Elected by the senior class as Baccalaureate speaker, retiring English teacher Mark Foster chose not to shower graduates with words of advice: "Life may well be a sustained experiment to confirm or disprove conjectures and hypotheses," said Mr. Foster, "and if it is, Thoreau says, better to be your own lab rat than someone else’s. In other words, don’t accept advice from anyone, least of all well-intentioned adults who want to share with you the 'benefits' of their experience."
Instead, Mr. Foster recited the Robert Frost poem "After Apple-Picking." Graduation, asserted Foster, is a harvest - long anticipated, requiring sustained and dedicated effort, and exhausting. "The next harvest, however, is a different animal entirely, because what you reap and what you sow is now much more in your hands," Foster told the assembled soon-to-be graduates and their families. "If life is an experiment, the question when you leave here is how do you intend to grow, and what kind of harvest do you want to make of yourself? According to Frost, it might be a good thing if one were to make one’s life’s desire a big one, a worthy one, a great harvest, something you might really sink your teeth into, something you would cherish, that would call forth the most and best you’ve got to give."
In closing, Mr. Foster recited a poem of his own, entitled "Driftwood."