Good afternoon and congratulations. It has not been long since the NIC Opening Ceremony last April! Well, now it’s graduation day. And I am happy to say that we the faculty are very proud of you. You are now graduating and have your future ahead of you. Many of you will go on to careers and various pursuits after university, so you made a good choice in coming to NIC. As a consequence of that choice, you are prepared to accomplish what you set out to do. With the support of your parents, your teachers,

J-staff, and your friends, you made it to this day and to the beginning of a new stage in your lives

Well, you know why you came to NIC, don’t you? You wanted to study abroad and your teachers prepared you for it. What have you learned at NIC? Well, to begin with, your most important lessons cannot be recited or written down for a grade. The lessons you have learned are lessons in friendship, hard work, and dedication. And you know something, you have learned these lessons well and you will carry them with you in your new life.

And speaking of new experiences, for many of you, the trip ahead is the first to be plotted out not by your parents, not by your teachers and not by J-staff, but by you. It is time now to follow your dreams. You are independent. You are creators of your own destiny. And you are ready. You will discover new experiences. So, each and every one of you seated before me today deserves the greatest congratulations. You should be proud of yourselves.

Now, what about hardship? Yes, you’ll experience some difficult times. But, although there will be difficult times ahead, you will make new friends, you will use and improve your English skills, and you will share your culture with your new friends, classmates, roommates, and professors. I sincerely hope that you enjoy this next chapter in your life because I truly believe that it's really going to open doors for you.

In conclusion, I would like to say that we all have enjoyed teaching you and watching you grow to maturity in just one year.

It is now my pleasure to present to you the certificates of completion of the English for Academic Purposes Program and Academic courses.


皆さんは、NICに入学した理由を理解していると思います。海外の大学で学ぼうと希望したからです。そして先生達はその準備を手伝ってくれました。皆さんはNICで何を学んだのでしょうか? 最も重要な学びは、成績のために暗証したり、書き記すことができないものです。それは、友人と共に学ぶことや一生懸命に勉強に取り組むことそして、周りの人々に貢献することの大切さだと思います。そして皆さんが海外での新しい生活にそれらを生かしてくれることと思います。








Something Greatest

“Something great.” As you know, these are the words from Mr. Murakami at the entrance ceremony when he explained about our genes. Most of you were shocked to hear that only 2% of our DNA is working. He further added that if we could somehow wake up the remaining 98%, our potential would tremendously expand. “Something great” is what scientists haven’t figured out yet, but this something is the base of the very fundamental and crucial “thing” that makes each of us human. When I heard this, it was a completely new and surprising fact, but through my NIC life here, I noticed its existence. Yes, surely, there IS “something great” in all of us, and today I can truly appreciate the meaning behind it.

A year ago, my life at NIC started. Everything was fresh, new, and of course hard but exciting. New friends from various places who have different backgrounds, new teachers who never speak Japanese, (though some do) all of these things stimulated me a lot and made me aware of being an NIC student. Were there tons of homework? Yes. Was I able to sleep well? Definitely no. But am I proud of myself to be an NIC student? Yes. Absolutely. Today, standing here, I can answer in this way full of hope and strong conviction.

However, there was a time when I could not respond like that. I crashed into, so-called, depression. It was so sudden that I couldn’t control myself. I completely lost my mind. Eventually I couldn’t even remember the reason why I came here. I’m sorry, mother, but one day I told you that I hung out with my friends and so I wouldn’t come home. That was a lie…I spent the whole night in Shinjuku alone doing nothing. One day, when you had already gone to bed, I sneaked out of the house to cry. I’m sorry my friends, I sometimes envied your happiness and wished you to become just as miserable as me. I talked to you with smiles but with a sinister mind at the same time. Friends, I didn’t care what you were talking about. Mother and father, I didn’t care what you thought about me. I just felt like screaming, crying, breaking something, or escaping, and relying on somebody! Anybody! Whatever happened to me at that point meant nothing.

One day, however, I was shocked by one question in my former RWD teacher Ray. After noticing me sighing deeply in class, he asked me, “Why are you here?” Of course, he added some kind advice afterwards, but his words revealed exactly what I was trying to avoid: examining my purpose. Since then I began to search for my dream to determine what it is. Then I saw one TV program which encouraged me to have a dream to contribute to developing countries. I don’t know how I can help them, but in order to see people’s smiling faces, I thought I could do anything no matter how hard it would be. This hasn’t changed for about 10 years but until I was asked that question it had all but disappeared. The reason why I studied hard at NIC, why I faced and struggled with depression, and why I am here now is just for it. My desire to change people from sad to happy drove myself to this place. At that moment, I felt I could let my potential power wake up and I didn’t even care if it had anything to do with my DNA.

And I learned from it. That is, once you have your ambition, never, never lose it whatever happens. And do not make a limitation: you never know your limitation. We knew it. We should have known it from the very beginning of our NIC life by hearing the words “something great”. We have “something great” in us, ourselves, which created us, supported us, and gave us a great deal of chances to change. If we lose our ambition, our potential which is supposed to be used with that ambition is never brought out. And to give up without knowing our limitation is just nonsense!

Now, imagine your new journey from now. We are definitely going to encounter a lot of obstacles before breaking the goal tape. However, despite the drawbacks, just remembering that “something great” is in store for each of us is enough to put a smile on everyone’s face. NIC as a place where made me notice this thing, teachers who woke me up to challenge, my precious friends who changed me, my parents who allowed me to be here, and I who overcame my drawback, let me give great thanks and admiration to all. Thank you.

『Something Great』
日本語訳をするとすれば『偉大なる何か』でしょうか。ご存知のとおり、これは筑波大学名誉教授である村上教授が入学式に遺伝子の話をしてくださったときに使われた言葉です。私たちの細胞が本当はその2%しか働いていないという事実。みなさん驚かれたことでしょう。教授はさらにこう続けました。「残りの98%をどうにかして呼び起こすことができれば、私たちの可能性は無限に広がる。『Something Great』は科学者がいまだにその真相を明らかにできないでいるが、この『何か』は私の重要な基盤であり元であり、何より私たちを人間たらしめる『何か』に違いない」と。この話を聞いたとき、私はただただ驚き、そして子どものように純粋な気持ちで夢中に聞き入るだけでした。しかし、NIC生活をとおして私は本当に『Something Great』の存在に気付きました。『偉大なる何か』は、私たちの中に、たしかに、あったのです。






この落とし穴から学んだこと。それは、一度心に決めた何かがあったら、自分を燃やす何かに出会えたなら、絶対に、たとえどんなことが起きてもそれを無くしてはいけないということ。そして、限界をつくってはいけない、ということです。きっと、ここにいる誰もが知っていたのです。NICが始まる本当に本当に本当に最初の瞬間、あの『Something Great』の言葉を聞いた瞬間から。私たちは、私たちの中に、私たち自身をつくり、支え、そしてどんな風にでも変わっていける可能性を与えてくれる『偉大なる何か』を持ってるのです。もしもそこで願いや思いや目標、希望や情熱をなくしてしまったら、それらと一緒に広がっていくはずだった私たちのその可能性が一生現れてくることはありません。そしてどこが限界かを知らないのに、それを定めて諦める、これほど愚かしいことはありません。

想像してみてください。これからまた始まっていく新しい旅を。そこには大小無数の落とし穴が私たちを待ち受けています。しかし、『Something Great、偉大なる何か』が一人一人誰の中にも備わっている、この『何か』の存在を忘れないでいられれば、私たちの未来と可能性は、決して、終わることはありません。このことを気づかせてくれたNICという場所、そこに集まった未来の担い手である仲間たち、その一員に加えさせてくれた両親、そして落とし穴からこの場に這い上がった私自身、最後に、誰の中にもある『偉大なる何か』、これらすべてに感謝し称賛したいと思います。ありがとうございました。



Our Speech and Home

“No one can live alone”I strongly feel that this is true. If I was alone, I could not be here. If you were not here, I could not stand here. In fact, my speech is not mine but ours because this message is what I have learned from you.

「You are great; Munenori because you’re taking academic classes at NIC, and you are studying so hard.」This was said to me by one female EAP student. Yes, I found myself studying hard which I had never done before in my life. You may also think like that girl, and say I am a great person because I am standing here as the representative, but I can say with confidence; I am definitely not great. I have many experiences to prove that I am not great. For one…dropping out of high school at age 16 proves this. Over 150 absences in one school year further echoes this point, and if that is not enough for you…a grade average of 1.75 out of 10 in another school is the last proof that you may need to know that I am not great. So how did I get here? The answer is simple: NIC changed me.

「Why does NIC change people?」One day, my parents asked me this. I could not answer the question at that time; however, I know the answer now because one of you said something interesting to me, and made me realized that the native teachers are like our fathers, the Japanese staff is our mothers, and our friends are our siblings.
Our fathers give us challenge. They always give us interesting classes, and they guide us to gain toughness and confidence to help us grow by deliberately giving a lot of homework. It’s sometimes too much though, but like a stern father we trust that it is good for us.

Our mothers give us affection. They support not only our studying but also our private problems. They sacrifice even Sunday for the school session because they love the job which is to assist students.

Our siblings give us joy. Our bond is as strong as any tied by blood, and we don’t have any boarders of gender and age, so we can talk about everything. When we are depressed and about to cry, our siblings cheer us up. When we are happy, we laugh together. Don’t we?

NIC is thus our home.

But now, the children are leaving home, and they are going their own way. Although there are difficulties along the path which we will walk, we are not afraid of facing our difficulties any more because we have learned precious things at home. We acquired English skill? That’s right. We learned time management? That’s right. Even some lucky ones got a girlfriend or a boyfriend? That’s right…but I couldn’t though…it is ok. However, now we learned how the difficulties are important in our lives. We learned that we are able to overcome difficulties even though it may take time, and we learned that. We learned these obstacles that come in front of us will help us grow.

I could not see any future when I dropped out of high school, but now look at my face; I am able to see my future. I hated myself at that time, but now I love myself, and appreciate the incident that I dropped out because that obstacle led me to another home, NIC.

While there may have been many reasons why we entered NIC, I know one thing that is in common; we have dreams. To be honest, when I entered NIC, my dream was to simply graduate because it was the first step for me whose path to college was once closed. So now, my dream came true, and even though your dream has not come true yet, I know your paths to the dream got shorter than it was a year ago. And I tell you now if you think something impossible, it is not because of the impossible circumstance but yourself. You are giving it up. Never give up even if it looks impossible. I, a person who dropped out of high school, am graduating one college, and going to a foreign university. This is a result that I did not give up, and this is a proof that I made looks impossible way possible.

Be yourself, believe in yourself, and be proud of yourself. All of us know getting here was not easy. Sometimes, we stayed up all night to finish homework. Didn’t we? Sometimes, we thought about giving up everything, and not going to school. Nonetheless, we are graduating now. We are strong enough to say good bye to our family. We do not have to be afraid of feeling alone or feeling anxiety because we have over 7,000 family members all over the world, plus people who we have met are standing with us in our heart. And because of all of these people, this worthless boy could become the representative speaker today and stand before you with confidence. Don’t hesitate; let’s go for our dream. Class of 2009, congratulations, we did it.

"誰も一人では生きられない" 本当にその通りだと思います。もしも僕が一人だったら、ここにいることはできませんでした。もしも皆さんがここにいなかったら、僕はここに立てていませんでした。実際にこのスピーチは僕のではなく“僕達”のものです。なぜならこのメッセージはみんなから学んだものだからです。

「ムネはすごいね。アカデミックのクラスだし勉強頑張ってる。」EAPの女の子が僕にこう言ってくれました。 たしかに僕はNICで今までの人生でしたこともなかったくらい勉強しました。

そしてここにいる皆さんもその女の子のように僕がこの場に代表者としてたっているからすごいと思うかもしれません。 しかし実際はそうではありません。16歳のころ、高校を中退しました。 1年間で150回以上欠席したり、10段階評価で平均1.75という成績をとったこともありました。そんな僕がどうしてここに立つことができたのか、答えは簡単です。NICが僕を変えたからです。



私達のお母さんは愛情を与えてくれます。 彼らは僕達の勉強だけでなく個人的な問題にも相談に乗ってくれます。そして学校説明会などで休日さえも犠牲にしています。なぜなら学生を手助けするその仕事が大好きだからです。

僕達の兄弟は喜びを与えてくれます。 僕達の絆の深さは血が繋がっている本当の兄弟のように深く、年齢や性別の壁がなく、なんでも話すことができます。誰かが落ち込んでる時、彼らはその学生を励まします。もし誰かが幸せだったら僕達は一緒に喜びます。


そして今、その子供たちは自分の家を離れ、自分の道を歩もうとしています。僕達が進む道にはたくさんの困難が待ち受けているでしょう。しかし、もうその困難に立ち向かうことを恐れる必要はありません。何故なら僕達はそのホームで貴重なことを学んだからです。 NICで英語を通じて多くのことを学び、タイムマネージメントなども学びました。 そして何人かのラッキーな学生は彼女や彼氏ができたと思います、、、僕はできませんでしたが。。。






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