Convocation 2016
Posted 02/09/2016 04:38PM

The TASIS England community celebrated the start of the new academic year with an all-school Convocation on Wednesday, August 31. Following the vibrant procession of class banners and the national flags representing student home countries, Student Council President, Patrick Coe, welcomed the audience with an inspiring and fitting speech reflecting on the commonalities shared within our international community. 

“Three years ago, when I sat where you are, I felt lost. I wish I could have told myself back then, ‘don’t even worry about it.’ This is a school where people like me; people who were forced to let go of old attachments and homes will thrive,” Patrick shared. “We are a school of over 50 nationalities and nearly all of us have at some point gone through exactly what you [new students] are going through. Returning students understand that it isn’t your job to reach out, but ours. And from that, comes a profound sense of TASIS unity – one derived from the fact that we all recognize that there is so much diversity within ourselves,” he continued.

Head of School, Dr. Hong, welcomed students back with a promise to prepare them for a world that is,  “sometimes not as stable and as safe this peaceful hamlet called Thorpe.”  According to Dr. Hong, teachers and staff must teach and model the important lessons of compassion in dialogue, through classes and through the countless interactions with one another. “Our job as educators is to show how issues, both small and large, are not debates about who is right or wrong, but about finding a compromise, a place of truth.” 

Dr. Hong issued students a few challenges as well. “The first is to say yes – try something new, give yourself the opportunity to try a new sport, go to a play, join a club.  Second, as we try to be good to each other, make kindness and civility become habit. It starts with thanking the staff that feed and take care of us, holding the door for someone, sitting next to a new student in the dinning room. All of us here know what it’s like to be new, to be a bit lost. Please demonstrate, in your actions, one act of kindness everyday. I promise you, it will grow and flourish so that it will become habit. The third and last request is to let learning be joyful. Please understand that something challenging and hard does not necessarily mean that it cannot be joyful.”

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