For Demon grads, ‘life has just begun’ |

For Demon grads, ‘life has just begun’

Pete FowlerGlenwood Springs, CO Colorado
Post Independent/Kara K. Pearson

GLENWOOD SPRINGS, Colo. Bubbles floated up into the sky, glistening in the sun above the sea of red- and white-gowned senior Demons.The bubbles hung in the air, swirled a moment and blew away, each following its own unique path.Caps were knocked off people’s heads with bouncing beachballs in outbursts of Demon spirit during speeches at Glenwood Springs High School’s 2007 graduation. On Saturday, 145 young men and women turned an iconic corner. Perhaps like the bubbles, they’ll swirl around for a moment and find their own unique paths.”You have brains in your head and feet in your shoes, you can steer yourself any direction you choose,” valedictorian Heidi Marquez read from Dr. Seuss’ “Oh the Places You’ll Go.”This was the graduation moment. It’s one where time is momentarily suspended for a community to come together to reflect on aging and the passage of time.Finding a passion and actually living life instead of just showing up were the big comments from faculty and students.

GSHS teacher Michael Wilde stole the show on the faculty end. People say life is 90 percent about showing up, he said, but what matters is to show up and experience what you’re there to experience. Times change. This generation coming of age listens to digital music players and hardly knows what vinyl records are. The only two constants are that there will always be change, and there will always be people, he said.”You will need to build and to strive to build relationships with those around you,” Wilde said, adding that the students’ success would depend on this ability.”The future is not some place we are going to, but one we are creating,” he said. “Open your eyes, graduates – look around you.”Wilde asked people in their 80s or 90s in the audience to stand up.”Let’s applaud them,” he said. “In 60 or 70 years that will be you – think about that. … Go knowing that we collectively send you with our blessings, our support and our love.””They do not last forever, the beautiful days of youth,” Principal Paul Freeman said later on.

Wilde had the students stand up, some on their chairs, and find their special people in the audience. They repeated Wilde’s words to their family and friends, meaning it: “Thank you. I love you. You are the reason I am. I am on my way to great things – don’t worry about me.”Each valedictorian read a passage from “Oh the Places You’ll Go” and added their own reflections. Three students played John Lennon’s “Imagine.”Valedictorian Cassandra Brickell explained how one thing she’s learned along the way is that “service is the rent we pay for living” – a motto she’s tried to live by.Valedictorian Josh Currier wove a metaphor into his speech, comparing the class of 2007 to the GSHS building itself. Parts of the building are about to be demolished, but the good parts remain and better parts will be constructed. This holds true for students, who will hold onto the good parts and positive experiences while most experiences at the school will crumble.”Rid yourselves of all the asbestos and take the good into all aspects of your future,” he said. “Life has just begun. Let’s go live life like it’s never been lived before!”Valedictorian Patrick Kramer spoke gratefully of all the family members and school employees who’ve helped the Class of 2007 get there.

“Today is your day. Your mountain is waiting, so get on your way,” Kramer read.Contact Pete Fowler: 945-8515, ext. 16611pfowler@postindependent.comPost Independent, Glenwood Springs Colorado CO

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