Currently a first year student at Armand Hammer United World College (UWC-USA) in Montezuma, New Mexico.

Follow me on Tumblr and Twitter to follow me on my journey!

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ttlchong:

New T-shirt Designs for DROP

ttlchong:

New T-shirt Designs for DROP

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morganuwcusa:

Miracles of Modern Science Perform at UWC-USA - 18th March 2013

We were lucky enough to host the band “Miracles of Modern Science” who came to perform here at school, during their tour. They had just finished playing at SXSW but sadly I didn’t get to see them then, so I was so happy I got the chance to see them live here at UWC-USA. The performance was amazing and the band was really nice. One member, the violinist called Kieran actually went to UWC-USA and is originally from Australia. 
It was a great night!

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morganuwcusa:

SXSW: 8th – 16th March 2013

I had been looking forward to this trip for absolutely ages and it was finally here! This week is the only week we have off in the whole of second semester, so to say that it was eagerly anticipated by students is an understatement. I was lucky enough to be chosen for a trip which involved attending and volunteering at the music festival South by Southwest in Austin, Texas. 

We left on Friday 8th March and the drive took around 12 hours. We stopped off in a motel along the way and arrived in Austin on Saturday afternoon. We were staying in a friends school which had recently closed down - we were essentially camping indoors. 

From Sunday through Friday I worked at SXSW on the Trade show and also at SXXpress (giving out fast passes for music and film venues) for around 9 - 12 hours a day. I had never worked for so long in my life, so it was definitely an eye opening experience! We only had 45 minutes for lunch and bathroom breaks were discouraged and asked to be kept to a minimum. Looking back I enjoyed it but I have to admit at some points I hated it. It was definitely an experience that I will remember, especially as it made me realise how badly the public treats people who are serving them. Obviously not everyone was rude, but there were quite a few people who talked down to you and were very unnecessarily impolite. I personally am always nice to people like waiters and those serving you in banks etc. but it was a good experience to see what it was like to be in their shoes. There was also a lot of banter between the volunteers and a chance to see what it is like to run a music festival. 

In total I did 60 hours of volunteering that week and was exhausted. However it was all worth it as in return we received a music badge, a ticket to all the music at the festival. Each evening and until the early hours of the morning we went to see some amazing bands including, Youngblood Hawk, Ra Ra Riot, Night Beds, Blue Hawaii, A Hundred Oceans, Azari & Third, Iconopop, Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Alt-J, Vampire Weekend, and Green Day. All the performances were amazing and made the hard work completely worth it! This was a great week and will definitely be a highlight of my time here at UWC-USA.

Photo Credits: Alexandra Hemmer, Minori Fryer

Breakthrough: Inspiring Young Educators- a workshop with Eric Bezzam, a UWC-USA graduate

Last Saturday, I had the incredible opportunity of attending a workshop lead by Eric Bezzam (California, UWC USA ’12) about a summer program called Breakthrough (previously known as Summerbridge) during UWC-USA’s annual conference. The program is aimed at living the concept of “students teaching students”, in which young adults passionate about education apply for a teaching job to teach at one of the Breakthrough branches all over the U.S. and in Hong Kong, and similarly, young middle schoolers who maybe don’t have access to a competitive or challenging education but would like to further their studies, can apply for a spot at the intensive, 8 week summer program.

Not only did the program sound incredible, but it was also such a wonderful experience to see an alumni of UWC-USA branching out and willing to take initiatives in such great projects. I felt very lucky to have been able to attend the workshop, and I left feeling motivated and inspired.

Personally, I think that many of us here at UWC-USA get so caught up in school work, CAS, and other commitments that we often times forget what a wonderful opportunity we were given to come to school here. Not only do we live in an amazingly multicultural and understanding environment, but we are surrounded by supportive staff, peers and educators who have, in many ways, dedicated their lives to UWC. Therefore, it was an important eye-opener for me to realize that not all youth have that support system no matter how much they desire one. I, for one, realized that I must not take my education and opportunities in my path for granted, and to deeply appreciate the people who have supported my academic growth throughout the years.

For more information, please refer to the Breakthrough website: www.breakthroughcollaborative.org

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Tagged: United World College UWC UWC-USA

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"The major problems in the world are the result of the difference between how nature works and the way people think." -Gregory Bateson

Last week, UWC-USA had the great privilege of welcoming Nora Bateson, daughter of renown anthropologist, anthropologist, philosopher, author, naturalist, systems theorist Gregory Bateson on campus; currently on tour with her film An Ecology of Mind. Celebrating her father’s works, Bateson sets out to show that his ideas are not just food for theories, but help instruct a way of life. Through a personal perspective, we, as the audience, are also able to get a glimpse of how the beauty of life itself provided the framework of his life’s pursuits.

I, along with a few other students had the wonderful pleasure of sitting down with Nora Bateson during her visit. We discussed many topics from systems in Economics to her childhood, and were even able to discuss how we could shape our UWC education and help construct a brighter future for our generation. 

Tagged: UWC-USA UWC United World College

Check out our Practical Activism CAS blog!
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Southwest Studies! 

Day 1: Arrived in KOA campground, went downtown into Santa Fe (and had Starbucks!), wandered around town a bit, then bed at 9:30 (such a great feeling)

Day 2: Went up to Kasha Katuwe Tent Rocks National Monument and did a short day hike to the top, went to the resovoir where some people had a little swim, dinner at campsite then bed at 9 (YES, 9!) 

Day 3: Short drive to Museum Hill in Santa Fe, went to:

  • Museum of Indian Arts & Culture
  • Museum of International Folk Art
  • Wheelwright Museum of the American Indian

Joined some of our fellow students on the “Albuquerque Food and Culture” trip and some of our second years at the Santa Fe Climate Action protest, lead by the organisation 350.org to try and persuade the Governor of New Mexico to shut down the San Juan generating station and the Four Corners Generating Station which are creating some serious health issues for the native tribes living around that area. 

Day 4: Visited Bandelier National Monument where human history extends back for over 10,000 years. Saw some Native American dwellings and caves, and even some wall carvings! Then headed over to Alex, our business manager’s house for some home cooked Greek cuisine and short cultural performances from everyone in the group. Ended the night by dancing around the house to traditional Greek music before heading back to the campsite for our last night. 

For more details about each day visit: morganuwcusa.tumblr.com

Following the last few weeks where I have been severely sleep deprived, it was so nice to get off campus for a week and relax, enjoy Santa Fe, go on small day trips, eat good food and go to bed at 9:30 every night. My group was wonderful, and although we were quite a diverse group we got along really well and by the end I felt like I had gotten a lot closer to them as my co-years than I would have been if we were not on the same trip. Once again, I was reminded about just how extraordinary the people that I go to school with are, and the incredibly rich culture they carry with them. Because we are so similar in many ways I sometimes forget that everyone is from a different corner of the world, but everyone is completely unique and is able to share a different perspective on almost anything, making every day engaging and entertaining. 

Tagged: uwc

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Debate! 

So… by a bizarre turning of events, I have joined the UWC-USA Debate team! Completely student lead by Patrick (Second Right) and Himmi (Second Left), we are a group of about 25 students who will represent UWC-USA at various debating tournaments all over New Mexico.

On the 30th of September, we took part in our first novice speech and debate tournament at Los Alamos High School where almost everyone took part in both a debate and a speech tournament. I paired up with Morgan from the UK (Far Left) and together we debated on the resolution: “Do developed countries have the moral obligation to mitigate the effects of climate change?” Luckily we got the affirmative side each round and to our surprise, we won two out of three rounds! As for speech, I did an original oratory titled “Global Nomads” about my life as a Third Culture Kid; and others include “On being Sudanese-American” (Razan, Sudan), “My Pride and Joy” (Alejandra, Mexico), and “American Education VS. British Education” (Morgan, UK) which we all such interesting topics, and I was so proud to be a UWC student whenever I heard any of my fellow UWCers speak. 

The tournament lasted for about 10 hours, so it was a very long day for us UWCers including the 2 hour bus ride to get there. Nonetheless, I had so much fun and considering that I would have never in a million years imagined myself on a debate team, I was very proud of how Morgan and I did and I am very much looking forward to the next tournament! 

Tagged: UWC-USA uwc

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uwc-usa:

Hope is Renewable

By Sam Kessler ‘13, USA-NY

Always working for change, a bus of UWC-USA students made their way to Santa Fe to demonstrate before the state Roundhouse yesterday. 

Alongside demonstrators from Sierra Club and 350.org, UWC students made their demands for long-term investments in clean, renewable energy loud and clear with signs and slogans that read “No Coal is the Goal!” and “Keep New Mexico BRIGHT”. 

As a follow-up to the demonstration, students will soon be holding a Global Issues discussion to talk about climate change and the moral and ethical dilemas countries and individuals face when acting to slow its effects. 

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morganuwcusa:

30/50 VIDEO 2012

This is a video made by a student from UWC-USA for the 30 anniversary here. It is very well made and if you have a good eye you’ll be able to catch me for like a second! This really makes me feel proud to be here and its nice for you all to get a sense of what life is like here.