Mazama High School Class of 2018 Valedictorians Matt Volpe and Mariano Segura jumped onto the commencement stage to the sound of Chumbawamba singing, “I get knocked down! But I get up again! You’re never gonna keep me down!”
The pair danced until their caps fell off. The song was a lead-in for their speech to fellow seniors at Viking Field waiting to receive their diplomas Friday evening. Segura and Volpe listed 10 life lessons for the 126 graduates.
“Lesson one came from that song you just heard. Life will knock you down but you can’t stay down,” Volpe said. “Life will go on. Seize every minute of it well.”
The rest of the lessons:
n Do what you think is right and you’ll rarely be wrong.
n Always be willing to learn.
n Beware of over-education and get industry experience.
n Be involved, but be committee and don’t chase titles.
n Always be grateful for what you have.
n Listen to your elders.
n Find your intellectual equal.
n Listen quick and speak slow.
n Don’t focus on judging.
“These are ideas that apply to anyone at any age,” Segura said. “Our biggest point now is always be willing to learn.”
“Because you never know,” Volpe said, “something a couple nerds say on stage could end up changing your life.”
Segura and Volpe are two of 76 Mazama seniors headed on to a college or university in the fall. Principal Steve Morosin quoted numbers from a survey 103 seniors filled out prior to graduation.
Of those 76, 46 will attend community college and 30 will attend a four-year college or university. Twenty-seven of those going on to college are the first in their family to do so.
Eight Mazama seniors are the first members of their family to ever receive a high school diploma.
And 12 Mazama graduates will enter the armed services, one to be the sixth generation in their family.
In the survey, Morosin asks seniors for advice for underclassmen. In 2018 like in other years, seniors said the same thing. First, they wished they had worked harder, had a better attitude and taken school more seriously. Second, they wished they had been more involved in athletics, clubs and activities.
Morosin reminded the seniors graduation is not the end, nor is it a beginning.
“Graduation is only a concept, and in real life, you graduate every day,” Morosin told the Class of 2018. “Graduation is a continual process that goes on until the last day of our lives. If we can grasp that thought, we will make a difference.”