School’s Out For Summer

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Today, the SIS community once again gathered in the church for the end of the year ceremony. Here are the speeches made by graduating students Titaree O., Tom L., and Olivia W. This is the last article for the year. The QQ will be taking a break for the summer. See you all again in August.

First Speech – Titaree O.

To all students, teachers, and parents of Stockholm International School. Thank you so much for having me today. Also, thanks to my younger brother who inspired me to stand here and give the speech today. First of all, I want to congratulate all of grade 12 who achieved and finished the IB. It’s a tough curriculum, but we all made it, so I think all of us should be proud of ourselves even though we have to wait for the results until July.

I’ve been in this school for 3 years, so not very long compared to others. I still remember my first day of school, I came to school late not the best first impression. I had never been to an international school before so I was very nervous but I felt excited. I didn’t know how to act, start a conversation with others or even how to get along with them. As an EAL student in 10th grade and English B student in 11th and 12th grade  I sometimes can find it difficult to communicate with teachers. However, with their help and support, I am not afraid to share my opinions and ask questions anymore. I’ve changed so much for 3 years, yet I still have to improve several things.

IB is not an easy system., When I was in 10th grade, I heard all the DP students complaining and talking about workloads and how stressful and difficult it is. In the beginning, I didn’t believe them at all. I always believed in myself and my perseverance so I was not scared by the IBs reputation. However, when I experienced it myself, my instinct was quite right. It was not that difficult like other people have mentioned it. Everything for me was quite smooth, I didn’t have any problems doing the IB, but I still sometimes complained about it to my parents.

Everything was going well until, I lost my younger brother, Jia on the 5th of February this year. I was absent for a month when I lost my brother. I didn’t come to school because we arranged the funeral in my home country. All the 12 graders know that in February, we had to present our TOK Presentation and submit most of the IAS. At that time I couldn’t catch up at all, I had struggled to manage my studying and all the work that I had to submit. I couldn’t cry and had to show my sorrows because I knew that the only thing that I had to focus on was studying and finishing the IB. At this point I felt thankful to the IB workloads, I didn’t have to stick with my sadness and feel alone at home. I lost him in the year that I graduated from high school. The year that most people suffered from the exams and assignments, it was even harder for me to concentrate when I came back to school. No matter how my much my heart and soul were grieving, I tried to be happy and strong so that I could focus and move on with my school. I am happy to know that my friends were there for me and would try to cheer me up whenever the IB workload gave them the chance to. When I started 12 grade, Jia promised to come to my graduation ceremony, he promised me to come to the church and listen to my speech today. Unfortunately, he is not here today but I somehow believe that he is listening right now, not here but somewhere in the heavens watching me.  

I want to use my story to inspire other students to believe in themselves and also believe in their perseverance and abilities. Anything is possible once you actually try. All the difficulties that you experience in your life will shape you to become a stronger person. And always remember that your hard work always pays off no matter how useless it may seem.

Lastly, I would like to use this opportunity to thank all of my DP teachers who have helped me so much for 2 years.

Thanks, Ms. Öman who managed everything for all of us throughout 2 years. Thanks, Ms. Paloma who always tried to understand all of the self-taught students in their worries and dilemmas.  Thanks, Ms.Smith who always help us with CAS and Extended Essay and helped me with my English and for being as kind as she is. Thanks, Mr. Jovic for your efforts and faith in all of us. You taught us that we all could achieve more than what we or other people thought that we were capable of.  Thanks, Ms.Saha for your kindness and patience. Thanks, Ms. Nhandara who taught me and my brother Jia. Thanks, Ms. Schmidt who always give us good comments, tips, and resources that are very useful and helpful. Thanks, Mr. Smith for your comments and advice on TOK, your ideas are as always brilliant and very helpful. Thanks, Mr. Ampuja for every morning attendance and your positivity. Knowing that we could come to you with any problems we had was put everyone at ease. Special thanks to Ms. Littorin who was always there to support Jia and our family.  

Thank you to all of the 8th graders this year as well, Jia was very happy when he heard all of your messages and videos that you sent to him. It gave him the strength to push on.

Also, I would like to thank all of the 12th graders who understood my condition and circumstances. Some of you sent me messages and letters to me during the toughest time in my life. I really appreciate that and thank you so much. From now on we will have different paths and future, but I strongly believe that once we reunite again, every moment and every feeling will be the same as we reminisce and remember our days at this school.

Second Speech – Tom L.

Hello all, 

Many may know me, but for those who don’t, my name is Tom, and I have been a student at SIS for the past 10 years. 

I know that all you students are eager for this ceremony to end, so you can start your summer vacation. I will keep my speech short. 

Growing up in this school, I have seen many students come and go, I’ve always been the one who stayed with the familiarity of this school, whilst others have moved on. 

Now it’s finally my time to open another chapter in my life and I do so with the knowledge that I have friends and family in all corners of the world. 

I would definitely say that through meeting international students and teachers during my time here at SIS has prepared me to become the person I am today. A lot of my fondest memories have taken place with these people. Looking through old Yearbooks I was reminded of how much we’ve all grown up and to think that I’ve grown up with students such as Raman and Maya, who have almost been here for as long as I have, makes me feel valued. 

Many are the things I’ve learned over the course of my primary, secondary and high school life, but at one point, you have to choose your own path to follow. If you are lucky that realization comes early. 

Mine didn’t, it wasn’t until the beginning of grade 11, that I really understood that I had to curate my own future. The DP program has really challenged me and I can honestly say I feel prepared to open the door to new adventures. 

To round things off, I would like to congratulate the graduating class of 2019 and all those who helped get us to where we are today. 

Final Speech – Olivia W.

Classmates, teachers, parents, and friends,

I feel honored to be one of the 3 graduating students asked to speak today… whether or not that choice was made by picking names out of a hat.

What distinguishes a fantastic school?

One of the many great attributes of our relatively small school is that you are recognized and never anonymous. Each one of our wonderful teachers knows us individually and is ready to go far beyond their duties to help us succeed. That is precisely what distinguishes a fantastic school.

From Mrs. Schmidt, who spends every Friday break with our MUN team, to my physics teacher Mrs. Hascher, who visited me in Uppsala last summer at my internship at the Swedish Institute of Space Physics. I have, like many of you, personally experienced how our school is a community that supports you to its fullest capacity. These are perfect embodiments of the SIS spirit if you want to succeed the school is really there to help you achieve your goals. I am lucky to have been part of the SIS community for the past 3 years and I feel fully prepared to embark on my next chapter in life at Stanford.

To me, the difference between a community and just another good school is its ability to not only support its students during their successes but also during the times they need support. I know personally that SIS is a community and that the school is there to help you through difficult times. When I needed that time, no one hesitated, everyone from head teachers to Mrs. Wegdell mobilized themselves and were there for me.

My graduating class of 2019 is composed of 53 students from 5 continents and 24 different countries. Although our school has taught us a lot, I would like to say that many of our most important lessons and experiences that we will bring with us in life are those that we have learnt from each other. These are the experiences you can only gain from a truly multicultural environment, exactly what SIS has provided. As graduates, we must embark on our individual journeys and bring with us a diverse perspective and the wisdom that we have gained here.

With all that said, our class evidently still lacks wisdom. For example, the fact that we apparently needed sunblock on our recent graduation trip to Spain went by us al -the outcome being some rather unfortunate and painful looking individuals. I’m not looking at you Minseok.

I have some thoughts for our younger students. Keep in mind that the support we receive at this school is not something that is present at every school and that it is something we should all be very grateful for. Make the most of your time at SIS and realise that you are an important member of the SIS family.

Also, use your summer to delve into your interests and follow your passions… unless that passion is tiktok (grade 6 in particular).

Before I conclude I would like to remind everyone that every great person was once just a normal kid, even/including Mother Theresa, Nelson Mandela, and Harvey Weinstein and me too. SIS has taught us integrity, courage, and compassion. But now that we are leaving we must teach ourselves the next steps, by asking ourselves the questions. Who do I want to be? What do I stand for? And what do I want to change?