School Board President Zeidman Offers CCMS Grads a Word for the Occassion

The next stop on the full week of CCUSD graduation ceremonies will be the high school, but at the moment, there are plenty of happy students, proud parents and electronic equipment at the Middle School celebrating the end of 8th Grade, and the next step forward.

School Board President Scott Zeidman, (and  an alumni of CCMS,) offers these thoughts-

“Graduation day is made for pride, enjoyment, and amazement, … and for unsolicited advice that will likely be lost forever among that pride, enjoyment, and amazement.

It’s also a day to anticipate and embrace the surprises that will come. The world comes to you so fast, so young: the testing, the friendships, the homework.

So what do I tell you while I have the chance?
• That you and your classmates have changed since you started kindergarten?

• That you should not be in such a hurry to grow up, as you will be there soon enough?

• That you should embrace your child-like characteristics?

• And that by all means, you should welcome and embrace the amazing?

Well. … Yes.

Responsibilities, a job, and driving will be yours for decades, but you only get one shot at childhood. There isn’t an adult here today that wouldn’t go back if given that chance. You’re living it, embrace it and enjoy it.

As you age, your brain is going to go into all sorts of new directions and dimensions. It will encounter ambiguity, ambivalence, and sorry, … even more algebra. Oh, and trigonometry, and calculus, too.

We’ve taught you not to tattle; now the honor code requires you to. We told you to listen to your teachers; now we will tell you that you have to think for yourself. Frankly, it’s subjective applications of subjective rules.

As you cope and develop, though, remember to be nice to little kids. You were little yourself once. And be nice to your parents. Please, be nice to your parents. One day, you will realize that there are no grown ups. We are all just children still in the various stages of growing up.

You are about to go through a phase in which everything we say and do is annoying. Well, many of you are there already. By the time you are ready to graduate from high school, you may find our company bearable again … maybe.

In the meantime, our job is to keep you safe, tell you to turn off the PS3 or Xbox and go outside to play, and to be there for you when you remember how nice it is to have strong arms around you, whether you think you need them or not.

You’ve had three wonderful and amazing years here at CCMS. You’re moving on, leaving your teachers and staff members behind. Indeed, you, and all the rest of us, are all bidding a fond farewell to both Mr. Gottlieb and Mr. Naz, who are leaving everyone behind and heading into retirement.

It’s actually in the official graduation rule book that someone has to quote Emerson, so in case everyone else forgets, I’ll note his instruction: “Do not go where the path may lead; go instead where there is no path and leave a trail.”

That’s OK, I never fully understood Emerson, either.

Along with your diploma, I’d like to hand over a permission slip. I’d like you to keep it handy and whip it out whenever you need it. It’s especially good for the summer days ahead:
• Permission to read books that are not on any reading list.
• Permission to eat foods that aren’t good for you.
• Permission to make messes.
• Permission to be a kid, and
• Permission to leave yourself room to be amazed.

Congratulations to all of you, and to all of those who made today possible for you.”

Happy Summer –

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