Friday, May 18, 2007

Avantika’s “Enf of the Year Speech”.

Avantika sent me her “Enf of the Year Speech” – at least, that was the subject line of her e-mail dated Friday, May 18, 2007 6:27 AM – that she said had been “enetred to a contest for the end of the year ceremony. Hopefully it will be selected”. I wrote back to her: ” Hi, Avantika. I liked your speech very much, warts and all. I'm intrigued by your use of a hyphen ('-') in place of a dash ('--') as parenthesis and you don't even insert a space on both sides of it. This is not criticism, just observation. I'm so impressed that I'm going to put it up on my blog. Watch for it. I may make a few explanatory comments. Excellent work.” I decided to reproduce it here – “warts and all” – not out of inertia or indifference but because I wanted to preserve it in all its spontaneity. I really felt proud when I read it. What it told me is that young Avantika is observant and aware of what’s going around her. She is capable of thinking cogently and of feeling intensely, When I was her age, I wasn’t even half as introspective or sensitive. In fact, I was quite a dumb kid. So, here it is ready or not, Avantika’s “Enf of the Year Speech”. [P.S.: If her teachers don’t select it as the winning entry, I would pity their lack of judgement and good sense. Her carelessness grammar is only a sign of her carefree exuberance, I guess. This is not the opinion of a besotted grandpa but a writer with an eye for great writing, believe you me.] By the way, Avantika’s school website is here: Her previous appearance on this blog is here:

Imagine… When we were given this word to base our speech upon, I laughed it off thinking it would be a breeze, but when I sat down to write, I sure did prove myself wrong. As I was deep in thought, trying to muster my 3 years at Grover onto a piece of paper, I realized that there is no imaginable way to condense 3 eventful years into a mere 3 minutes. And now that these three years are coming to a close, we can only imagine what the future brings.

Well for those of you who didn’t already know this; we’re going to high school, and I think that we can all agree that many of us are feeling excited, sad, anxious, clueless, thrilled, relieved, and much more, all at one time. Though we will all be together as a class next year, there will always be much to miss. For starters, the most important thing we will be leaving behind-is our bubble, our sanctuary-our school! For most of us, Grover has been our home away from home, and the people here have become like family.

In the words of Oscar Wilde, “The best way to appreciate your job is to imagine yourself without one”, so I think the best way for us to appreciate our teachers, is to imagine to imagine ourselves without them. I don’t think any of our wild imaginations can imagine a day without Mr.Mayer’s constant leadership, and guidance. Let’s face it; the infamous “Mr.Mayer talks” will only be a memory for us. Imagine a school without Tino’s help, and friendship, and for those of you who are on 8B-imagine living without our teachers! Imagine going to class everyday and trying to survive without Ms.Kirkpatrick’s relentless nagging about due dates, Mr.Maskells alligator and brain dance, Mrs.Dailey’s funky hand motions, and Ms.Grooms story time. Mr.Coppola’s crazy personality or the amazing feeling of knowing that Mrs.Rathbun will always be there for us. I don’t think any of us want to even begin to imagine what middle school would have been without Ms.Gilchrist’s ability to listen, advise, and of course, fix jammed lockers! Who’s gonna help us open our locker now Ms.Gilchrist?

As we imagine our high school career, we begin to realize that our future has been shaped by our past at Grover. The lessons we learned here, academic, or social, will not be with us just for a year or two, but for the rest of our lives. Grover will always be a part of who we are, and what we eventually become. Our wonder years at grover have been the foundation of what will be the ultimate us. So, now it’s time to go on with our journey to complete the ultimate us. As Paul J Meyers said “Whatever you vividly imagine, ardently desire, sincerely believe, and enthusiastically act upon must inevitably come to pass.” Similarly, our time at Grover has come to pass, and I don’t think any of us could have imagined that it would come so soon…And now that I have imagined what life will be without our teachers, let me ask you,our teachers to take a second and imagine what your life will be without us?

FAMOUS LAST WORDS: Just like a woman! Now Madame A laughingly tells me it was an unedited copy she sent me. And not a word of explanation why I had to be one of two recipients (the other being Aditi, her newly graduated didi) who was privileged to be given that honour!

Stop Press: From Avantika, Saturday, May 26, 2007 3:31 AM: "Hey dada, just wanted to let you know that I did get selected for the speech. I'll e-mail more later as i'm verry busy with packing for my Quebec trip. Love, Avantika" (Can you beat that?)

No comments: