Over the past four years, Cardinal Gibbons has come to be a place of family and comfort to me. As a member of the Class of 2010, seeing that I may just be one of the last people to graduate from the school, I now truly appreciate everything the place has been to me.
It was earlier this school year, at the Thanksgiving assembly, that I gave a speech to the whole school on the virtue of (you guessed it) thanksgiving. Writing that speech taught me a lot about the very topic. I learned that we take far too much for granted in our lives until we really stop and think about it. Gibbons has been the same way for me.
My speech included a portion where I discussed losing my grandmother and how blessed I had been to have her. We all expect to lose our grandparents, though. Losing my school has affected me so much more out of such unexpected loss, but that doesn’t take away the great blessings I’ve received from my time at Gibbons.
The greatest thing about Gibbons to me has always been its small size and community atmosphere. I know everyone in my class and a rather good number of the students in the other classes. Never can I forget the other part of our community, the teachers and staff. I have always loved how I can walk into the rooms of my teachers after school if I need help, if there are concerns, or if I just want to talk.
Perhaps even more important to making me who I am today is the fact that there is so much diversity at Gibbons. I’m sorry to be so blunt but having African American friends along with white friends has probably made me far less discriminatory than I would have been otherwise. I’ve met awesome people from both races, and when that happens you can’t help but be accepting.
I have wanted to be a teacher since the second grade. Gibbons has been so good to me that it became my dream to come back and teach at Gibbons. I loved the thought of returning to the community, instilling in children the same values and life lessons I learned, and working with some of the men and women who made me into a better person in life.
I can’t express how important the teachers have been to my experience at Gibbons. I surely could have made friends anywhere, but the teachers have always been so open and caring about each individual student. That truly impresses me, sets a standard for me, and will stay with me all of my life.
In the end, I know how lucky I am to graduate from a place like Cardinal Gibbons. I may never have agreed with Jim Malone’s, “The only reason anyone goes to Mount Saint Joe is because they can’t get into Cardinal Gibbons,” but I know that I got so much out of this school and that it would be a wonderful experience for anyone, on par with if not better than any other school a boy can pick.