2020.02.15563

Head of School's Column: How We Shall Face the Outbreak

We’ve been through a special Spring Festival this year. It may be the first time young generations have experienced such a "black swan" event, and this epidemic has profoundly affected our study and life. But as long as we respond positively and maintain a positive attitude, we will be able to turn disadvantages into advantages, and eventually become a different person after the epidemic. So how are we going to do it? My suggestions for the SIBS students are as followed:


Dear SIBS students,


We’ve been through a special Spring Festival this year. It may be the first time young generations have experienced such a "black swan" event, and this epidemic has profoundly affected our study and life. But as long as we respond positively and maintain a positive attitude, we will be able to turn disadvantages into advantages, and eventually become a different person after the epidemic. So how are we going to do it? My suggestions for the SIBS students are as followed:

 

Firstly, safety is our primary concern. Please try to avoid unnecessary outdoor activities. Always wash your hands and keep disinfecting when you go back home. Students and parents who have been in Beijing and have returned to Beijing can be pleased that the overall epidemic in Beijing has been controlled, and the number of reported cases ranks only 12th in China. There are only six confirmed cases in Shunyi District where SIBS is located. Under this premise, in principle, students and parents who have left Beijing are advised to return to Beijing according to their original plans and be quarantined at home for 14 days before returning to school as required.

 

Secondly, please pay close attention to the changes in the epidemic. Although the number of new confirmed cases and suspected cases has increased at a rate of thousands every day, we have seen its first turning point today. The number of cures exceeded the number of deaths for the first time, which shows that as long as the virus is detected and treated in time, the possibility of cure is still considerable. The Coronavirus is not that terrible.

 

" Suspended class, ongoing learning" or "suspended school, ongoing classes," students have heard these two words many times recently. Both are correct as “school” and “learning” are no longer clearly defined. Since February 3rd, SIBS has been providing online teaching to the students, which is a brand new experience for them. Can we be the masters of our learning?  The American writer Mark Twain once said, " I have never let my schooling interfere with my education.” We should also have the self-control and courage to respond to the following online education actively.

 

The "Black Swan" incident is not necessarily a bad thing. Each coin has its two sides.   In the globalization advancement, we have once again witnessed an epidemic from Wuhan, Hubei, which has spread to the world, causing a chain reaction. The "Black Swan" incident was first proposed by the American writer Nassim Taleb in his work in 2010, and it summarizes the "highly impossible" incidents affecting the era of globalization. But it's not all bad things. For example, entrepreneurial success in a unicorn is a "highly impossible" event. Tencent, Ali, Elon Musk, etc. are all representatives of the "black swan" incident. Our young generations have developed the resilience to resist the "black swan" incident, so that they can take the lead in the future where the "black swan" is frequent. Therefore, the next few weeks will be our first step to test our resilience against the Black Swan incident.

 

Think ahead is always needed. All we are considering now is to provide high-quality online courses while we should not stop and keep looking forward. For instance, high school students (grades 9-12) need to take a break to think about which expansion and background enhancement activities to participate in the next summer, and which summer camps to sign up for. Students in grades 10-11 must pay close attention to the registration of follow-up exams despite the cancellation of standardized exams from February to March. Grades 6-8 students start to study at home and try to master musical instruments and other talents and sign up for follow-up examinations. Also, they should take the time and try out debates and mock UN events that we have always encouraged students to participate in.

 

A two-year plague occurred in London, England, in 1665. An inconspicuous student at Cambridge University returned to his home in the countryside. He did not bring all the textbooks and notes, but he did not waste his time. He not only found the physical laws of celestial body movements but also invented a data tool - calculus to rigorously explain the circular/elliptical orbital movement laws of the object when the force continually changes direction. This person is Newton. Interestingly, he did not take notes and textbooks at that time, the figures of celestial movements he calculated were inaccurate from astronomical observations, and Newton put his scientific research results in a drawer. It wasn't until another astronomer Edmund Halle visited in 1684 that Newton came up with his research findings and made known to the public, and brought about a revolution in thought and science.

 

Students, the next idea to change the world will be born in this epidemic. I hope you can participate in the creation of such a big idea.

 

Dr. Xiaomin Chen

Head of School

Springboard International Bilingual School