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Aidan G. on right with classmate and their Kindergarten buddy

At RA, we begin each week with an all school assembly. It is tradition for every Grade 8 student to take a turn running the assembly and speak about something that is meaningful to them. Each week, their speeches will be posted for our community to read. These outstanding young people are the leaders of our school and have experiences and stories that are important to share. Aidan G. spoke about finding the joy in learning. Enjoy Aidan’s story.

When I joined this school in the third grade, I sat on those risers, looking with envy at the eighth graders in front of me. I wished I could be the one in the center of attention and looked forward to the day when I would finally rise to their title. But now, after all these years, I wish I would have looked forward to every day a little bit more.

Teachers at our school do their best to teach joyfully, but the responsibility also falls upon the students to be joyful learners. This means making the most of every day, and it’s hard to do that when you’re only focused on the future. For example, the last few weeks before winter break are a time when a lot of people lose focus. People only think about the great time they’ll have outside of school, and lose sight of the great time they could be having in school. It’s important in situations like this to keep your head in the game, and finish strong. That doesn’t mean you can’t look forward to your vacation, but remember each day at RA provides joyful and interesting new opportunities too, and it’d be a shame to miss out on them.

Every year, month, week, and day at school is chock full with opportunities for meaningful experiences. One of the opportunities I think many of us take for granted are our classes, the lifeblood of a school. Teachers in the school put their all into these classes, but sometimes students lack the same enthusiasm. Even if a class isn’t your favorite, we should put in the same effort into our studies as teachers put into their lessons. Treat every new lesson like an adventure, because, in retrospect, it is. Cherish every moment of learning here while you still can. 

Eighth grade will probably seem far away to most of you, but time flies. If I could go back to when it all started, I would pay a little more attention in Mrs. Clasby’s class. I would have put a little bit more thought into every question in Ms. Reid’s history homework. I would have annotated the book Forge in Ms. Coppola’s class. And I would have been a little bit more excited about every new week of school. That said, it’s no more use dwelling on the past than focusing on the future, and I plan to live every last day of my time here at RA to the fullest before inevitably heading off to high school. So, to finish off my speech, I have a piece of advice for you: whenever it’s 2:30 pm on a Friday, and you can’t wait to go home, or you’re sitting down to a test that you’re worried about, or you’re drifting off during class, remember not to wish away the wonderful time you’ll have here at RA, and to cherish every moment. Find joy where it isn’t so easy to see it. I sure wish I did.

Written by Aidan G. and presented on October 7, 2019