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teacher shaking student's hands at commencement

A Love of Reading & Writing

Excerpt from speech by Edgar Escobar '15, Harvard University '19

I simply would not be the person I am today without St. Sebastian’s.

Edgar Escobar

As I reflect on my six years at St. Sebastian’s, I can still recall my first year as a seventh grader. Those first days I felt new, ready to absorb my studies and succeed, but before the school year started I was nervous and timid. Then, eying the crest above the front doors, and entering the building, the anxiety seemed to fall through the tips of my fingers. At least, I like to believe that the sparking along my fingers was the anxiety escaping out of me because from then on, I developed a relaxed pose of having my hands in my pockets as I strolled throughout the school.

Just as I began to develop the calm pose of having my hands in my pockets, I began to develop a sanctuary within reading and writing. Before St. Sebastian’s, I had not enjoyed reading many stories and was only mildly entertained by a classic or two. By senior year, five other students and I decided to start a brand new course focused solely on the works of Shakespeare.

And so, once reading became an enjoyment, I also began to appreciate the act of writing. By the ninth grade, although my analytical writing needed quite a bit of work, my desire to write about my life, my relationships with others, and my ideas for the future, commenced to swallow me. As I matured, my writing matured. My perspectives widened and my desire to write transitioned from writing about myself to writing about others.

I entered the school with a shaky and hesitant speech. Now I no longer fear my opportunities to stand at the podium and give a speech. I owe St. Sebastian’s my education, I owe St. Sebastian’s a nurturing community, and I owe much more to this community that I’ve been a part of for six years.