Thursday, July 31, 2014


     Time is often a cliche topic discussed by authors. Descriptions of hours dragging on for eternity can fill whole pages of novels; or to progress to the next exciting plot twist, time is described briefly: "three months later" or "the time flew by...". But a lot can change in those three months, or even in that hour that drags, and, as an English teacher of mine drilled into our semi-conscious minds one early Tuesday morning, horologic and chronometric time are very, very different.
     This past semester could be a prime case study of this idea. Each day still had 24 hours, and there was no discrepancy in the number of days per month, but as often happens at UWC these hours were filled to bursting. Being a UWC Second Year in the final semester has a funny way of changing how you think. All of a sudden you're hyper-conscious of the fact that there are only 63.4 days left of your time in this bubble... 63.2 days... 57 days... 35 days... 2 weeks... 48 hours.... And it becomes your responsibility to fill each of those days, hours, minutes with something that you'll remember, something you'll look back on and think "yeah, that was worth it. I'm so glad I did that".
     It sometimes gets comically blown way out of proportion. Way back in our first year, one of my best friends convinced me to run back to her room with her (all the way up a flight of stairs and down two hallways... ugh.) because "one day we'll look back and remember the time we went back upstairs together".
     No joke, we still reference that moment.
     It becomes a constant debate whether you should read the homework assignment now, or hang out with friends and save the assignment for 1am before you finally collapse into bed. Or should you go to the hotsprings, go for a hike, or attend a discussion? Is that concert worth going to or should I watch the suggested film for class?
     I realize this seems silly now. To have even had those options at my international boarding school in a castle nestled into the mountains of New Mexico is to have lived a dream. Each moment I spent at UWC shaped me in some way, whether it was laying around being lazy on a Saturday morning, discussing global affairs at dinner, waking up early to go running and catch the sun hit the tops of the pines, or studying for IB exams. And it was all worth it. There was never a wrong decision because for all of those moments, I came out of this experience as a stronger, more self-aware, more educated (hopefully...) individual. The whole point of UWC is to have had those late dayroom conversations that challenged me to think beyond my experience, or to have listened to my peers share their cultures in Social Anthropology, or to feel personally connected to both sides of the horror raging in Israel and Palestine because I had dorm-mates from each nation and I know they're experiencing it firsthand. For every time we chose to skip the homework (temporarily of course...), we inadvertently learned twice as much from each other.
     Time slipped by this semester. The hours dragged before college decisions were released, and in the final days they sprinted by faster than a cheetah on redbull. And now its done. We walked the stage, received our blue-covered diplomas, waved for our parents's cameras, zipped the suitcases. We held each other close because we didn't know when we'd next see each other. We laughed. We cried. (And had a really, really, really good time (lyric credits to Macklemore and shoutout to A and Z)).
     UWC was what it was. And it was wonderful. It's said that you never leave UWC, and- at the risk of sounding like a cult- I think that's true. It was unbelievably painful to physically leave a place that was so charged with emotion and memory, so ingrained into who I felt I had become as a person, a place I called "home". But it was also inevitable, and in its own way beautiful. The purpose for meshing so many countries and cultures together is for us to learn from each other and then take pieces of each other with us. For however idealistic and sheltered our bubble seemed, we now share it with everyone we encounter in the real world.
     And somehow we even managed to achieve our IB diplomas- hoorah!
     We have the memories and the knowledge, and we still have each other. There are frequent skype calls, text messages, snapchat photos. And there are many more good times to come. We'll have reunions, and group trips, and we'll always be able to look back on our time together as one of the best times in our lives.
     Oof, I think I've packed enough cheesiness into this post now. In short, I loved it. I look forward to continuing to be a representative of UWC as an alum- agh!- and to doing my experience justice. Especially that one time when we walked back upstairs together.