Monday, May 24, 2010

The Speech That Never Was

Our school has a celebration every year known as Paradon, which is sort of like an open house. This year the closing ceremony never happened because most of what was supposed to be our audience left. The senior class of 2010 had a speech/essay thing prepared with some songs by the band club, but it never happened. I wrote this speech, because no one else volunteered. I didn't write the speech, because I wanted to show-off or boast my ego, but to tell everyone of my good times and my memories. I wanted to tell everyone what I believed senior year was all about. So, since I didn't get to say my beliefs last night, I will share it with you on the almighty Internet. If there are any grammar mistakes or whatnot, I am sorry in advance. This was meant to be read aloud and grammar wasn't meant to be taken in consideration.

If you ask me, “What will you miss from AGBU?”

I’ll probably answer, “Everything.”

If you ask me, “What will you remember from being here so long?”

I’ll tell you with a smile, “Everything.”

I will miss the traffic-filled hallways, the long cafeteria lines, the annoying bells that would ring. I will miss Mrs. Bedrossian’s lectures, Mr. Martin’s crazy stories, Baron Agopian’s smile, Mrs. Joukjian’s kookiness, and Dr. Kojayan’s timeless lectures. I will miss the endless bickering, the awesome band club songs, the powerful dramas of Mrs. Alvarez’s conservatory, Nalbandian calling out “Ha!” and “What are you doing?” as she chases students down the hallway. I will miss the classic walks I had with my friends down those same hallways, dodging people left and right. The sixth graders and seventh graders running amuck. The Lena jokes. The fighting with Raffi D. during Armenian class; he just won’t shut up at times. The adventures to Daglas and 7/11 to get burgers and Ice-E’s. Chilling with Mr. Burns in his comfortable office. The car rides with friends, were always the best, even if they are yelling, “Vatche, watch out for that car!” when there are no cars in sight and only tumbleweed flies by. The mom’s gossiping in the parking lot, “How’s Armineh doing, by the way?” Those are the memories that will last a lifetime.

The day that will last forever in our heads though, would probably be the very last day. Signing shirts, partying, stuffing cupcakes down each other’s throats. Tears rolling down our faces like rivers, while we cracked smiles and jokes. We laughed and cried not only with each other, but also with the teachers as they told us their favorite moments and spoke to us with voices of reason. They opened our minds to the world throughout all these years and now they opened the biggest door of all: hope. Hope in being successful in the real world, outside of this Armenian bubble.

For that one period of time, we actually looked like a family and not classmates, not teachers, not students. We still are a family. That’s how I’ll remember them and how they will remember me, because it’s engraved in my mind. The images that flash before my eyes. The noises and sweet music playing in my ears.

How can I ever forget the loud screams as we cheered each other at basketball, volleyball, or soccer? The terrible smell of Axe deodorant next to the lockers? Or the beautiful smell of the roses in front of the gates of our school? The touch of a friend’s head lying on my shoulder? A hug from someone I didn’t think liked me at all? The amazing smiles of all my classmates? The jokes played on each other and teachers? Fights in the hallways? Dances and piggyback rides? The slides and boxing matches? How can I ever forget? How can I ever?

What about all those obstacles we faced, whether alone or together? They were eventually conquered. The death of a parent. The loss of a friend. The endless mountains of homework. Three or four tests in a single day. The colds and the flus. The APs. Mid-terms. Finals. Calculus. Ms. Busch and her Turbo-Tea. The changing of the school rules. Mr. Paulos. (Especially, that last one. Seriously, a quarterly? You got to be kidding me?)

How many years have we spent with each other? Fifteen long ones. It was scary these last few weeks, because we just realized that this was finally the end. The end of high school, as we knew it, was upon us, and somehow we got closer to each other. We became a family, whether we liked it or not. We are each other’s brothers and sisters, standing strong together, having each other’s backs.

Though this is the end of high school, it’s not the end of our lives, because our lives are just beginning. We are seventeen, eighteen, or nineteen years old. We still have a century to conquer. We have technology to invent, roads to pave, skyscrapers to build, novels to write, masterpieces to be drawn, and albums to play. College and the real world, those are the next levels in the game of life. To succeed, we have to remember our past. We have to remember what we have conquered. Though I would like to pause this moment in time, I can’t. Life just goes on and I’m glad that my family of 2010 was a part of it.


Nicole said...

Good speech. Wish you could've said it. :(

Vatche said...

Thank you, Nicole, I appreciate your kind words. Though I didn't say it, it has been written and I didn't want my words to go to waste. I'm glad you enjoyed it. Thank you for reading. Always.

Paul L. Martin said...

I agree with Nicole, Vatche. Too bad you did not give the speech. However, it will probably reach more people on your blog than from a podium in an empty hall. Nice touch, very poignant and intense, as such thoughts should be at this crossroads in your lives.

Vatche said...

How very true, Mr. Martin, that this will probably be seen by many more people than the empty hall of our school. I'm glad you enjoyed it. Write on!

Wine and Words said...

It's funny to read this on the cusp of my 30th high school reunion...a reunion I am only now flirting with attending, thanks to facebook, who has reconnected faces and names and memories for me. We were a family once...we drifted...far. And now, social media, re-knitting what circumstances unraveled. It's interesting. Think I should go?

Vatche said...

The almighty internet has done wonders to our lives by connecting us to our family, friends, and long lost relatives. (There's another Yousefian? Seriously?) Anyway, I'm sure that it will be an experience to go and meet old time pals because things just might reconnect again. By going, you might make a bond that has once withered away, tighter. When and where else would you get to see your childhood friends again, all at the same time and place?

So,basically, my opinion is that you should definitely go!

Anonymous said...

Great speech, Vatche. It brought back many sweet memories of my senior year at MEI, a boarding school. We departed from our friends and teachers with tears rolling down our faces. Keep writing and good luck to you....

E. Avanessian

Vatche said...

Thank you, E. Avanessian. I'm glad that I was able to bring you some sweet memories with my words. I will definitely keep writing and thanks for your wishes. Write on!

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