Eighth grade at Falmouth Academy is referred to as the year of living deliberately. The event culminating this important time is Declamation Day, a rite of passage in which students pick a poem or speech, TEDtalk or radio script – a declarative passage that speaks to a personal passion—to perform for the school community. Last week, eighth graders took to the podium in Morse Hall to declaim.
Leading up to Declamation Day, students are given three weeks to write a paper analyzing the piece, then they memorize it and practice it in front of each other in preparation for presenting to an audience. The preparation is arduous, but on Declamation Day, just before the first speaker steps up to the podium, everyone sings “I’m a Little Teapot” to relieve the stress.
This year, 46 eighth graders spoke from the heart, by heart, on diverse topics. Student Maria Kelley spoke on women’s ability to play sports, Jack Marvel on Lyndon Johnson’s Great Society speech and Leah Littlefield declaimed an excerpt from Anne Frank’s diary.
Other examples included an appropriate discourse on stress by Becky Butler, who chose a TED talk on changing the body’s response to stress from hurtful to helpful. “When stress goes away, I feel confident and ready to take on anything.”
Ian Hinkle and Thomas Earley expertly maneuvered through Abbot and Costello’s “Who’s on First” routine, proving that great friends can argue but still enjoy each other’s company.