybody that has traveled this journey around me. When I watched her where we are now, the salt on my cheeks was like the ocean water where we played during the summer, where we would find oysters hidden along the rocks. We would pick them up one by one, looking for the pearls we had always dreamed of finding.
In kindergarten we were all little oysters, some far away in the depths of the ocean and some close on the shore. We were exploring the beginnings of the world, so eager to learn and discover. We looked up to the eighth graders that seemed immensely bigger, looking down on us, guiding us. It was a field trip just to walk in the middle school hallways, picturing their science classrooms full of bubbling beakers and their language arts classrooms piled to the ceiling with books on everything in the world, wondering when we were ever going to be among them.
Life went on, and we drifted closer, we became familiar with our surroundings, with each other. Our bonds started to form, those unbreakable bonds that last forever. The ocean took us on a rough but beautiful journey. We became familiar with the burden of homework and the dreaded annual MCAS. Walking through the hallways with the green “Shh, MCAS testing” signs set a dark gloom over the school. Those were the little sand grains that began collecting inside. We coated them over and made them shiny. We made best friends, rivals and acquaintances; we created a family.
The grains of sand started building up, the awkward dances where girls stood on one side of the gym and boys on the other, the friendship fights that were more for amusement than anything, but they became beautiful in the journey we have taken, because we traveled it together. Only we, the class of 2010, can understand each other. We are closer than any other class. We know how the adrenaline kicks in before MICCA and how pumped up we get when we scream and dance the Cross-Country cheer.
We know the feeling right before a Mr. Quaden math test and the disgust after reading ROOTS in LA. We remember when crocs were the next big thing and when everybody thought chewing gum was cool. We know what it’s like to have to say “I’m from Concord” and “Is it Carlisle Public Schools with an ‘s’?” on MCAS day. We went through it all together.
When we leave our little reef here in Carlisle, ready for the bigger ocean, remember the time we’ve spent here. Remember the times that we laughed with each other, remember the times we fought with each other, and take those treasures with you to your new destination. Create a new reef full of new oysters from different places and share your treasures with them. Just know that these memories, these experiences, are irreplaceable. Our styles, personalities and talents blend into one ecosystem, one world. Even as you travel further into the depths of the ocean and your shell becomes worn, remember what made the pearl, all of that sand can turn into something beautiful and precious. Remember that your first reef was in Carlisle. Now, in eighth grade, we will be saying goodbye to some who are leaving the family. But it isn’t really goodbye, because we, unlike anybody in the whole entire ocean, understand our life here at this place we call Carlisle Public Schools, where there is much more than learning, there’s a sense of family. From the first day of school, to the last, that’s what we were: family. And now, I turn to you – our extended families – I ask you today, mothers, fathers, grandparents, celebrate your oysters right now, no, celebrate your pearls.
Those are the pearls you have been waiting to find this whole time. All the grains of sand have been turned into this beautiful orb inside those rough coarse shells. Look at these pearls, each unique, with different sizes, shapes and colors, and realize that every single one radiates beauty. Now is the time to open those oysters and let the pearls shine, because that is what today is all about. Congratulations. ∆
© 2010 The Carlisle Mosquito