A Fond Farewell

It’s the end of the year, at long last. Here is what I wrote as a speech for my teachers class, and the only *ahem* poetic value it holds is in the magic we shared throughout the school year. Carry on, Hinksonites.


Annie Shustrin

 

Dear Hinkson class of 2014: I love you guys. For those of you who’ve taken the time to ask what I wanna do with my future, which would specifically be, well, all of you, I want to go to English class for the rest of my life. As sappy or cliché as that may sound, I’m serious. Walking into this classroom at the beginning of September, I didn’t realize what this English class, and a number of the works of literature we’ve dug into, would come to mean to me. Reading through canonical books of American Literature like The Great Gatsby, Huck Finn, and anything by Flannery O’Connor has shown me how vital English is to whom we are today and to whom we will be tomorrow. I liked to let my imagination sail away on that raft of Huck’s or ride too fast in that big bright yellow car of Gatsby’s. Jake took me along and opened my eyes up to that sacred time in a land called France, showing me how to write and how to live, what sunrise to look forward to and what friendships to pass up, when to speak my mind and when to shut up – who to be, really. Reading into the minds of these authors – I became me. And entering into those realms with you all at my side – you became my family. And that’s all I really have to say about that.

I think you were right, Mr. O, when you talked about the low points in school and how its hard to find something that really makes you wanna attend. For me, the one consolation for going to school on these days was English class. Sure I missed an assignment or two, or forgot to memorize a poem or four, but you made this class my home. And if there’s one thing I’m gonna take away from this year, it’s that home isn’t a place you run back to, nor is it something to always remember, but it’s a time and a place that you, with the help of those around you, have created. You carry it with you when you leave until it’s time to make a new home. But one thing I overlooked in the beginning of the year was that with every new home comes a new family of brothers and sisters who, unlike the home, stay with you wherever you are. And I would like you all to know that you are my family and I will always regard each and every one of you as such.

Some may call me a dreamer, and in fact I wouldn’t mind being called that. I do have dreams, and I cherish each and every one of those. But I’d like to share with you one dream that’ll stick with me for a very long time, I bet. I’ve been enamored with France and the wonderful minds that once dwelled there together in competitive harmony, and I’ve always wished that I could go there, my Midnight in Paris. I’ll never make it to that time, but I will go to France one day, and on that day the lights will be green in the yellow haze that covers the city and the fog will rise off the waters and there will be singing in the streets and we’ll meet up once again as the day draws to a close and we’ll walk the cobbled streets and we look out at that sunrise and see it finally set, -me, with my family, in my home, together.

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2 comments

  1. Josh, you caught it. You caught it exactly. Home, like the capital H home:

    “Sure I missed an assignment or two, or forgot to memorize a poem or four, but you made this class my home. And if there’s one thing I’m gonna take away from this year, it’s that home isn’t a place you run back to, nor is it something to always remember, but it’s a time and a place that you, with the help of those around you, have created. You carry it with you when you leave until it’s time to make a new home.”

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