Year 12 Celebration Day

Graeme Dent, Head of Campus at Senior School, had been talking to Year 12 students about ‘finishing with dignity’ for much of this year. Our Year 12 students for 2016 most certainly finished with dignity on Wednesday the 29th of October, with a fitting mix of both ‘the old and the new’. It was a very proud day for all students and staff at Christian College Geelong as we established some new traditions and carried over several long held traditions that students have continued to hold dear for many years. 

The following is an excerpt describing the atmosphere and activities of the day, as previously published:

‘The Senior School library was transformed with balloons into a wonderful venue to host our students and Senior School staff for a delicious buffet breakfast. The breakfast provided both students and teachers with the opportunity to sit together, socialise and reflect upon a year that has meant a great deal to everyone present. Students then enjoyed an array of fun activities with their House Group friends and teachers. The much revered Clock Tower visit, with Principal, Mr. Glen McKeeman, proved to create an indelible memory for students as they officially ‘signed off’ with the ringing of the bell at Christian College. The Clock Tower visit was followed by the traditional final Chapel Service. As always this proved to be a most moving service for our students who were encouraged to ‘step forward’ and find their calling in life through faith in God’s love and care for them. Many memorable moments were shared and several tears shed as our students came together in prayer for one last time. 

A highlight of the day was certainly the guard of honour created by our staff and Years 10 and 11 students to farewell our proud Year 12 students as they were led down our main driveway by the alluring echoes of a Scottish piper.’

{Click the below 'File downloads' to view footage from the guard of honour}

The Year 12 Coordinators and teachers at senior School would like to take this opportunity to once again wish our Year 12 students all the very best while they prepare for their up and coming exams. Although, they have officially finished classes at Christian College, our Year 12 students know that each of their teachers will continue to be available at school to support them through this time of revision and study. Once exams have concluded, we will look forward to celebrating the achievements of our ‘Class of 2016’ at Graduation.

Please find below abridged versions of the speeches by the Year 12 Coordinators as delivered to students during their final Chapel service.

“…Now, I want to transport you to the University of Pennsylvania, graduating class 2011. Keynote speaker is Denzel Washington.

He gives a message to the graduands. Yep, I’m stealing it, but I think it’s worth the crime. In a nutshell, his message is that nothing in life is worthwhile unless you take risks. Now, I need to clarify this. There are dumb risks…you know what I mean? And I know, I’ve done a few.

Then there are risks worth taking. What does that mean? “Worth taking”. Any risk, by definition, comes with threat of failure. You will fail. And you will fail. Over and over again. You will suck at something. You will lose. You will embarrass yourself. And, you don’t grow out of it.

To paraphrase ‘Denzel’ again, you’ve probably applied for uni and put in preferences in case you don’t get your first choice, or you plan to travel but if that doesn’t happen…or you hope to start an apprenticeship but if it doesn’t work out… you have a plan to “fall back on”.

I want to look at this concept of having something to fall back on. Think about this, if you are going to fail, the only thing you need to fall back on is your faith. If you’re going fail, fall forward, at least you’ll see what you’re going to hit. Fall forward.

Michael Jordan missed more than 9000 shots in his career. Lost almost 300 games. 26 times was trusted to take the game winning shot and missed. He failed over and over again. But he was the greatest basketballer ever.

Fall forward.

Thomas Edison had 1000 failed experiments. But on the 1001st, he invented the light bulb.

Fall forward.

Do I apply for that course…I’m not smart enough.

Do I go for that job…others are more suited.

Should I try out for that team…others are better.

Should I go over and speak to that girl…I’m ugly!

Fall forward!!

If you don’t fail you’re not even trying

To get something you never had, you’ve gotta do something you never did.

Now, these are all just words. You might connect with them…or not. You can walk out these doors for that final time after your last exam and think “thank God that is finished”. Or you can thank God that it is just about to begin.

Thank you for the privilege of being your coordinator.” Daniel Fanning, Year 12 Coordinator 2016

“Good afternoon Year 12, I love the idea of ‘falling forward’ that Mr Fanning has spoken about. It is all about choices, having your eyes open, not settling for the ‘in case’ scenario and stepping out there.

One of the Ted Ideas reviews I read this year was in relation to a book - ‘Callings: The Purpose and Passion of Work’, by American founder of Story Corps Dave Isay. Isay contends that finding your calling (work you were meant to do) is not passive, it requires making tough decisions and sacrifices. He actually says we don’t just ‘find it’ but we ‘fight for it’.

Isay believes there are seven factors that contribute to finding your calling. The first factor involves a Venn diagram. Isay believes that our calling can be found in the middle of a Venn diagram. Consider for yourself what might be at the intersection of what you are good at, what makes you feel appreciated and a belief that your work is making people’s lives better.  He goes on to explain that: secondly, your calling often comes out of difficult experiences; thirdly, he sees your calling as requiring courage and ruffling feathers; fourthly, Isay believes that other people often lead you towards your calling; fifth, he sees that what comes after identifying your calling is what really matters; sixth, he says that age is irrelevant, and; lastly, he acknowledges that your calling often doesn’t come with a big pay-check.

These points are GREAT and I was excited when I first read them. I thought ‘This man’s nailed it!’…but…. I realised something was wrong. There’s always a certain number of steps to achieving things – from an economic policy, an instructional guide, an exercise schedule, a diet, new teaching practice etc. If I asked you to learn these seven steps, let’s face it, you’d squirm. Seven quotes, seven definitions… seven of anything takes quite some effort to memorise and lock in to our brains. I realised that there is one thing at the core of these seven points and it is easy to remember. God.

If we look at that first point again in the Venn diagram, it’s not hard to realise that what might be at the intersection of that diagram, ‘your calling’, is really living and working through God’s love. In Christian terms, your calling would come from utilising your gifts for good, following your heart and pursuing what you enjoy while working to serve others.

With God at the centre of what you do, finding a calling shouldn’t be complicated. There’s nothing better than realising that something is easier and simpler than we originally thought…The answer about what your ‘calling’ is, about what makes you successful in your future work or happy in your personal life, doesn’t necessarily have be pursued through a certain number of steps or processes…There is an easier way to step forward and find your calling - and that is through the faith that you have been surrounded with throughout your Christian education at this school...

Mr Fanning started with a little Eminem and then moved on to some Denzel Washington. I’m going to be true to my very ‘uncool’ music tastes and quote a little Tim McGraw from his song ‘Fly Away’,

‘One, two three like a bird I sing,

Cause you’ve given me the most beautiful set of wings,

I’m so glad you’re here today,

Cause tomorrow, I might have to go and fly away…’

You’ve each been given the most beautiful set of wings with which to fly away from here. We look forward to watching you step out and forward with those wings and with God’s love.

Thank you for the privilege, love and fun.” Jemma Burr, Year 12 Coordinator 2016

 

 

 

 

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