My son Zachary graduated on June 8th and we had a party for him on the 16th. I wanted to take a moment to acknowledge the wonderful young man he is. He has a great sense of humor, a passionate outlook on life, a solid gold heart, and the height to make most people feel small next to him. Like his stature, his personality is huge. He fills a room when he is in it. I don't think he realizes the magnetism he has yet. College will surely polish up the rough edges and mold him into the commanding leader he was born to be. I know that he will grow into an amazing man, he is already half way there, and I couldn't be more proud of him.
Here is an assignment he has in English class, to write a valedictorian speech. It says a lot about what kind of man he is becoming. I got lucky when God made him my son. I love you Zack.
All of us have spent the past thirteen years waking up, brushing our teeth, throwing some clothes on and going to school. When we were younger our parents drove us to our elementary school and told us where to meet them after school to avoid the rush of over protective parents who arrive 45 minutes early to pick up their kids. We then kissed them goodbye, grabbed our brown bagged lunch, and got ready for the toughest day of third grade ever. Times tables. Little did we know, our problems were only just beginning. After our 5 years of 100% guidance in elementary school, we were now onto the next stage of education. We were now, for the second time, Entering a world of unfortold mystery. Junior high. We would now learn how to write a 4-5 paragraph essay, and we would have 6 different classes with multiple teachers. To our young minds this was quite a change. We are now in the process of growing up; our moms stopped packing our lunch, they stopped waking us up in the morning, and rather than a hug and kiss in the morning, they send us a Good morning text. Over the next three years at the junior high we will lose many friends because they will have hugged the boy or girl we liked first, we'll stress about our first book report, we'll tell our parents that we hate them and that they're the worst parents on earth, and they'll totally ruin our lives by not letting us go to Joe's 12th birthday party because EVERYONE is going to be there. And our parents may act angry, but on the inside they are smiling because they know that this punishment is nothing compared to what lies ahead. Soon our time at the junior high is up, and we begin preparation for our 8th grade promotion, which to us was a huge deal, but in all honesty is nothing. Now the real work begins. We begin preparing for the worst, most intense, yet, happiest and best times of our entire lives. High school. There will be drama, and parties where that one kid throws up, well all do things we wish we hadn't, but when we look back; we wouldn't change a thing. Well have our romances, some more ridiculous than others. We've all had our romances, the two week i love yous, the three month stretch, and for some one year and more. Some will meet the girl they love in Mr. Schains US history class junior year. Others may have been friends for a long time and developed into more. A few may have "the one" that turns into "the one that got away" .Some won't get through the hard times that lie ahead, but for those of you who will put in the work, stay up all night studying for their exams, pass all their classes, put on that cap and gown, walk down the aisle, shake Mrs. Kamels hand and walk out of here with a diploma, these past 4 years will have been worth it. We've all stayed up until 3:30 in the morning writing a paper because we were too occupied with Call of Duty, hanging out with friends, or we just flat out didn't care. Most of us leaned how to drive. We started off as we did on our first day of school. Nervous, hesitant, scared. And to be honest we all sucked. But over time most of us became better drivers, just as we became better students. The truth is, after we walk out of our class this Friday with our heads up high, we will soon after realize that it's all over. No more guidance, no more mandatory schooling, no more neatly packed lunches with notes on the napkin, no more teachers telling us what to do. After this Friday, we never have to come back again. The faces we're used to seeing everyday will fade until eventually they are nothing more than "that guy in my english class sophomore year." This Friday we're all facing a monster, many of us know this monster as reality. And if you don't pay attention reality is gunna lash out and slap you right in the face. So my fellow 2012ers, look up, face reality, and fulfill your self expectations. I know I won't be seeing a lot of you anymore, and I'd like to thank all of you for the memories. I hope I have left some of you with good memories as well. High school will forever be the best times of my life.