|Delphi Academy Los Angeles
2009 Graduate Miranda Baaska Martin
Hello. I’ve been at Delphi for about fourteen years. I am one of the people who have attended Delphi since Beginner 1. I have seen
many school friends come and go. Some left because they had to move, and others left for personal reasons, but I never saw someone
happy to leave Delphi, for good reason. Delphi is an excellent school because it doesn’t try to change you into something acceptable
for society. Instead, Delphi prepares you for battle. There are times when society doesn’t know what is right, and the individuals making
up society can’t see the direction they’re headed. Delphi doesn’t try to make you a part of the masses, following public opinion simply
because it’s public opinion. Instead, they encourage you to retain your individuality. Delphi gives you the tools to fight against what is
wrong and what is destructive and shows you how to know what is wrong and what is destructive.
When I was younger, I followed the crowd. I was hesitant to take charge of anything, and I assumed that everyone else saw me as I
saw myself. And what I saw was a young girl who never made any decisions for a group, only doing what others told her. If there was a
party with no formal invitation, I didn’t go. If everyone was going to the movies but didn’t tell me, I didn’t go. If I did go to the movies and
some people picked one I’d already seen or didn’t want to see, I didn’t say anything. I never took on responsibility, and I wasn’t a leader.
I looked at the people in Upper School getting ready to graduate, and I admired them. The spotlight seemed to follow them, and they
always lived up to it. They were so happy, they always did the right thing, and if they didn’t agree with something, they spoke up. Here I
was, and I couldn’t even tell my teacher that a target was too big.
Delphi helped me, however, and showed me how to be a better person. I was invited into student government, and I was excited
to be there. They gave me my first post, and I had to get people to do things. I failed, and I felt miserable. I imagined that they would kick
me out. It seemed like there was a reason for it. But, much to my surprise, they didn’t kick me out. Instead, they fixed it for me and gave
me some references to read. Then they gave me a new post. I failed again.
I was still in the mind set that I would never be the best person for whatever job they gave me, and I thought that they were
expecting me to fail again. It wasn’t until Form 7 when I finally succeeded at a leadership role that I started thinking, “maybe I can do
this”. I started realizing that the teachers and the people in student government hadn’t given up on me. They knew I could do it, and I
started to feel comfortable. I started voicing my opinion, and I found that I was heard. I was even offered the job as the yearbook editor,
and even though I would have rejected it only a year ago, and despite the fact that I was swamped with homework, I accepted.
There was no hat for the job. I was in uncharted waters. I talked it over with the yearbook advisor, and at first, I started out with the
hands-off method I’d used before; I let people talk about the yearbook and brainstorm on how it would look. This continued for a couple
weeks. The advisor took me aside and he showed me a reference. The reference pointed out that, as important as brainstorming was,
it didn’t get anything done. That was when I started to take charge. I assigned people jobs, and I started running the yearbook. Soon it
was designed, and we had made our first sale. It was exhilarating.
There was a book that I read on the Form 8 literature program called Candide, written by a man named Voltaire. In it, there are a
lot of people running around, saying either that the world was the best it could be, or acknowledging the chaos but not doing anything
about it. I used to belong to the latter category. At the end of the book, however, the characters start trying to improve their lives, and
they find themselves much happier. I had a similar realization that we must improve the conditions around us. The main character’s
closing line is “Let us go work in our garden”. This is what I say to you. Let us go work in our garden.
(Miranda Baaska Martin)
This speech was delivered by my granddaughter on June 13th, 2009. Young people like this give much more hope to the future. As a former Delphi
Staff Member, an employee for 11 yrs, I can truly tell you, you need to get your child into this school! Carl the Poet Grandfather, Educator!
More pictures of Miranda, click here. Miranda is also a featured artists: Click here to view her drawings, here for a Poem.
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