P-Cubed Speech

December 9, 2020

Theme: Year in Review - 2020

2020, what a year it has been. From the murder hornets to the coronavirus, we've had a wild ride over the past 11 months. Speaking of murder hornets, I'm still waiting for the outbreak to happen. I've only seen one, and that was in my English class earlier this fall. But where did it all start?

2020 is the year after 2019, 2021 comes after 2020, and no math will prove that 2020 felt way longer than one year. Unless there's a secret month after December that we don't know about.

2019 was a great year. With no known knowledge of a potential pandemic for the majority of the year, great things were accomplished. Saint John's announced plans to open a middle school division on April 30, and Ben Chase started giving speeches at every P-Cubed since January 24.

This speech isn't about 2019, it's about 2020.

Just like everyone else did, I started 2020 off continuing the day-to-day life of 2019, while thinking that 2020 was cool because it was a new decade, and didn't have a "teen" at the end of it.

January and February were normal months, where I had continued my P-Cubed leadership during my sophomore year at Saint John's. At the end of 2019, I was recognized as a living example of compassion, one of the five Xaverian values you probably heard about during Founder's Week last week. I'm sorry for our freshmen and transfer students, because Founder's Week is my favorite week to be a Saint John's Pioneer, and 2020 has forced the plans to be changed. I was recognized as being compassionate through my dedication to leadership and inspiring members of the classes of 2019 through 2023, at the time of recognition.

Once March came, things changed real fast. On March 1, which was a Sunday, it was a normal day for me, after the success of a video me and a friend made for extra credit. By March 31, a Tuesday, everything had changed. We were learning online and every non-essential business had been closed.

As we fought the pandemic through the spring and summer, there was hope that 2020 could rebound and be back to normal by the fall. Well here I am in December and this is April all over again.

In the fall, when schools reopened, there was joy throughout the Saint John's community, for that we could all be back together again for the first time since March 13. Saint John's officially reopened and welcomed back all students on September 10. Besides the one minor shut down recently, we have continued to stay open and efficiently learn and teach with the changes of 2020. P-Cubed was able to come back on October 7 in person, and that night was amazing for everyone who attended.

There are just some things that 2020 could not stop, such as P-Cubed and my dedication to being a P-Cubed leader. I'm now in my third school year of being a leader, and I will keep going strong to lead and inspire current and future students, those being the classes of 2021 through 2027, before I depart Saint John's in May 2022.

Like previous years, 2020 still had its memorable days. One that comes to many of us here at Saint John's is March 13. For our freshmen, the exact date of this memory could have been earlier or later, depending on your previous school. March 13 was our last day of school before everything shut down. I vividly remember last period that day. I had resource, a free period to do whatever, commonly used to do last minute homework or studying. However, that last period on a Friday was a serious discussion between me and some friends about the future of school. At that time, there were some schools that had closed for March 13, and then continued the closure for an additional two weeks, with a planned return on March 30. Me and my friends had believed that we would be shut down for one or two weeks. Nobody knew that the closure would extend into and through May, the end of our school year.

On a more positive note, I remember July 25, the day that me and my mom drove up to Maine together, where my family had stayed one week for a vacation. I also had a great birthday this year on October 17, where I had completed a corn maze near my home in [redacted].

However, the troubles of 2020 won't stop once January 1, 2021 hits. We'll most likely still have a raging pandemic in the United States, and maybe even still in Massachusetts. As we have done since the spring, please keep social distancing and wearing your mask. It will help all of us return to normal as soon as possible.

Even with this pandemic, don't be super afraid to do anything new, just make sure you stay safe while doing so. In the Before Times of 2019, things were better with others. I became a P-Cubed leader through the inspiration of others, and my friends have shown interest in leadership through my inspiration, as we are all the future leaders of Saint John's and beyond. We are still here to help you through Saint John's, whether you are a freshman, sophomore, junior, or even a senior, there is someone here that genuinely cares about you and your success. The students and teachers do a great job making sure everyone is included in numerous activities and understanding the material we learn in class.

This is already three pages long, and if you think that's long, I've written a four page speech before, single spaced.

Thank you, and stay safe. We hope to see each other again on January 20 for the next P-Cubed.