MCHS Class of 2012: Valedictorian’s Thoughts, Salutatorian’s Thoughts
Always Let Your Light Shine
The poem “A Return to Love” opens with the following lines, “Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light not our darkness that most frightens us.” As we enter Bill Corry Stadium on May 25, these lines will truly be a testament to the graduates of the Class of 2012 as it will be the time when we let our inner lights shine for all to see. Emotions will be running high as our high school careers come to a bittersweet end, and the present days we experienced with friends will become only memories. While the cameras are flashing and people are laughing, one can only reminisce on the wonderful aspects of Morgan County High School, and dream about the future ambitions we hope to conquer as we leave this place.
From arriving to school on the first day as a freshman, some of us felt intimated, even inadequate. High school was unfamiliar and drastically different from anything we had ever experienced. As we became accustomed to the freedom, rigor, and opportunity our fear changed into a fear of what we could accomplish being a part of “One Morgan.” Whether we became superstar athletes with college and professional careers in mind, great singers, dancers, and artists with a profound passion, academically inclined and dedicated people, or simply an outgoing and influential person, we all seemed to find our niche and talents and harness this power to become the lights we were intended to be.
Now where has the time gone, when we were figuring these things out and enjoying what high school had to offer? The closing of the time of our lives and the beginning of a new chapter has been filled with resentment as well as excitement. While we have used our light to figure out the path through which we will shine, we have enjoyed ourselves along the way. We will never forget the sports events we attended, the laughs at the lunchroom table, the assemblies in the New Gym, or the service projects we conducted as a school. As this enjoyment becomes the past, we move on to filling out college applications, finding roommates, or stressing out over what decisions we should make. With the help of our family, friends, and teachers, we began to make the transition necessary into becoming who we are actually meant to be, and the understanding of the momentous life we are intended to live.
To the graduates of the Class of 2012 it has truly been a pleasure getting to know all of you. All of you are unique and inspiring people with a bright future ahead of you. I am proud to be apart of such a group of people and I cannot wait to see the mark you will leave on the world. Commencement will be a whirlwind of emotions for me; bitter because I wish to make more memories with you all, and sweet because I cannot wait to see what the future will hold for us and how our light will shine. In closing the poem says, “We are all meant to shine as children do. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we’re liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.”
– Marianne Williamson
Laura Margaret Burbach
As Easy As #YOLO
ऀIt’s been trending on Twitter, posted on Facebook, generated on Willy Wonka Memes and even yelled aloud outside of cyberspace. The simple acronym YOLO, usually accompanied by a hash-tag, has evolved into an internet movement proclaiming, “You only live once.” The phrase has been embraced by party animals and existentialists alike, and as graduation quickly approaches, the Morgan County High School Class of 2012 can carry this phrase from trending on the web to becoming a trend in our lives.
ऀ“You only live once” should be taken as a challenge – a challenge that inspires us to collaborate with the people around us to grow into our best and fullest selves. At Morgan County High School, we have been given the opportunity to meet this challenge and excel. With over 50 clubs, we have each been given the chance to find our niche, somewhere where we can fit in with people who share our interests from yoga to politics to Frisbee. The numerous sports opportunities, whether on a team, on the sidelines, or in the stands, have shown us what hard work and team spirit can do. Finally, at Morgan County High School, the academic courses are designed to give us exactly what each of us need, whether that is a rigorous challenge or a little extra help, and faculty and staff who believe in our success and celebrate our accomplishments.
ऀThe time we’ve shared at Morgan County High School has been filled with moments – from football games, to concerts, to dances and slip-‘n’-slides – which can only be lived once. I sincerely hope that every senior will agree with me in believing that the “once” in which we lived our high school days have been nothing but well spent. I certainly feel that we have been given the impetus to move into the world with the courage to be nice to each other and do well.
ऀThough high school is ending, we now are met with the challenge to take what we’ve learned from our teachers, family, and peers and mold it into a bright future. We know to collaborate with others, we know that from struggle can emerge triumph, and, perhaps most importantly, we know to be nice to each other. These phrases are not merely posted at MCHS, they have been trending throughout our daily lives leading up to this very moment. Writer Carl Bard said, “Though no one can go back and make a new start, anyone can start from now and make a new ending.”
ऀAs we graduate, we have been presented with the opportunity to write our own ending – one in which we hope for kindness and success. We’ve been taught that whatever our dreams may be – whether they’re on the silver screen, in Washington, or in the NFL – we can achieve them, not by simple luck or optimism, but by hard work and support. So, Class of 2012, I present you with a challenge: take everything Morgan County has given and taught you and write your ending so that it defines who you are as the person you’ve always dreamed to be. #YOLO
Morgan County High School Class of 2012 valedictorian Kiara Smith (right) and salutatorian Laura Margaret Burbach (left) are recognized at the county school board's meeting on May 14, 2012. They are pictured with Morgan County Board of Education Chairman Nelson Hale. photo by k. schiliro
Printed in the May 24, 2012 edition