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Aiming at Firmness Rather Than Acuteness, Success Lies in Longevity Rather Than Haste.

Speech by Principal Zou Zhen at the 2018 senior high graduation ceremony 

Aiming at firmness rather than acuteness, success lies in longevity rather than haste

The speech at the 2018 senior high graduation ceremony

Zou Zheng, NFLS


Dear parents, teachers, students:

Today is an important day that all of us here are long looking forward to. We are here to hold the 2018 senior high school graduation ceremony and the 18-year-old adulthood ceremony of Nanjing Foreign Language School. First of all, on behalf of the school, allow me to extend the highest respect to all the teachers who have taught the class of 2018! Extend our warmest congratulations to all the graduates of the class 2018! I would like to express my most sincere thanks to all the parents who have cared, supported and trusted NFLS for so many years! We will always be inseparable NFLS members!

The spirit of NFLS nurtures and cultivates generations of students, who not only take the mission of the times, take the responsibility of connecting the past and the future, and have achieved the glory of NFLS. 2018 students handed a full score exam paper to their alma mater; 124 students were admitted to famous colleges and universities through competition and language skills, 64 of them entered C9 universities, many of them were among the top students in the entrance recommendation examination, and won praise from all colleges and universities. Peking University (11 were admitted out of 12 applicants), Tsinghua (14 out of 16) our school is the highest acceptance rate among all the foreign language schools in China, Informatics Competition recommended 4 students to Tsinghua University, mathematics contest, 1 to Peking University. Up to now, 30 people have been admitted to Tsinghua University or Peking University, realizing the historic breakthrough in history..

In 2018, more than 280 students were admitted to more than 100 colleges and universities in the United States, Britain, Canada, France, Japan, Singapore and other countries. Our university admission ranks first in the country with the number of students admitted to the American Ivy League Schools, and the top 30 comprehensive universities in the United States have admitted more than 100 students among this year's graduates. Students from NFLS will have footprints at Harvard, Yale, Princeton, Stanford, Columbia, Pennsylvania, Chicago, Brown, Cornell, Duke, Johns Hopkins, Harvey Mulder College, France's National College of Applied Sciences, Toronto, Waterloo, Waseda, Life Hall, Nanyang Polytechnic, National University of Singapore, etc.all famous schools.

Here, I want to congratulate the 25 students who just left the entrance examination room. Although every path to higher education is full of hardships, it takes courage, determination and confidence to choose the college entrance examination in NFLS. The efforts you have made in preparing for the exam will become a powerful tool in the journey of life; and your spirit of striving to make progress for your ideals will encourage more and more students from NFLS to work harder to realize their dreams! I would like to send a famous western proverb "he who laughs last langhs best)" to the students attending the college entrance examination. We wait for your good news!

Dear children, three years ago, your military training presentation was still in my mind, as if it had been yesterday. Today, you are leaving school for a new life. This is an important moment on the road of life. Some people say that the stupidest thing in the world is to reason with young people with your full sincerity. But every year at this time I am very serious, very happy to be such a silly guy, as a teacher and a parent, to say goodbye to the children in a few words.

The world you face today and the one I faced when I was young, have been different and incomparable from long time ago. While we're still using artificial intelligence as the subject of science fiction and movies, Google's latest robotic voice assistant has been able to make real phone calls. Our IFLYTEK has a world-class voice recognition and multilingual translation; Japan has developed a technology to build muscles on robotic bones, a big step towards biochemistry. "Design and Response Level Optimization of New Electronic Skin Based on Nanomaterials." published in CHINESEJOURNAL of CHEMICAL PHYSICS 2017.30 (5) .603-608). Participating students are: Lu Hanbai, admitted to Yale University; Ping Xinyu, admitted to Notre Dame University; Gao Ruiquan, admitted to Tsinghua University. Thus, the technological revolution has become an important driving force to change the world's inherent pattern.

Many people say this is a "fast" era. When we go on a long journey, we choose the fastest means of transportation; in reading and studying, we hope to circle the main points as soon as possible; after entering society, we are eager to make the fastest contribution. We are often full of anxiety, afraid of setbacks, seeking shortcuts, only hope to grasp the great youth, with the fastest speed to reach the peak of life. And life does give us reason to worry,so many talented high achiever seniors, so many famous success stories, all shine like stars and lure us to chase it.

This era provides us with a broader platform and more possible options for using our talents and aspirations, while our societies are undergoing dramatic transformations, social structures, ways of doing things, overlapping changes of values and other aspects change in turn to test whether we have the right values, good mentality and mature mind.There’s a very good old saying: aiming at firmness rather than acuteness, success lies in longevity rather than haste.

In fact, every stage of life is worth our careful taste, just like the four seasons, life also has the scenery from time to time. Looking back on your time in NFLS, it is certainly an unforgettable moment to get on the podium to receive commendations and cheers, but I also appreciate the students who braved the cold and the heat to carry their schoolbags to the classroom.In the dazzling stage and fierce competition field,the dazzling brilliance is surely the memory that is worth cherishing, but I also want to thumb up for those who have done a good job in every lesson, written every homework with care and diligence. Because the true meaning of every success,we do not know there are how many unknown hardships, how many difficult choices, how many times we bite our teeth to persist.

How do we define success? In the history of China's higher education, there is a university in southwest China, which is known as "Mount Everest in the history of Chinese education".Among the teachers were Mr. Chen Yanluo, Qian Zhongshu, Liang Sicheng, Shen Congwen, Wen Yiduo, Feng Youlan, Zhu Ziqing. The students were T.D.Lee, Yang Zhenning, Deng Jiaxian, Wang Cengqi. The masters gathered, the star river was splendid. However, at the time of the War of Resistance, the material conditions were extremely scarce, and it was very difficult to maintain a living. In order to subsidize teachers and students, President Mei Yiqi, who was on par with the prime minister, was so poor that a bowl of stewed Tofu with Spinach soup was considered a feast for the festival; while T.D.Lee was dodging air strikes, he risked his life cleaning the tea house to make a humble living; famous chemist Zeng Zhaolun, a great grandchild of Zeng Guofan, in rags, his front shoes opened, the back of the shoes were broken, too,the shoes were honored as "the only ones in the sun" Were such a group of people, in today's society fools in a lot of people’s eyes? But who will not feel awe to them? Who can say that they were not the greatest winners? It can be seen that the concept of success really has little to do with materials. Those who have firm faith and are willing to pay all the price for great ideals are truly people written with capital letters! 

Dear children, I hope each of you can carry the pursuit of the ideal of truth, goodness and beauty in your heart, uphold the most simple heart, concentrate on your study, diligently practice,find happiness in ordinary life!

Dear children,from the age of sixteen to eighteen, you have left the most splendid, innocent and energetic three years in NFLS, leaving the warmest memories in NFLS. Today's farewell is for a better reunion tomorrow, the alma mater will always look at you, miss you, wish you all the best!