This year we bid a proud and fond farewell to Ada, Kaeli, Lee, Margaret, Matt, Nik, and Karenna. The ceremony was delightful as always, with our wonderful graduates talking eloquently, movingly, and hilariously about their classmates, teachers, and school experience. Karl discussed each one of them in the context of the Seven Virtues of the Samurai, and our 7th graders (now rising 8th graders) supported them beautifully. Thank you to Josh for the wonderful music.
So go well, dear students. Please know that you are loved. Come back and visit often. Here are your poems. They are all sonnets in honor of the farewell sonnet that you wrote for me. (The poem for the 4th graders is at the end.)
There’s a river that runs deep beneath the ground
Flowing cold and silken, soft and dark.
Watery thoughts and dreams, fluid, profound,
Run liquid through that river’s secret arc.
Seeping between the rocks, those thoughts make cracks
And fractured pathways for ideas to spread,
And craft mysterious patterns like a wild thing’s tracks
Or the complex trail of Ariadne’s thread.
Time passing sees that magic liquid leave
Bright crystals growing in the fissured stone
Filling the tiny cracks that interweave
With glittering gems, of hope and wisdom grown.
So Ada’s thoughts run far, and carve out ways
To fill with light her heart’s deep waterways.
When a heart is bigger than the deep blue sea,
And smiles are wider than a lotus flower,
And eyes are kinder than a giving tree,
And hands more helpful than a fresh spring shower;
When ideas fly like butterflies and bees
And feelings flow like sunlit mountain streams
And questions grow like great sequoia trees,
Enthusiasm like mid day sunbeams;
When people smile because you’re in the room,
And children jump up high to hear your name,
And animals are safe because of you,
And dragons flock about you like a flame;
Why, then, dear Kaeli, know that all you are
Gives joy to others like a shining star.
If you're looking for a certain kind of humor,
If you're tickled by a sense of irony,
If it's worse to be unfunny than a tumor,
The best person to talk to would be Lee.
If a host of pink flamingos are your soul mates,
If your pals are Tweedledum and Tweedledee,
If Socrates is on your list of greats,
You might want to spend some friendly time with Lee.
If a wall that talks strikes you as super-funny,
And a talking moon sets all your laughter free,
If a joke is sweeter far to you than honey,
Then the guy you want to hang out with is Lee.
On a stage of dry and witty repartee,
There's no finer man to tread the boards than Lee.
Margaret knows to look behind the clouds.
She is aware of space outside the room.
She knows that things are said, just not aloud,
And hangs out on the dark side of the moon.
Margaret exists in ordinary space
But in her heart she sees a magic world
Where people have a different kind of face
And thoughts, like flags, flow on the wind, unfurled.
She knows that there is mystery in words,
She knows that there's enchantment in the arts,
Ideas surround her like a flock of birds,
With all the grace and beauty that imparts.
Margaret lives life half in Faeryland,
And each day takes an elf friend by the hand.
Matthew O is quiet till he isn’t.
Matthew O is still until he’s not.
Matthew did the thing (unless he didn’t),
Matthew crossed the t and i-ed the dot.
Matthew breathes in words and breathes out music,
He makes a magic world upon a stage,
His wit can cause his classmates all to lose it
Though he has the grave demeanor of a mage.
Matthew has his own sweet way of being,
He marches to the beat of his own drum.
He sometimes lets us see what he is seeing,
But only he has done what he has done.
What he will do, and where the future takes things,
My crystal ball has told me will be great things.
If Nik went on a trip to Mount Olympus,
To hang out with the ancient Gods of yore,
He’d spend his time in high jinks and in rumpus,
And the trickster God, winged Hermes, would be sore.
Why Nik, he’d say, you’re taking all my mischief,
My fun, my wiles, my frolics and my gags,
You run so fast I think you are a speed thief,
I’m the one who is quicksilver (not to brag).
Nik would respond with charm and grace and laughter,
Saying, Come on, brother Hermes, we are twins!
Together - now there’s no before or after,
When we make shenanigans we can both win!
So Nik and the great Trickster of the Gods
Would set the whole world laughingly at odds.
Karenna’s heart is somewhat like a compass.
It points true north and does not lose its way
She has a sense of self, a sense of oneness
That means that she will never go astray.
Karenna’s heart is somewhat like a window,
She has clarity and truth, sincerity,
And when you see her riding in a limo
You’ll know she came by it with honesty.
Karenna’s heart’s a little like a fortress
In that her friends know they can count on her
She’s steady, strong, her loyalty is faultless,
When friends are happy she begins to purr.
Karenna has the kind of strength you see
When the Pole Star shines out so constantly.
4th Grade Graduates
Fourth Grade Friends! Your time to move has come,
Fifth Grade awaits! What will it bring for you?
Will Mark invent a racecar to the moon?
Will Addy write a novel or a play?
Rebecca win a mathematics prize?
Danny may clean the country’s water,
Lilith paint new and wondrous creatures that will fly
Around the school and come to be our pets.
Olivia could make cakes that save the world.
Will Juliana earn an Oscar yet,
Her first of many, youngest girl to win?
Will Niccolo outrun the speed of sound?
Will Andrew plant a forest, lush and green?
Can Evie do a handspring so athletic
It carries her across Lake Michigan?
Will Sana become president, or queen?
Will Lucas tell a story that comes true?
Will Folu become the world’s official artist
And Joey read each book the world contains?
Whatever you all do, you’re sure to constantlyBe your amazing selves, that no one else can be.