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Matt Allio

Graduation Remarks 2022

Matt Allio, Graduation Remarks to the Class of 2022

 

Welcome, everyone, to the graduation of the Class of 2022.

 

As many of your know, the Lower Court is where we play hockey almost every day, from 12:20 to 12:40.  Many students from Grade 5 participate in the game.  The others, who are not playing, are collecting bugs or building structures on the Nature Path, exploring in the Art Studio, exploring books in the Library, or tinkering with things in the Maker Space.

 

There is this moment that happens almost every day, on the Lower Court.  The puck goes off the ice.  Off the court.  It goes out of bounds.  The student picks up the puck and places it on the ground.  While everyone is waiting for the puck to be put back into play, the student takes their hockey stick and bends it.  Everyone else is waiting for the students to put the puck back into play, they put their sticks in a defensive position hoping to deflect the puck when it is put into play.

 

The student bends the stick because they want the puck to soar, reach an elevated height, to clear the obstacle sticks.

 

And I often think, that stick is going to break.  And I say be careful, that stick will break. But the stick doesn’t break.  And you hit the puck and the game resumes.  You’re not sure what’s going to happen in the game, but the important point is that the game continues

 

This is kind of like all of you 5th graders at Trinity School. Over this year, over the past two years, you bent but you didn’t break. And you continued. And, in fact, you thrived. How have you been bent, even if you don’t know it?

 

Over the past year, there have been two events.  One that you felt daily and one you felt from far away.  There is Covid and the pandemic.  There is the War in Ukraine.  I really don’t know how both these events are going to impact you years from now.  But I can guarantee you this, you’re going to remember these days.

 

You’re going to pick up books and read about these times. Or you’re going to have conversations that recall these times.  Or there will be another event that will remind you of these times.  And you may not realize it, but everyone on this stage does, you were tested this year, because of those events.  You bent but you did not break.  In fact, like the puck, you soared.

 

I even think the events of the last year gave rise to your voice inside of you.  There’s a little voice inside of you that is saying pay attention to what’s happening.  When people are tested, it makes the person dig deep, to gather their thoughts.  And help them develop their voice.  You’re going to feel the voice rise inside of you.

 

Here’s what I ask of you today.  Please don’t leave your voice unheard.  All of you are going to give speeches, but you have many more speeches, much more voice, that will rise up inside of you.  Don’t leave it here on stage.

 

But how do you do that?  Here’s what we’re after, when it comes to voice, at Trinity.  

 

First, you’re educated.  You have to know what you’re talking about.  Your voice has to be informed.

 

Second, you have to act. You have to do something with that knowledge.  Your informed voice needs to lead to action.

 

Third, and where you need your voice the most, you have to organize others. This is the most important step – organizing others.  Your voice is informed, it leads to your individual action and, most importantly, your voice leads to collective action for the good of others.

 

That takes voice.  It’s not easy and sometimes you have to amplify your voice, just like today on stage.  And on your table is a reminder.  It’s a microphone.  Not a play one, but a real one.  Go ahead, open the bag.  And that’s to tell you, to remind you, that your voice is real and for you to use your voice.  You’ve been tested this year.  You’ve bent, but you did not break.  In fact, like the puck, you’ve soared.

 

I’m not going to tell you how you’ve soared because you’re going to tell us in your speeches.  Just remember, your voice has meaning beyond this stage. Find your bigger stage. Use your voice to make a difference.  

 

Congratulations to the Class of 2022.

See Yourself at Trinity
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