Farewell, For Now, From the Arts Prefect
The following address was delivered at the School's final assembly of the 2019-2020 academic year in early June, 2020.
Last night I was thinking about what to put in this final speech, and I did not know where to start. I didn’t know whether or not to make it about the people I’ve met, the lessons I’ve learned, the experiences I’ve had, or the crazy world right now. I sat there for a while, thinking about the last five years of my life, starting out in Grade 8 as a scrawny anxious kid.
Throughout this journey I’ve had the absolute pleasure of getting to know all of you. The best part of it can be boiled down to one thing, and that’s the people. I’ve gotten to know so many of you staff and students so well that I can’t help but get a little bit teary eyed knowing that there’s so many of you I won’t be able to see again.
But at the same time, there’s this bittersweet message that I keep telling myself that I’m sure all of you can benefit from, and that’s that I am so happy to have experienced something so great, form so many amazing relationships, that they actually cause a sensation of profound sadness when they’re gone.
All of this to say, the sadness that we feel being apart, stands as testament to the quality of our time at Brentwood and the relationships we made. As my aunt says, “Don’t cry because it’s over, smile because it happened.” It’s a community like this that gives me hope during these trying times, and I’ll never forget my time here; Brentwood is a magical place.
A few days ago I decided to spend my evening watching the Lord of The Rings (which I think was a worthy investment of my time). Either way, there was this one moment in the movie that I’d like to read to all of you that I think relates a little bit to what’s going on in the world right now: “I wish it need not have happened in my time,” said Frodo. “So do I,” said Gandalf, “and so do all who live to see such times. But that is not for them to decide. All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given us.”
The world is a crazy and unpredictable place, but it’s incredibly important to realize the joyous community at Brentwood that is made possible because of the teachers, the students, the cafeteria team, the laundry ladies, the maintenance crew, the administrative team, and the RFAs. My gratitude towards you all for making Brentwood such an amazing place is immense. It’s been amazing to serve as your Arts Prefect for this year, and I’ve enjoyed every moment, but that’s only thanks to all of you for being such an amazing community.
That’s all for me everyone, thank you for such an amazing five years.
Ben Rossouw, Assistant Head Prefect, Arts, Ellis ‘20