The 2015/2016 school year opened with the traditional Rose ceremony held in the lower school courtyard on a sparkling clear day. This year’s senior speaker Téa Speek reminded us all of what brought us to Shining Mountain. Click the link to hear her entire speech, or read the speech text below.
ROSE CEREMONY SPEECH | September 2, 2015 | Téa Speek
Hello everyone. Good morning. My name is Téa Speek and I am a senior here at SMWS. I have been going to this school since kindergarten, but I actually missed my first grade year to go spend a year in a Waldorf school in Mexico. Luckily I came back for second grade and have been here ever since, but I wanted to let the first graders know, before I really started talking, that this is also my first rose ceremony, so you are not alone in first time experiences today. With that being said, I want to give a special welcome to the first graders, and their parents of course, and to just let them know that we are extremely happy that they are here today, and that I, along with my classmates, am so excited to officially welcome you to first grade.
Today I would like to talk to you about magic moments.
When going through any experience in life there’s something I like to call the magic moment. What makes these moments so special is that they often come completely unexpectedly, right in the midst of life, but suddenly you’re there. You’re in the moment. And you’re alive and breathing and it all adds up: the magic.
This is a magical moment.
I will remember this moment for the rest of my life. And to me there is nothing more magic.
Beyond the magic of today I will share with you another magic moment that I experienced here at this school. It was the day of Santa Lucia in second grade and nothing had made me more excited then to wear my beautiful white dress. I can still remember being an angel on that day and walking from class to class and staring into the eyes of the older kids. The singing and candles and the smell of wonderful winter pine are still strong in my memory. It was an experience where I can specifically remember the magic living and breathing as if through my classmates and me. It is just one of the many magic moments that I’ve had here, and it is a memory that will live within me forever.
This school is magic. And yet again I use that word ‘magic’, but to me it seems to also be a very fitting word for all I’ve been taught here.
At this school you are dared to embark on a journey, to not only understand yourself but to understand the world around you. You’re encouraged not to merely stumble through the tasks of growing up but to revel in them, to experience, to search for answers, to ask questions, and to answer questions.
We’re taught more than just information. We’re taught life lessons through stories and poems of saints, heroes, animals, queens and kings. We’re taught that sometimes adventures are the best way to learn. That sometimes experience is the greatest teacher of all. We’re taught to be creative in the way we live and see our lives. We’re taught to always be ourselves, and even more importantly to be happy with who we are.
I’ve fallen in love with the idea that each and everyone of us has some kind of gift to give and that the world is holding its breath and waiting to see what we will give it. Well I can tell you that at this school you will be given the gift of adventures, of having your own opinions, of feeling understood, of owning the courage to speak out, of occasional math classes outside, and of immersing yourself in the pure love of learning. You will be given the tools you need in order to go out and find your own gift.
Your class will become like family. You will find joy not only in being around your classmates but also sometimes in the simple fact that you know exactly how to annoy them.
For me some of the best experiences of my education have been the small, nameless, yet magic, moments spent learning about something purely unique or sharing a laugh with my classmates around a campfire. My time here at this school has been made rich with these special moments. The best part about making all these memories is that I will never forget them. They will always be apart of who I am.
Some people look back unfavorably on their years of elementary, middle, and high school. When I look back, I will see my years of school as one big, marvelous magic adventure. And even when I recall the hard parts going to school and getting older, because growing up is definitely not an easy task, I can see the blessings hidden amongst all difficulties I faced, and while thinking about this speech I came to the realization that I would not know how to recognize the blessings during the bad times, nor the magic moments during the good times, without my Waldorf education.
So first graders, my final message to you is to dare each and every one of you to go out there and find your own magic moments in life. Capture them and hold them because time does go fast, but you are at a school where that time will be truly magic. You are at a school where magic moments are possible.
By Téa Speek