The following speech was delivered by Jose Miguel Daya (XS ’15) last 22 June 2015 during the Grade School Reading of Honors.
The Missing Piece by Shel Silverstein is probably one childhood story I carried on from childhood and still remember today. A brilliant thing about this story is that it can apply to different aspects of our lives, especially as students.
It’s a story of finding yourself, your style, what suits you, how to overcome challenges and how to continue living life after many difficulties. And this perfectly describes your everyday student and what we all go through here in Xavier.
Much of student life is finding out what suits you and what style fits you the most. Just like the main character of the story looking for his missing piece, we are all in search of different ways to live our lives as students. Whether it’s working on assessments for three hours and finishing in one night or doing things little by little everyday until you accomplish them. We are all searching for different styles and study habits, but what’s important is we find what suits us the most so that our learning in school is worthwhile and doesn’t end up like a mere daily routine we so often find boring.
The main character of the story also experienced many difficulties as he tried to find his missing piece. He fell into holes, rolled on rough roads and found pieces that wouldn’t fit at all. But what did he do? He kept rolling and rolling and rolling. Just like the main character, we shouldn’t dwell on difficulties we face in school but rather face them head on and keep going. Be it a green slip or a failing grade, keep rolling forward and learn from your experience. But most of all, keep smiling just as the main character did and treat school like an adventure or a rollercoaster full of downs but definitely even more ups.
In the last part of the story, the main character finds his missing piece but eventually realizes that he can’t sing with it any longer. As students, we come to school to not only learn but also grow. The main character in the end of the story sets down the piece and rolls forward in search of a new one. Shel Silverstein shows us a story of growth that continues even if we think we’ve found our missing pieces. The search for our missing pieces does not stop after dismissal or when teacher says goodbye and thank you. Roll forward and continue looking for your missing pieces. These pieces may be your study habits, your favorite songs to listen to while doing your homework, pieces that define your lives as students. So don’t stop learning and don’t stop filling in that gap.
And so I wish you all good luck, congratulations and keep rolling forward.