Orientation Week: Day 5 – Pool Games and Music Night

Since Camp was canceled due to the bad weather, we were allowed to sleep in today. Miranda, Grace and me decided to use the free-time to go exercising in the morning. At 6:30 we met in in front of our rooms, stretched for a while and then went out for our run. The scenery was beautiful and everything was still so calm in the morning. On our way back to campus after about an hour, we stopped by Starfish Bay and admired the great view.

After breakfast we met in the assembly hall again for the morning briefing and then watched a movie together: “Home” by Yann Athus-Bertrand. The film shows the Earth’s ecologies, starting from its early hours to today and points out how much we harmed our planet. The footages of different cities, rainforests, waterfalls and deserts are stunning. The most striking images were those of natural cities, especially those that seemed to grow out of rock as if they were a part of it. The human obsession with control and prediction is tragically what has caused the most destruction of our planet.  For a sustainable future, the movie suggested renewable energies, even mentioning one of the most environementally friendly cities in Germany! Freiburg! The movie was wonderful, not just because of the stunning footages of our beautiful planet, but also because it compressed all our knowledge about our self-made destruction of the ecosystem in one and a half hours. We knew all the things that were shown in “Home”, but being reminded of it and seeing our impact made us realize once again how important environmental sustainability is.  One of the suggestion for the future, that were shown at the end of the movie was to cover the seas with wind farms. Wind farms are a wonderful source of renewable and clean energy, but I want to mention that building them in some parts of the oceans would be an act  as destructive to the environment as all the other monocultures (Oil palms, etc.) that were denounced in the film. The effects of offshore wind farm noise on marine mammals and fish are tremendous: it interferes greatly with marine mammals’ ability to communicate, results in change of behavior and much more.

On our way back to the residential blocks we discovered that block 2 was having pool games. Not being able to resist the water, Jane and me quickly changed into our swim wear and joined the water polo game. It was so much fun!

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At lunch the second-years surprised us once again. Raymond, who had served the school with food, patience and laughter, was retiring (after 12 years of being at LPC!!) and to show our appreciation the students, staff and teachers had prepared a little farewell party for him. Arnett gave a speech about Raymonds representation of the UWC spirit, then the second-years and faculty presented their (symbolic) gifts, clothes, a watch to remember his time at LPC, handwritten goodbye cards and much more. We clapped, screamed and cheered for Raymond, who was truly moved by this surprise in the canteen. He promised to come back. LPC will miss you.

After lunch it was time for a very important tutor meeting: Quan Cai choices. Since yesterday was Jewish New Year (to celebrate that we dipped apples in honey, that our Jewish co- and second-years had prepared for us), my tutor Hayley was not on campus and thus I had my Quan Cai discussion with Sandy, one of our English teachers. I climbed up the stairs to the academic block and started looking for the language department. Sandy was already inside the room. She had the Quan Cai timetable printed out in front of her. I shared my first choices for each of the Quan Cai components (Creativity, Action, Campus Service, Community Service) and then we checked whether their times clashed or not. After that we talked about orientation week and my first impressions of LPC, ending the meeting with lots of laughter and personal thoughts about birthdays and the air conditioners (they are definitely too cold!! :D)

Today we also had a flea market that was run by the secondyears! I can surely say that it a  treasure trove of awesome. The secondyears brought out tons of stationary, books, room decoration, bags, pillows, bed sheets and “stuff”. Aside from all the great things we were able to buy for good prices, the most impressive thing about the flea market was the energy. Everybody was in a hurry to get from one place to another in order to find the good stuff before it was gone. We had a lot of fun and pretty much everybody returned to their room with a hamper full of stationary, decoration and books. I bought a bunch of school supplies (pens and folders, etc), a Lei (Shuhei wanted me to get it, since it looks Hawaiian), a cushion and one of those hangers for foldable storage cubes. A photo of my “new” room will be uploaded soon.

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The day ended with Music Night, an event that was held for us firsties by the second-years. We gathered in the canteen to watch the performances and when I say we were amazed, our mouths open in awe that would still not be enough. Whether it was one of our second years playing the harp like an angel, the dance group performing a beautiful choreography, a cover of “You’re gonna miss me when I’m gone” with cups, the choirs beautiful interpretation of a song about the ocean(!) or an incredible piano improvisation, saying music night was great would be an understatement. We have so many talents at LPC! The best part of music night was the sing-along. Every time a song we knew was performed, everybody joined and started singing and clapping and once again we were in love with the community spirit at LPC.

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