The Senior speeches are a tradition at BL and a lot of hard work goes into preparing for them. So far the BL community has heard a little more than half of the senior class give their speeches. We don’t have many left as we near May 17, the last day of school for seniors.
There is a process that goes into writing the senior speeches. With the help of Theatre Arts teacher and Senior speech coordinator, Mrs. Molling, and Senior class dean and upper school english teacher, Mr. Dagenais, the seniors have a week to prepare for their speeches, however they can write their speech way beforehand if they please.
This is the Senior speech process: you are notified a week before your speech is supposed to be given. Then, you are to turn in your speech to Mr. Dagenais and Mrs. Molling five days before the day of your speech. Afterwards, you practice your speech with Mrs. Molling three days in a row before your speech. Then, you give your speech.
“We listen to the speech, we edit the speech, sometimes adding words to embellish the feeling,” said Molling. She has been doing the Senior speech program since her first year at BL in 1993. Dr. Mercer Neil was the headmaster here at BL and was the person who hired Mrs. Molling, and after she got the job Dr. Neil said that he wanted her to take on the Senior speech program. Mrs. Molling thinks that there was a time where students would just stand up and recite Hamlet’s soliloquy. “I think what Dr. Mercer Neil wanted me to do was to revitalize the senior speech program,” she said. The senior speech program is an honored program here at BL and Mrs. Molling helped to shape it how it is today.
The seniors tend to get a bit anxious about giving their senior speech, and the senior speech process can cause some people a little stress.
Senior Zach Parks gave his speech February 13, 2019. He wrote his speech four days before he gave his speech. He decided to put it off as long as he could . “I was very nervous before my speech. I could not sleep the night before,” he said. Nervousness is a big factor that plays into senior speeches. Mrs. Reid, his advisor, along with Mrs. Molling, helped to take away his anxiety of giving the speech. He found it challenging to find a topic to write about and he thought for a long time, but he is happy that he wrote about how teachers have helped him through high school.“I think my speech had a positive impact on the teachers that I wrote about, he said.”
There have been some memorable speeches this year from the class of 2019, from topics about depression, anxiety, family members, and even just their view on how life has treated them.
People say that senior speeches are one of the best things BL does and the tradition of giving senior speeches will probably never go away. As we wind down the year with only a few more speeches to go, we congratulate all the seniors on their hard work.