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MARCH 2013

THE QUESTION OF COLLEGE Mboni Muamba (Tanzania ’14)

THIS WEEK PAGE 3 CAMPUS NEWS The excitement and worry of the new first years is starting to kick in, as well as the big college question affecting the leaving second years. Turn to page 4 to read all about the US selections first hand.

PAGE 6 WORLD NEWS From Burma to Bahrain, flid to page 6 to stay up to date on current affairs from across the world! PAGE 8 OPINION Have you ever questioned the simple idea of gender? Or has the concept of art and what entails a masterpiece been on your mind as the Second Year Art Show approaches Read all about it and more on page 8!


For a big chunk of the campus, it is that time of the year when reality strikes, abrupt and icy-- the idea of embracing the real world beyond this mini, loving version of it (UWC family) must set in. For most, it would mean a straight march to college, a place that marks the end of “reckless teen”, and beginning of “sensible adult”. Growing-up…inevitable. Despite the open nature of our campus, the question of college is not one to be casually aired-out. It is so discreet that to approach it with utmost sensitivity would mean not talking about it; period. This is comprehensible considering the thoughtful and caring nature of this community. Yet, the ups and downs that revolve around the entire idea of college, acceptances and rejections is a subject of discussion welcomed by a serious audience; just not as openly. So I took the liberty of having a “one-on-one” with a number of second-years, balancing the five regions we

host. Unsurprisingly, the views varied with regions; very different yet so similar. Expectations VS Results: For many, the impact of rejection is really dependent on the choice of college. It is clearly dissimilar speaking of a top choice and a back-up one, yet the thought of knowing that you have a back-up is reassuring. The idea of being wait-listed is not much of a soothing one either, since the outcome is invariably relied upon chance- “as good as a rejection. ”; said one student. While most students have to deal with either acceptance or rejection, a good number of students, U.S citizens in particular, must carry the burden of “The System.” Due to the highereducation system in The States, students who fall under middle-class group are at a great disadvantage. They are not in position to receive a decent grant, yet to attend certain top colleges would refer to ....(continued on page 3) 1


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A MESSAGE FROM THE EDITORS Dear Readership, you should come by if you are interested in reworking curfew *BIGGER GASP*! Thanks again for taking a break from Ok another note, this was a pretty big the Flipside to read some other articles, y’all weekend at U-dub. Between seconds years are the reason we get out of bed in the losing at volleyball, blinddate, holi, and a morning... well y’all and the wrath of Susie. crushing blow by the faculty in the dodgeball tournament, this will go down as one of the Speaking of power hungry dictators, busiest four days on record-- second only to the Appreciations is coming up and our leaders are weekend with all the hook-ups. doing big things so first years stay posted on that. Sticking with the power trend, student Yours truly, council is still having open meetings every The Editors (mostly Edgar) of the Literati Sunday *gasp*! 6:15 PM in the student center,


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) a complete change in lifestyle for the entire family, a price much too unrealistic to pay. The conclusion for most is to disregard the “prestigious list” from the start, despite their intellectual and personal excellence.

the open-expression of failure as it is not part of their culture. Arguments were made that the movement may place pressure on people who wish to keep it personal; as they would be torn between privacy and supporting the community.

Public Postings

However, the overall attitude towards the Rejection wall is very positive as there is a good sentimental value behind this. It lets people know that they are not alone in any situation. What’s more, the firsties get view of what to expect the following year, and to know that disappointment is part and parcel of the process. Except, rather than placing this in such an over-public place as the wall by the cafeteria, it should be preferably set at more private space which is still accessible. This time by those who genuinely wish to share, excluding the few who merely mock what they have no clue of. This would even encourage more people to be comfortable as part of the movement.

There is definitely a heated debate here. One side argues that social media like Facebook is not limited to UWC students alone, but for the public. It is a convenient way to reach people, and one certainly has the liberty of doing as he pleases independent of another’s disappointment in his own experiences. His bliss over acceptance is one to be freely shared and spread. More over, it is undeniable that this is indeed the ways of the real world, where someone else’s emotion is not factored into one’s decisions. It goes by the crude rule, “Yes, it’s a disappointment. Now deal with it and move on.” So the idea is: accustoming ourselves to the bluntness while we can. But then again, that is the world and this is UWC. We are family; not strangers, and our bond certainly over-rides natural principles. Besides, is it not the sole purpose of UWC to create a caring community of people who rids the idea of “I”, and puts in its place-“Us”?! So then effortlessly, we are inclined to care about the people we live with, and their feelings are given importance and respect. With this in mind, one should re-consider the act of public postings. It is unfair to refrain it entirely, but it certainly will not lessen your joy to give it sometime for friends to over-come the aftermath. Or, simply privatize the postings to limit certain groups of friends. The Rejection Wall

Moving- On They say falling happens in a snap; getting up and stepping ahead will take a while. The easiest way is to get a hand, that is why we have family and friends. Their support is of paramount importance in the face of failure. But, I wonder, whether this really is failure! Should we allow an arbitrary process filled with flaws define who we are, especially since it is simply an imperfect procedure that has “luck” as its basis? In front of that reader, there is only a thousand more of “you”. Yet, amidst the real world there is, but room for one such as the unique you. How much more there is to a person than what’s typed on a few sheets of paper, followed by a one-page “I’m sorry.”! Well, I’m sorry; because only they are at loss. Now that is the flawless truth.

It was rather interesting to hear that some people were first shocked by the movement. This is because READ IT.



PROM = BLIND DATE? Shobhit Kumar (USA - MD ’14)

Although our school resides in the United States, it doesn’t adhere to one of the principle high school rituals of passing. Prom, for many high school students in this country, is the culmination of four years of schooling and a way to say goodbye. At our school, Blind Date is as close as you can get to a Prom, but how do the two stack up? Weeks before Prom, guys ruminate about how they can ask their significant others, crushes, friends, or friend crushes to Prom. This usually involves elaborate gestures such as painting “Prom?” on car windshields and showing up with a bouquet of roses. Then, the girls have the option of saying yes or no. On the other hand, Blind Date forces Blindies to go on dates without the option of saying no. Also, the moment your Blindie arrives at your door (or you arrive at theirs) is the first time you see them and know who they are. Prom doesn’t facilitate that level of curiosity. Prom Night, however, is very much so like Blind Date Night. Traditionally, both Nights begin with a photo-taking session and dinner, where most of the talking for the night is done. After having dinner, Prom couples travel to their Prom site. In many cases, Proms are held in large and expensive venues, such as Disney World/ Land (for some Florida/California students), aquariums, and even American football fields, which are paid for through the sale of tickets and fundraisers. Loud music, dancing, and READ IT.

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socializing are abundant throughout the evening. Aside from the location and the largeness (most high schools have over 1000 students), the two are similar. One highlight of Prom night is the selection of the Prom King and Queen. This is a huge deal and the entire 12th grade class votes for one boy and one girl to wear the crown, have a dance, and carry their titles for the rest of their lives. Then, the attendees get back in their limos and head to after parties, where crazy things happen. Though Prom might be fun, it certainly does not build the bonds that Blind Date creates. It is remarkable how UWC students can take a high tradition and make it their own. Hope you all had fun on your Blind Dates!

Photo Credit: http://

NEW FIRSTIES ALREADY Alexandra Hemmer (Singapore ’14)

As this year is coming to an end and we’re all making our lists of goals to accomplish before it’s time to say goodbye, another group is preparing to say hello! That’s right, the shape of UWC-USA Class of 2015 is almost visible! Last week, eleven of our schoolmates had the chance to attend this year’s US interviews in Albuquerque, which meant that they got to meet 4


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some potential UWCers of tomorrow, perhaps even potential UWC-USAers! Does that sound exciting or scary? I spoke to Jessika Nebrat (USA –KS, ’14) who went to the interviews in Albuquerque and she shared her thoughts on what it was like to attend the UWC interviews as a current UWC student, especially having gone through the same interviews not too long ago.

Alex: But was it exciting to meet the potential firsties? Jessika:

Alex: What were some of the highlights of being at the interviews as a current UWC student? Jessika:

Going to the interviews was really cool because it felt so different being on the other side; last year, I clearly remember being so nervous at my own interview because I really wanted to get in to UWC but all the candidates at the interview were all very wellprepared and promising. But this time, as a current student, I didn’t have anything to worry about, of course, and I could just focus on getting to know all the candidates without feeling intimidated, which I liked.

Yes, definitely, I met a lot of interesting people and I’m honestly excited to see who my firsties will be next year. What was interesting about meeting the potentials at the interviews was just being able to tell who was “UWC material” just based on my own experience.

Alex: Were there any people at the interviews that made a big impression on you? Jessika:

Well there was this one guy whose parents are both from Haiti, so he spoke fluent French and studies Spanish, but he’s also from LA, which in itself is really cool. So we have an interesting group of potential firsties! Get excited!

Alex: What other thoughts went through your mind as you were there? Jessika:


What struck me was meeting people who were potentially my first years next year; that made me realize how different it’s going to be next year with my second years gone, practically replaced, and how much I’m going to miss them all; It made me realize how much a part of my UWC experience my second years are.



MARCH 2013

WORLD NEWS A YEAR OF CHANGE IN BURMA Bieke Bekker (The Netherlands ’14)

Neglecting of human rights, censure, and general oppression: these are just a few examples of what Burma is generally associated with. However, this image is not quite right anymore. Times are changing; Burma is starting to increase its democracy, and while still far from perfect, the country has been making considerable progress in the few years. This past Monday, the first of April, it was announced that from now on, newspapers do not necessarily have to be state published anymore. This is a major benchmark, as it shows how free press is returning to Burma after about fifty years. This Monday was also the first anniversary of Aung San Suu Kyi’s presence in the Burmese parliament. Suu Kyi, Burma’s major human right activist and main opponent of the military junta, had been under house arrest for many of the previous years. In 2010, her release was a major indicator for Burma’s changing policies, which was widely celebrated around the world. In the 2012 by-elections, her National League for Democracy won the majority of seats. Many say it was the cyclone Nargis, which was one of the worst natural disasters to ever hit Burma, that started the motion towards democracy. After that, a constitutional reform referendum was held and it really started rolling.


Photo credit:

A year ago now, the military junta was dissolved and since then, Burma has initiated quite a few changes, including the creation of a human rights commission and the disclosure of websites like Youtube. In January, the EU suspended its sanctions on Burma while the USA had already eased theirs up. This might give the country the necessary chance to rebuild their broken economy. Despite this, Burma is facing a lot of problems right now. Just the plain fact that even the name (Burma or Myanmar?) is still in dispute indicates the long way the country still has to go. Amnesty International still considers independent human rights monitoring necessary and while some imprisoned activists have been released, many are still being held captive. Burma’s changing politics are promising but it is going to take some time to really change the country. Sources:




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government crackdown included beatings with metal pipes and batons, and threats of rape and electrocution, according to Mahmoud Cherif Bassiouni, the commission chairman. The commission’s report recommended reforms to the country's law and better training of its security forces, as well as other measures. Bahrain plays a key strategic role for the U.S. in the Middle East and is home to the U.S. Navy's Fifth Fleet headquarters.

Adrian Jennings (South Africa ’14)

Two years ago, protests against Bahrain’s government flared up in February 2011 as part of the Arab Spring after similar protests in Tunisia and Egypt. However, this uprising failed to gain the momentum of other such protests, with a state crackdown on the anti-government activity. This crackdown was backed by troops from the nearby United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia. During the protests, many medics were arrested on misdemeanour charges for their role in the uprising. An appeals court in Bahrain last Thursday overturned the charges against 21 of the medics, though two who did not show up to court lost their right to appeal. Human rights groups have claimed since the protests that the medics were only treating injured demonstrators; the acquittal of these 21 individuals came as recognition of this. That November, Bahrain's Independent Commission of Inquiry issued a report critical of authorities' reactions to the protests. The commission, appointed by Bahrain’s King Hamad bin Isa bin Salman Al Khalifa, concluded that police forces had used excessive violence and torture in their responses to the protests. Physical abuse of detainees in the READ IT.

Photo Credit: 2011/WORLD/meast/09/08/ bahrain.violence/t1larg.bahrain.medics.jpg Life6.jpeg



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Gender is a difficult concept to define. The limits of the concept of gender vary from time to time, and from place to place. Living in a diverse community makes it harder in a broader sense. The dictionary of the Oxford University defines gender as: “the state of being male or female”. Most people do not differentiate the terms of gender and sex. They are, in theory and practice, related to each other, but they do not influence each other`s existence. In the definition above, there are many flaws and unclear points. First of all, gender is a social construct related to social and cultural differences, rather than biological ones. Second, the definition also forgets the other genders that exist among human beings. Gender is not a thing where there is only a black and white dichotomy, there are greys and no color lines among the two. Exploring the different aspects of gender and its complexity is a very important experience in UWC, at least for me. Some of us, maybe, before coming here, have never had a gay friend or a pansexual classmate. When coming here, you do not only notice the diversity in places and backgrounds, but also the diversity of sexual orientations and genders. Two weeks ago, we had a tuff stuff about “Sexuality and Sexual Orientation”. It was a comfortable and safe space to share our ideas on what we agree about, and on what we partially or completely disagree. READ IT.

Gender is a thing that we think to live every day, but sometimes its “naturalness” is established, and we forget to talk about it. This activity was the optimum environment to present our personal experiences and feelings, but also try to define the gender system as an important part of being. Many issues were brought up as the conversation and the level of understanding increased. We found out that there are so many classifications out there that we sometimes ignore or misinterpret; because probably where we come from, there is not really an open-minded community led by religion or social barriers, or because we do not personally find ourselves in one of them necessarily. Even if some students were clear about where they are situated in this continuum of gender concepts, and others questioned the relevance and functionality of labels related to genders, the empathy was felt in the air. There can be a lot of concepts, descriptions, labels…but, at the end of the day, we are just a connected community of human beings where definitions such as masculinity, femininity, homosexuality, etc. become mere words. It is more about respect and tolerance of other people’s beliefs, principles and orientations than about agreement.

THE MAYBE Carlin Ring (USA-IO ’14)

Recently, though the show has been put on a few times since its 1995 origination, actress Tilda Swinton, Burn After Reading, The Beach, Moonrise Kingdom, reprised her art piece 8


entitled, “The Maybe”. You might be wondering just how someone could reprise a piece of art that isn’t theater, but as it turns out, there is a little something known as performance art. It can be seen regularly on busy New York street corners, posh art galleries, and outside Traveler’s Café on Wednesdays, Fridays, and whenever else Cory can get a ride there. “The Maybe” is one such piece. The show involves Tilda Swinton sleeping in a horizontal glass box for approximately eight hours. That’s it. That’s the art. Now, when I first heard about it my immediate thought was that it must be some sort of publicity stunt. Ms. Swinton must be fishing for a bit of news coverage, and she got it, but in all actuality, the show wasn’t advertised. No one really knew it was happening until they showed up to the New York Museum of Modern Art. However, once people knew that Tilda Swinton was sleeping in a box, thousands of people came to watch her sleep in that box. And then they called it art. That isn’t to say that there’s anything wrong with calling “The Maybe” a piece of art. If you want to get right down the nitty-gritty of it, art is whatever people are willing to call art. It just makes me wonder if I could do the same thing. It would be rude to copy Ms. Swinton completely of course, but I’m not opposed to sitting in a box for eight hours or so. I don’t need to be asleep. The question is, if it was me, a student who certainly doesn’t have a fan base, rather than a world famous actress in that box, would anybody want to come and see? The answer would mostly likely be no. Unfortunately, due to the second-year’s art show and the lack of Plexiglas at my disposal, I won’t be testing this theory, but I think it holds true.


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“The Maybe” is art because people call it art, and people call it art because we have a fascination with fame. If a thousand people want to watch a woman’s toes twitch while she sleeps, and she wants to let them, then all the more power to them. There’s just one thing I can’t seem to get off my mind. If someone were to screw the box to the floor and keep her there, they could. The art would last far longer than eight hours that way, but I do think that if that were the case it wouldn’t matter much if it were Tilda Swinton’s body or mine decaying in public view. The great thing about art is that in a few hundred years’ time, no one will know for sure anyway.

Photo credit:

RIP GOOGLE READER Abraham Amador (Mexico ’13)

Well most of the heavy users for blogging know what a RSS feed is, if you do so you can feel more than happy to throw this paper away. If now please keep reading.



Let's say you like a given number of blogs, but you don't want to open every single one of them and waste your time reading them (well waste it more). A RSS is the blog completely simplified with only the information you care about. The RSS feed is a service that helps you put all your blogs into one single customized page. So everything you want to read is simplified. The problem is about quality now, some of them are payed services and some of them are free. The one known to be the best RSS feed was Google Reader, but is going to close soon due to lack of audience.

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Internet and its services are always changing, probably google glass will actually have a future, and maybe the people who uses them will have children to tell them how awkward they thought they were going to look by wearing a pair of those.

Photo Credits:

One of the main consigns of Google is to give services for free and products at very cheap prices. Google was born to be a search engine for free, and that's what has been keeping it in its place. The problem is that the lack of users in a certain service leaves two ways for google, one of them is closing it or making people pay for it. Google prefers to close a service rather than asking for money. Google reader was just a part of the many services that were not used, google wave, google buzz, and soon enough google glass. Google has a long story of services that had been forgotten due to the evolution of the internet, now people instead of using a RSS feed “like� things on facebook and read them through their timelines. In a near future facebook will have to close too, but don't worry there will be something better and probably you won't miss it. Something else that we should know is that most of facebook users are around 40 years old. The average facebook user is an adult person playing games and meeting with their high school classmates, in the case of teenagers the most used social network is tumblr.




MARCH 2013


No Free-Day this week? Well, then no Flipside either‌ Yeah, take that Tom! !

For campus news, please see the message from the editors.




The Literati Issue 19  

UWC-USA's school weekly newspaper, The Literati, Issue 19!