WHAT A LONG DAY
MUWCI TIMES N•4 words
Dhruv Jain Sharo Glany Costa Kunzang Tshering Corné Rijneveld Rounak Maiti Maria Victoria Moreno Jeppe Ugelvig Jiya Pandya Christoph Trost Kevin Holiçka William Hunt Thembi Molefi Juliet Hoornaert
Cecilia Cortes Jeppe Ugelvig
publishing & editing
EDITORS NOTE . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4 Jeppe’s monthly review of the current times FESTIVAL . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .5 Juliet shares her impressions of Belgium festivalism P.R.I.V.A.C.Y . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6 Thembi and Kevin reveal the secrets of MUWCI’s storerooms MEET MUWCI TIMES: LAMISA HOSSAIN . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10 Jiya introduces us to our very own Lamisa LANGUAGES . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11 Kunzang shares her skeptic view of learning a new language BOLLYWOOD FANTASIES . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12 Has India’s film industry been reduced to unintelligent entertainment? Dhruv evaluates PROJECT WEEK . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 14 Gaurav is excited for project week – are you? MARRIAGE – A LOVE STORY . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 15 Corné’s raises the issue of arranged marriage in his monthly Gen&Sex coloumn XXX – SCENARIO 1 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .16 A new headmaster arrives on campus – first part of Maria Victoria and Christoph’s feature SYNTHESIZED DREAMS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .19 This month, Rounak has been listening to Youth Lagoon crappy Scandi-Pop WRITING DANGEROUSLY . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 20 What is quality writing? Will explores GUARDIAN ANGEL . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 21 Sharo shares a story in her beautiful poem 3
After a well-deserved Diwali break the students of MUWCI was seen returning to their everyday routines – waking up for first block, consuming the daily portion of steam veg in various forms, attending afternoon activies and Trivenis. Personally, I had a hard time going back to these routines. After almost a week of non-MUWCI/IB-related experiencing, of feeling free and with room for impulsiveness, performing basic tasks like going to checkin triggered a sense of resent and unwillingness in me, more because of the concept than the actual 15 steps that brings me to the common room. Because of our highly scheduled and busy lives we live her, we seem to be neglecting the importance of doing something without forethought. How do we integrate spontaneity into our lives here? Perhaps an afternoon slot from 4-6? Not really, right? Luckily I can’t complain much with a Project Week only a few Caf-meals from now. As Gaurav talks about on page 14, we are all entering a week filled with tons of experiences, whether it being on an endless sleeper-train going somewhere, in Bangalore’s city chaos or in the villages of the Himalayas. For now, I welcome you to the 4th edition of MUWCI Times. In this issue we bring you a variety of issues, personal, communal and global. What characterizes all of these articles is the innate passion to communicate, to bring something forth to the reader, and I hope you will enjoy reading as much as I do. -Jeppe
A formation of large white tents dominates the ground, and in the twilight that announces the night a gasoline lantern hisses and throws its white glare into the circle. Cooking for the night is over, but the campfires still glow on the ground. A group of people is gathered around the lantern, their faces red with excitement and the aftermath of a sunny day. They are lying in the grass, some loudly conversing, some taking a quick nap. No one is paying attention to the fact that their living space has turned into the junkfood-and-beer-cans equivalent of a dump, nor about the fact that they haven't taken a shower in 3 days. Everyone seems satisfied. Laughter, music, the sound of a random fight, a dog barking, the lid of a can opening, words everywhere. All of these noises merge into a constant soundtrack playing in the background. It becomes as evident as silence, more comfortable even. And then the display of someone's cellphone lights up. It reads 9: in ten minutes the band we've been waiting for is playing. We all get up, fool around in our tents for a while trying to find compact food and some money, and leave. Anticipation shows on our faces and in our voices. We rush to the festival grounds, ruthlessly squeezing ourselves through large crowds. And then we're in. They're not on stage yet, so we wait. The tent is overcrowded, sweat is dripping down from the ceiling, but we don't care. There's only one thing we care about now. And then the bass starts playing, and the world turns into chaos, motion, sound, fury, outrage. People scream, they turn into bodies without consciousness, the crowd stops thinking. All everyone does is feel and react, feel and react. Every part of this huge body is responding to the music, and it's one, it is so fucking instinctive and alive and real.
By Juliet Hoornaert
P.R.I.V.A.C.Y Photographed by Karanjit Singh Words by Thembi Nhlekisana and Kevin Holicka
Privacy is the last thing that we can enjoy in this small bubble. These 12 rebels on the other hand fight against this typical scene. They indulge in a world of their own. Behind their closed doors, secrets will be revealed.
1.What does your store room mean to you? 2.Would you give it a nickname? 3.Describe your room back home! 4.Who would you exchange your store room with at MUWCI? 5.What will your parents/bestfriend say? 6.If there was a scenario in your store room, what would it be? 7.Who would you share your store room with? 8.If you could put a piece of furniture, imaginary or real, what would it be? 9.Describe a mood for your store room! 10.If your store room would ever participate for the best room at MUWCI, would it win? Why or why not? 11.Which second/first year would best suit your store room? 12.What would be the soundtrack for your store room?
MARGIT|NORWAY 1.It’s my everyday reminder that I have no friends. Please visit me, Wada 3 House 8 store room. 2.Yes, it would be “Stein” It means stone in German.
5.Which friends? 6.A place to commit a beautiful suicide. 7.I already do. My imaginary penguin, Gunnar (waves at Gunnar) 9.Lonely...
10. No, I would be forgotten about completely... 11.Younghoo and second year would be either Mavi or Monsoo. 12.All by myself. I don’t wanna be all by myself (Leaves room, crying)
RICKIE|COSTA RICA 1.Uhm, it’s my personal space. Wait, is that what everyone is saying? 2.Haha, nicknames. Well, my store room has two: The first is the “Smerf” and the second is “Blue Balls” for obvious reasons. 4.Oh Ian, man! Ian anyday.
5.They would say something like “At
least it’s organized!” 6.It would be a crime scene or something to do with breaking the laws – Like breaking the laws of so many countries from my tiny store room. Yeah, That’s pretty f***ing cool! 7.Uhm, I don’t know, man. Sam? (No homo) 8.A hammock
9.The mood, it is blue. feel really in my store
well You blue room.
10.Of course, yes! Because of my humidifier and it’s blue and I have a huge a** Bob Marley poster. I have a sign that says “No smoking” Basically, how could I not win?
JEPPE|DENMARK 1.My store room is my home and the only private place for me in MUWCI. It allows me to be social and anti-social as I please. 2.It would be called Paris or the Eiffel Tower (giggles) 4. Aman because the shape of his store room and it’s pretty big.
the art deco and the usage of space (Smerks)
9.I guess it’s creative and personal.
6.There’s a lot of ghosts in my room from the past. They still haunt me at night. So I guess it’s a ghost haven (Clearly referring to Alejandro)
10.Of course! My store room has so much personality! There’s no way I’m not winning.
7.Thembi. Isn’t that just a bit obvious? 8.A huge fluffy sofa with tons and tons of pillows.
5.They would compliment me on
1.What does it mean? It’s some space where I can have some time for myself.
because they set up everything.
2.Why would I give it a nickname? It’s just my room, man!
5.I don’t know, man! I don’t know, maybe like “You have your own room?”
3.I’ve always been in a boarding school. It’s my parents’
6.I don’t know, I would be sleeping(grins)
4.Not anyone that I know of.
11.I’d definitly give it to Juliet as a first year and Kevin (xoxo) 12.Hahahaha, everyone who’s ever been here knows! It’s “Khia-my neck, my back” (Starts shaking his a**)
8.I wouldn’t change it for what it is now. 9.Roominatory. Reflective, poundering. 12.I really dont get the point of these questions. It’s just normal for me to have a storeroom, man!
1.Freedom. Well, I mean, like I can do whatever I want and no one will know. 2.Mama africa (smiles) 4.Ehh.. Margit. ‘cause it’s like really chilled out. 5.My mom would say that it’s not pleasant. My friends would be like “yeah this is typical
this is typical Thembi!” 6.Oh! It would be a rap studio (laughs) Because at moments me and friends, won’t mention names, will start rapping for “unknown” reasons. 7.Oh shit! I have no Idea. But I would share it with Singh. I don’t
know why, it’s the first name that came to my head. 8.A bar. 9.It’s a chill vibe (silence) 11.Who are first years again? Do I have any first year friends? Can we pause? This can take awhile. 12.Drake + Bob marley + Bjork + Fever Ray
SANNI|FINLAND 1.It means privacy. It’s the place where I can be alone and focus on something. I have many pictures of my family and friends. So it’s somehow the most personal place. I can just lock the door and no one can interrupt me.
3.4-5 times bigger and there’s more space. The walls are covered by posters and my paintings. I never give up my childhood toys as my decorations. It’s really colorful and 60s It’s like the exhibition of my life!
2.Eh, (laughs) That’s hard. I have a sticker on my door which says “Set yourself free” But for me it would be a wonderland. It’s like Alice in Wonderland.
4.Oh, I really like Jeppe’s store room. It’s really minimalistic and his bed is really comfortable. 5.My mom would be shocked because of the mess and the size.
To be continued… 9
6.I think my store room is a creative and strange place where I can write songs or just be creative! It’s just me and me. 12.When I switch on my firelight I play “I see who you are” by Bjork. It’s very relaxing but strange. It’s like a dream accompanied by my past pictures and the mess. She sings “I see who you are and afterward” When I move out, there would be a new person but once upon a time, I used to live there.
MEET MUWCI TIMES:
Lamisa Hossain, known to the world as Lums, Lam Lam and Lomiso, is the quintessential “girl”. Having carried nine pairs of shoes all the way from Dhaka (and still worrying that they wouldn’t be enough) she is the Wada 2 mother-ship of clothes, makeup and accessories. Capable on giving entire lectures on the importance of heels in our daily lives, she looks down upon hapless victims of misbalance, laughing cruelly as they wobble around on 2 inch wedges as she struts around in 6 inch stilettos, with not a hair out of place. Not surprisingly, she has seen 99.9% of all chic-flicks produced to date, and is a living encyclopaedia on all things rich and beautiful. At the same time, do not underestimate her – she has strong, detailed opinions about issues close to her heart; such as women and child rights (and the perfect necklace to wear on a strapless dress). Self-admittedly, one of her favourite things in life is to sleep, and sleep she does. Waking her up on weekends is a close-to-impossible task, and it is recommended that you stay away from her when she is asleep. She is also a big fan of food, and in case you need to bribe her, offering her some would be a good idea. Unable to process why people chose to be vegetarian, she can be seen gorging on mutton and chicken every day in the cafeteria. However, despite her long list of idiosyncrasies, there are multiple benefits of knowing her. It is best advised that you be nice to her, because if you are, she might just return the favour and give you a bit of her lifetime supply of chocolate. By Jiya 10
THE DILEMMA OF LEARNING A LANGUAGE
There are some people who find great pleasure in learning a new language. They cannot wait to master tricky phrases, perfect their grammar and exercise their newfound skill on other speakers. I am not one such person. Call me uncouth but I find learning a new language a bit like trying to solve a tricky maths sum. Both bring about confusion, anxiety and ultimately result in failure.
Donâ€™t get me wrong, I know the By Kunzang Tshering importance of being multi-lingual. It helps you connect better with others who speak that language and learn more about their culture. Moreover, your linguistics will come in handy when trying to impress friends, family and strangers. Even so, I still use Google Translate whenever I can and do not think that you have to learn the language to visit an unknown place(instead, I rely on hand motions, diagrams and wild gesticulating). Some may argue that my fruitless attempts to learn a foreign language are due to disinterest. Though that may be true, my journey with languages has not been easy. It started from the time I started going to school and realised that though proficient in speaking it, I was hopeless and reading and writing in my own mother tongue. I spent many a day, weeping in frustration at having to slave over learning a language that less than one percent of the world had even heard of. The next stop on my linguistic journey was in south India where for three years a perpetually crabby man in his seventies shouted out lists of French words for us to conjugate. He had little patience, a strange sense of humour and loved conducting lengthy exams. Though I do not blame him entirely, he played a significant part in the growing apathy I had for foreign languages. My knowledge of Hindi (born from a lifetime of watching Bollywood movies) is also limited. Though I can understand most of what is being said my spoken Hindi is fragmented and makes most Indians look away in disgust. As write these words, I am thankful that I know one language where I can express myself with a modicum of intelligence and proficiency. Yet, my current situation requires that I learn yet another language. Even after a month, I have little knowledge of the most common words and am unable form a coherent sentence. There is a test looming ahead and something tells me that it will not end well.
BOLLYWOOD FANTASIES BY DHRUV JAIN
The Bollywood heroine is in terrible danger (generally kidnapped by some bad guys). The Bollywood hero is a one-man army against 20, 30, 40 or maybe even 50 other bad guys. But the term ‘reality’ doesn’t exist in the Bollywood dictionary. The hero does not just beat the living daylights out of all the bad guys but also heroically manages to save the heroine and they live happily ever after. This used to be the standard Bollywood formula during the 70s, 80s and even the 90s. However, Bollywood claims to have changed and become more realistic. True, Bollywood has changed with more films being made of different genres. But can reality and Bollywood be talked about in the same breath? Actually, there was a period of hope in the middle, at least some of us thought, with some of Bollywood’s harebrained comedies doing badly and some better, more dramatic films doing well. But that hope was soon shattered with Bollywood actor Salman Khan acting as a modern version of Hercules in his last 3 ‘one dumber than the other’-films, all of them being MEGA HITS. From this, it is evident that Bollywood’s very own genre 12
of brainless, baseless and pointless comedies is going nowhere and has a bright future in this industry. True, Bollywood films, however stupid they might be, are entertaining but do people not also watch films to connect with the story and the characters? Times have changed. Bollywood films are fantastical, idealistic and there is no way by which the audience, who live in the real world, can connect to that. People now are very aware partly also because of the Hollywood influence that everything in this world is not simply black or white but actually various shades of gray. But then why has not Bollywood even now bothered to incorporate more believable storylines in the films that it makes. Why have the Bollywood studios not encouraged the production of more dramatic films? While Hollywood has been able to make such unorthodox, and larger-thanlife films such as Inception feel real, Bollywood is struggling to make even the average relationship drama (forget about the comedies) realistic. It is evident that the major Bollywood studios and producers are just not willing to drift away from the standard Bollywood formula. However, what is extremely important to note is that maybe, just maybe it is not
their fault and they are simply too afraid. While a much bigger and stronger industry such as Hollywood appeals to a worldwide audience, Bollywood essentially appeals to a predominantly the Indian and NRI audience. Unfortunately, a large proportion of this is an illiterate Indian audience looking for entertainment one way or the other. Indeed there is such a thing called good entertainment but there is fear among the makers that the audience wont get it which forces them to take the easy way out which in this case is cheap entertainment, i.e., fake action, fake drama and unrealistic plots. Infact it is the more open minded audience that enables Hollywood directors such as Woody Allen to make low budget indie films and at the same time cast the best of actors in their movies. If such a thing happens in Bollywood, both the director and actor will be considered idiots. Basically, what is a risk in Hollywood will just be plain dumb in Bollywood. Undoubtedly, all this is true but it is also an excuse. Has Bollywood tried hard enough to change things? No they have not. ‘Where there’s a will, there’s a way’ but sadly there has been no will from the studios or the
producers. Even film award ceremonies in India do not encourage the more real and better films to be made with generally the most popular movie taking home the awards. The Filmfare Awards, India’s equivalent of the Oscars is in actuality more in the league of the MTV Movie Awards or Nickelodeon Kid’s Choice Awards or something. It is just another show out there to make money. In short, there really is no incentive for reality and possibility to enter the Bollywood dictionary. Movies are an ‘entertaining art form’. Tragically, Bollywood only comprehends the ’entertaining’ part of that phrase. I mean how many times have you watched a Bollywood movie and thought, ‘Holy shit, that can actually happen’? Realism and film need to go together but out here, they do not. Who knows? Maybe the Indian audience likes its actors playing donkey-brained Gods. Maybe all that the Bollywood producers care about is making money. Maybe our industry and public are simply too backward for more sophisticated films. Maybe there is no Bollywood without exaggeration. Truth is, it could be any one of these factors or it could be a combination of them but it does not matter. What matters is that there is absolutely nothing right now that has the potential to inspire change in the current Bollywood system. It is unfortunate, but sadly, the way it is.
“Movies are an ‘entertaining art form’. Tragically, Bollywood only comprehends the ’entertaining’.”
PROJECT WEEK By Gaurav
And so the countdown begins to one of the most important aspects of studying in MUWCI: the Project Week. Aren’t you excited? I know I am! The Project Week is an amazing opportunity for us to learn, have fun, and bond with each other. An experience that we will never forget and memories that we will treasure forever. As Belen said, “The Project Week helped me find new friends- people who I never hung out with before, to whom I got so close to- just because I spent one long and amazing week with them.” So, it is now your turn to have an amazing week and find something that you will never forget in your life. This is the first opportunity we have as a group to experience India out of campus, and remember, bring a camera with you, for these memories are memories you won’t want to forget. I can assure you that this experience will be an experience worth having. Have fun and remember to make it a journey you can talk about for the years coming. Make the best out of this journey, and especially the train, because I am definitely looking forward to entering an Indian train for the first time.
MARRIAGE: A LOVE STORY What was planned to be a discussion on arranged marriage ended up being an in-depth interview with Gauri. It was like Oprah, but better. Gauri spoke as a primary source about the urban, middle-class type of consented arranged marriage that manifests in ‘blind dates’ set up by parents and aunties. Surely, her family had so far only selected Maharashtrian Brahmins for dinner company, but this class-and-culturebased selection (if not castist), Gauri argued, is a pan-cultural reality: it will affect whom you love and marry, wherever and whoever you are. (The Europeans gasp for air.) In MUWCI, you will fall in love with someone that’s doing the IB. After MUWCI, you’ll be with someone studying International Relations at some east coast Liberal Arts College in the US. We may not select our future spouse based on their income, caste or whether they have an MBA in Engineering, but a common intellectual understanding, 15
shaped mostly by educational opportunities, defines who we relate to. The chances you’ll fall in love with a shopkeeper in Paud are significantly smaller than the chances you’ll fall in love with, say, Monsoo. Love doesn’t transcend the boundaries of class and culture, unless you’re Pocahontas. Many vehemently disagreed. (Although at this point of the discussion, the Europeans were still too shaken up to articulate any type of counterargument.) Personally, though, I couldn’t help but agree with Gauri: I may not (consciously) let my nominations of my Prince(ss) On The White Horse be influenced by religion, class, nationality or even gender, but not in a million years will I date someone who listens to the Glee OST. Presenting another argument in favour of arranged marriage, Aashali noted that her relationship with her parents was open enough for them to know what kind of husband would suit her. Adding on to this, Jiya asked: ‘why wouldn’t you want to make your
By Corné parent’s happy?’ On top of that, the statistics of divorce are in favour of arranged marriage. The Europeans, now huddled up together underneath the blankets in a corner of the room, responded that even if a love marriage turns out to be a mistake, it was their mistake to make. ‘’You don’t live to please your family,’’ Megan argued, ‘’you live to please yourself.’’ Kavya felt there’s something fundamentally wrong with anyone deciding about other people’s lives and Karanjit announced he was going to argue from a personal perspective – Rounak rolled his eyes – and ended up stating that ‘’WE NEED TO MOTHERFUCKING STOP THIS’’. And he had a point. Why confirm to a culture you don’t agree with? The answer (or rather: the argument) is that either way, love is relative: relative to culture, to class, to education – to things not quite as romantic as wedding dresses and seven storey cakes. Moreover, as Mahima’s put it: if everyone would love marriages, then would happen to the people?
dad have what ugly
XXX By Maria Victoria and Christoph
SCENARIO I The New Headmaster leaves his bags
all day, skips trivenis and college meetings,
in what seems to be his new house, even
never checks their muwcimail or pigeon
though it’s occupied. There’s furniture and
holes, never leaves campus, skypes with
despite it not being Caf time, it smells of
people in campus, never speaks to anyone
food. No one is there and the lights are off,
but posts it on Facebook” The Dog With The
but for his relief and surprise: the door was
Skin Disease comes closer to The New
open, as usual. Confused and jetlagged, he
gives himself a campus tour. The New
recording room and three houses are highly
headmaster, trying to make his way to
populated, people move the library cubicles
anyone or anywhere, follows desperately the
to the social centre to…Skype. Cook every
arrow towards the RESIDENTIAL AREA. The
night… Maggies by themselves. The other
New Headmaster finds himself in front of
sample, Sample B goes to their morning jog
what seems to be a record of faces and
living off caffeine, takes enough Trivenis to
save the whales, goes to home-stays to
missing. Some faces crossed out, some
experience India, creates a discussion group
faces simply absent. The New Headmaster
stays there, confused.
discussion board, taking overnights in the
“You’ll get used to it” said The Dog With The Skin Disease that approaches him with pity. “I’ve been here for a while now, two full months. You’ll get used to it.” “What
every other day switches roles with Sodexo and the staff, to interact and never seems to have enough time for anything. Anyways, it’s not that bad. They still share one thing:
the toilet.” In the attempt to socialize, The New Headmaster sleeps in the Social Centre
And so he started…”People here like reflect
MPH and moving to the common room,
Headmaster askes The Dog With The Skin
dreaming about what was to come. The New Headmaster
themselves. In this attempt for variety, they
students holding a student meeting, without
only reached polarizing everything into two
groups. Two Samples. First Sample sleeps
decides to sit quietly and observe the kids,
showing their outrage by gestures of their arms and hands that he doesn’t quite understand. He remains unnoticed. The air becomes more and more dense, students leave while they still talk not noticing that no one is listening since everyone talks loudly. Everyone expected that other’s attention would
Headmaster has the feeling that the thick walls might not stand as long as expected. Everyone
Headmaster is still sitting and observing the tense action of little colourful faces spreading out all over the place. The only other point that doesn’t seem to move is a lonely guard, taking down the poster with the crossed out faces. The guard hides the poster, and returns to his seat. Simultaneously, in order to protest and to make change, the active students hang up flags on to the internet tower.
International, Homosexuality, and Bob Marley are present among them. The little, white dirty phone on the table rings impatiently. The guard sitting next to it just stares at The New Headmaster, giving him a hint that he should pick up. The voice is unknown to him. “Mr The New Headmaster, please join us in the admin block for a little snack and Chai. We’re waiting for you”. Not knowing where to go, The New Headmaster encounters a car waiting for him with an open door. The New Headmaster sits in the car, and prepares himself for a long ride in the comfort of promptly understanding the situation. The New Headmaster is handed a booklet titled as The Newsletter – Daily. “Pretty recent” he thought as he started reading… 17
”People here like to reflect about everything, including themselves. In this attempt for variety, they only reached polarizing everything into two groups. Two Samples .”
“… after a term of sharing not words but
all of them talking on the phone in different
only toilet paper students experienced a
phones in different scripts. Unfortunately,
accumulated tension. As a response to
there were no brownies and chai left. He
their democratic beliefs and in agreement
makes his way to the office where The One
to the UWC Code of Conduct, students
In The Office, who looks more tired than in
called for an urgent meeting to resolve the
the official picture, closes down the screen
conflict in a responsible way. The situation
of his computer. “My mailbox is full” was
however, resulted in a chaotic encounter of
what The One In The Office said as the
echoes of the collapse of the Internet Tower
The New Headmaster interrupted
reached the office.
his reading after a couple of seconds
“I’ll get back to you on this” said The
because he had already arrived to the
One In The Office leaving, carried away by
the wind of his open doors.
Headmaster passes the main gate, he sees a line of students in front of the entrance of a building,
The New Headmaster stood there, waiting...
DREAMS ARTIST: YOUTH LAGOON ALBUM: THE YEAR OF HIBERNATION FEATURES: “DAYDREAM” “SEVENTEEN”, “CANNONS”, “POSTERS, “MONTANA”, “JULY” After browsing through everything I amassed in the past week (majority of which was obscure Scandi Pop and trashy American bands – Read: Tennis, Wu Lyf) I found Youth Lagoon. (note that this isn’t any compromise on the hipster cred) Youth Lagoon is the solo project of Trevor Powers, a lonely musician from a fucking random city (Boise, Idaho, if I’m not mistaken) in the middle of nowhere (no shit, it’s Idaho). The sound of his debut album is instantly recognizable as the work of one man, owing to the fact that even though it’s an electronic project, it’s relatively simple and down to earth. That being said, most of the songs are pretty incredible and they manage to interweave some fantastically catchy melodies with beats that’ll float around in the distant, dreamy meanderings of your mind. Even then, Youth’s Lagoon’s music is hard to describe in a succinct manner. At times, the songs are sad, filled with childhood memories, long forgotten (listen to “Seventeen”) and layered over bright electronic piano riffs. “Seventeen”‘s ambient beat, infectious hook, and melancholic but inspiring stories of “When I was seventeen, my mother said to me, “Don’t stop imagining. The day that you do is the day that you die” make it one of the best songs on the entire record. And sometimes, the songs take an entirely different turn. 19
“Daydream” feels like an adventure, soaring through vast, open valleys with the wind blowing in your face. For some reason, I was reminded of Bon Iver’s Calgary, especially due to it’s emphatic synthesizer intro, leading into Powers’ ghostly vocals that seem to come out empty space. The song has an absolutely wonderful hook, replicated by synths, electric guitar, and even a chorus of multiple Trevor Powers’s. I heard this album during a really long car ride from Thane to Parel in Mumbai, so the fact that I was staring at distant fireworks going off in the sky, lit up buildings and highways has made me slightly biased towards it. Still, it’s pretty awesome to listen to whilst doing something of that nature. Let Trevor Power’s echoey (and for some reason quite girly) voice and synthesized masterpieces take you to a place you won’t regret being at.
WRITING DANGEROUSLY It’s 7:58 PM and my article for MUWCI Times is due at checkin. That’s not much time to write a well-researched and carefully structured article on “International Comparative Education”. So instead I’m going to ramble for a little while and see where it takes me. I’ll start by explaining that I’ve already written that article on comparative education, and that it was terrible. I’m writing this article so late because I only came to this realization a few minutes ago. A few minutes ago, I thought that I had produced a cogent, professional, informative piece of expository journalism that would illuminate the various educational backgrounds of the students at our school and bring us one step closer to crosscultural understanding. Now I feel as though I am seeing my writing with new eyes, and I find myself utterly uninterested. Back in the US, that article would have earned me an A. But “grade A” writing, as I have only just realized, is not at all the same as truly quality writing. “Grade A” writing is safe. It leads to matriculation at a good college and later to a good job and even later to a good wife and a good house and two good kids and a good dog. But it won’t lead to any Nobel Prizes, and it won’t change the way people think. To do that, one must be willing to write dangerously. The strange thing is that a part of me knew all along that my writing wasn’t particularly good. It was stale and uninspired, consisting of regurgitated information masquerading as original thought (coincidentally, just a few hours ago I was in the MPH listening to Liam and Cyrus lecture us on plagiarism). But I was so thoroughly indoctrinated by eleven years of education that I was able to push these thoughts away. The irony of my situation completely escaped me as I wrote a topic sentence, two concrete details, and two pieces of analysis, and neatly transitioned into the next paragraph, a critique of the low level of creativity allowed by the formula-heavy education systems of the east.
“if we have no clean, clear-cut definition for good writing, how can it ever be taught in a classroom?”
By Will 21
In Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance, Robert Pirsig’s philosophy of quality reflects in many ways my newfound conviction that great writing can’t be arrived at through the implementation of various formulas and techniques. “Quality,” he writes, “isn't something you lay on top of subjects and objects like tinsel on a Christmas tree. Real Quality must be the source of the subjects and objects, the cone from which the tree must start.” If Pirsig is right, we are presented with a difficult question: if we have no clean, clear-cut definition for good writing, how can it ever be taught in a classroom? It may be that it is impossible to be taught quality writing, at least in the way that it is done today. For right now, we are left with only formulas and techniques. The style of writing that has been so ingrained in me is the same style that we are all forced to adhere to in the IB and to a large extent throughout the rest of our academic lives. So we allow ourselves to be molded into writing machines. In the process we may even gain a valuable understanding of concepts of clarity and structure that, though they may be overemphasized at times, are nonetheless valuable tools of expression. But for my part, I hope never again to make the mistake of equating “grade A” writing with quality writing, and to try, whenever possible, to write dangerously.
Her bright eyes twinkling, The designed water pot at her hip, The Bedouin girl glanced from side to sideâ€Ś And then saw me. She surveyed me critically. Then, Somehow satisfied, she beckoned me inside. Unsure of what to do, I stood far from the bright blue tent. That must be her house, I thought. She called me again. The way to her house was narrow. But her smile made it easier to bear. Her frazzled hair, her ruddy cheeks, Somehow melted all my fear.
As I walked in through the open door, My feet rejoiced at the smoothness, At the smoothness of the mud-baked floor…
She… She smiled and stared, Noticing the death-like quality of my face. I wasn’t the only one who knew I was scared. She broke out in peals of laughter.
Confused, I looked around, And soon found the reason for her joyous sound, That suddenly grew softer…
For there, surrounded by hordes of relatives, Peeking out of swaddling clothes, Her tiny baby brother was laughing at me too…
Now, realizing that I understood, She motioned to me to fetch the pot… “You, you must lead the ceremony” she said, “The Gods have sent you to be my brother’s guardian angel!”
I looked down at my gritty clothes, My neck and face were clamped with dust. I did not resemble an angel…
But, her words echoed in my head, “My little brother’s Guardian Angel.”
No one had ever called me an angel before. Cute, yes. Beautiful, yes. But angel? No. It felt nice to be called an angel. I was so happy, I could cry for joy If only someone cried with me…
As I firmly gripped that water-pot, I looked out… It had gently begun to rain…
“You’re really an angel” she said, with a delighted smile, “It never rains here…” Speechless, tears rolled down my cheeks… I could cry now. After all, even the heavens were crying with me
The 4th edition of MUWCI Times