Each year, seniors 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.
Periodically throughout the 2016-2017 school year, we will share excerpts of those speeches with the SSM community, and hope that you enjoy the humor, wisdom, and powerful reflections conveyed by our senior students.
“When I came to Shattuck-St. Mary’s in August, it was like I had made the jump again - I had to make new friends in a place I had originally felt lost in. At first, I only knew and talked to the people on my soccer team here, but as the days passed, I got to know my classmates more, and made more friends easily. I am no longer afraid of these situations, as I know from past experience that I will be able to overcome the changes with ease. I know that I won’t be as quiet anymore, and that I’ll make new friends easily.
“Being at SSM these past few months has been a really fun and exciting time, as I made friends from around the country and around the world, something I never would have been able to do had I stayed in Georgia. I really look forward to the last few months here at SSM, as I know that I will never forget the memories I made here with some really great friends.”
- Damien Robbins
“When I entered elementary school, the importance given to my race faded, but my insecurities didn’t. I was ashamed that I watched anime rather than cartoons when I was younger, and scared to let anyone know that I loved all Nintendo games. It was as if every Japanese aspect I had was something to be ashamed of and simply unlikeable. I never wanted to feel the way I felt back then, which is why I started distrusting those around me and refused to show much affection. I shut myself down and did not let anyone know my feelings merely because it seemed like the easiest thing to do. I clearly took the wrong approach to the situation, since I let anger and resentment define me as a person, and quickly suffered the consequences.
“… I can’t say that everything is perfect now, because change takes time, but at least now I’m trying to make a difference. I also do not regret anything, or hold a grudge against anyone because this is just one side of the story: the negative side, sadly the side I chose to see all this time and for that I’m sorry. Attitude can change the entire way I perceive the world.”
- Sao Kimura Tomida