Good morning everyone. My name is Mark Groenewold and I am very happy to speak with you today. This is the Wednesday morning English speech and it is a time when I have a chance to share with you a few things. Sometimes we talk about the news. Sometimes we talk about a special theme or a holiday. Sometimes we talk about a problem. Sometimes I talk about why English is so important for your life, and why you must master English.
But most times we talk about important ideas that are essential for a good life. We talk about friendship and hope. We talk about hard work and pride. We talk about how we are connected to each other. We talk about the human bond that we have here at Otemae, the bond we have in our community, and the bond we have with humans all over the world.
This month of April gives a new experience for many students here today. We have many new high school students and many new junior high school students too. I want to say “Congratulations” and “Welcome to Otemae” to our new friends and classmates.
April is a month of many new beginnings. New students are starting a new school life. There are new classes to take. New people to meet. New friends to make. New clubs to join. New tests. New challenges. Everything feels new.
But I also hope that you feel very welcome here at Otemae. I’ve been lucky to come to Otemae for thirteen years. I have met many of your teachers and I can tell you that they are very kind, very professional, and that they work very hard every day. Otemae teachers are very different than other teachers. They deeply care about their students and their work. They have passion for study and passion for learning. I think that they are excellent and wonderful leaders for you in the classroom.
Many things are new for you. That is true. And there are many things that you do not know. That is okay. But one thing that you must remember is that it is okay for you to ask for help. It is okay for you to ask your teachers to help you understand your lessons. If you do not understand science, or math, or social studise, or music, or art, or English please ask your teachers. They love to help you, and they are very good at helping students.
At Otemae you will also learn how to be strong and how to be tough. There are many classes to have. There are many things that you must master and learn. There are many tests and many things that you must do. The road is sometimes hard, but you can do it. Your teachers will lead you, and new friends in your class will be beside you. Everyone here wants you to have a big success. But you will need to fight a little and get stronger.
In the news recently we read stories about Ikee Rikako. She is an amazing person and someone who is super tough. A couple of years ago her dreams were smashed. The doctors found out that she was so sick and had cancer. But she did not quit. She did not give up. She worked hard. She pushed ahead. She is a fighter, and she is also an Olympic Games athlete.
And right now we are still in a corona virus world. Maybe we feel a little sad. Maybe we feel a little unhappy. Maybe we feel like we don’t want to start anything new. Many people say that we should cancel the Olympic Games. Many people say we should not try to do anything new.
Yes, it is true we still have a lot of trouble with the corona virus. And yes, we need to be careful to wear a mask, and wash our hands, and keep social distance too. But we also need to move ahead and to move forward. I hope we can see the Olympic Games happen. I hope we can see Ikee Rikako fight in her swimming events. That will be so great. That will be so cool.
And maybe you and I should fight hard too. We should fight for a good new beginning. We should do our best and make a good effort. Maybe this is one of the great things about coming to Otemae for new students. This is a good place to try hard, to fight hard, to make good new beginnings and to be tough.
Welcome to Otemae. Let’s be tough together.