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.
During my childhood, every day was “bring your kid to work day.” I loved it. After school, I played for hours at the restaurant my parents owned until it closed for the day. When I walked into the restaurant, I was greeted by the wonderful smell of my parents’ cooking and loud bell that rung when the food was ready to be served.
I still remember the staff who took care of me when my parents couldn’t, and the customers I talked to while they waited for their food. I remember sitting at a table that was specifically for my sister and me, and no customer dared to take our spot. I would simply sit in the kitchen and watch my dad taste test the food to see if it was okay to be served. The restaurant was like a second home to me.
There was a guy named John who worked at the restaurant, and he was my favorite person there. He always had a smile on his face in all of my years of knowing him. I called him Uncle John because he was like a brother to my dad. My Dad and Uncle John were best friends in high school, and they remain friends to this day. Their friendship was strong, and they made work fun. They helped each other out whenever they needed help with no questions asked. This showed me what true friendship was, and I wanted a lifelong friend just like that.
I didn’t have to look far for a true friend because she was by my side all along and I never realized it. It was my sister Cayla. We always played together around the restaurant and ate tons of food. She was the one who stood up for me when I got in trouble with my parents and cheered me up whenever I was sad.
My mom was the one who checked up on us, asked if we were hungry, and made us yummy food. When I came home from school, I would visit her at work and she would drop everything that she was doing to give me the biggest hug. She may act tough on the outside and when she is working at the restaurant, but on the inside, she has one of the most caring souls I have ever met. I am so lucky to have her as my mom. She showed me what love is and how to show love to others.
When my little brother DJ came along, he was immediately loved by everyone. He has started to hang out at the restaurant after school like Cayla and I used to do, and the customers love him there. He goes around and talks to people he has never even met before and charms the girls that are working in the tea bar next door. He is such an interesting person and he does not care what other people think about him. He taught me to not take things so seriously and to put yourself out there. I just want to thank my family for just being who they are and caring for me. I love you guys so much!