Wednesday, August 13, 2008

THE Graduate Speaks

Thought I'd post Rebecca's graduation speech.

Here it is.

Graduation Speech
Rebecca Hurt

Good evening:

Now, I could say that I’m going to keep it short today, but I have been to enough events that my heart sank within me as the speaker announced he was going to “keep it short”, that I’ll just say I’m going to brief you, kinda like they do in the CIA, on a couple highlights of my primary and high school education.

I can’t remember a time when I couldn’t read, or even write for that matter, though I have seen proof of my early dyslexia, my name being written right to left with all the letters backwards. I can’t even remember teaching Elizabeth how to read, though they say I did. I do remember trying to read Robinson Crusoe when I was six, but even though I tried to do it multiple times, I never got past the first page. But it was such a cute little red book.

My first real memories of school are the excitement that came with new pencils and shiny plastic pencil boxes and in writing in awkward print, H.A.M., Hurt Academy of Muchkins. I was pretty psyched that my school had a name.

A particular happening that mom wanted me to insert was that for a home school project fair we participated in yearly, I chose to put together a project on Virginia, surprisingly prophetic. My memory from the fair though, was looking at Gresham Schlect’s model of a Greek galley ship, and then dejectedly looking back at my hand drawn, deformed cardinal and dogwood tree.
Being homeschooled, there are strange things that end up being the exciting school events, like testing. After we moved to Virginia, we started taking the California Achievement Tests, and that was the highlight of the school year. Even the SAT was fascinating, taking place in a real live, cold and sterile public school.

When I hit 7th grade, I started the Omnibus reading program, on my own initiative. I think I have always had a habit of coming up with extra school subjects for myself, and this looked like a great idea.

There were some hard times with Omnibus, and I can in no ways say that I always finished my reading, or grasped all the philosophy, but it taught me really how to read. I found that if I struggled through Plato, I could pick up Tolstoy and find it pleasant reading.

I think the craziest thing I did with Omnibus was read the 2nd half of Mein Kampf, even though it wasn’t required, just to say I did. What ever.

Other than reading, high school was full of Latin, sprinkled with French and a smidgen of Greek. With my love of throwing in extra subjects, I picked up Arabic, which went well with what remnants of dyslexia I had stuck in my head, with its writing right to left, which comes naturally to me.

Cross country added some physical education. I ran for the home school cross country team all four years, which I always found shocking, seeing how tortuous I found it. But it was good for me

Math was pursued through high school, but with tears.

Now I am moving on, or so you might say. For really, learning at New Saint Andrews will be much the same as it’s been for the past several years: lots of Latin, though there it is taught as a spoken language; reading the greats from Homer to my love, Dostoyevsky, and there are even rumors of reading most of City of God in one night; math, though I am hopeful from the title “Philosophy of Math” that we might be doing something other than the trig I struggled with; and intense theology, though of course I have been blessed to learn much in my home and church here.

In closing, (I was informed in my public speaking class at CVCC this past semester that this was the proper way to end a speech) I want to thank first my amazing parents, without whom I would know nothing. And thank you all so much for coming this evening, and for being such a lovely church to be a member of, that makes me so happy when I look around at communion , and for being such good friends. I will truly miss you all. God speed and I’ll see you at Christmas time.

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