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Anna's Speech

Good morning parents, teachers, friends, administrators, and of course, the graduating class of 2020. It’s been a long time coming, but we finally made it. I would like to start by thanking everyone who made this day possible. We wouldn’t be having this ceremony today without the help of some very special people. So on behalf of the entire class of 2020, thank you.

Each of us has had our own experiences here at DCHS: a combination of good times and bad times, times of laughter and times of joy, times of success but also times of failure. Today, we are here to celebrate every obstacle that we have overcome to achieve our final high school success: graduation. 

On our 13 year scholastic adventure we have learned lessons that will be with us for the rest of our lives. I’m going to start with a lesson I learned when I was young. When I was in kindergarten, my sweet, innocent friends and I decided to play a game of darts at recess. This wasn’t a regular game of darts, though. In this game, the darts were playground rocks, and the target was Mrs. Steinmetz’s pickup. It was all fun until somebody, I won’t mention names, but it was Landen, decided to tell Mrs. Steinmetz about our little game. Of course, this didn’t go over well with her. She made me and Skyler sit on the steps at recess and tell our parents about the trouble we caused. I never liked Mrs. Steinmetz when I was in kindergarten, and at the time, I didn’t think she was too fond of me either.  Between Skyler and me, we caused her plenty of heartache, so add the rest of the class in there and well, you can imagine. To this day, I’m still not exactly sure why she likes me. But if I learned anything from my kindergarten experience, it is this: Forgive and forget. People do stupid things. People are going to do things that you don’t like, and people are going to hurt you. And someday, you might have a couple of not so sweet kindergartners throwing rocks at your pickup. But all you can do is forgive them and move on. 

As silly as this example may seem, I think it gets the point across. Mrs. Steinmetz forgave me for all of my stupid kindergarten mistakes and is now one of my absolute favorite teachers. It can be easy to hold a grudge and hate someone for the things they have done to you, but life will be so much better if you just forgive and forget.

My grade school and junior high days went by in flash, but that doesn’t mean the memories and lessons learned were forgotten. As fast as grade school and junior high went, high school went even faster.

The summer before my sophomore year, I was in need of a car. Lucky for me, my Uncle Al had a car he was wanting to get rid of. So we drove to Kansas City to get it. To be honest, I wasn’t sure this car was even going to make it back home, but it did. To start with, I hated this car. I thought it was so ugly, and I never wanted to be seen it. Eventually though, it grew on me, and my friends and I named her Cam.

Cam was the perfect car for mudding and messing around. She LOVED the mud. I remember the first time we got stuck was right before a basketball game. We went zooming down the road one last time and pushed our luck just a little too far. We ended up flying into a snow drift and had to call for help. Help arrived and we made it to our basketball game. We were definitely late, but you know what they say, better late than never, right? Cam has been stuck more times than I can count and even remember. The biggest lesson I learned from this car is that no matter how badly you get stuck, there’s always a way out. Whether you have to call a friend for help or if you can drive out of the ditch yourself, there is always a way. And it’s okay to ask for help. You can’t do everything in life on your own. We are all going to get stuck at some point in life, but just remember, you won’t be stuck forever.

Another high school memory that I think the whole class remembers is our sophomore homecoming float. The float theme that year was board games. Our class decided to build a chess board with our class’s football players being portrayed as the chess pieces. The idea was great, but the execution, not so much. The float was made of mostly paper taped to metal with heavy wooden chess pieces on top. Obviously, that was never going to work to begin with, but then it started raining and that made everything 10 times worse.The entire float fell apart before it even left the parking lot. Poor Gabe had to ride our monstrosity of a float clear down main street for everyone in town to see. And to make that even worse, he was dressed as a cheerleader. Needless to say, the float was a disaster, but we sure had a good time laughing about it later. I think we all learned that even when things don’t go your way, you can always find a little good in every situation, or at least something to laugh about. Oh, and we got last in the competition just in case anyone was wondering.

High school was full of so many wonderful memories, and I wish I had more time to share some of them with you. Our high school days didn’t end the way we wanted, but that doesn’t change how good everything leading up to the end has been. 2020 has been a year that will forever be remembered. Who would have thought we would be having graduation in July because a global pandemic swept the Earth and sent us into a mask-wearing frenzy. It wasn’t me, that’s for sure. Although this year is certainly a year of loss and heartache, there is a lot that can be learned from it. Instead of dwelling on all of the things we lost, I think we should take some time to think about all the lessons learned from it.

When we left for spring break, we had no idea it would be our last time walking the halls of DCHS as students. If that taught us anything, it’s that life can change in the blink of an eye. You should never take anything for granted in life because you never know when it can be taken away. This should also show us to be grateful for what we have. Being here on this field together right now is something most seniors across the country didn’t and won’t get. I am grateful for that, and I know you all are too. 

As I wrap this up, I would like to leave you with a quote from my all-time favorite TV show, One Tree Hill, that I think is very fitting at this time. “You can choose to blame your circumstances on fate or bad luck or bad choices. Or you can fight back. Things aren’t always going to be fair in the real world. That’s just the way it is. But for the most part, you get what you give. The rest of your life is being shaped right now. With the dreams you chase, the choices you make, and the person you decide to be. The rest of your life is a long time. And the rest of your life starts right now.”

Thank you.

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