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Ganga River – India

Ganga River – India

Short description of scatter.

March 142014

The scatter went beautifully and as always, was accompanied with great pain. Anna and I got ourselves to the Ganga river in Banaras and walked through each ghat (staircase leading into the water). It reminded me of Paris and the times Evan and I spent strolling along the Seine.

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Evan’s Graduation

Evan’s Graduation

John Jay High School

June 302005

John Jay: The Movie

Senior Class Address

Iʼve seen the end of the teen movies where the graduating class meets, all dressed to conquer in matching robes and gowns, a glimmering assembly of excitement and disbelief. The movie concludes its story of zany adventures with a really poignant speech by one of the craziest guys in it, who comes around to tell everyone what heʼs learned. Thereʼs usually thought-provoking mood music too, so it all hits you at once when he goes soft and suddenly his words have more real meaning than the bulk of the movie. No more throwing pies or getting caught with your pants down. The jokes have ended. The climax of the flick has officially come and gone, and now, the moral takes center stage. I know that you know what I am talking about; those films broke box office records and surely most if not everyone here has seen one or two of them, either on an airplane or some ever-repeating “television premier.”

Well, here we are, that final scene, in a sense. This is it — the camera will pan across the crowd and show the main characters making sad but strong faces while the speech goes on. Maybe when the camera passes, one of this movieʼs lovable tough-guys will be bawling and as red as a tomato to deliver a last minute chuckle to the audience I will say something really deep about how connected we all are, and will always be, and the camera will cut to two best friends who had some terrible wedge drawn between them this year, and they will look over at each other and give a predictable
hug and go on, without words, knowing all is forgiven. You knew it was coming the whole time; movie plots these days are more predictable than popcorn in a microwave.

But letʼs backtrack. Letʼs take a look at the body of our film, the parts before this gentle resolve. Yeah, that part. If you havenʼt forgotten already… it was called high school.

The story was about a guy and a girl, a girl and a guy, a girl and girl, a guy and a guy and a few hallways. It was about key characters, please excuse the cliché, trying to figure out who they were. They looked in the art rooms for pieces of their own faces, trying to patch their identities together like quilts of personal progress. They opened their ears in the music wing, letting stray notes catch them off guard, teaching them unconscious lessons. They scanned the pages of graded tests for clues to their destined futures. They looked under every desk they ever sat at, wondering whose feet had rested against that same rug and how many seasons of rainwater had dried right there, dripping off shoes that had jumped into puddles as the years rolled on. They scanned the graffiti on those desktops and the bathroom walls and stall doors, watching the collage of names and drawings and personal slogans blend into one gigantic crosshatch shading, wondering if the secrets to the understanding, that they were only just beginning to nibble at, was written amongst the hurricane of sentences and replies.

The story was about trials. By that I mean “Trials and Tribulations,” trials. The questions that each of you woke up with one day during sophomore year and took deep breaths: “Inhale”… I donʼt think that I can go another instant doing mathematics and reading assigned English until I figure this out, this… dessert to a dream that dropped in my lap and let me greet the morning with an air of disbelief and wonderment. Weʼve all had a dozen of epiphanies here, and that is what an education is. Weʼve learned the game of exploration, forging through jungles of interpreted texts and critical lens essays. We, the high school students of the early information age, have swallowed those trials.

Some of you guys got up one morning and looked in the mirror, thinking “next year I want to play sports. I want to get huge and I want to dominate, veni vidi vici, proclaim myself the Alpha and the Omega.” Well some of you did it. Some of you muscled your way across safely padded battlegrounds and learned lessons of prowess that will last you longer than your bodies will. Some of you looked over pictures of your older siblings and thought “I only hope to make my parents as proud” as you ate breakfast. The carbohydrates from that bowl of Cheerios were converted into brain cells that filled to the brim with college requirements and the adhesives of a well rounded individual. You made it, a gem in the eyes of those who cut you from stone.

Whatever the specific words, epiphanies came in droves when you add all of ours together — ours was a story of realizations and disillusionment. Ours was a story of walking off to Dagʼs and fighting to keep our cars from being towed. Ours, our story, was one of school trips and throwing things at the ceiling in the cafeteria. We waded through the waters of the SATʼs and survived the wrath of each fast five and packet of take-home time bombs. Ours was a story of success.

Now, donʼt get me wrong, I have never been a member of the National Honor Society, but there are other societies in which I am honored to reside, and this is the case for every single sojourner of this titanic graduating class. We are about to collide, good Class of ʼ05, into a mountain of change and I think… no, I know… that we are ready, because I have seen this movieʼs sequel. We all have. Right at the beginning of the summer, the movie theaters fill with the continuation of previous plots. Weʼve seen the re-uniting of each lovable character from past adventures — they meet up with old friends to recount the tales of faraway planets, different colleges and cities of untold splendor. Weʼve watched capers unfold in new settings and arenas of the “adult-world,” and though it might seem outrageously naive to say that everything always works out.



Works out.

I mean, this is a movie, is it not? Someday soon this epic will boom in surround sound. Washing over the candy and soda-saturated movie goers… or at least you, if not all of the modern world on the big screen, will remember the history of your time here. Whether you loved it or hated it, this story has been undoubtedly yours. You were in every single scene, and you are impossible to separate from the true meaning of it.

Our story was different for each of us… some of us drew war paint on the snarling faces of our first mates and went screaming into the moonlight for a dash of adrenaline… some placed firm hands on instruments and blew away the congregating negatives of reality, bit through the think casings of every wrong in the world and let fly the magical intonations of music made for no reason whatsoever. Some of us studied hard for every waking hour and were lifted on shoulders by the fabulous numbers of a job well done. Some of us, we soldiers of the political spectrum, we saints of growing intellect, we simply slept… and gathered energy to live out the rest of our natural lives.

Our story was different for all of us, but the moral I was talking about before, the wonderful resolution that the movieʼs chosen character articulates in that graduation scene: I think it was the same for everyone who took part in this production.

We are the new, the fresh, the eager, the strong and the brilliant. The world is a place of barriers and bombs, and the storm, it thunders out of control. But we are ready, and every day now we inch closer to grasping the lightning itself — to pulling the storm apart at its seams. We are exactly what this world needs now, and the task is one that we simply cannot fail.

Have a good summer, my friends.

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