Bissell's Blog

共庆龙年 Celebrating the Year of the Dragon!

Lion Dance at Mass Greeting 2024
Mass Greeting 2012 — My previous Year of the Dragon at CAIS

I arrived at CAIS in 2010, which means this is my second time around the 12-year Chinese zodiac cycle and my second Dragon Year at the school. To be honest, I’m generally not a superstitious person, and I’ve never really attached much importance to zodiac signs of any kind (my apologies to all those CAIS parents of 5th and 6th graders who were born in 2012, and to Head of Early Childhood Wei Qian who is expecting a little Dragon this spring). This year, however, there are some coincidences that make me wonder if it might make sense for me to re-evaluate my unwillingness to embrace some of the traditional beliefs associated with the 12 animals of the Chinese zodiac.

Traditionally, the Dragon is believed to exercise control over weather and water. For instance, it can bring healing rains in times of drought or conversely cause punishing floods. As the most recent atmospheric river hovers over our city and we are pelted with driving rainstorms, I have thought to myself, “hmmmm, maybe there is something to this dragon mythology after all.” Yesterday evening just before sunset, I was driving back into the city from San Mateo on Highway 101, and it struck me how green the San Bruno Hills are this year. In my 14 years in San Francisco I don’t ever recall the San Bruno Hills being anything but brown. (I Googled images of the hills when I got home, and they were all brown. Don’t believe me? Try it!) Is this simply a coincidence, or is it related to the approaching Year of the Dragon?

Also traditionally, the Dragon is regarded as wise and powerful, courageous and confident, ambitious and adventurous. It just so happens that this year, the Year of the Dragon, we will move to our new, forever home—our 5.4 acre campus on 19th Avenue. How wise, powerful, courageous, confident, ambitious and adventurous is that?! Is it just a coincidence that our community is taking the boldest step in the history of the school (aside from starting the first Mandarin immersion day school in the country) in the Year of the Dragon, the most auspicious of the 12 animals in the Chinese zodiac? Mmm-maybe not?

Whatever we believe, this is indeed an auspicious year for CAIS; we have emerged from the pandemic as strong as ever, we are moving forward with confidence and optimism. The Lunar New Year is an occasion to reflect on our past and look forward to our future. How truly fortunate we are to be in this community, at CAIS!

Happy Year of the Dragon, everyone, 龙年大吉,万事如意!

Remembering our Mass Greeting visit from Mayor Ed Lee