Our Summer: Live with Love, Act with Passion
Our Summer: Live with Love, Act with Passion

Summer vacation has gone by in the blink of an eye, but the memories of the unforgettable experience will be cherished forever. UWCers are not only dreamers, but also doers. Live with love and act with passion.

 

Content

Floyd Philosophy Salon

Organized by the UWC Changshu students from class of 2019, the Floyd Philosophy Salon aims to bring philosophical enlightenment for young Chinese students across all backgrounds, and to teach critical thinking as a tool for future innovation. 

In 2019, the summer salon was successfully held in Hangzhou. Themes covered include: the glory and tears of Hengshui Secondary School, abortion rights, and the death of Jacob. The salon spans the three major philosophical fields. In August 2019, Floyd Philosophy Salon was selected for the UNDP Youth Startup Challenge and got selected to attend Asia Pacific Youth Forum. The two founders, Joyce and Steve, during the coming gap year, will organize more winter and summer salon in Beijing and Shanghai, as well as a non-profit online education project for students in rural areas. With support from Peking University's philosophy Professor Tianyue Wu, Floyd Philosophy Salon is committed to bringing quality philosophy education to students in China and inspiring them to make positive social impact. 

- Steve Wang, Class of 2019

Sapphire Project — Book Donation

This summer, the Sapphire Project that I initiated with a friend of mine was officially launched. It is designed to share knowledge with and to open the window to the world to the children in the mountainous Baoshi county, Dazhou, Sichuan Province. We also launched our own official wechat account and the online book-donation system. Since the release of the first article on our official account in July, we have received more than 1,000 books from hundreds of donors. We also joined hands with Suzhou TV Station and participated in their charity reading activities and were interviewed by Suzhou Radio Station. At the end of the summer vacation, we organised a book donation in Xinghui Shopping Center in Suzhou, and collected books from community residents... All of those initiatives can be traced back to the time when my family began to provide financial support to a family in Baoshi county six years ago, and the idea of book donation came to my mind when I visited Baoshi county myself during the Labor Day holiday. Now we have already established three libraries in the Primary School of Hongyanba Village, the Primary School in Mayigou Village, and the Boashi County Junior High School.

 

- Haoran Yuan, DP1

Teaching Children in Tibet

During summer, I worked with Metok, a Tibetan grassroots organization that teaches children English and organizes a summer camp for Tibetan local children every year. We spent three weeks in three different places, a traditional Tibetan village, a Buddhist monastery, and a nomadic area. I could not have learnt Tibetan culture in a better way. As a city-girl myself, it was a unique experience. The barriers of communication in Chinese, Tibetan and English completely melted away as were enveloped with genuine warmth, laughter and hospitality of the villagers. 

The fact that we really wanted to understand each other, caused us to go out of our boundaries and sometimes resulted in the strangest and funniest of sentences. It would be an understatement to say that I was experiencing the purest form of human communication. In the last week, we camped by the river surrounded by the distant snowcapped mountains. We set up tents and slept next to the yaks, who would wake us up in the morning, sniffing around our tents. This is the equally sacred heart of Tibet: the nomadic pastoral wilderness of cold nights and hot days. The landscape of vast open space and changing hues is stunning by day as well as at night. The children were in their element here, running up breathlessly to the summits of the steep hills,plunging into the icy glacier-melt river, playing hide and seek along the bogs and marshes. I wondered what our mothers would say of these dangerous antics,but the promise of fun and frolic endeared us as we followed them with carefree abandon. In three weeks, we started as strangers and became a family. It was heartbreaking to bid farewell to these children, who taught us so much about laughter and happiness. Our happiest memories are those spent exploring new places with our family or people closest to us – and so I will carry these fond memories forever. 

- Anika Karmarker, Belgium/Netherland, DP2

Icelandic Hiking

 

How does it feel like hiking among unknown mountains and plateaus? How does it feel like carrying a 10kg hiking bag, walking beside a volcano in heavy snow? With a tiny spark of curiosity being lit in my heart, this summer, I started my hiking adventure in the wilderness of Iceland with a group of peers.

 

We walked through snow mountains and icy-cold rivers; we walked in snow and hail; we walked along the edge of a cliff… It was really tough, but what made it full of happy memories is the help and warm encouragement I got from others. Hiking, or travelling, is a lonesome trip. However, I learned this summer that I am never alone because of the care and love given to me by all those in the group. Their kindness and my own will power are the reasons why I had the courage to take “the road less travelled” and face the challenge ahead, and finally, finish the 7-day, 100km hiking.

 

One of our guides who is also the leader of the hiking group, Mike, named the hiking "The Heroes' Journey". After this hiking, I started to think that heroes can be anyone, those great figures in history or the geniuses with special talents, but heroes can also be a group of teenagers with an average age of 14, stumbling along the way, conquering the wildness and finally making their way to the finishing line, shouting and cheering with excitement and pride.

 

- Mingshu Xie, FP

Atlantic Music Festival

Over the summer I attended Atlantic Music Festival as a composer student. Atlantic Music Festival is held at Colby College in Maine, US, and gather around three hundred musicians each summer to compose, perform, and conduct music of all times. In the festival, not only did I get my compositions played and professionally recorded, I was able to meet and learn from over forty other composers, as well as dozens of instrumentalists, conductors, and singers. Immersed in such a mesmerizing musical environment, I was deeply inspired to compose and play music, and through the experience I became much more determined upon my own musical pursuit. 

- Sofia Ouyang, DP2

National Unicycling Championship

The 16th National Unicycling Championship, organized by Cycling and Fencing Administrative Centre of General Administration of Sport of China, was held in Hefei, Anhui Province from Aug. 9 to Aug. 11, 2019.

I started to learn unicycling when I was in the Primary School and have been practising for 10 years. As a student representing UWC Changshu China, I participated in the events of Slalom Obstacles, Slow Riding, 10km Marathon, 200m and 800m Race on track field and won a Gold, a Silver and 3 Bronze medals. 

 

Traditionally, unicycling has been seen as a circus skill performed at events to entertain the public. Recent developments in the strength and durability of the unicycle parts have given rise to many new activities which are both recreational and competitive. Such unicycling as Freestyle, Trial, Distance, Race, Basketball, Hockey and others have been widely developed. More and more people, men and women, old and young have been vigorously taking part in various forms of unicycling.

 

 

- Alex He, DP1

 

 

 

I regard it as the foremost task of education to insure the survival of these qualities: an enterprising curiosity, an undefeatable spirit, tenacity in pursuit, readiness for sensible self-denial, and above all, compassion.

   - Kurt Hahn

   German educator, Founder of UWC