Senior Speakers – February 12
The senior speaker series continued on February 12 and featured eight members of the Class of 2018: Petch Arpornpattanapong, Taro Makihara, Arianna Saxton, Mia White, Meg Durhager, Ala Ietta, Michelle Kim, and Omar Hashw.
The series launched last year as part of Suffield’s chapel program. All seniors deliver a speech, presentation, or performance to the community. Headmaster Charlie Cahn feels the program serves as a formative experience for the seniors and another opportunity to strengthen community. These talks are supplemented by traditional chapel events including the Alumni Leadership Day program, Student Council Elections, and Kent-Davis Speaking Competition during Commencement week.
From Pathumthanee, Thailand, Petch spoke about maintaining balance in everyday life at Suffield. “SOLO is an activity that gave me balance,” he said. “Are you living a balanced life? If your answer is no I encourage you go out and find it.” From Tokyo, Japan, Taro discussed his early life of traveling and discovering identity in many different places. Born in Kazakhstan he moved to Moscow to California to Beijing and finally to Japan. A four-year senior from West Suffield, Connecticut, Arianna shared personal experiences about growth, friendship, and support. She noted, “Always be thoughtful and keep in mind your shoulder to lean on can be more valuable than you know.” Mia talked about the significance of making a positive impact on an individual. From Bermuda, Meg highlighted Suffield’s kind, friendly, and welcoming atmosphere. Reading from a selection of journal entries, Ala examined her understanding of happiness. “Being human can be extraordinarily difficult but at the same time truly incredible,” she commented. “We can find beauty in anything if we want to. Only when a person is pleased with themselves and their inner self can they really understand eternal happiness.” From Seoul, Korea, Michelle explained the impact art has on her life. “This process of finding my own passion encourages me to raise my own voice,” she said. “It never hurts to follow your heart.” A postgraduate from Klagenfurt, Austria, and recipient of the Cahn family scholarship, Omar concluded the talks by explaining why he pursued education in the United States. “I’ve learned valuable lessons through education and football,” he commented. “The most important thing I’ve learned is to keep working hard and never lose sight of your goals.”
The senior speaker series will resume on February 19. You may view all chapel talks here.