首页 > 校园生活 > 校园动态

庆祝生命 Celebration of Life——2024HFI毕业典礼学生演讲


HFI 2024届毕业典礼

——在华南师范大学附属中学国际部 2024届毕业典礼上的讲话

Maxon Li   2024年6月15日

Celebration of Life

Hi, I'm Maxon. I'm flattered to be here. Congratulations. We made it!

Frankly speaking, even as this day approaches, I’m not entirely sure why graduation is intended to be celebrated. It is as though we need to forget about the departure from what we have already gotten used to, the goodbye we need to say to our friends, and the flight that will leave our family behind three months later. They say we celebrate because graduation marks the start of a whole new adventure. But I dare bet, if this is a Q3 prompt and you answer it that way, you're not getting that thesis point.

In recognizing complexity, please allow me to start my response with a personal anecdote. Eight months ago, I was singing right there, in the middle of this stage, and I broke my voice. I thought, “That’s it, this is gonna be the last time ever I’ll ever step onto this wooden platform.”

But YOU proved me wrong. I received some of the most uplifting encouragements that night. Looking back at the three years that have just gone by, I believe we all had moments like that. Moments of accomplishments, moments of remorse, memories of bitterness, memories of gratitude: some of it we managed to navigate through on our own, but for the most part, we did not fight alone. The Pythagorean Device project for Y10 Math always fell apart, so WE stayed up all night to re-design, rebuild, and re-record its video. Physics summative were too hard, so WE crammed together in front of iStudy desks, asking each other questions until we could at least get those answers memorized, only to find a new set of questions on the exam, without a curve. The New Year Party, Voice, and Fine Arts Week are all hard work, but WE managed to practice together in 207, in that studio atop China Plaza, or in that insanely small piano room out the school back gate, even when we were caught up with that deadline on Turnitin and Common App. There were so many moments of finding that mesmerizing number in PowerSchool not starting with a "9", or getting caught not wearing uniforms for three consecutive classes, or genuinely feeling sorry for that teacher but still falling asleep in class anyway. These are THE collective experiences of OUR high school life.

As we all sit in the same hall right now, this is one of the reasons we celebrate graduation: It is to celebrate the most beautiful coincidence that this has always been about us, instead of someone else. It was us who shared instant noodles in the dorm, us who tried to fix that jumping washing machine on the seventh floor.

Speaking of "collective experiences", we have been, inevitably, and collectively, anxious for the past three years. We were anxious about getting marked the fifth HW, anxious about getting a 5, and anxious about whether we had italicized all the book titles in an AP Lit essay. To some extent, this is a good thing: it is wonderful to be motivated to work hard and reach our goals. But I guess what I have been trying to convey with all those anecdotes is this: looking back, we have fully had this three-year experience together, and that's probably all we need. What has been carved into our brain is not necessarily Taylor's Series or two-sample z-test, or what we wrote in our application essays and the rejections we got. What we will carry with us, though, are the characters developed through the enduring warfare with Common App, the values formed through knowing about the world beyond our eyesight, the methodologies learned in science and literature, and the self-knowledge that we all uniquely gained.

I always stumble upon encouraging words on Instagram, but this one in particular I couldn't get out of my mind. It says, (quote, end quote) "If you always have that feeling that you are not good enough, please remember, where you are right now, is where your younger self had longed to be.” We celebrate graduation, to celebrate the fact that we have come this far, and with all these experiences behind us, we can work better in discovering a truer self, regardless of how we look at our current achievements.

And of course, if we look around the room, we can find all of those who made these experiences possible. Our stories would have been vastly different without Jojo who always brings us treats, or Mr. Six who always greets us at the door, or Toby who arranged an actual meeting with Ly Tran, the author of House of Sticks, the first memoir we read. Our three years would have been a lot less without Vicky playing pipa or Yolanda playing accordion, Matt reading stories with full emotion, or Wendy talking about astrology. This is a big thank you to all the teachers who helped us along the way. Thank you for sitting with us during office hours for some in-depth talks about FRQ, about college essays, about life philosophy, about how humankind is doomed, and about two old men fighting for presidency. And there is also a special thank you to my mom and dad and sister, who have always been there for me regardless of what happened or who I longed to be.

You are also the reason why graduation is worth celebrating: to celebrate your support, which is really the reason why we could sit here today.

This is our life. Sometimes as I look into the news, I see people no different from us in other parts of the world victimized by inequality and violence. In those moments, I wonder, why is this my life, and that has to be theirs. To a huge extent, education is a blessing. As we go out with these precious experiences behind us, with all this time spent together figuring out who we are and who we long to be, we have the potential to try to make a difference, and in a world like today’s, we need to.

So this is my answer: we celebrate graduation, because we celebrate life, a life that stands with so many others as the building block of this marvelous civilization, a life that is made more wonderful with support and friendship, a life that is empowered by the experiences of the past three, or twelve, years. And yes, this is the start of a whole new adventure.

So, thank you and happy graduation to us all, the class of 2024!


嗨,我是Maxon Li。很荣幸站在这里。祝贺大家!我们做到了。



但你们证明我错了。我在那天晚上收到了一些最振奋人心的鼓励。回顾过去三年,我相信我们都有过这样的时刻——成就的时刻、懊悔的时刻、苦涩的记忆、感激的记忆:有些我们自己一个人度过,但大多数时候我们并不在孤单面对。十年级的毕达哥拉斯装置项目总是失败,所以我们熬夜重新设计、重建并重新录制视频。物理考试太难了,所以我们在iStudy桌子前一起临时抱佛脚地互相提问,直到至少能把那些答案记住——结果考试时发现是一套新的题目,且没有curve。新年派对、Voice与艺术周都需要艰苦的筹办,但我们还是挤出时间一起在207教室、中华广场上面的录音室、或者学校后门外那间极小的钢琴房里排练,即便我们被Turnitin和Common App的截止日期追着跑。还有很多时候,我们看到PowerSchool上那个迷人的数字不以“9”开头,或者没穿校服连续三节课被抓,或者真的对不起那位老师却还是在课上睡着。这些是我们高中生活的共同经历。


说到“共同经历”,我们在过去三年里不可避免地、集体地焦虑。我们焦虑第五次被记HW,焦虑能不能拿到5分,焦虑是否在AP Lit作文里把所有书名都斜体了。在某种程度上,这是好事:有动力付诸努力并达到目标真的很好。但我想通过刚刚那些回忆传达的是:回顾过去,我们充实地经历了这三年,这或许就是我们所需要的一切。铭刻在我们脑海中的不一定是泰勒序列或双样本z检验,或我们在申请文书中写的内容和我们收到的拒信。但毫无疑问,将伴随我们的是与Common App的持久战所培养的性格,了解世界所形成的价值观,在科学和文学领域学到的方法,以及我们每个人获得的独特自我认知。


当然,如果我们环顾四周,我们会发现所有在这段经历中不可或缺的人。我们的故事会完全不同,如果没有Jojo总是带来零食、没有Mr. Six总是门口问候我们、没有Toby安排与House of Sticks的作者Ly Tran见面。我们的三年也会少了很多色彩,如果没有Vicky弹琵琶,或Yolanda拉手风琴,或Matt充满感情地读故事,或Wendy谈论占星术。谢谢所有为我们付出的老师们。谢谢你们愿意在办公室时间与我们坐下来深入探讨FRQ、生活哲学、人类命运以及两位老人争夺总统职位的老师们。还要特别感谢一直在我身边的爸爸妈妈姐姐,无论发生什么,你们总会支持我。