Grab Your Pens



{from left to right: Chris, Andy, mom, me, Jimmy and dad. several of my friends commented how Jimmy is a spitting image of our dad. fitting for Jimmy Jr and Jimmy III}

I've been saying it all year. "A year until we graduate...however many months 'til we graduate...only two weeks until we graduate." And now it's a week away. Only one week. And only one day remains until we're out for summer (unless you got stuck with taking a final).

I was forced to reminisce on the past four years as I wrote my valedictory address that turned into a welcome address at the Senior Awards Night. That was the second speech I had given that day (after my senior speech in English class) and for some reason I wasn't in the slightest bit nervous. Rewind four years and I probably would have had an irregular heartbeat, been tapping my foot, and playing with my hair, but I know these people. They know me. Even if we had only sat across the room from each other in World History sophomore year, they were a familiar face. A friendly face. There was nothing to be nervous about. So, to start what turned out to be a very long evening, here's what I had to say:

As seniors, we've been tested this year with college applications, acceptance and rejection letters, and deciding where we're going to spend the next four years, and the even more daunting question-- how we are going to spend the rest of our lives.

So, when you leave this building, you can't start worrying, or hopefully looking forward to this next journey and what lies ahead for you. But, for now, on this momentous evening, we're here to honor what you've accomplished in the past 1400 days in order to walk across this stage.

Good evening respected guests and members of the community, staff, families, friends, and of course--my fellow students. Welcome to the Class of 2011 Senior Awards Night--one of our last events we will spend together as mustangs before we make our final bow and become alumni to Memorial High School.

Memorial is known for its excellence, and tonight, the most excellent of the excellent sit among you. We are here to revel in the accomplishments we have made in those things that gave us joy here at Memorial, those things that we excelled at. It's one final hurrah before we finally burst our Memorial bubble, finally depart from these colored-coordinated hallways that were our second home and stomping ground for the past four years.

So while this emotionally-charged night is shared by all of us seniors, we did not do this all on our own. And on behalf of my fellow classmates we'd like to thank those of you that helped us in achieving the accomplished that we are being honored for tonight--most especially our teachers and parents.

We had extraordinarily bright teachers who not only helped us learn, but taught us to love learning itself. We accomplished tasks that seemed far out of our reach with your help: from dissecting pigs in biology freshman year to more recently dissecting the art of poetry in english 4. And while the flashcards, facts and figures got us through each quiz and test, it's the passions and wisdom that you all provided us with that we will carry with us for a lifetime to come.

And to our parents, we thank you for supporting us through the thick and thin of Memorial's challenging curriculum, cheering us on in the stands at our games, bringing us lunch when we forgot, being patient when we had a crisis, or simply turning off our lights as we fell asleep with our faces planted in our US history books.

With that said, we've been given the tools and the time has come to grab our pens and start writing our own stories--living our own destinies.

We grew up in the generation of High School Musical and Hannah Montana, of iPhones and Parent Portal, of Furbies and Facebook. We've seen 3 Harry Potter movies throughout our years here and watched VCRs transform into small compact discs we call DVDs. We saw the good in Hurricane Ike as it provided us a way to dodge our first semester final exams sophomore year. We survived junior year--an accomplishment in itself--- and experienced the glory of being seniors as we made history by making it to the state semi-finals in football.

We are the class of 2011. We're band members, Facebook junkies, friends, leaders, yearbook editors, Markettes, and students. And we're seeking to become the doctors, CEOS, volunteers, Broadway stars, professors, mothers and fathers of the future.

We're on the brink of a whole new journey. We've concluded four years of learning and growing and making life-long friends and we await another memorable cycle of the same to launch us into adulthood. So, here's to all of that --the end of something great and the start to something even greater. It's the moment we've all been waiting for….Congratulations to every single one of you--the best and the brightest of the class of 2011.

{McConn boys with their littlest sister or youngest daughter}

My brothers joined my parents for the ceremony and we topped off the night with a celebratory dinner at Ava's Kitchen. Located in the new development on Kirby across from our usual salsa spot, it's super yummy and a very fun atmosphere. It was a nice change of pace to be with just my bros. I rarely get to spend time with them and despite my busy schedule and failure to express this often enough, I look up to them and will miss them a lot next year. It's been especially enjoyable to have Andy around the house as a fellow sibling to chat with or to have company when I find him having his midnight snack as I head downstairs to do the same. So, thanks for coming brutha berries. Now let the graduation festivities continue with a crawfish boil tonight!


Anonymous said...

Adorable- ps love Ava's.
Perfect day: shopping at Tootsies and lunch at Ava's!