Monday 14 May 2018

Graduation Day 2018

Yes, at Dreaming Spires, we have a graduation day ... that's because we get students who study with us for four or more years, and this year was no exception: we said good-bye to six students who are finishing their journey with us, and we held an online ceremony for them.

They took the opportunity to talk about their journey, what they learned, and what they'll take away from it. I loved hearing their "little pieces of advice" to the next general - I say "little" because they were actually HUGE!

The video of the ceremony will be coming soon, and I'll embed it here (we just need to cut out some photos for privacy reasons).

In the meantime, you might enjoy reading the speech from our student whose family currently lives in Africa as missionaries.

Joy's Graduation Day Speech

"Hello? Can you hear me? Dr. Patrick here."

Those were the first words I ever heard as I began my Dreaming Spires journey. That’s when it was still called Cm Live. And what a journey it’s been! I could tell you so much about these years, what a model student I’ve been NOT but I’ve decided more talk about the learning journey.

Recently I’ve been thinking a lot about finishing Dreaming Spires. In the last few days and months, and it is sad to think I won’t see many of you whom I have known for 3 and a half years, but I also feel a sense of purpose and achievement. I feel satisfaction that I have completed something so worthwhile. So let me explain.

I was writing my Walden DQ – it’s one of the books you read in AmericanLit. Henry David Thoreau was a, well I guess you would call him, a philosopher who went and lived next to Walden Pond for two years, and I was touched by these two quotations from his conclusion that we read this week

"I learned this, at least by my experiment; that if one advances confidently in the direction of hisdreams, and endeavors to live the life which he has imagined, he will meet with a success unexpected incommon hours."
"Rather than love, than money, than fame, give me the truth. I sat at a table where were rich food andwine in abundance, and obsequious attendance, but sincerity and truth were not, and I went away hungry from the inhospitable board."
And that’s what I want to encourage you to do, you who are still on this learning journey with Dreaming Spires, to pursue your goals and seek the truth, whether you learn about the author Sir Walter Scott and his characters like Ivanhoe, or how steamboats work and relate to Huckleberry Finn. I want to encourage you to read these books as living books, make friends with them, make connections, laugh with them, shout at them, throw them against the wall ( I know people who have done this, myself included).

You see, the real goal of Dreaming Spires isn’t just to make you learn how to read properly, though that may be part of it, but it’s to show you new things, it’s to deepen your understanding and give you a springboard into further education. Dreaming Spires' goal ultimately is not to ensure good grades (though that helps), but to help you come to know more truth about this beautiful world, and the amazing books in it. And the best part of it, these books aren’t just part of the here and now, but of the future as well. Generations before us and later after us, people will read the same books as you. Imagine! You and I may read the same book which Thucydides wrote about the Peloponnesian war.

Books are even part of the future you, and me. All you have to do is let them become that. So I encourage all of you to finish well, and well doesn’t mean grades, but a new whole library of truth inside you to be deepened and expanded over the years pass. Never stop seeking the truth and seek your dreams confidently – they may yet happen!

I would also like to say a very special thank you to these very special people who started me on this journey of seeking the truth. Dr. P who started me on this journey as a small 11-year-old. Mrs. Alison Samuels, who teaches history, may Athens live on! Mrs. Kim, who teaches Biology and Senor B for teaching Spanish. These people are the ones who helped me on the way. Now it's up to you and me to do what you do with your newly acquired truth.

I'm excited to see how their teaching and effort will be put to good use in years to come, in all of us.

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Suggestions, ideas, tweaks, or maybe you're just a happy Dreaming Spires student who wants to leave some encouraging words! Thanks for posting! Kat