The speeches that didn't make it, Class of 2013: Part II

Allison Cowie, Author

The Paly Voice acquired the following speeches from their authors, with their authors’ consent to publish. The authors wrote the speeches with the intention of delivering them at graduation, but were not selected. Each speech went through an evaluation process on May 21 by a panel of staff members. The views stated in these speeches do not necessarily reflect the views of The Paly Voice, nor those of its staff.

Graduation Speech

by Hilda Huang

I travel often, as I’m sure many of my fellow students and their families do as well. I’d like to take this chance to share with you that which I believe serves as the hallmark of my education so far.
It is a protocol I have devised for packing my suitcase in short notice, and involves no more than some clothes, a toothbrush, some basic geometric knowledge (courtesy of Ms. Choy), and my favorite grey Ricardo hard-shell rolling suitcase.
1. Pack the fundamentals first, layering the sides and bottom of the case with underwear and socks to remove superficial bumps that might reduce the available room for packing other apparel – that is to most intimately plant the values of earnest integrity and genuine humility;
2. Roll pants with ankle openings rolled last so as to increase their volumetric density – that give two-dimensional facts and constraints a three-dimensional architectures that enhances their resilience and experience during transit;
3. Organize articles of upper clothing by wrapping them in paper bags with bars of soap to keep pesky and unworthy distractions from chewing at the essence of the work of packing;
4. Bring extra paper bags in preparation for the dirty clothes’ journey home and so as not to succumb to the gluttony of extravagant laundering costs – that is, along with (3), to recognize that practicality and purpose trump elitist urbanity;
5. Pack valuable clothing or accessories at the heart of the case, never at the fringes, so that other trivial articles can protect them by discouraging trespassing security officers from tainting their sentimental purity;
6. Demonstrate restraint by assessing the above work with a critical eye for decadence and unnecessary flourish; and to
7. Always leave room for unpredictability, novelty and the long journey home.

Behind me are the suitcases of honesty, integrity and curiosity we have packed so far in life, the same suitcases we will use to move into our dorm rooms or take with us in our worldly travels.
We have arrived here replete with enthusiasm, heavy with the weight of our gratitude, and rich with the gifts of friendship and love.
Our journeys have brought us together in the depth of our shared experiences, yet in their wake have laid the paths that will define our unique contributions to those around us.
We realize that this graduation marks us not as a class finished with its travels, but as a class ready to embark upon fulfilling the potential we thought denied to us in our youth.
These lessons were not written in any textbook or heard in any lecture, but were found within our experiences, our suitcases, our colleagues, our friends and our families. They have taught us to cement ourselves permanently in studenthood, and they share in and grow from this deeply moving and inspiring experience with us.
We can tell our textbooks that these lessons have served us well in our missions to dodge ever-rising baggage fees.
But to those friends, family, and colleagues who have served as our greatest teachers, we say that these same lessons have served us profoundly in preparing us for life’s journeys of growth and exploration.

Click here to find Part I, Part III, Part IV, Part V, Part VI and Part VII.