Assembly - 10 June 2019
ROSE: I am a past SAHETIAN - Alumni class of… Well let’s not mention this, suffice to say that I was taught English by Dr Pitt and Father Petros was Head Boy while I was a pupil. My experiences over many years at SAHETI have helped me on my journey to know myself.
STEFANIA: I am a past SAHETIAN - Alumni class of 2010. Suffice to say that I was taught by Mrs Dairopoulos, Ms Akakios, Mrs Zachariou, Kirio Vangeli, Mrs Whittle, my mom Dr Pitt and the majority of the high school educators. I have come full circle and here I am, teaching at SAHETI and having taught Mrs Dairopoulos’ child. I can honestly say that being a pupil at SAHETI from the age of three has helped in my journey to know myself. Every day, I am reminded that teachers are not the only ones educating those around them, but often our pupils teach us a great deal. During a Grade 6 drama class, Aran Malgas wrote about his river of quality and what it means to ‘Know Thyself’:
My river inside is always flowing
Flowing with laughter, fun & adventure
Flowing with help and care for others
Flowing with love for friends and family
My river is full of personality like a flame out of water
Life is full of people to be kind to and to be good to
My river is always flowing. Is your river flowing?
You are probably wondering why each week during assembly, teachers come onstage and explain what “Know thyself” means. You may think the answer is obvious. But in an ever-changing world, filled with demands, expectations and influences (both positive and negative), it is easy for us to lose focus of who we truly are and it is only with introspection and insight that we stay true to ourselves, regardless of our changing environment.
SAHETI has echoed the same message through generations, namely to remember where you came from, but yet to have your own voice to express who you are, while respecting others.
ROSE: As a learner, I was part of the Greek Dancing team. But Greek Dancing did not take place in the Hellenic Centre – we practiced and danced in the big Avli come rain or shine. These buildings were not as you see them now; this hall did not exist. All gatherings, all major productions, all assemblies were held in the big Avli or in the small Avli. As these buildings have changed, so too has my knowledge of myself changed.
As a learner, I had classrooms that did not look like what you have now. We had prefab classes where the Bylos Music Centre is today. In summer they were so sweltering hot, that the boys had to hose down the roof with water to cool them down, and in winter they were freezing. This taught me perseverance.
As a learner, I was part of the swimming team, but the pool did not exist where it is now. We had to walk down to the Greek Sporting Club, where there was a pool, and if it rained the day before, it was filled with mud - but we swam. This taught me endurance.
Where Kyria Tonia’s office is today - and the adjoining classrooms - was our library. It was also our sickbay, and the photocopying room, and the staffroom. This taught me to be accommodating.
Many of our current pupils’ parents were at SAHETI with me, and are all friends made during my time here. This taught me friendship.
Through all of these experiences, I grew to know myself. As an adult I know where I come from, I recognize my beginnings, but as these buildings have changed and evolved, I hope so have I. I am not one thing but a mixture of many. SAHETI’s foundation of respect, honesty, trust, courage and family are the pillars of who I am today.
For Mrs Pitt-Fotakis and me, through this journey - first as students, then as teachers and now as colleagues - we have learnt and respect the fundamental role that each person, or experience plays in our lives. SAHETI has helped us to constantly change, rebuild, reinvent, challenge and push beyond our comfort zones. This is what we believe ‘Know thyself’ is.
Take what you are offered here, enjoy the experience and learn to mould yourself.
STEFANIA: We leave you with a piece written by Nicolaos Vostanis in Grade 6: Honesty is my policy, family is my first, friends are my best. My road is filled with adventures: love, exploration, laughter, up and downs. A family of lions leave their cubs at the age of one, so why don’t we become like a pod of dolphins: swimming together, thriving together. All together we will achieve our goals. So where will your road take you?
Assembly - 24 June 2019
Knowing yourself is your greatest privilege. And why? It affords you the opportunity to accept what defines you and to reject what is not you. Joe Pesci is a fine example of γνώθι σ’αυτόν (Know thyself). Despite being an accomplished actor in Hollywood, he disliked the limelight immensely. His roles were comedic and serious and he did not allow them to shape who he was. His life decision was to live quietly by going to church and assisting charities where he could and he chose to work only when he needed to. In 1992 he won the Oscar for Best Supporting Actor and his γνώθι σ’αυτόν (Know thyself) was highlighted in his acceptance speech that was comprised of only five words: ‘It’s my privilege, thank you.’