QSI Chisinau Graduation Odyssey
Graduation is a time of celebration for students and families. This year for the directors, staff and teachers, it is also a time of relief.
This 2021 graduation odyssey started with an examination of the latest emergency orders concerning gatherings and schools. As the time for the ceremony neared, it seemed the rules changed weekly. No group gathering transitioned to groups of less than 7 on the territory of a school. Next, it was permissible to have gatherings of up to 50 people, but still no permission to use a venue. By mid-March we were on government ordered online school. At that point it was clear the only graduation to plan for would be an outdoor graduation. Soon, we were back to being permitted to have groups of 50 again and finally the week before graduation the government allowed groups of any size on the school territory, as long as it was outdoors and part of the end of year school completion. We were on and we were official. With plans in place for a stage and table seating to maintain distance, the catering was ordered, and the tent was in place. The only thing now to hope for was perfect weather. As Saturday approached and it rained every day, the staff called up the weather app like a teenager checks their Instagram feed, rain all day, then rain only in the afternoon and then finally partly cloudy with a 5% chance of rain. When Saturday, June 5th finally arrived, the weather was perfect-sunshine and puffy clouds with a breeze and mild temperatures. What were we worried about?
So off we went with a rented string quartet and podium from the US embassy! This was the first graduation in a few years and with eight students, the largest graduation QSI Chisinau has ever had. Our speakers included the DCM from the US Embassy and a barefoot entrepreneur in jeans and t-shirt. The messages challenged the students to not be afraid to be different and reminded them that they had already reached a place that many thought would be impossible a year ago! They reminded them to step out and that they had already traveled the road less traveled, but not to forget to care about the people around them.
Our graduates shared their sentiments about their school experience including the following thoughts. “QSI is my second family. My first day of school was back in August of 2009. My two front teeth had just fallen out and my English was very 'Nigerian' so to say. My teachers welcomed me with open arms and made me feel safe and valued. QSI taught me to be myself and express myself. I fell in love with school, and I was eager to come every day.” Another shared that she felt QSI Chisinau made the high school experience “a little less bad” than she had expected. The ceremony culminated with the moving of the tassels and a most enjoyable reception.
To all the classes of 2021 in QSI, with all that you have been through, no matter what comes up, “You got this!” and congratulations!