Wednesday, June 15 was our last day of the school year and it included the annual rose ceremony where our grade one children say farewell to their grade eight buddies and wish them well in high school. The official graduation was several days earlier. Following the gift of individual roses on this last day, our music teacher, Greg Csefko, gave a lovely tribute to the grade eights as we all gathered together for one last time with them. Here is Greg’s speech.
“I look around and I am reminded of all the years spent together as a school. The many main lesson classes, the multiple recesses the countless assemblies & festivals. If there’s one word that can be used to describe the school it’s, FAMILY. I feel like one of the luckiest teachers in the school. Because I get to be with every class from grades 2 to 8. I get to see you in many areas and stages of your lives. It’s an amazing opportunity! The experiences, stories & relationships I see develop is fantastic! There is nothing I love more.
This reminds me of a story way back when the Grade 8’s were still in grade 1 with Mr. Monid. It was during an extra recess period in the very cold month of January. Mr. Monid had asked if I would be able to help him look after the class while they play on the frozen ice behind the potable. As I observed and watched, there were some children huddled around a large log that was embedded half way into the frozen ice.
I asked, “What are you doing?”
“We’re trying to get this log out of the ice!” Proudly exclaimed one student.
“Good luck!” I sarcastically replied following a light chuckle.
“Do you think we can’t?” Charged a child.
“There’s not a chance you’ll get that out of the ice!” I answered, “It’s more than halfway into it! You’re far too small to even get a part of that log out!”
“Oh really? Wanna make a bet? If we get this log out, you owe us each$2.00!”
“Ok, I’ll give you $2.00.” I replied in the understanding that it was never going to happen.
Immediately, the class clamoured together and began to work desperately on freeing the log from its icy prison.
The children scratched, kicked, stomped, banged and gouged at the log using whatever they could find. I laughed gently to myself knowing full well it was impossible for them to accomplish.
After some time, I began to tire of watching the children in their desperate attempt to earn the $2.00 I promised them. My eyes slowly wandered away from the activity and I began to set them on the beauty of the forest surroundings. Suddenly, I heard triumphant screams of victory from the children. As I redirected my focus back to them, I saw them holding the giant log above their little heads in victory.
“You owe each of us two bucks Mr. Csefko!” *
Needless to say, I’ve never made a bet with children ever again.
I’m telling you this story to let you see the strong will, perseverance and bond that this class had and still has carried with them through the years. Something that has brought them together in order to become more than just friends, but family.
And now, it is time for you to expand outside of your Waldorf family, and begin your new Journey to discover your purpose or calling in life.
We all have a calling. It is not our responsibility to choose our calling or even know how we obtain it. But it is our responsibility to honour what is placed before us. There will come a time when a path will be cleared before you and everything you’ve learned, endured, overcome and experienced along the way will have been tools to shape you into your calling, so take what the world has set before you and do it with excellence. Wear it like a badge of honour. Difficulty will come and difficulty will go. But in the end, you will find great success.
With that, I would like to end by quoting an excerpt from by Dr. Seuss’ “O The Places You Will Go!”…
And will you succeed?
Yes! You will, indeed!
(98 and 3/4 percent guaranteed.)
YOU’LL MOVE MOUNTAINS!
Be your name Sydney or Lexi or Ben
Or Adam or Anna or even Evan,
Or Sophie or Caitlyn or Matthew and Pete
Or Jacob or Chelsea or Sequoia D.
You might be Patrice or Samuel C,
You’re off to Great Places!
Today is your day!
Your mountain is waiting.
So…get on your way!
*At the end of the “Big Handshake”, I handed a toonie to each Grade 8 student to fulfil my promise.
I never saw a teenager so excited about $2.00 before.”
Gregory Csefko, Music Teacher