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Thursday, December 8, 2022

KHS Teacher’s Graduation Speech to the Class of 2013

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The following is the speech given to the KHS Class of 2013 on June 8, 2013.
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? ? ?Seniors, thank you for this opportunity to be with you today.
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? ? ?It?s a great day to be a senior isn?t it? I know how you feel?I?m a senior too! Think of the benefits. You get a diploma and I get senior discounts. Also, seniors like me get to answer questions about the ?good old days.? I remember some of your questions. In fact, I think I will answer one now: No?I was never a hippie. Do I really look the part? How many hippies wear a tie every day? Then, of course, there?s the hair issue. No, you have the wrong idea on this one. {{more}}
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? ? ?Once I had a student who really got the wrong idea about me. The student asked ?Mr. Grotz, how were things different when you were in school?? Well I have noticed a change in technology. The student then said ?you mean computers, I-Phones and the new social media, right?? No, I?m talking about ball point pens. The student had this look of amazement and said, and I quote, ?you mean?you used a quill?? No, I never used a quill, never knew Abe Lincoln, nothing like that.?I did explain about fountain pens and ink cartridges. They made a big mess and always seemed to run out of ink during essay exams. The ink didn?t dry right away so if you are writing left handed—forget about it.
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? ? ?Ah yes, those were the good old days.
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? ? ?Seniors like me often talk about the past, but I know seniors like you are more concerned with the future. Now it?s time for you to begin your pursuit of the American Dream. Not everyone will choose the same pathway to success. You should choose the path that will best enable you to develop your God-given talents.
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? ? ?For many of you, college is the next destination. College is expensive as you know, but the returns on this investment last a lifetime. You will have better career options and of course, greater income potential. But as you consider your career choice, think of your interests and passions, not just the salary. Being in a highly paid occupation is clearly worth a lot, but the opportunity to get up every morning and make a living doing something you truly love, well that is priceless. So choose wisely. Use your brain but also follow your heart.
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? ? ?And what about employment opportunities in the future? What can you expect? Well, I don?t have a crystal ball, but I do know that about the time many in your generation are entering the workforce, many more of my generation will be leaving it. The ?baby boom? generation in this country numbers 75 million, and we?re not getting any younger.
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? ? ?Already, baby boomers are leaving the work force and heading for the golf course at the rate of 10,000 per day (well today make that 10,001). Replacements will be needed. Will you be ready? Seniors, now is the time to prepare yourself for the day you can start living the life you?ve imagined.
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? ? ?There?s one more thing. While we look to the past for guidance, and dream about the future, we live in the present. Wherever you are on that road to fame and fortune, always remember to be thankful for what you have. Treat every day as a gift, a blessing. The Roman statesman Cicero once said ?Gratitude is not only the greatest of virtues, but a parent of all the others.? So if you are truly grateful for what you have in life, you?ll be a better son, or daughter, or sibling or friend. You?ll always be there for those who have been there for you. You?ll have a stronger faith. And you?ll have the patience to make it through some of life?s most trying times?you know, like the advisory schedule.
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? ? ?So remember to count your blessings and happiness will surely come your way. If I may paraphrase Shakespeare, true happiness is not about the destination, it?s about the journey.
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? ? ?Speaking for the teachers here at KHS, I can tell you that your journey through high school has been a memorable one. We?ve watched you learn and grow, seen you mature and now look on with pride as you graduate. But we are more than proud?we are also thankful to have high quality young men and women like you to teach. When we reflect on the ?good old days? of teaching, we will have fond memories of the class of 2013.
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? ? ?Seniors, now I must say congratulations and farewell. I hope the rest of your journey is a good one?and may God be with you every step of the way.
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Al Grotz

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