Thursday, May 31, 2012


We remember our own milestones:  high school graduation, getting engaged, having a child.

And then we get to experience our children's milestones.  First foods-in Charlie's case it was strained squash.  He loved it.  First steps, no more diapers, first words.

Suddenly you are holding his hand as you walk to the bus stop for the first day of kindergarten, and he pulls away from you and runs, so eager to start a new adventure.

Time fast forwards, and he is walking to the grocery store by himself, and starting middle school.

I woke up this morning knowing today would be another milestone, and that I better bring a lot of tissues.

We didn't celebrate the end of 8th grade when I was in school, it was simply the end of another year.  But today, many schools have 8th grade ceremonies and receptions, to honor the achievement of completing middle school.  Charlie's school has their ceremony today, in the church next to their school, followed by a reception.  He informed me YESTERDAY morning that he planned to wear a SUIT.  Running around last night buying pants, shirt and dress shoes, I convinced him that a coat and tie would be just fine.

So last night was spent hemming and pressing, seeing him emerge from his room this morning it was worth it.

How in the world did the time fly this fast?

They had a competition to see who would deliver the graduations speeches at the ceremony.  Charlie had been working on his for a while, the night before he was to give it I asked if I could read it, or if he would like to practice.  I was already in bed, so he came upstairs and sat on the corner of my bed and read it to me.  I thought back to the nights when he was a little boy, and I would sit by his side, on his bed, and tell him his 'day story'.  And that night, he was telling me his own story.

I asked him if I could please share it with you, and he agreed.

Three years. Three amazing wonderful years. And each one of those years, happened here at

TCA. My name is Charlie Pohl, and whenever I hear the letters T,C, and A all I can think of is every

single thing, both good and bad that happened to me over the past 3 years. But let's start from the

beginning, way back on September 2, 2009, my first day here at TCA.. Most of that day is now a blur

to me, but I met two people that day, that without them, I don't know if I would be the same person

talking to you right now. The first person I met was a gentleman by the name of Jock Tuttle. Little did I

know then that he would be one of my best friends throughout my entire TCA career. During that same

class I also met another wonderful person, Carli Weber. Instant friends. Making two new friends within

45 minutes of being at a new school, I knew this was the right place for me. I also met so many other

cool people over the years who have quite honestly changed me. After that first day of school, I was no

longer worried. I just couldn't wait for school the next day. Once the year ended all I could think of was

what new people I would meet and what new memories I would make next year .

7th grade was supposedly the hardest year at TCA and it certainly was more difficult than 6th

grade. 7th grade was such a great year, by this point most everyone knew the routines and what was

expected of them, so while it got harder, it also got easier at the same time. You learned from last year’s

mistakes and let them be your greatest teacher. There were many new faces around the building, one in

particular that stood out to me. Savon Reetz. The only person I have ever met that has one hand and a

great personality to go with it.  I  have so many amazing memories with him, I simply couldn’t ask for a

better friend. He is one of the most fun and influential people that have been a part of my life. He 

reminds me that no no matter what obstacles you face in life, you should never give up.

I try and apply that mentality to everything I do now even if I’m pretty sure it’s gonna 

fail but it usually

ends up working. The rest of the year was a learning experience for me about what things did and didn't

work for me and how I could make the next year even better.

8th grade, the big finale. A time to finish what you started. Coming in on the first day of school

was a wonderful reunion, getting to see everyone again after 3 months was simply delightful. The main

reason I love this school so much, is the people. Everyone is so nice and accepting. There are rarely any

fights between us that last past 4:40. I never thought a school year would go by fast, but it did. I

honestly have trouble remembering if some things happened this year or last year. Time flies when

you’re having fun.

Now when I look back to that first day in sixth grade, it seems like it was a month ago, not 3

years. I guarantee I would not be the same person I am today without this school, mainly because of the

people. I just wanted to thank everyone in this entire 8th grade class for everything they’ve done over

however long they’ve been here. All of you are the best group of people I have ever been around in my

life, and whether you know it or not you have helped me in one way or another. There is no greater gift

in life that I could of asked from you. Also I wanted to thank my teachers for sticking with me through

the thick of it. In particular, Ms.Schneck, who helped steer me in the right direction when I was getting off

course.  This speech is supposed to sum up my career here and be my goodbye. But it's impossible

to say goodbye to everything and everyone that has helped me so much over the years in one speech.

The word goodbye has two words which generally aren't associated with each other, good and bye. I

don't think i've ever said goodbye and felt happy afterwards. But for the first time in my life, I can say

goodbye and be happy. Be happy about everything that I've learned, be happy about everything that

I've experienced, be happy about the fact that I can look back to the day where I spilled milk all over

my pants in 6th grade and laugh about it. Be happy about how I now feel prepared to tackle high school

and everything after that.

The only part to be sad about is that I will be leaving most of my friends this years, not all but most.

There is a quote by Charles Caleb Colton that describes exactly how I feel right now “True friendship

is like sound health; the value of it is seldom known until it is lost.”

Even though we’ll be able to communicate on facebook and whatnot, It will never be the same as it is

right now. But at least we have all these memories to look back on and remind ourselves how amazing

this whole time has been.

Thank you  

Oh, that's my boy. Or should I say, young man. Off to pack a bunch of tissues into my handbag.


  1. That was amazing! What a great speech and a big milestone. I wish him a wonderful summer and all the best in high school.

  2. That is an amazing speech! I'm completely impressed that he will be delivering it the entire 8th grade and family. Congratulations to him! And congrats to you for raising such a cool son!

    1. Believe it or not, his speech was not chosen! The ones that were, which I got to cry through yesterday, were incredible.

      Congrats to you and yours as well!

  3. That is a GREAT speech!

    I am also amused that I wrote a vaguely similar post today not having read this yet. I suppose it is in fact that season. The time for graduations. For stories of hope for the future and remembrance of the past.

  4. My word - where did that little boy go? Congrats to Charlie. He will be amazing at Highland!


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