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One Frost Does Not Make a Winter A Transcript of the 2013 Baccalaureate Speech by Dr. Rebecca Foley Miller

Parents and families, faculty and administration, friends, and most importantly the graduating class of 2013. I would like to take this opportunity to welcome you to this Baccalaureate evening and to congratulate everyone who has had a hand in helping these fine young men and women become the people they are today. To the seniors: Wow. You have a whole theatre of people that are over-themoon proud of you. I am incredibly proud of each and every one of you and humbled that you all chose me to speak to you today. This whole weekend signifies that you are done with high school. This chapter is over. I know you feel either like you know what’s coming next, or if you don’t, that you should, but trust me: you have no idea what is in store for you. This is normal and it is okay. I’m not going to stand up here and tell you that I understand each of your individual journeys. You are the only one who can truly appreciate what it took for you to get here....But I do have a bit of an idea. We have a lot more similarities than you

40  Eagle Hill School  2012–2013

may have known. In fact, my eighteen-year-old self had no idea that I would be standing here, in front of you all, some fifteen years later. You know how you get a few personalized paragraphs from each of your teachers summarizing all of your work for each term? Well, my high school wasn’t like that. The teachers all shared a list of pre-written comments that were coded by letters. I would get my grade for the course with a dash and another letter. There was a legend on the back of the report card to translate what the second letter was meant to indicate. Similar to lettered course grades, the comments that had a notation of a letter from the beginning of the alphabet were better than the end of the alphabet. I never had to flip the report card over to translate the comment letter because I always got “W” and “Z”—no good. My parents were told every term of every year that I was in high school that I was “W—chronically tardy” and the worst: “Z—a habitual time waster.” I have no idea what an A or B was…I never saw them! A teacher sophomore year (probably the one who gave me W and Z every term) told me that I shouldn’t be in her class because my PSAT scores were too low and I would flunk out of college. That same teacher used to snap her fingers in my face (probably when she thought I was habitually wasting time) and she turned me off to reading for years. She wasn’t totally accurate, but she wasn’t completely wrong either. I

Eagle Hill School Compendium 2013  
Eagle Hill School Compendium 2013  

The Compendium is a magazine published yearly by Eagle Hill School in Hardwick, MA.