a Dollar a Dozen

(A Valedictory Address)

By: Nelda Ault

Nelda's Picture - midi you're hearing is Chopin's Polonaise

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High school is a shared experience, but everyone doesn't get the same thing out of it. We all stomp around in a maze that alternately dims and brightens, temporarily blinded and guided by the rays of reality that shine occasionally when the clouds break. Distractions extraordinaire and other apparitions make cameo appearances at the least expected moments. Secret doors and buried treasure lie within the walls of this maze, waiting for the right password and for the key that fits. Though four hundred other people peer around the corners and poke about in the half-light with you, you make your own, individual discoveries. You "learn by going where [you] have to go" and by going where you have to learn.

Through hurdling walls and stumbling upon trap doors both good and bad, what did you find? What lay behind Door #1 for you? You walked out into the darkness to look at the stars, what did you see? We spent four years in a labyrinth of TI-89s and school lunch, Gershwin and Elgar and parking lots, and we all found something different. We were in it together, but there were four hundred distinct pairs of eyes that gazed upon this odyssey and four hundred pairs of shoes that stepped into the unknown. It was the same sky arching overhead, but of varying shades of blue for everyone. It was the same wind blowing through our hair, but prodding us in separate directions. The walls of the same maze loomed in front of us all four years ago, and we all chose to see what lay at the rainbow's end.

Maybe you found a voice or love or something worth living for. Maybe you found answers to questions. Or maybe you just found more questions. Maybe you spent two-ninths of your life chasing after the gold of El Dorado, only to find that your Holy Grail sat on an orchestra couch the entire time. I hope whatever you found was worth the time, the laughter, the tears and the synopses that it took to find it. Here's to the dreams, the music, and the people who made it all happen.

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Wendy's Backgrounds provided graphics for Chopin's Polonaise

BAR graphic for Chopin's Polonaise

Polonaise by Chopin Midi