Senior Speech: Talking Things Through

Posted by Quinn H-G '19 - 11 April, 2019

By Quinn Hunter-Gilbert '196U4A0178W

I have spent many walls, hours of my life staring off into space: empty space, the sky, even the proscenium behind me. No longer as much as when I was little, though.

 

 

 

 When I was in the 4th grade, for the sixth year in a row, my report card told my parents that I continued to have trouble focusing. That year, however, my teacher, rather than stating the obvious, told my parents she thought I might have ADD, and my parents decided to get me tested. The test was inconclusive. Which, if you know me, have met me, or have even briefly glimpsed me from across a hallway, would not be the conclusion you would come to. Having been recommended to talk to an ADD specialist, who agreed with my teachers that I did indeed have ADD, I started with the lowest dose of 2.5 mg of Adderall. A few days later, I came home. When asked how my day had been, my eyes filled with tears of relief, and I began recounting how I had magically been able to focus the whole way through my math class. The medication itself was by no means a cure. I still have to work to focus, and even still can get distracted and confused in situations where a lot of information moves very quickly.

A few days later, I came home. When asked how my day had been, my eyes filled with tears of relief.

I’m going to call everyone’s attention back to the speech, as this tends to be the point where easily distracted people like myself begin to have wandering thoughts like “what’s for breakfast?” or “why are there three different sizes of chair in this auditorium?” The answer to both questions is, “I don’t know,” and more importantly, my speech is about to have a point.

The prompt for this speech is, “This I believe,” so after this flawless transition, you are going to hear why I think having time to sit and talk with your friends is just as important as having time to do homework or practice sports or arts or saving precious time to procrastinate. David Strickland mentioned last week, and others have before him, the value of friends and interactions with them. Rather than reiterate what they have already said, I’d like to introduce you to my own viewpoint on the matter. See, the fact remains that there is no real cure for ADD, which means I have had to find many ways to work around it, such as listening to music while I work, taking occasional breaks, and of course talking to my friends. With everything and nearly everyone just a keystroke away, talking to people is the best and easiest way to debrief your life. You get to hear other people’s views and hear how they go about solving problems. And from that, you can learn new ways to go about situations in your own life.

See, the fact remains that there is no real cure for ADD, which means I have had to find many ways to work around it.

A great example of this is this speech itself. When I wrote the first draft of this speech, I had my parents, friends and, of course, Mrs.Hillinck proof it. The first problem was that the better half of my info was wrong. Not only did I live this whole story, I’ve been told it many times, and yet the details were still off. The second problem was that the speech began in the middle, as if you knew the backstory, then moved into the backstory. And while each of these problems can be passed off as simply ignorance towards my own life and extensive lessons in English class on how to compose an organized essay, I know that these things just take a bit more work for me than they should. However, knowing how likely I am to fall into the traps of missing information and unorganized thought, I will again point out that through talking to my friends, I can work through my own setbacks.

For my last example, you may know I’m very good friends with Raymond Dexter. Raymond has social anxiety which he describes as, "walking into any room or situation and randomly hearing boss encounter music from Doom and not seeing anything threatening." Despite being anxious, Raymond is really good at looking at a given situation and quickly and accurately assessing it. In turn, I’m able to help him with traversing social situations and managing conversation. For example, we started the video game club this year. Raymond put everything in place, remembered to make a sign for the club fair, created the group-me and scheduled the first meeting, while I did most of the talking, creating hype and interest.

So I challenge you to simply take time to talk things through with people to find your own strengths and weaknesses as well as those of your friends.

We all have differences; mine just happens to be ADD. While no one is completely incapable of any one thing, we all need to learn strategies to navigate our lives successfully and easily. What I have learned is that everybody has their own hindrances, but they also have their own strengths. So I challenge you to simply take time to talk things through with people to find your own strengths and weaknesses as well as those of your friends. See how when they work together, life becomes just that much easier.

Thank you.

Developed in a format based on Edward R. Murrow's "This I Believe" commentaries, Senior Speeches are delivered to the entire Upper School at Community Time. Last spring, all rising seniors were invited to participate in Senior Speeches. The students met with Mrs. Hillinck over the summer to develop their topics, draft, edit, and practice their delivery. Mrs. Hillinck worked with students in a similar capacity at her last school, Chestnut Hill Academy, and said it was one of the most rewarding things she did because of the peer feedback and confidence it gave the speakers.
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Topics: attention, friends, social skills, struggle, high school, Senior Speech, senior year, concentration


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