Grade Nine Eminent Person Speeches: Day I

Paris from the Eiffel TowerToday our class began presentations of the grade nines’ Eminent Person speeches. We were treated to diverse and captivating presentations by Liam, Meghan and Nick on Niccolo Machiavelli, Florence Nightingale and Winston Churchill respectively. As the nines are challenged to deliver 8 – 10 minute addresses from the perspective of someone who would have known their eminent person, we heard from:

  • Two widely differing perspectives on Machiavelli (performed in different accents, with dissimilar mannerisms, and to wildly opposing effects by the solitary Liam) issued by the Dukes of Lion and Florence.
  • Florence Nightingale’s mother, written by Meghan as deliriously deliriously disappointed in her daughter for choosing “the Devil’s profession,” nursing, as her life’s work.
  • And FDR speaking of his tumultuous, yet always respectful wartime relationship with Nick’s eminent person, Winston Churchill.

The rest of the week – Rememberance Day Wednesday notwithstanding – will see the remaining grade nines present their epic speeches, and raise the bar for their grade ten classmates who will present three-to-four minute speeches as their eminent people at next week’s Night of the Notables. It never fails to amaze me that faced with eight minutes of speech to deliver to older peers and new teachers at the end of the year’s first term, our grade nines’ ability to swing for the fence in tackling this first of the class’ major projects. In setting out to create original, challenging and risktaking works of research, writing and performance, the younger members of our class create a tone for the remainder of the project that is one of a trusting community that enables across the board individual achievement.

Thank you to the three of you who volunteered to get the ball rolling today, and to those of you who will help set the tone throughout the week. It is an awe-inspiring experience to be an observer during such feats, and one I am truly grateful to share in.