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Sunny day for Canaan graduation



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The CMHS Class of 2012 Alan Farnsworth, courtesy of News and Sentinel. (click for larger version)
June 13, 2012
Courtesy of The News and Sentinel

CANAAN, Vt.ľA bright sunny morning provided a splendid background as the twenty-seven seniors of the class of 2012 entered the school gymnasium filled with friends and family for Canaan Memorial High School's commencement on Saturday morning, June 9.

This year's commencement address was delivered by Lois Little, a veteran educator of 28 years at CMHS. She began by asking all the graduates to look at one another and realize that this may be the last time they will all be together; while they may not have a lot in common, she noted, they all shared this event.

She said she came from a "long line of talkers" but had opted for the "brilliance of brevity" as demonstrated by Lincoln's Gettysburg Address to inspire and impart some words of wisdom. Repeating the one line refrain "Welcome to the Rest of your Life!" she reminded the graduates that while they were done with high school, many of the frustrations and challenges of the past would still confront them in the future. It is how they meet the challenges that will make "the difference in a life well lived."

Before leaving the stage, she advised the graduates to remember six things:

Life is too short to wake up with regrets; 2. Love the people who treat you right and forget about the ones who don't; 3. Believe to your core that everything happens for a reason; 4. If you get a second chance, grab it with both hands; 5. If it changes your life, let it; 6. Nobody said life would be easy, they just promised it would be worth it.

She closed quoting the final passage Max Ehrmann's "Desiderata," to be at peace with God and in your soul, and "With all the sham, drudgery and broken dreams it is still a beautiful world. Be cheerful. Strive to be happy."

Lincoln's Gettysburg Address inspired Tyler Gray's valedictory address in both brevity and some borrowed phrases. Observing that all of the graduates have arrived at this time and ceremony through the help, and support of friends and family, it is "altogether fitting and proper," he said, to show appreciation. "Words can only do so much," however, and he urged his fellow graduates to show their thanks through action by becoming successful, each in his or her own unique way.

Alexander Olson opened his salutatory address with the question, "Where did the time go?" noting a few friends he has made and kept through the years. Quoting a Paul McCartney line, "And in the end, the love you take is equal to the love you make, "he observed that in a high school setting, it could mean, "What you give of yourself is what your receive in knowledge." This applies not only to schoolwork, but also to a vast body of knowledge and experiences.

Olson reinforced this idea with anecdotes about close friends and classmates. In closing he observed that while the class is not the closest it represents a "broad spectrum of personality" as seen in class meetings and other school functions. "Because we all march to the beat of a different drum, our rhythm as one a kind," he said, which enhances the ability to love and be loved by each classmate. The real challenge is in giving and taking.

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