Endings and Beginnings

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 

Malcolm

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.

–Malcolm C.,
7th Grade