The MWS Senior Project Presentations for Class 12, 2013, were held over the weekend with 13 individuals facing the challenge of sharing their discoveries, and also a very big part of themselves. Following is a portion of the welcome remarks of Class Sponsor Tintin Ongpin-Montes.
“The Senior Projects is an endeavour that Waldorf seniors all over the world go through every year. Our very own seniors chose topics that interested them, and you can very well see in the line up how each project is as unique as the senior who chose it.
A few of the students had known what to do right away—even as early as eighth grade! A few had to think long and hard to come up with a topic, and a few even had to change their projects halfway through the school year. Nevertheless, the journey to this day has certainly made an indelible mark in the students’ hearts, souls and minds…(as well as ours…)
As all journeys go, our seniors crossed the threshold, then met and overcame obstacles; fought and wrestled with beasts and demons. The dark and deep abyss was not an unfamiliar place to them, from its depths they struggled to rise. Along the way, they met sages who revealed the necessary wisdom for them to know how to go on further; and as they braved past their challenges, the gods eventually bestowed gifts upon them, and ultimately, these very same gods sought to reveal themselves before our heroes—and here they are now, about to share their experiences with us.
It is indeed an honour to be presenting to you these young men and women whose mettle and ideals were tested in so many ways. These presentations are in themselves a revelation: of how these students have grown, transformed and discovered a part of who they are—I say “a part”—for truly, they are still going to evolve, and they are still going to forge their individual paths ahead of them.
This is not a defense, nor a mere showcase of one’s work. These presentations are rather a sharing, a venue for Class 12 to tell their stories.
The part where the hero returns home from the journey and is ready to sing of his wondrous and life-changing deeds.
The part where the hero—brave and true and proud— stands before everyone in his community—who in turn, celebrates him. In the words of the great Tennyson, we celebrate you, Class 12— “you of one equal temper of heroic hearts…you who have been “made strong in will, to strive, to seek, to find, and not to yield!”
So, ladies and gentlemen, I now present to you, Class 12 of the Manila Waldorf School!”
Here is Ms. Tintin’s closing remarks to cap off the Senior Project Presentations:
“As I said yesterday, this is a celebration of Class 12’s journey through their Senior Projects. But what they have shown is more than just a fulfilment of a school requirement. They have gone beyond this, have pushed themselves to achieve something bigger than themselves.
No matter what these twelfth-graders say, their projects and experiences are DEFINITELY DEEPER THAN THAT. What we have witnessed is a full circle, and then again, an unfolding of yet another journey, a realization of their destinies.
A few days ago, I posted as my Facebook status—to my friends who liked my status, thank you!—that “the world would be amazed, amused, intrigued and exhilarated” by 13 project presentations this weekend. It was true, wasn’t it? If only the world could fit in this auditorium…
As the class sponsor, I was amused. At times I couldn’t help giggling or even laughing out loud when they were presenting because I’d known how much they’d dreaded this weekend and YET…they’ve shown chutzpah (look it up!), gumption, guts, charm, wit and grace under pressure, especially during the Q&A. Thank God for the gag order we forcibly issued to Mr. Maurice : )
I was intrigued. Intrigued because the students revealed a part of themselves that they’ve somehow not shown in the past. In other words, they showed how much they’ve matured.
I was amazed. I was amazed, because what these students have accomplished is really something else. From their sharing I have learned a few things. Please be a little more patient as I give you a run-down of the 13 lessons I learned:
- Video games are here to stay. As human beings, we ought to be awake to this, and think of ways for it not to enslave us. Who knows, this might even be “our chance at life”. Right, Marco? Let’s always look forward to that epic win.
- Inasmuch as being rich or poor is one’s economic status, it is more so a state of mind. It is in our striving, selflessness, and recognition of what one has that one will transform for the better. And when you’re cramming, it is best to stay in a good friend/classmate’s house to finish your project.
- If you don’t know what to make of the mysterious and of the buried past, dance. The language of movement and self-expression will give you answers. Perhaps, we will be able to save ourselves, too, unlike the Atlanteans.
- The elderly are not, I repeat, NOT…useless. They help us give meaning to the word community in so many ways.
- To be creative is a way of life. Listening to your intuition and getting inspiration from the world around you will make one… as tall as Joey—…I mean, will make one creative. Intuition and inspiration are sources of creativity. It is there for us. Let it flow.
- Climbing mountains is like being in a relationship. Kidding aside. Climb mountains, challenge your spirit. At the summit, you could be rewarded by a magnificent view, and if not, you’d still know that the climb is all worth it.
- Having a passion for something, living for a cause, and sharing oneself with the community are not only inspiring. It is also a way of life. And when you fish, wish and talk to the ocean. Who knows you could even catch more than what you expect. Just like in life.
- A box, a chest. It is not what it seems. It is not what you see outside, or what it’s made of that matters. It’s what you fill it with, what you let it hold that makes the difference.
- Virtuosity = excellence. Alyanna = virtuoso. But perfection is not everything. Being a virtuoso in life, in the end, is what one should strive for.
- Find that one thing that lets you dig deep into your soul. Writing is one way. It will let you see the universe and yourself in a brighter light.
- Being true to oneself is something not everyone can do. Nobody wants to be judged by the color of one’s skin, or the amount of money in one’s purse, much less, be judged when a person is striving to stay true to who she is. Equality, acceptance, respect, individuality, compassion—these are the things we need if we are to be truly human.
- What to do with the time given us? What to do with this freedom? It lies in our hands. There are circumstances thrust upon us, but we are the ones who make the choice on what to do with them. When you are torn, or your free will is compromised, wear a costume. Do a soliloquy. It could keep things in perspective.
- And last but not the least, we create our own world in whatever we do, however we live our lives. Like in Lorenzo’s film, we just ought to live it.
It has been a remarkable weekend for all of us. I’m sure I am not alone in feeling awed by what we have seen and heard in all 13 presentations. Please come up the stage as I call your name: MARCO, LOUIS, JOEY, BRYAN, PAUL, ENIA, CHOSEN, ALYANNA, FELICIA, TERESA, HANNAH, LORENZO—oh Am I forgetting someone? J Of course, SOLIMAR!!! J TAKE A BOW. Congratulations, Class 12! And thank you for a job well done.”