The inspirational speech given by Joel, a nevermore, from the drama class in '08.

C.T.Y..I. .That acronym means a lot of things to a lot of people. Sanctuary, escape, release,renewal. Education,renovation,degradation and integration. It provokes thought,feeling, in such a barrage that its difficult to process properly. Why do we come here? To be journalists, vets,actors...superheroes? We're educated here in a way that resembles nowhere else, but that's not it is it?

Is it for the people, new friends and old, the safety of familiar surroundings and traditions? You see a spoon around someone's wrist anywhere in the world, you know where they're from. Or is it just three weeks away from the parents? I don't think we have any illusions here about the impression some people on the outside have of our little microcosm in here. Three weeks of school in the summer? Madness. Talented Youth? Overachieving nerds. But we know that's not exactly it, don't we? With every Session you have a familiar divide in people. Those for who the end of each year is the end of an era, tears, pictures and notebooks. And those who see it more pragmatically,proclaiming : B.eing E.motional is N.ot T.alented. As I've said, we take all sorts here.

Although I am a world renowned sap, I don't fall squarely into either category. But I do have one thing I think I need to say. Nine years I spent in C.T.Y.I, the longest I possibly could have. I know this place, its best and its worst as well as anyone and most of you know me in one form or another. Friends,brothers,companions,enemies and foils,all in the one convenient spot. Some of you have been here for the long haul, some for a few years and some of you this is your first time. And your last. If there is one important thing I can tell you,one nugget of wisdom I can possibly give to you,it's this : It Doesn't Matter Which.

I've been thinking alot lately about this being my last year, about being a Nevermore. You know,I never did like the term "Nevermore", it always seemed so morose. I'd much refer to be called a "Raven". Firstly, because it sounds like a Latino gang name and secondly (and perhaps most importantly) it'd be pretty damn cool. Anyways, I was going somewhere with this.

Within these walls I've met some of the finest minds, greatest hearts and biggest eejits of my life. And no year meant the same as another. I would never want to revisit them. They meant something to me then, to that Joel, in those times. Not now, now they're memories and pieces of the person standing before you. It doesn't matter in the slightest if you've had one year or nine, the number of years isn't what counts, its what you do with them. Allow me that one horrible cliché. Use them whatever way you want, be as complete as you can be, then move on. To regret what was and can't be again defeats the whole purpose.

C.T.Y.I .isn't about isolated capsules of life for three weeks a year. Its about giving you the building blocks for an epic life every day of the year. CTYIzens don't just spring fully formed into existence within these walls, they're out there,everywhere,buried beneath layers of normality and misconception.

How often have you mixed with someone here that you never would've outside. Sometimes you're right,sometimes you're wrong but always its an experience.

I don't believe this place or these people are perfect, nor do I believe all of you care what I think. But if you want to do something new: take the uniqueness of this place with you. If you like how your dressing gown,your hat or your make-up looks, wear it every Thursday. And if you refused to be judged here- refuse it every day of your life.

Never allow yourself to accept mediocrity. This places works because we make it work and We Are Everywhere. Don't regret it when its over, wishing it would come back. Take everything from here, whatever that means to you and bring it out there. I'm standing here before you because of people here who showed me that love,equality, Rock'n'Roll:These can exist, and if it works in here it can work anywhere. We quote The Raven ?Nevermore? and regret what is over. Well try quoting him on something else: ?For All The World A Dream,And We The Dreamers? and make what happened here happen everywhere.

I'm Joel McKeever, and this is where I get off. Go kick ass.

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