Wilson’s Graduation Speech

Been quite a week.  I once again fought the distracted angst that comes with trying to go about life as usual while Rudy is undergoing something at UCLA.  I found it hard to sleep in the quiet of our room without Rudy’s compressor humming all night—somewhere in the early morning hours I realized I could just turn it on without him there, but found that troubling for some reason.  It’s great to have him back home.  No trip to the hospital is without its souvenirs, but this time it’s mostly just band-aids and some pen marks where the team tried to find pulses and map out possible IV sites.

The most noticeable thing was that the travel and time in the hospital interrupted our routine of sleep and meds.  In addition, Rudy spiked a fever overnight (a common side effect of getting a vein coiled), so I sat up with him as he fussed for a few hours early this morning.  It’s coming up on 5pm and I’m fading fast…

I expect quite a bit of excitement to greet me on my return home as today was the last day of school for the big kids.  As if the day didn’t hold enough excitement, we woke to rain (very out of season in SB)!  From what I could overhear on the phone, summer vacation is being welcomed with vigorous enthusiasm.  As significant as this week was for Rudy, it shouldn’t overshadow the great job our kids did with all that was asked of them this year.  As this marks Wilson’s exit from elementary school, I thought it fitting to close by including the speech he gave at his promotion ceremony this week.  Quite the orator, my son!


Good Evening, my name is Wilson Geyling.  I’ve been at La Patera for two years.  My family moved a lot, so I was nervous as ever coming to a new school.  But by the first week, I knew that this was the best out of the three elementary schools I had been to.

On my first day I remember sitting alone on the obstacle course, trying to contemplate on how I felt about this new school.  Then Brandon P., Brandon R., Damien, and Anthony C. came up to me and asked if I wanted to kick the soccer ball against the backstop.  I kept thinking about how this was so rare, and I wasn’t about to pass this chance up.  So from that day on, I had my new group of friends at La Patera.  That year, fifth grade carried on with awesome Science lessons and projects, new Social Studies units (everyone was surprised when I became excited for Social Studies), the State report, and tons of other fun activities.  But nothing was a match for what would become the last trip to Monterey.  I thought this could never get better and I thought I was right when people said we were going to CIMI.  I kind of thought the whole school must have lost it if they were excited about going to Simi Valley and breathing smog for a whole week.  Once everyone started laughing, I knew I did something wrong.  And when they said Catalina Island, I shot through the ceiling.

So then sixth grade became a roadblock to Catalina, but it was a fun roadblock.  It was filled with country and endangered animal reports, math game boards, and the graduation which I’m attending today.  But the one reason I’ll never forget sixth grade is because during that year, my baby brother, Rudy, was diagnosed with Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome.  And for six months I had either a parent, relative or a close friend to come over and watch my siblings and I.  And it was for six months that I could come to school, to friends who would ask about Rudy everyday, and I could come and have some real fun.  Finally in April, all of that paid off when Rudy came home.

I want to thank my fifth grade teacher, Ms. Peattie, who retired last year, Mrs. Taigi, my sixth grade teacher and also anyone who worked in the cafeteria, who could bring light to a bad day with some dang good enchiladas.  But mostly I want to thank my friends, who are ready to encourage me and have fun—even if I need to explain to them that Jimmy Page is the guitarist for Led Zeppelin (not the Who) and they need to explain to me that a Lamborghini is a sports car (not an Italian cooking utensil).

I hope that one day everyone will be able to experience this great school. 

Thank You.

26 thoughts on “Wilson’s Graduation Speech

  1. thanks for sharing, you must be proud. Hope Rudy and all are doing well, Nick’s Grandma

  2. Yesterday I went to my eldest grandson’s graduation from Oaks Christian High School in Westlake. The valedictory address was given by a brilliant young woman, who will go to Stanford in the fall with the goal of becoming a cardio-thoracic surgeon! She accomplished this while missing about 30% of her classes during two of her 4 years while she worked on obtaining a Junior Olympic gold medal for equestrian jumping. Talk about intimidating. And she gave a really good speech, really good. But I have to say – Wilson’s is a complete match! This is a GREAT 6th grade speech. It reflects the personality of the speaker, is is laced with humor and honesty, it addresses his fellow graduates with sweetness and gratitude, it salutes a good school and staff, and it says thank you to those who made a difficult year more bearable. Absolutely terrific. Thanks so much for sharing it, Rolf, and for writing and giving it, Wilson!

  3. He is his parent’s son – intelligent, loving, humorous. What a great biggest brother he must be!!! Well done, Wilson!

  4. Wilson, stay clean through your junior high and high school days and you too, could be President. You have the makings for a fine leader! President, humorist or journalist…you could give David Sadaris a run for his money. Way to go. Thank your Dad for sharing that with us. I am now an official fan! R

  5. Dear Geyling Family- Congratulations Wilson on a job well-done and a speech that is from the heart. Ditto the comments above… I see more writing (and speeches) in Wilson’s future! Happy summer to Wilson, Max, Olivia and Rudy. And welcome home again Rudy! Love, The Borkovich Family

  6. What a year (and week) you all have had! How wonderful to see the speech that Wilson gave! He is quite a remarkable young man! And La Patera school has been so blessed to have Wilson and Max and Livy there.

    Rest up Trish and Rolf…you deserve a nice quiet weekend.

    Love to you all.

  7. Amazing and humorous speech! You Geyling children are inspiring!!!! I am overwhelmed by Rudy’s fighting spirit, the resilience of your family coping skills even during tag-team parenting, and, of course, all those extreme sport feats you do! Now we have to add a famous orator to the mix as well. Keep blogging because I’m loving watching your whole family. Congrats, Wilson!

  8. Another milestone for Rudy–welcome home precious baby and mother.

    Another milestone for Wilson–Congratulations on completing sixth grade and being promoted to middle school. Your essay is so YOU and we are so proud of you, honey. You are a winner.

    God has blessed us so richly by bringing all of the Geyling clan into our lives. See you next week.

  9. Ditto what’s already been said! Great speech Wilson!! You make us all proud! Enjoy the summer!!!!

  10. Rolf – thanks for sharing Wilson’s speech.
    Wilson… indeed you a budding orator and what an informative, touching summary of your life at La Patera…. you really helped us to glimpse from afar a bit of your life these past 2 years and of course this past very challenging one… you’re a hero too! Congratulations!
    here’s to a great summer and all the best as you embark on the next chapter of life adventures in your next school.
    Aunti Andi, Maya, and Kyra

  11. Congratulations to all the Geyling kids upon finishing school, and Wilson, we’re so proud of you too! Great speech! We are praying for a great summer for all, and are excited to see you next week!

  12. It is such a blessing to know the Geyling family and your openness to share your lives with us. You are always in our daily prayers. This speech of Wilson’s brought tears to our eyes. Wilson has a great future ahead of him as do each of your children. Who wouldn’t with such loving, sensitive parents and a loving Savior who watches and guides over all.

  13. I love you!!! Wilson great job. Congratulations my friend. Job well done. Max and Olivia job well done as well. I love you all. Thanks for being in my life. You guys Rock.

  14. Oh my gosh, that kid is good. I chip off the old block I would say. I couldn’t have imagined coming up with such a fine speech when I was in sixth grade. He seems mature beyond his years and he is going to be in Junior High next year….oh my! Great job to Wilson and to Max and Olivia, but especially great job to Rolf and Trish for being such awesome parents during such a crazy year. So glad Rudy in back in the 805, too.

    Love to you all,
    Kelly G

  15. Wow! What an awesome speech! Wilson, you should run for Mayor of Santa Barbara. I laughed (especially to the mention of the Lamborghini not being a pasta dish!! LOL!!! GREAT ONE!), and I was moved about you sharing your thoughts about Rudy.

    Enjoy your summer and keep up the great work!!


  16. Wow, what a family you are. You have been an inspiration to me with your incredible faith. I don’t know you personally but know your the Wilsons and they are such awesome and wonderful Christians and full of faith. I marvel at Dick with his cancer and always with that great smile and personality. JoAn and I are in the same SS class and what a joy she is. I loved Wilson’s speach espcially his compassion and love for Rudy. I continue to pray for you all.

  17. That is amazing! Wilson will make a fine president one day. I can’t imagine doing that in the sixth grade much less right now. We’ll have to send some “dang good” enchiladas your way. Much love.

  18. Great speech Wilson and cute. I liked it very much. Funny you like enchiladas so much, so do I. We must be related! ha! Attending a new school is always tough. I did that a few times too. Not always fun but it makes us better I believe…. preparing for challenges, as my Daddy said. And if Daddy said it, it had to be something worth remembering. My Daddy was your Grandma Jo’s double cousin. Good stock those Kansas people. Love, Cousin Dianna

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s