Fire and Rain: Our High School Experience

Below is the text of the touching commencemnt address given by NHS senior Ben Broscheid.

You can watch the video of the speech by clicking here. 


Good evening. I have to be honest that it feels weird for me to be standing here knowing that this could very well be the last time that all of us are in the same room together.  Wow. This is a feeling I wasn’t sure I would when I first walked into Nordonia High School 4 years ago. 

Since that time, we have all grown and changed.  When I walked into the high school as a freshman I stood 6’4”—and now I am leaving Nordonia standing 6’9”.  I went from being a lanky, goofy, tall freshman to an even lankier, taller, goofier senior.  Okay—maybe that wasn’t the best example to use. But you get the point; we’ve all grown up during our Nordonia High School experience. 

The content and “book knowledge” we learned in our courses was a given; we knew that our teachers were going to connect with us in wonderful ways to help us master the material. 

And that leads me to my first point: what’s amazing about Nordonia is the people.    As I stand here, I’m not sad about never walking the halls as a student again. No, I’m sad because I won’t get to continue to be around all of you. It is the Nordonia staff, parents, and other community members who have helped shape me—along with everyone sitting here—that I will miss seeing each day. 

It’s crazy to say, but I wish I could continue my journey with all of you—and we could continue for another 18 years.  But, we all know that is not going to happen because that’s not the way life goes. 

Growing up, we’ve all seen in movies or on TV what high school looks like. Or, if we were really lucky, we got to hear about high school from older family members or friends through their stories and experiences. 

Here’s my second point: Ladies and gentleman of the class of 2018—Now it’s our turn to tell our high school stories.  Our high school experience is now in the past. Now, we get to tell the stories about classmates, about acing that impossible test, and the teachers we had really cared about us—even when we were hard on ourselves.  

Of course, wrapped in those moments, we get to tell the stories about no matter how late you were Mrs. McMichael would greet you with a kind smile and no detention slip. We get to share the memories of those uncontrollable laughs that you couldn’t stop until you went into the hallway.  (Yes Mrs. Miller that was Drew and I and I’m sorry but without moments like that I wouldn’t have the best friend I now have so thank you for putting up with us.) And one of my favorite memories, fist bumping with Mr. Broman and Mr. Knight in the hallway just because that’s the way we did it at Nordonia.  Those are just a sampling of the small moments we experienced during our daily lives at Nordonia. 

As far as bigger moments: We get to tell the stories of how all of us—as a scared little freshman body—went and watched our football team go all the way to the state championship game.  We get to tell the stories of some amazing lip syncs—and Finally, finally winning spirit week as seniors.  And, of course, we get to tell the stories of snow days that were—or should have been [thanks Dr. Clark]. 

They’ll all just be stories from here on out, but stories are powerful. 

These stories will be reflective moments we will think fondly about our times here. Sure, our stories contain plenty of ups and downs throughout our four years but that’s life and we can always learn from them. 

My third and final point is we need to realize that we will now be writing the stories of our futures, so we need to go out there and make them good ones.

Many of you know that I love music and I think the chorus to James Taylors’ “Fire and Rain” describes the variety of our days perfectly for all of us,

            "I've seen fire and I've seen rain.

            I've seen sunny days that i thought would never end.

            I've seen lonely times when i could not find a friend,

            but I always thought that I'd see you again." 

I hope that I’ll get to see each of you again, but if not, tell the stories of our time at Nordonia, but more than anything,  make sure you use what we’ve learned from all the great stories in your future and everything is going be just alright.  

Nordonia class of 2018; I wish you all the best. Thank you for all the stories and good night

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