Each year, seniors and postgraduates at Shattuck-St. Mary’s School deliver a speech to their peers on a topic of their choosing in the Newhall Auditorium. Often equal parts clever and moving, emotional and personal, each speech offers a glimpse into the lives, experiences, struggles, and triumphs of SSM seniors.
Throughout the 2018-19 school year, we will share these speeches with the SSM community and hope that you enjoy the humor, wisdom, and powerful reflections conveyed by our senior students.
In Ms. Kuhns-Cunningham’s 5th grade class, we were assigned to do a time capsule project. We wrote a letter to ourselves that we would open up our senior year of high school. This is the letter from my 5th grade self that I received earlier this year:
I am Marley Belle Muelhaupt. My first name was going to be Belle, but my mom and dad think Marley Belle sounds better. My family calls me Mar-Mar, my friends call me Mar, and my teammates call me Bob.
You might find me out on a field playing soccer. In the gym, if you see a girl wearing a purple basketball uniform with a bright white number 4 on it, that is also likely to be me. My favorite spot on the soccer field is right forward. On the basketball court, I enjoy playing just about every position.
You might see me with my hair up in a ponytail, wearing jeans, a t-shirt, and some earrings.
Fifteen years from now, you might see me playing in the World Cup. You might also catch me starting in the Women’s National Basketball Association. See you there.
I still remember sitting in Ms. Kuhns-Cunningham’s class writing out that letter. These days, you most likely will never see me wearing jeans. In fact, I hate wearing jeans. I also do not play basketball anymore, but I can still splash some three pointers in your face.
I have now been on this planet for eighteen years. Being an adult, I have been pondering what the rest of my life will hold. Back when I was a daydreaming kid, I was constantly coming up with new plans and ideas of what my future would be like. Nowadays, I’m not so sure.
At the age of eight, I told my parents I wanted to be a pop star. My mom had the amazing idea of entering me in a Kidz-Bop contest. My mom recorded me as I sang my favorite tune at the time, Natasha Bedingfield’s “Pocketful of Sunshine.” Then she told me that she forgot to submit the video to Kidz-Bop. I was crushed. To this day I still do not know if my mom actually did forget to submit the video, or if I just did not win the contest and she didn’t want to break it to me. But that dream quickly passed onto the next one.
In middle school, I became fascinated with the military. I was constantly watching war movies and playing Call of Duty until I couldn’t keep my eyes open any longer. My dad thought this dream of mine was pretty cool, but my mom was not a fan at all. She told me I was not going to be a Navy SEAL, and she tried to take my video games away. But it’s okay because that dream too passed.
My most recent dream was last year. One day, my roommate and I were sitting in Mr. Varley’s chemistry class when it hit us. We were going to become astronauts. Celine and I started planning on cultivating Mars, and possibly saving the world.
I think that finally being an adult is starting to freak me out. It is almost time for me to pick a major to study in college, and then go into that line of work as a career. As I look back at the life I have lived and all the dreams and possibilities out there, I don’t think I can choose quite yet, not now and maybe even ever.
But something that I can choose is to never stop dreaming. It makes life a lot more interesting. A wise man named Chili Davis once said, “Growing old is mandatory. Growing up is optional.”