KEEP LEARNING, BY TAKASHI KAY
Dear teachers, parents, friends and graduates: good evening.
I would like to say a few words on this day when we celebrate the conclusion of the first term, and get ready for the coming of a new year.
I thought it would be useful to tell about how important it is to keep learning the English language. On this matter, I decided to tell you about the steps I took before my recent trip on business to Europe.
When I was told that my company had scheduled a trip to visit two nuclear power plants under construction – one in Finland and another one in France – I immediately thought about the language challenge: what to do, after more than 25 years with very little English practice? I was not quite fluent. Would Finn and French people speak English? I was concerned because it would be the only way I could talk to them.
Knowing that most Europeans speak English, I quickly started looking for an English teacher, and luckily found teacher Charlles. With two more good friends in our group, we started our language training after work.
Those classes helped me to get in touch with the English language, think in English, read some articles and learn new vocabulary.
My trip program was fully implemented last October: I spent 10 days living abroad and speaking only in English with German, French and Finnish people. I could understand them and they could understand me – which was so exciting.
Dear friends, my life experience allows me to give you this advice: do not give up – keep learning the English language. It will benefit you in the future, when you travel on vacation or business, and will bring you better opportunities here in Brazil.
In a globalized world, the doors of big companies are easier opened for those who are better prepared. Speaking English may be your passport to greater opportunities in your personal and professional life.
As you can see, at my age I haven’t given up yet!
As we are working quite hard to build Angra 3, I don’t have plenty of time to practice my English, so I take any opportunity I have to improve it. With our friend’s support, we speak English every class at BLZ.
In conclusion, I would like to quote Steve Jobs – Apple’s creator – on his speech to Stanford University graduates in 2005:
“Have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. You've got to find what you love. / The only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work. And the only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you haven't found it yet, keep looking.”
On the same spirit, I wish you a merry Christmas and a Happy New Year, full of peace, prosperity and hope.
Thank you very much.