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Jan's Speech

As many of my friends know, I love The Wizard of Oz, and its influence can be seen in my speech. We sit here today, after a long journey down the yellow brick road of school. Along the way we’ve had to overcome many obstacles, but we’ve picked up many friends in the process who have helped us choose the right path to take at the intersections. We’ve faced the Wicked Witches, the lions, tigers, and bears (grads shouted "Oh my!") with strength and endurance, and because of our will to get to the Emerald City of Life, we’ve run across countless fields of poppies and braved the Haunted Forests, fighting off winged monkeys in our path. But we couldn’t have done this without the help, nurturing, and guidance of our Glindas. They are the teachers (especially Mr. Cezus and Mrs. Bowman, our class advisors), the administrators, and the staff of East Windsor High School. They have taught us that the sum of the square roots of any two sides of an isosceles triangle does not equal the square root of the remaining side. They have also taught us that, “A heart is not judged by how much you love, but by how much you are loved by others.” We have learned to respect and care for each other, not because we are told to, but because we want to. Our Glindas have also taught us that true courage is not obtained, but comes from within and is there even when we don’t know it.

Our Auntie Em’s and Uncle Henry’s, all our parents and families, have helped us along this road, too. Without their support and patience, many of our accomplishments could not have been reached. They led us by the hand when we were younger, then, they watched as we stumbled along the path by ourselves. And now our families watch us with teary eyes as we prepare to brave the world on our own.

Here we are at the doorway to the Emerald City of Life, only a couple of short steps away from completing our journey down the yellow brick road. Most of us sitting here are looking back down the road, remembering all the laughter and all the tears we had along the way. We watch the juniors behind us on the same path, with the knowledge and experience only gained after reaching this point. We have dreamed of what it would be like somewhere over the rainbow, beyond the moon, behind the rain, and now, we have that chance. Beyond these big, green doors lies a new, enchanting, and colorful world. We are now ready to face a new journey, one which will set a course for us for the rest of our lives. We will met new Scarecrows, Tinmen, Lions, Glindas, Wicked Witches, and new types of families, but, we will always remember and cherish the originals, because as Dorothy said, “There’s no place like home.”

Copyright 1998
Janelle Goldreyer

To see the MUCH BETTER version of this please go to the ORIGINAL.