Corey Rogoff, Outgoing All-School President
Final Address to School
Thursday, April 30, 2009
Hello, Shipley. In life, there are times where you couldn’t be happier and other times where you just feel horrible. The same principle is true at Shipley. I get annoyed when someone points out that I am out of dress code, or when people cut in the cafeteria lines on chicken finger day. However, you can’t judge a whole experience based on what happens on chicken finger day. As much as you may want to, and as much as I love chicken finger day. The question that we seniors should be asking ourselves is, “Was going to Shipley a good experience”?
The two things that I immediately think of are the teachers and my fellow students. Personally, I have made enormous advances academically because of the diligence and passion of my teachers. They understand that people learn better when truly engaged. I still remember things I learned in 9th grade because of the captivating ways of my teachers.
For instance, the Roman emperor Caligula, who was actually crazy, declared war on the English Channel. How do you declare war on a body of water? If you answered, “March 50,000 Roman soldiers into the north of France and instruct them to start stabbing the water, and then declare that you have defeated Neptune, king of the ocean,” you would be correct.
Another example: The Thirty Years’ War started with the defenestration of Prague, which is a fancy name for the story of two men being thrown out of a three-story window and falling into a pile of manure. The point of these examples is that when you are actually excited to go to class, your teachers must be doing something right.
I actually consider some of my teachers my friends. They come to sporting events and talent shows, they share aspects of their lives with you, and they make you feel like an important part of the community. And I, on behalf of the senior class, truly thank our teachers of all levels and subjects for their commitment to our growth and to our wellbeing.
To my fellow seniors, as we prepare to go to different places, I would like for you to remember this: When you say that you might not think of Shipley in a fond manner in a couple of years, I remind you that you will not remember the exams and ICW’s that we are taking this week and next, but you will remember the great experiences that we shared with each other.
To clarify, I would like to share a story about a specific individual: Dan Scullin. Dan really loves baseball, but he hadn’t played anything besides wiffle ball since he was 11. However, this year, he decided that he really wanted to play baseball and he tried out for the team. He is now a varsity player, but he doesn’t really get a lot of playing time. But that does not stop him from cheering as loud as anyone on the bench. So, last Saturday, for Senior Day, we were playing Germantown Friends and were up six or seven runs when our coach told Dan to grab a bat. And everyone went crazy, because he had been cheering for us and we wanted to do the same for him. He went up to the plate, got in his stance, and on the second pitch, BAM! He got drilled right in the back by a 75-mile-an-hour fastball. Not even in the meaty part of the back—right at the base of his spinal cord, nothing but bones and nerves.
Now, the point of this story is that I am not going to remember my economics presentation that I have to give on Friday, I am going to remember Dan limping to first base and all of his teammates cheering for him.
So, much as I want to say that I hate Shipley right now because of all of my papers and exams, I think of Dan, in excruciating agony—half-grimacing, half-smiling, because he’s happy that he helped his team, and I can’t help but smile. So, yes, Shipley was a good experience, but maybe not for Dan, at least not on that day.
Joanie Thompson, Incoming All-School President
First Address to School
Thursday, April 30, 2009
I can’t get over how strange it is to be up here. I have been at Shipley since I was very small and the person standing up here always seemed old and mysterious—and I feel neither. But I am confident in my wisdom in one field: Being a Shipley student.
This is my 48th All-School Assembly. I began as a student here when I was five, in Kindergarten. But my relationship with Shipley began even earlier than that when I was in preschool and my brother, who is two years older than I, was in Kindergarten. Back then Kindergarten was on the ground floor of Howland House and I went to preschool right across the street. Everyday at three o’clock, one of my preschool teachers would walk me across the street to join my brother to meet our carpool to go home.
However, one defining day, due to some unexplainable mix-up, the carpool forgot me (thank you Mrs. Miller). I don’t know exactly what happened, but I was sort of stranded and faced having to wait a while before my mom would realize that I, in fact, had not been delivered with my brother, and that I would need to be retrieved. However, as I was becoming dramatic and flustered, my brother’s teacher soon came to my rescue. I was welcomed inside, comforted and served leftover refreshments, which were delicious and spicy because that happened to be the day that the kindergarten had flown to Mexico.
Shipley made an impression on me that day, which I realize now was very telling. When I was freaked out and scared, Shipley was inviting and warm and made me feel safe and comfortable. I have been very fond of this institution ever since. In the years that followed, Shipley has become a lot to me. It’s been a constant part of my life and I have always found it challenging but comforting, evolving but dependable, and more than anything, a place where I feel truly at home. I love this School very much and I am so excited to serve as next year’s All-School President.