In the yearbook, a thousand students looks really small, but from this podium, it looks huge.
As I stand here and look out into the crowd, I see lots of faces facing the unknown. I see the parents, some are smiling, and some have tears in their eyes.
(I’m looking at you, Mom).
Maggie Mitchell '18, SGA President, delivered these remarks at Opening Convocation.
I look out at the students and see their faces, too. This is a new year for everyone; new classrooms, new teachers, new buildings, and new memories, too.
Some people look excited, some look nervous, and the kid in the blue shirt in the back looks like he’s ready for lunch.
Then I look right in front of me and see the kindergartners with their eyes wide open.
I imagine they are asking, Who are all these people? Why are they all here? And when can I take my nap? And seniors, I think we are wondering the same thing, too, and trying to figure out what comes next.
We’ve learned so much during our years here at Randolph.
We’ve learned to NEVER trade our chickens for candy on the Oregon Trail.
We Learned that ice cream is FREE with meals in high school, and there’s a soda machine .
We learned how to solve a dodecahedron—and yes, that’s a math term, not a Spanish one.
We learned where NOT to sit during the Blue Man group to keep our clothes dry in Chicago.
We learned that you can never un-smell that day at the chicken farm.
We learned that the real reason for late-start Wednesday is so the faculty can train for the Middle School kickball game
We learned that no matter how well behaved you think your dog is, it will always get off the leash at Yappy Hour,
We learned that a 14-hour bus ride is NEVER actually 14 hours.
These things are all important, but perhaps the most important things we learned, are the things we learned in kindergarten
The book, All I Really Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten, by Robert Fulghum lists lessons normally learned in kindergarten. The author explains how much nicer the world would be if we would just live life by the basic rules we learned in the beginning. This is what I like to call the simple philosophy for living.
Here are a few of my favorites from the book:
1. Share everything
2. Play fair
3. Don’t hit people
4. Put things back where you found them
5. CLEAN UP AFTER YOUR OWN MESS
6. Don’t take things that aren’t yours
7. Say you’re sorry when you hurt someone
8. Wash your hands
9. Flush (ok… maybe not in that order)
10. Warm cookies and milk are good for you
11. Live a balanced life
12. Take a nap every afternoon
13. When you go out into the world, watch for traffic, hold hands and stick together, and last, but not least:
14. Be aware of wonder. Remember the little seed in the Styrofoam cup: the roots go down, and the plants go up, and nobody knows how or why, but we are all like that.
Kindergartners, today your roots are beginning to sprout.
Over the next 13 years, your teachers, the administration, your peers and most importantly your family will nurture you and watch you grow. They will straighten you up as you start to bend, they will give you sunlight when the clouds are out and the days seem dark, and they will fill your thirst for knowledge.
In the blink of an eye, you will realize that life isn’t about the material things, and just like plants, we need the simple things like food, water, and shelter. Okay maybe a little bit more, but you get the point.
The simple philosophy for living makes the world a better place so on the behalf of the Randolph student body I would like to propose that fourth period should always have warm cookies and milk with a nap to follow. If that fails, I believe we should promise to stick to one other thing.
When we go out into the world, we must never go alone. We should hold each other’s hands, and walk together because we are all rooted as ONE Randolph.