The Brick Tower
— a speech by Justin Hudson
Ladies and gentlemen, family, faculty and my fellow classmates of the class of 2010,
before I begin I would like to thank those teachers who chose this modest speech among the
outstanding collection of speeches written by my highly competent peers. I would also like to
thank all the people who have expressed their support for me and their anticipation for this
speech. To be told “You are the best person in the grade to give this speech”, or some variation
of that statement, more than once is truly humbling, and you all are either the most polite people
I know, or the kindest people I know. It is a great honor to give this address, and I promise I do
not take it lightly. I have chosen every word quite carefully because I am fully aware of the
responsibility you all have bestowed upon me.
Today, I stand before you as a personification of conflictedness. I find myself on this
podium experiencing numerous warring emotions, and I am certain many of you here empathize
with me on that point. Firstly, and perhaps most obviously, I am filled with a great sense of
happiness and accomplishment. My peers and I have put much effort for the last six years—a
third of our lives thus far—into being able to stand here today and say that we’ve earned the right
to stand here. It was by no means easy, and there were many times when I thought I would not
reach this finish line. But those struggles have only made this moment sweeter. The people who
are on this stage survived four years of Latin, or 8th grade swim class, or English with Ms.
D’Amico, or BC Calculus, or the 25% rule, and I think all of us can take some pride in that.
Yet, my ambivalence on this day stems from the very fact that this ceremony is the end of
an arduous journey. While I am ready to continue my academic endeavors, knowing that Hunter