Every year, we invite local high school seniors to share with us their senior speech, a tradition at many local private schools where a student addresses the student body on a subject of his or her choice. Today we feature the speech of Gilman School Senior Zane MacFarlane. Zane is senior class president and played the lead role of Joe (Boyd) Hardy in the recent musical production of “Damn Yankees.” He will attend Pomona College in the fall. Chirp, Zane.- The Eds.
The drums were slow at first as they ran around outside, “Dum, dumdumdum, Dum, dumdumdum…” Meanwhile in my cabin, I was lying down on top of my bunk bed, staring at the rafters. It was my third year at Camp Virginia, a place I loved and returned to every summer, and tonight the honor council – the most respected group of campers – were going around, inducting the newest members to their society. The process of induction was called “tapping.” It was a big deal at camp to get tapped, and I thought tonight was my night. The drums got faster and faster as you could hear the kids running around, circling every cabin, until they gathered in the center of the field. The drums stopped. There was silence, followed by a sharp “let’s go.” Chaos erupted as 20 or so kids screamed at the top of their lungs, entered my cabin, pulled me out of bed, threw me up and down outside, slapped me, pinched me, cheered for me, stripped my bed, and dumped my trunk of clothes everywhere. I had just been tapped into the honor council at Camp Virginia, and it was one of the greatest moments of my life.
Mr. Schmick, Ms. Turner, Mr. Smyth, Mom, Dad, faculty, students, and friends, I am here today to talk about magic moments.
Now, let me step back a bit and open things up to you all. Try to picture something, a moment in your life that gives you the goosebumps. Something you want to relive every day of your life so you can feel that energy and that passion again. Something that happened that made you feel some sort of never-ending joy or even ecstasy at that time… You can argue that ability or talent or skill are the most important things in life, but I believe that these moments I’m talking about drive my life. They give me energy, they give me electricity to keep doing what I love.
For some people it happens with amazing sporting events, family vacations, or epic adventures with your buddies, but for me, as I said, it comes with traditions – like the “tapping” by the honor council at camp or putting on a musical every spring or, more recently, helping to plan the McDonogh Pep Rally that I’ve been itching to be a part of since pre-first. Those moments are so special for me.
But as I’ve been getting older and older, everything starts to feel smaller or less intriguing – less mystical. Camp Virginia isn’t what it used to be for me anymore. When I was twelve it was a place full of spirit and wonder, but as a senior in high school, it just feels like a summer camp. Basically, the idea of everything losing its sparkle, losing its light as I age has really been bugging me lately. Read More →