The Dial

Junior First Friday Speeches

Students and faculty gather in the chapel to hear the junior speeches. During First Friday, the junior class was taught how to create and carry out an effective speech.

Students and faculty gather in the chapel to hear the junior speeches. During First Friday, the junior class was taught how to create and carry out an effective speech.

Photo credit: Dial Staff

Photo credit: Dial Staff

Students and faculty gather in the chapel to hear the junior speeches. During First Friday, the junior class was taught how to create and carry out an effective speech.

By Dylan Wade, Staff Writer

The Junior class spent their First Friday writing personal speeches which were later presented in the chapel. The speeches were first read to small groups of students who voted for their favorite, and the winning speeches were performed to the whole grade. The speeches reflected the wide variety of personalities in the 11th grade with topics ranging from stories about old friends, to comical stories about body parts. While very different, Zaya Gooding and Kyle Spencer wrote speeches that stood out to the students.


By: Zaya Gooding

Imagine, every day since the day you were born, seeing people doing and being something on TV, in movies, and in public, being represented as the norm. You see this thing everywhere. You’re supposed to be this thing, and there’s nothing wrong with it because everyone is this thing. And you’re fine with that. Until you’re not. Imagine, somewhere down the road, realizing you’re not this thing. That was my life.

Sometime in December of 2014, in the middle of my 8th grade Spanish class, I realized I didn’t like boys the way most girls did. And instead, for some weird reason, I liked girls that was. I’ll admit, that was a weird place to figure something like that out. I didn’t want to say the word. I didn’t want me to know, anyone to know that I was one of them, a lesbian. I hated saying that word so much. It made it real, it officiated the fact that I wasn’t who I was supposed to be. I wasn’t what everyone had planned for me. And I didn’t know anyone else like me who was openly LGBTQ+. I barely knew that acronym. And so that’s what it was. Surrounded by nothing but people that were known to be straight at the time, I was silenced. I was alone, because there was something wrong with me.

As some of you might now, I am not great at keeping secrets, especially when at every sleepover with my friends they would talk about boys and go around saying who they had a crush on. Before I made the ~big realization~ I thought I just wasn’t boy crazy or whatever, like all these other girls, and I was sooooooo proud of that. (Little did I know, there was a reason for that, dumbass.) But eventually, there was an urge to come out. So I did. I knew I lived in an accepting community, and I knew my mom would be cool with it, so what did I have to lose, besides my rights? And so I did! I came out! Very sloppily at times. One time I decided to come out to one of my friends while we were walking to the buses at the end of the day. I turned to him and said “I’m gay.” and he said “You’re gay?” and I ran. I bolted. I sprinted and got on the bus and went home. To this day I don’t know what I was running from. But I did it, I came out! And I kept coming out to more and more people. And now everyone knows, even my pediatrician. And it felt great! I was able to be more vocal about how I felt, and it just felt good that people knew who I could like, just like everyone else. It was liberating. In high school, I was able to join Hackley’s AGSA club, and I eventually became a leader. I joined LGBTQ+ youth organizations, I even went to youth pride! It was so much better being able to be who I was publicly. And if there is anyone hearing this who is struggling with coming to terms with their sexuality, or coming out, I want you to know that no matter what, you are who you are, that who you are is okay, and that who you are is good. And you can’t run from who you are. Trust me, I’ve tried it.


By: Kyle Spencer

The Legend of Sternum-Man

I have often been asked, how many people have you killed with your sternum? My answer is always the same. Too many to count. My technique is sure, I gain momentum by running and launching into the air, shoulders back, ribs pressed outwards. The speed at which I am moving, coupled with the hardness and pointedness of my sternum creates a deadly weapon. No amount of armor nor protection can save you from my sternum. Many of my feats have an almost mythical quality to them. By skydiving with my sternum pressed out, I have flipped a squadron of tanks, crushed an entire train, and defeated countless armies. I once jumped from a Red Bull capsule in the atmosphere; the imminent impact leveled and destroyed an entire nation, winning us the war. “They” say that the hole in the Ozone layer was caused by CFCs, well “they” are liars. But for a good reason. If people ever found out that a single man was capable of creating an eleven million square mile hole in the sky, they would be even more terrified of me than they already are. I have often been hired as an assassin. My outfit is a black garb from head to toe, with a hole in my shirt, so my sternum can poke through. When guards see me, they often knock themselves out, this saves them from a far worse fate. I have never failed a mission, all of my targets have been eliminated by my hand, or rather, my sternum. I don’t like killing, I don’t like my job, but for my country, I feel compelled to use my gift in combat. My name is feared throughout the land and has become synonymous with chaos, catastrophe and certain death. I have truly become a man of destruction.

I am, Sternum-Man.

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Junior First Friday Speeches