Monday 4 November 2013

by Jamie Kok Yixin, Form 5 Science 1, Class of 2013

A very good morning to Dato’ Freida, Encik Hisham, principals, teachers, parents and fellow graduates of the Class of 2013. I am honoured to stand here today, representing the Class of 2013 to deliver our last words to the school and our teachers, and also to express our thankfulness to our everyone here today, to our parents, teachers, and to each other.

To the administrators and teachers, thank you for being with us throughout this journey, and for seeing us through to the end. 

To the proud parents here, I certainly hope what I’m about to say will do justice to what your children have accomplished to get here today, and do justice to what you have done for them to be able to say that they’ve come so far. 

To the Class of 2013, no one knows better than we do what it’s like to go through unceasing changes, callous experiences or dire lessons. What other batch changes schools in the middle of our trial exam, bids an unexpected and early goodbye to our campus, but brings with us its values and rich, rich history, not to mention each of your individualities into a new community, where our visions are not only unhindered, but widened, to look past our school names and differences, to call this place a new home. What other year faces fire and ashes instead of glitter and ribbons in our last year of school, but continue to hold our highs high because we came out of it together and we are the better for it. We are here today with our teachers and friends. Unashamed and uncompromised

To the Class of 2013, I say: Congratulations. As seniors of the school you’ve bagged achievement after achievement and made us proud to be graduating alongside all of you. And it would not be Class of 2013 Day if we did not take time to honour these contributions and your triumphs. 

It is in our year, that the seniors, us, led the entire school as one during our 30th Anniversary March Past, forgetting house competition and rivalry, but only, only creating memories and remembering togetherness. It is in our class where you will find cricketeers, ice hockey players, go cart racers; netball, handball, basketball and tennis state representatives. It is in the Class of 2013 where you will find great and diverse sportsmen.

It is in our year, that scores of donation drives, charities, awareness campaigns, volunteering trips, international understanding and community service projects were undertaken so ardently. It is in the Class of 2013 where you will find bottomless hearts. 

It is in our year, that time is stretched every day to fit in our studies, activities, homework, projects, house events, society work. It is the Class of 2013 where you will find, surely, professional jugglers.  

To the Class of 2013, from the moment when you first walked through the doors of secondary school until now, you are so privileged to have met so many great people, whom are fortunate enough to be graduating alongside you today. And of course, we cannot be great without being nurtured, taught and so meticulously moulded, to be great. Because I believe, that at the core of greatness lies character. And we are so lucky, that all the time, in class, out of class, at home, at the field, through our parents, teachers, seniors, we have been exposed - to character. To greatness. I believe that we owe it all to the people who have inspired us, who have instilled in us knowledge, values and principles that we will carry through life and use to exemplify the character and greatness that we reflect from them. 

So thank you, to our parents and teachers, for always being there. 
To Ms Helen, thank you for always seeing the good in us, and also thank you for returning our essay books. 
Mr Wong, thank you for giving us good forecast marks... hint hint. 
Ms Uma, you’re an u-marvelous Maths teacher.
Cik Zainab, thank you for the Sejarah class during MSSKL. Hope you enjoyed training your ‘netball sejarawans’. 
Ms Sandra, thanks to you, it’s the first time I ever touched a fish.
Mr Shaik, you must be made up of Boron, Einsteinium and Thallium, because you’re the best.
Puan Siti, we never needed a tuition teacher because we have you.
To Ms Kohela, Cik Sakinah and Ustazah Husna, thank you for being there.

To Puan Farah and Puan Sapura, thank you for overseeing each and every one of our journeys here in Cempaka, it was a privilege to be under the wings of dedicated mentors such as the both of you. Thank you for all your encouragement. 

To Dr Rizal and Encik Hisham, thank you for all your advice and help through which I have learnt so much from. Encik Hisham, I’ll never forget the mini crash course on Econs you gave me for inter-house debate, and I really appreciate all your help in my other society work as well.

To Dato’ Freida, on behalf of all of us, thank you for the opportunities and lessons you have given to all of us. You began the first chapter of this book 30 years ago, and you have let us all write our stories in its timeless pages. I always remember you telling us that one can never stop learning, and you are a true testimony to that because until now you’re always learning, sharing and teaching. Even after we leave school, college or university, we’ll never forget what we learnt here and from you, and most of all we’ll never stop learning.

If I could, I would thank every one of my form mates personally, but since I can’t now, know that my wishes and thanks go out to every single one of you. I would however, like to mention Ram and Kai Xin, for making me laugh when I needed inspiration for this speech, and also whenever else I needed to. And also Dayana, who pulled me through my last minute panic and stayed up to give me pointers. To Shi Jinn, Sher Lynn, Azmin, Aisya who put in all the effort to make this day happen and whom I’m blessed to have as friends. And of course to my parents for their endless support and nurture.

I have to admit, when I was first asked to give a speech, I was rather excited, because after all, there is so much to say to all of you, how hard could it be right? Wrong. After staring at a blank screen for days, I realized that, I really could not find the right words. How could I possible condense a journey of 5 years, or more for some of us, into a few minutes? How could I possible incorporate our memories, feelings, hopes and dreams into a few words? I couldn’t possibly scratch the surface. 

But then I realized that, in our every day lives, and in the years that we’ve been here, countless words have flown, conversations played out, laughter shared, burdens shouldered and tears dried - these things and more, these fleeting moments and brief glimpses, have filled our time here and that is what we’re going to cherish and treasure.

You see, 10 years from now, we’re going to forget a lot of things. I doubt that any of us will remember where in the campus N2-04-01 or N1-04-02 is. We’re going to forget entire tables of trigonometric functions, the characters in Step by Wicked Step - all of them, we’re going to forget formulae and equations and peribahasas and all the dates and tokohs and facts in our Sejarah textbooks. 

Instead, we’ll remember the sheer hopelessness we feel when we sit for one of Mr Wong’s test papers. We’ll remember the knowing smiles you exchanged with your best friend across the classroom, the dash down to the canteen to book a place in the fried rice queue. We’ll remember the intense matches, sunburns and hoarse throats during Games Carnival. 

We will remember the important things.

We will forget the merciless clock as its hands move too fast. We will forget the our grades, or the reprimands and look past our failures. Instead, we will remember the whitewashed walls of our classrooms in Damansara, the emerald of the field, the echoes of house cheers in our hall, the bus rides, the inside jokes, the late night discussions. 

We will remember the important things.

Remember your friends, their smiles, their favourite songs, or the certain words they can’t pronounce? I certainly hope, that for you, high school has also been a place for friends. New people are going to come into our lives, people who will understand and connect with us in ways we can only look forward to. But today, today is about us. It is a time to remember the people you might not know so well, and thank them for enriching your lives from a distance in a small way. Senior year is about blurring and melting the social circles that we categorize ourselves into. And today, we step back and admire our handiwork. For we are nothing more, and nothing less than the Cempaka Damansara Graduating Class of 2013. 

Today is also a time to remember those closest to us, our co-conspirators and beacons of light. Your future best men, bridesmaids, partners in business, crime, or even life, may well be sitting among your ranks. Keep your eyes wide open today. For it is time to forget who was always dressed up, and remember who always addressed us by name. It is time to forget who laughed at us, and remember who laughed with us. Time to forget who dated who, and who hated who, who we can call up in a year, or 10 years, to feel cared for, worthwhile and loved. 

Today is a time to remember the important things.

Thank you.

Class of 2013 Testimonial Video 
prepared by Tan Yu, Class of 2013

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