Tradition &

High School Student Assembly Week 5: Anqui Chen, Emma Keane, & Chloe Chun

Every Friday the Waldorf School of Garden City High School gathers in the student room for the weekly Student Assembly. Most Student Assemblies consist of (1) an extended speech by a senior on a topic of particular interest to them, and (2) the recitation of a poem, either existing or original, by a junior. The Senior Speeches and Junior Poems are a rite of passage for Waldorf students and are a required part of the high school curriculum. This series of articles seeks to highlight their efforts.

Friday, November 4, 2016

Junior Poemsjp-11-42This week,  three Juniors, Anqui “Angel” Chen, Emma Keane, and Chloe Chun all did a terrific job reciting poems. Their selections are below.

“If” by Rudyard Kipling
Recited by Anqui Chen

If you can keep your head when all about you
    Are losing theirs and blaming it on you,
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,
    But make allowance for their doubting too;
If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
    Or being lied about, don’t deal in lies,
Or being hated, don’t give way to hating,
    And yet don’t look too good, nor talk too wise:
If you can dream—and not make dreams your master;
    If you can think—and not make thoughts your aim;
If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster
    And treat those two impostors just the same;
If you can bear to hear the truth you’ve spoken
    Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,
Or watch the things you gave your life to, broken,
    And stoop and build ’em up with worn-out tools:
If you can make one heap of all your winnings
    And risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss,
And lose, and start again at your beginnings
    And never breathe a word about your loss;
If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew
    To serve your turn long after they are gone,
And so hold on when there is nothing in you
    Except the Will which says to them: ‘Hold on!’
If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,
    Or walk with Kings—nor lose the common touch,
If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you,
    If all men count with you, but none too much;
If you can fill the unforgiving minute
    With sixty seconds’ worth of distance run,
Yours is the Earth and everything that’s in it,
    And—which is more—you’ll be a Man, my son!

“The Wild Swans at Coole” by William Butler Yates
Recited by Emma Keane

The trees are in their autumn beauty,
The woodland paths are dry,
Under the October twilight the water
Mirrors a still sky;
Upon the brimming water among the stones
Are nine-and-fifty swans.
The nineteenth autumn has come upon me
Since I first made my count;
I saw, before I had well finished,
All suddenly mount
And scatter wheeling in great broken rings
Upon their clamorous wings.
I have looked upon those brilliant creatures,
And now my heart is sore.
All’s changed since I, hearing at twilight,
The first time on this shore,
The bell-beat of their wings above my head,
Trod with a lighter tread.
Unwearied still, lover by lover,
They paddle in the cold
Companionable streams or climb the air;
Their hearts have not grown old;
Passion or conquest, wander where they will,
Attend upon them still.
But now they drift on the still water,
Mysterious, beautiful;
Among what rushes will they build,
By what lake’s edge or pool
Delight men’s eyes when I awake some day
To find they have flown away?

“Hi you, yes you” by Ming D. Liu
Recited by Chloe Chun

I bet you think no one understands you, or knows what you’re going through and maybe you are right. Maybe it’s hard for people to find you or for you to let people in. I know today is a tough crowd to be in. Society can be harsh. People can be cruel. But look at you, you made it to today.

Stop picking on your pimple. Or looking at that strand of hair that won’t stay down. I think your freckles are lovely. And I like the sound of your laugh. The number on the scale isn’t your beauty. The number of friends isn’t your value. Who you were in the past isn’t who you are. Messes can be cleaned.

Getting lost doesn’t mean you have to lose who you are. I think it helps you find yourself.

Running out of hope isn’t a complete dead end. Have faith. One bad thing can lead to another terrible thing, but change leads to more. Change is good. Some days things don’t work out, and other days things fall into place. You aren’t stuck where you are now. Walk.

Maybe words won’t ever save you. Maybe love won’t ever touch your soul. But, you have to be your own hero. Put yourself first. You have done all of this by yourself. You breathe. You walk. You live. You survive through it all. You should be proud of yourself. Let this be a reminder that you’ve have done so much, and if you ever start to think that you’ve done nothing, remember this:

You live today, and sometimes, that is more than enough.