Diary

Mock Exams

So it’s that time of year, when mock exams are eating up my days like nothing ever before. Finished two exams and have another 4 subjects to go before Wednesday. Two exams today, my only day with 2 subjects on the same day. The much-shrunk timetable is really killing me, but then again, at least I’ll be well used to the stress and work come real exams.

My day has essentially be reduced to breakfast, study, lunch, study, dinner, study, back to student house, study, sleep and repeat the next day. It’s a good thing I like my carrel unit =]

As a result, I have had little if any time to do much blogging and for that I apologies. You will notice that after a short madness with WSDC 2012, I’m back to posting every other day. With my final IB exams coming up and lots of other work creeping up on me, I think it’ll be a little ambitious to try for a post a day for 2012.

Time to get back to studying.

AC MUN 2012 – Part 4

The 2012 edition of the annual Atlantic College Model United Nations conference was hosted last weekend. I was part of a gang of 5 that took up the task of organizing the conference, which had some 350 attendees. I had a sorta dual focus during organization of AC MUN 2012. On the one hand I handled most of the administrative tasks; the massive task of allocating all attendees to the right country and committee etc, talking to teachers to get rooms for committees, the website as well as a few other bits and pieces here and there. On the other hand, I also kept an overview of the conference, make sure that things were being finished.

Organizing the conference began well back in March when we learnt we had been given the mammoth task. Nonetheless, the pressure didn’t seriously turn on until we came back after Christmas. In hindsight, this probably wasn’t the best thing, but oh well. Although there were some frantic days and nights, we did manage to pull everything together and by-in-large I think the conference went better than it did last year. Of course, there are always areas we can improve on and getting prepared earlier is definitely one of them.

All in all though, AC MUN 2012 was fun and largely went quite well. Please, and now it’s time to catch-up on some sleep.

AC MUN 2012 – Part 3

One of the most interesting aspects of Model United Nations is the use of notes. At HKMUN where I started, we had internet access during the conference, which made communication quite easy. Nevertheless, we still had a significant amount of odd notes that got passed around, with the usual flirting as well as just odd notes. It was at HKMUN that I got into the practice of picking up all my notes just in case the Press Corp ever picked up anything. This time, at AC MUN 2012, I was not a delegate, so I made an effort of going round to pick up notes lying around. Some of the notes were published in MUNk, the Press Corp’s publication. There are of course numerous serious notes, but here’s a cool collection of those that haven’t been published which I found interesting nevertheless.
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AC MUN 2012 – Part 2

The 2012 edition of the annual Atlantic College Model United Nations conference was hosted last weekend. Since I was organizing the conference, I wasn’t able to spend as much time in committee as I wanted to. Though on Saturday I got a full dose as I ended up co-chairing the Crisis committee. We simulated Iran closing the Strait of Hormuz (thanks RCNMUN 2012) and I realized in the process of making the news articles the evening before that the situation wasn’t that stimulative as one might have thought. It mostly consisted of copying and pasting a news article and changing words like threaten to have. That was all it took. A few word changes and the world could be up in smokes. What if a real news aggregator mistyped or accidentally sent out the news that Iran had closed the Strait of Hormuz?

The crisis committee itself was fun. I ended up creating a few extra news reports than I had anticipated. I had some other stuff to sort out after lunch, but I did go back to the crisis committee about half an hour before it finished, and ended up being North Korea, introduced a few ‘interesting’ clauses and then headed off to the closing ceremony. It’s the first time I’ve ever had a crisis committee (the simulation sort, not the ‘we only knew about the topic today’ sort) so not a bad first introduction overall.

AC MUN 2012 – Part 1

The 2012 edition of the annual Atlantic College Model United Nations conference was hosted last weekend. Undoubtedly, one of the highlights for me was that we had a significant number of students from outside Atlantic College who attended the conference.

Improving on last year’s conference, the gang of 5 students who set out to organize the conference had decided that we really wanted the opportunity for other UWC students to experience MUN at AC at the same time as we hoped to attend MUN conference at other UWCs. So I was overjoyed when we learnt we would not only have 15 students from Llantwit Major and North Liverpool Academy, but that we’d also have 5 students each from UWC Maastricht and UWC Adriatic.

If nothing else, I think the possibility of experiencing a little bit of life at another UWC is a benefit in itself, let alone being able to partake in Model United Nations at the same time. I know for a fact that I enjoyed visiting UWC Adriatic as much as I enjoyed AdMUN (1,2,3,4,5) itself. The fact that I posted as much about being and going to UWC Adriatic as I did about AdMUN is testimony to that fact.

4th Term Madness

Life as normal, or as normal as it can get here at UWC Atlantic College, and with the IB. It was probably a good decision not to go to WSDC 2012, because life is getting as busy as it can get, without debating eating up time. Mock exams are starting the week after next and coursework final deadlines are starting to creep-up on me. I am spending more and more time holed up in my carrel unit studying away, and my vow not to bring work back to the house after check-in has been broken numerous times.

This weekend we had AC MUN 2012 which I was organizing and took up quite a bit of time. More on that later. Our 2nd Math IA is due today, World Lits next week and mock exams looming after that. Lots of revision to do and I’m starting to realize how messy my notes are. All the academic work aside, life at any UWC is busy as usual. Activities and various initiatives are taking their own time slots in my timetable, although I’ve come to realized that subtly and strategically dropped about a ton of stuff at the start of this term was a good decision.

Just a quick update. Time to get back to work!

HK to UK: The Transition

Change is never an easy thing. And I’m not referring to that in a political sense as is normal on this blog, but rather on a more personal level. Going from somewhere safe and sound to somewhere foreign and unknown is a difficult step to make, especially when you are doing it alone. I had anticipated this to some extent, but it never really hit me until my plane had actually left Hong Kong when I thought to myself ‘This is it. I’m actually leaving. I’m actually on my own. No mom to go to. No friends to rely on. Just me against the world.’

Of course, that moment didn’t come until well after midnight. Although we boarded the plane at the Hong Kong International Airport on time, we got delayed for over an hour due to ‘busy Chinese airspace’. We couldn’t do much about it. After all, we’d already gotten on the plane. It wasn’t until 1:32 when we finally took off from the North Runway and I realized as I looked over lantau and disneyland that I was leaving, gone, my life never to be the same again.

Many strange things happened along the way. As we were inching across the tarmac and overtaken by about 10 planes, I saw a row of private jets parked a little way off from the terminal. None seemed particularly special except all of them had their own staircase to the entrance. It wasn’t until I came to the last one that I saw something familiar. Red and blue stripes and a load of stars. Written on the side of that private jet was ‘United States of America’.
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25 Sing Tao Semi-Final 37 March 2010

Sing Tao Grand Finals 2010

25 Sing Tao Semi-Final 37 March 2010

Sing Tao Semi-Final (Same team as Grand Final)

As night began to fall on the 4th of May, the conclusion to yet another six month campaign for the Sing Tao Inter-School Debating Competition Championship, the biggest of its kind in Hong Kong, remained up in the air. The stage was set, the lights switched on and the seats filled at the Queen Elizabeth Stadium, as a young South Island School and a confident looking La Salle College strolled onto the stage with Diocesan Boys School as chairperson and timekeeper. In what would turn out to be the youngest and most contentious finals of recent times, history was to be made.

On the one hand, La Salle College aimed to become only the 5th school to win back-to-back championships and successfully defend the trophy they had won last year. Interestingly, there were three new faces on stage led by national team member Griffith Cheng as captain. The team remained unchanged from the semi-finals with Nicky Anto and Donald Lam as 1st and 2nd speaker respectively.
The proposition South Island School also featured national team member Tiffany Chung as 1st speaker. Ivan Siu returned as 2nd speaker in the team led by captain Paul Lau (that’s me!) who holds the record as the youngest Grand Final participant whether as floor-speaker (Year 7, Primary 6) or as a debater (Year 9, Form 2). Despite being the only member of the 2008 SIS team, the entire squad was looking to recapture the cup that had been lost last year to become only the 2nd school to grab three championships by winning every other year. Following Island School’s victory in the 2nd, 4th and 6th edition, a win for SIS would cement its position as amongst the best debating teams in Hong Kong after winning the 21st and 23rd edition.

The two teams clashed on the motion that “The FIFA World Cup matches should be broadcast live, on free to air television, free of charge”. The ensuing battle had SIS arguing for the status quo citing the low coverage of Pay TV and need to widen access to the FIFA World Cup on a local and global scale. The opposition, coached by national team coach Greg Forse, argued against a change in policy, nothing the ineffectiveness of a new policy. They also looked at the availability and culture of public viewing in Hong Kong alone as reasons why people didn’t need free to air World Cup broadcasts, especially when it would bankrupt FIFA. SIS countered in the free debate, arguing that FIFA hadn’t gone bankrupt despite having free-to-air as a majority of TV broadcasts in 2002, an event that LSC’s captain Griffith called an exception. In his conclusion, Griffith returned to his opening statement, appearing to challenge the definition arguing that the motion implied some form of change. In the debate’s last speech, Paul quoted FIFA”s contract with broadcasters saying that the proposition had correctly argued for the motion and the status quo.

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Hong Kong Schools Debating Council

Dear Debaters,

I must first apologies for this late announcement. Last night was hectic to say the least as we worked to get the website for The Hong Kong Schools Debating Council (HKSDC) up and run. I must thank my counterpart Heather Pickerell who was very helpful in its creation. You can now see the official Home of Hong Kong Debating at http://hksdc.wordpress.com/.

Registration

One of the goals of the Hong Kong School’s Debating Council is to increase communication amongst the student debating community, and we aim to do this by creating a network of interested debaters, teachers, coaches, adjudicators and associates.

It is our intention that this basic contact information will facilitate us in contacting you about upcoming events and debating news. HKSDC assures that all contact information will be kept confidential and used strictly for HKSDC communication purposes only within this organisation.

You can register under one of the following categories :

  • Schools
  • Individual Teachers in member schools who are involved in debating
  • Individual Students
  • Associate members – ex individual teachers and students plus those able to contribute expertise from universities (usually ex school debaters) or other fields

Please note, that Form 1-3 or Years 7-9 are Junior whilst Form 4-6 and Years 10-13 are Senior.

Click here to register

HKSDC

A few words about HKSDC (http://hksdc.wordpress.com/about/) :

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Sing Tao 2010 – Grand Final

2 teams remain standing after months of preparation, debates and speeches in the 25th Sing Tao Inter-School Debating Competition. After 3 rounds, the quarter finals and the semi final competitions, the teams that will progress into the Grand Final have been decided.

In the Semi Finals held today, La Salle College beat Marymount Secondary School on the motion ‘The government should relax the income limit for the Home Ownership Scheme’ 3-0 with Griffith Cheng snatching the Best Speaker award. South Island School beat Diocesan Boys School 2-1 on the motion that ‘The extension of repayment for the Non-means Tested Loan Scheme does more good than harm’. Paul Lau of SIS was the Best Speaker

This means the grand finals of the 25th Sing Tao Debating Competition will be between La Salle College and South Island School. La Salle will attempt to defend their title with the second consecutive championship, a feat completed only by 4 other schools. South Island School will attempt to become only the second team to win it 3 times in 5 years with exactly 1 year between each championship.

Affirmative : South Island School
Opposition : La Salle College

Grand Final

Grand Final Draw

Grand Final Tickets

This years Grand Final will again be held at Queen Elizabeth Stadium on the Tuesday 4th May, 2010. Interested parties can get tickets for the Grand Finals in the following methods.

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