As we start the school year, listen to the incredibly wise words of this graduating 5th grader speaking to his school in June 2013, a transcript sent to me from his teacher along with a simple note:
I thought you might like to read Michael G\’s promotion address. Just in case we ever wonder about the impact we have on children, the seeds we help plant or gardens we help cultivate – here\’s testimony your effect on him and to the amazing ability of children – this one especially, a gifted and profound thinker. I hope you enjoy it and thanks for all you do for all of us. –K
5th Grade Promotion Address by Michael G.
All humans are different – or so they say. But really we are more or less the same.
Now, close your eyes. Imagine a cell floating in a vast, empty body of sea water. Then
imagine the cell splitting into two new cells.
This is the foundation for all life on earth- Humans, dogs, cats, birds, the trees in which
the birds perch, even the moss on the curbside, all come from that one cell splitting. But this is
not the only way we are the same.
We share hopes, dreams, fears, promises, strengths, weakness, interests, and a wish for a
better tomorrow. Some of you may remember Michael Foster, the Plant for the Planet guy. He,
along with Islandwood, the PMR fieldtrip, the ISP and even the green team members on their
shifts, taught us that the world needs to be cared for.
Look to the person next to you. Not only does what you do to harm the environment
affect you, it also affects that person next to you. This is how we are all connected.
Team work is what makes humans human. For instance when the first Homo Habilis left
Africa, the team work that they had adapted when they were on the Australopithecus Africanus
stage of the evolutionary ladder helped them out in this new unfamiliar climate. And even back
in their earlier stage they had adapted skills of team work to defend against forbidding threats.
You see how evolution and team work are tied in. Team work is essential for survival. At their
core humans are social animals.
Some of us remember Fun Day, the day where we went to the beach. At first, we
scattered like dandelion seeds in the wind. But at the end of the day, many of us worked together
on an elaborate canal system. No one told us to do it; we just did it as social beings, classmates,
brethren, and friends. We are bonded by our shared past, and our hopes for the future.
I remember the day I came to Lincoln in 4th grade-only knew 4 kids, 2 of them barely.
But because the kids here are so welcoming to new students, I ended up befriending the vast
majority of the 4th graders. I have gotten to know not only today’s 5th graders, but many kids in
other grades. Because kids here at Lincoln stay so open and willing to connect with new comers,
many kids arriving this year have made many new friends like I did.
And as we progress into Hamilton Middle School, keep in mind that we must all be
connected, and must remain so even when we part and go our separate ways. For there are many
challenges along the Road of Life, and you are always going to need someone to help you out
with these challenges.
As a final action in my elementary school career, I would like to thank everyone for
helping my progress, for listening to this speech, and for just enjoying this unique day.