I’m a VIP, I have a lanyard to prove it.This is a big deal because of the celebration there are many distinguished guests. Some of them are Dr. Anoop Swarup from India who is the Nobel peace prize winner. Many are presidents of universities all over the world, delegates from other countries and presidents of large companies. It is definitely an international experience. It is not only graduation but it is also the 15th anniversary of Sias International University.
The campus is a flurry of black and gold caps and gowns. Students are excited and taking pictures in lovely evening gowns and gowns that look like a wedding dress. The day began with a parade of floats from all the departments on campus and four marching bands. I laugh at the background music for the parade was the same song playing over and over YMCA and the Macarena. I am in true form when I watch a parade, I cry. My mother cried every thanksgiving when she watched the Macey’s day parade on TV. I have her to blame for this sensitive gene.
The Chinese don’t do anything small it is always big whatever they do. The floats were beautiful, colorful and alive. One of them had a bubble under a swan than looked like an egg and it opened up and a beautiful ballerina stepped out and danced.
The anniversary celebration was filled with speeches in the beginning. When the entertainment began my tears started to flow again. I am so moved by the beautiful talent and artistic presentation. Dancers, singers and kung fu were amongst the performers. Everything is so colorful and precise.
I met with some of my students after the banquet. These are my first students from the time I was here in 2011. Once again the tears started coming down my cheeks as we visited. Maybe I am just exhausted but I cry a lot. They inspire me. These students started out so shy, quiet and lacking confidence. They now look like professional women with confidence and hope for a bright future. Many of them have just completed their internships and have good job offers in Beijing or Shanghai. I couldn’t be prouder.
Amber 1 is the first students I met on campus fall 2011. She approached me timidly and said “hello”. I greeted her and discovered she was an academy member. She came to class every night because she wanted to improve her English and get everything she could from me. Now her English is great and she exhibits confidents and sureness about what she wants to do. She completed an internship at an international school for special education. Her job offers are at two different schools.
Susanna was a trendy, cute, spunky little girl with big black rimmed glasses with no glass in them. She spoke up right away in class and shared her opinions openly. She now wears a suit and pearls after completing an internship with AM Cham in Shanghai. She has job offers with four different companies in Beijing and Shanghai.
These women were little girls when I first met them and now they are professional, confident powerful women. I credit a big part of that to the women’s academy. It prepared them for the greatness that’s within them. It gave them a playing field to practice their skills and show themselves and others what they were capable of.
My experience has been the same in China. Unknowingly when I first came here I did not realize I was given a practice field. I didn’t know my game. It’s hard to practice if you don’t know the game you are playing. Once I caught on that my love for teaching was my game I practiced all I could. For some reason I wasn’t afraid of failure, I just kept teaching and giving them all I had. What I learned from all that is when I gave it all I had in me with my practice I received more back than I could ever imagined. Is it possible if we put our all into something we want we will get back even more in the rewards of feeling passionate? That can be another whole blog. What are you passionate about and what would you practice on your playing field?