literati issue 3
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UWC- USA OCTOBER 2014
Nobel Peace Prize
Awarded to Champions of
Children’s Rights and Education !RUBY MCCAFFERTY !
(USA - VT ’15)!—————————-!
Last Friday, the 10th of October, the Nobel Peace Laureates were announced by the Norwegian Nobel Committee at a press confe rence in Os lo. T he committee selected Malala Yousafzai of Pakistan and Kailash Satyarthi of India to receive the prize “for their
struggle against the suppression of children and young people and for the right of all children to education”.
The award was somewhat of a shock for both winners, but for ver y different reasons. Yousafzai, 17, is incredibly accomplished for her young age, and the title came with an extra distinction: she is now the youngest laureate in the history of the Nobel Peace Prize. The laureate, currently enrolled at Edgbaston High School for Girls in Birmingham, England, was pulled out of her History class to be told the news. Yousafzai was (and continues to be) an advocate for girls’ education in her home country of Pakistan, and her efforts were brought to the world’s stage when, at the age of fourteen, she was shot in the head by the Taliban in an attempt to quell her rising voice. (continued on page 5)
Turn to the next page to see a preview of an in-depth interview with our new Pres ident , as wel l as a adventure worthy of the big screen. !!WORLD NEWS
A jointly awarded Nobel peace prize and a protest noted for its peace, this issue certainly has articles to help restore any lost faith in humanity. !OPINION
Check out one of our journalist’s take on creativity (or lack thereof) in our education systems .
This edition brings more advice from the desk of Sir E Brum, as well as the much loved Flipside.
Photo Credit: Credit: Photo/Bernat Armangue/NTB scanpix ; Anthony Behar/Sipa USA/NTB scanpix
UWC- USA OCTOBER 2014
A message from the Editors
!Hello readers, !South West Studies and Second Year Survival Week are over and the whole school is geared up for midterms. Don’t forget to pick up the latest issue of the Literati in the rush of the week though. This week we cover everything from our new President to protests in Hong Kong. !Best, ! The Editors !!!
Blake Anderson USA-KS
Ojaswee Rajbhandary Nepal ‘15
Charlie Thompson Canada ‘16
Sunniva Olsrud Punsvik (Norway/ Denmark ‘16)!
Izabella Pastrana USA-MO ’15
Sage de Brum Marshall Islands ’15
WRITERSRuby McCafferty USA-VT ‘15
UWC- USA OCTOBER 2014
New President: Mukul Kumar !
RUBY MCCAFFERTY !(USA - VT ’15)!
!The fourth president of the Armand Hammer United World College arrived on campus on Tuesday, September 30th. He is still settling in, and has promised Literati an interview once he moves his family to Montezuma from their current residence in Washington, D.C. So far, Kumar has had a positive impression at UWC, and we are looking forward to speaking with him about his first impressions and future goals for the school, and to check up on his goal to learn the name of every student by December 1st. Look for the interview in next week’s edition of the Literati!
An Indiana Jones Experience !
SUNNIVA OLSRUD PUNSVIK!(NORWAY/ DENMARK ‘16)!
It started with me being 20 minutes late for our departure. While everyone was waiting for me in the car, I was asleep and the others almost drove away without me. As I mentioned, I said I was late, but I just call it fashionably late. So, what did archaeology group do for five days? Well, we saw some ruins, then some more ruins, and then some more, and we had s’mores every night. It was very fascinating seeing building structures that have been there for over 700 years.
Our first stop on our trip was Chaco Canyon, which is in the northwestern part of New Mexico. From 900 and 1150 AD, Chaco was the centre of the ancestral Pueblo people. One of the most impressive ruins was of the biggest great house, Pueblo Bonito that contains more than 650 rooms. The structure and alignment of all the ruins is special, especially the kiva’s (a round underground room used for religious rituals) which usually has a north-south alignment. After 2 days of experiencing Chaco, did we not only learn a lot about this amazing people, but we also became junior rangers and night explorers for the Chaco Canyon National Park (and yes, Cindy, the nice ranger approved our positions fully after we had done exercises for 6-12 year olds and completed them. We earned the badges with pride). As Indiana Jones said, “Archaeology is the search for fact, not truth” (from the movie ‘The Last Crusade’).
WS Photo Credit: https://www.facebook.com/UWCUSA/photos/a.
UWC- USA OCTOBER 2014
After Chaco, we drove to Mesa Verde in Colorado. Mesa Verde i s the b ig ges t archaeological preserve in the United States. Mesa Verde is famous for its cliff dwellings. From 600 to 1300 AD, the Anasazi inhabited Mesa Verde, and in the 1190s, they moved from the top of the cliffs and to underneath the cliffs to build their houses. One of the biggest cliff dwellings is in Mesa Verde, and that is Cliff Palace which contains 200 rooms and 23 kivas. Mesa Verde do not offer only these amazing sites, they also offer bears. At our camping site, we had a bear box, which is a box where one put everything that has an odour so it does not attract bears. The Swede on our trip nearly killed all of us by having an apple in the tent during the night. So second years, maybe you survived your week, but we in the archaeology trip survived too (and maybe I had my sunscreen in the bag during the night, but let us just blame the Swede - that is what we Norwegian do).
From Colorado to museums and museums to Utah, we were having our final camp day. We grilled some steaks and corn and later we had s’mores, and the last night became a wonderful evening. We were actually supposed to go to one more place, but when we were an hour away, we saw that there were some awful clouds above the camp site, and we decided to go to Santa Fe instead to eat dinner and head back. Even though the trip was shortened a bit, I had five amazing days with my group and tons of wonderful memories.
We became a junior rangers, night explorers, we had a near death situation, and we millions of s’mores. This is the closest thing to a real Indiana Jones experience.
Photo Credit: Todd French!
UWC- USA OCTOBER 2014
For some, her youth is inspiring, as she has already accomplished so much. For others, however, it seems to be a point of dissent. Many critics argue that her future is unclear, and that her lack of political power as a young woman is detrimental to her cause. Yousafzai herself seems to agree at times; like any teenager she is still unsure about her future but shows every intention to continue to her life as an advocate.
Kailash Satyarthi, unfortunately overshadowed by Yousafzai’s award, is an equally astonishing man. He has liberated over 80,00 children from slavery since 1980, and continues to fight for children’s rights via membership in advocacy organizations and raids on factories that utilize child labor and slavery. According to many, Satyarthi is a uniquely personable, kind, and unassuming man despite his incredible accomplishments and the fact that many attempts have been made on his life in response to his work.
Both laureates have done work that drifts from the original purpose of the prize: to encourage global disarmament. Because of this, their awards have garnered a critical r esponse f rom many Nobe l Pr ize traditionalists. However, it is possible that the public needs to reassess the meaning of “disarmament” in the modern world. In the opinions of many, lack of education or child slavery is just as viable a weapon as a gun or a bomb.
Who Watches the Watchmen? !
CHARLIE THOMPSON!(CANADA ‘16)!
When historians look back on the Hong Kong protests of 2014, they might marvel at how politely the people demanded democracy.
That demand goes way back — since 2003, the government and people have been drawing out plans for democratisation. The ultimate goal was that the entire Legislative Council and Chief Executive should be decided by direct and universal suffrage. China promised these direct elections for 2017, but recently passed legislation which contradicts that promise. People who want to enter the run for Chief Executive must now be vetted by a committee that is accused of being filled with industry and Beijing loyalists. Additionally, the number of candidates allowed to run will be capped at 2 or 3. Democracy advocates believe that the committee system will be used to screen and block candidates that the Chinese government does not approve of. When this modification was passed on August 31st, many people began preparing to put up a fight.
Photo Credit: Philippe Lopez via AFP/Getty Images - Bloomberg
UWC- USA OCTOBER 2014
Hong Kong and China operate under the motto “one country, two systems”. They are autonomous in almost every way, with the exception of foreign and defence affairs. In a Chinese statement regarding their authority over HK, they write that while HK has a high degree of autonomy, it is not fully autonomous. They also stress that the mainland stil l has "comprehensive jurisdiction" over the territory.
Huey Newton, a founding member of the Black Panthers, once said: “The revolution has always been in the hands of the young. The young always inherit the revolution.” His words are still relevant today — the civil disobedience movement taking place right now is largely coordinated by students. At an event organised by student leaders, one in five registered HK voters turned out to express their support for the movement. Citizens and business owners who do not approve worry that obstruction in central Hong Kong will create tensions with the Chinese government, and damage HK’s reputation as a world trade hub. Some of HK’s busiest streets have been blocked or otherwise constricted by demonstrators for over 2 weeks.
There has been an outpouring of suppor t and encouragement from the international community. After talks with the government were called off on October 10th, a new wave of angry people flooded the streets again. Many have vowed to stay indefinitely, and say that a lack of response will not deter them. 16 year-old protester Natalie Or said: “"Maybe they think if they keep delaying people will disperse on their own, but my friends and I aren't going anywhere. I'll come for months, I'll stay for a year, I'll stay for as long as it takes."
A notable aspect of the protests and obstructions so far has been the overall peacefulness exhibited by the protestors. However, violence has been escalating and
arrests have been made as people who disagree with the movement take to the streets to confront the protesters. Many suspect that this violence is being created by the Chinese government, who are accused of hiring thugs to create conflicts on the streets in an effort to subvert the movement. A series of incidents have also emerged where police have been accused of using unnecessary force on civilians. A video of a man being pepper sprayed in the face unprovoked has been widely viewed on the internet.
In the tumultuous year of 2014, there seems to be a growing dissatisfaction with the people in power. It is not just in Hong Kong that protests rage on — there are similar campaigns in Ferguson, USA over the issue of police militarization and in Ireland, over a proposed water tax. As a new generation of leaders attempts to right the perceived wrongs on this planet, it would be wise to learn from the consideration and dedication of the people fighting for the future of Hong Kong.
UWC- USA OCTOBER 2014
Education and Creativty !
ISABEL SKYE!(USA - WI ‘16)!
!If you live in the present, it is very likely that you survive and cultivate yourself mainly through the previous and current advancements of the human race. We pride ourselves on our ability of our interspecies advancement. Based off this information one would assume that we as a society would desire to pinpoint the or ig in of such advancement and perpetuate this epicentre.
In this we find the epicentre to be creativity. The ability to think critically, analytically and problem solve only to come up with an original idea is a very human and important characteristic. Yet there was a study done by Kyung Hee Kim, a respected creativity researcher of College of William and Mary, where she analysed about 300, 000 creativity tests ranging from current back to the 1970’s. The study came up conclusively that creativity has depleted among children in recent years. With this comes a lesser ability to create unique ideas, imagine, and elaborate ideas and thoughts.
If creativity is such a commodity to our lifestyles, then why is it experiencing such a decline? Well, according to a well-known contemporary creativity expert who has spent his years deeply entrenched in education says that it is the standardisation and lack of individualisation that is hurting the populace.
In another study performed by Kun Yuan and Vi-Nhuan Le, with the dawn of standardised test scores education has ceased to be a tool to teach how to think and critically analyses the world around you, but instead has become merely test-prep. This education is temporary and doesn’t help students learn how to process the world around them, just shoves at them facts pertaining to the world around them.
If we are to consider this in relation to the current job climate, then it is much more a threat than initially assumed. The skills most revered currently include critical thought, problem solving, the ability to create multiple options for a given situation, reasoning, etc. If we are not preparing future generations for the world they will be forced to contribute, then truly the premise of education itself and its justification become virtually obsolete.
It is predicted that this this decrease in creative thought could potentially have the ability to severely damage our way of life if it hasn’t already started. Without critical thought and unique ideas we as a species will not have the same effectiveness moving on and adapting to the problems we will always surely face.
UWC- USA OCTOBER 2014
Not only that, but it is the belief of many experts that one of the biggest things a healthy society needs is diversity. We have an innate individualism so each person can fill a specific niche. Without this we will develop an extremely unbalanced world. Our species derives strength from its diversity, the way we are all not necessarily always competing against each other, but coexisting by contributing in differing ways to society. If we are all conditioned to have similar mentalities as well as similar skill sets, then certain aspects of society will go unstably under supported while another may end up highly and competitively over saturated.
Sources: Turnipseed, Stephan. "Testing Is Hurting Creativity in Classrooms | RealClearEducation." Testing Is Hurting Creativity in Classrooms | RealClearEducation. 3 June 2013. Web. 15 Oct. 2014.!
How School's Kill Creativity. Perf. Sir Ken Robinson. TEDtalks, 2006. Film.!
Yuan, Kun, and Vi-Nhuan Le. "Estimating the Percentage of Students Who Were Tested on Cognitively Demanding." (2012). Print.!
Rettner, Rachael. "Are Today's Youth Less Creative & Imaginative?" LiveScience. TechMedia Network, 12 Aug. 2011. Web. 15 Oct. 2014.!
UWC- USA OCTOBER 2014
Ask Sir E Brum !SAGE DE BRUM!
(MARSHALL ISLANDS ’15)!—————————-!
Welcome to Ask Sir E Brum. This is an advice column where you, the reader, can ask me something, anything even. For the most part, you can ask me anything at the boundary of explicit sexual references and belittle anyone's mother indirectly. Ask away, fellow students and I shall work far more intensely than Deep Thought (I hear ya hitchhikers) to produce the most concise and, if the IB allows me the time, as witty answer as I can.
You are also free to send me the answer to your questions should you like to bring up interesting finds of yours (you may choose to have a fake name as well!).
Just email your questions to my email ([email protected]) and very likely will your question be attempted to be answered!
!!1. How do I get a boyfriend?
- I guess it really depends on the boyfriend you want, but:
A. Wear very fashionable clothing – the best around – and grab the eyes of every male and fashionably jealous female within view.
B. Be confident! I’ve heard from male, female, and Seventeen magazine alike, confidence is attractive. Watch out though, confident doesn’t mean cocky.
C. Be yourself. Yes, overused advice that many mothers advocate, but it’s true! “Don’t feel that you being yourself is what the problem is. If you’re being yourself and still haven’t really found anyone compatible, then the males nearby are the problem.
2. What goes up but doesn’t go down?
A. Your age. Exception being the titular character from The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
B. The amount of work that an IB student has with the passing of each day they spend in the IB. (I’d honestly like to see Bear Grylls survive the IB. . . no amount of pee-drinking will get him out of this one)
3. How do I become a central part of the government?
A. A certain Scandinavian lady once said to me, “Bankrupt it!” At first, I wondered what she meant as she went off chuckling happily for imparting her wise words, and then I got it. You see, the world is run by money. If a government is bankrupt and you are the wealthiest person in that government, then chances are that the government would keep an eye on you and you may run into odd coincidences where the government needs money or taxes rise in your neighborhood or something. Whether you’d like it or not, you may be central to that government. All you need is a lot of money. Simple right?
B. Other option is to just dedicate your life to it and in 20ish years time, you’ll make it to the core of a government. A lot of time, I know, but don’t they say time is money? It’s going to take one or the other. . .
UWC- USA OCTOBER 2014
1. How do I do well in Social A?
- There are many ways to do such, but why not try them all?
A. Wear a Boston Red Sox Attire to the rest of his classes. He loves the Boston Red Sox, and if you have anything to do with Tom, Susie, or Parris later as well, then you’ll be the star in their books as well.
B. Read the darn readings! My goodness, if there’s anything in life that you must do that relates to Social A, read the readings. With the slow rise of people that actually take time out of their social schedule to read, you would do best to be kept up with the readings. Since not many people do the readings, you may seem like a Red Sox attired angel.
2. What are ways I can do to get some space in my room?
- Here’s what I’ve seen
A. Try out bunkbeds! It frees up a ton of space in the room for whatever you do.
B. You can put your. . .for lack of a better name. . . you can put your wooden-structure-of-2-squares-and-a-rectangle on your desk. Despite what it looks like, it actually is pretty stable and people have already done this.
C. Raise your bed higher! This may not work out for everyone who suffers a fate like mine where, with the bed raised, you underestimate your jump to bed and fall flat on your floor. With enough months, you’ll get used to it though, and the warehouse you create under your bed should make up for it.
UWC- USA OCTOBER 2014
In a nicer, more caring, more generous universe, we wouldn’t have had classes this week. In a nicer, more caring, more generous universe, we would have had another week to—if you are a student, read statement 1. If you are a member of staff or faculty or administration (or maybe if you are a student with a conscience), read statement 2—
1) Waste entirely on socialization and pure relaxation, such as soaking in the hot springs with friends while successfully evading the demands of the IB.
2) Work on completely productive things that could only ever facilitate the ultimately fruitful process of pursuing higher education.
But in a nicer, more caring, more generous universe, we wouldn’t have to deal with the IB in the first place.
Alas, we do not live in such a beautiful utopia, this fairytale wonderland. We live in a world where Mathematical Exploration papers are things that exist, where SAT II proctors threaten to kick people out of the testing room for accidentally dropping pencils on the ground, and where the inter-dorm visitation rules and procedures are still in this weird state of flux—in mid-October.
But that’s okay.
Because at least the first-years are back, yay! And the dorms have heat now! EVEN BIGGER YAY! And look!! It’s also the weekend again! How delightfully grand and absolutely wonderful. You can sleep in a little bit tomorrow morning without feeling the guilt of missing, for example, your Monday 8 AM. And you’ll be warm, too!
See, guys? Things aren’t as bad as the world might lead you to believe.
Sticking the nose back to the old grindstone and settling back into as much of a routine as you can get around here can be as much of an adventure, as much fun, as trekking through the American Southwest.
For instance, how much of your homework can you feasibly avoid in a single day? If you’re a pro, then the answer is “all of it.” How many cacophonic renditions of “Happy Bir thday” can we al l s ing—discordantly, out of tune, and out of sync—in the cafeteria in a single week? The answer: more than literally anyone would possibly enjoy.
And finally, how many tricks can you play on your co-years and… different-years? How many tricks can you play on your co-years and different-years in the rest of this semester? In the rest of the school year? I’m going to go ahead and predict that the answer is a LOT, and I look forward to hearing about all of them. Just remember, all, that friends who prank each other have been statistically proven to form deeper and more meaningful bonds than those that don’t*. So prank each other. Prank each other all the time. For the sake of your friendships.
Anyway, welcome back, everyone, welcome back. I hope you all have a stellar weekend, and don’t let the rest of your midterms get you down.
(Oh, no. I’m sorry. I shouldn’t have brought those up. I’m sorry.)
*This has not been statistically proven.