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Graduation Speech: Robert Neuman

Updated: Jun 12, 2019

photo courtesy of Raisa Baraka

Good afternoon fellow graduates, family members, and distinguished staff. I honestly had no idea how to go about starting to write this graduation speech and all it took was seventeen tabs on my computer to finally realize that all I needed to do was start with a cheesy quote! So here we go. This one is from Ellen Degeneres: “Follow your passion. Stay true to yourself. Never follow someone else's path unless you're in the woods and you're lost and you see a path. By all means, you should follow that.”

Although it may sound funny, the humor behind the quote makes the truth behind it all the more believable. Each and every one of us has been lost in these metaphorical woods. Whether it be my parents, twenty some years ago when they started college, or our teachers when they first started teaching and viewed us high schoolers as rabid animals in the metaphorical forest. I was lost in that metaphorical jungle as a freshman, and NBTHS paved the metaphorical path in the metaphorical jungle for me to reach the only thing in this story that’s not metaphorical, the real world.

5,040 hours, 302,400 minutes, 18,144,000 seconds. That’s how long our NBTHS journey was. I’d like to say we experienced everything we possibly could have. Seven days of mold; Six school dances; five, the number of times you thought about dropping out (but you didn’t and I’m PROUD of you for that); four first days of school; three years of making fun of freshman; two principals (Mr. Clark’s bullhorn will NEVER be forgotten - oneeeee minuteeee), and one.............Raider Nation. I asked a few of my friends what some of the most memorable parts of their high school experience were, and most of them were the classic angsty teen response: sitting through AP exams or the PARCC. But then I talked to some of my college friends and they could not stress enough how much they took high school for granted. I know this may come as a shock to most of you - but unfortunately, Mrs. Ezdinli-Palazzo and Mr. Emmanuel will not be traveling around to collect your garbage after today. They’ll be a day where you won’t get Google Classroom reminders or remind text messages to remind you when something is due. And there’ll come a day, fifteen or twenty years from now, when high school will all be a memory. But, as we get down to the final seconds the Class of 2019 has left together, I want you to look to the left of you, look to the right of you. Look all around you, find your parents, your teachers, your friends. Each and every person in this room has encouraged you to be the best you that you could be, pushed you to work harder when all you wanted to do was to give up, and lastly, each and every person in this room helped you navigate the trails of the metaphorical forest and is waiting for you as you emerge in the real world. Thank you.

photo courtesy of Raisa Baraka


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