Speech Day 2012 (Part 2: ...today's sad face) (Bonus points if you can guess the song!!!)

(click here for Part 1)

This year's Speech Day has also left a very dark scar in my "history" (of porn sites) because I have actually made a shittily boring speech.

(Video courtesy of Philana Rose Gonzalez Santhanaraj because I forced that bitch to)

Pretty shittastic isn't it? Maybe not to the ~atas~ people who were present (sometimes boring = inspirational apparently) but if you knew me you'd know that what I did was disappointing.

Sooooo I'd like to present to everyone what my ORIGINAL valedictorian speech was meant to be like! Not even hot & crispy *LAME JOKE* but the truly authentic first draft.

But before that here is a little preface because I am pretentious:

For this draft, everything came into my mind freely and I didn't even have to crack my skull thinking of things to say, except maybe when talking about the school culture and how much it has supposedly enriched me. But even with it being the most painful part, it was tolerable.

What I had written were the true, genuine feelings I had about my experience in this school and how it has made me become the loser that I am today who simply got lucky!

Unfortunately, surprise surprise, it was met with a ~COMPLETE~ disapproval by like the entire school when I first submitted it. Not only was it too informal, but they could also envision me reading it in a "bitchy tone".

It's a formal event they said. You can't say nonsense when you're right in front of the guest of honour, the principal and the rest, they said.

On a random side note I think it's quite funny how I might give the school a bad image to the guest of honour, who so happens to be the chairman of the school's advisory committee. You'd think that by now he'd be extremely aware of what our school reputation is like!

So I came up with a second draft with about 20% of the content cut off, which were admittedly some of the things that may have been out of line. Still quite funny, I thought. Until I received another email before I could even submit it that it must at all costs be ~formal and professional~. Ain't funny no more!!!

And the result is the boring pulp that you may have heard in the video above. The only word that was not in the script was "AEROPLANE!"

On the script they also changed Miss Teo's quote from "YOU BETTER BE THE TOP SCORER AH" to "You better be the top scorer Travis!" but it didn't have the Miss Teo effect that way so I stuck with the original. 

I wanted to do a hip thrust at the end of my speech but there were small children present (what for, I have no idea) and I didn't want to be corrupting young minds.

Anyway in the end, everybody was still very dissatisfied with my submissions so I decided to screw everything and just ask them to write the damn thing however they like it to be.

Which is hilarious because they even said that I should "write it properly because this is MY speech" but whatever that is "proper" is subjective isn't it? I thought my first draft was rather proper FOR ME. Admittedly it requires some polishing and minor improvements.

But oh, you know, it's a formal event! You can't try anything that is "out of the box". You will do it their way and you will deal. You know what this happens to remind me of? Pretentious dinner parties.

The reason why I wanted to make this as interesting as I could was because I have seen and heard enough of such speeches. Boring. Cliché as fuck. Sleep-inducing.

And those 3 words describe my finalised speech perfectly! Now it's just going to be as forgettable as the rest. So much for wanting to leave a lasting impression.

I got so pekcek that I even posted on Marcus' wall telling him that I'm more than willing to let him make the speech instead. Naturally, he said no.

Omg and I forgot to mention this. I EVEN ENDED THE SPEECH WITH A QUOTE! WHICH IS, IN MY BOOKS, A REALLY SINFUL OFFENSE. This is something I will never forgive myself for. It wasn't even me who found that quote, and by Dr. fucking Seuss at that. (This one was really forced against my will and I was even told not to "make things difficult" when I protested against the quote) 

I was even told that by making it serious and all, it will be even more so inspirational for my juniors.  This came from someone who isn't even from their generation. 

On the other hand, I am from the same generation, and I know that this is going to put them to sleep more than Morgan Freeman's Go The Fuck To Sleep. I know what they want - they want something interesting and funny, which is something I tried to bring to the table because when it's funny, the point gets across much easily and interestingly. (RE: Cebu Airlines Safety Demonstration)

And at such a stressful time for them when the O Levels are coming, I think it's very important for them to laugh and de-stress.  

I know I can just risk being blacklisted from ever entering the school again, fuck them over and just bring my original speech up. But I didn't do that because I still had that tiny bit of respect for the school so I wanted to give face. Which is diminishing at the same rate as Mrs Mano saying the word "ITE" on a daily basis.

OH ENOUGH OF MYSELF, you probably just scrolled past the whole emotional crap I just typed.

(insert long good afternoon acknowledgements here)

What was my impression of Jurong West Sec before I enrolled into the school? Full of good-for-nothings and a lousy neighbourhood school that can never produce good students.

Which makes it no surprise that JWSS was actually my third choice, and I was posted to my second -- Yuan Ching Secondary School. However, when I first stepped onto the school compound to register, I felt like something was not right. I did not feel like I should be there, and without hesitation I immediately pestered my mother to appeal me into JWSS, and that irritated her a bit because it was such a last minute decision.

To this day, I never regretted that decision by one bit. My intuition was right. I do belong to this school because I have made many great friends here, and have been nurtured under the care of some of the most amazing teachers I've ever met.

Who would have thought that the boy (oh god) who has always been an average student eventually climbed up to the very top? I would have never expected myself to be here, and something that I could only have hoped for. Usually I'd just say it jokingly, but I would shrug it off in my head and just say, "That's impossible! You'll never beat (insert name here. Bonus points if you can guess who)!" Never was my aim in JWSS to be standing here through the 4 years of my life here.

Being in JWSS has not only taught me a lot of things, but also things I didn't even know about myself. (sounds sexual)

Let's look at the school's EAGLES culture - the first E, Excellence, happens to be something I've come to realise I've always had within myself. Coming from someone who was never one to excel in his studies, or rather anything in life, in his early secondary school years, how else would I have gotten to where I was today? It's surprising, really, the things that a little bit of determination can make you do. Be it achieving a high-score of 5.6 million on Temple Run or shedding 14kg within 1 year.(voms your noms) (JUST KIDDING BULIMIA IS BAD FOR YOU OK)

But I can't entirely credit my achievements to myself alone. I also have my environment to thank. The school has proven to me as a place that enables me to study in peace without unnecessary distractions, as well as the motivation given to me by my teachers. Studying in this school has truly made me a stronger person, be it from enabling me to handle truckloads of pressure and stress or from enabling me to pick myself up after I have fallen down. Not physically, though, because I have yet to pass my 2.4km for NAPFA.

The school has not only made me excel academically but also given me ample opportunities to learn outside of school. Attending the Story Challenge competition in 2010 and the Singapore Secondary School Debating Championships in 2011, among other events, have proved to be an eye-opening experience meeting with students my age from all over the island, and it humbles me knowing that looking at the bigger picture, I am really nothing compared to many brilliant students out there. Jealous? Yes I was, but instead of whining in a corner I made efforts to improve myself and make sure that one day, I won't feel inferior beside them.

Being in the Red Cross Youth seemed like a complete waste of time when I was in Secondary 1. I'll be frank. But at the end of it all, after working hard to eventually become a Warrant Officer, my Red Cross Journey became an experience that I will never regret nor forget. It has taught me about leadership and compassion through activities from interacting with other students which, by the way, made me realise that in this little island, there could be people who have attitudes that were worse off than mine. How eye-opening!

Now here comes the part where some teachers must be looking forward to! I am really thankful of every single teacher who has taught me the past 4 years, and I'm not even trying to be condescending. Thank you, my form teachers from Sec 1 -- Ms C. Wong, Ms Nadira who isn't here anymore, Ms F.Teo, Mr C SY and Ms Rachel Teo, for putting up with all of my nonsense.

(The names must censor a bit because teachers loooove to use Google a lot)

I would also like to take the time to thank my Maths teacher, Ms Ho, who I dub as the holy Maths Goddess. She is truly an inspirational teacher who I really look up to. She has really worked hard to put not just me but the rest of the class under her at where we are right now.

I'd also like to thank her best friend, Mdm Lock, whom I will always remember her by her awesome fashion and wise words - "You must remember this by heart!" and "Where is my microphone?!".

The school is also now devoid of 3 extraordinary teachers who I respect a lot. Fortunately, they are here today (subject to change) and they are none other than Mrs S Tan, Ms Az and Mdm Ruby. (This is where I will look around to find them and say HI!!!!)

Thank you, Mrs Tan, for being the best youth officer in Red Cross ever. Although I was scared of you, Ms Az, at first, I have come to realise that you are one of the nicest teachers I have ever known. Lastly, Mdm Ruby, the Humanities extraordinare, thank you so much for trusting me as your Geography rep for 1 year and constantly reminding me that I cannot be a blur toad.

Last but not least, I have none other than Miss Rachel Teo to thank for being one of the best form teachers I have ever had. Never acting reserved in front of her students, she is just like a friend with the class. She has always been honest with everyone and I treat her the same way as well, like commenting on the hideous dresses she loves to wear and she incessantly telling me many things that are too mean for me to even remember. She's always had trust and faith in me which I'll always be thankful for although she likes to deny a lot of things. I'm especially thankful for the motivation she has given me, saying things like "Pride comes before a fall…" and "YOU BETTER BE THE TOP SCORER AH!"

I can't possibly thank every teacher who has taught me, but just like Miss Teo, trust me when I say that all of you made a significant contribution to where I stand today, as well as helping the graduating batch of 2011.

This is my advice to juniors who feel that they are not good enough. I disagree that not being good in academics is equivalent to being useless. It is not true that topping the school means I am the best. In fact, I disagree - I feel like I am the worst top scorer the school has ever produced. I am a rude person who hurls vulgarities on a regular basis and I make fun of people I don't like behind their backs. So don't feel discouraged because intelligence shouldn't be judged by how a fish climbs a tree!

Unlike many other cliché speeches, I will not end this off with a quote. I will not only end this by asking those who have been sleeping throughout my entire speech to wake up, but I will also end this speech off by saying that one thing that really motivated me to work this hard to be where I'm standing today. The Speech Day buffet which I have never gotten the chance to enjoy this past 4 years. And now… I'LL BE GETTING IT!

But oh wait… maybe I will end this off with a quote. A quote from one of my favourite TV shows, Modern Family, from Alex's valedictorian speech. "Don't stop believing, and let's get this party started!" Thank you.
So how? You loike? You don't loike? Whatever, because I think it's pretty kick ass. This is also the cheesiest that I can ever get.

On a closing note, I'd still like to thank those who attended the event and actually liked my speech (I'm talking to all 3 of you!) and thank those who actually bothered to read this post from top to bottom.

And to the top scorers / valedictorians of the future years of JWSS... TRUST ME, YOU WILL NEVER WANT TO GO THROUGH THIS SHIT, SO BE PREPARED

A teacher in JWSS once said "If you want to make a difference, do something different," and here I am, denied the chance of doing that. 

Talk is cheap, huh?

p/s. You know what's disappointing though? When the principal came up to me afterwards, telling me how Marcus and I should have gone to a JC instead, with his main point of argument being that "it's only 2 years instead of 3", placing more emphasis over it than how he thinks that we can supposedly do well for A Levels. Sigh, he can do so much better than that.

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