South Side class recalls lessons of games

The 87 South Williamsport seniors that graduated Wednesday evening received some final instructions for playing The Game of Life.

Seniors Ryan Orgitano, Alexandra Roles and Paul Warner talked about life through the metaphor of the games of Candyland, Clue and Monopoly, respectively.

Warner said he initially thought he’d make a sharply pointed speech, but decided “graduating high school is not about making one final insult to those who educated you.”

“It’s time to pass go – for some of us that means the railroad or utilities, for some straight to Boardwalk, and some might go straight to jail. In Monopoly, positive results are not entirely by getting high numbers from chance. We may not always like what the dice reveal, but you can always hope for double sixes and prepare for snake eyes. Even as the game changes, remember your humble beginnings.”

In childhood, we were “simply meandering and having fun along the way,” Orgitano said. “It’s important to remember all the things that helped us become ourselves, but we must move beyond the sweet time in our lives in order to get a clue.”

Roles said that, like Clue, “thoughtful, wise decisions can only be made from getting help from other players and trusting one’s instincts.”

High school principal Jesse Smith shared three examples of seniors overcoming obstacles: the 2012 football team that went 10-2; the drama program putting on “Bye Bye Birdie” after a change of leadership; and senior Rob Lynn surviving the outcome of a bet on the Celtics gone bad – he had to wear his grandmother’s bra to school for a day, and was found out by both Principal Paul Anderson during the school day and his grandmother while returning the apparel.

“Even in a dark spot, remember that story,” Smith said. “If Rob can overcome me sharing this story with a couple hundred people, you too can overcome and persevere.”

Molly Osborn Dean, a 2004 graduate who fundraises for Georgetown University, shared some advice in her keynote address on building practical and successful relationships.

“Networking is a give and take relationship – you should never expect someone to stick their neck out for you if you haven’t done anything for them. All it means is taking a genuine interest in people and making connections where they might be mutually beneficial. Nobody has gotten where they are entirely alone.”