One Thousand Words by Tim Cowan

  • One-Thousand Words

    by Timothy Cowan



    Hello, hey, hi, what’s up, how are you. My name is Timothy Cowan, and it has been my pleasure to serve as the senior class president. Let it be known that if at any point in this speech I am to stutter or fumble on a word or even mispronounce one, it was on purpose. I would like to thank all those going off to serve our country in a branch of our armed forces, so a round of applause for them.


    So let’s begin, shall we. Some say a picture is worth a thousand words and the picture I see right now is no exception.


    From this moment on, my speech will be precisely one-thousand words, explaining exactly what I see. I see some who are tired of sitting and listening to people speak; I apologize for making you listen to me too; I see proud parents, excited students, some of whom are rapidly counting fingers attempting to disprove my thousand word promise, but what I see most is a group of highly dedicated, passionate, and powerful individuals. I see the strong, the brave, the intelligent, the outgoing, the persuasive, the fabulous, the beautiful and much more. I see a group of capable people who can accomplish anything they put their minds to.


    We are the future of not just our little town of Sayville, not of New York, not even of the United States, but We, are the future of the world. WE are more than capable of achieving all of our dreams, and each one of us is the best at something. So, seize the day, and go ye forth and conquer. Remain vigilant in your effort to reach your goals, because each and every one of you can achieve them.


    As I look out into the crowd, I don’t see a group of random faces; I see a network of supporting individuals, ready to help, ready to fight, ready to succeed. I guess what I am trying to say is that all of you are perfect, and all of you can do anything. Be inspired. In this sea of purple and gold I am forced to reflect on all we have been through as a class and as a generation. We have survived much together, from Pokémon, which some of us are still staggering through that phenomenon, to the birth of Facebook. We have become stronger as a nation due to terrorism, we have become a generation competent in technology, we have illustrated our ability to adapt in any situation, which will help us as we further grow. We witnessed the election of the first black president; we have seen cloning, new medicine, new games, new everything and we will continue to see new advancements. We will live longer, and pretty soon we will travel in flying cars, or at least I like to think so. We came, we saw, we conquered, and we will continue to do so.


    I can promise you that we were the best class of 2011, Sayville High School will ever see, and to be honest, I think our class is the best they ever see.


    We certainly have left quite an impression; we have fought with all our might against the changes to our school, we have called our own assemblies, we brought in our own dunk tank and two ice cream trucks, we have laughed, smiled and celebrated, heck, we even won homecoming. We will not be forgotten. I would like to thank all of you for making this year great, as well as all my years in school.  High school is over, and for some this is a blessing, while others curse it, but we all need to remember the lessons we learned here, in and out of the class room.


    One of the things I learned is oui, the French word for yes, is spelt, O-U-I, and is pronounced oui, not ohh-eee. That same day I learned never to take French. Sometimes it is silly lessons like this that teach you the most. I learned a lot of humility that day, and because of that I am more outgoing, more willing to make a fool of myself, you only live once, so make the most of it.


    While on the note of making a fool of myself, I was requested to say this, “That’s amazing.” If you are curious as what that relates to, go to the library’s website, and then click the link with my face on it.


    Hopefully, I aptly illustrated why the lessons you learned in school will help you live a fuller life, so please, never forget them. I see some perplexed faces in the audience asking themselves why they would ever need to know that Napoleon Bonaparte died on May 5, 1821. The simple answer is so you can sound smarter than your friends and the more complicated answer is if a random stranger came up to you and offered you a million dollars to tell him or her the date of Napoleon’s death. So hopefully you will remember that from now on, there will be a quiz at the end of the speech. To quote Mahatma Gandhi, “live as if you were to die tomorrow, learn as if you were to live forever.” It is at this moment I realize exactly how hard it is to explain a picture in a thousand words, but I will complete this task, guaranteed.


    I want to thank my friends, my family, my teachers, and everyone who has been there for me over the years, just as I know all of you would like to do. So I thank all the parents, anyone who is anyone’s friend, every teacher, everyone deserves thanks.


    At this point there is only one hundred and fifty eight more words, so as I begin to bring everything together, bask in the glory of the moment. You only graduate high school once; I truly hope you live this moment to its fullest. You can accomplish anything, that’s what I want everyone to remember from this speech. The world is your oyster so get shucking.


    Congratulations to all of us, we made it through thirteen years of schooling, and we are all better for it. We have survived, and in a few years I would not be surprised to find out many of you have become CEOs, doctors, lawyers, and millionaires or even billionaires depending on the inflationary rate. Good luck to all of you in your future endeavors, whatever they may be.


    To end, everyone please say cheese, because this is the picture I will remember forever………..


    [Take Picture]