2005 Commencement Ceremony

A Graduation Speech

Spoken on June.17.2005

All Buddhas, Bodhisattvas, Venerable Master, Dharma Masters, Mentors, Family and Friends!

It has been a great struggle to start my little talk for today. I've been trying to find the right words, yet I deem to fail (or maybe it's just me suffering a great lack of vocabulary), for I believe that there are no words to express that what I feel, for I believe that there are no words to express my gratitude.

I would like to start off with paying gratitude to the Venerable Master and Dharma Masters who made an amazing place like the City of Ten Thousand Buddhas possible! My mom and dad, my sister Nguyet, and brothers anh Phong and Kim-Vinh for their unconditional love...

Kim-Vinh, I'm very happy for all of us now you've decided to join the Boys in school. I'm very proud of you. Believe in yourself and put your heart in all that you do, you shall definitely succeed.

Even though my dad was not able to make it here today, I want to say that I'm a luckiest kid, to be your daughter. And regardless the distance, I feel that you're with me this very moment. Mom and dad, I respect you, admire you for all that you are, and I want to thank you for all the sacrifices you've made for me. Thank you for being my parents, and know that I love you very much, yes even in times when you think I don't... I do.

Besides my family I would like to pay great gratitude to the Ha family. My guardians' Co Nguyen and Chu Hung, my new brother and sister Andrew and Julia, and all the other family members... Y-O-U A-R-E T-H-E B-E-S-T !!! If you only knew how deeply touched and blessed I am to have you in my life! You have provided me all that I needed, wanted and more ever since I first stepped into the States. In times that we were even complete strangers to each other! Words can't express my feelings... a million thanks to you...

And ofcourse, my other mommie... Heng Dzu Shr, the greatest, one and only dorm mommie! Lao Shr, thank you for surviving while I'm in the dorm. *SMILE* I'm loving your home, and I'm loving the family! And don't worry I'll be back to help you raise the kids... take that from me!

Alright... Today June 17th 2005 is the day that I'm about to complete my time at DVGS. It's amazing how my time attending this school flew by with just a blink of an eye! I remember my very first day in school. I had a very warm welcoming, but I was very insecure about my English language abilities, and therefore scared to face my classes which were most taught in English. I remember how scared I was, and how one of my first classes were Mr. Pegan's English and Government classes... OMG... how stupid I felt to realize how poor my English was and how scared I was by the end of his class. All I could think was... "I won't make it... what am I doing here? I don't even know what he's talking about... and that was only my first class, how would all the other classes be? How scared and insecure I felt the first two days”K but how fast I was able to adapt to the environment, the school, the classes, even Mr. Pegans' classes *wink*, that very third day. That was all because of the wonderful teachers, and students that we have in our school. I hereby want to thank all the wonderful wonderful wonderful teachers for putting their heart into educating our students. And not only educating the students, it grasps me to see how much effort is put into building this wholesome personality in all of us. The two little years that I've had here, my junior and my senior year, were the best years of my life. And allow me to repeat myself”K I'm not exaggerating; these have been the best years of my life! I found all that I needed to get closer to my true self by being surrounded you. You were the ones that inspired and challenged me. You were the ones that have shaped my life for the past years in so many beneficial ways. You all have made a place that I was totally unfamiliar with my second home! How lucky I am to have such great mentors, countless new moms and dads, and many many wonderful new brothers and sisters! You all have showed me a greater kindness and compassion then I was familiar with before. You have been watching over me, taking care of me as if I were to be your very own daughter or sister. You've been encouraging me, supporting me, simply loving me... and that from the moment we've first met! Regardless all this, I was yet able to disappoint you sometimes. What can I say other than that I feel great ache when I think about it. I'm truly sorry to those that I've hurt, to those whom I have caused hard times. I wish the Buddhas and Bodhisattvas, all the people that I've hurt to find it in their heart to forgive me one day. I've made mistakes and faced many challenges too during my time here, yet I know for sure, that my mistakes have bettered me, and shall benefit me along the way! You have all brought me so much more knowledge, so much more happiness and joy, you have broadened my horizon. Every single individual here, no matter how big or small, or how young or old, you have opened up my eyes to so much that I needed to see. I've gained so much more confidence, and the fact that I feel so iny tiny in a world like this, you've made me feel so much stronger. You have all contributed to the missing piece to my foundation, the foundation that is needed for me to have the courage to take the next step in life. As I look back into my life, I found myself to be most happy while attending DVGS and all that relates to my stay in the States. I would never ever trade the times I've had here for anything in the world.
There is nothing in this world that can compare to my times here with you. You've made a great difference in my life. You've brought me something so real, so I want to take this chance to say 'THANK YOU'.

To my mentors; This morning we had our annual Teachers Appreciation Banquet to show our gratitude that you all deserve. I just want to say that your hard work, your effort, your kindness, your good intentions and all that I have not yet mentioned, have gave me reason enough to come back in the future to join the faculty. I don't know what to say other than thank you...

To my fellow seniors; Too much to say, yet I won't be able to cover all that I want to say... but this is really it... this is where we shall continue our adventures on our own. It has been an amazing journey and we all know it. Remember all our crazy study halls, and count-downs to graduation... it has been a great honor to be part of the class of 2005.

To all of our students; our school is such a wonderful place to be, and even though many of us forget the benefits of being here, as a senior now, I regret that I had times that I've taken my presence in this community for granted. My time here passed by too fast... and my time left here is too little... My dear fellow students; please value your moments in the school. Regardless how hard it sometimes might be, remember the benefits you gain in the end. Love each other, and cherish each others presence. Educate yourself and others now you're given the chance to. Be a true friend and a good model for those around you as much as you can. Never forget the beauty in yourself, and don't forget to bring your caring and wonderful selves with you wherever you may go.

It's never too late to wish on a star
And never too late to be what we are
It's never too late to say what we mean
And never too late to dream a new dream
No one will say we didn't try
Let's aim with our hearts and reach for the sky!

If I was only given the time to mention every single one of you... but I'm not. But know that I love you all, and shall carry you and our memories in my heart wherever I go. I'm looking forward to meet again along the way, know that you're always welcome. I'm not up here to say goodbye to you, I'm here to introduce you to the new me. Someone more confident, more happy, more excited about the future, and more sensible than before. All that... because of you... Thank You!