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2014 Senior Farewell: Matthew Weidman '14

The Senior Farewell at the 49th Commencement Exercises was given by Matthew Weidman ‘14. In the fall Matt will attend Cornell University to study Computer Science in the College of Engineering.

MattWeidman speechWe are gathered here today to celebrate our completion of another adventure. We have confronted the great demons of precalculus, soared over the tall mountains of homework assignments, and battled the evil serpents of the DMV. We are gurus of procrastination, wielders of, and masters of guessing answers on multiple choice tests.

This is not a sad occasion. We are ready to move out, specialize, and find our own niches. We are prepared to take steps into the real world. Sitting to my left are future businessmen and doctors, engineers and artists, musicians and teachers. These kids have ambition, and we are ready to step out and leave our mark.

But saying we are ready to go does not mean we did not have good times here. We will never forget the good times hanging out in the senior hallway. We will never forget the time we all broke into song, singing All Star on our way to senior skip day. We will never forget the time we voted for Harjap for Forum secretary even though he wasn’t running.

Yes, we are lucky to have had these good moments. And we are also lucky to go to CSS. Think about this. According to the US Department of Education, in the state of Colorado, only 74% of high school kids graduate. The percent who go to college is 68%. But at our school, our graduation rate is 100%, and every single student you see up here is going to college. This is not because classes are easier here. It is not because of grade inflation. Everyone you see here is graduating because our teachers care about us. I’m not saying that’s not the case at other schools, but it certainly is true here. Teachers, every time you assigned us a list of trigonometry problems, every time you gave us a test about stoichiometry, every time you assigned us reading in Frankenstein, you did it because you care. Faculty, you deserve respect and thanks for what you have done for us. And this day is our last chance to thank you.

When I was younger, I never really knew why my parents sent me to this private school until I imagined myself as a parent. I thought: When I grow up and have kids, I want my kids to be successful just as much as my parents want me to be successful. I want my kids to be smart and love learning. I want them to go to good colleges and conduct scientific research and invent new tools for understanding the universe. I want them to discover the relationship between Einstein’s theory of relativity and quantum mechanics. I want them to find a computing algorithm that will simulate the machinations of the human brain. I want them to be the first people on Mars, the creators of new renewable energy sources, the leaders of mental health advocacy.

Parents, I am confident that for most of you, this is your thought process when you sent us to CSS. You sent us here because you want to give us a head start in life. You sent us here because you care. Just like the faculty care. And thanks to your decisions as parents, we are surrounded by amazing people who care about our future. And I am sorry to say that there have been times when we did not show as much appreciation for you as we should have. So, I speak on behalf of our entire class when I say the following. Teachers, faculty, parents, grandparents, everyone who has been in our lives: thank-you.

I’ve thanked the faculty and families. Students, now it’s time to thank you. This is the part when I have to express feelings. Unfortunately, I’m kind of bad at this, so it’s lucky I have my Walkabout journal from 8th grade right here. At the end of Walkabout, I wrote a couple sentences to reflect on our travels, and I think you’ll find that it’s analogous to our current situation.

[The following part I will read from my Walkabout journal.]

When lots of you will be going to different schools, this week may be the last time we will ever be together in this group. I’m just glad to say that although we are going separate paths, at least we spent the last days together well, and our memories of each other will go on. Thank-you for making this one of the best experiences of my life.

It’s hard for me to admit this, but I really am going to miss you. I will never forget any of you. I think you guys are awesome, and I would never say that if it weren’t true. Thank-you and goodbye.”