Letter: A letter to the Class of 2021

Posted 6/16/21

Years ago at a family wedding, my uncle read an excerpt from Robert Fulghum’s “All I Ever Really Needed to Know, I Learned in Kindergarten.” I liked it so much I got the poster and …

This item is available in full to subscribers.

Please log in to continue

Log in

Not a subscriber?


Start a Subscription

Sign up to start a subscription today! Click here to see your options.

Purchase a day pass

Purchase 24 hours of website access for $2. Click here to continue

Day pass subscribers

Are you a day pass subscriber who needs to log in? Click here to continue.


Letter: A letter to the Class of 2021

Posted

Years ago at a family wedding, my uncle read an excerpt from Robert Fulghum’s “All I Ever Really Needed to Know, I Learned in Kindergarten.” I liked it so much I got the poster and hung it on my wall.

It was filled with lovely platitudes and lessons that matter always, and have nothing to do with the careers you choose, the money you make, or the success you achieve.

Share Everything

Play Fair

Don’t Hit Anyone

Put Things Back Where You Found Them

Clean Up Your Own Mess

Wash Your Hands

WASH. YOUR. HANDS. Boy, did we struggle with that one, eh?

We adults haven’t always done a great job of modeling these things for you. We’ve behaved badly at times — from how we treat the planet, to how we treat one another. While not our finest hour, I have faith that you will do it better. You will flip the script and you will make us proud.

In the past 15 months, you’ve had your share of adversity, loss and disappointment. You each had a vision for your senior year. I imagine it didn’t pan out quite exactly as you expected.

What’s that quote? When man plans, God laughs. Perhaps the greatest lesson you’ve learned is that life is mostly written in pencil. The universe wrote a different ending to this chapter of your stories, but the good news is that you’re ready for whatever is on the next page.

You have achieved master class levels of resilience. You pivoted and pivoted again. You went with the flow and you played by the rules. You have been good sports despite not knowing when or how this would all end.

And here we are at the end. Or maybe just the beginning.

You. Are. Graduates.

In between the biggest adventures yet to come, keep track of the little things too. If the time we spent trapped together last year seemed painful and frivolous, I promise as your parents that even at its worst, it was a gift to be together.

The freedom to venture back out in the world will make even ordinary moments feel special. 

Dock jumping.

Pick up basketball in the park.

A 4th of July concert.

Nights under the Mt. Hope Bridge.

Be aware of wonder!

Frida Kahlo once said, “At the end of the day, we can endure much more than we think we can.”

You are living proof. Congratulations, Mt. Hope High School Class of 2021.

Kirsten DiChiappari
Bristol

2021 by East Bay Newspapers

Barrington · Bristol · East Providence · Little Compton · Portsmouth · Tiverton · Warren · Westport
Meet our staff
Jim McGaw

A lifelong Portsmouth resident, Jim graduated from Portsmouth High School in 1982 and earned a journalism degree from the University of Rhode Island in 1986. He's worked two different stints at East Bay Newspapers, for a total of 18 years with the company so far. When not running all over town bringing you the news from Portsmouth, Jim listens to lots and lots and lots of music, watches obscure silent films from the '20s and usually has three books going at once. He also loves to cook crazy New Orleans dishes for his wife of 25 years, Michelle, and their two sons, Jake and Max.