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HS

Words from High School

José Menéndez
High School Principal

The last senior speech: Adrian Sobrado, STUCO President

 

“I wanted to do everything I could for this school, because this school did everything it could for me.”

 

This past Thursday, the HS had its last high school assembly as a student body involving the senior class.  Seniors led the student body in a game where students attempted to identify all of the seniors by their nicknames, quirks, and actions during high school.  The laughter and fun that was had in trying to identify each senior was great to watch and be a part of. Seniors followed that up by musical performances by Seniors Sebastian Monge, Evonny Beechman, Maria Zuniga, Gabe Escobar, Liam Muecke, and Felipe Torre.  The talent of the seniors were on full display.

But it was the final senior speech that brought the house down and ushered in a Mariachi Band and brought down a rainfall of balloons.  Senior Adrian Sobrado gave an impassioned speech from the heart that spoke of not only his growth as a student, but of what attending CDS meant to him.  It was so good and moving that I asked if I could share his speech with the senior community. And so, below is the speech:

Final Senior Speech
Uber’s business slogan is, “Connecting you with the people, places, and things you love.” In these three years, I've had a wide range of really interesting people who allegedly “love” me. From trips with Ubers joking about donating some of their armpit hair for me because they thought that it was hilarious, Ubers who’ve creepily offered me messages, to Ubers who’ve offered to sell me drugs.

Lovely people.

Now, despite the, I guess we can call them “creative minded” Uber drivers, the Uber experience that really stood out to me was a trip that actually started off pretty normal. I was on my way to school for the first time since I had arrived in Costa Rica, to visit the school’s campus, and I had ordered an Uber, which at the time I hadn’t used yet. I remember this guy (who was probably in his late 60s) started talking to me and started telling me that he was a musician. Simply hearing that made me relieved because A: I love music, so I felt like I could contribute to whatever conversation we might have, and B, I knew the name of approximately 4 instruments in Spanish: (El arpa, El piano, el trombon, y el violin). This was basically 80% of my Spanish vocabulary at the time: So I went into the Uber ride feeling relatively okay.

However, I was also a little scared because this was one of the first times I had interacted with a complete stranger since I had lost my hair. After I lost my hair I kind of went into isolation and only stuck around close family and friends. So I gave myself a little pep talk to hype me up a little bit right, I said Adrian you can do this, You can talk to him he’s just a normal guy who doesn't care about your hair.

While getting into the front seat of the car, I for some reason decided to give this pep talk out loud, and I think he got a little weirded out that I was talking to myself so much, so he tried to do the normal thing which was to make some sort of conversation. He began opening up to me, and telling me all about his adventures as an independent musician, which had brought him to travel all across the world. I’ll never forget the point when he started listing out the countries he had explored in his traveling days. He started telling me, “I was in Mexico, Honduras, Guatemala, El Salvador, Japan, Panama…”

I remember literally saying wait. Wait. Hold on. Let’s just. Okay. Did you say you’ve been to Japan? He just listed two countries together with one being less than 20 hours away by car, to a country that's more than 20 hours away by plane.

So, I wanted to know EVERYTHING, because I... love... traveling... So for me, him just brushing over Japan was like someone casually mentioning, “ Oh yeah I met GOD the other day but ya know, whatever.”

So I started asking about the people and what he thought of the culture there and of the food. And the more questions I asked the more excited he actually got. I felt like every question I was asking was just me opening this gateway of thrill and love that he was able to spread to me through each and every word. Just the way he was describing the food made me hungry and the passion that he had for the countryside landscapes made me so jealous! It was almost like I was just adding more and more fuel to this fire that I ignited once I began asking him so many questions about the country. And all I wanted to do was give it more and more and more fuel. And Finally, I asked him to tell me about his experience in this magical place and having the honor to sing for such unique and intricate people. And then...

Silence. Nothing but silence. I mean he wouldn’t shut up two seconds ago and now he was just mute.
And Oh the panic, you don’t even understand. I thought to myself Here we go Adrian, you said something stupid in Spanish, you probably used some racial slur against him or you flat out told him to go jump off a bridge, I don’t know. He probably thinks you're dumb. He hates you and you’re bald head. AAA I just had this train wreck of thoughts that just barraged into my head, just spiraling downward into a dark abyss.

So I decided to just look straight ahead, and told myself okay. That was a totally natural ending to a conversation, and I made myself believe that it was part of the Tico culture to abruptly stop talking to people. And just when I thought things couldn’t get any stranger, my Tico 60 year old driver, looked me straight in the eyes and as loud as he could…. He sang to me in fluent Japanese.

Fluent Japanese. I didn’t ask him to sing to me and Japanese!? I just wanted a light conversation to practice my spanish. Not THIS. I remember even getting a little mad like how dare someone just sing to me in Japanese out of nowhere when I… didn't ask him to do that. I even went over it in my head: Okay so I said how was the music… blah bla blah… he said nothing… Sings to me in Japanese… what am I missing here.

I was blown out of this world. Especially in that moment, because I didn't know what to do with myself. He wasn’t just singing, he was singing at me. It’s like he was threatening me somehow, I even remember peaking over at the lock of the door just to make that I could escape if this singing escalated into some sort of Japanese dance competition which sounds crazy, but at this rate it was totally possible.

Anyways, the weirdest part of the trip, came right after the little, one-person-jam-sesh he just had with himself. I found that despite the situation, I was actually smiling. And I thought this was just some defense mechanism of sorts, but no. I had a… genuine smile on my face and I remember being so confused because I couldn't understand why I was smiling. I was so uncomfortable and it was so awkward, but I was smiling.

And I loved it because, right after he was done, he just stopped and continued casually talking to me about some cow he saw, and I was just there with my jaw hanging like it was broken and my eyes popping out of my skull. Like, you just sang to me in Japanese? How are we moving on from this with no explanation?
(Slow down here)
However, we did move on, and I eventually got to school. I remember getting out of the Uber thinking it had all been a dream. And the feeling that came with that thought, was a strange feeling I hadn’t felt in a while:

Comfort.

I realized that my driver went on this trip, with this complete stranger, having no prior planning to this event, and decided that he wanted to sing to me in Japanese. And yeah, I thought it was weird. Weird, like someone would see some fifteen-year-old kid with no hair. It was weird like someone who took every ounce of courage in their body to come out about their sexuality to their classmates. It was weird like people who don’t like going to parties because they don’t like drinking and like to spend time doing other things like being with their family.

It was weird. But my Uber driver made me realize that people have the habit of labeling things as weird, when in fact they are the furthest thing from it.
He took a weird situation and made me realize that it wasn’t weird at all, it was amazing. That Uber driver. All he wanted to do was share something with me. He didn’t wanna impress me. He didn't want to show off. He didn't want to make a situation uncomfortable, even though it was, but he didn't care! He just saw this guy in his passenger seat that was another human and wanted to share something he cared about. And he was able to make it amazing because he truly accepted who he was. And that’s what I was missing on my road to confidence: I hadn’t accepted who I was.

I know you've heard that before, it's a cliche thing to say now. But once you get past the cliche side of it, once you truly let the pragmatism seep into your brain, and you make the decision to ask yourself , “what does that mean?” What does it mean to really accept yourself? You might be worried about your internal or external imperfections, you might be worried about fitting in, you might be worried that you don’t meet up to other people’s standards.

But it’s all about how you take that insecurity and realizing that yeah, me worrying about it is not going to do anything, me thinking and thinking about how much it's going to affect me isn't going to help me. The more you accept these imperfections, the less imperfect they become. To be honest, you'll become Invincible. There won’t be anything anyone could say to you that would hurt or change the way you feel about yourself, since you know exactly what and who you are.
__________________________________________________________________

Now me attaining the confidence I have today didn’t come easily. I'm not saying after one Uber driver I became the the most confident person on the planet. No. But it helped, as it acted as the first step in the long staircase to true confidence. The rest of the difficult steps that lead me to where I am now, came as a result of this school: The people who I'm talking to right now, including teachers. Every person I've interacted with, if you've ever talked to me, said one sentence to me, waved to me, you have all been part of the reason why I am who I am today, and that is something amazing. The Country Day School itself though, doesn't mean anything without the people in it. Country Day is just a name and it’s pretty much worthless without people like you, really Lifting me up, allowing me, and countless others, to feel comfortable with themselves. The school has this thing where it just helps people. It's a natural thing It does, it gets its energy from including others.

I mean, my senior class is the perfect example of that. Talk about confident Uber drivers. With you guys it’s like everyday I feel like I’m surrounded by people who are just ready to sing to me in Japanese at any moment. From having Sebas turn into a DJ every Friday blasting some bottom floor of Antique slash house kind of music. Or joking about how scared we’re all gunna be getting into a plane where Gregory is the pilot. Or when Jeffery was… Well just Jeffery being himself is a solid enough memory honestly. My grade is just too good. I swear! I mean have any conversation with Nano when he’s laughing and I promise you will laugh too, it’s just too contagious. Or grab a seat upstairs and watch Dennis running in the halls from Mr. West who isn’t convinced Dennis passed the fourth grade. Or I guarantee one of you guys in school has looked in the senior lounge and wondered “Hey, why has my dad been hanging around with the seniors this entire year?”... Well, guess what, it's not your dad, it’s just Luciano Foti! My grade is just too good. I won’t go too into details for your own safety, but my grade has made this year so fun with all the parties they’ve thrown, I mean I’m pretty sure we’ve had at least 12 last first days now. And our time in the senior lounge was the best, especially when seniors created petitions in the senior lounge to kick out someone or something, like the petition to kick out Juancho: which for some reason got the same amount of signatures to kick out ranch dressing: 30. I mean, I don’t know if I’ve mentioned this yet but My grade is just too good.

(No but really) I really mean it when I say that you've all played an essential and crucial role in making me feel comfortable in who I am.

The coolest part is the skills you guys learned, whether it was with me or through helping any other person feel welcome in a group and just feel comfortable in their skin, is something that you guys are going to take all the way until you die. It’s something so so so valuable. I know all of you believed in me and many others. And when you believe in others, other people want to believe in you too. Because you gave them the confidence that built them to become who they are.

And that doesn't go unnoticed. That surrounds you with better people, that surrounds you with people who want to actively make you a better person. They want to make you feel like you made me feel.

( Fast) That’s why I have spent countless hours after school here with teachers. That's why I ran for president. That’s why I’m in so many clubs like MUN and NHS. That’s why I took every chance I could to be the MC in pep rallies before and during my presidency. That’s why my stuco group and I did everything to make a school dance. That’s why we bought a freaking PING PONG TABLE. I wanted to do everything I could for this school, because this school did everything it could for me.

(Pause.)

And that's something I'm eternally grateful for and that's the reason why I'm going to live my life, whether my hair grows back or not, confidently. Because I realized that hair follicles can’t change the integrity of any human being. Neither does nationality, race, religion, sexual orientation, or any other beliefs. The senior class taught me that, and I want you seniors to know from the bottom of my heart, that it’s going to be difficult to say goodbye to you all. Because of what you've done for me and what you've done for each person in your class. You will all not only succeed on an individual level, but that kindness and willingness you all have to give and love is what’s going to allow you to succeed and change the world on a global level: One relationship at a time, one person at a time, one exchange at a time, one act of love and kindness at a time.

And for the rest of you, if at any point in your lives you come across an Uber driver who wants to sing to you in Japanese. Don’t freak out, just enjoy the ride.

Thank you.
Adrian Sobrado
  • HS Assembly
  • HS Assembly
  • HS Assembly
  • HS Assembly
  • HS Assembly
  • HS Assembly
  • HS Assembly

MEP Bachillerato Exams

 

MEP Bachillerato Exams begin Tuesday The bachi exams are finally here! The work and preparations for these exams have culminated in seniors taking these exams beginning Tuesday morning.  Below is important information to know going into the exams:

  1. Exams begin at 9:00am.  Everyone has to be in the Panther and Currasow rooms by 8:30 am.

  2. The National Bachillerato exams are taken by each student in their full uniform.  No uniform shirts with writing or messages are permitted.  No jeans are permitted and no leggings are permitted.

  3. Please bring your Identification cards with you EVERY day.  Your ID card is your entrance to the exam each day.  

  4. During the National Exams, students can not share or lend any materials such as pens, pencils, erasers, white out, calculators, etc.

  5. Here is the list of exams each day:

28 de mayo Español

29 de mayo Matemática

30 de mayo Estudios Sociales

31 de mayo Ciencias

3 de junio Inglés

4 de junio Educación Cívica

The results of the exams will be available to students on June 28th.  Time yet to be determined.

Awards Day is June 5th at 12:15 pm in the Theater.

 

We will have our annual end of year awards day on June 5th in the Theater we will celebrate the achievements of our students in and out of the classroom.

Final Exams are around the corner

Next week is the last full week before final exams begin June 7th. Students should be aware of the exam schedule.  

June 7  A period at 8am and D period at 11am

June 10 B period at 8am and C period at 11am

June 11  E period at 8am

June 12  F period at 8am and G period at 11am

Does it matter which university you choose?

From the Desk of Ms. O

See more

Feel free to contact me for any additional information.

José Luis Menendez

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