Just a week after graduation a number of us Dublinites had the privilege of flying over to Asia to visit our Chinese and Korean families, celebrate the school’s 75th Anniversary, tour the countries, and eat delicious food. It was wonderful having four students join our trip for the first time and they added energy, enthusiasm, and culinary courage to the trip.
We first arrived in Beijing, where we were greeted by our host and loyal friend of Dublin, Peter Peng, and Peter’s friend Mark Kemsley. We spent our first days touring the Forbidden City and visiting our sister school, the Beijing Experimental High School (BES). I almost lost my brand new iPad in the Forbidden City when I was scolded by security for using the device to film our school flag as it was carried under the portrait of Mao! The next day our friends at BES kindly invited me to speak at their conference on international education and our students and faculty listened patiently as various headmasters shared ideas about how to bring the world to their classrooms.
The following day we were thrilled by an incredible turnout at our first ever “whistle-stop” in Asia. Over seventy students, alumni, parents and friends traveled to Beijing to celebrate the 75th Anniversary of Dublin School. Both our Chinese and American students delivered wonderful speeches to the crowd about what it means to them to live and study in a close-knit international community in beautiful Dublin, NH. Our parents in China could not have been more gracious and generous in welcoming us to their country and we were treated to delicious meals and exciting tours of the city. I was most excited to witness the close connections between our American and Chinese students. They were genuinely excited to see one another and they spent many hours touring Beijing together, eating exotic foods, and playing basketball. I loved that the tables were turned and we were the ones living outside of our comfort zones, with our Chinese students proudly leading us around their country.
Erika Rogers and I left the group to travel to Korea where we spent a wonderful day visiting our Korean students, parents and alumni. The mothers of our Korean students treated us to a delicious, multi-course lunch in a traditional restaurant that once served as a palace. We showed them slides of their children at Dublin while they shared their hopes and fears for their students with us. We so appreciate their hospitality and support of Dublin School!
While we were traveling back to the states, our group in China took an all night train to Shanghai where they continued to sightsee and meet with Chinese parents and students before returning stateside. Everyone seemed moved by their experiences in Asia and I can only imagine that Paul Lehmann would be pleased to know the breadth and depth of our educational experience at Dublin School today. -Head of School Brad Bates