A Valediction

Thursday, June 27, 2013 - By: Calvin Simpson, Whittall '13

Photo by Paul Fletcher

The following is the text of the Valedictory Address delivered Saturday June 22 by Calvin Simpson, Whittall 13.

Hello my friends... or, as Brian Carr would say, Hey Gang!

Before I begin, I must express my unbridled pleasure in speaking before you today; moreover, I would like to take this opportunity to commend your tremendous poor taste in nominating me to deliver the school’s farewell address. Parents--I must warn you, I'm a bit of a loose cannon, but I will try and be tactful. I offer my apologies in advance, for this speech may come out as eventful as grad weekend-- or Loet Huis Int’ Veld’s track record with the ladies.

It seems like yesterday we all arrived innthe bustling metropolis of Mill Bay, wide eyed, impressionable, and for me, sporting the frame of a matchstick -- spindly on the bottom with bowl-cut ginger hair on the top. I couldn't imagine a place I didn't want to be more -- and now as I stand looking into the abyss that is graduation -- I am clinging to every second I am here with you ... in this so-called Brentwood bubble.

Though I viewed those first few days with fear, soon I will miss walking around Brentwood -- observing the things I previously thought mundane.  No longer will I glance at the tennis courts, and see a calf-high clad Jacinto-- or go to the caf-- and be worried about what's in my soup.  

But first I must thank all the people that allowed me, and so many others like me, to have this wonderful experience.

We must be thankful to our parents and grandparents who have selflessly sacrificed, no matter what the cost. My mother once told me my Brentwood tuition was the equivalent of driving a Mercedes of a cliff every year, so, on behalf of our grad class, thank you for investing in us instead of luxury cars. We must also be thankful of our teachers, from Mrs. Richardson's passionate teaching of eco-terrorism -- I mean Geography 12 to Mr. Doehler -- who every year is forced to make rocks seem interesting to jocks. And who could forget Austin Giles, perhaps the most underappreciated teacher on the payroll, who has taught us that holding the key to success is not the same as holding the key to the staff changeroom.

Those hallowed individuals have allowed this grad class to accomplish extraordinary things--from our rugby team making headlines in a foreign country, to managing multiple suspensions... at a debate tournament...at a Christian school.

While our teachers have quenched our thirst for knowledge, the cafeteria has managed to satiate the school’s appetite. Every day through rain and shine, Sean Napier, Rene Wilson and, of course, the lovable character Chef David, somehow manage to deliver us the food we need, while catering to celiacs, and vegans -- so beanery.

But for these memories, we must give our thanks, though we often think ourselves the sole reason for our accomplishments -- we have a tremendous support staff behind us in the form of House Parents. They dedicate their careers to ensuring our success: providing rollicking laughs and fond memories in the good times -- and candid dialogue and support in the bad. In fact, they a lot like the government and we are Wall Street -- they bail us out when we gamble and lose.  

It's been a long journey, filled with trials and tribulations -- from Strathcona to Bamfield to Grad but I have, as I am sure you have, loved every minute of it. We may not all have always have seen eye to eye, we may have been told by a previous Valedictorian that we were so obtuse that we defied the theory of evolution, but, we figured it out!

Calvin Simpson, Whittall ‘13, Valedictorian

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