The greater the struggle, the more glorious the triumph…

Today we got to meet our new english class for next year. We were introduced to the new teaching program, competency goals and plans for next year. Then we watched a short film called “The butterfly circus”, where the main character role was played by Nick Vujicic.


Nick was born as the eldest child of a pastor and a nurse. Parents were shocked when it turned out that he had no hands or legs, only one deformed foot with two fingers.

At first, he could not go to a regular school, because the law of Victoria forbade the children with physical disabilities. But when the law changed, Vujicic was one of the first disabled students attending school together with non-disabled. In school, he was humiliated by his colleagues, which lead to depression and suicidal thoughts. At age 10 he tried to commit suicide by drowning.


Later he realized that he could inspire others to give them faith and hope. When the mother showed him a newspaper article about a man who can cope in everyday life despite disability, Nick realized that he was not the only one, and he decided to overcome his illness. He learned to independently perform all the necessary daily activities: to write with your toes, use the computer, comb, shave, brush your teeth, answer the phone, drink a glass of water, ride a skateboard, and even kick a tennis ball, golf, surf or play the drums

Thats exactly what the message of “The Butterfly Circus” is, to overcome your insecurities and show everyone what you can achieve, despite sickness and health disorders.

I worked on this story together with Daniel, so be sure to check out his blogpost as well!



My advice to next year students

I can’t believe how fast this school year has passed. It feels as if it was yesterday that I was writing my first post on this blog. Now, 10 months later, here I am writing a summary of the whole year and advice for next year students. Just in this short time I have achieved and learned so much, and this is the moment where I notice that my hard work has paid off.

Now it is the time to reflect on what I have managed to accomplish, and where I should still put some more effort in. This year was extremely challenging, and it contained many changes in my life. New school, class, people, subjects, teachers and methods of learning. For some, it might not be such big of a deal, but everyone deals with things like this in different ways. The challenging part is to keep up the good work you have been doing for so many years and prove that you have worked hard enough throughout the months. I’m safe to say that I am satisfied with my schoolwork this semester, however, there are things that could have been improved or done differently.

Today is our second-last English lesson on the first year at Sandvika High School. We have just watched 3 commencement speeches, one at Tulane and two at Harvard University. Ellen DeGeneres, J. K. Rowling, and Steven Spielberg have all given fantastic and educational speeches. Each of them included humor, advice, and examples from what they have experienced themselves.

Ellens message was to follow your passion and find your own path in life, while Rowling talked about how failures in life shape our personalities. Steven Spielberg, however, means that we should think of the world as “we”, not “us and them”. Each of the speakers has had a hard time in life themselves and wanted the graduates to realize, that success requires time, hard work and lastly, a strong character. DeGeneres knew that by confessing about her homosexuality she is in danger of losing her career, but she didn’t let that put her off. Before her successful Talk Show, she didn’t have any money and lived in a small, poor basement apartment. J. K. Rowling was always afraid of failure and had to choose between satisfying herself and her parents. Spielberg dropped out of college, just to fulfill his Hollywood dream.


By watching these three speeches, I realized that life is not about the planned and safe, but it consists of taking risks, not listening to others advice and doing just what you genuinely enjoy doing. This is exactly what Ellen, Joanne, and Steven have in common. They specialize in different kinds of things, but their stories are very comparable. No one has ever achieved anything by doing exactly what others are doing. You have to stand out, make yourself visible to others.


I have 3 pieces of advice for the next year students. First of them, is basically to work as hard as you can. Simple as that. And by this, I mean also to put in extra effort in your work, not just the average amount. This is the reason we go to school, this is why we spend there so many hours daily. By showing that you care, others see your ambitions and willingness and you gain a lot by this.

The next thing is to be precise in your work. It is truly worth it to spend that extra 10 minutes to check your assessment paper for mistakes and miss the 10 minutes of your tv-series. You’d rather take the next bus, or make your friends wait for you than rushing your exam task and not being truly satisfied with your work.

Last but not least, don’t ever do anything you struggle with or what doesn’t make you happy. There is nothing worse in this world than being stuck to something that makes us stressed, sad or cheerless. Just by looking at J. K. Rowlings example- she was great only at one thing, and it was writing books. Instead of trying to fit in with the other students, she used her abilities to succeed in what she was best at.


To conclude, I am very satisfied with this school year, moreover, I am actually quite sad that it is coming to an end. This means that yet another chapter of my life is closing, but there are still many more to come. I really enjoyed English lessons this year, and to be honest it was one of my favorite subjects. I can’t wait to continue International English classes after the summer holidays. 🙂