NORTH CREEK The major theme of the commencement ceremony for the Johnsburg Central School’s Class of 2012 was the importance of learning.
Guest speaker Silas McKee, a JCS Class of 2003 graduate, earned a bachelor’s degree in chemistry from Hamilton College and a master’s degree in chemistry from the University of Pennsylvania. He told the audience that when he graduated high school, he thought he’d graduate from college, get a job and have life figured out by then. Instead, he found that life after college was a lot like life before college, except that his choices had become more complicated and his responsibilities had become greater.
Reflecting on his past, McKee realized a simple truth: the important questions in life are hard to answer. Who am I? What gets me up in the morning? How do I make a difference in the world? These are the questions, Mckee said, that never become easier to answer.
The best way McKee found to answer these questions was to learn more about himself and the world.
“Whenever I don’t know the answer to a question, I ask another question,” he said.
McKee’s advice to the graduating class was to “learn as much as you can about everything.” He told them to study science because it will teach them about the physical world, to study psychology to learn about themselves, to study literature because it will teach them about the human condition and give them something to do on a lazy Sunday afternoon.
In her speech, valedictorian Chelsea Gazaille said she wanted to address the undergraduates in the audience. She recounted how her grandfather took her to see the new solar panels at the Chestertown Town Hall. While he was explaining to her all about how the panels worked, she was amazed to realize that she understood everything he was telling her.