The 2017-2018 school year opened with the traditional Rose Ceremony held in the lower school courtyard on a sparkling clear day. This year’s senior speaker, Sydney Kless, welcomed students to the first grade with the speech below.
“One can acquire everything in solitude except character.”
– a quote by Stendhal
There’s something powerful in the collective consciousness of a thriving community, brought together by the odyssey of Waldorf education. Over the past eleven years, Shining Mountain has continuously celebrated the change and growth of my class in every measure possible. But one of the greatest gifts this school has given me, was the opportunity to fully explore the misadventures of growing up. I say misadventures, in light of the fact that growing up is actually really hard and now that I’m a little older, I’ve begun to experience what is known as “The Peter Pan Syndrome”. A syndrome that can only be described as, not wanting to grow up so fast.
Throughout my years here, I have been fortunate enough to experience the tumultuous ups and downs of getting older, in fashion with the life cycle of a butterfly. You see, eleven years ago, I was merely a little caterpillar waiting for my senior to walk me down the aisle, where my journey of indulging in stories such as the Periwinkle would begin. From there, the little caterpillar that I was continued to munch my way through the knowledge of elementary school. In addition to all of the daily wisdom filling up my head, I was also exposed to the wonders of handwork, the Halloween Journey, and Michaelmas. As well as the occasional mishap. Much like the time we were blown away in tents on the first night of our third grade class trip. Then came middle school…the stage in which each and every caterpillar wrapped themselves in cocoons of puberty and self doubt. These were by far the most difficult years to overcome, and yet each of us managed to survive. Once high school came around, everything changed once again. The cocoons we had wrapped ourselves in slowly began to fall away, as each individual blossomed into the incredible beings they are today.
Each of you are about to embark upon your greatest journey yet. A journey that will take you through 12 years of knowledge, community and most importantly, the friendships you build. For instance, my dear friend Sophie and I were desk partners the very first week of first grade. While we were soon separated, never to be seated together again for the next 11 years, simply because we were having too much fun. I know that our friendship will last a lifetime. Looking back, the adventures of growing up were certainly intimidating at times, but to my beloved fellow seniors, and darling first grade class, trust me when I say the best thing is to dive in head first on whatever adventure awaits you. And may each of you conquer with the help of every gnome, fairy and elf you meet along the way.
Sydney Kless, Class of 2018
Rose Ceremony Senior Speeches from Prior Years: