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Grads ready to take life’s next big step

I’d like to thank everyone here for contributing to the growthof our class. Thank you to our administration, for making Wesson asafe place to learn. Thank you to the teachers of Wesson AttendanceCenter, for caring so much about us and always having time for us.And thank you to our families, for always believing in us andsupporting us through good times and bad.

Today, we stand on the brink of our futures, on the line betweenhigh school and the rest of our lives. We’re graduating. It’sFacebook official. After today, they will never let us eat in thecafeteria again. We’ve finally escaped high school. We’re suited upin these silly outfits full of obsolete historical significance,ready to accept our diplomas, the ones we’ve worked so hard for forso long.

But John Ruskin once said, “The highest reward for a person’stoil is not what they get for it, but what they become by it.” So,Class of 2010, think back with me, if you will, to what we willtake from our time at Wesson Attendance Center.

I’ve learned many things over the past 13 years at WessonAttendance Center. I’ve learned how to use my inside voice and toalways walk on the right side of the hall. I’ve learned aboutmitochondria and the Civil War more times than I care to remember.I’ve learned how to use parenthetical citations and all about theusefulness of derivatives. I’ve learned that true friends are hardto come by, but they’ll never let you down. I’ve learned that hardwork pays off, and that sometimes it’s best to keep my mouth shut.I’ve learned that it’s much more fun to dance awkwardly than tostand around awkwardly. I’ve learned that nothing ever turns outthe way you plan it, but sometimes it turns out better. I’velearned that forgiveness is freeing. And I’ve learned that oneperson can change lives.

WAC has prepared us for our future. I know many of us are scaredto leave the security of those halls. But look at all we haveaccomplished over the past 13 years: We’ve stacked on top of eachother on the big slide on the playground and lived to tell thetale. We’ve cheered for the Cobras at over 50 pep rallies. We’verelentlessly reviewed for and successfully passed four state tests.We’ve endured heartbreak. We’ve passed Mr. Brown’s humongous testswith their impossible true/false sections. We’ve written papers tothe standards of Mrs. Jackson. If we can do all this, what does theworld have on us? We are ready to take that “next step” everyonekeeps talking about.

And so I wish you all good luck. My hope is that each of us willretain the individual greatness we each have, because I know thatwe all have the potential to change this world for the better.

To quote Douglas Adams, “Let’s think the unthinkable, let’s dothe undoable, let’s prepare to grapple with the ineffable itselfand see if we may not eff it after all.” We have all the education,experiences and knowledge we need to go out into the world and makeour dreams come true.

I challenge you today to find your passion, what you really loveto do, what you want to change about the world, and to go after it,no matter the job outlook, or how your friends, peers or evenparents feel about it. Each of us has something to give the world,and it is my wish that we each should give it with our wholehearts.

As we leave this gym today, in the words of Albus Dumbledore,”Let us step out into the night and pursue that flighty temptress,adventure.”

Whitney Knight is the daughter of Phillip and Lea AnnKnight.