2015 Senior Farewell: Kristin Moore '15

May 22, 2015
Senior Farewell Speaker Kristin Moore '15

This year the Senior Class selected Kristin Moore to give the Senior Farewell.

Kristin enrolled at CSS in fourth grade and since then has not only actively participated in her studies but has also served as captain of the school’s varsity volleyball team, secretary of the National Honor Society, and president of the school’s philanthropy club, Kodiaks Investing in the Community Through Service or KICS. She shares a love of animals, writing, and physical activity, and hopes to study English at Scripps College in the fall. She is delighted to represent her classmates today.

Please welcome Kristin Moore.

They say experience is the toughest kind of teacher — it gives you the test first and the lesson afterwards. Throughout our lives we have certified this claim, and as a result we have learned what to expect when we touch a hot stove, when we jump in the deep end, when we cross the line without toeing it. But it is the perseverance and preparedness that we have annually established that has allowed us to make it this far, to stand on this stage as your graduating class of 2015.

I’d like to take a moment and allow you to get to know us, our class. Sitting to my left are future doctors, businessmen, world travelers, lawyers, politicians, writers, and more. Our class was, without a doubt, an intellectually and creatively diverse class, where each and every member contributed their own distinct quality. Our passions and interests ranged from singing and acting on stage, conquering Calculus homework, programming computers, diving for balls on the court and on the field, or playing with light sabers before Ms. J-S’s class. And yet throughout all the quick and clever sarcasm that resonated throughout the senior halls, there was always a spare shoulder handy when we needed to recuperate after a surprise pop quiz or to celebrate a college acceptance. We fostered support in one another since day one of our freshman year, when we first entered the doors of El Pomar as smaller, withdrawn versions of ourselves, wide-eyed and confused under all the towering seniors. Fast forward four years later, and we have finally found who we want to be.

The future ahead is nebulous so I won’t dedicate this time to dispense advice because really, who’s to know where we’ll end up? Life is, without question, a complex matter constructed of many levels, each with its own rewards and failures as we seek our own paths of success. My classmates and I explored this ambiguous concept of success and devised our own definitions. See what you think:

Senior Farewell Speaker Kristin Moore '15

Success is being proud of where you’re at and what you’re doing. Success is learning to take a loss when you really want to win. Success is laughing until it hurts. Success is being passionate wherever you are on your path of life and sharing that happiness with others. Success is proceeding forward as a unified front. Success is being able to take care of your family. Success means waking up every day excited to do what you love with the people you love. Success is accomplishing what makes you the happiest, not necessarily what makes you the most fame or money. Success is a pair of really cool shades and a 2015 Ferrari. Okay, so we all have our own versions of success.

The road to our aspirations is not a straight one. Mountains beyond mountains will stand in our path, presenting us with unique challenges that will require us to adapt and evolve. Occasionally we’ll walk through a tunnel; other times we’ll have to retrace our steps. The sun will shine one day while rain brews into the next. But if we slow down and dedicate time on this journey to find light in life’s natural complexities, we discover beauty in everything — the quiet song of a small creek tinkling in the background, a tree pushing its way through a crack in the rocks. By acknowledging that every mountain we climb has another valley, we prove to ourselves that we are strong enough to endure the adversity and confident enough to embrace the euphoria that comes with the great view. In high school, we get distracted by the little things — a forgotten homework assignment, the dreaded 89% on a test you studied all night for. But to quote the French philosopher Jackson Kiddard, it is important to remember that “life is a journey. If you got everything you wanted all at once, there’d be no point to living. Enjoy the ride, and in the end you’ll see all these ‘setbacks’ as giant leaps forward, even if you couldn’t see the bigger picture in the moment. Remain calm, all is within reach; all you have to do is show up every day, stay true to your path and you will surely find the treasure you seek.”

I feel so honored and privileged to deliver the senior farewell. When I was writing this speech I sent my class a survey to get their ideas and thoughts about what I should say. I asked them if there was anything important that I should absolutely bring up in this speech and an overwhelming majority asked me to emphasize how our class was like a family. This couldn’t be more true. The people sitting on this terrace are not only friends, but life-long friends, brothers and sisters whose relationships we’ll cherish for years far into the future. Some friendships have lasted since preschool; others are fairly new. But the roots stretch deep all the same. We may not understand one another’s perspectives at times, but we are always respectful and willing to lend a listening ear. It is within this family that we’ve made some lasting memories, whether it be the water fight on Walkabout, climbing the ladders of Mesa Verde, tying down the sails of a tall ship, or laughing along with friends during lunch when we’re reminiscing inside jokes.

Our education here at CSS has been an invaluable experience. Besides learning core academics such as English, science, and math, we’ve learned many critical skills that will help us survive the years after high school, whether it be from the classroom, on one of our school’s proclaimed ECS’s, or Experienced Centered Seminars where we take the month of March to pursue one topic of study, or simply within the senior hallway. I asked my fellow seniors to share the best piece of wisdom or advice they received here at CSS and here’s what they came up with:

Understand that “No” is a full sentence. Greet everyone you meet with a firm handshake. You can achieve anything you want to. Be mindful of others’ feelings and think before you speak. Don’t procrastinate. Always be yourself. Watching Netflix before doing your homework is far more stressful than if you just get the work done and out of the way first. But perhaps most importantly, we may be big fish in a small pond now, but in the real world we’ll all be tiny minnows in a huge ocean. That last one will help remind us to be humble and gracious of all the achievements we’ve seen here and encourage us to always be supportive of others trying to reach their goals.

The path to that hallowed diploma hasn’t been easy, but we’ve had an incredible amount of support from parents, teachers, and other mentors. And for that, we owe a debt of gratitude. Parents, you helped us in maybe every way fathomable. From pre-school to twelfth grade, you woke us each morning and fed us breakfast. You drove us to school and then listened to us talk about our day. You watched our theater productions, attended our games and cheered us on (sometimes maybe a little too much), as well as supported us financially, mentally, and emotionally. Teachers, you stuck it out with us and saw to it that we learned all the required material and went into our AP exams prepared. You went above and beyond to offer your knowledge and devoted countless hours grading our papers and helping us with math problems. CSS Band, your presence at games and graduation has been greatly appreciated. You guys infuse extra energy into an event and make it more fun. Lunchroom staff, you always greeted each and every one of us by name and always offered your warmth. Coaches, you taught us that while tough love is sometimes hard to swallow, it’s still love and we’ve kept all of it. Other CSS faculty and staff, you keep this school running smoothly so we may have a healthy and thriving academic environment. Our college counselor Mr. Haynes, you prepared us well so we may have a better chance reaching for our college dreams. I know we scared you at times and you never lost your patience. So for that, we thank you.

Fellow classmates, we are about to embark on our last ECS. This one is longer, more elaborate, and may change as the years go by. So travel the world, make new friends, go skydiving, write novels, fly planes, become a mermaid, learn a third language, own a theater company, do whatever it is that makes you happiest. Because in the end, the greatest amount of success derives from how happy the heart is. It is our hope that in this pursuit we will be our own leaders, our own artists in the paths of life as we seek to find that point of divergence that will help us find our own individual success. The silly pun said in class will slip our minds by tomorrow, but the feeling of laughter and warmth shared among friends will never fade from our memories; rather, it will continue to resonate forever in our hearts.

Thank you.”