Michael Gira '19 glides across the Commencement stage in his custom-made "dress Heelys."

Michael Gira ’19’s Commencement Remarks

Michael Gira ‘19 was selected by his classmates to deliver a speech at Commencement. The creator of MyMICDS.net and an avid fan of Heeleys (shoes equipped with small wheels that allow the wearer to walk, run or roll along) took the stage on May 19 after gliding past the assembled graduates. He had modified a pair of dress shoes in the Maker Space to be Heelys, to the delight of the audience (see photos of Michael creating his “dress Heelys” below).

Here are Michael’s remarks from Commencement. Stay tuned to the MICDS Blog as we will be posting Commencement weekend remarks from our speakers throughout the summer.

Michael Gira '19 delivers remarks at Commencement.

Yes, I modified a pair of dress shoes to be Heelys. It’s a special occasion and technically within dress code.

Family, friends, faculty, Mary Institute and Saint Louis Country Day School Class of 2019, this is it. Four years of hard work has led up to this day. From the endless tests and projects to the all-nighters to getting friendly with the MICDS English Department senior year—we’ve done it.

When tasked to speak on behalf of the Class of 2019, I did not feel qualified enough to accurately represent everyone’s attitudes towards our high school experience, so I sent out a survey with a few questions. These answers each revealed a part of our story here at MICDS and has inspired me to share a few lessons, which I’ll get to in a second.

Like Ms. Lyle said before, I created MyMICDS.net. You can view your schedule, lunch, etc. on it, and it has gained popularity through my shameless advertising at our weekly assemblies. So, I’m going to talk about what I know best: my website. Let me make a bold claim here: Life is a lot like MyMICDS.net. Just stick with me for this analogy—it makes sense if you don’t think about it. Now is a time to not only talk about MyMICDS but our MICDS.

In my survey, I asked people to describe their high school experience in one word. They said it was difficult, ambitious, unforgettable and “whack.” I can say the same thing about the development of MyMICDS.net. There is always another mountain to climb, another challenge to conquer. One of my most unforgettable memories while working on the website, which others in this gym might also remember, was when we were coding the password reset system but accidentally deleted all the passwords to every. single. account. Sometimes it physically pains me how clueless when I was first starting to code. In the end, we learned the very important lesson that you should always back up your databases. Please.

My fellow classmates, you too will, at some point or another, metaphorically delete your own database. Failure is okay, as long as you learn and adapt from it. Almost rarely does one succeed on their first try. Even your greatest setbacks might seem insignificant looking back. Do you remember what grade you got on that one science quiz freshman year? Only if you peaked in high school. On the contrary, it’s the other aspects of MICDS that stick with us.

When looking back at the highlights of MICDS, people in the survey said the “friendships” and “people” were the best parts, but personally, my favorite response was the “sick Chinese yoyos.” Seniors know what’s up. Honestly, after experiencing the hype of the Chinese yoyo performance at that assembly last year, everything else has been downhill.

Nonetheless, these are the things that we’ll remember about our experience. Not what we did, but how we felt. It’s these parts, big and small, that we need to cherish. Celebrate your accomplishments once in a while and appreciate the little things in life, but also remember the people who helped you get there. Parents, siblings, cousins, aunts, uncles, grandparents, teachers, advisors, lunch staff, cleaning staff and countless other people, we just want to say thank you for everything you’ve done to transform us into the individuals we are today receiving our diplomas. You all have driven us to school, provided us with a meal every day, kept our facilities clean and ensured that we’ll always remember how to properly cite a quote in MLA format. Likewise, shoutout to Nick Clifford and Jack Cai who have helped create me MyMICDS.net. They too have helped me grow as a coder and a person, and they have made me realize that you can do more together than alone.

Lastly, seniors, know that it’s never too late to do anything. I had the idea of creating MyMICDS.net in 7th grade. I asked my friends, “Hey guys, I got this idea. What if I created a website where you could view your schedule? Would you use it?” They literally ignored me. Multiple times. It probably had something to do with our awkward middle-school minds that didn’t have the mental capacity to answer such a question. Despite this, one day I decided to just go for it: I looked up tutorials online, learned to code, and got to work.

And look where I am now. It’s never too late to follow your dreams. Be the MyMICDS.net to other people, and live lives of purpose and service. Don’t hesitate and wait for someone to say it’s okay. Just do it. If you don’t succeed, you’ll have a funny story to tell. MICDS Class of 2019, we’re at a rapidly-changing period of our lives and this more than ever applies to you all, but I’m not talking about dream chasing. There are exactly 31 of you guys sitting behind me who have not registered an account on MyMICDS.net, and you know who you are. But more importantly, I know you who you are. Like I said before, it’s never too late to do anything. The helpdesk won’t delete our email accounts until the end of the year so you still have a solid seven months to do so.

Well, my fellow classmates, that’s all I could muster up in this allotted 5-7 minute advertisement for MyMICDS.net—I mean commencement speech—I was tasked to give.

Remember to learn from your mistakes, appreciate the people around you, and always take the leap of faith to make your dreams a reality. Again, thank you to the family, faculty, staff, mentors and everyone else who has impacted our lives in some way. Congratulations Class of 2019, we made it. And remember: MyMICDS.net for all of your MyMICDS.needs. Thank you.