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Westport Seniors Celebrate Before They Graduate

WESTPORT, Conn. – Staples High School senior Eva Hendricks held nothing back Tuesday night as she belted out the lyrics to "Gone," a song she wrote herself, in front of a standing-room-only crowd in the Staples auditorium.

Eva was just one of several soon-to-be-grads who showed off their talents during the Baccalaureate ceremony, a Staples tradition held the night before graduation in which the class salutatorian also entertains — with words.

"Focused procrastination — though it may sound like an oxymoron, mastering focused procrastination is one of the hardest, yet most rewarding studying techniques," Salutatorian Todd Lubin said as the crowd burst into laughter.

Todd explained that "focused procrastination" is about knowing how long one can concentrate on academics before the mind needs a break. But when the need for a break sets in, Todd said it's important to embrace it, rather than trying to suppress it and forge ahead with studying.

Unlike plain-old procrastination, "focused procrastination" is when a student pursues his or her passion during downtime, instead of simply browsing Facebook. Simply put, it's about finding the perfect balance between one's studies and one's hobbies, he said.

"Most of us are headed to college, a place where our ability to balance work with play will be tested to the limit," said Todd, who's attending Harvard this fall. With those words, he created a scenario many college student face — whether to go to a party or work on a paper that's due the next day.

"Of course, I can't speak for everyone, yet there's one thing of which I can remind you all: The paper will still be there when the party is over. But the party may not be there when the paper is over," he said to more laughs.

Todd's speech was preceded by brief talks from Staples High School science teacher William Jones and parent Joseph Tacopina. The ceremony also included performances by Girlband, a band consisting of seniors Tori Schachne, Annie Nelson, Eva Hendricks, Spencer Fox and Ben Aldrich; the Staples A Capella Choir; and an Irish Step dancing routine from seniors Courtney Dionne, Kelley Hussey and Nicole Brill.

Did you attend the Baccalaureate ceremony? What was your favorite part?

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