Volume 24 Issue 30 23 Sep 2016 20 Elul 5776

Kol Szenes

Kol Szenes

Szenes logoThis week in Szenes House:

  • We farewelled Year 12, 2016 on Monday morning with our traditional House breakfast. A film spanning the last six years of school was shown, produced by their Tutor, Ms Miranda Mc Mahon. The film was loaded onto a Szenes branded gold key shaped USB for each of the students. This and the Szenes House mug were presented to each of the graduating class of 2016.
  • Dean Smuskowitz, House Captain 2015-2016, spoke to the House, giving his ‘Last speech at Emanuel School’.
  • Preparations for House Music were finalised.

Dean Smuskowitz

‘Last speech I will make at Emanuel School’ – Dean Smuskowitz

Year 12 is full of lasts… Some are general like your last year at school, your last time wearing school uniform, your last year doing subjects you hate and so on and so forth. Some are a bit more personal for instance your last school excursion or your last time walking in to a certain department.

Then there are some that are extremely personal. Last Friday week was my last performance in the Millie Phillips Theatre, a week ago was my last singing lesson, today is my last time standing in front of House Assembly and this is my last speech.

This is the last speech I will ever deliver at Emanuel School as a student. Which is kind of a unique position to be in. So seldom are you doing something so specific knowing full well it is the last time you’ll ever do it. More often than not you haven’t the faintest idea whether or not what you’re doing is the last time you’ll ever do it because you don’t exist in the fourth dimension; where your whole life exists simultaneously and you know everything you’ll ever do. No, no, you and I my lucky friend exist in the third dimension, living and breathing its uncertainty every single day. And that is why we act as if nothing we ever do is the last time we’ll ever do it, because we don’t know any better. So we talk to people, go places and do things assuming that this is one of many more and continue on with your day, blissfully unaware of if you’ll do anything you did that day, ever again.

It’s kind of frightening in a way, just how little you know about the future and just how much things can change in literally one day. So in response to all the fear-provoking uncertainty in the world you’d think we, as people, would take comfort in the certainty of doing something for the last time and knowing it. However, this is untrue. Human beings – myself included – hate goodbyes. We feel so helpless and sad and get so sentimental and nostalgically look at all the times we had and start to miss it all. Even the stuff you thought you hated. I mean, how many times have you thought of a memory that you thought you would never in a million years be sad to see go, just to find yourself weeks, months or years down the line wishing you could be back there again?

You’re forced to consider all the things you never got to do or say like did you guys know Mr Bloom and I are half brothers? You probably didn’t because I started thinking about how little time I had left and realised I’d never taken the initiative to tell you. For those of you wondering if that’s true, it is. Why do you think we look so much alike? In short, we human beings have presented ourselves with yet another paradox.

We don’t like knowing and we don’t like not knowing.

We don’t like not knowing because it scares us. The mere notion that this could be it, the last time, is something that makes us very, very uneasy. We don’t like knowing, because it depresses us. It makes us feel like there’s nothing we can do about our situation, like we’re just slaves to the cruel world and we have no say in our own future.

Oh, how hard it is to be a human.

But what this paradox really reflects is not how little sense human logic makes, but rather how much just how much we hate goodbyes. Which is a lot. Why? Because: goodbye is loss and loss hurts. Trying to accept that something or someone won’t be around anymore especially when we’ve attached a feeling of happiness, love or laughter to it; is really hard.

This is because human beings are extremely emotional creatures and losing something that we associate with positive feelings is deeply distressing.

And now here I am and here we are looking at one big, distressing goodbye.

Goodbye to a place we’ve spent most of our time for 2, 3, 4, 6, 12, 15 years.

How do you say goodbye to something that is that massive, a part of your life? That you associate with so many important and unforgettable moments, memories, emotions and experiences both euphorically good and harrowingly bad. I’m both saddened and afraid. Depressed because I know it’s about to end and scared because I have no idea what happens next.

But fear not, there is a light at the end of the seemingly dark tunnel. In all this looming uncertainty lies something beautiful. Possibility. We’re about to be left with more freedom, choice and potential to do anything, go anywhere and be anyone than ever before. And that’s exciting. Who knows, maybe this is not the end; maybe it is. Maybe I’ll see you again; maybe I won’t. Germans don’t say goodbye because it’s too damn depressing instead they say ‘until we meet next’. Auf Wierdershen. I can’t offer you any answers for what’ll happen in the future, simply because I don’t know. But I can tell you that whatever happens I’ll be waiting for you on the other side, I can empathise with you when it’s your turn to do what we’re about to do and I can leave you with those two words that gaze into the abyss of uncertainty and smile.

Auf Wierdershen.

Dean Smuskowitz (12)

Quotation of the Week

Happiness is not something ready made. It comes from your own actions.

Dalai Lama

Enjoy the end of Term 3 break