Sam Crane – Graduation Address – June 9, 2021
Bridges, Opportunities and Experiences
When I first came to the Bay Area, 8 years ago, I had a fascination with bridges, especially the three bringing together Marin, San Francisco, and the East Bay. On my first birthday up here, when I turned 6, my family drove over the Bay Bridge, the Golden Gate Bridge, and the Richmond San Rafael Bridge all in one evening. At the time I could not have imagined that I would be driving over one of those bridges every day.
When I walked into Brandeis on the first day of 6th grade, I was a shy 10-year-old who only knew two other people in the middle school. I broke down in tears after the opening circle, and I remember Pamela coming over and assigning one of my new classmates as my buddy for the beginning of the day. Despite the emotional hardship of that first day, my classmates and teachers welcomed me in. I could not have known then how much of a transformational bridge this school would be for me.
Some transformational experiences that helped me thrive at Brandeis include becoming Isaac Newton in the JCAT program, building and making minor adjustments to roller coasters, inventing a parallel universe dream world, and writing propaganda designed to mirror that of Animal Farm. In addition, I learned to play the saxophone in 6th-grade symphonic band, a skill which I further developed in Jazz Band. All of these projects showed me a more engaging way to learn, and I would not have had these experiences if I had not come to Brandeis three years ago.
Another experience I would not have had without Brandeis is National History Day. This experience of competing in a nationwide competition and making it to the state round was life-changing, and I want to thank Brandeis, Mr. Friedman, and the rest of the NHD team for providing me with this collaborative opportunity.
Over the last three years, I have driven over the Richmond San Rafael Bridge 5 days a week in the carpool that always made the days brighter, like the sun reflecting off the water under the bridge. Now moving into high school, I will start a new journey, with a new bridge, with a new group of people, for the next four years. I want to thank Brandeis for helping me grow as a person and for being a transformational bridge from the shy unsure 10-year old I was 3 years ago to the person I am today. This school has made me into a better person and has left me with so many great memories to carry on with me into the next portion of my life.