All IB-Students know it: their life in the International Baccalaureate hasn’t yet fully started if they still spend their week without being involved in the CAS Program. In LPC our Quan Cais will start next week: Action, Creativity, Campus and Community Service are waiting for us. Once again we will spend hours and hours hard working towards the Quan Cai learning outcomes: Increased awareness of our strengths, involvement in new challenges, planning or initiation of new activities, collaboration with others, perseverance and commitment, engagement with issues of global importance, consideration of ethical implications and the development of new skills. Steve, our Director of Education Outside of the Classroom, has sent out the Quan Cai allocations for us Secondyears yesterday and I am really happy that I got into all my first choices. I can’t wait to start CAS next week!
My official Secondyear Quan Cais are Firstaid, MUN, Workout and UWS. I will also join Ensemble unofficially this year; as well as I aim at working in Mai Po, a WWF nature reserve in New Territories in Hong Kong, for a couple of times this year. But back to the official QCs: As I took the Firstaid-course in LPC last year, and had already done a course back in Germany in 10th grade, I am now an official school-firstaider. I have a colorful sign on my door, indicating me as somebody who can offer help when needed, and I will be around campus on Open Days etc. It’s an irregular Quan Cai, which means that I don’t have weekly meetings but will come together with the other Firstaiders a couple of times in a term to sort out shifts etc.
MUN is the shortcut for Model United Nations, which is a simulation of the work of the real United Nations, aiming at educating young people in international relations, global affairs, diplomacy and the general UN agenda. I decided to apply for this Quan Cai already last year, after I had participated in the MUN COP Day in LPC and had been announced ‘Most Outstanding Delegate” of my committee and after I had later replaced a missing delegate at the LPC MUN, when students from all over Hong Kong came to Li Po Chun United World College for a whole weekend of Model United Nations. I had enjoyed the discussions a lot and the preparation was very useful in terms of gaining knowledge on global issues and debating structures, so I looked forward to be doing this more often in year two.
Workout is, like Firstaid, and irregular Quan Cai and is very useful for me in terms of time saving, because I already go to the gym or for a run on daily basis and can now do so as an official school activity. Also, the fact that this is now ‘official’ will hopefully make me keep up my routines and will push me towards more reflection and consciousness about my training patterns and effectiveness!
Eventually I am especially enthusiastic about UWS, which stands for United World Schools and is an NGO working to build and develop schools in rural Asia with the help of students from United World Colleges. UWS aims at giving women and children the opportunity to receive education where they normally don’t have access to it (currently in Cambodia) and runs several fundraising projects. At the end of the year we students will have the opportunity to actually travel to Cambodia for a couple of weeks to teach at our initiated schools and to meet the children we supported. My Dutch friend Lizette (the blonde girl in the picture above – photo credits to Oda from Norway) did this last summer and was absolutely thrilled by the experience! I think this will be a great chance for me to gain more insight into the origin, development and ‘making’ of education, and I am sure UWS is not only a life- and perception-changing organisation for the people who it helps, but also for the students involved in it. I will definitely keep you updated on how it’s going!
It seems like this year will be very busy not only with university applications, final essays and IB exams in May, but also with some more awesome life experience. I look forward to it!