The weather was pleasant and sunny and the mood joyful and proud as students, faculty, staff, alumni/ae, family, and friends came together under the tent to celebrate as a community on June 7 for the 133rd commencement exercises at The Cambridge School of Weston.
This year also marked the final graduation for Head of School Jane Moulding, who drew on the words of poet Andrienne Rich and her 1978-1981 collection titled A Wild Patience Has Taken Me This Far, to open her remarks. She went on to reference poets Arundhati Roy and Juan Ramón Jiménez, and, in typical Jane fashion, made sure to quote two of her favorite films: My Cousin Vinny and Moonstruck.
“How many times have members of this class made us sit up and listen during their tenure here at CSW?” Jane asked as she expressed her great hope for and belief in this upcoming generation of scholars. “What a privilege for us all to stand, on the brink of hope, believing in the power of youth to lead us forward, and whenever we can, give way to your energy, focus, and ‘wild patience.’”
The Class of 2019 elected math teacher and department chair Marvin Gutierrez and English teacher Samantha Simpson to offer commencement addresses this year. Marvin began by comically expressing his shock at being selected, asking, “Do you have any idea how hard it is for me to keep my comments to myself? Especially here at CSW? And now you all have somehow managed to put me in a situation where I have the mic? And you did this on your special day?” His final advice to students was as follows: “1. Give yourself time to gain political and economic capital; Establish yourself and then act as needed; 2. Not all tears have equal value; 3. Learn to live with contradictions; and 4. You will be judged on how well you can hold a door.”
In her address, Samantha spoke to the power of the “multiverse,” or the idea that “every time you make a choice, any choice, you create a universe in which you made the other choice,” citing examples from Sylvia Plath’s The Bell Jar, Jorge Luis Borges’s “The Garden of Forking Paths,” and, of course, the film Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse. “You can choose and revel in the fact that you have the power to create new universes and to imagine them,” Samantha shared.
The first student speaker was Tommy Shenefield ’19, who spoke to the effects of change on the individual and on the community. “If you view change as a series of massive, horribly important events — graduations, marriages, funerals — then the very idea of change can seem unbearable,” he said. “But changes are much more than these events that you receive fancy invitations in the mail for. You change every time you learn something new, every time you dye your hair a different color, every time you make a new friend, every time you sneeze. I suppose that the learning and friend-making has a greater impact than the sneezing, but still — everything we do changes us, even if it is in a minuscule way.”
The final speaker of the day was Malik Gomes Cruz ’19. In his remarks, Malik shared a personal and heartfelt thank you note to the CSW community, calling out those who had had an especially meaningful impact on him. “I have learned an immense amount from each member of this community, and without them, I wouldn’t be the person I am today,” he shared. “CSW has taught me to be multifaceted, open-minded, curious, and a critical thinker by questioning the world around me and accepting failure by using it as motivation.”
Later, science teacher Marilyn DelDonno and facilities staff member Jim Cook read names, as Jane Reynolds (English/Residential Life), Tom Evans (Visual Arts), Ryan Jacobs (History), Nailah Randall-Bellinger (Dance), Ben Ibbetson (Languages), Jermaine Thibodeaux (History), LeeAnn Brash (Mathematics), Patrick Foley (History), Taposhi Biswas (Science), and Todd Bartel (Visual Arts) handed out diplomas.
Congratulations to the Class of 2019! We are so proud of you.