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MARCH 2013

A MANUAL TO SURVIVE 10 DAYS IN THE WILD Arissa Moreno Ruiz (Peru ’14)

THIS WEEK PAGE 3 CAMPUS NEWS Want more stories about project week adventures? We’ve detailed every trip from crazy-showerdeprived wilderness to Texan music festivals! Also, check out what goes on behind the scenes in our IT department!

PAGE 6 WORLD NEWS What does the new pope mean for the world? Documented by our very own Italian staff member, read all about the effects of this new South American pope. This and more on page 6! PAGE 8 OPINION Think back approximately 5 minutes. What was going through your mind (other than your excitement for the Literati, that is). Let me guess - food showed up in your thoughts at least once. Read all about the UWC food obsession and more starting on page 8.


When I travel in time and space to my old style of education, I realized that as a child, I did not have access to a wilderness education. My teachers and mentors were more focused in creating efficient individuals capable of g e t t i n g p r o fi t a b l e j o b s . Probably, they did not see that magical element in wilderness that I have found here. Te a c h i n g, l e a r n i n g a n d exchanging experiences related to outdoor skills have a very important role in creating and shaping individuals that will contribute to a better community. When I decided I wanted to be a wilderness leader, maybe, I did not know what I was getting myself into. I could have never imagined myself going to 10 day trip with a bunch of wilderness lovers without showers or real toilet paper, and no contact with any other human being or civilization rather than our small community. Almost everyone knew that it was going to a physically challenge experience, but

almost no one realized that it will become a journey of a succession of life changing e v e n t s . Ye s ! I t s o u n d s exaggerated, but on this trip I discovered and encountered myself with nature, with others and with my inner world. The approach you get to our natural world is a unique opportunity. Watching the amazing landscapes, being in the summit of a mountain, being stuck in a canyon in a snow blizzard storm m o n s t r o s i t y, d i s c ov e r i n g (pooping in the woods) with a great sunset in front of you in a cliff…all of these short facts made me realized that man is so small compared to nature, but we pretend sometimes to have the right to make profit of it without respect and responsibility. We portrayed ourselves in a state where man and nature live in harmony; we saw places that still remained intact and undisturbed by the hand of humans. It was not simply camping and hiking w i t h o u t d e s t i ny a l l d ay, (continued on page 3) 1


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A MESSAGE FROM THE EDITORS Letter From the Editor and those who have already started to be sentimental. No matter which way you choose As project week, yet another milestone of our to handle the coming weeks, we hope that you year, has passed, we turn back like always to only relish what time we have left. the calendar to see how many days are left until graduation. We can feel and see it Thank you for reading. everywhere: people are hanging out in day rooms more often, Lisa Darling made Until Next Time, sentimental remarks in assembly, and even the Patrick on behalf of the Literati Editors FLIPside this week has made vague serious allusions to relishing the few weeks we have left together. However, on the subject of graduation, we seem to have a divided class. We have those who refuse to publicly acknowledge the imminent date of May 25th


Lara Norgaard USA-CO ’13

WRITERS Abraham Amador Mexico ’13

Edgar Jaramillo USA-CA ’14

Adrian Jennings South Africa ’14

Shobhit Kumar USA-MD ’14

Arissa Moreno Ruiz Peru ’14

Carlin RIng USA-IA ’14

Emily Venturi Italy ’14

Valentin Herrgesell Austria ’13

Caetano Hanta- Davis USA-VT ’14


Bieke Bekker The Netherlands ’14

Alexandra Hemmer Singapore ’14



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CAMPUS NEWS (continued from page 1) I related myself to nature through education and this transcended all the environmental issues that we are encountering and expanded my environmental ethic. I got really close to each one of the members of this project, I feel that I know them without the superficiality of society and the worries of the busy routine; I know them in a personal level. I was lucky enough to stare at Adrian Moore in his untamed and wild state (Rarw!), I was lucky of sharing the amazing starry sky and the mornings of frozen sleeping bags with my fellow wilderness lovers, I was lucky enough to get lost with them, I was lucky enough to be accepted by everyone even if my personal odor was disgusting after 2 days. Having a good expedition behavior, working as a team whose purpose is to enjoy nature without damaging it, appreciating the diversity of human beings, knowing how to express myself and being able to receive constructive criticism created a sense of community, but at the same time highlighted my characteristics as an individual. The greatest battle was the encounter with ourselves: we were away from home, we were

without the influences of poisoning technologies, we lacked the commodities of civilization and modern age, we were without outside pressures and our needs were reduced to a very basic level…just surviving and cohabiting. This journey of 10 days made me realized how capable we are of doing things that we never believe to do, and besides it produced a sort of effects: respect for myself and my surroundings, understanding of our actions, responsibility for our decisions. We weren’t able to control the horrible weather, but we learned how to take risks and face hardships (not only when going into the wild, but also on a daily basis) and what were the best decisions that leaded to the best consequences. I have tons of stinky clothes to wash (my underwear smells bad!) and my skin is falling in pieces because of the sun burn; but we had fun and we also suffered, but the main thing is that we grew.


We use computers and internet all the time. In fact, both have become part of our daily routines and on days where internet is down, havoc wreaks over campus. Tension can especially be seen when the internet connection is extremely slow and no one can access their Facebook accounts. To get a sense of what really happens behind the scenes in the IT Center, I spoke to Iago Patiño Lopez (Spain ’14) and Yuta Kono (Japan ’14) who are both in IT CAS and work with technology day after day. IT CAS consists of both keeping up the printers and computers in the dorms and also working with servers and learning about new technologies as they are developed. As it turns out, JUST READ IT.



there are two types of computers on campus. The first type are standalone computers, which are mostly located in the IT Center and have CPUs. These are much faster than the network computers, which are located in dorm computer rooms. Although these have monitors, their CPUs are located in the IT Center, which makes them slower. Just keep in mind when you use a dorm computer that it has to connect to the IT Center, so extra time may be needed. The problem of slowness has been noted by IT and there are solutions being put into place. Just in the last month, the school shifted from antennas to fiber optic, which will significantly improve download and upload speeds on the internet. When students play video games or watch really high quality HD movies, (Corey Kirkham [Aussie ’13] I’m talking about you) however, speeds decrease quickly. Some websites, such as torrents, are blocked by a company firewall that IT uses because of this, but there are many that are still available. Santi Menéndez (Spain ’13) keenly notes the fact that campus internet tends to be sluggish during check time, which is understandable because when a lot of campus uses internet, it gets slower. The two ITers I spoke with would like to add a couple final thoughts. First, many of us who have iPods, iPhones, or other devices that can sync mail accounts don’t know how to set that up. Those who need help with that can stop by the IT Center and set themselves up. Last, let’s remember that internet here is pretty good and without a doubt better than other UWCs. Next time you see an IT employee or a CAS member, be sure to thank them for their work. After all, your life would be much different without them.

MARCH 2013

SXSW 2013 Alexandra Hemmer (Singapore ’14)

What do ten teenagers do when they’re offered all-access badges at a music & film festival with the hipster city of Austin at their fingertips? They grab it and have the time of their lives! Zoe Proegler (USA – MI, ’14), Karen Chan (Hong Kong, ’14), Minori Fryer (Hong Kong, ’14), Morgan Furneaux (UK , ’14), Caetano Hanta-Davis (USA, ’14), Sam Haddad (USA, ’14), Andrej BlazHevski (Macedonia, ’14), Adrian Jennings (South Africa, ’14), Yvette Reyes (USA, ’14) and Alexandra Hemmer (Singapore, ’14) drove 12 hours to Austin, TX with the exciting company of Dan Wilms (Math Teacher) and Parris Bushong (English A Teacher). So now that we have all the names of participants down, let’s talk about what we did. We were very thankful to be able to attend the annual SXSW (South by Southwest) music, interactive and film festival. We each worked our own set of volunteer shifts for the festival that earned us access badges to the different events going on around the city. Our volunteer shifts ranged from managing the crowds at the festival’s exhibition to guarding actors at their film premiers. The hours were definitely demanding, leaving most of us with 4 hours of sleep a night and having to get up by 7 every morning. At work, we were fortunate enough to see some admirable celebrities up close; Zoe even had the authority to tell Macklemore that he wasn’t allowed to come into the artist lounge! (Yeah you go, Zoe!) After work, we had the privilege to attend some amazing music concerts. From small bar



UWC-USA Photo credit: Minori Fryer (Hong Kong ’14)

performances to large stages, we were blown away every night by some of the most amazing musicians. There is so much undiscovered talent in this world that must be given notice! We had the honour of watching Azari & III, Alt-J, Ra Ra Riot, Walk Off the Earth and to our very surprise, Green Day (Hats off to Minori for winning a ticket!) & (Go check out these musicians)

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enormous and there is definitely a new admiration for the dedication of the press and the crews involved. The Interactive Exhibition consisted of business booths from all over the world, with new products or ideas being promoted. These included Climate Action programs, electronic products…etc. It certainly emphasized how small our world is becoming and how technology is advancing on so many levels. SXSW has proven itself to be a large platform catering to all kinds of people, with the participation ranging from start-out, “nobody” bands to well-established actors like Tony Danza and Selena Gomez, and not to mention the involvement of over 20,000 volunteers from all over the world! These have to be the last words of this article: South by Southwest.

Walking the streets of Austin led us to amazing street food and simply the most interesting cultural experience of what some Texans we met refer to as the LA of Texas. To top off our Texan cultural experience, we were blessed with an abundance of good Southern Hospitality. Mars who graduated from UWCUSA in 2008 is from Austin and his parents opened up their home to us to use the shower. Patty, Mars’ Mother was what we refer to as “the sweetest woman alive” as she offered us a hot cup of tea to drink while we were permitted to relax on her couch and use her television. Apart from the interesting cultural experience of Austin, we definitely learnt a lot about what goes on behind the scenes of largescale, Hollywood-type events. The preparation that goes on before the arrival of celebrities is JUST READ IT.



MARCH 2013


On Wednesday 12th of March, with white smoke soaring out of the Sistine Chapel’s chimney and to the cheers of thousands of faithful followers in Piazza San Pietro, a gathering of 115 Catholic cardinals picked a new pope, after the previous surprising resignation of pope Benedict XVI. “Habemus papam!” members of the San Pietro crowd shouted in Latin, waving frantically umbrellas and flags. “We have a pope!” The conclave had chosen the cardinal from Argentina, Mr Bergoglio, to replace Benedict XVI’s shoes, appointing the first South American as leader of the Catholic Church in the Vatican.

of being a voice for the poor. Bergoglio in fact chose the name “Francis I” in honour of St. Francis d’Assisi, a cornerstone figure in the Bible famous for his dedication to suffering in founding the Franciscan movement. In choosing Francis I, who had been the archbishop of Buenos Aires for many years, the cardinals sent a powerful message that the future of the church lies in the global south, home to the bulk of the world’s Catholics. Arissa Moreno Ruiz (Peru ’14), explains how this choice reflects the increasing recognition that South America is slowly gaining within the Church, as the focus is slowly shifting from Europe to the Southern Hemisphere.

However, despite his exciting non European origins, the real question arises when one looks at pope Francis’s opinions and propositions regarding the position of the Jorge Maria Bergoglio, the priest of Catholic Church in the modern era. The new Buenos Aires, is also the first non-European pope pope inherits a church wrestling with an array of in the modern era, as well as already being the challenges that intensified during his predecessor, runner-up in the 2005 papal conclave, behind Benedict XVI, including a sexual abuse crisis that Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger. Son of an Italian has undermined the church’s moral authority, as immigrant, he trained as a chemist before well as the many difficulties governing the Vatican deciding to itself. Francis’s become a priest. opposition to gay G i d e o n marriage and Ikpekaogu free distribution (Netherlands ’13) of contraceptives expressed much is well known, hope and however his anticipation, position seems to stating that the already be more new pope is well moderate when known for his compared to the simplicity and leaders has a reputation selection/story?id=18723865 JUST READ IT.



of the Vatican. During the upcoming months, pope Francis I’s opinions will gradually become clearer, as he will be able to support his ideals whilst guiding the Catholic Church in a new direction, allowing us to better evaluate his positions. Hopefully the wind will change in the Catholic Church eventually, and Francis I could start the process of modernization during the next months.


Who has seen the movie Gattaca? Imagine a world where babies were not “naturally” made, but synthetically created using genetic formulas, combining the chromosomes in a test tube. Gattaca explores a world based on this reality, where you are constantly judged based on your medical information, and genes determine if you are a successful person or not. Although we are a ways from this kind of utopian genetic world, it appears that there are many developments that may allow us to access this kind of information. In Britain, the government is considering allowing a “three-person-embryo” procedure to be utilized to cure babies of illnesses such as muscular dystrophy. A three-person-embryo involves transferring genetic information from an egg from a third person, a much healthier woman, to a regular “two person embryo” in order for the fetus to receive genes not conducive to these types of deadly illnesses. About one in six thousand people are born with diseases due to genetic glitches in their mitochondria, which they receive from their mothers. This has often led to health issues such as organ failure. With these new genetic transfer procedures, it may be possible to prevent these health problems.


MARCH 2013

Currently, however, the law in Britain does not allow for this kind of genetic mutation process. The controversy behind allowing for three-person-embryos is that trials have only so far been successful on animals and have never been attempted on humans. Also, if a baby is born with the help of this process, the new genes it has are then transferred to the next generations. At this point we have no way of knowing the unexpected consequences of such a procedure. From a recent survey, 44% of the public approved of the proposed three-person-embryo techniques, while 29% were against them. At this point it is up to the HFEA, Human Fertilization a n d E m b r yo l o g y Au t h o r i t y, t o s u b m i t information regarding if this process should be allowed. Who knows, maybe this could be a great avenue for preventing deadly organ diseases in children? Genetics is one of the scientific fields today with fantastic innovations. In Australia scientists are working on cloning the extinct gastric-brooding frog, which is known for giving birth through its mouth. Also, it appears that a lack of sleep appears to suppress genes, which are good for our immune system, metabolism, and long-term well being, further contributing to heart disease, diabetes, obesity, obesity and STRESS. Life6.jpeg



MARCH 2013

OPINION OUR FOOD OBSESSION Bieke Bekker (The Netherlands ’14)

At home, you take it for granted. Here, it becomes a common obsession. Food is a subject that is taken very seriously at UWC-USA. It doesn’t matter if you are just talking about recent political developments in Venezuela or the Euro Crisis: eventually, someone will ask what there is for dinner. This is only a small example, but it gets ten times worse when we think about food from home. I never realized before coming here, but food is a big part of making your home home. The tastes and smells you have grown up with make you relax and feel comfortable. It reflects the culture and heritage of your family. Everyone who has ever lived abroad or, sometimes, even just in a different part of the country knows about the craving for that food that is familiar. North West Europeans like me can’t resist a nice potato while many Asians here go crazy over good rice. The problem though is to get hold of that food. Unfortunately, Walmart does not really support our weird, foreign cravings. So, we have to find other ways. Luckily, the US is a country of immigrants which means that there is an online shop for nearly anything foreign. Also, people get creative with what we have here. Maybe the Walmart lentils and couscous is not as good as at home, but it will make do. The last and best way to get food is by care packages. We can spot them, every now and them, those lucky people that got one and are walking back from the post office carrying a heavy box and happy smile.


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Then, when you have finally got hold of the food in some way or another, you have to decide what to do with it. Eat it all alone in your room? Share it with country mates? Share it with anyone and everyone? The last option is always great for showing people about your home and culture. On the other hand, not everyone might appreciate it that much since, as it turns out, a lot of country specific foods have quite an acquired taste. I honestly tried to make people appreciate our licorice but a lot of it ended up wasted, spat out in a garbage bin. Yes, food does play a big role in our lives here. We are lucky to have it readily available and we certainly don’t get hungry, but the emotional value is huge.



MARCH 2013

SUDOKU Abraham Amador (Mexico ’13)

First of all I should mention that Sudoku is not a Japanese game, its original name was Number Place. Its origins begin around mid 1800's by a French newspaper called La France. The history of this puzzle was developed through newspapers and magazines. Howard Garns was the creator of the sudoku known nowadays; it was published in a local magazine. It was popularized in Japan (where it got its name) by the Japanese puzzle company Nicoli. The name sudoku is a simplification of the original sentence for the instructions in the first publication “The digits must be single”, Maki Kaji took two anagrams from the sentence forming the word Sudoku. The rules for a sudoku to be a proper puzzle were introduced by Nikoli saying that it should not have more than 32 hint numbers, and it has to be symmetrical (in case it is not a 9X9).

assumptions. 3 Arto Inkala (applied mathematics) created a sudoku4 that has an 11 in the difficulty scale (out of 5, in other words it is so difficult that it overwhelms the normal scale by much). To solve this one the logical method will not work. Because all the logical combinations and eliminations to be used can't be used actually, that's why its level is considered to be 11. If anyone is wondering it has 21 numbers so it follows the 17 number rule. 1 sudokumin.php 2 h t t p : / / w w w . s u d o k u w i k i . o r g / Arto_Inkala_Sudoku 3 the-worlds-hardest-sudoku/? utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed &utm_campaign=Feed%3A+Neatorama+ %28Neatorama%29

Nowadays it is believed that the minimum number for a sudoku puzzle to have a unique solution is 17 but there is not an actual proof about it2. How it is believed is letting a software solve several sudoku games with less and less hint numbers, the minimum number of hints needed for the computer to solve it was 17. The puzzles can vary of difficulty and there is not an actual algorithm solve them it's pure logic. Several people have made several variants of it, but the 9x9 is still the most famous. The difficulty of a sudoku puzzle is supposed to be measured by the number of eliminations and logical assumptions to be made in a single puzzle. In a normal level 1 Sudoku nearly the whole puzzle can be solved by elimination, while the following can be only solved through assumptions or elimination by the JUST READ IT.



TIME TRAVELING: NOT A THEORY Mboni Salim Maumba (Tanzania ’14)

“If only I had known what I know now, I would have___” Unsurprisingly, I lost count as to how often the thought haunted and triggered reveries about alternative outcomes of an irreversible past. Regardless of the thought, it remains as that; period. Then as disillusionment kicks in, I wind up feeling thoroughly battered to a pulp. Story of my life. Let’s face it, the bitterness of regret and nostalgia strikes a hard one; leaving you restlessly wishing you could turn back the clock. Now say that this very rational desire of toying back and forth with time were possible, what could possibly go wrong… Everything. Talk about the cruel twists life can throw on you, the science fiction by Robert.A.Heinlein, “—All You Zombies—“ chronicles the worst case scenario. The story tells of a young man (later revealed to be intersex) taken back in time and tricked into impregnating his younger, female self (before he underwent a sex change); he thus turns out to be the offspring of that union, with the paradoxical result that he is his own mother and father. As the story unfolds, all the major characters are revealed to be the same person, at different stages of her/his life. Although a mere fiction, the concept is indeed as fascinating as it is maddening. One cannot help but ponder on the possibilities that come along with time traveling. Can we really defy rules of nature? Apparently. Claims of time travel have not been uncommon, and this one is particularly interesting. Andrew Basiago, an attorney based in Seattle claims to have journeyed through time as a child working for the “Project Pegasus”. This was apparently a secret unit of the U.S


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government that worked on Teleportation and Time travel under the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency. Basiago provides vivid account on both the process and encounters of his adventures. There has even been a photograph of Abraham Lincoln dating back to 1863 in Gettysburg, where Basiago’s younger self is featured in the background( See below). But then again, we trust lawyers…

Source: Moving on to something more realistic, according to Albert Einstein’s theory of Special Relativity, time traveling is possible if say theoretically, one can zip away at the near speed of light and come back to Earth at this speed. Then he would find himself significantly younger than the peers he left behind. This is because all processes, be it biological, mechanical or chemical are constrained by the speed of light. Thus, the adventurer’s biological process would slow down, and so would the clock aboard. However the whole concept has only been theoretically possible as there is no way anything could travel at near the speed of light. But humans are known to be persistent creatures, so another method of “real” time travel is as we speak, already happening.



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fiction level effect that will show time travel…at least on a small scale…it is possible.

Source: 2010/06/time-travel-you-might-have-heardabout.html The science of cryonics more commonly known as suspended animation, is a method of cooling a living organism so that life processes such as breathing and heartbeat still occur, but at a much slower pace. The organism being “suspended” would not be aware that time is passing and could possibly "wake up" long after his original lifespan would have been over. While not yet tried on humans, scientists have successfully suspended and re-animated mice, dogs and pigs.

Indeed, “Once confined to fantasy and science fiction, time travel is now simply an engineering problem.”1 And I am certainly looking forward to the day that I’d simply step into a whirling tunnel to fix up an action I wished I’d done otherwise; life looks good. Except this is the future I have yet secured, and the past is bygone, so I am only left with the present to work on. With utter confidence the piercing truth is Heavens-so-clear! -There is never a time like now; live every moment to its worth. That for me would mean “abandon Procrastination; embrace…good food.” 1

MICHIO KAKU, Wired Magazine, Aug. 2003

On a mechanical approach, there is the recent “birth” of the Vadrehung Fan a few months back. Marshall Barnes is the inventor of this prototype . Here is the basic working theory: The device acts as an accelerator that distorts and contorts space so that it causes forward motion. With a power output of 50watts, it was shown to have caused an electric fan to speed up without it being connected to the device. Barnes explains that if he had something that produced 14,000 watts of power than the dense electromagnetic field formed could rip hole in space and time. So his next step is to scale-up the mashine so that it would be able to demonstrate something approaching what we call science




MARCH 2013

the FLIPSIDE BY THE INFAMOUS AND CLASSY VALENTIN HERRGESELL it is, theFLIPSIDE: After tearfully being ripped apart, our college community finally was reunited. Lot's of tears, lot's of screaming and lot's of hugs.. and that after only being away for one week and yes, except for the wilderness people but you guys don't count. But what did folks do while being off campus? TheFLIPSIDE mingled with the crowd and got some first hand intel on all the project week gossip! We talked to Bieke (Netherlands ’14) who went to Tucson. While Arizona only was the emergency option - seriously why would you go to Arizona voluntarily, according to her it was "the b3st Trip Evaaaa". At the same time Ari (USA-ME '97) revealed some tensions to us that evolved during the 10 day wilderness expedition. "On multiple occasions it was very difficult for me to prevent my group from gagging Amelie…"*, she further mentioned that "...on the last but one day we ran out of food and some people suggested eating Dana…". She paused. I left. Finally we approached Yvette (USA-MN '14) who got lucky and went to SXSW. Full of excitement she told us that "It wasn't that cool after all." and that "...most of the pictures we posted were fake, photoshopped, and we were just posing and pretending to have a great time." On the other hand a fair number of second years chose to spend the week on campus. It was fun and the time here turned out to be very productive. For me at least**. Now let's forget about Project Week and bring our attention to a more depressing topic. There are less than 2½ months left before graduation. And while time at UWC always goes by fast, the next 60-something days will be over way sooner than you think.. This is the part where I become sentimental. I urge all of you to make the best out of your the remaining time here! There is someone you've never talked to? Go and start a conversation! This one person you never got along well with? Go and at least try to make things right! Why am I telling you this? Because I don't want you to be the person realizing that you've wasted your time here the moment you're getting your luggage from the storage room.. Back to the fun stuff: I was happy to observe the reactions of people to my outcry last time JUST READ IT.

complaining about all the breakups because quite a few them are back together!!!*** Adding onto that theFLIPSIDE can announce now that both Turkish boys are taken. However I wouldn’t go so far in giving you any names - after all I want you to have some fun figuring them out. On a different topic: Miracles for Science's performance showed us again that to be invited back as an alumni you should at least have attended Princeton. Anyway their concert gave the hipsterish Indie-music lover in me a 1½ hour long orgasm. Also, next week is trials, but no worries. theFLIPSIDE will be there for you on Thursday. Until then I wish you well, good luck with your blind date choice, and finally: I've heard so many people complaining about being rejected, or waitlisted, but here is my advice: You didn't get into your first choice college? Here is a picture of a bridge. Now get over it!



*that is my way of saying I love you countri, and I'm unbelievable happy to have you here **wrote a book, reviewed Chemistry, completed the UWC challenge and caught up on sleep! ***Also, stop being so indecisive. 12

The Literati Issue 18  

The eighteenth issue of UWC-USA's weekly school newspaper The Literati!

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