At Humboldt: Making their mark
Graduates focus on the little things
HUMBOLDT – Enjoying the little things was a big focus Sunday for the Humbodlt High School graduating class.
And of course, walking up on that stage to get a diploma is no little thing.
“What can I say? I’m graduating. It’s over. I did it. I know most of you are saying, ‘Any idiot can do that.’ Well, it was kind of tough for me so back off,” joked Jared Knapp, one of the two seniors chosen as student speakers for the commencement ceremonies Sunday afternoon.
Cassondra Peyton, the other student speaker, told her 91 peers in gowns and caps to think back on all the things they’d learned from their teachers — not just the academic facts.
“What they have taught us, showed us, experienced with us, and made us do has taught us many valuable lessons, whether on purpose or on accident, that we will remember for the rest of our lives,” Peyton said.
Not all those lessons were big or profound. Peyton recalled not one, but two teachers over their years in school who had split their pants when trying to hit a baseball.
“I guess they were teaching us, don’t play sports in nice pants?” she said. “Or maybe carry a spare pants with you at all times.”
Lessons from kindergarten about how to treat others kindly should still be on their minds, Peyton said. Later on, they all learned about giving to others, and the importance of staying active.
The basketball advice, “Good passes make good friends, good friends make good memories, and good memories last a lifetime,” also works in other areas of life, she said.
“Although you might not need to find the derivative of 4X squared on a daily basis, or explain in detail the steps of cell division,” Peyton added, “the life lessons and actions the teachers have taught us and showed us outside of academics are what we will remember.
“As our class quote says, ‘Enjoy the little things in life because one day you’ll look back and realize they were the big things.'”
The ceremony celebrated accomplishments of the students, naming recipients of athletic and academic department awards.
There were 21 students earning from 3 to 2.499 GPA, Principal Lori Westhoff said, and 18 with a GPA over 3.5. Four students were recognized with Silver Cords for completing more than 400 hours apiece of service to the community, and eight were recognized who will be joining the military after graduation.
Knapp said he wasn’t sure if his words would have any profound impact on the class, but he wasn’t there to take himself too seriously.
“I remember what my mother told me the first day of high school,” Knapp said. “She said it’s OK to make a fool of yourself as long as people laugh because of it.”
His top advice for his classmates: Make your mark.
“Is that really how I wanted to make my mark on the school?” he said, remembering a joke he had pulled off in band class. “Well, yes and no.
“Yes, because it was funny.
“No, because I realize that to make your mark on the world, you just need to be yourself.
“Making your mark is about more than just one thing, or saying something funny once. It’s about what will you do for the rest of your life that will change the world,” he added.
“Take that extra step. Be the nicest and most caring person you can be. How do you want to be remembered? A huge jerk? Or the person who changed someone’s life for the better?”