Austin Polonsky – Graduation Address – June 9, 2021
During my short time here at Brandeis Marin, I have made many close friends who have helped me through tough times. This past year has been very difficult for everyone. One of the hardest things was the trips our class had to miss this year, like our Ashland trip, and, of course, the Israel trip. I personally also struggled with changes at school: in classrooms with desks far apart, not mixing cohorts, social distancing (as far as that goes with a bunch of teenagers!), not being able to see friends outside of school… there was a lot. But through this all, my friends have helped me with it.
I remember when I first came here in 7th grade: I was pretty scared. But I was immediately greeted and made friends quickly, and then expanded my circle of friendships during this year in 8th grade. I can’t think of a specific example because what I really remember is an overall feeling of being welcomed and invited in. Now I have a group that I’ve laughed with, played knockout with, danced with - and I see that we managed to have great times through these hard times. We’ve actually been all together doing the same thing at the same time, and that makes us a community. I can not imagine how hard it would have been without my friends to support me.
Not only my friends, but also my teachers made this trying year extraordinary. I’ll always remember watching Shai’s videos and eating Israeli food. I’ll also make sure to remember creating a roller coaster with minor adjustments with Mr. Seymour, debating issues with Mr. Friedman, or doing our Shabbat tradition of the Macarena with Mr. E. These are memories I will never forget. Thank you.
Thank you for helping me get this far, helping me through these tough times, and always being there for me when I needed it most. I know that the friends we made here will last, hopefully for a long time.