World scholar's cup - Global round 2018 was a once in a lifetime experience for all of us, and was especially different this year as it had been the largest global round ever held, accumulating over 4,000 scholars from 38 countries across the world. It encouraged us to be global citizens and taught us the values of friendship and teamwork. We made new, and unlikely friends from various different countries that we never thought we would ever make, and found confidence we never knew we had.
The first few days included us cramming in as much information as we could in preparation for the academic portions of the competition, with each of us chipping in bits and pieces from our designed subjects. The first morning held a scavenger hunt, in which we were arranged in randomly assorted teams. There, we made new friends and got to exchange social medias with some of them and went on to complete various quirky challenges.
Wednesday was the most stressful day for us. All six of us began our day with the much dreaded scholar’s challenge where our knowledge on the WSC’s theme of “An Entangled World” was tested, as well as a tense session of collaborative writing, where our essay skills as well as teamwork were also put on careful evaluation. Needless to say, we were all stressed and tired, but somewhat relieved as we had completed what was the most difficult aspect of the competition. Finally, we got onto buses that took us to our debate locations, in which we had gone against opponents from different schools and nationalities in a battle to hopefully win a spot on the debate showcase. Unfortunately, it didn’t go so well for us as expected, but we did go against strong competitors and we will take it as a learning experience to further improve our debating skills!
Following the intense day before, Thursday was much more relaxed, but still involved the Scholar’s Bowl, in which our teams had to share a single clicker among all three members and had to choose an answer on the screen in front of us in the Plenary Hall. We were all excited and pumped in anticipation for our areas of expertise to appear, and could not contain our happiness after each question we got correct, celebrating in the form of high-fives and laughter. We had our fair share of internal arguments within the 15 seconds we had to deliberate and incorrect answers that some of us were so confident about, but to conclude, we had an absolute blast. At 20:30, we had the opportunity to get involved in the Cultural Fair that was a WSC tradition in which members of both junior and senior teams gathered in union to celebrate the diverse cultures and backgrounds of all the scholars. This included stalls for several different countries that contained famous cuisine and souvenirs.
We had the following Friday to ourselves, except for the night, where we just had to give the Scholar’s Ball experience a try. Most of our team truly embraced the party atmosphere as they bumped along to the dynamic DJ music. With alpacas being among the many things tossed along the frenzied crowd, as well as the unexpected appearance of a t-rex, this was a wild night, for sure, and an end to a straining week.
On Saturday, all of six of us had felt as if the week had just passed us by a flash, and no one could accept that this was almost the end to our journey in Kuala Lumpur. This sadness was short-lived though, as it was soon replaced in anticipation and nervousness in the presence of the awarding ceremony. As slides containing familiar and unfamiliar names were read and passed by with no sign of any of our teammates, we almost began to lose hope, until finally, miraculously, one of our members, Kiet (10V), appeared among the list of many others that excelled in debate, and all of us had let out what was not the prettiest cry of happiness. Despite not getting any medals or awards ourselves yet, we were all excited and in awe that one of us was finally getting the recognition they deserved. Then, like a chain of dominoes, our names continued to appear on the board, whether it was for collaborative writing, or a challenge subject, we all congratulated each other and felt the anxiety of before washing away. In the end, the late nights of studying did pay off, and all of us had received awards for our hard work.
What is even greater to hear is that one of the students joining us next year also competed in the WSC Global Round with our colleagues and has won the ticket to The Tournament of Champions at Yale University in this autumn. Our school is not only great from the inside but also the outside, and we cannot wait to welcome her to our school soon.
Our teams ended up winning eight gold medals and five honour medals, which took us by complete surprise since we were up against thousands of other incredibly talented and witty scholars. In the end though, the journey we took as a group, which included some bumps and hiccups on the way, we will now treasure and take on with us for life.
Jennifer (10I) and Thuy Quynh