Graduation Speech: Appreciation to Our Teachers, Classmates, and Parents

By Rumi Horibe and Nagisa Fujimoto, ELP Students

End-of-Term Celebration, Summer 2017

Hello everyone! I’m Rumi and I’m Nagisa. We are in the upper level this summer. We are so happy to see you all today. Also we are so proud of having graduated from the English Language Program at Chatham University. I cannot believe today is the last day of the ELP program, and I’m so surprised at how fast time flies. Looking back over this 2 and a half months, although I faced many difficult or tough times, there were a lot of fun times.

Throughout the program, I certainly grew up and learned so many important and wonderful things. Above all, what added color to this two and a half months and made my life livelier and fuller were our unique and interesting classmates and our fantastic teachers. We made it! So we’d like to review each of our four classes.

First, in the US culture, Ms. Sylvia taught us belief, religion, and education in the U.S. The class made me think deeply about American culture that were different from my country. What was the most interesting for me was American people are patriotic and proud of being American.  Also I found out the same thing in my daily life. When I came to the U.S. for the first time, I was surprised that a lot of American houses had national flags. And on July 4th, their independence day, I went to see fireworks with American friends, which was so amazing. Then I realized the independence day is a big event and meaningful for people here. The more I learned about American culture, the more I came to like America.

Next, Nagisa is going to talk about Ms. Linh’s class. We mainly learned English grammar in this class. Even though I’ve studied English since I was in junior high school with a focus on grammar, thanks to this class, I recognized many grammar mistakes I was making when writing in English. The most memorable assignment was writing a speech about human rights issue in the world after watching the famous speech by Dr. King. I’ve never experienced writing a speech about social issues, so I was not sure how I would write it. But through feedback from my classmates and Ms. Linh, I was able to write an effective speech. And I remember the potluck party that we had in late May at Ms. Linh’s nice house well. I had a great time eating various food from different countries or cultures and talking with many people. At the party, Ms. Linh welcomed us with a relaxed atmosphere. Thank you for inviting us to the party! In this class, I wrote various kinds of essays, and I believe that all of them will be practical for upcoming fall classes.

Next, it was Ms. Mina’s class that dealt with deep, intellectual, and emotional subjects. It made me think deeply about what life is and what human rights are. This class especially explored racial issues in the U.S. I was shocked at the history in the U.S., and at the same time, I was intrigued by the issues. In addition, we watched a lot of TED talks in the class and as homework, which were all thought-provoking. Ms. Mina chose the best TED talk every time. Although this class was quite challenging because we had to do an individual lecture and an individual presentation, Ms. Mina gave us careful and practical advice and compliments, so I was very encouraged. I remember that when I prepared for my individual lecture, it took a long time to prepare a discussion for just less than one hour, and I struggled. Ms. Mina made us a class that is impassioned and strong every time. Thank you so much.

Finally, Rumi is going to talk about Ms. Trisha’s class. We had to read long articles and write long essays and a research paper. These tasks were so tough for us. And we struggled with a lot of homework on the weekend. But we made sure we could acquire important abilities in reading and writing.  Also, Ms. Trisha is so kind and she made us laugh every time. Sometimes, she took us to outdoor events on the weekend, such as biking around waterfront and Go APE, which is an outdoor adventure including zip line. That was such a fun and precious experience for us to enjoy nature in Pittsburgh. Thank you so much, Ms. Trisha.

All of our teachers cared about us and they were amazing. But also, I really appreciate my classmates who made it through the ELP program together. Especially, Joyce, Mohammed, and Sarah; we won’t be able to see each other in fall semester. It’s so sad to say goodbye, but we’ll never forget the memories we had with you.

We had a great experience for this two and a half months in the English Language Program. For the fall semester, we will probably be busy, and the classes in fall will be harder. But I believe that we can do it. We really appreciate all of our teachers, classmates, and parents who support this study abroad experience. Thank you for listening.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *