Going into this years SAAS graduation at Meany Hall on the UW campus, I had no idea why I was there. Other than to congratulate previous classmates on a job well done and give them the scoop on college, there really wasn’t a point for me being there. In fact, I really hate going to the graduations. Not because they’re boring. Yes, they are long (this evenings graduation ran just shy of 4 hours), but I hate them because they highlight my own inadequacies of high school.
I envy the students who were track state champions, won the state title at speech and debate, and won the regionals at mock trial. I envy the students who can paint on 3′ x 3′ canvases, get the lead in musical, be classes president for three years, and pioneer new clubs as SAAS. I envy the students who get into Yale, are on merit scholarships, and intern at the latest and greatest companies.
I almost left after intermission. Why must I put myself through this. And in the darkness of the auditorium, while Jean was grilling some student on the hot seat, it came to me: I’m here to remind myself of where I came from and where I must go.
Jenny Zavatsky, who is leaving SAAS this year, was Faculty Speaker, along with Steve Retz. Her charge for this class of 2006 was to make the world better. And while I’m not part of the class of 2006, the the toolsets given to me are mostly the same.
And so I left Meany Auditorium at a quarter past eleven, confident once again in the fact that I know where I want to go and what I want to do: affecting the course of humanity for the best and making the world a better place.