Hills uses music to describe class

Staff Writer
Geneseo Republic
Jim Hills delivers a speech near the end of the graduation ceremony on Sunday, May 24, 2009.

?Editor’s note: Senior Jim Hills, president of the class and of Student Council, gave the farewell speech at graduation on Sunday, May 24, at Orion High School. His speech is reprinted below.

As I sat down to write this speech, I thought about our great Class of 2009 here in Orion and tried to come up with something we all have in common.

Sports are popular, but not with everyone. We all have homework, but who wants to hear a speech about homework?

Then I thought, what about music? Whether you play in the band, sing in the choir or just love listening to your iPod, you probably enjoy music. I don’t think I’ve ever met someone who didn’t. 

So today for my farewell, I’m going to incorporate song titles from various kinds of music into the story of the Orion Class of 2009.

Thirteen years ago, we were all brought to kindergarten by our parents, who were at the time thinking, “There’s no way this ‘Sweet Child O’ Mine’ can already be going to school.”

We quickly made friends with each other and learned our “ABCs” and 123s. Q married U, and before we knew it, we were ready to “Move Along.”

In first grade, we learned some sign language, and second grade was all about the cursive.

Then third grade came and went, with the most memorable part being the “Cyclone.” Who can forget the fear we shared that day or the “Purple Haze” in the sky?

But we got lucky and survived the frightening tornado to move into fourth grade, which just flew by.

Next came fifth grade, when we went to JA Exchange City, which was where we got our first exposure to what the “Real World” is like. 

After that experience, we started asking ourselves the question, “What do I want to be ‘When I Grow Up’?”

All of us answered that question a little differently. Some said “Rocket Man.” Others said “Rock Star.” Still others wanted to run their own business “Like a Boss.” 

But we couldn’t look too far ahead, as we were just about to enter middle school and still had a lot of growing up to do. 

And we realized that right away when we walked through the front doors into “A Whole New

World.” We had locker combos and class schedules that needed to be memorized, and it was a little “Hard to Handle.”

I think “Welcome to the Jungle” is a good description of our feelings at the beginning of sixth grade. But we made it through that year also, and went on to seventh grade in a new building. 

That year, we had an assembly in which a SWAT team came in and showed us their line of work.

Who can forget when their police canines were set loose in the halls, and we all wondered,

“Who Let the Dogs Out?”

Okay, that last part never happened. I just wanted to use that song.

Then eighth grade came and went, and we were already saying “Bye, Bye, Bye” to the middle school and hello to high school.

During freshman year, we were the little guys once again but were finally on the big stage. 

We got our first taste of high school sports, activities and events. It wasn’t the “Same Old Song and Dance” as middle school.

Homecoming Week and especially Spirit Day were as “Cold as Ice,” but we had a blast anyway. 

And along with high school, our schedules got busier, and it seemed like we were doing things “Eight Days a Week.”

The best part of sophomore year was probably the fact that no one was calling us “stupid freshies” anymore, and we got to call other people stupid freshies.

That may not seem like much to some of you, but “The Impression That I Got” is that that’s a pretty big deal.

Of course, after sophomore year came junior year, and we were suddenly upperclassmen. And upperclassmen get to participate in one of high school’s most memorable events: prom.

All of that dancing and the games at After Prom were “Nothin’ But a Good Time.”

Then seemingly right after we left middle school, we were the big men on campus: seniors. “It’s a Long Way to the Top,” but we finally made it.

From building the bonfire, to all of the senior nights for various sports, to our awesome senior prom, to our senior trip just last week to Great America, it was a lot of “Fun, Fun, Fun.”

We’ve been on “The Final Countdown” for awhile now, and graduation day is finally here. We’ve made it “Through the Fire and Flames,” and “School’s Out” for the summer. It’s been a “Slow Ride,” but it’s been a great time. 

All of these years we’ve shared, but each one of us has individual memories that haven’t been experienced by everyone. It’s “All the Small Things” that will stick in our minds for years to come.

The inside jokes, the nights spent playing video games for hours on end, and the road trips all over the place can never be forgotten. But now it’s time for us to go our separate ways in this world.

To all of the family and friends who have seen “How Far We’ve Come,” thank you for always being there for us. Whether it was telling us to “Carry On, Wayward Son” (or daughter) when we got fed up with schoolwork, or making sure that we “Don’t Stop Believin’” when the going gets tough.

To the world that we are going into, you better look out for this Orion Class of 2009. “I’m a Believer” that we have the potential to turn this world upside down. “You Ain’t Seen Nothin’ Yet.”

But most importantly, to my fellow graduates: Wherever you go and whatever you do, never forget the times we’ve spent together here in the “Small Town” of Orion that we call home. 

Whether life takes you to medical school and you learn “How to Save a Life,” or you become an

“All Star” in the Major Leagues, never forget.

If you put on your “Poker Face” and go to Vegas to play Texas Hold ’Em, or decide to raise cattle in “Sweet Home Alabama,” never forget.

Whatever you do, do it to the best of your ability. You’re capable of anything, and I know that

“You Can Have Whatever You Like.”

Thank you.