I only managed to finish my farewell speech at 3am in the morning, feeling really not confident about it, especially the ending! I had a few hours of sleep, woke up and went to school late as usual, to arrive at another prize-giving practice. We were told again not to stomp, trip or anything like that, and then we were dismissed.
Us head students (except for Hyun) then jumped in Patrick's car and we went down to the flower shop nearby to buy our dean a bouquet of flowers. After asking the flower shop lady for some advice, we picked this bouquet worth $50, with each of us contributing $10 (I owe them that!). We returned to school, found Hyun and got him to sign the card, and then went to Mrs Taylor to give her the flowers. She was delighted and thanked us for them. She then asked me if I had decided what I was going to do at uni and I told her I still hadn't decided!
I then went to orchestra rehearsal. We rehearsed Mei Hui Hui, the school song, which had been arranged by Jonathan Wilson for orchestra. It sounded a lot slower and had a different style to the original one, which made it appropriate for the occasion!
I went back to chemistry class, the first chemistry class I had attended all day and did nothing but take photos and sign t-shirts. We had interval afterwards and I rushed off to transition room to tweak my farewell speech, as Chen kindly proofread it for me earlier in the morning!
Once the bell rang I went off to Chinese class, where we had our shared lunch. I brought deep-fried wontons that my mum had cooked. Even though there were only six of us in the class, there was plenty of food and so we sat around the table eating, and talking with Ms Hsiao the Chinese teacher. She wanted to know about our private lives and started asking who was going out with who or who had a girlfriend or not. When she asked me if I had a girlfriend, I told her I was still single, and then she said
"Calum would make a good boyfriend, he's a nice guy...but girls don't really like nice guys"
OK so I should practise being meaner to people then! I was practising my speech quietly throughout class, trying to keep it under wraps. When lunchtime came around, I was heading over to the village to hang out with the 'village girls' and Phoebe on my last lunchtime as I was going to FINALLY get a photo together with her and giver her something, but then Joon just had to come along and tell me there was orchestra rehearsal! So I had to reschedule it for after prize-giving and rushed off to orchestra rehearsal. On the way I ended up crossing paths with a 'semi-streaker', I think it was Dale, this year 12 guy who ran out from the boys toilets and then down the drive wearing his t-shirt and golden boxers, as people chucked water bombs at him! I managed to get a photo of him just as he ran away!
It was really hot inside, especially when wearing a blazer! As soon as orchestra rehearsal was over and form class began, I grabbed the deodorant, ran to the toilets and made myself smell nice, then ran back! By then I was probably sweating again! The guests had all arrived, and it was cool to see our old principal Mr Edmeades come up as well!
The prize-giving ceremony finally began! It started off with Mr Moore's speech, then it went straight into year 11 awards. Aonghas got First in Chinese and First equal in Maths (there's a long long story behind this award but I probably shouldn't say...) while Rose grabbed a whole lot of awards. Next were year 12 awards, in which Phoebe got First in Chinese (yay!! proud moment!!), Cameron got a lot of awards, and so did Chen unexpectedly. Last were year 13 awards. I only got First in Chinese and Contribution to School Music Award. The twins also each got an award which was cool! Mrs Taylor who announced the year 13 awards, ended with a quote from our school's namesake Sir Lord Rutherford, which was really funny:
"We don't have any money, so we must think" (something along those lines!)
She then introduced us head students Heather and me. This was the big moment, our last ever speeches in front of the school! I was a little nervous at first because while I was sitting, reading my speech during the assembly I noticed I left out a change that Chen had made, and was trying to whisper to him who was sitting a few rows behind.
Heather went first, and her speech was really good! There was a bit of noise when she mentioned how bananas were set on fire, and desks, chairs and windows were broken when she was a junior though! Once she had finished, I stepped up to the podium to deliver my speech. I'll post the speech a little later. I nearly choked a few times, and lost my place at one stage! Hopefully it didn't sound as though I was about to cry!
After our speeches the special awards were presented. Heather and I went up on stage to receive our awards for head students. Mr Coughlan the deputy principal read out a little blurb about his thoughts on each of us, saying that I was always a busy person rushing around doing this or doing that, or taking photos of people, and that I had mastered the art of arriving to meetings just as they were about to finish, and that he would like me to teach him that skill! He then went on to say that Rutherford wouldn't be the same without me and that if a novel on Rutherford was ever to be written, there would definitely be a bit about me under the Head Boy section! That was so nice! A bigger surprise was getting our parents to come up on stage to acknowledge them! Aonghas thought my dad had his trousers a little too high! Next year's head students Chen and Yvia presented our parents with flowers and chocolate.
After that, more special awards and scholarships were presented. Patrick was awarded this huge long plaque for contribution to school, and he leaned it up against his chair as he had to go back up on stage with Heather (both who were sitting next to me) to receive a scholarship. As they stepped out the plaque fell over and made a huge noise as it hit the ground! I bent over to flip it around the right way and everyone turned around and looked at me, making the OOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO noise, thinking I had knocked the plaque over! I quickly sat back up and pretended as if nothing had happened! The audience also made noises throughout assembly whenever the MC Ms Heath (assistant principal) gave guests a present and a little kiss, which led to her telling everyone to GET OVER IT!
I was later awarded with some contribution to school award, and the Auckland University Scholarship by the former principal of Mt Roskill Grammar School (whose name I've forgotten already!) who now works for the uni. All my course fees will be paid for, as long as I do well in these upcoming exams! :S The big awards were finally to be announced. Tukitahi got the dux for sport (dux ludorum I think), and I was awarded Dux Artium (for performing arts I think). Heather was awarded Dux Accessit (runner-up), and the big one Dux Litterarum (I think I spelt it wrong) went to....Pita!!! Congratulations Pita!! He really deserved it! We had been starting to suspect that Pita would get something big, especially since earlier in the morning Mrs Taylor was making a big deal about Pita not wearing his tie, and even going out to buy a new one for him!
As soon as prize-giving was over, we had to return to form class to receive our exam slips and leavers' hoodies. I had to pack away my cello, and then went to meet Phoebe and the group outside to grab my t-shirt I had asked them to sign and also to get some photos. After a bit of talking I finally got a photo together with Phoebe, with me lifting her up! I then walked her to the front gate, before returning to the afternoon tea for prize-winners and their families.
I caught up with my parents and the other head students and talked to some of the staff members. It sounded as though my speech was well-received, with several of the staff members and the principal saying it was the best speech from a head boy they had ever heard (I'm not too sure about that!!). More importantly though, I asked them about visiting next year, as the principal had stressed he didn't want us to leave at the assembly, and fortunately they said we could come back and visit as much as we wanted!
As I left the school for the last time (officially), I realised I hadn't taken the flag down! So I did that, and that marked the last day of school EVER for me. Throughout the evening that day I kept thinking about how I was never going to go through another full day of school again, and it was really starting to get to me! Thank goodness for Wednesday night telly!
(By the way, the nickname I ended up having on my leavers' hoodie was THE C-MAN, something I'm really ashamed of! This guy at school already has a well-established nickname V-MAN, and I didn't want to look as though I was copying him. I also wanted something people knew me by, like MR ANDERSON, but my mum said it wasn't personal enough as Aonghas my brother could be MR ANDERSON as well. She also said that C-MAN sounds like gentleman in Chinese, and that she wanted me to have that despite me telling her several times that it sounded disgusting, but she didn't get it and I ended up with no choice!)