MGRHS Class of 2006: Bring On The Big ShowBy Susan Bush
12:00AM / Sunday, June 11, 2006
Williamstown - Just minutes before taking the walk leading from the high school's north corridor, across a wet, windy knoll, through the gymnasium doors and into the rest of their lives, a 116-member Mount Greylock Regional High School Class of 2006 heard from Tim Payne, school co-principal.
|"Humor has long been the most valuable currency among us-we just wanna have fun, to exist in fraternal hilarity," from Jason Silberstein's "Without Hesitation" speech.
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"See You At The Big Show"
Payne walked between the double line of red-and white-gowned seniors - some leaned casually against lockers, others who whispered nervously - and offered handshakes along the way.
"I'm very, very proud of you," he said. "I hope your next step is an adventure, and I'll see you at the big show."
"The big show" stepped off just past 5 p.m., and class-selected speaker Jason Silberstein set the tone for the evening with a speech titled "Without Hesitation."
Silberstein's delivery of word and song kept graduating class members bouncing with merriment.
Class selected speaker Jason M. Silberstein
Class Speaker Jason M. Silberstein
The Yale University-bound youth admitted to a high school senior affliction: "I feel lazy."
"It's a senior privilege, man," he said. "We don't have to play the game anymore. And as school and all its' associated bureaucracy of assignments, schedules, tardies, and detentions fade into the past, the question becomes, what will others, and our future selves, remember the class of '06 for? What is the distinguishing thread that runs through our class?"
The MGRHS Class of 2006 found its' diversity ran along personality lines more than racial, with many students who chose "What doesn't kill you makes you stronger" as a yearbook quote and, while at the Senior Barbecue, "rocked-out and rocked-out hard," to Yellowcard's lyric:
"If I could find you now, things would get better."
Silberstein sang the lines to much laughter.
"And Guys....We're Crazy"
The moment provided a segue way to Silberstein's assertion:
"Where is the common ground? It lies in our craziness, our liveliness, our outright passion. It lies in our energy as a community of students."
Silberstein described the idiosyncrasies of several teachers and students, shared specific anecdotes and episodes, and then translated his assessments into a conclusion:
"This individual passion directly translates itself into the wider traditions of our class. Because we are so lively, our traditions are the freakin' best."
"We have gotten carried away sometimes, and perhaps some of us on occasions have deserved the label 'immature.' But we have never done anything with malice.............Humor has long been the most valuable currency among us-we just wanna have fun, to exist in fraternal hilarity. You guys absolutely kill me. We are nice guys."
"And guys...we're crazy."
"We Leave In A Cloud Of Dust"
"When we leave here, we leave in a cloud of dust. We leave behind a strong impression. We were not passengers. We did it without hesitation. And if we had to be escorted out once in a while, so what? Often that makes for an even better story. And we have plenty of quality stories, which is supremely important. As Tim O'Brien says in his novel 'The Things They Carried,' 'Stories are for joining the past to the future...Stories are for eternity, when memory is erased, when there is nothing to remember but the story."
"So what will others, and our future selves,remember the Class of '06 for? They will remember us, the individuals, the rituals, through our stories. And because we are so energetic, so over-the-top, so intense, we have a lot of good stories, stories worth telling, stories that won't be forgotten. So thank you for being passionate, and let's keep this as our common denominator, no matter where we go, no matter what our interests."
Faculty selected speaker Carl E. Kubler
Silberstein concluded his remarks with a quote:
"In the words of Billy Collins, from his poem 'Nightclub,' 'We are all so foolish, so damn foolish, we have become beautiful without even knowing it.'"
Faculty Speaker Carl E. Kubler
Faculty-selected speaker Carl E. Kubler has been accepted as a Yale University student. He titled his speech "Time's A Funny Thing."
"A Real World From Which There Is No Retreat"
"Fellow Mounties of the Class of 2006, today is one of the last days of our lives that we'll have the opportunity to scream '06' at the op of our lungs," he said.
"Many of us will move onto college this fall screaming '010,''twenty-ten' or some other variation of the number 2010. Some of us will enter the workforce, screaming for a raise. Some of us will take a year off and end up screaming at our parents. But whatever we end up doing and however we end up screaming, we do need to take a moment at times to stop screaming and start listening, because the world we enter after today is a fast-paced world."
"It is a real world from which there is no retreat and in which there are few second chances."
"It is a world not defined by simple, three-letter terms like 'SAT' and 'GPA' but by scary twelve-letter ones like 'independence,'unemployment,' and 'I-am-a-taxpayer.'"
"Today is the day that you leave Mount Greylock with the courage and dedication to confront falsehood, challenge adversity, and live a life of passion..." from Carl Kubler's "Time's A Funny Thing" speech.
Kubler embarked on a stroll along the Class of 2006 MGRHS six-year memory lane.
"Time's A Funny Thing"
"Let me tell you, time's a funny thing," he said. "Ten years from now, you might not remember the Quadratic Formula or who the nineteenth President of the United States was, but you are going to remember the little things, the strange, wacky details that made your high school experience as a Mountie so unique."
"When you leave Mount Greylock today, these details and memories of your time here will become a part not of who you are but of who you have been. Like the toys of your childhood, they will be packed up in boxes and stored away in dusty closets and attics. And with the passing of these memories, you will enter a new and exciting phase of your life."
Eubler encouraged the Class of 2006 to bypass fear and head full-force into the future. He quoted Albert Einstein:
"The world we have created is a product of our thinking; it cannot be changed without changing our thinking."
"I urge you to follow your passions and dreams and let them carry you through the rough times of your life. I urge you to follow your passions and dreams and let them guide you to a future of great possibility. I urge you to follow your passions and dreams and let them mold you into the person you want to be, the person you may not yet have had a chance to be, but the person that you will be for the rest of your life."
"Remember that you would not be here today without the people who are sitting around you now," from the speech of Carl Kubler
"Today is the day that you toss the map out the window and embrace the wide road ahead. Today is the day that you reach out and seize the opportunities of the future with the knowledge and understanding of the past."
"Today is the day that you leave Mount Greylock with the courage and dedication to confront falsehood, challenge adversity, and live a life of passion, integrity, and fulfillment."
Standing The Test Of Time
And yes, said Kubler, there is some room for memory and some things time cannot erode.
"The parents who've raised you and supported you; the teachers who've stretched your minds and opened new horizons; the friends who've shared your laughter and your tears-these are the people you've grown up with. Remember them always. They are your friends and your family."
"Nothing in time can change that fact."
Susan Bush may be reached via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 802-823-9367.