lunes, 10 de junio de 2013

Graduation speech (spring quarter) - International English Program UC Davis

By Juan Sebastián Cárdenas Salas

Date: 7th June 2013

"We are many people here but only one spirit...

First of all I must thank you for this opportunity to represent the voice of the students from all latitudes that we are here today.  I am proud not only for being a representative of my country -Colombia-. I feel proud to be part of the whole world. Here, all we have just one flag whose tonality is white.  On behalf of us, the students, I give thanks to all and every one of the staff from the Extension Center; you are always willing to guide us, help us, and give us additional options for our learning process and relaxing time also. Tina, thank you for the love you always give and the good energy you always have, thank you for all. Special thanks to the teachers for their great job. Teach is not easy; sharing knowledge through education is a great gift and a great responsibility. Thank you for encourage our English learning in its different ways. A recognition to ourselves for the efforts and achievements in this quarter.

According to some researches, learning is a biological process related to the adaptation of the human beings. I feel the California’s environment; especially the UC Davis (which is an amazing campus), has a kind of magic that allows this adaptation works better. But we are who decide alternatives in addition to the classroom. How do you have lived this experience? What story have you created, or, are you creating now? Those are interesting questions. Some of you are finishing today this part of the story to start a new one, others are just shaping it. At this point is where I want to introduce the topic word that I chose for this speech. I think I have become in a “speech dinosaur” using it, but really every day I do not want only say it, I want to live it:  Take Advantage of (Phrasal verb). According to The Merriam-Webster dictionary Its Definition is: to use something, such as an opportunity, in a way that helps you. Some examples: Take advantage of the privilege to be here, Take advantage of learning every day, Take advantage of make good friends, Take advantage of the opportunity to open your mind to the world. Thus, you can create a good story; write your best composition.

Finally, I would like to close this speech with an inspiring quotation from Stephen Hawking the great British scientist, which is related to the sense of what we are doing here: 

ʽFor millions of years, mankind lived just like the animals. Then something happened which unleashed the power of our imagination. We learned to talk. And we learned to listen. Speech has allowed the communication of ideas, enabling human beings to work together, to build the impossible. Mankind’s greatest achievements have come about by talking. And it’s greatest failures by NOT talking. It doesn’t have to be like this […] All we need to do is make sure we keep talking.ʾ

View: Pink Floyd - Keep Talking