Sally Flint


School Graduation

So after sixteen years of schooling, graduation finally came … and went… for our gorgeous little Betsy. She announced to me just now that she is officially unemployed! 

Lots of people have asked me if I’m going to blog about Betsy’s graduation, but what to say?… I could blog how we’re the proudest parents alive – along with every other proud parent of graduates. I could blog about how time has flown quicker than the blink of an eye, (I’m good at cliches) and how scared and excited I am for her as she embarks on the next chapter of her life. I could blog about how the idea of not having her at home next year sucks, but how I wouldn’t swap her having that opportunity for the world … but that’s all way too earnest for me.

Graduation Thoughts and Reflections

Instead here are my very random thoughts, in no particular order, following  yesterday’s spectacular graduation ceremony at Bangkok Patana School:

  • School graduations are a farily new phenonemon. Back in the day, when I left school we finished our last class, threw eggs and flour on the bus on the way home (not me, I was a good girl!) and left. Job done!
  • 16 years of intensive education is worth celebrating. I love graduation. 
  • Way more kids graduate from school than uni, and spend much longer there so school graduations should, arguably, have a higher status.  Ours is ‘extra’ and we are lucky for that.
  • Our school turns out great kids but …
  • Our great kids probably don’t yet realise how lucky and privileged they are.
  • Personalised teacher cards to kids are worth their weight in gold. 
  • My daughter can walk across the stage four times in heels and not fall over. Phew.
  • Heels are over-rated. Why do we have them? 
  • Are heels a symbol of oppression?
  • Shoud the discussion of heels be a Masters’ dissertation topic.
  • Big sisters are the best for helping prepare for graduation.
  • Spandex is a wonderful thing, but is it too a symbol of oppression? 
  • We spend years teaching our students about the perils of alcohol abuse and then wave them merrily off to a wild after-grad party.
  • I am not the only ‘avoider’. See earlier blog post.
  • No longer being a teacher at our school is weird and sad! I too, like Betsy, am unemployed. 
  • My husband is too smart for his own good and writes a great graduation speech. Today in the Guardian the Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan pinched his idea in saying that Donald Trump is like a twentieth century fascist. 
  • My husband is funny as shown by this line: “Next week, Donald Trump and Boris Johnson will cement their Doris Bromance in London with their pitbull Nigel Farage. 
  • My husband is adorable in that he worried, after the event, that using Doris as a play on words might seem sexist.
  • The power of language should not be underestimated.
  • My husband’s speeches could perhaps be a little less political! 
  • Our school educators teach our kids to be confident orators, singers, and performers. Being a risk taker is a good thing.
  • Our kids have no excuse to not truly understand the value of good values.
  • Some kids will never have those values embedded in them.
  • In order to thrive it is essential to buy into and trust a belief system.
  • In the old days teaching was called a vocation. This still stands.
  • An excellent pastoral system should come first in education.
  • International friendships are fabulous. 
  • International frienships with parents from differing cultures are probably difficult to maintain long term. 
  • A big budget lends itself to a massive team of school housekeeprs, technicians and helpers. Our kids are good at saying thank you, but may not actually really value them.
  • If I ruled the world I’d have the Year 12 kids set up or clean up the school tables at graduation.
  • People watching at graduation is interesting. The kids are adults and the connection between students and teachers is powerful and important.
  • Graduation is celebrating every day of a students’ journey, not just the last year or few weeks. 
  • Technology is amazing. What a phenomenon that our graduation can be viewed world wide. Check out the Patana School Alumni page here for more photos and fun.
  • Photos feature a lot at graduations these days! 
  • My kids find bad photos of me highly amusing.
  • The day after graduation is a great day for a Sheraton brunch.
  • Social extroverts (especially sober ones) are highly desired at functions.
  • Preparing for a graduation is like preparing for a very large wedding. A massive task that teachers don’t prepare for when doing their training! 
  • Teachers and staff who organise massive events like graduation and residentials are awesome.
  • Friends and ex-teachers who come and celebrate your kids’ graduation are super kind. 
  • All the world is an extension of a karaoke hall. Young and old like to belt out classic numbers when the opportunity arises. My daughter included during the informal entertainment of her graduation.
  • Students who have the confidence to have fun and be themselves are a school’s success story.

I started this blog thinking I would be wryly tongue in cheek and moderately amusing. The reality is that I feel like I’ve written out a list of essay questions or statements that should all have ‘Discuss’ at the end of then. I’m a little afeared I sound a bit preachy, but hopefully not.

Graduation Gratitude

To be honest, at times like this my gratitude list is overflowing. Thank you and farewell Bangkok Patana School.

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