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

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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!

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

One month down, (less than) two to go

My holiday in Norway is now nearing an end. Mum, Morgan and I have a week of holiday together before Morgan and I head off to the UK for about five weeks. Although I started the holiday rather well with regards to schoolwork (self-taught a chapter of Chemistry in the first two weeks – yay!), I have been waking up later and later, and doing less and less schoolwork. While I think I can finally say I’ve caught up with all the sleep I lost during the first year of the IB, I have realized I need a kick up the ass to actually continue working and do something productive. Not to say that I’ve wasted my time – I’ve definitely done some productive things:

  • My first-year, Emma (check out her blog here), came to visit for a weekend. We visited Fløyen, walked along Bryggen and saw some of the sights Bergen has to offer.
  • I went to Oslo for a long weekend – it was the weekend of the UWC Norway intro-weekend and their parents’ meeting. Gustav and I saw the firstyears off to the intro-weekend before heading to the parents’ meeting, where, in addition to meeting the parents, we met some co-years as well as my fourth-year, Oda. Sidenote: I have now met my first-years, second-years, third-years AND one of my fourth-years.
  • The rest of the long weekend in Oslo was spent with my uncle and cousin, where we went to an outdoors concert on Saturday and wandered around the harbourside of Oslo on the Sunday!
  • Many many many barbeques/18th birthday parties. Many many. I think I’ve been to four parties in the last week. Phew.
  • And then, of course, reacquainting myself with my beloved guitar and keyboard. While we have access to pianos in Hong Kong, they aren’t always tuned (the horror), and I didn’t bring my guitar to Hong Kong. I have spent a lot of time over the last few weeks learning new songs.
  • Finally, I have been getting back to my ever-political roots – I went to am island youth council meeting to talk about UWC and slavery, and went to a local secondary school to give two presentations on UWC, democracy in Hong Kong and slavery in South-East Asia.

Continuing for just a moment longer on the political/social activism side of things, here are a couple of links with descriptions:

  • In first term, Maisha (Bangladesh) and I gave a presentation on labour migration from Bangladesh to Qatar. Most people will know Qatar because they will be hosting the FIFA World Cup in 2022. FIFA has come under a lot of scrutiny for this decision, with many people claiming corruption has led to this choice being made. Maisha and I know Qatar for its “Kafala” system, which ties laborers to their employers in Qatar. Laborers cannot leave, buy property or cars or quit their jobs without their employer’s permission. This is bad enough in itself, but, as it turns out, many men from Nepal, Bangladesh, India and other countries are tricked into going to Qatar to work as construction workers in preparation for the World Cup. With harsh conditions, unfair wages (or none at all) and long working hours, these workers are effectively slaves. Last year, one Nepalese worker died every two days in Qatar. After the earthquake in Nepal earlier this year, many workers were stopped from traveling back to Nepal to attend funerals. In order to protest the labour abuses in Qatar, some people have re-designed the logos of the World Cup’s biggest sponsors – Coca Cola and Adidas, among others. Here you can see the new and improved logos.
  • Sarah Jones is an extremely talented monologist. She has written an extended monolog, set in the future and looking back through BERT (Bio-Empathetic Resonant Technology) to 2016, where different people have been interviewed for their perspectives on feminism, prostitution/sex work and women’s rights. It’s a long video (about 25 minutes), but of excellent quality and offering many different ((real)) perspectives on the legality of prostitution, as well as whether prostitution can at all be said to be empowering. Here is the video, shown as a TED talk, which is a preview of the full-length play.

But now, I fear, I must actually get some work done. I’ve pledged to myself to finish Acids and Bases before the IB exam results come out (which is the 6th of July). The topic is proving to be a little tricky so far (maybe that’s why I keep putting it off?), so cross your fingers and wish me luck!

A brief summary of the post-exam period

Time passes by so quickly here at LPC. I finished my final exams last Tuesday, and had every intention of working very hard for the remaining two days before the hecticness was set to start. Needless to say, that didn’t exactly happen. I relaxed, started packing (I’m leaving four – FOUR – boxes on campus over summer. How is it possible for one person to accumulate so much stuff over the course of a year?) and chilled out with other people that happened to be finished. Willem and I went to Festival Walk (someone insisted they had to go shopping), then the next day, Simran, Willem and I (like half of Magan’s firsties) went to Central shopping (again!), then we went to a Mexican restaurant where we had the most amazing non-homemade tacos I have ever had.

Then on Friday, we visited Ada, a Norwegian girl Magnus and I met at the Peak during the 24 hour race in November. We chatted for a while about Club Norway, a Norwegian society that organizes events for Norwegian people living in Hong Kong. On the 17th of May (the Norwegian Constitutional Day!!), Club Norway hosted an event to celebrate. Unfortunately, Magnus and I couldn’t go – the event was way out of the range of my student budget (800 HKD – about 800 NOK or 80 GBP), and LPC also happened to be hosting a mentorship day. That, and the fact that I will now be going home in 2 (TWO) days, made it not worth the money. Anyways. Norwegian food in three days.

What else have we been up to? Lots of school-organized things… As one of the leaders of Music Night next year, we have been planning the last Music Night of the year. Unfortunately, I’ll be leaving the day before the Music Night, but I have lots of faith in Ferna and the Café team. Hopefully the event (Last, But Not Least) will be a great way to reminisce over the events of this year.

I am also now officially one of the two Executive Co-Chairs of Liberty Asia Students Against Slavery. We spent a lot of time this year nailing down the organizational structure of the organization, so I’m really thrilled to be a part of it next year too. I’m spending some time this summer visiting schools in my local area in Norway to talk about slavery, so I’m hoping to have the chance to learn lots more.

A quick summary of other events… my package from Norway containing exam sweets and rice porridge ingredients for the 17th of May finally arrived at school yesterday… a month after being sent from Norway. Needless to say, I’m anxious to save suitcase space going back to Europe, so most of the sweets have been shared and are already almost gone (yes, let’s pretend that’s the reason). Due to the exams and tight scheduling, our only time to socialize seems to be the evening. Yesterday I played Cards Against Humanity in block 3 with some lovely people, then Cynthia and I ate rice porridge and wild berry sorbet (yum-yum). I finally submitted my Science Internal Assessment ideas (my Bio IA is great, but I’m a bit iffy about my Chem IA… oh well. I’ll deal with it after I check out the in-flight entertainment on the way to London).

Peace out.

PS: I’m lazy so no pictures this time. If you made it all the way to end and actually read everything: kudos to you.

Exam stress & end of year

Maths exam over, phew… Two exams finished, only five (5!!!) to go.

Tomorrow I have Chemistry followed by Norwegian Paper 1, Monday I have Norwegian Paper 2 followed by Mandarin, and then my final exam will be Biology on Tuesday afternoon.

Even then it won’t be time to relax! Final QC reflections, TOK journals, Chem and Bio Internal Assessment proposals and a whole bunch of school-organised events. As they say here in Hong Kong, ayyaaaaaaa!

There are still plenty of things I would like to do before going home for the summer (the Peak, sleep, hang out with all of my favourite second-years, sleep, go out for a nice meal, and oh yeah did I mention sleep?).

This is it for now – time to study VSEPR and orbital shapes.

xoxo

PS: I promise the quality of my English and the frequency of my blog posts will be higher after my Chemistry exam tomorrow.

Wing Chun, Holocaust Memorial, CCE, Conservation Lecture & more…

Everything is super-hectic here at the moment – there is barely a week of school left before Chinese New Year (in that week I have a maths test, a Mandarin test, a Chemistry test and a lab due). Mock exams for the second-years and for the first-year self-taught students are straight after the break, and after mock exams comes Project Week. I have to finish all of my self-taught before mock exams (which effectively means within the next week as I have visitors for both Chinese New Year and the week after!). Lots of work to do. So what has been going on lately?

I joined a club (at LPC, a club is an unofficial activity – aka a weekly commitment that does not count for CAS hours) called Wing Chun (a form of Kung Fu). I have wanted to learn a form of martial arts for a long time, and I am very glad that I could learn a traditional Chinese martial art.

Last week (Tuesday) was the 70th annual Holocaust memorial day. There was an event in Hong Kong where Rick Carrier, an American war veteran, came to share some of his experiences with the people in attendance. A rather graphic film was also shown that depicted some of the atrocities found in the concentration camps after the British and Americans discovered them. All in all a very interesting event that I learned a lot from.

Last Saturday, we had Chinese Cultural Evening – a cultural evening like no other. CCE is special in that is the only annual Cultural Evening (the other Cultural Evenings are biannual). Also, mainly first-year students are involved in the planning of the event. I remember the welcome show we had the night before Orientation Week, where we were welcomed with a short show by the second-years. The thing I still remember best from the show is the Lion Dancers and the Dragon Dancers – they are always absolutely amazing, and they didn’t disappoint at CCE. Everyone put a huge effort into CCE this year (as Li Ping, my China Week teacher and the teacher responsible for CCE, is leaving to go teach at the new UWC school in China after this year), and you could definitely tell. The dragon dance routines (go Magnus!!) had my heart jumping into my throat, while the lion dancers were, as always, super-entertaining and skilled. The Cultural Evenings are usually centred around a story. In CCE, we followed an old emperor on his quest for immortality – he visited the 21st century, Mao and another emperor before realizing he had to be nice to his people, and that immortality was not what he needed.

CCE - me and Miren

Miren (Spain) and I at CCE dinner. The dress-up theme for Block 1 was technically Communist Era, but I decided to put on red lipstick and gold stars and be the Chinese flag instead.

Also, yesterday, a few people from LPC went to attend a lecture at the Royal Geographical Society in Hong Kong, Dr Richard Leakey and Dr Paula Kahumbu came to talk about conservation in East Africa – in Congo in particular. It was centered around conservation of elephant populations, and I found the talk very interesting.

In other news (aka things I should have mentioned a while ago butt hat have slipped my mind):

  • My Extended Essay subject has been decided… *drumroll*… Biology!
  • My maths Internal Assessment topic has been decided… The Enigma Code (if you don’t know what it is, check out the Imitation Game – starring Benedict Cumberbatch and Keira Knightley!)
  • I happen to be in Shuchi’s IP (internal performance – I think), which is A Very Potter Musical. It premieres this Sunday, and I will be playing Draco Malfoy!

To the Norwegian applicants – hope you’re not feeling too nervous! Magnus and I are both really looking forward to meeting our first-years!

Last chance to apply…

So, for all Norwegians considering applying to UWC, the deadline is approaching fast. If you’re scrambling to finish your application, you should check out my post on applying to UWC HERE, my post on the UWC application process HERE, Lisa’s post on applying to UWC (Norwegian) HERE and some more in-depth information on the IB system HERE.

Good luck, and don’t hesitate to get in touch if you have any questions!

Hugs from a potential second-year!

Long time, no blog post?

So, it’s been a while since my last blog post! A few things have happened since last time I posted:

Me and Morgan went to Camp Herdla for the last week of June. I canoed EVERY DAY, believe it or not, and at the end of the week my arms felt like they were about to fall off. Unfortunately, my UWC Norway bag got a little bit burnt (it was a very unfortunate accident and I’m just glad no one got hurt/ my phone didn’t explode). I shall have to see if I can buy a new one.

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The day after Camp Herdla ended, Morgan and I traveled to the UK. I’m just over halfway through my stay! We’ve been busy while we’ve been here though!! We went to watch the Vixens play at Filton last week. They won 2-1, although I was told they weren’t playing as well as they normally do. Today we went to watch Bristol City vs Weston-super-Mare. We didn’t stay for the entire match, but when we left they were down 2-1. We went to get chips instead, and then we headed home to catch the second half of Argentina vs the Netherlands.

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Side note: It’s unbelievable how many people are paying attention to the World Cup!! On the LPC group chat yesterday, it seemed like everyone had something to say about the Germany-Brazil match. I can already imagine the fights we’re going to have over Eurovision.

On Sunday, I went to see my cousin Lois’ end-of-year show! It was really good, and they had a couple of very cool dances. I didn’t recognize as many of the songs as I did last year, and I’m starting to wonder whether that means I’m getting old. ALREADY?? Oh no…

On that note, before I forget what I’m writing about (old age and all, never know what I’ll remember in five minutes), I shall leave and make sure I see the last 10 minutes of extra time (still watching Argentina vs the Netherlands, yes..)

xoxo

PS: Today I got my first e-mail from someone who had questions about the IB and UWC. If anyone else has questions/comments, NOW IS ALWAYS A GOOD TIME. G’night to everyone else.