When I was asked to speak about the future, I seized the
opportunity because I thought, “Hey, it hasn’t happened yet, I can
say anything I want!” But I would like to be serious for a minute
and share a few philosophies I enjoy about the future.
First of all, life can be crazy, so learn to adapt. Every person
here is evolving, even as we speak. Some are changing slowly,
and some, young people like us, are changing more quickly and
much more dramatically. You could say the very essence of life is
change. In every nanosecond, trillions of hearts beat, life cycles
spin, and the feet of explorers leave footprints where none have
been laid before. In every eon, mountains crawl, oceans flood, and
civilizations come and pass, leaving only ruins upon the earth.
You could say, the only constant in this world is change.
Class of 2006, we live in interesting times. Just take a look at
the world around us, changing faster than it ever has before. To
survive in the modern jungle, any explorers will have to adapt to
new surroundings and circumstances, if they want to arrive where
they intended. Define your goals, and drive around your obstacles,
let the changes around you change you and become a part of who
you are, and they will ultimately make you stronger.
And as for your goals… and finding success, what exactly is
success? Is there a single moment in any person’s life in which
they can honestly say, “I’m here, I’ve done it all, I’ve done
everything, I’ve played life and I got a high score?” I truly believe
that success comes from setting your own personal goals, not only
adhering to the goals that everyone else deems are important. Set
your own course.
Imagining your own goals sounds easier than it actually is. I
haven’t decided what career I want to follow, and I imagine many
of you haven’t either. But when I look into the future, I try to
picture myself doing more than just satisfying my goals concerning
myself. I would like to leave behind something more than just my
footprints. By helping my community in whatever way I can, I’m
leaving behind something like a monument. I’m not building
pyramids, but I am creating a new and better world for future
With just a few simple closing remarks, I would like to say
that I hope you enjoy the last precious moments before you receive
your diploma, and afterwards, keep close whatever wisdom you
have gained through your education here with the Royal Academy,
through your parents and tutors, and through the community and
the world around you.
Thank you very much .
When I toured Gordon College two years ago, I sat in a creative writing class while they were taking a quiz. The teacher was youngish and rather enthusiastic, and I enjoyed his invitation to participate in the quiz and following discussion despite the fact I had never read the assigned book. Anne Lamotts, "Bird by Bird", I believe it was. I raised my hand and answered the first question correctly. Writing is a way of validating your existence in a way like the light traveling from a distant star continues it's path long after the star has vanished from existence. Writing on paper proves that you exist, it outlasts you but contains part of you within it, carrying your voice beyond the limits of your own life.
I really don't know what will happen to me, my talents are few and my resources are very limited, but I have something that is not a choice. I have an obligation to myself to become something not simply adequate or acceptably good, but great.
Make doing what you have to do, what you love.
And the world will show you new roads to travel.
City Street Lights
A Short Story
By Andre Demers
The snow was perfect by the lamp post; if I could’ve afforded a camera I might
have stayed there to capture its purity. The gentle flakes continued to fall as I slid down
the lengthy hill, skipping and skidding until I reached the muddy crossroads at the
bottom. There was a pair of headlights advancing as I crossed, but I deftly maneuvered
around them. My mind was peacefully blank; no thoughts could slip inside while I
waited so expectantly for the good news. The door had been taped with a flyer for the
show. I waited for Randy to arrive and then we talked. We had both received parts in the
show we deemed the best, and this good news was the only reason for our trek this late
on the snowy night. I couldn’t contain how it felt to know, like that Christmas Eve when
I snuck down after my parents had fallen asleep. I no longer believed in Santa Claus, so I
waited for them to pass out before running down to check out the loot by myself.
We couldn’t talk about the show for long, there were too many names we didn’t
recognize or didn’t care about. We gathered snow around our feet or slid along the curb
outside the locked door while we delayed our inevitable return to the dirty dorm.
Standing in the snow on a Thursday night made me feel excited by the possibilities of the
weekend, already beginning all over campus. The lights low, the music loud, the drinks
in beautiful glass bottles- all seemed so close and reachable. One more night and this
weeklong struggle to compete on the page and on the blackboard would be over, one
more night and the drunken foolery would begin. Would I see Sarah again?
Randy liked to mention whenever he noticed that Sarah was tanked in
public. The dance two months ago had been out of control, but I arrived late. Randy was
smoking outside when he felt up to mentioning Sarah’s condition, and I thought there
was something like ridicule in his voice. I was never around when her parties occurred; I
might have never crossed her mind. We passed in the night several times, I was always
awake and she was always trashed. Because of these encounters, I said I knew who she
We met the falling snow with our eyes rising upwards- our tongues outstretched
to chase the drifting globules of crystal and ice. Another car passed in the murky dark,
sliding through the pillars of light cast down by the shimmering globes above us. Two
men approached us, fading in and out of sight. We knew they were cocky Ben Landry
and Mike James. Ben was always a loud bastard.
“Turkel, I need a hug”, he called out.
I began to slowly charge towards him but he intoned softly.
“Not that kind of hug”.
I couldn’t tell what he meant. He shrugged and looked away. He told me that the
paramedics had come for Sarah on the steps of our hall. She was visiting and drinking in
the rooms below when she was called from home. When she was in the sixth grade, her
boyfriend gave her a ring and promised that they’d be together forever. Seven years and
nine failed relationships later, she was drinking herself to oblivion when he died instantly
in a motorcycle accident.
“I’ve never seen anyone melt down so fast,” Ben said. “It was a horrible mess.”
I couldn’t do anything but stare off into space as the guys talked circles around
me about the night and the ambulance that took Sarah and her friends to the hospital. All
the illusions I created about her faded softly as I stood there in the golden city lights. My
jealousy burned on my conscience: I had never paid attention to her beyond the cheap
brews and the men she danced with. I drew out my phone, but didn’t make a call.
Instead, I took a photo of the city street light above the scene where we stood- the friends
departing, the winter descending, and the tragedy of her love speeding far away with her.
It seemed the perfect time to let the sun rise again.
- Music:jeff buckley - Grace
This place is either completing me or paralyzing me... I don't know which.
One more week until thanksgiving break, maybe i'll find what i'm looking for.
Just wanted to say before while I have a chance. If you're not involved in "Mame" at CLT or if you don't come to visit me at work, odds are I won't see you for a very long time (even longer than the last few months its been since I've seen most of the people who read this)
Life's gotten too busy, it's a fact. Now my last summer has slapped me on the bum as it passed by, as if to say "Here I go, and you never got to do everything you wanted".
Love and best wishes.
I am a fucking drained artistic pod of a youth.
Now I've got 37 hours of work this week to show just how much I don't care about ground chuck.
and I must be inspired to write about the future. And not just for a teacher. It has to be good enough for 500 people. How lovely.
I'm fucking tired and pissed off that I even volunteered for giving this speech. It was an honor to be asked, but in hindsight, it would have been smarter to say no.
ohh well. this time, 24 saves me with its season finale.
- Music:boston - augustana
It's hard to believe there's only seven days left in school... it can't be real. It seems I've been waiting my entirelife for this week, but it doesn't seem that special at all. Just another going-through-the-motions week in May, as if i still have a month and a half to go until summer vacation, sleep late, go to camp, then another normal school year after that. It's so forgeign not having school after this, my body must be rejecting it like a bad transplant. Too new, too wild, it isn't real. May 12th is my last day of homeschooling :)
Then St. Anselm in the fall. same deal though... my parents wonder why im not more ecstatic and leaping off the walls, because it was my first choice and they know how much it means to me, but i think it's the same deal as with my ending homeschooling - it's almost too good to be true. my mind rejects it somehow. maybe this summer it'll all hit me at once. that'd be nice.
As for working... it's all cool. i dont remember if i mentioned this in a post but im working at bourques market in lewiston in the meat dept, wrapping and selling dead animals. its actually not that bad, it's like christmas all year round with all the wrapping and taping i do. and i meet interesteing people every day and serve them food. it's a good life on minimum wage.
hmmm.... that's all i think. algebra beckons.
- Music:maroon 5
Yeah... Like I'd never update again.
It's been almost two months since I did, and I've pretty much got a lot to talk about...
-Went to Honduras. Flew down in one day, my first flight on a commercial aircraft. Went 48 hours without sleep but was overall ok (only got searched once getting into the country :P) Once in Yoro on Friday morning, we took our bus (and our amazing bus driver, Alberto) to the house where we were supposed to work. This thing was flippin big. No roof. We spent Friday demolishing the rubble from the walltops and the rest of the workdays cutting rebar, building forms on the walltops, and mixing/pouring cement into the forms. We almost got the entire roof done.
As for mixing with the Hondurans, it was a little harder than mixing cement. Although I knew almost no spanish, i learned a few helpful survival phrases like "thanks" and "please"... stuff any third grader knows lol. But I guess they understood I couldn't offer much else - they were kind anyways. Met an aspiring musician named "Nien" and his waaaaay out of tune guitar (i didnt know how to say "let me tune it" in spanish... i let it go :P). Nice people.
When I was picturing the trip, all I could see was jungle. Once there, it seemed more like arizona. Dry dustiness was all there was. I am very excited however, there were coconut trees outside my hotel :D
The trip changed me in ways I have not yet fully comprehended... so I'll leave the rest blank, to be filled in another day :)
-The night I got back (a freezing 40 degrees after Yoro's 90!) I got my acceptance letter to St. Anselm College in Manchester :). A presidential scholar in the class of 2010!!!! I'm pretty much over the initial orgasms of excitement, but it's still themostawesomeamazingness. I visited the open house and had a tour... etc. Incredible :D
-A job! That's right, I'm back in the miserable working world. Bourques Market in Lewiston hired me as a part time, then full time worker in the meat dept. It's like christmas season all year round, wrapping gift after gift. tis fun :)
-Still no show :( but it doesn't bother me too much. I've been trying to write some new songs... but nothing comes out. My drain of creativity has been plugged. I've got some tunes worked out, but lyrics kill me. eh.... it'll come some day.
-Apparently I have the reputation of being a man-whore now that I have a new girlfriend... but I don't have anything to say about that at all.
-My CPR certification runs out today. Must retake the course if I want any extra money this summer.
-Writing poetry sucks... especially when I can't write my own eclectic-experimental type. No, it must be something that contains literary qualities and the ideas must be expressed with condensed word choices and direct imagery. we've been raping these amazing poems for the last three weeks... it sucks. I compare it thus-
A poem is like an orange soda. Do you like it? Yes. How can you enjoy it for what it is if you're bombarded by questions like whats the color? shade of orange? size of bottle? cone or dome? length? approximate time of bubble releasage? aftertaste? strength needed to open cap?
it becomes boring. There's my point.
I think that's all I need to say right now... toodles
- Music:amos lee
I went to the cherry orchard today. I brought my basket on the front of my bicycle in the sunny weather of may and ate apples while swinging from the treebranches. Then my one true love came and we ate chicken salad and delicious sandwiches by the brook while I played guitar and she sang lovely tunes in the afternoon. We danced in the meadow as the sunlight played with her hair, and bluebirds flocked to hear our laughter.
I am fairly depressed. I am also tired of livejournaling. A post is only part of a story, and stories are better told in person.
If you want to talk to me, keep in touch, etc, my screen name is links3100 and my myspace is www.myspace.com/ilovethetango
peace and love to you all. I might check in every so often.
- Music:make your own kind of music
Runny nose, chills, muscle ache, headache, sore throat. I've been fevery since effin monday morning. 5 days?!?!? This is possibly the worst week of my life :(