Here is their letter.
Former IBer'sHere is my initial response.
We are currently putting together a few short biographies of past IB Students
here at Thurber to use in recruiting presentations (a sort of 'Brag Book" if
you like. I was wondering if you would be willing to email me a few short
lines according to the following headings:
Where did you go to university/college?
What degrees/certifications did you receive/are working on?
What are you doing professionally?
What achievements/successes are interested in sharing personally and
How did IB help prepare you for your post secondary career and/or your
Also if you could attach a current photo to the email it would be great.
Contact Information that we can use to track you down again or to pass on to
former classmates if they ask.
This information would only be used in school presentations and newsletters and
no print ads etc.
I understand how busy you must be, but if you could take a few moments to reply
to this email we in the IB Program here at Thurber would really appreciate it.
Dear IB People,
Professionally I currently wipe the poopie butts and clean up the other crap of my three offspring, whom I consider my most important life's work to date. I am also a wife. My IB education was not very useful in either the conception of nor the subsequent birthing of said children. Unless you count the fact that I was able to use big words and intimidate the medical staff at the hospital to get what I wanted while in labor. Interestingly enough though, when I finally learned to think less about the conception and birth process and rather just experience it, I became a whole lot better at it.
I'm not sure it has been of much value in the raising of these children either. Though I do teach them myself at home, and they do read pretty well, and add and stuff, so perhaps it is coming in handy in that respect.
I found the study of European history only indirectly helpful in maintaining the relationships that are integrally important to how I rate my success in life, and much of my well being. [Though there is something to be said for the value of world literature in this area.] I did leave IB with a sense of entitlement and a vague sense of being better than other people since I was so far removed from those "other people" during my three years of high school. I learned that attitude from my many peers in IB, though I'm sure I was naturally inclined toward it already. It has not served me well. In fact, only when I was able to stop thinking of myself as anyone special, and instead appreciate the life that I do have as the miraculous gift that it is was I able to find any peace or contentment. And those are things worth having, far better than money or success.
Theory of knowledge was helpful, in that it introduced me to logic and reason and helped me to consider and act rather than react. Of course, I did not absorb enough of it's benefit in time to prevent me from throwing my education ideas to the wind upon the suggestion of a guidance counselor, who only knew me from my academic record, that I major in music as I seemed to have an aptitude. That is how I learned to never let anyone tell me I should choose to do something just because I am good at it. If I don't love it, or have a reason for doing it that I love even more, motivation is hard to come by. It doesn't matter how many scholarships I win or how much praise I receive.
I spent 2 years working on a bachelor of music, spending hours in a practice room improving my ability to perform beautiful music for people who could afford to pay for the price of admission. After one too many after parties with respected professionals drinking too much wine and starting to leer at me, and one too many profs asking "Why are you here?" I abandoned my fruitless quest to convince myself that a professional music career mattered enough to devote my life to.
I spent a few years wandering around, learning, taking care of people, living closely with others in love and compassion and I realized that life is more than pieces of paper, professional success, or material gain, though those things have a very practical value. What really matters is the people we pass, the lives we touch, the relationships we build. These are the only things that matter in the end.
These lessons were not things that I could learn in IB. I am by no means belittling the value of an excellent education. It makes things easier for a person in whatever course they choose. But I no longer mistake a good education for wisdom, and I would rather possess the latter. That can only be come by the hard way, by living with your choices.
If you want something to brag about, I feel like the work I do as co-founder and administrator of a non-profit organization called The Charis Project that is focused on bringing help and aid to communities of Burmese refugees, caring for orphaned, abandoned and forgotten children, and maybe in the long run, through the care of these, changing the history of Burma itself is a pretty significant endeavor, one I am proud to be part of.
I write a lot too. Some of what I write is even read by other people. That's kind of neat. Thanks IB English for building a skill that I use every single day.
So, what do you think? Do I send it?