Speaking Words of Wisdom
By: Monica D
Graduation day is approaching rapidly and the planning for the event is beginning. The most crucial and anticipated part of graduation is the student speeches. Speeches are only guaranteed to the graduating class’s president and treasurer, valedictorian, and of course Mr. Stephens. The rest of the the speeches are battled for at the Senior Seminar.
English Teachers Mrs. Woodworth and Ms. Ciccarelli are the advisors for Senior Seminar. In mid April they will invite students after school to come and create speeches. “The group is the one that edits, the choices comes from the group. We all get together to discuss the ideas, how to form them, and how to structure that into a speech,” Ciccarelli said as she described the advisor’s role in the process. As the seminar comes to an end the students all come together and vote on which three speeches they believe should be heard on graduation day.
The voting takes place based off of what it is the students believe the audience wants to hear. Senior Bella M. said, “Graduation is a long ceremony so it’s important to have a speech that is entertaining.” Graduation speeches sometimes can be similar, but some themes are still favorited. Junior Ginny W. said, “I think a speech that tells you something new about the speaker or starts off with a narrative is usually effective.” Kellianna S. agreed that a personal or sentimental speech is gripping and said, “I like when people tie in personal stories or narratives to a larger meaning.”
Comedic student speeches are very common at commencement. Serious speeches are often overlooked, but senior Meg Z. said, “ I think there’s a lot to be said about someone that can pull off a serious speech to an audience of eighteen year olds.” Other students think that a speech should be neither all a joke or too serious, Bella said, “Just because a speech is funny and entertaining doesn’t mean it can’t be serious, it’s just a particular balance.”
Getting up in front of a thousand or more people can be terrifying. Senior Seminar helps build up the necessary confidence to pull off an effective speech. Delivering a speech requires a certain kind of person to be able to effectively pull it off, but it is a great opportunity for seniors. Skyler W, a junior, sees a graduation speech as “an opportunity for a form of closure, you get to speak to all of your peers at once one last time.” Senior Emily Z., who will be attending Senior Seminar, said, “For me its like officially closing the gate to high school. Writing a speech is like writing the last page of a novel. Its the final way to move on from high school and get ready for college.”
Senior Seminar’s first meeting will take place on Tuesday April 15th, and seniors should see Ms. Ciccarelli or Mrs. Woodworth with any questions.