Commencement Speech

Hello Ladies and Gentlemen,

For those of you who have not had the pleasure of making my acquaintance I am Nicole Lovingshimer. I would like to begin by thanking all of the graduating classes family and friends for joining us on this momentous occasion. I remember my first day of kindergarten, it is actually a funny story because I had ridden the bus and the driver did not know where my house was. This was back in the days where the bus actually stopped at children’s houses. Anyway, he asked me where I lived and I was six and just stared at him with this blank look. I ended up having to go with him to pick up the high school kids and I remember being so scared because they were all bigger and older than me. Now I am a graduating senior and it is hard to compare the little girl to who I am now. It seems like only yesterday my mom insisted on taking first day of school pictures and looking back I’m glad she did.

When we were younger everyone always asked us what we wanted to be when we grew up. This was the constant question we got asked every year and now we are grown up. Most of us are eighteen or about to turn eighteen and most of us have the rest of our lives planned out. For some of us, however, they have no clue and as one of my friends always says they are just going to “wing it.” I want to remind everyone though to enjoy each and every moment. We are never going to live the same moment twice and it is important to look at the people around you, parents look at your graduating child, commit this moment to memory because you will not get to live it twice. Remember to not just live life, but enjoy life truly and fully.

We need to remember everything that we have been taught up to this point. Not just through school but through sports, jobs, and other activities. It is time to buckle down and become a responsible adult. We have had eighteen years of training and now it is time to spread our wings and fend for ourselves. The college years will probably be the best and worst years of our lives. We will fail and succeed, but in the end we will make it. Remember to do your best even when no one is watching. A few tips I want to give you guys are as follows:

  1. Treat others the way you want to be treated.
  2. Stay in touch don’t become the crazy cat lady
  3. Pick a job that you will look forward to going to every morning
  4. Don’t press snooze you will end up regretting it
  5. Don’t skip class you are paying to be there so be smart
  6. Don’t drink and drive its just stupid
  7. Don’t text and drive again its just stupid
  8. Have fun and enjoy college
  9. Stay in touch with your family don’t just cut them out of your life
  10. Live life to your full potential you’ll thank me for this one later

I would like to now have a moment of silence in order to remember those who are not here and will never get to experience this wonderful moment.

I can’t believe we made it and are actually graduating. In my opinion one of the great things about college is no summer homework. I want everyone to live life to the fullest from now on. We need to live for those who can’t. I have heard people say that our generation is the laziest and the most spoiled. I want to prove these people wrong. Lets prove that we are a hard working group who strives to meet the impossible goals we set for ourselves. Lets be thankful for what we have and realize we are very lucky to get the opportunities that are set in front of us. Lets be the best people we can be. I truly believe we can be the new age generation. As Neil Armstrong once said “one small step for man one giant leap for mankind.” We are the generation that will take that step and the whole world will benefit from what this generation will become. Good luck to everyone in all their future in devours and congratulations on making it this far.

Thank you and have a safe trip home.


Vincent Van Gogh’s “A Pair of Shoes”

We may look like a pair of ratty old boots now, but we have been through a lot. We are a lucky pair of shoes that have been passed down from generation to generation. We began in a factory, like other shoes, but the owner put a special ingredient in us that made us lucky. We went to the store and sat in a window for what felt like forever. Then, one little boy who was walking passed, stopped, looked, and begged his parents to get him the really cool pair of shoes. They agreed and we finally had a pair of feet to live on. We were quit happy there until one day we noticed that the boy, whose feet we were on, was sad. We payed careful attention and realized it was because a bully was picking on him. We did not like this at all so we decided to have a little fun. When no one was looking we untied ourselves and tied the bullies shoe laces together. What fun it was to watch as the bully got a taste of his own medicine. As the boys feet grew so did we. Apparently, this was not normal, but neither us nor the boy cared. As the boy grew up we helped as best we could. Making sure he did not fall, or his feet get wet, or he be picked on. We even found the occasional dollar or two for him. The boy grew to realize we were special and passed us down from one generation to the next.

Sadly, though, now our magic and time is up. We can no longer do the things we once did and because of this we have been let go. We now sit here on the side of the street waiting for our next owners and remembering all the helpful fun we used to have. As the rain pours down so does our hope. The rain carries our hopes down the drain and we remain here. Waiting. Waiting. Waiting.

On a Train

I looked up at the floating destination again. I can’t believe I got onto the wrong train for the third time this week. I sighed and got comfortable. I was going to have to be on this train for at least twelve stops instead of the two stop train I was supposed to be on. As I looked around at my fellow passengers I noticed they all seemed tired and bored, like me. Their was a college student listening to her ipod, a mariachi band playing a couple cars down, and this weird homeless looking guy in the far corner of the train. When we get to the next stop almost everyone gets off, except for me of course, and the homeless guy in the corner. Three people board my car and then I see them. There is this young guy clutching a box and an old women wearing this bizarre hat and holding a map. They seem to be arguing. When the women begins to cry I decide to do something. I get up and begin making my way to the car that they are in.

When I get to their car they immediately fall silent. I pull a tissue from my purse and hand it to the sobbing women. “Thanks” she says in a heavily southern accent. “My name is Jane” I tell her, “What is yours?” She stays silent for a beat seeming to size me up. When she decides she can trust that I’m not some robber she says “I’m Rebekah and this is my son Tanner.” Tanner gives me a nod, but says nothing. “Can I help you with something? You guys seem to be in a pretty heated discussion.” “You see,” says Rebekah “my son and I cannot decide which stop is the one for the white house.” “Well, that would be three stops down” I told her. Tanner replies exasperatingly “I told you.” “Are you sure?” Rebekah asks, “Positive” I say. Right before the third stop when they are supposed to get off, we go through this dark tunnel, the lights cut out for a minute and all is dark. When we come out of the tunnel and the lights come back on the women and son are gone. Who they were and where they went still remains a mystery. Some say it was just my imagination but it was not. The box the son was holding was left at my feet with a note that says “Good Samaritans are hard to find. Use what is in this box wisely.” And I did from then on.

Parent-Child Relationships

Parent child relationships are kind of a big deal throughout the play. In this play there is a lot of mistrust when it comes to parents in reference to their children. Parents send people to spy on their children and make sure that they are not getting into trouble. Polonius gives this big speech to Laertes about how well he will do and even gives him advice. Then, Polonius sends Reynaldo to spy on him “Inquire me first what Danskers are in Paris, and how, and who, what means, and where they keep, what company, at what expense…” (II.I.7-9). This shows clearly that the main roll of parents is to be overbearing and overprotecting. This is again proven by Gertrude and Claudius when they send Rosencrantz and Guildenstern to spy on Hamlet after he pretend goes mad. Polonius also does the overbearing thing with Ophelia too. He believes her seeing Hamlet is a bad thing so he convinces her to stop seeing him. This really begins to show how much control parents have on their children. With the step-parent side it is about the same. Claudius is overbearing and he proves the whole step-parents are evil theory. The one thing that does not seem to be in the play is a parent-child relationship where they both openly show love for one another.

Children’s rolls in the play are a little bit harder to decipher. The male children’s main roll is revenge for their fathers. Fortinbras, Hamlet, Laertes, all want revenge because they believe their fathers to have been wronged. Fortinbras goes out for revenge by taking back the lost land of his father. Hamlet goes pretend mad in an effort to kill Claudius that eventually succeeds. Laertes wants revenge for his father’s death which he gets when Hamlet dies. The main roll of male children it seems is revenge. For Ophelia, though, it’s different. She is practically dependent completely on her father. When her father dies she goes mad and “kills” herself in a way “Till that her garments, heavy with their drink, pulled the poor wretch from her melodious lay to muddy death.” (IV.VII.180-182). Her main roll seemed to be an example of what women were like at the time. They did what they were told, did not go to school, and did not have minds of their own. Since Ophelia is the only female child I cannot make a reasonable conclusion other than that she was to show how women were meant to behave during this time period.

The Painting

The painting is a lot to take in at first glance. I like the color schemes and the randomization of it. However, it kind of looks like a two year old did it. The fact that it is huge would probably change how I saw it in person. It feels like the guy who painted it was trying to express his emotions hence the chaos of the painting. It’s interesting how the painting uses dark colors contrasted on a light background. The background is also interesting in color choice and I’m sure the color scheme he used means something to him. However, they just seem like kind of random colors to me. The painting looks to be old because of the canvas, but young because of what is on the canvas. I think its famous because one important guy liked it and bought it so all the other wealthy people are like “well if so-and-so likes it enough to spend that much on it then I will too” and it just continued like that until it was famous. I don’t really see why its so famous, but I guess other people with more money then me see something that makes it famous quality.

Sullivan’s reaction seemed sort of confused with a hint of understanding. She talks about how the painting is just a maze of lines with no pattern. It is just a mix of dark colors that make you sad instead of happy. It seems like she makes the assertion that the painting is a picture representation of what is going on the the painters mind. I mind is a chaotic place to be and to make a picture representation of it is cool. She talks about how the poem can be a representation of multiple memories and different times and places. Since there is no predictable pattern the painting could be of any time and place. She concludes that he might possibly have been posing an internal question to himself through the painting, however with all of the chaos both the question and answer are lost in translation. Only he holds the reasons for the painting and it would be impossible to infer anything due to the enormity of the chaos. Therefore it is best to use your imagination, sit back, and enjoy the inside of someone’s mind.

Ophelia’s Madness


This is an engraving of the 1890 painting by Henrietta Rae. It does not say where it is held, but it is one of many around the world.

This painting represents the following passage from Act IV scene V:

Ophelia: [To Laertes:] There’s rosemary, that’s for remembrance-pray you, love, remember- and there is pansies, that’s for thoughts.

Laertes: A document in madness: thoughts and remembrance fitted.

Ophelia: [To the King:] There’s fennel for you, and columbines. [To the Queen:] There’s rue for you, and here’s some for me; we may call it herb of grace o’Sundays. O, you must wear your rue with a difference. There’s a daisy. I would give you some violets, but they withered all, when my father died. They say he made a good end.

This image is a representation of Ophelia’s madness. She is singing everything then just starts handing out flowers to all the people in the room. The crazy thing is that the flowers she hands out are actual representations of the different characters. This painting is nice and I like that it is not in color. I feel it adds to the fact that Ophelia is crazy. If you will notice, there is a clear line where the painting shifts from light to dark. It is said that this line represents Ophelia’s mind and her switch from sanity to insanity. This picture is also nice because there are not a lot of depictions of this scene in the play out there. I like this scene because it shows that, though Ophelia may be acting mad, some of her is still there. I found many other paintings I could have choose but this one stood out to me most. I enjoy looking at the painting and seeing all of the different things a person could conclude just by looking at it. This is one of the better paintings out there of Ophelia and I hope you enjoy searching for different deductions as much as I have.