Thursday, April 2, 2009

I Have Stuff To Say, But How?

Since my freshman year, I have wanted to write a commencement speech. I have thought about what I was going to write diligently, and came up with some ideas. I was the first person to sign up on the list, got my audition form, and sat down to write. I was on a roll with some catchy introduction and it all of the sudden came crashing down on me.

My English teacher announced that writing a commencement speech was required.

This posed a problem for me for two reasons-
  1. It was my commencement speech. I didn't want anyone else's input from my class, I didn't want anyone but the judges to hear it before the day of commencement. It was mine, all mine, and if it didn't make the cut, nobody would hear it. I have to present this speech in front of my entire English class so that they can critique me. What the flip biscuit is up with that?
  2. It's now an assignment. Meaning there's pressure. Which gives me brainlock.
All of the sudden, my speech that was glowing before seems cliche and out-dated. To me. I think it sounds cliche. That's fine. I can criticize my own speech all I want. The problem is when other people decide to critique my speech. Before it's done. Which explains why I was about ready to snap the necks of three key people by the end of the school day yesterday.

And now, some letters-

1- Best friend (girl),
        You of all people know that I hate people looking over my shoulder when I write anyway. But when I tell you a bajillion times that I don't want my speech read before absolutely necessary, and you decide to read over my shoulder anyway, don't be surprised when I give you the stinkeye. Also, don't say, "Well's not like I knew." Because you did know. Because I told you. About thirty seconds prior to your snooping. I reamed someone else for doing that earlier today and told you about it.

2- Preppy girl whose opinion doesn't matter,
        I've gone to school with you since kindergarten. You've always been the lovable, adorable one with the mom who shows up at all the class parties and insists on taking charge. For example, when I was in second grade and showed up for the Valentine's Day party the day after I got twelve stitches in my foot and couldn't walk without hopping on one foot, limping, and leaning on my mom, your mom decided that the thing that would magically cure me was one of her sugar cookies. I hated sugar cookies. My mom told her this and she proceeded to argue with my mom about how that wasn't possible because  everyone loves her sugar cookies. But this is not about your mother. This is about you. You, first, snooped on my speech which was not anywhere near in plain view as I had devised a clever cloaking device of stacking books on either side of me and hunching over the desk. Not only that, but then you decided to tell me that you didn't think it could go anywhere interesting. I don't believe that I asked for your opinion.

3- Best friend (guy),
         You really ticked me off beyond all reason. I expect the snide comments from preppy girl. I've been putting up with her for thirteen years now. I can deal with it. But you, you're supposed to be my best guy friend. I don't trust most guys. I trust you though, and when you decide that you're going to take preppy girl's comments, throw them in my face, and then have the following discussion with me:

You- Why are you even doing this?
Me- I'm sick of all of the same people always having a voice. I have things to say, and nobody ever hears me. This is my chance. 
You- What do you have to say?
Me- Why would I tell you? You're already criticizing me without hearing it.
You- I'm not criticizing you for that. I'm criticizing you because you have nothing worthwhile to say, and you're going to try to say things anyway. 

When you say stuff like that, please don't wonder why I'm not talking to you in English the next period. Just because you're "taking the high road" and "aren't stooping to the level of the people who always give the speeches", doesn't mean that you can treat me like garbage and say that crap to me. You don't have to agree with me. But friends don't say stuff like that to other friends. I don't agree with you on most things, but I have never been mean to you like that. It was ridiculous.


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