On May 13, Canterbury alum Tanner Camp '14 made a speech at the Virtual CavE Awards:
William Wordsworth said, "The child is the father of the man." The reason this applies is simple; the character traits that we develop in our childhood and young adulthood such as honesty, responsibility, and integrity ultimately shape the adult that we will become. The obstacles, failures, disappointments, and how we overcome the obstacles, how we respond to the failures, our reactions to disappointing moments and those tough choices that we have to make when we face moral dilemmas in our youth will ultimately provide the structure for how we will deal with similar challenges in our adult life. Youth is not wasted on the young as our youth provides, throughout mistakes in shortcomings, the framework of our adult character.
During my time at Canterbury, travel was always the biggest obstacle that I faced. Here's an idea of what a typical day was for me:
- I would wake up around 5:15 in the morning because we had to leave our home around 6:15 for one of my parents to drive me to the bus stop in Auburn by 7
- Bus would take me to school and I would go through the school day
- After school, there was a little bit of time for homework before basketball or soccer practice/before our game depending on the day
- If it was practice, some days I would get home around 7 o'clock
- If it was a game, most of the time I got home around 10 or 11 o'clock
- Then I would get dinner when getting home and then go straight into homework
To give an idea on how much driving that is, the number of miles driven from our house in Fremont, the most northeastern part of Indiana, to Canterbury School and back over the course of six days in a week is over 700 miles. This would be the same as driving from our house to south of Atlanta in Georgia. While this was incredibly challenging, I was able to overcome this obstacle by learning time management skills, working ahead on my school work so I wouldn't be behind, and learning self discipline in all aspects of life.
In my first semester at Canterbury, it seemed as though I was destined to fail. I was used to going to a school that wasn't far from my house and the academics at Canterbury were rigorous and not what I was used to. I told my parents one night that I wanted to switch schools because I don't belong here. They encouraged me to go one more semester and if it still didn't work out, we would look at a different school. I agreed because of the love for basketball and some of the relationships that I had made. To this day, sticking it out and staying at Canterbury is one of the biggest blessings in my entire life.
Over the course of three years, I was able to gain perseverance, I got stronger mentally, and had an increased feeling of grit and determination to not only finish my time at Canterbury, but to make the most out of it and enjoy the various opportunities that Canterbury provides. I made so many memories throughout the three years I was at Canterbury that still stick with me to this day. From enduring and appreciating Mr. Chiang's unabated sarcasm in meteorology class, to the trip to the Chicago Art Museum with Dr. Novak, to seeing Niagara Falls during the junior college trip, to Mr. Schantz giving me the experience of a lifetime by going to Stratford in Canada to watch a variety of theater performances, and even helping the Cavaliers make it to semi-state for just the second time in boy's basketball history led by the Krieger Clan, these are just a few of the memories that I made in the three years at Canterbury.
Even in the triumphs, there were disappointments. There were three in particular that still come to mind. In my junior year at Canterbury, our basketball team was playing in the regional semi-finals against Bishop Hammond Noll. They beat us by 14 points and that moment of disappointment and losing really took a toll on me after the game. The other two occurred during my senior year. The first was how we finished the regular season. Our senior class wanted to leave a legacy behind, but 12-10 going into the postseason was not what we had imagined. So going into the tournament, we all kept a mindset of working as hard as we could and getting refocused to make a deep run. This led our team to a sectional championship and a chance for a regional championship against Bishop Hammond Noll. This game was where we really dug down knowing that they knocked us out the previous year. And it was a great feeling to beat them and win the regional championship. This leads to the third disappointment in losing in the semi-state game to Lapel and a shot at playing in Bankers Life Fieldhouse for a state championship. While the feeling of disappointment hurts in these moments, the lessons learned were to always work harder and to refocus in the face of adversity and use these disappointments as fuel to drive you past what you thought you were capable of. It can be so tough to feel motivated to work harder, but it's important to understand that while it may hurt in that moment, the hard work you put in will benefit you in the end.
One of the most important lessons that it taught at Canterbury is integrity, as part of the saying Integritas in omnibus. Integrity simplified means that you're willing to do the right thing not because other people are around, but because it's the right thing to do. From moral decisions to academics, one can feel like they want to take shortcuts. There is no substitute for doing the right things and putting in the work with honest effort. For myself, when it came to learning and completing assignments, I wasn't just working to receive the grade, but I wanted to understand the material that was in front of me. At times, it was difficult to keep this motivation with the travel, other assignments, athletics, and other factors, but this has been something that I have kept true to and has helped me graduate Cum Laude while being involved in basketball, sports director, and broadcasting daily.
As a result of my Canterbury experience, my youth was definitely not wasted; for it has shaped me into a young man who now knows how to handle obstacles, failures, and disappointments. So don't waste your youth and embrace the challenges as they come. I want to leave you with a challenge. During my senior year at Canterbury, I received a blue wristband that stated Find the Good. This has been a motto that has stuck with me ever since that day. Even though that wristband broke years ago, I felt compelled to keep that message on my wrist as a reminder, to always find the good. No matter how tough the day, how tough the practice, or how tough life seems to be, you can always find the good.