Annisa Salsabil (UWCSEA 2010 – 2012 Turksih)
Zero six hundred hours: shower, camouflage fatigues, army green shirt, red National Socialist armband.
Gun gleaming, ready.
Zero six hundred and fifty hours: boarding bus, destination United World College.
Gun cocked, awaiting orders.
No, this is not the opening sequence to South East Asia’s Bowling for Columbine; it is as far removed from the notion as could be. Though I suppose my guerrilla garb and realistic black pistol – noise and spark inducing– would indicate otherwise. The peculiar garments celebrated massacre of a less macabre variety, it celebrated the twelfth grade students’ triumph over the time consuming, stress inducing Dark Lord of the IB programme: the extended essay.
Aashna Aggarwal (India, UWCSEA 2010-2012), Lakshmi Krishnakumar (India, UWCSEA 2010-2012), Sanya Mansoor (Kashmir, UWCSEA 2010-2012) and Itamar Carillo (Mexico, UWCSEA 2011-2013)
Jeremy Gilley:a man who grasped the very notion of peace and channelled it into an unstoppable force: an actor turned filmmaker, founded Peace One Day in 1999. Now, December 21st is annually celebrated as a global recognition of peace. It is observed all around the world with over a million participants. Peace One Day is a day for wide-scale community action, and a day for UN agencies and aid organisations to safely carry out life-saving work.
So what was going on in UWCSEA in Singapore? Because our school is so diverse in nature, synthesizing the dozens of languages, skin tones, cultures, traditions and beliefs is an escapade by itself. There is an inbuilt sense of awareness in terms of conflict and resolution – there is a common desire for peace. Peace One Day spoke to all of us and meant something to each of the different faces under one wet roof. To know we were all celebrating one message made everything all the more special and helped our understanding of why, where and how.
Sanya Mansoor (India, UWC SEA 2010-2012)
Timor-Leste (East Timor) and Kashmir, are both conflict-ridden regions with an abundance of beauty embedded in their people and their culture. But in the outside world and the first images that come into people’s minds regarding these places, are those of violence. Take for example, the response of a friend in Singapore upon hearing I would be interning as a journalist in Kashmir: ‘Don’t get bombed.’ It was a light-hearted, satirical comment but it summed up how conflict-zones are perceived. From the mountains of Gulmarg to the streets of Timor-Leste, the conflict always steals the spotlight.
Lily Tomson (UK, UWC AC 2010-2012)
As part of my IB ‘Reflections’, something which I also use this blog* for, I apparently need to evaluate my August Period.
I spent five days of August Period on MEMS camp. This involved learning boat handling skills, and helping my fellow MEMSies by doing boat cover for them, while they did a few dives, in order to qualify for the PADI Advanced Award. We stayed in a Field Studies Centre in Dale, Pembrokeshire. The food was wonderful, and the other visitors good company: one group took us up to their laboratory, and explained the marine conservation work which they were conducting around Skomer Island. We had a lot of fun together as a group: as well as conversations and discussions, we had a campfire and a few of us swam under the moon.
Jessica Ann Chapman (Wales, UWCiM 2010-12)
The British riots are over and the media attention has turned to other matters but these violent actions have awoken a deep rooted indignation in many areas of Britain, that have been ignorantly over looked. The media has called the riots “mindless acts of criminality”, blaming the youths of today; claiming the violence as simply something done out of boredom, that the murder of Mark Duggan is just an excuse for these ‘attacks’. But for those who know, this is not an act done for attention nor is it done in protest for the death of one man, it is the sheer anger that has built up through years of entrapment.
Yener Tüz (Turkey, UWCiM 10-12)
Walking on the streets of Berlin at night, you may see a guy wearing a leather jacket, chain necklaces, chain bracelets and sunglasses. He looks different from other people. Or during daytime, you may see a group of women passing, all wearing headscarves, talking in a different language other than German. You wonder who those people are. However, if you are from Germany, you’d probably know them as the Turkish people in Germany.
Ruth Tan (China, UWCSEA 10’-12’)
“Despite our hardships, however, there were occasional joys too in our childhood. The one time of the year that we all looked forward to, the one time when we would be guaranteed wonderful food, was the Chinese New Year.” – Li Cunxin in “Mao’s Last Dancer” Continue reading