Miller School of Albemarle

Class of 2012 Salutatorian Chase Cannon Speech

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Life is Like a Box of Chocolates: You Never Know What You’re Going to Get

Good morning,

Many of you in the audience today have probably seen the movie “Forest Gump”.  If so, you most certainly remember this expression:  “Life is like a box of chocolates, you never know what you’re going to get.” Indeed, a box of chocolates is hardly ever the same, and so it is a surprise each and every indulgent experience. These words of Gump’s precisely describes my experience here at Miller.

Coming into my junior year, I was only expecting to focus on my primary goal, basketball. I knew there were a bunch of international kids, some strange kids, and some crazy baseball guys and I told myself I would just ignore them, and focus on my goal. However, Miller has allowed me to evolve into an entirely different person than I had expected to.

I soon discovered the international kids were awesome.  Characters like Ian Kim, Bo Yoo, and Yiming made me laugh more than anyone, were amazingly smart, yet were just like me in so many ways. My roommate from Korea, Theodore Kim, even became one of my closest friends. As for the strange kids, I had one of those as my roommate this year too, and his name was Aaron.

But in all seriousness, Aaron became one of my closest friends as well, and I learned to accept people of all different backgrounds and interests because you never know how spectacular someone may be unless you truly get to know them. Oh, and the baseball guys, I still kind of avoid them because they are just too wild for me.

However, the students were not the only surprises for me. The faculty was caring, intelligent, and welcoming like no other place I had ever been. I began cultivating relationships with teachers and coaches that were both on an intellectual and familiar level. They helped me with my college essays, my schoolwork, and life in general because they genuinely cared about me, as they do with everyone in this school.

These changes in perspective serve as a prelude to my message for the class of 2012. Life is full of unexpected surprises. I’m sure most of us never expected to have a Korean roommate become a best friend, to fist bump your senior English teacher because he is a yoga zen master lax bro and is that cool, to have Cooper pants you while you’re trying to lift the golf cart for the senior prank, or love a school that you dreaded before and only wanted to come to because of basketball.

In our future, there will be new experiences, adventures, and people and my message to all of you is this: embrace the diversity of life’s offerings and enjoy them! We will never be able to plan for everything or predict everything; and things will hardly ever go exactly how we expect them to and will most likely happen the opposite of how we think they will. But, there is nothing wrong with this at all. When we go off to college, be willing to accept these new ideas and be willing to try different things. Whether you hang out with a new group of people, try a new sport, or try a new class just go for it and do not be hesitant because it is different.

I regret that I did not have this mindset before I came to Miller, because I wasted time not enjoying the experience as much as I could have and should have in the beginning months.  I think you’ll agree, this school has helped all of us grow.

In the end, we never know what we will get, but we do know that we have the ability to make the best out of what we do get. I love you guys from the class of 2012. Thank you for making this one of the most memorable and fantastic experiences of my life. I will always love this school because of what we have shared here, and I hope you will too.


Written by Miller School of Albemarle

June 7, 2012 at 9:53 AM

Posted in Posts

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