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.

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