The Canadian International School of Beijing (CISB) graduation on June 19, 2012 was a very special event. The ceremony began with graduates descending to the stage in their red caps and gowns with white sashes; the stage was decorated with white halo ribbons.
Principal Douglas K. Prescott was Master of Ceremonies and presented the audience with “O Canada” and the Chinese National Anthem.
Now what do we feel as we put on our Academic dresses, university acceptance letters held tightly within our pawns and about to take the next, biggest leaps of our lives. Is this feeling identical to the one we thought we would feel as we anticipated the coming of this day?
For me, it is definitely not!
I would have to admit, as I walked through high school, my perception of it was that it was not that of a pretty place… I guess many of you may have shared the same view. Homework often took from daylight to daylight, the scares of examinations often took away the little sleeps that remained and that even frictions between best friends often caused much frustration.
However, as the time to depart from high school slowly nears and finally arrives, what used to seem so horrifying, so dauntingly lightning alarm clocks – may still not seem all that aesthetically pleasing but it seem essential and indispensable – eve.
What I learned through my years as an high school student, and the element in which I believe makes high school so special is that: high school does not only teach you how to be successful in life – how to get good grades, how to get to class on time and how to solve differential equations but instead one of the most important lessons that high school teachers you is how to fail – also one of the first lessons from TOK.
High school taught us how to fail by allowing us to make mistakes – as we stubble through the hazy roads that is our academic purses, our teachers guided us through, instead of dragging us across. As a student, I am very thank for of this. We must keep in minds that many of our subject teachers are the first time ever in their careers to teach a certain subject – To me they are wonderful teachers – the best that I could ever hope for. They are great teachers not because they are unabridged in their knowledge and or experience but instead they taught us to our full potentials through their hard work – they worked hard to understand us to help us learn – making pages and pages of practice booklets (booklets that we used to refer to as evilness in our business class rooms) was the hard work of our teachers – for this we thank you not only for your hard work, but what you taught us through your actions – we must not be afraid of the unknown, as experience is achieved through continuous endeavors.
The teachers here at CISB has taught me how not to be afraid of failing, but, instead, given me chances after chances of making things right. One of my greatest accomplishments within my high school career here at CISB is receiving first place in the science fair in grade 10, with my two closest friends – harry and max. Three students placed in pre ib chemistry with Mrs. Mac. With very little clue to what a pop test was, we conducted an experiment involving acids and metals. However, what made this science fair so special to me was not, only two years ago, under the leadership of the same teacher, I received a science fair grade of only a few percentage above passing – a project that I completed only the morning before the due date. Mrs. Mac – among other teachers, only kindly reminded me of my past mistakes instead of criticizing them. Mrs. Mac’s professionalism in teaching – the assistance and team work granted by my team mates harry and max allowed me the first time to observe how success is achieved – in other words, the start of a great beginning.
During its process, high school may seem only to be a number – a percentage which lied between 0-100… We may spend hours fighting for a tiny increase in our grade. However, as we look back, the most valuable of all are the more, intangible treasures that was given to us – our friends – no matter if there are students of teachers, our experience and our proud parents and guardians.
Therefore before I conclude, as the representative of the graduating class, I would like to give a big thank you to our parents/guardians, teachers/administrators and our friends – no matter if there are among us today or not. For it is you that created the ultimate high school experience for us – the ones whom made school feel like home. You have created the perfect environment for us to learn, to grow up and to pursue our dreams – and for this we are truly thankful. But words are never enough, therefore, for the last few minutes as high school students we would like to make a promise to all of those who worked with us that – we will carry what you have taught us to, the effort that you have put into our success to create our future – we wont let you down, Thank you.