An Illusionary Speech Night

Apologies for the lack of posts recently.

Last night was Barker’s speech night, and my last speech night.

Speech night has become known for the exhaustive prize list, Year 12 antics during the prize giving, and of course the Headmaster’s (herein referred to as K) speech.

What we have come to love about K’s speech is the length (purported to have been 40 minutes one year, but this year’s was 21 minutes long), the content (has ranged from famous men, to Canadian mountains), and the relevance to Barker ways (interpretations can vary). The evening and the day after speech night the intertubes are abuzz about the choice of subject, the relevancy and overall, whether the speech was good or not!

(For the record, this year’s speech was 21 minutes long which focused on three influential men: Galileo Galilei, Abraham Lincoln and Charles Darwin and their perseverance to reach their goals. The relevance (as interpreted by some people) was questionable.)

Next on the list, Year 12 antics. This year’s Year 12 has been very supportive of each other, as was evident in the various call outs during the prize giving. Most memorable was Willo’s standing ovation, for his magnificent achievements. There were a few others, including the frenzied call out for Jono Chung’s prizes and Jono Mui’s additional handshake.

Now I’ll talk about why I’ve called this an Illusionary Speech Night (for Year 12s).

Firstly, the prize winners are selected on the performance in the school assessments which count for 50% of the final HSC mark. While these people are to be congratulated, and for some will represent what they achieved in the written Board of Studies exams, not everyone who wins on speech night will ‘win’ in their HSC results. To ‘win’ is to win in the relative sense, which means it is different for each person.

The real ‘prize’ will be one’s individual HSC results, which, at time of writing, will be released in one week. Only then will one know whether they have won or not.

Looking down the track, the real ‘prize’ will be the contribution one makes to this changing world. The real ‘prize’ will be the consequences, good or bad, of the path that one takes. The real ‘prize’ will be the satisfaction that you will have gained from making a difference, whether officially recognised or not.

It was good seeing you all again.

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