Awards received in high school
High school graduation chords
Letters from an ex back when we were still dating
Photos of when I was 16. Unfortunately, I'm missing a cable for my scanner.
But the key items were my '93 and '95 high school yearbooks. Inside the '95 yearbook is the only copy of my valedictorian speech in almost mint condition. I remember typing it in a Smith Corrona in June 1995:
Ladies and gentlemen, I welcome you to the celebration of the 1995 Eagles of Southwest Miami Senior High.
Among this elite group, I have been proclaimed the "King of the Nerds," [much laughter and applause] a title which I humble accept [more laughter] because it comes from the people I have shared the last four years with. It also allows me the opportunity to share a perspective of the future which we will all be a part of. It's good to be the king!
Most would agree that the elements of the past, whether positive or negative on society, have influence on what is going to drive us into the 21st century. But what positive aspects can we maintain, and which negative ones are we going to eliminate? Is it possible to add or subtract elements of human nature as easily as we play with the numbers on a slide rule; or are we, as many have stated before, destined to repeat history?
Time does not allow us the luxury of debating these points now, but I will tell you that I chose science as my pathway to the future because it was the best way I felt I could live life to the fullest. And along that pathway I found one constant element: family.
Family defined as a people derived from common stock. That common stock, not stemming only from blood ties, but from conditions of decency which circulate from generation to generation. It is illustrated when a person extends his hand and states, "I give you my word," seals that promise with a strong grip; in the tradition of a time which once did not have lawyers and written contracts, but indeed had honor and honesty.
I stand before you, not because I am better than anyone, but because I am the reflection of all who want the best for everyone. No one succeeds alone; and apart from remembering that we are the children of quiet heroes, we must remember their true greatness: the continuing struggle to maintain, in word and deed, the common good of all people. Society needs--the world needs--the continuation of honest communication, mutual respect and caring, unhampered by ambitious greed; in order that the fellowship which nourishes opportunity, imagination and indeed progress, thrives.
Wherever you go, and whatever you do, remember that no contribution of kindness is too large, or too small. Make no room for envy; and despite time or distance, throughout the four corners of the globe there will be an "Eagle" available to serve.
Today; I extend my hand to you all, as my father has done and his father did before him, and I give you my word that the future will be a better place to live in because of us. And should you ever doubt this, simple look up. There you will find the eagle always circling the skies, ever vigilant, ever waiting to hold you tight within their grasps. Not to devour you, but to lift you securely to new heights, because eagles always soar!
May God bless you all!
Yes, the grammar was poor. I got a perfect math SAT, not verbal.