AA Senior Nathan A. Delivers Chapel Talk
2016, December 12 – The tenth annual Chapel Talk series at Amelia Academy began on Nov. 30 with the speech of senior Nathan A. Each week between now and April, a member of the senior class will present his or her Chapel Talk before a gathering of students, faculty, family, and other special guests.
Rodney L. Taylor, head of school, said that the past ten years have offered a glimpse into the lives of each senior. Mr. Taylor went on to express his admiration for Nathan who has persevered through difficulties in his life.
Nathan spoke about the lessons he has learned through those challenging times. He began his Talk with a quotation – “Life is 10% what happens to you and 90% how you react to it.” Nathan then recounted the years he spent receiving medical treatment for a bone cyst in his knee.
The cyst was discovered in 2010, and Nathan had surgery to remove it. After being on crutches for six months and a year of physical therapy, he went on with a normal life.
Two years later, Nathan fell on a diving board and broke the femur bone in his leg. The bone cyst had come back and caused the severe break. After another surgery to remove the cyst, Nathan spent a year in a wheel chair and two years of physical therapy. “It was an uphill battle the whole way,” he said. “It taught me a lot because it was almost a glimpse into the life of someone who is disabled.” Nathan said that he was grateful for everything he learned, including the necessity to take advantage of the opportunities given to him. During physical therapy, he learned that “if you give nothing, you’re going to receive the same.”
As he prepares to make the transition from high school to the next stage of his life, Nathan expressed regret that he did not take greater advantage of the educational opportunities offered to him. “Teachers, family members, and even classmates tell you to do your best in school, or it will haunt you for the rest of your life. They are right,” he said.
He encouraged his fellow students to consider their actions more seriously. “Every action has a repercussion,” he said, and added with a bit of self-deprecation, “If you’re near-sighted like me, you’ll never be able to see farther than what’s right in front of you.” By remembering that every action has a reaction, he said, “we may be able to change our vision from near-sighted to 20/20.”
While a student at the Academy, Nathan has been active in the drama club and programs such as the annual Coffee Cabaret program. He has participated in the Association of Virginia Academies Forensics competition. Nathan has also been a member of the Beta Club.
In attendance for his Chapel Talk were his brother, Will P., and his girlfriend, Robi P. Also present were her parents, Brenda and Robert T.; grandparents, Doris and Stanley H.; great-grandmother, Dorothy S.; and family friend Tehya C.
The senior class and guests enjoyed refreshments after the Chapel Talk program.