Listen to Episode 36: Luke Scorziell to Rim of the World High School
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As the Valedictorian of Rim of the World High School’s graduating class of 2018, I delivered some parting words to the audience and class. In a speech with inspiration from The Office, I discuss the importance of gratitude, traveling the road untravelled, and having fun everyday.
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Show Notes (abridged script)
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Script of Address to Rim of the World High School
Thank you Mr. Swem and thank you to the amazing staff who helped orchestrate today’s graduation.
Good evening parents, esteemed faculty, and the graduating class of 2018. Congratulations, we made it!
When Mr. Swem called me in last week and told me I’d be speaking, I decided to prepare with the same dedication and intensity many of us devoted to Mr. Newcombe’s take-home essays and Mrs. Wroth’s Court Cases. I took this task very seriously. So, I spent most of the week binge-watching The Office, and then, last night, at 11 PM, I sat down to write this speech.
As a result of this rigorous mode of preparation, much of my speech is inspired by the best TV show on the planet, The Office. So today I have a few insights to share.
My first insight is the importance of having an attitude of gratitude. Appreciate the world around you. Take for example, our home of the last four years. You might ask yourself, “What has Rim given me other than a severe aversion to the early morning hours?”
But the fact is, that the people of this school have taught us lessons that could literally never be learned anywhere else. Like how to survive a bear wandering around campus.
They’ve taught us how to care for and lift up the people around us. They’ve taught us the importance of what it means to be “from the mountain.”
Complaining is always the easiest thing to do. I can think of two, no three, wait seven, okay ten—things to complain about right now. But that’s not the point, the point is whining about everything is the most efficient way to a life of bitterness and misery. It’s also the best way to repel really nice people.
True contentment comes from finding the positives in the world around us. Always be grateful in the moment. Then you will be content.
So, today I ask you to be thankful for the people and places who helped you to this milestone.
My second insight is best summarized by Michael Scott from The Office, he says, “Sometimes I’ll start a sentence and I don’t even know where it’s going. I just hope I find it along the way.”
Sometimes we need to live life like Michael. We need to take risks and forge our own paths. We need to start sentences without knowing how to finish them.
Life is full of decision points where we can either take the road untravelled or follow the crowd. My advice is to choose the former. Not all the time of course…but sometimes the best opportunities come from the most unexpected places.
From 7th to 9th grade, I spent 30 hours a week playing for a Gold level club soccer team, pursuing a dream of playing soccer in college. At the end of ninth grade, however, I realized that soccer was holding me back.
I took a big risk and quit the team, trusting God that everything would work out. Again, in the words of Michael Scott, “I knew exactly what to do. But in a much more real sense, I had no idea what to do.”
I’m happy to tell you that the risk worked out. I picked up—Mr. Wear pay attention—myriad friends and awards from debate—shoutout Rim MMS!—and high school soccer; I started a podcast called Bills with Luke Scorziell, it’s on iTunes and YOU can become a Patron starting at as little as $2 per month; and now I am standing before you the Valedictorian of the Class of 2018, and will be attending USC on a full-tuition scholarship as part of the Class of 2022.
So, yes, it all worked out just fine.
I’m not telling you to give up on something you’ve poured your heart and soul into. But don’t be afraid to follow new passions and let go of old baggage. Don’t be afraid to sand against the grain.
My third, and final, insight is on the importance of having fun. Don’t take everything so seriously. Throw a few water balloons, get chased down the lake trail, and then laugh about it. Yes, that happened and it was definitely Jason, not me.
Because someday, maybe even tomorrow, you’ll look back on today and either relish the memories you made or you’ll wish you’d made more. As Andy Bernard from The Office put it, “I wish there was a way to know you’re in the good old days before you’ve actually left them.” These, and the next few years of our lives, will be the good old days. So, let’s make the best of them.
Now I’d like to take a minute of my speech to thank a few people who helped get me here today.
Thank you to the Nerd Herd, in no particular order, Ian, Steve, Jason, Nando, Spencer, Ryan Craig, and Gauge. Thank you to Alexis for always being there to support me. Thank you to my soccer teammates and coaches. Thank you to Ethan and Tarin for an amazing four years of debate.
Thank you to all of the fantastic teachers who helped me to high school Mrs. Pallow, Mr. Zubko, Mr. Parker, Mrs. Dickson-Smith, and Mr. Powellson.
Thank you to Mr. Newcombe and Mrs. Rigney for sharing your tremendous passion for teaching with the people around you. Mr. Newcombe you will be missed.
Thank you Mrs. Stehmeier for a wonderful three years of art. I will miss our conversations. Thank you to Mr. and Mrs. Williams for putting up with me for a combined 7 years. I’m not sure how you did it. Thank you Mr. H for having a tremendously positive impact on my life. I wish you the best.
Thank you to Mrs. Longworth, Mr. Wear, Mrs. Erlanger, Mr. Turner, Mrs. Tovar, Mrs. Markovich, Dr. Crofoot, and Mrs. Wroth.
And now a quote from Mr. Whitesell. “Gracias al señor Whitesell por ser mi maestro favorito por toda mi vida.” I’m not sure what that means, but he asked me to put it in my speech, so um Gracias Señor.
A big thank you to Mrs. Dubois for everything you do. I would not be here without your commitment to my success and happiness—yes, I will find time to relax this summer.
Thank you to my godparents Scott and Shelia Craft. Thank you Grandma, Nana and GB, Grandpa and Lisa, Aunt Kristy, Travis, Taylor, Laura, and Lauren!
Last, and certainly the best, thank to my family. I would not be standing here today without the 24/7 support of my mom and dad. You are truly the best parents anyone could ask for. Thank you to Kate for always keeping me on the edge of my seat and to Rivian for pushing me back into my seat.
Finally, thank you to my Uncle, Hugh Miller. Unfortunately, he could not be here today because he is in the hospital fighting cancer, but he’s watching us live.
He graduated from here 30 years ago and taught many of us at Grandview and in the Wood-shop at MPH. He has had an enormous impact on many of our lives. So I ask you to join me in giving him a round of applause. Let’s give it up for Mr. Miller!
Thus, as we continue our journey down the sometimes treacherous path of life, remember three things: have an attitude of gratitude, travel the road untravelled, and have some fun each and everyday.
Congratulations to the Class of 2018, I expect great things from you all.
As Michael Scott put it, “Catch you guys on the flippity flip.”
Bills with Luke Scorziell does not provide investment, tax, or legal advice or recommendations. This material is solely intended for educational purposes based on publicly available information and may change at any time. Additionally, this article’s content is a summary of the Interviewee’s comments and, while rephrased by the Author, are not from the Author himself.
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