Essay:Dan's Disappointment Speech
NOTE: For more information on the speech, see the entry in Memories:LAN.
NOTE 2: I would just like everyone to know that since the writing of this speech, my views and opinions of CTY and the Alcove have drastically changed. Part of what is shared in this speech is based upon a viewpoint that was twisted by a devastating loss of a friend of mine (though by loss, I don't mean death). I have since gone through with numerous miserable and horrifying mistakes that have forever changed my feelings regarding such a scenario. I am merely keeping this speech here for archival purposes. Please understand that I now find it thoroughly embarrassing, and frankly, I'm ashamed of it. You may not understand why; something you are unable to detect in the speech is a brutally cruel and selfish interior - behind the bare words - that really stabs me in the heart. Anyway, you may like it or not like it. Read away. -Dan Salvato
NOTE 3: I'm a little late in saying this, as everyone that wanted to read it, probably has read it, but I feel that I should add my version of a disclaimer as well, in case anyone ever sees this. I had no reason to have this view, but I too have changed it. I've come to realize over the last year and over my last year at CTY that it wasn't as much that the Alcove wasn't doing what it needed, but that it wasn't doing what I needed from it. The Alcove was always open to everyone, but it turned out that it wasn't for me. I am not ashamed of this, because this was who I was and what I believed in, and I maintain that, at the time, it was the opinion that I wanted to have. We all do what we believe is right at the time, and this speech is what I thought was necessary then. If anyone reading this in the future feels in any way similar, I strongly suggest contacting me (no matter how far in the future) and maybe I can help. You probably won't, but I really do want you to. -Sasha Ayvazov
Written by: Dan Salvato and Alex "Sasha" Ayvazov
A few of us have been disappointed this year at CTY. Last year a powerful bond has been lost - a bond between the Alcove and the entire CTY community. We all know and love Zev, and he has done more for CTY than we could ever imagine. One thing he has done is create the CTY Lancaster Holy Trinity. He did this because he had a vision for the future of the Alcove and for the future of CTY. Myself and others have been noticing that we have been failing to see this vision - and as part of the Trinity, I believe it is my job to bring attention to this.
So what is the Alcove? The Alcove is a family - a family with an inherent task in the CTY community. Let me tell you about a squirrel named Rachel. I spent some time with her during Friday's dance, and we began to feel a special connection. The type of connection that some of you may have felt with other boys or girls. However, I realized that focusing more attention on Rachel would prevent me from seeing all of CTY as a family - and more importantly, would prevent Rachel from seeing all of CTY as a family. So instead, I brought her to the Alcove to experience a different kind of love: a love that brings us together no matter how different we may be. But the Alcove is lacking in that love now. We are not fulfilling our ultimate purpose: to reach out and unite all of CTY as a family.
Zev has taken a great task into his own hands, but now that he is gone, it has been passed down to us. He wants us to love. And I could say I love Dana, and I could say I love Ev, and I could say I love Rachel, but you know what? I love CTY, and that is greater than my love for any one person. Because we are all a part of CTY. Most of us are happy, and that's great, but as a family, we need to give others this opportunity to be happy too. CTY has changed our lives, but unless we follow Zev's vision, ours will be the last for CTY to change.
It really hurts for me to talk about this because I love you all so much, but I want to pass on this love. I want to pass it on to Rachel; I want to pass it on to all of the future of CTY.
So what can we do as individuals and what can we do as a whole? Let people know they matter, people you've never ever talked to before. Stray away from your comfort zone to extend that comfort to others. Once in a while, sit outside the Alcove during meals. Because maybe you'll gain a friend and maybe that friend will gain a family. Include everyone in our activities: the grass orgies, the Blammo games and Silent Football. You know, Zev was adopted 42 times as a squirrel. He was also a part of a 42-person grass orgy. Well, 42 is a great number, but if it means one more person can join in, 43 is even greater. Because we all love each other and the more people we can include in this love, the greater it is. The task before us is great, but Zev believes we can do it. And so do I. So let's let others embrace our love as much as we do. Because above all, we're a family - and that's what this family is about.