Kirsty’s graduation speech

My younger daughter Kirsty graduated from British School of Beijing. After the summer, she’ll start a new life in UK. At the graduation ceremony last week, Kirsty gave the best speech, which won the most applauds and the loudest laughter! how I am proud of her.

see attached her speech and the pictures at the ceremony.

Hello everyone, we made it! Well done, it’s been tough but it’s been good. Now we all feel strangely liberated only to be sucked into a world of depressing monotonous work as our health deteriorates and we all get uglier, just downhill from here guys. Hah just kidding, please don’t peak now.

Being the longest serving inmate at BSB with 12 years, I’ve grown up here and have countless wonderful memories from the days of the epic feud between sanlitun and Shunyi to Sidney breakdancing in BSB idol, schools plays, CAS activities, I’ll never forget singing our hearts out on the safari bus in Tanzania, or doing the duck dance in Vietnam. I could go on a long trip down memory lane, all the drama and relationships I could reveal on this stage. I feel quite powerful, even though I’m not wearing business clothes.

Well, what now? I’m certainly glad to be at this point, no longer in the insecure and awkward phase of too many Claire’s accessories, braces and thinking wearing white glasses was cool. Right now all the younger years look up to us, and I suppose its going to be a long while until anyone ever does that again, until we actually achieve something. We’re at the starting point, I know cliché, but its true. What we do now could define everything. What do we do next? Are we going to be young wild and free like Martin Baena? Or stuck into a boring office job? Follow our passions? Will any of us ever make a difference to this world? It’s a vast expanse of possibility and mystery before us. I suppose we’ll look back at this point and cringe, what hair was that and why was I so stupid. But I’m looking forward to laughing at myself, because hopefully I’ll have grown and changed like you all.

I remember when I first came to BSB, our old slogan was honesty, faith and courage. And I suppose those are values that I want to hold onto today. We should live lives that are genuine and rich and beautiful. Not that I know anymore than you, being another clueless youth, but I think our values are a guide through life. With honesty, faith and courage we have integrity. Being genuine is the only way to be meaningful, having faith moves us forward, and of course we cannot live our lives without courage. Let’s be BSB bears, not BSB chickens as we triumph over our fears. This means that we need to posses the strength to stand up for ourselves and stand up for others. Most importantly, honesty, faith and courage are essential for us to stand up for what is right, and to not accept what is wrong in the world around us. Taking a stand on the immense issues of our future, whether it be inequality, injustice, climate change, student debt, conflict, is how we can become significant.

I’m thankful for all the opportunities Best School of Beijing has presented me, and the dedicated teachers I’ve had that encouraged and inspired me. Education is such a powerful tool to change the world. Despite all the grumbling about the IB workload and some of us missing Mondays, we should be grateful for the opportunity for our education. Being such an international school, I know we’ll be spread out across the world. I hope you all live meaningful lives, of honesty, faith and courage. And bring into the world youthful idealism, energy and bravery.

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