Leaving Allard After A Lifetime
The speech below as delivered by Jaylynn Barth & Haley Hockin, Allard ‘19 at the Lifer's Dinner in early June.
On September 3rd, 2015, six dumb yet hopeful Grade 9 girls arrived in Allard. Four years later we’re a lot less hopeful, and still pretty dumb.
But a lot happened along the way, and there’s many people we would like to thank for all the growth, tears, and laughter.
First things first, a week at Strathcona Park Lodge. Being launched, drowned, and dragged into Brentwood would be an under exaggeration when describing Strathcona. There, some of us played games like Truth or Dare, Would You Rather, and the now illegal Never Have I Ever, getting the juicy gossip about the people we’d be spending the next four years with. Some of us, on the other hand, learned things that still guide us today, like which trees on Vancouver Island are edible (all of them if you aren’t a coward)
But, at least after Strathcona we dragged our tired bodies back to Mrs. Fougner, who then promised us we’d actually use our agendas for the next four years. Foug, your effort and sincerity was genuine, but we’re all going to university and none of us have opened our agendas. You had our back until you dropped half of us for a new advisory in Grade 10, and that we are so grateful for.
Grade 10 is not remembered by all of us so clearly because I managed to be the first Brentwood student to get temporarily relocated from campus without having to use drugs and alcohol.
For those of who remained, I will speak for them. In Grade 10 we got a father figure, one who loved math, and us too, kind of, at times. Mr. Smith worked well with Mrs. Reynolds, who slowly taught him to knit so it’s safe to say it wasn’t just us who grew up during Grade 10. Mr. Smith, you bring so much joy to our house, and your enthusiasm and dad jokes are unparalleled. And Ren Ren, you terrified us every year, but you made us better people and better women. We all look up to you, and hope to be one fraction of the lady that you are. But good luck trying to teach how us to do that because you’ve got literally one month left.
Grade 11 started for most of us, though notably some were trying to hang ten at an island “school” that was 100% not an excuse to get a solid Instagram aesthetic.
Jaylynn, it was a marine biology program.
In Grade 11 we remembered that we are at this school to get into university, and so set in the panic. Luckily Mrs. Coull was there to temper our dreams with her sobering realism, “No, you’re not going to Yale/ (maybe we use Harvard instead) with that average”. Yikes! She kept us on the track to success but was always there to help in times of need. Mrs. Coull, we rely on your advice, lean on you as a rock, and are proud to have lowered your expectations for a Grade 12 as a whole.
Grade 12, we returned back to two Zjaya’s, one in front of us and one plastered on the gym wall. Just kidding Zjaya, the other five of us have seen you continuously excel in basketball, whether it be interhouse or Showcase, thus proving to the rest of the school there is one Allard girl who knows what a free throw is. In Grade 12, we finished our transformation from caterpillars to beautiful butterflies. We had accomplished life goals, but few of us had actually kissed a Brentwood boy. I call that good taste. Individually we made strides.
Thea’s career aspirations went from nuclear physicist to casino owner to soon-to-be successful design engineer proving that you don’t have to know what you’re going to do in life to succeed at it. That said, in 10 years, please let us know what you are up to.
Ameera went from being a quiet wallflower to becoming a quiet powerhouse who gets her work done in five minutes and should not be crossed. Now that’s what I call growth, not going from Rarelys to Habituallys, by the way, we still don’t know what that means, but pulling an Ameera and growing up like a quiet boss.
Emily, you are Allard’s very own professional football player. Some of the non-Allard people sitting in the audience right now may be questioning the one and only extended metaphor Jaylynn and I decided to intentionally put in this speech. But fear no more, Emily’s got the resilience, the quiet strength, and a couple of concussions under her belt. She’s also the quads.
And that, is hats off to four years.
Wait Jaylynn, what about our parents?
My parents haven’t spoken in years.
No, I mean the Carrs!
Mrs. and Mr. Carr, we’re so grateful to be your final 12s as houseparents. We know we’ve given you a run for your money but we are incredibly genuine when we say that we owe so much of all that we accomplished to you two. You’ve been there for 5am early rows, 11pm sign in on a Saturday night, and the occasional 3am “Mrs. Carr I have the flu” text message. Having a house family like you two has made Allard our home. After bad days, bad test scores, and the morning someone stole an entire tray of cinnamon buns from our kitchen, we have come to you and we have never been let down by your advice, humor, and sincerity. Mrs. Carr, we all can’t wait to hear the new adventures you and Millie will embark on next year, you BOTH deserve the greatest things the world have to offer, Allard house cinching that top spot of course. I speak for every Allard Grade 12, person in this room, and the entire school in whole, when I say that your presence in Allard was incredible and inspired us to be the best people we could be.
Thank you and cheers to four years.
Jaylynn Barth & Haley Hockin, Allard ‘19