Quintessential Kenyon: Student Life, Uncut


Andrew Parmelee
August 25, 2013

SO. I was asked to speak at convocation today and it was a little nerve racking. I was thrown into conversations with faculty members who intellectually posses more knowledge in their pinky finger then I have accumulated over 3 years. I wore a robe (and it was hot). Oh and did I mention there were just under 1 billion people attending the event. Perhaps a gross overestimation but it felt like that. Safe to say I was nervous (and sweaty). While processing up toward the stage I convinced myself that at least if I passed out from fright, I would get a sympathy vote from the students. I may have to live some of my senior year in hiding, but I would get the sympathy vote. Then I decided while sitting down, that I had forgotten how to walk. This would be an issue I figured, considering I would have to walk up to the stand to deliver my 2 minute welcome. I started to think of ways I could get to the microphone without being able to walk. Perhaps crawl, perhaps someone could crowd surf me along the line. Both options appeared to be viable at the time. I decided then, in my seat that I would try the old legs out. I shifted my weight, and they still worked. Dilemma avoided. Finally as I got to the stand, I was wondering how close to the microphone I should be standing. Another problem. Seemingly, all of the issues which had cropped up in my head and presented themselves as problems were not. I delivered the speech with relative ease (notice the relative). 

I cannot be more appreciative to all of the faculty members and students who wished me luck and told me not to be nervous beforehand. I was about to deliver a convocation speech centered around community and friendship and here I was experiencing just that. In retrospect it makes my nerves seem silly. Of course things were going to go fine. I was at Kenyon, perhaps the most accepting place I have ever found myself. It makes perfect sense why I would be nervous, but really there was no reason for it. Many community members made a point of telling me afterwords of how proud the were or how much they enjoyed the short welcome. All of this encouragement kinda makes me wish this was my convocation so I had another 4 years here.