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The Glorious Graduation Ceremony of the Class of 2017

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On the beautiful Saturday morning of May 27, students, families, and staff members set foot in one of the spectacular halls of the Diaoyutai State Guest House for the BCIS Class of 2017 Graduation Ceremony! The graduation of our 51 seniors was the perfect way to cap off another wonderful and, most certainly, busy school year. Parents, faculty members, students, and other school community members gathered together to celebrate this great milestone and achievement in their lives.

The Diaoyutai State Guest House was the perfect setting for parents as they proudly watched the soon-to-be graduates take the stage. As they made their entrance to the spacious hall, sweet, sweet music played by the BCIS Orchestra. The audience was also entertained by additional performances from the Grade 12 students, who did a moving rendition of “Imagine” that would have made John Lennon smile. Various captivating speeches also received the complete attention of the audience, especially that of Valedictorian, Sinan Li, who spoke fondly of the many precious memories made during her time at BCIS. She specifically reflected on how she and her classmates have grown as they progressed through the Diploma Programme, sharing many numerous highs and lows.

Other distinguished speakers included 93-year-old Mr. Mingyi “Grandpa” Wei from Golden Heights, as well as class-elected speaker and MYP and DP Mathematics teacher Mr. Patrick Kitsao. Grandpa Wei told of his life story, revealing how he was able to make his dream of attending an Ivy League school in the US (Brown) a reality, a period when there were only ten Chinese students, as oppose to over 200 today. He also mentioned this funny, yet interesting anecdote involving some of our BCIS students: “One afternoon, when my friends and I were competing on whose brush writing was better in the entertainment room [at Golden Heights], I met a few students from BCIS and had a long talk. [We learned that] we actually share the same life dreams. The only difference between us? 70 years.” Mr. Patrick Kitsao also cracked some jokes, such as claiming to be the best marathon runner in the world (his physical appearance disputes this theory). However, he provided a great analogy for life, which our graduates attentively followed: “Life is really more or less like a long race. Before it even begins, you plan and train for it, preparing your mind and body for the trial ahead. Once the race begins, you should never ever sprint, but pace yourself, taking your time and putting all efforts to get to the finishing line.”

The ceremony came to an end with closing remarks made by Head of School Mr. Chris Akin, who emphasized the importance of being present and “live fully now.” He There will never be another “now” again in the history of time. The clock of human existence will never repeat 11:30 AM on May 27, 2017. This moment will never happen again. You will never again graduate from Secondary School.” Indeed, every moment should be considered precious and should be used wisely. Mr. Akin quote the late philosopher Alan Watts, stating:

... you see you were fooled …
You were always living for somewhere, where you aren’t
And while … it is of tremendous use for us
To be able to look ahead in this way and to plan
There is no use planning for a future
Which when you get to it and it becomes a present, you won’t be there…
You’ll be living somewhere else
You’ll be living in some other future, which hasn’t yet arrived
And so, in this way, one is never able to inherit and enjoy the fruits of one’s actions
You can’t live at all …
Unless you can live fully … now

We would like to sincerely congratulate the BCIS Class of 2017! May your lives be filled with much joy, success, and most importantly, great meaning. Although it brings us great sadness to lose you from our tightknit school community, we know that you will take the very best of our vision and philosophy with you as a message of hope for the future. Take care, stay strong, and keep moving forward. As Mr. Patrick Kitsao mentioned, “Fortune favors the bold, and I promise that you will never know what you are capable of unless you try. BCIS has taught you to take risks and challenge yourself. I urge all of you to do exactly that.”

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BCIS is accredited by the CIS (Council of International Schools) and WASC (Western Association of Schools and Colleges), which demonstrates that the school meets demanding international standards in all the areas of philosophy and objectives, curriculum, governance and management, staff, student support services, resources, and student and community life.Visit www.cois.org and www.acswasc.org for more information.

The International Baccalaureate® (IB) is a non-profit educational foundation, motivated by its mission, focused on the student. The three programmes for students aged 3 to 19 help develop the intellectual, personal, emotional and social skills to live, learn and work in a rapidly globalizing world. Founded in 1968, IBO currently works with 2,771 schools in 138 countries to develop and offer three challenging programmes to over 763,000 students aged 3 to 19 years.Visit www.ibo.org for more information.

We live by a spirit of inspiring others, achieving ones goals and creating a better world.

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