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The Dansville Online
  • Way-Co graduation speech: Ben Robinson

  • Class of 2011, this is it.


    Twelfth grade, our senior year — it never truly hits us until it’s too late to understand what all of this means to us. But, now it’s here. We are here, about to take a giant step, which many of us may not believe we’re ready for.

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  • Class of 2011, this is it.
    Twelfth grade, our senior year — it never truly hits us until it’s too late to understand what all of this means to us. But, now it’s here. We are here, about to take a giant step, which many of us may not believe we’re ready for.
    The time has come for us to move out of the caring hands of teachers and parents, and walk alone into a world that is both unforgiving and constantly changing. It is no secret that we live in troubled times: an unsure job market, an economy based on a resource that is dwindling and becoming more expensive every day and a world angry and stunned by events of the last years. But, I see hope here.
    I see friends, brothers and some people, who I never really got the chance to know, but somehow I do know. All united by our time spent here at Wayland–Cohocton. Many of us are afraid of what the future holds, and many are more than ready to jump into the future. Either way, today, we start again on new ground. As Tolkien once said: “All we have to is decided what to do, with the time that is given to us.”
    In the time I’ve spent at this school, I have seen many reasons to have hope. I have seen the school and its surrounding community rally various times this year. I have seen concerned students organize protests in response to budget cuts. I have seen overwhelming school pride, as Wayland–Cohocton budget cuts. I have seen overwhelming school pride, as Wayland–Cohocton pulled off several record-setting sports seasons. I have watched as the entire community rallied for the families and friends of those we lost this year.
    All of this shows something about us … we have heart. We care about what’s going on. And that’s the most important quality we can hold.
    We will never forget the memories we had here. Whether good or bad, high school is a melting pot of experience: we suffer pain, many of us get our first taste of heartbreak, we go through intense long weeks of stress as we pus off those papers till we can’t push them off anymore and we deal with the everyday drama of high school, which can be enough to send a Buddhist monk over a cliff. Yet somehow, we pull through.
    We couldn’t do it if it wasn’t for the great people that keep our lives interesting and bearable. For instance, the teachers who really care and want to be there for us. Teachers like Mr. Hughes, going out of his way to get students like me involved in nature and as a coach taking great measures to instill character in his swimmers.
    Page 2 of 2 - Or Mr. Miller, who throughout my high school career, has always been there for me, and many others, when we had problems regardless if we were in his classes or not. These are just a couple of examples; every teacher at this school is worthy of recognition. And I thank you all, for everything you’ve done for this class.
    But let’s not forget our friends.
    I don’t know how any of us would have made it through high school without the great friends that this place seems to breed.
    Maybe you have a friend like my buddy Jonny, everyday he would find some new way to make people laugh and brighten up our lives. Whether walking through the halls in some ridiculous costume or busting into classes with me obnoxiously faking fights or shouting something that would drive those teachers crazy ... He would always find a way to bring a smile to my face and many others when times were difficult.
    Or you may have a friend you’ve grown up with all the way through elementary, middle and high school. Like the brother I grew up with from when I first came to this school in the fifth grade, Cohen, if it wasn’t for all the music we’ve bounced off each other, all the concerts we went to, all the time spent in the garage band together with Dan, Bill and Justin. All those great summer nights. I don’t know what my state of sanity would be. I love you bro.
    When it comes to friendships, I have seen that Wayland–Cohocton is always willing to make new students feel welcome. I remember when Hayley Ormond first came here a couple years ago, all the way from Georgia, a place far different from Upstate New York, yet she was welcomed here instantly, and become one of my best friends.
    The great friendships that we’ve seen held together in our school through difficult and stressful times shows us just how much heart we really have. We take care of each other here, when our friends need help, we do anything to make things better for them. I’ve witnessed this personally in football, in drama club, in day-to-day life at this school. It’s just what we do here, nothing less is expected.
    I feel blessed to have gotten the chance to go to school among such admirable and heartfelt people. I have grown to love you all, and I know I will miss you.
    And now we slowly come to terms with the fact that must go on our separate paths and say goodbye. But not now, Today we graduate. Today we celebrate. Let’s make this a summer to remember.
    Never forget your roots, and never lose the heart that you all hold inside, no matter how bad things get, there is always something worth fighting for. Class of 2011, good luck, and may God bless you. Thank you.

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