As we seemingly catapult our way through May and into the last weeks of school, all campuses are buzzing with plans for things like prom, last field trips, wrapping up class projects, yearbook ordering, and milestone moments, such as the sixth and eighth grade celebrations and twelfth grade graduation. Waverly’s celebrations and graduation are truly special; a celebration of our close community as much as it is of the students. Last year, sixth grade celebrant Malcolm presented the following speech to a happy audience. As we flow through the ending of our school year together, it’s nice to reflect on the fact that endings are almost always also beginnings.
Hello, my name is Malcolm. I have been a student at Waverly for eight years. In that time I have enjoyed every single teacher both in and out of the classroom. Each one left me with many priceless memories and taught me wonderful lessons that I will keep for the rest of my life.
I began as a student in Monkey Business, Marina’s young kindergarten class. She always made learning fun and taught me that school was a good place to be. One of the fun things I remember about her class was painting a box to look like a fire truck. We used it at all school
meeting to demonstrate fire safety.
After a year in the jungle, I moved to the Happy Faces, Liz’s and Richard’s kindergarten class. We were always having wild adventures. We made gingerbread men that later escaped and then we scoured the school looking for them! And who could forget when the leprechauns messed up our classroom on St. Patrick’s Day?
We smiled our way over into Susan’s class, The Sparkling Waterfalls. We did some very cool projects. I remember making a huge waterspout by attaching blue paper to a column. Poking sea anemones in the tide pools on our El Capitan camping trip was fun, too.
My next two years were spent with Tina and Hypatia in the purple room, where I searched for mammoth bones in the Purple Tar Pits, and went snorkeling for Purple Pufferfish. (Those were our class names).
In Tina’s class I learned that all things in life could be expressed through creative writing, art, songs, poetry and dance. It seems like everything we did, from visiting the Petersen Car Museum and the Japanese Gardens, to surfing lessons in Manhattan Beach, ended up with us writing stories, making pictures, or poems.
In fourth grade, Queen Erin and Princess Kerry brought history alive for the Secret Sorcerers. As Sir Malcolm Hamsterman I learned about the Knights of the Realm, dressed in a medieval costume at the Renaissance Faire, researched Alchemy, and bonded with our class plague rats, Ursula and Matilda.
My last two years at the elementary school were spent with Cheri, who taught me to be creative and use my imagination when learning. Cheri encouraged me to use eloquent, expressive and vivid words in my writing to make it more dynamic, zestful and vigorous.
In Hasty Pudding with Cheri and Molly we had fun making johnnycakes and dolls and performing a dance during Colonial Day. If we made a mistake at the colonial school our teachers took us outside and pretended to beat us, showing us what school was like in the 1600s.
As a Mid-Autumn Mooncake with Cheri, Kristin, and Kerry, we traveled the Silk Road. We wrote stories, journals and reports, and made movies, built cities and composed songs. Learning about Buddhism at the beautiful Buddhist Temple, with its intricate designs and lush, green gardens was a special experience.
I also want to thank my other teachers, including Michael and Josie for eight wonderful years of teaching me the joy of singing. Also Eddie for making P.E. so much fun; Adriana, Erin, Hypatia and Ken for great art classes, and Adriana and Karen for Spanish. I want to thank Meg and Alison for all their help, and Heidi for being such a great Head of School. I’d also like to thank anybody else who has helped Waverly become such a fantastic school. If you’re a parent who helped out in the classroom or a custodian who cleaned up, thank you.
Being at Waverly Elementary has been a wonderful experience. I really loved all of our class trips over the years. I am sad to leave but I have memories I can take with me to our Middle School and beyond.
I’ve been taught a lot of things here, such as don’t mess with leprechauns, but the most important thing I have discovered is that there are many ways to learn. And the best way is to have fun and be yourself. Thank you.