Happy New Year – a minor update!

Happy New Year, everyone!

One of the perks of going to Durham is that term-time is very short and breaks are very long. I still have a week and a half before I head back. I probably should be using my holiday more productively (read: catching up on all the reading I didn’t do during the previous term) – but oh well, we can’t be perfect.

I figured I would make an update post, just to give any readers an idea of what UWC graduates might be doing with their post-UWC time. I also just wanted to send out a reminder that I can still be contacted through the “Contact Me” section of this blog – I do reply to every message I get, and I’m more than happy to answer questions about applications, LPC or UWC in general!

Over the summer holiday, I worked as a fundraiser in Bergen for Amnesty International. It was tough! People don’t generally want to talk to people that are going to ask them for money, even if the money is going to a very good cause. Most people are very good about saying no, but there are the occasional rude individuals who are less than pleasant. Couple that with the fact that Bergen is one of the rainiest cities in Europe, and you get a picture of my average working day. Overall I’m very glad to have had the experience, though!

I also spent quite a bit of time relaxing with family and friends – I visited Elise (UK LPC ’16) in Birmingham and also helped out again with the RCN Bergen Day, where I met some more lovely students.

I also got involved with a refugee integration project started by the youth council I used to be involved with, which was nice.

Then, of course, October eventually rolled around and it was time to go to Durham. I have quite the good friendship group, if I do say so myself. Some live on my floor and some don’t, but we get together most days to play Cards Against Humanity/Spyfall/Mafia/Articulate or watch a movie. I’m really enjoying Law – it’s more interesting than I thought it would be (sidenote and very important piece of advice: generally, you should not apply for a course that you think might be a bit boring – even if you think it’s going to earn you money later), and there are plenty of fun cases out there!

In terms of hobbies and UWC values – I’m taking evening Chinese classes, playing badminton for my college (Collingwood, if anyone was wondering – interestingly enough, one of my college mothers (a “buddy”, if you will) came from UWCSEA!) and rigging lights and sound for formal dinners, plays and other special events within Collingwood College. Perks of rigging: you get paid. I’m not complaining!

I’ve been to two concerts in Newcastle while I’ve been studying in Durham (for potential Durham applicants – Newcastle is closer and cheaper to get to than you would think!) – Bastille and The 1975. Both amazing.

Also definitely worth mentioning is that I went to visit one of my firsties, Aditi, in Mumbai for her brother’s wedding. It was such a great experience, and so nice to see my firstie again. Pictures below.

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PS: Today saw me adding a category to this blog that I never thought I’d add; Post-UWC. Wow.

Post-graduation vibes (#1)

Hi everyone, and, for some of you, congratulations on surviving the IB!

The LPC Class of 2016 graduated just about a week ago, and everything and everyone is now settling down and getting used to the feeling of having no schoolwork due, no exam stress and a lot of time to sleep! Lots of things have happened since last I blogged (as they always seem to do, as I am not very good at updating it!). Here is a summary of some of the events, as I remember them occurring.

Exams passed in quite a blur, and I was so tired after my final Geography exam that I forgot to feel relieved that I was done with the IB. Helen, our Mandarin ab initio teacher, invited the Mandarin ab students over to her flat on the Tuesday to make jiaozi (饺子 – dumplings). They were actually pretty good, even though it took us ages to do it properly! Then, me, Elise and Helen watched a Chinese film (I can’t remember exactly what it was called, but I’m pretty sure it was along the lines of “Girls Who Flirt”). I went back later in the week and was treated to some more super-yummy authentic Chinese food made by Helen and her boyfriend (I’m definitely going to miss having the genuine, non-Westernified Chinese food), and we watched half of a Chinese movie (the English title of this one is “Monster Hunt”). I will watch the second half as soon as I can! Later on the Tuesday, the LPC Norwegians (minus Bjørn) and some other Norwegian girls that live/study in Hong Kong had a 17th of May celebration. It was super-nice – we had waffles and Norwegian chocolate!

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17th of May celebration at LPC 2016!

On the Thursday, Simran and I had decided to go to China – not for any particular reason, but I have a multiple entry visa that expires in July, and Simran has a 10-year visa (OMG, Americans…). So, we basically just decided that since we were both done with exams, we would go just across the border into Shenzhen (深圳) and spend the day there. We crossed the border and went to the Shangri-La for directions, getting to FairyLake at around 11am. We spent a little while getting lost in an overly large temple complex, before walking around the lake to try to find the petrified trees. We were a little confused a couple of times, so I decided to suck it up and try to ask people in Chinese. To my absolute shock and amazement, it worked and we found our way to the petrified trees in the end, although they were nothing like what Simran had seen in the photographs. We decided to be ultra-radical and try to take public transport to get back to Hong Kong. We got on the first bus and then, while chatting to the bus attendant in Chinese, realised we would have to switch buses somewhere. The bus driver and attendant were very lovely and dropped us off at the right bus stop and told us which bus to get on next.

Graduation was great – it was last Saturday evening, held in the Assembly Hall (thinking about it, it’s actually a really nice touch that the last time we were in the Assembly Hall – and the Sports Hall – was Graduation). If you’re interested in watching the whole thing, the link can be found here. Graduation was a really nice opportunity to laugh at everyone else’s baby pictures, meet everyone’s parents and just generally enjoy the relaxed vibes on campus. I got to go on stage twice at Graduation – the first time to receive the 2016 Student Award for Community Service (yaaaay SAS!) and then again to get my UWC diploma. Then, after Graduation, we all went to the Sports Hall, where the first-years were waiting to cheer us in through a long tunnel. My Mum got to meet some of my friends and teachers, and then we bowed out after a while, as the Norwegian bunad becomes quite heavy after a while.

I left campus on Sunday afternoon, and spent the morning frantically packing, tidying and cleaning, only pausing to give (read: force my roommates to accept) my stuff away and to sign yearbooks. I said my last goodbyes to my teachers and went to Magan’s flat to hand in my clearance form and key. I had told my friends that I would only be in Magan’s flat for 20 minutes, but I was, as always, mistaken and ended up staying inside for almost an hour. By the time we went outside, there was still a crowd of about ten people that had waited outside for me for the full 45 minutes. Oops!

In keeping with our roomie tradition, Tiffany came with to drop me and my Mum off at the airport, and we had some dinner together (char siu fan!).

Rather than go directly back to Norway, we headed to Bangkok for three days. We attempted some sightseeing on the first day, but after some very obnoxious and irritating salespeople, successfully buying some Hard Rock Café merchandise and three taxi rides, we decided to call it a day and spent the rest of the three days lounging around by the hotel pool and getting burnt, which, in the end, I think was more relaxing than doing the sightseeing. Here are some pictures from Bangkok!

We arrived back in Bergen on Thursday night. I became very excited to get back to Bergen while on the flight from Oslo to Bergen – we flew over lots of mountains and snow, and the view on the way down was absolutely fantastic.

Now that my two years in Hong Kong have ended, there will not be many more new blog posts. The blog will stay online and the contact form will remain open, so if you are a UWC’er/applicant with any questions, please do not hesitate to contact me through it! This summer and autumn I will be moving on to new and exciting projects, including:

  • Revising and practising my Chinese and French
  • Reading all those books I’ve been saying I’m going to read
  • Working as a volunteer for RightsInfo (for those of you that don’t know – I’ve recently started working as a volunteer for RightsInfo, which is an organisation that reports and comments on Human Rights news – including summarizing legal cases for the general public. My first article, co-authored with Adam Wagner, the founder of RightsInfo, can be found here.)
  • (hopefully) getting a job
  • …and, finally, going to university to study Law. Woo!

I think there will probably be a couple more posts on this blog before I permanently shelve it. I’d like to write some more about trafficking and some post-LPC reflections, but I don’t know when I will write these or when they will be published. But, in any case, stay tuned!

Peace out,
Emma.

Graduation in two weeks

Hi all, and my most sincere apologies for, once again, neglecting this blog for more than a month. There’s no good reason for my radio silence, as always, but I will try to summarise the events of the last month and a half into one blog post.

There were a lot of “final” events – final Music Night, final QC sessions, final QC reflections, final classes…

I feel as though there’s not much to say about the last three weeks. We had two weeks of study leave, for us to study for our final exams, and after that we’ve just been doing exams. We are now one week in to the three-week exam season, and I am officially done with half of my IB subjects (self-taught Norwegian last year and then Biology and Mandarin ab initio this week). Just Maths, Chemistry and Geography remaining, and then it will be time to say goodbye to campus, friends, teachers and everything else for a significant amount of time.

Things I HAVE done, however:

  • First Aid Training
  • Hung out with Hayley, who graduated from LPC last year
  • Finished Music Night
  • Finished QCs

I also went out for dinner with Jordan and her parents this last weekend and tried Peking Duck for the first time! They were mildly shocked that I´d been living in Hong Kong for two years but never tried it.

To make up for my absence, here are some lovely pictures of me, firsties and coyears at graduation dinner (which was almost a month ago!!).

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I think I will go and study for my upcoming Maths and Chemistry exams now… Byeeeee

End-of-March update

The end of the school year is approaching at almost the same rate as the temperature is increasing. We have now officially finished all of our coursework and oral exams, and the only things remaining are our final exams in May. I have it easier than most, since I’m only taking five subjects this year (finished Norwegian last year), but I am still feeling overwhelmed by the sheer number of topics left to revise in the next five or so weeks.

I have recently become more than a little obsessed with bullet journaling and note organization. Bullet journaling is great because it allows you to choose what to put in your journal – like a water or meal tracker, as well as changing the design and layout from week to week. I also realized that the way I take notes for most of my subjects is not very productive, as my Chemistry notes never seem to make any sense, my Biology notes are scribbled on the side of the presentation print-outs and my Geography notes are scattered all over the place. So, I have been spending most of my Easter weekend re-writing and sprucing up my Chemistry notes. Competence in Organic Chemistry, here I come!

In other news, here’s what I’ve been up to recently…

The Mandarin ab initio second-year classes went to Shenzhen (just across the Chinese border from Hong Kong) to practice our Chinese before our oral exams. We did lots of fun things and had lots of awkward moments (asking Chinese people if we could take a picture with their kids, trying to figure out exactly to what extent we were being ripped off and asking for directions from the police – good times!).

Technology wasn’t cooperating with me when I tried to find pictures of the Mandarin ab trip, so you’ll have to wait and ask me when you see me!

This Monday, Block 1 went to Kai Tak Cruise Terminal (used to be the location of Hong Kong’s airport – the one with the really narrow runway) and was then supposed to be going to the location of the old Kowloon Walled City. Unfortunately, it started raining just as we were leaving the Cruise Terminal, so we went straight for dinner once we arrived in Kowloon City, and left Kowloon City an hour early. Although I was actually quite interested in learning more about Kowloon Walled City (the dream of any geographer), I think not wandering around in the rain was a good decision. Poor Block 2 – they went biking in the rain.

You may or may not remember that I went to Art Central with Simran last year. There is also Art Basel going on at the same time, so this year I was fortunate enough to be able to snag a free ticket to Art Basel from Wendy, LPC’s art teacher. She told us when we arrived that she had spent three hours on each of the two floors at Art Basel, and that was by just walking around without taking a close look at any of the artworks. So, of course, I didn’t get to look at all of the artworks on display. In the end, I looked at about half of the first floor and maybe a quarter of the second. The second floor was funny though – it was very obvious that the galleries there were competing to have the highest number of famous artists (I’m talking Warhols, Picassos and Monets). A very enjoyable evening spent with Gaia and Hassan – thanks to Wendy for the ticket!

Some pictures in a slideshow below:

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And then of course, this weekend is Easter Weekend, so Friday and Monday are days off. I’ve been laying in bed watching various comedy shows for the most part (excellent use of time!), but I’ve also been studying, exercising (first swim of the year – water was absolutely freezing!) and rewriting notes. IB exams, here we go.

Emma

PS: As part of the process of preparing for my Chinese oral exams, I had to learn a little bit about some Chinese holidays (including the myths and stories behind Chinese New Year and the Mid-Autumn festival). So I was thinking that, since most of the people reading this blog know next to nothing about Chinese festivals and stories, I would try to post some here on a semi-regular basis. Look out for these stories – the next upcoming holiday is the Ching Ming festival – 清明节 (next Monday).

Project Week Take 2

Dear anyone who may be reading this blog post,

Depending on how long you have been following this blog, you may or may not have read my post about last year’s Project Week. I would recommend reading that post before this one, as many of my reflections are based on comparisons with the Project Week last year.

As with last year’s post, there are many sensitive details about the girls and the centre that cannot be revealed or shown online (this includes names, stories, pictures etc.), so you will have to just bear with me and my vagueness.

Our trip to the AFESIP centre this year was very different from our trip last year. Last year we went to Siem Reap centre for a whole week, where the girls were all between 14 and 34 years old. This year, my group went to Tom Dy centre for four days, where the girls were between 4 and 20 years old. The rest of the week was spent visiting NGOs and cultural heritage sites in Phnom Penh.

One of the major differences that I think affected the quality of the trip, for me, was the composition of students that went on the trip. Last year, the group that went together on Project Week to Siem Reap was very close-knit, and we had no communication or cooperation troubles. This year I felt as though there were three or four very distinct groupings of students that had just been thrown together for Project Week, which led to us not being able to work as well together as I had been expecting.

While preparing for Project Week this year, I had been anticipating that the girls and women in the centre would be of all ages, so from children all the way up to mid-30s. When we arrived at the centre, we quickly realized that there were only younger girls left in the centre, and none of the girls that Josef, Fleur or I knew from last year remained in the centre. That was tough to think about for the first couple of days.

For the duration of the four days my group spent at the centre, we danced and sang a lot, as well as carrying out art activities and various games. We walked (read: carried) the younger girls to and from school every day, and I also spent a lot of my time with one of the very youngest girls after school. She was very entertaining; she would have me carry her around the centre as she reached out to test all of the light switches, after which she would point in the direction of the stairs and have me walk up and down the stairs for ages and ages while carrying her. On the way up the stairs, she would count in Khmer. On the way down, she counted in English.

Our group didn’t get to do any drama or art therapies in the group, due to a lack of time. I found this very disappointing on a couple of different levels; lots of us had prepared to run drama and art therapies (which led to a lot of our preparation being wasted), and there were several students in my group that I thought would have benefited from seeing the therapies and how different the girls become during the therapies, going in an instant from blissfully happy to hysterical crying. Perhaps it would have helped the message we try to convey in SAS sink in a little further.

Halfway through the week, we swapped over with the second group of students, who had spent the first half of the week visiting NGOs and cultural heritage sites, and were headed to the centre to spend the second half of the week there.

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Emma (Y1, Norway) and Emma (Y2, Norway/UK). What a cute pair!

During our time in Phnom Penh, we visited two cultural heritage sites (Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum and The Killing Fields) and a few NGOs/social enterprises (Liberty Asia, Chab Dai Coalition, Daughters of Cambodia). We also watched the movie The Killing Fields. I found it very interesting to learn more about Cambodia’s past and violent history.

The highlight of our time in Phnom Penh must have been when some of the members of our group walked past a café that we knew employed former victims of sex trafficking. We stopped by, originally thinking that we would ask them a couple of questions about which NGOs their employees were referred to them from. When we went in, we quickly realized that one of the baristas was a girl that Josef and I knew from Siem Reap from the year before. It was really nice to catch up with her both there and at a dinner later the same evening and to find out what the girls from the Siem Reap centre were up. It was really good to not wonder anymore about whether they were still under AFESIP’s protection.

In summary – I’d say this trip was very different to the trip last year, which is not necessarily a bad thing. I think that last year I was much more shocked by everything that happened at the centres, especially due to the therapies. This year I was not so shocked, and so I don’t feel that my time at the centre this year will have left as much of an impact as last year’s trip did. Nevertheless, I thought it was a very good use of our time in Phnom Penh to visit other NGOs and cultural heritage sites, to know more of Cambodia’s “background”.

Sorry about there not being many pictures! I am unable to post any from the centre or of the girls.

Radio Silence (aka what I’ve been doing for the last month and a half)

This blog post comes after quite a while of radio silence on my end. No apologies here; it’s been crazy busy and it’s only just calming down now. As of right now, there are very few things on my academic to-do list, but I am starting to make a list of all the things I have yet to do/accomplish in my time in Hong Kong, and frantically trying to cross some of them off before our final exams begin in less than two months.

The last update was the Hackathon, which, believe it or not, was a whole month and a half ago. February has rushed past for me and most of my co-years, so it really feels as though the Hackathon must have been last weekend or the weekend before.

What happened since the Hackathon, you might ask? WELL!

The Wednesday after the Hackathon was the UN Holocaust Memorial Day. Like last year, I went to the memorial, which in both years has featured some very memorable speeches by Holocaust survivors. This year’s speaker in Hong Kong was Dov Landau (the movie Exodus was based on his story) – a very interesting character.

Later that weekend was Chinese Cultural Evening – while it was a great show, I think nothing will ever be able to live up to last year’s storytelling and show. The dragon and lion dances improve year by year, and the second-year scene this year had me rolling all over the floor of the sports hall.

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Just a couple of days after Chinese Cultural Evening, we had the penultimate Music Night of the year. Ferna and I announced that we are on the look-out for first-years to take over leadership over Music Night, which was a little sad. We only have one more Music Night together as hosts, which will be in around a month from now. While Music Night sometimes feels like more hassle than it’s worth, I will miss the atmosphere at Music Nights, auditioning people and working with Ferna and the AV team to make sure everything flows smoothly.

The next weekend, Chinese New Year started. Besides going to Jordan’s 18th birthday party and being ill, I didn’t do much except study for mock exams. Now that we’re getting the mock exams back, I’m seeing that the studying paid off (although I think I could probably have gotten away with spending less of my holiday studying and more of it actually having fun).

The two weeks after Chinese New Year passed in a blur – I got well(ish), had my second and final Principal’s Dinner, dyed my hair pink (without bleaching my hair first, so it lasted for just about two days), took all my mock exams and tried frantically to organize all the SAS students in preparation for Project Week (on which reflections will come on the next post).

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My hair when it was pink (thanks Max <3)

Skipping to events of after Project Week, not much has happened. We got back to school on Saturday night, at which point Karen and myself stayed up until long past 3am de-licing ourselves so that we wouldn’t infect our pillows and bedsheets.

Sunday was spent attending Asia Society Hong Kong’s screening of “He Named Me Malala” and relaxing with friends, while the time back at school yesterday and today has been hectic and relatively mind-numbing. I also got sick (again) on Project Week, and am recovering. This is the fourth time this school year that I have been ill (compared to not getting ill AT ALL last year or the year before), so I am beginning to wonder if my immune system is having some trouble.

More on Project Week coming up!

Happy New Year!

I’ve neglected this blog for far too long, I know. My excuses are good, though – lots of work + a broken laptop = no blogging from me, although I have been answering emails (to some extent) and responding to any comments on the blog. Baby steps.

So, officially, Happy 2016!

Winter Break and the stuff before that in a nutshell (Sim-style):

  • Got sick after coming back to Europe.
  • Stayed with Angelos (my Greek second-year – class of ’15) for a day in London, which was really nice. We went to a really big Waterstones, snuck into the UCL library, went to the Wellcome Collection (exhibition on a Tibetan temple and some very painful-looking yoga as well as a foggy misty room/exhibit. Very interesting!). Angelos also made me food and, while in Bergen headed to London, I had an awkward experience while buying alcohol to gift to him.
  • Had a nice Christmas celebration with the UK family –
  • Went to bed very early for about two weeks, and then stayed up ’til 4 or 5am every night for the rest of my (extended) break. Oops.
  • Went to the cinema with Mum (watched Joy) and then went to eat Chinese food. Had a nice conversation with the owner of the restaurant about Shanghai and Hong Kong.
  • Skyped Simran… multiple times…
  • My laptop broke two days before I was scheduled to fly back to Hong Kong. Disaster – lost all of my files! Many tears and three days later, a new laptop was waiting for me when I arrived back to LPC.
  • A really nice trip from Bergen to Hong Kong – the first flight was practically empty (an entire row to myself, although the guys behind me were REALLY drunk), and in the second flight, I was sat next to two other students that were around my age. We had the oh-so-lovely unspoken agreement that when one of us needed to get up, we would all go at the same time.

After my laptop broke and I lost all of my files, I spent my whole first weekend back at LPC cooped up in my room, rewriting my Extended Essay and Biology Internal Assessment. I then spent the following week holed up in my room with Simran, both frantically trying to process our Chemistry Internal Assessment data and put it all into words (and less than 12 pages!).

This week has been a run-up to this weekend, when Margaux and I hosted Liberty Asia Students Against Slavery’s first ever Hackathon. We had 6 teams each researching a slavery case study, trying to find out as much as possible using open-source intelligence. I would say it was very successful, with each team presenting their findings at the end of the event.

5 Second Rule

Margaux (Discovery College ’16, France/USA/++), Christos (LPC ’17, Greece) and Catherine (LPC ’17, Ireland) – or, as they are better known, 5 Second Rule!

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Tegz (LPC ’16, Wales)

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Julia (LPC ’17, HK), Emma (LPC ’17, Norway), Sadé (LPC ’17, Jamaica).

Until next time. Hopefully not two months. Excuse me while I go finish some more assignments.

Emma

Oops… I forgot about this blog for two months

Just kidding, I didn’t forget about it. I thought about it regularly but didn’t write anything anyway.

As always, plenty of things have happened since I last wrote, so I’m going to write another Simran-style post where I list the things I have done and expand only briefly. Enjoy.

October:

  • My university applications and all my predicted grades were due at the start of the month. Since my university applications were handed in, I haven’t been too stressed about predicted grades. I took my LNAT and IELTS as well (don’t you just LOVE standardized testing? I sure do), so I’ve been finished with all of my university applications for a good while now. It feels nice.
  • My grandparents and uncle came to visit for a week, which was really nice (at least for me). I got off campus with them for a few days, and also went to see some sights with them.
  • CHINA WEEK aka no firstyear roomies for a week. I’d be lying if I said Tiffany and I didn’t enjoy the peace and quiet (sorry Trisha and Yvonna – we still love you ❤ ). It reminded me a lot of fortnight, with all the second-years running around to finish pieces of work.
  • Margaux and I attended FREEDOM INSPIRES Hong Kong, a Liberty Asia event. It was really nice to be there – we met some people working for Liberty Asia that we’re working with now, and we also very much enjoyed talking to the other guests and representing LASAS.

November:

  • No November is complete without the 24 Hour Race! Before the 24 Hour Race, some students acted as Light For Freedom ambassadors, trying to fundraise for the two beneficiaries of the 24 Hour Race, Chab Dai and Justice Centre Hong Kong, before the Race took place. Then, of course, there was the actual race, which was as great as ever. LPC (of course) took home the school spirit award, while the LPC boys team took home the prize for 3rd fastest boys team. We’re all very proud!
  • Sex CoP Day. Not highly enjoyable last year – basically all the sex education one ever receives at LPC all packed into one day. Usually a day off for all the second-years, a bunch of us were asked to help out with various sessions throughout the day. Significantly more fun when the pressure to put a condom on a banana correctly wasn’t on me!
  • Went to a really cool talk held by the Hong Kong International Literary Festival (or something like that) about the urbanization of China and the development of cities and rural areas in China (Beijing and Manchuria). Super-interesting!
  • Went to an awesome art gallery tour around Hong Kong with Wendy (art teacher) and a bunch of other students. So many opportunities for the students!
  • Skipped a European Cultural Evening meeting to join the Theatre classes at a Chinese play. Because why not?
  • Dad came to visit and brought way too much sweets and food!! While he was here, we had European Cultural Evening – a great success, in my book! We had a nice mix of serious and playful scenes (and I do make a pretty good queen, if I do say so myself).
  • While Dad was here, we also went to see the Hong Kong Ballet perform Prokofiev’s Romeo and Juliet. My first ballet! I love the student discounts on tickets that they do here!!
  • Then, yesterday was the last Music Night of 2015. Ferna wasn’t here to help organize this one, and her presence was definitely missed – not only by me. I think Music Nights of this year have also been a success, mainly due to the diversity of talent the school possesses and the fact that Arnett, our principal, is so supportive of the students and lets us use his house (and really awesome piano).

So, yeah. Two months in a nutshell. I might expand on some of these points later – but probably not. Pictures below, on Facebook, and other places. Only 10 days until I get on the plane and get to go home for almost a month! So ready!!!

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Me and my favourite tutee, Simmy P ❤ Excellent block activity.

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Magan’s tutor group ’16, aka the best tutor group ever.

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Karen (Colombia) and Maisha (Bangladesh) trying to kill me before I attended FREEDOM INSPIRES Hong Kong.

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Me as an ambassador for the 24 Hour Race.

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Believe it or not, an everyday scene at LPC. Just kidding, this is the British scene from ECE. Willem (Netherlands) playing Prince Harry, me playing the Queen, and Maymay (HK/Wales) playing Wallace (my butler).

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War Poem.

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My promotional profile picture for ECE.

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Me looking dreadfully thoughtful at the last Music Night of 2015.

xoxo

Uni Apps & more

I feel like a headless chicken.

I’m in the process of finishing my university applications, while I’m also trying to finish (or in some cases start) my internal assessments. On top of this comes all my extracurricular planning (I’m co-leading two divisions of Students Against Slavery and the Badminton QC) and any other personal goals or aims. At the moment my number one goal for this term is simply survive while a) retaining my sanity and b) gaining a couple of IB points.

Last week, I was sick with a cold. It was a pretty bad one – chesty coughs, sneezing, headaches, you name it. Although I apparently had a HIGHLY attractive voice (as can be attested to by Simran, Maisha, Tegan, etc…). I guess there is always a positive side to being sick.

While it’s true that there are lots of academic and school-related things going on, there have, as always, been plenty of other things to think about and do!

A few weekends ago (I’m too lazy to count), the badminton girls’ team played our first and last official tournament of the year. While you may remember that we last year were our district’s runners up, this year we failed to advance beyond the quarter finals. This was mainly due to our second-years graduating and us not being able to put together a team of people who had played well together before (since the competition was so early in the school year, we did not have time to train properly for the competition). While it was sad that we were unable to match (or break) the record that we set for ourselves last year, we still had some fun.

After the match...

After the match…

Another weekend, some other stuff happened (I have no idea when this happened). On the Friday night I, along with about 20 other students and a teacher, went to see the Hong Kong Chinese Orchestra perform «A Paean to Peace» in the Cultural Centre in Tsim Sha Tsui. This was a part of UNESCO’s peace weekend (Sept. 21st is world peace day). You may think that Chinese Orchestras are exactly like Western Orchestras. You’d be wrong. The instruments used for a Chinese Orchestra are completely different from the instruments of a Western Orchestra – 高胡,中胡,革胡 are all instruments used. These are all string instruments, but they don’t resemble a violin or cello. It was a very enjoyable concert, despite my having a cold/the flu.

I wrote the above part of the blog post about two weeks before writing everything below this sentence. All of the days and weeks have kind of mashed together so forgive me if I jump around etc.

We also had the first Café of the year (led by the lovely, amazing, bestest tutee ever Simran (USA/India/Pakistan)), followed by the very first TEDxLPCUWC (where Karen (Colombia) spoke) and UWC day.

For UWC day, the whole school got together to make a «peace weave», constructed from old CDs and fabric scraps. It ended up looking really great!

The LPC Peace Weave.

The LPC Peace Weave.

Otherwise, I work far too many hours a day, sleep far too little and have far too much fun. Last night I went to the cinema with the aforementioned Karen to watch the Maze Runner: Scorch Trials. It was a decent film – the first half was far too terrifying for my liking – and made very entertaining by mine and Karen’s sarcastic comments («you stupid girl, spread your weight out evenly. I don’t even take physics and I know that concentrating all your weight on one spot will make the glass crack faster»).

Today is the National Day of China, so it’s a public holiday in Hong Kong. Tomorrow is also a day off, so I have a whole long weekend to work on more school stuff. Oh, the joy!

Before I go, here’s a quick shoutout to the first years that I know of that (still) read my blog: my roomie Trisha, Temide, Julia and Claudia. Yo Claudia – you asked me when I was going to post another blog post – here you go!

Bye byeeeeee

Orientation Week – 2nd year

Orientation Week is very different in 2nd year than 1st year. While the second-years are not required to participate in all activities, they are very much expected to help out and take responsibility for various aspects of some of them. While this year it meant more responsibility than last year, I’m glad I don’t have to go through first-year Orientation Week again.

For me, Orientation Week mainly consisted of helping out with the Magical Mystery Tour and organizing Music Night with Ferna. I also had to continue my Extended Essay experiment and do (some) other schoolwork. And, of course, help the firstyears settle in.

It’s a very new and different experience to have new faces everywhere. On the one hand, it’s so much easier for the second-years, since we have to learn fewer names than the first-years. On the other hand, we remember all the students that have just graduated and are very busy staying in touch with them (so far I’ve skyped 3 of my second-years and I have no doubt I’ll skype more of them soon).

Orientation Week is seen as a very welcome break by lots of second-years – no more Math IA, TOK presentation or classes. It was a welcome break from classes, but really it was almost as tiring as a normal school week. I signed up to help out with welcoming the Hong Kong first-years, the Magical Mystery tour and, of course, Ferna and I were very busy organizing the first Music Night/International Cultural Evening of the school year.

The Magical Mystery tour was great – this year we changed up the stops a little bit to give the first-years a chance to see some different aspects of Hong Kong. Tegz and I greeted eight or nine groups at the Ladies’ Market in Hong Kong. As is tradition, the groups have to do us a favour before we do them the favour of giving them their next clue. Naturally, Tegz and I made the first-years hold a Taylor Swift sing-off, where they split into two teams and had to sing Taylor Swift songs at eachother. It was highly successful – I was sure several musical prodigies had joined LPC this year.

Music Night/ICE took a lot more planning, and it got quite hectic towards the end, when we realized we’d sent out two invitations via email – with both of them showing the wrong starting time. In the end we managed to sort it out, and it was quite the success. A couple of cultural groups performed, while we also had one teacher performance and a few first-year performances. In the end we had a second-year dance to “We’re All In This Together” from High School Musical – just to end it on a cheesy note. It felt a little weird to be hosting Music Night, though – taking over the responsibilities of friends who have recently graduated and left LPC is a very odd feeling. It’s also very odd to be gathered as a year group with some of us having chosen not to come back.

Ference freestyling to "We're All In This Together" at Music Night/ICE.

Ference freestyling to “We’re All In This Together” at Music Night/ICE. Lots of second-years dancing awkwardly in the background.

Badminton competition this weekend (we’re hoping to beat last year’s all-time record of 2nd place), so I shall be off now. See ya.