Graduation 2018 + My Grad Speech

Hey babes hey!! Welcome back to Mackenzie Kateri! You are now looking at a high school graduate. Though my title in the world is different, I really don’t feel any different. In all honesty, I keep thinking that I have school on Monday! But, walking across stage was such a bittersweet feeling. I know that I am soon to open a new chapter of my life, but it breaks my heart leaving my friends, my teachers, and the memories in the past. Time really does fly. 

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But anyway, graduation was a success. I cried. I laughed. I balled my eyes out. And I smiled. As my graduation dress, I wore a solid white off the shoulder pencil skirt dress from The New York and Company Gabriella Union Collection. Then, I paired the dress with a pair of Aldo white patent leather heels. Despite the giant blisters on my feet, the look came together great. I topped it off with a pair of multicolor earrings from The Loft and a red lip, but that’s a given.

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I was part of the top four in my graduating class, so I gave a speech at graduation. However, writing this speech was a challenge. I brainstormed for days, weeks even. I felt like I had so much to say but I had no clue how to sum it up in the matter of six minutes. I lacked inspiration for what seemed like a lifetime. But, one night it came to me. Overall, I wanted to emphasize the fact that my AP English classes changed me, inspired me. I wanted to scream from the rooftop that if I never took these classes that I would be entering college with a completely different major most likely science related (I hate science!) For most of my high school career, I had this idea in my head that only science related careers whether it be a doctor or a physical therapist bring home the paycheck. I was wrong. I would rather be doing something I love everyday and making a decent amount of money, than basking in misery. Also in my speech, I wanted to highlight the individuals who’ve entered my world, the individuals who’ve changed my world such as my friends, teachers, and family. And of course, I wanted to add some magic!! So, check it out!! As always, thanks for reading. XO, MK.

I live in two worlds. One. Is a world of literature. It’s a mystical and magical world. I have compared dystopian politics to our modern political atmosphere as I walked hand in hand with vigilante “V” in Alan’s Moore V for Vendetta. I’ve encouraged Edna Pontellier rebel conformist values in Kate Chopin’s proto-feminist novel, The Awakening. I sat next to Martin Luther King Jr. in his Birmingham cell block as he addressed a powerful message of equality to eight clergymen. This world is rewarding. It has taught me innumerable lessons, blessed me with the gifts of power, knowledge and perspective. However, my second world is far superior. It’s composed of chapters. Adventurous chapters that defy paper pages. It’s populated with characters. Slightly less eccentric, but supremely real. Made of flesh and bones. Humans with beating hearts.

My favorite character by far…. is my younger sister Madison, who is not only my best friend, but my inspiration for everything. Her complexion is a beaming ray of positivity. She possesses a litany of rare qualities that I envy such as her unique, rose-colored perspective of life. She’s a dazzling piece of mosaic art that reveals an assemblage of small secrets, fears, failures, and other timid characteristics to strangers. My parents, Cindy and Frank Mickavicz, are my twin pillars who provide me stability and support. Without them, I would fall. I would have nothing. They fill our house with unconditional love, happiness, and fun. My parents never gave me any idea that I couldn’t do whatever I wanted to do, or be whomever I wanted to be. As they guided me through these incredible eighteen years, they never once realized that I aspire to be like them the most. My other half Hailey, is a light in my life. She has held my hand through darkness- showed me the true meaning of friendship and happiness. My friends Rachel, Hunter, and Lauren are my support team. They’re superheroes in disguise who’ve colored my once black and white world with vibrance, energy, and laughter.

The teachers at Riverside Junior- Senior High School have exceeded all of my expectations of  ideal educators. They’re my mentors, my role models. Ms. O’Shea is a kind, unfailingly generous person who has made me stronger. Everyday, she willingly gives me pieces of her soul, hands me small servings of her gold heart. I am grateful that I had the honor of being her student. Mr. Borthwick is a wise, sardonic leader who has shaped my life forever. For most of my high school career, I felt lost- my life an unsolved puzzle. Then, I met Mr. Borthwick. He helped me gather, nourish, and repair these pieces. He was one of these pieces. He opened my eyes to a new world and surfaced my voice. No words can express my gratitude. Because of him, I am fearless- my puzzle…. is solved. Mr. Ferrar is my motivation. His impeccable life lessons and ambitious persona have shown me the importance of hard work, dedication and passion. Mrs. Barucky is my guidepost. My lifeline who I call upon in times of despair. I hope to be half the woman she is one day. Mr. Kolessar is a breath of fresh air. His miraculous smile casts contagious happiness. My peers. My classmates. The core of my story. The voices embedded within my chapters.
The voices. They roared. They echoed. The crowd went wild. I basked in the glory of the Friday night lights. I stomped and I screamed with the bleacher kids. I cheered on Erik Benz and Kyle Besecker as they tackled the opposing team, as Brayden Thiel threw the touchdown pass to Tommy Gilmartin.

My friends and I had this long standing football season tradition: Thursday night fires. We sat around the flames in the chilly November weather laughing, dancing, and watching Chase Briskie’ s football highlights, which he is currently selling Blu-ray copies of. Though most of the conversation consisted of football jargon and scouting remarks for the upcoming game, I savored every moment of these nights. I looked forward to Thursday night every week. I am grateful that I had the opportunity to spend nights surrounded by incredible friends and unconditional love. As I sat next to the fire, I felt like the world stopped. I would trade anything to relieve these beloved nights, to briefly relive this chapter.
  However, these timeless moments of joy and happiness are merely half of my story. I have faced chapters of melancholy. Days, upon weeks of hopelessness and confusion. Sadness and darkness. These chapters are what make my story worth telling. I would not be the person I am today if I did not overcome these epic battles. Every fairytale has an evil villain. At times, I deemed myself the cruel, sabotage hungry monster. Others times, the people that surrounded me. And I know I will face this monster again. I am sure of it. But, I am ready.  
I am ready to embark on a journey of empty pages. Though I am utterly grateful that the people who’ve entered my world have not only proofread, but guided my chapters. The road that lies ahead is no longer preordained. We’re soon to break free into a our very own narratives of boundless freedom and potential. Pages that are destined for greatness. So, as we are just moments away from walking across this stage. Merely minutes from roaming the halls of Riverside one last time. It’s only fair, to share with you all how my chapter concludes. It ends here with a cliffhanger. A blank space.

 

 

 

 

 

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