This poem was written by Caitlin Krause a Middle School English teacher at my school and was read by her at a ceremony in June to clebrate the 8th graders ‘moving on’.
8th Grade Moving-On Ceremony Poem
June 21, 2011
We’ll mix up some metaphors
and memories as we go—
it’s like jazz, with a riff,
and a good deal of levity.
If everything were serious
then life would be dismal—
yet, if all is a joke,
then it’s pure farce
and we might as well not care.
There’s a balance to strike—
and I’ll sprechen. Das ist gut?
Vielen danke. That is, thank you.
We’ve had German lessons,
French lessons, Spanish, Dutch,
Norwegian, Finnish, Swedish, Russian, and many more.
Many roots; many global connections…
Globe theater in the round—Macbeth and Antigone
on stage. And all the world’s a stage
and your best performances are yet to come.
You have something to say? Wonderful!
You want to read a poem? Sure, I’d love it!
Remember one thing—in between the nonsense,
circumstance, and happenstance—
remember that you came to be here,
and it could be a coincidence,
but you helped to create a world
that lives beautifully, even right now—
we are in that world even as I speak.
We could all start getting nostalgic, signing
yearbooks that say, Don’t ever change—
but why wish for that?
My wish for you is that you
embrace change—and everything in you
that propels you forward and onward,
to follow what is your truest inner nature,
to question and question and question
and write it all down (!),
to read with reckless abandon,
to use proper grammar,
to cite your sources,
to resist the urge to sacrifice your standards
when you are faced with that choice
because you WILL be faced with that choice
and you are worth so very much.
It’s hard—I’ve been called an idealist—
oh, that’s a hard label!
But I’ll wear it if it means I also get to smile.
See, I’m a realist idealist
and even though we joke around
there’s no silliness in that.
I believe in good and I’m not afraid to say it.
I believe in Art and Writing and Math and Music and Science
and Social Studies and Languages and Color and Beauty
and Hope in the Light and in the Darkness.
We don’t have to agree,
and I’d rather we didn’t.
I have wanted you to change my mind;
I’ve been open to this all along,
and you have,
respected and welcomed and honored as you are.
So, Class of 2015, now entering high school—go forth in freedom,
with your energy, your confidence, your truth.
Be deliberate, thoughtful, kind and just.
As you enter high school, you have all that you need,
and you can celebrate the coming-to-be
that in so many ways
has already become.
Cheers to you from all of us!
June 21, 2011