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2016 Graduation Ceremony – Valectidorian Speech

16 June 2016

Before I begin, I’d just like to thank the staff who chose me to do the speech. It’s a great honour and I am extremely grateful for it.

Now, I must just verify that all students are present, so for the record, Eda, are you here?, Alex B, are you here or did the tram break down? Finally, Mooshie, are you here or did the congestion on the path leading to school get the better of you?… Brilliant, we are complete!

Two years of IB, where on earth can I start? As I know all students, teachers and parents will vouch, it has certainly matched expectations. It has lived up to to its nicknames of Instant Burnout or I’m Busy. It has been gruelling and filled with endless week nights and weekends of hard work.  It has felt like a long tunnel where the end was never in sight. Having said that, it’s not to say there has not been any procrastination. These two years have also been filled with many quiz-up battles, ludicrous amounts selfies of us procrastinating and a surprising number of trips to Coop only to arrive and find out that nobody is actually buying anything.

One phrase that has stuck to me when writing this speech, is Mrs Macmahon’s infamous statement or question who knows?, “ Watt is the unit of power”. Maybe in the world of physics, the Watt is indeed to unit of power. But after reflection, I think we are entitled to disregard the physics and say that power is not always down to watts and joules but enormous amounts of commitment and dedication, for it is these two things that have enabled us to complete the IB.

But, a week ago, everything vanished, suddenly the burden that is the IB was gone. This lead, inevitably, to lots of partying, and I am please to report, that the partying is not over! However, it has left many of us feeling rather empty. As if we were navigators without compasses, not knowing what to do next. It is a testament to the program, that even when it is finished and despite the ecstasy of finishing, most us feel haunted by phrases such as “ What am I revising next? or “Time for the next IA”, much like we are about Erik’s strange obsession with earlobes.

However, today is not just about graduating from the IB for most of us, it is also about saying goodbye to a fundamental part of our lives, IIL. While we are all extremely happy to leave, many of us will leave with a heavy heart. I personally have been here a decade and it is not the first time I am leaving the school, as I left for year 7 and came back the following year. This has allowed me to appreciate just how good of a school it is. Not only has it delivered an excellent education, it has also made me the person who I am today, and I am certain, that when others ponder about this, they will feel the same. I am proud to have been part of a vibrant but friendly international community that is IIL, where students and staff from all corners of the globe collaborate together, in respect and peace. It is rare to find a school where this is the case, and I can only hope that we, as alumni of the school, will use the skills and mentality that IIL has given us not only in our own careers, but in are whole lives..

Now, I would like to do the round of very deserved thank yous!

  • Parents, without your guidance and patience, our lives would have been much harder. Your support has been felt so thank you for being IB parents!
  • Teachers, you have been amazing. While in most schools, teachers are the enemies, it is not the case here. Your positive attitudes have created not only lots of happy and funny moments in class, but also an ideal environment to learn and all the students are grateful of your dedication and commitment.
  • I would also like to have a special mention for two ladies that have been cardinal in us passing through the IB and beyond. Mrs Raffy, you have been a brilliant coordinator. Your expertise for the IB has surely had a positive impacts on all our grades and you have been essential in ensuring a positive working spirit between all peers. Dr Martin, without you, I’m not even sure all of would manage to get to university. Your constant support and guidance has been wonderful. And when I say constant, I mean constant. I once sent an email at midnight, and got an immediate reply and then, 5 hours later I sent another email and got another reply! Thank you so much.I hope you have a peaceful July!

As a final thank you and goodbye to all the teachers, the students would like to offer you one last get-togther. As is the case for many of us, CAS had led us to do things we would have never dreamed of before the IB. (Thank you Mr Jones). As most of you know already, in my personal journey, it has lead me to become a committee member of the vintage trams of Geneva. On behalf of all the students, I would like to invite all teachers who taught us either in Year 12 or Year 13 to a Vintage Tram Journey wth an apéro on Sunday the 19th June, free of charge.

Now before I end, I just have to mention a few hilarious quotes and moments, from both teachers and students that recap some of the brilliant moments we’ve shared together. It simply wouldn’t be a graduation speech, if I didn’t make a few people embarrassed!

In economic class, during a test, Leo’s phone’s siri blurting out ‘What can I help you with”, or also in economics class, when doing the register only to find the person in question was outside accelerating off on his scooter! In chemistry, Ava described 10 x 10^23 molecules as Avocado’s numbers and Oliver never ceased to let us know of his constant fear of someone “stepping on his Jsss!”. Mooshie always felt the urge to ask everyone whether or not they wanted to get slapped and Andy strangely kept repeating the verb Look when near Luke. Then there was Mr Jones brilliant quote on biology “This is biology, we don’t care about people. People don’t matter” and Mrs Macmahon’s opinions on IB student’s life “ Now, you are IB students, so you don’t have a life!”.  Mrs Kew never failed to find the perfect moment to say “Seriously”  and Mrs Tznavev never talk one lesson without reminding me or Luis to be quiet.

Marc