As part of the eighth grade English curriculum, students write a speech on a topic they are passionate about. The speeches are then critiqued by their teachers and fellow students for form and delivery. Out of approximately 50 eighth graders, six are chosen by their classmates and teachers to give their speeches at an assembly. This year’s speeches varied in topic and tone—some were very personal and others more academic— but all were exceptionally written and delivered. Jonathan Ho ’21 spoke of the benefits of napping. “Some of the world’s greatest dreamers have been nappers,” he said. Jack Shanahan ’21 talked of Canada and how it is “greatly underappreciated by the world.” Alex Dady ’21 gave an impassioned speech about the over competitive nature of Little League baseball and how it took the “joy, friendship, and unity” out of playing baseball. Axel D’Amelio ’21 spoke of a problem so many of us have today, smartphone addiction. “How is it that this amazing tool could be so dangerous?” he asked. Ryan Pelosky ’21 dug into the unequal funding of public defenders versus both prosecutors and private attorneys and how this leads to an inequity in the justice system. In the final speech of the morning, Harry Flores ’21 encouraged all to find their passion and pursue it in one way or another. “People become happier when they work on their passion,” he said.