After being introduced to the different areas of Community Service yesterday, today was focussed on the academics and other service groups (Action, Creativity, Campus Service)
The morning started with a briefing in the assembly hall. Nick, the Director of Studies gave us an academic introduction in which he outlined the components of the IB, the differences between the Higher Level and Standard Level courses and introduced us the heads of each academic department. We talked about academic honesty and the importance of not just doing homework to get it done, but to learn for the future. Working hard and trying to give our best speaks to the most lasting value of a UWC education: the ability to identify, define, research and offer well-composed analyses for complex problems by ourselves.
Kalpana, the college counselor then gave us important information about our subject choices and their relation to our future areas of study. She gave us an overview about the requirement of American. Canadian, European and Hong Kong college. Since we students have been confronted for generations with the question: “What subjects do i have to choose to get a degree in that?”, it was great to be informed by Kalpana. Although certain subject choices are undeniably important for getting accepted into a certain college, they are not, in themselves, the ultimate measure of success. Kalpana emphasized that it is important to choose the subjects we truly enjoy and are passionate about rather than choosing a subject because of pressure from the outside (family, friends, second-years). Overwhelmed with all the information and sightly intimidated by the academic program, worried about our subject choices and changes, we then went over to the academic block where the teachers had prepared a Language Department Orientation in which we could visit different rooms and inform ourselves about the differences between the language courses and levels. Almost all students attended the presentation about the English courses: “English Literature” and “English Language and Literature”. The difference between these two is that English Literature studies and analysis prose, poetry, etc, while English Language and Literature course has a more theoretical/linguistic approach to language. i.e. syntax, phonology, semantics. It has more to do with the analysis of the actual way in which language is spoken/written and used in different cultures, its history and evolution. In this course we do not only read literary works but also a variety of texts from different categories, such as newspaper articles, advertisements, etc.
After the information input it was time for lunch (rice, teriyaki chicken, salad) and the Quan Cai fair that was organized by our wonderful secondyears. Since most of us expected the Quan Cai Fair to be a simple introduction of the extracurricular activities, we were all surprised when we arrived at the courtyard and saw our secondyears dressed up in colorful clothes, costumes, hearing loud music blasting from speakers and seeing them move to the rythm. We strolled around, stopped at each little table, listened to our secondyears tell us passionately about their activity and look at photos/videos. There were so many activities offered that I have a hard time choosing four!!! Here is a little list of some of the activities that are offered: Athletics, Basketball, Circus, Dragon Boat, Kayak Polo, Latin American Dance, Modern/Hip Hop Dance, Dragon Dance, Amnesty International, lion dance, Model United Nations, School Newspaper, Yearbook, Cage Dwellers, Eco-Monitoring, Art for Non Artists and so many more. I signed the e-mail forms of so many activities that my inbox will be full o new information! Let’s hope I will be able to make a choice!
During the Quan Cai Fair it started raining, but there is no weather condition that can destroy our LPC spirit! So the more it rained, the louder the music was and the more surprises where waiting for us firstyears. The members of the dance teams started dancing on the grass in the middle of the courtyard, and instantly everbody was clapping their hands, cheering our joining them. The circus group performedas well and so did the soccer players and the girls lion dance team. It was amazing!! When the song Gangnam Style started to play we all immediately ran on the grass and started dancing. After the end we were completely soaked, but incredibly happy. After the
Quan Cai fair it was time for setting up our Hong Kong Bank accounts (the school assisted us). Those who already had one were able to enjoy some free-time and thus I ended up going to a supermarket to buy some needs together with my friends. In about half an hour we will have a campus sustainability meeting and then a meeting with our tutor. I will write more about that tonight!
Little side not: Everday I am more and more impressed by the friendliness of everone on campus. It does not matter if you are good at e.g. basketball or dancing, you can still join the activity. The only requirement is motivation and interest!! I will be trying out lots of new things!!
Photos of the fair by ©Guillermo Carranza