By Gaia Conti
On the 10th of October, I attended an impressive showcase of Broadway and West End songs directed by Sally Johnson. It included songs like Memory, She Used to Be Mine, Honey Honey and other songs from famous musicals all sung by students including Sally herself. My personal favorite song was “Taylor The Latte Boy” sung by Maria Jensen. Not only was it a very funny song but it was also performed stunningly well. I urge you all to listen to this song. This performance was particularly memorable but let us not forget all the other songs that were sung brilliantly; if this concert happens again, you should go see this amazing performance because it is completely worthwhile. Last but not least, I would like to say congratulations to all the singers and performers and of course to Sally Johnson.
You might ask why would she spend so much time organizing a concert? Well this is what Sally has to say: I am very passionate about musical theatre and I knew I would not have the chance to do a lot of it in the upcoming year after a summer full of it. So I thought, why not put on my own show? I then realized that I hadn’t done a CAS project so I could turn it into that.
Another reason why I wanted to do this show is because of the Drama department in CDL. In comparison to other schools, I feel it is not valued as much as other departments and I wanted to show the school that CDL has the talent, passion, and resources to be able to put on a musical theatre show. I wanted to let people know that there are a lot of talented students in our school too.
Sally doesn’t just want this experience to stop with her CAS project.
“By doing this project I hope people will have enjoyed my passion as much as I do and I’m glad to have shared this with other people. I want others to be able to do shows like this and even musicals in our school to really see drama grow and be something everyone can be involved in more easily and not be seen as just an after school club.
I really hope that other students or even teachers will put on more theatre shows throughout the year and see that it is possible and can be done. I would really hope that there would a yearly musical now that could be organized by students and teachers. I would love to do this myself, but being in IB2 I no longer have much time to do such large projects. Hopefully someone will make this a reality!”
By Joel Ramlill
I’m meeting new people. Any new people. The second question they ask is always a loaded one: where are you from? The answer is so complex and I don’t particularly want to bore them.
“England.” I reply.
And almost robotically, they answer back with the question I’ve heard so many times that I know it’s coming. I brace myself.
“No, but where are you really from.”
The simple matter of the fact is that I have one passport. The British one. I sound British, have family all over the UK and love tea and fish and chips. All the defining characteristics of a quintessential brit. Except one. I’m not white.
Now I’m well aware of the fact that I lead a very privileged life, and that my struggles are nowhere near the severity of people living in abject poverty all around the world. But what fundamentally surprises me, growing up in an international city, surrounded by well-educated, tolerant people, is that while they say I’m British, they mean I’m not British British.
Perhaps it’s just the environment I grew up in, where multiculturalism is so celebrated, people get annoyed with bland answers on your nationality. I tell them I have one passport, but I don’t tell them I could have five very easily. I simply do not wish to tell them. If I tell someone my nationality I would hope they respect that, no matter how boring it is in their eyes coming from a brown person like me.
I don’t just get this question from the well-educated, tolerant people of Geneva. I also get it from people that have not had the same opportunities, and do not believe that I am British or that I even belong in Britain. Those are the ones I worry about most as I personally feel undeniably British.
This is strange because England, the country of my birth but not of my ancestors, has fundamentally shaped my identity. I support Labour, drink beer in the pub and cry when England inevitably gets knocked out by some micro nation in the World Cup. If anyone comes up saying that New York, Los Angeles or Tokyo is the best city in the world, I have one word for them: London. How am I not British?
A strange incident comes to mind whilst I write this. I remember my cousin, who is born and raised in Cyprus yet has the British passport through his mother, telling my older sister that he is English. My sister turned back around and told him simply, “you’re not English.” I froze. How could it be that my sister, who grew up in the very same situation as I did, could say a thing like that? I wheeled around to face them. “Karim is English, as it is right as a citizen to say that he is. He is a British passport holder and therefore one of the Crown’s subjects. His nationality is determined by his feelings as long as they can be backed up through actual ties to the land, and I’m frankly offended, sister, that you could say such a profoundly insensitive remark to a ten year-old searching for his identity!”
It turns out that they were playing a video game and my cousin had selected Denmark thinking it was England. My sister was trying to explain to him, in the simplest possible terms as his English is not the best, that he had not picked England correctly.
By Leonoor Van Kersbergen
Last summer, I was fortunate to be a participant in the Barcelona International Youth Science Challenge (BIYSC). For two weeks, I traveled to the beautiful and lively city of Barcelona to work on a project called Artificial Photosynthesis. My project was one out of 10 projects related to either chemistry, physics or biology. I got to work with 9 other students (age 16-18) and two professional researchers, Dr. Laia Pellejà of the Chemical Research Centre of Catalonia (ICIQ) and Lluís Lanzetta, a PhD student at Imperial College London.
The two weeks taught me everything from new lab techniques to effectively presenting research.
At first, I must admit, I did not get very excited about the idea of science in my holidays. I have an interest in science, though when it comes to the decision of science vs holidays, my preference goes to the latter. However, when I arrived in Barcelona, my opinion soon changed. I realized that most people there were just like me, making what was to come a lot more promising.
Apart from working on the tremendously interesting concept of Artificial Photosynthesis, during the program, we have had enlightening discussions during "STEM dinners" at which a speaker came and started a discussion on a topic (e.g. the ethics within genetic manipulation). I also got to attend multiple workshops on topics like "science and communication", “data science” and "science and economy", which taught me that there is so much more to science than numbers and measuring cylinders.
In short, BIYSC has been an amazing experience, which allowed me to meet the most amazing people. If you are of age 16 to 18, and have a keen interest in sciences, I wholeheartedly recommend this program to you. For any additional information about the program, feel free to send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org, or approach Mrs. Newbery ( email@example.com ).
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