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We are the Writing 12 class of 2007, a multi-cultural group of adult students attending Pearson Adult Learning Centre. The Pearson Buzz is an online student newspaper centering on life and school activities.
Stacey's Graduation Speech

Welcome family, friends, staff and the graduating class of 2007. Thank you for joining us on this special day. I started working towards my diploma five long years ago. Iím graduating in the year that wouldíve been my 20th High School reunion. Most, if not all, of my friends graduated back in the 80ís and went on to college or university. Many enjoy successful careers now. Iíve always felt lacking or less of a finished human being because I never graduated.

It struck me moments after handing in my final assignment that I had achieved a very important personal goal. The only other time Iíd felt this sort of bursting pride was after the birth of my son. I stood there in the PALC parking lot fighting back tears. Pride is not something Iím familiar with and I found it disconcerting, to say the least.

I know if it werenít for the wonderful and diverse people I attended class with, I wouldnít have gotten through as well as I did. I walked into Writing 12, last September, one of two English as a first language students. I was intimidated. I felt sure I wouldnít be accepted and would remain a stranger among these people.

I couldnít have been more wrong. I met people from Taiwan, Mainland China, Korea, India, Moldova and Japan. All were welcoming, friendly, open, honest, comedic and sincere. A warmer group of people I have never known.

Finishing my final credit among these fabulous people became fun. I looked forward to class each week and was frustrated when for one reason or another I couldnít attend. The Pearson Adult Learning Center is the most richly multi-cultural society Iíve ever known.

We have a large graduating class this year. This is due in no small part to the amazing faculty. Brad Hyde was our Writing 12 teacher and heís great. Bradís the kind of teacher you always hope youíll get. Heís quick to help, unafraid of telling you the truth, even when it hurts, always encouraging and funny to boot.

The teachers of the PALC share a profound philosophy: ďIíll guide you in your direction, but youíll have to walk on your own two feet.Ē The educators here are one of a kind. They do a wonderful job of making the learning center a welcoming and friendly place. Every single staff member here is quick to help and you get the sincere feeling that they really do want to see you do well and succeed.

I remember how I felt when I first started this long trek towards graduation. Iím sure all of us felt daunted and it was hard to see the light at the end of the tunnel. Some of us walked through these doors new Canadians. Some of us were not able to communicate as well as we wouldíve liked and that made it seem impossible to get to where weíre standing today. We did it though, together. We had each other. Iím honoured to be graduating with you. Youíve inspired me time and time again and Iím so proud to know all of you.

Congratulations class of 2007.



Class of 2007 Articles can be found at our Features Page