Well, here we are. Most of you have endured two full years in my classroom; Laura, Peter and Avery, the new kids, you have earned your place in this august group of learners and scalliwags. All of you have made lasting impressions on my teaching and, more importantly, the way I see the world.
In no particular order, I want to thank you (all, some, one of you):
- for always reminding me that the world is an odd place in which the things we do can be perceived far differently than we ever imagined.
- for showing all of us that life needs balance
- for reminding me, nearly every day, that time is an illusion that should not be the first measure of quality.
- for showing me that patience is often its own reward.
- for seeking answers, even when they weren't forthcoming, and forcing me to listen to my own words
- for demonstrating that the pursuit of excellence is not a goal unto itself, but a product of higher aspirations.
- for pursuing excellence without the outward appearance of stress
- for showing dilligence in difficult tasks, and striving to learn in all things
- for reminding me that art carries the weight of many words
- for forcing me to reflect on my own values, and challenging to me recognize the importance of perceptions
- for proving daily that stereotypes have no place in this world
- for bursting out in laughter, or causing a burst of hilarity at the most inopportune times; I needed most of those laughs, even when I wasn't laughing.
- for your determined commitment to the slacker image, and your often unappreciated humour.
- for relentlessly pursuing excellence, and remaining surprised at your successes.
- for rising to new challenges, and occasionally surprising yourself.
- for eloquent written ideas, and questions which, though not plentiful, often made me stop to think.
- for listening to a crazy man's suggestion and proving him reasonably perceptive.
- for always expecting more from yourself than I have any reasonable cause to demand.
- for being your best version of you without heed for the expectations or restrictions of a silly world's requirements.
- for showing me that literature captures the soul, sometimes, but not always when I say it should.
- for teaching me that strength is mostly internal, and excellence is a commitment.
All of you deserve greatness, though only some of you will be recognized for your achievments here, and there (wherever your lives may take you). I hope you are comfortable with the knowledge that I admire all of you for your efforts in my class, for your representation of our school and its Humanities program, for your activities beyond the classroom and beyond the school, and for the people you are becoming. You are, as I hope I have said often enough, excellent representations of all that is right with your generation.
I do not need to wish you success, because you will all achieve some form of this -- in your personal lives, in your careers, in your public activities. Rather, I wish you all greatness; not the kind that receives awards or notoriety or fame, but the kind of greatness that allows you to sit back many years from now and sigh contendedly with the knowledge that you have done so well, in that one thing you care about, that any accolades you may or not receive pale in comparison to the satisfaction you have taken from the effort required to attempt the doing.
Go forth and make a great noise! And, may you all achieve the greatness you deserve.
Sincerely, and with much admiration,
Steve I. Kabachia