At the beginning of eleventh grade, I thought it’d be fun to join Models United Nations (MUN). MUN is a club at my school, and many other schools, where we do a practice version of the United Nations. In the club, we explore and discuss current events around the world, make position papers where we stand, present and come together to write a for/against to speeches. Personally, I find it important to know different events happening around the world so we become globally minded. The first official event I attended was KMUN, just a MUN event at K International School Tokyo. I represented Canada because then I just chose it because I love Canada. Little did I know, apparently when choosing well-known countries, the chairs can grill you when you present with facts you probably did not know unless you had done your research properly. Luckily, I debated my way out of certain situations. Below, I have attached the first assembly room I was present at, a position paper and one of the following speeches.
Growing up I have lived in loads of places such as Belgium, The United States, Thailand, Singapore, Germany and now Japan. Along the way, I have picked up English and German, because the first language that I remember was Flemish. This was because when I was smaller I went to a Belgian public school for five years. Then I moved to Germany and stayed in Frankfurt for six years. The entire time I was there I went to two international schools, the first one being Strothoff International School and Frankfurt International School. Through these schools, I picked up English quite easily. Along with learning English, I had extra classes for German, this way I learned German as well. Since then I have not given up on learning German, and now I am starting my 7th year of learning German. Hence, I would say I am completely fluent in English, but not so much in German, however, still enough to get around on a daily basis in Germany. In addition, I learned French for three years, but I had to stop due to the workload of the IB. However, I plan on continuing it in college and learning Spanish on top of it as well. As you might suspect, I love learning many new languages and experience loads of new cultures. This way I can travel wherever and always feel at home since I can communicate with whoever and not feel excluded from the culture.
To understand more about the events happening all around the world, I joined the Hope Service Group. This group, however, mainly focuses on the rural areas of Cambodia, and what is happening. We meet every day 10 on the ten-day cycle to discuss different ways to raise money to build schools and wells and other things that are useful for the citizens living in the rural areas. When I first joined the group they told us our goal was to raise ¥2,750,000. To do this successfully, we were divided into groups of 3-5 people each, and each group came up with different ways of fundraising. For my group, we sold snacks at several school events, we held some bake sales, started a go-fund-me page and many other things. They also organise a trip every year for 20 people to visit the previous projects and help build the project at the moment. Unfortunately, due to some family business, I wasn’t able to join the trip. Even today, though, we are still raising money.
Overall, joining the Hope Service group was an excellent choice, because not only do I get to learn more about their culture and how poor some areas are but through raising money, I can make a difference for some people.
Sports are very important in the every day-to-day life, it makes us healthy, strong and live long! The sport I love the most is Soccer. From when I was little, I have always loved kicking around a ball, but I was always so afraid to join the soccer team– because I am by all means not a professional. But then I thought, that is was soccer practice is for, to improve yourself. So two years ago, I tried out for a team and made it on Junior Varsity! I was so happy. Ever since I have continued to try out for the soccer team. At the moment, I am on the Varsity team and I love it.
Besides the health benefits, Soccer helped me improve some skills– such as working with others. This skill is very important because in the future if I ever want to start a company, I have to know how to work with others. Therefore I love playing soccer and being part of a team (I am number 12).
From March 12th to March 16th, some 50 students or so and I went hiking along the Nakasendo trail. The Nakasendo trail starts in Kyoto and ends in Tokyo, and has 69 post towns in between. Of course, we did not do the entire trail, that would be absurd for some 16/17-year-olds. The trail was first used in the Edo period when it was used for messengers. Our hiking group only stayed in the Nagano Prefecture. Over the week there were lots of new experiences. Firstly, learning how to pack is essential! I overpacked my bag so my back hurt for the first day– but then my back got used to it. To be fair, they told us it was going to be super cold– so I packed layers of course, but it turned out contrary, it was really warm. Secondly, I made many new friends and became closer to the friends I already had. It was so much fun to hike with friends because then you get to suffer together! Just kidding, I loved the hiking trail even though some parts were extremely difficult. Lastly, I had my first experience in the traditional Japanese Onsen. When I first came to Japan there were so many things people talked about of the traditions in Japan, and half the words I could not understand. One of these words were onsen. People told me many different things, but now, I experienced it myself and know what it is. At first, I was a bit uncomfortable bathing naked in front of other people because we do not do it in my culture and being one of the only Caucasian there. However, I have to welcome the culture of the country I am living in, so I decided to go for it. To be honest, I am glad I decided to go because it was such a nice experience.
In the end, the Nakasendo trip was so amazing– even though I had my doubts. Definitely would recommend the next 11th Graders to chose this trip.
In this world, the biggest problem is Global Climate change. The reason why I do not say Global Warming is because not every country is heating up, it fluctuates being getting colder and getting warmer. To stop this issues there are many solutions one of them being recycling. Therefore my friend started this club at my school the “Sustainability Project”. It aims for people to reuse their clothing and upcycle so you want to wear recycled clothing.
To promote this we have already had a few workshops, where we teach small children why it is important to do this, etc. In addition to this, we set up a little work station where we people can buy patches of clothing and design something on them so they can wear it as a bandana, or anyhow they prefer. Our next goal is to upcycle so many clothes so we can have a fashion show and make upcycling a trend.
In PSHE, even though I was not here for that unit, we learned about Wellness. Wellness is a huge topic and to just talk about wellness is impossible because it has so many sub-topics. Emotional, physical, social, mental, spiritual/ethical, financial and vocational are all factors that contribute to wellness. For the part of grade 10 I was here for, I experienced many things that contributed to my wellness. The question here to ask is what factors are needed to keep a person physically, mentally/emotionally, socially and spiritually well? To be physically well, an average person should try to do 3 hours of sports a week at least. To be emotionally/mentally well, you should think about how you feel and maybe it would help to talk to someone if you are feeling down. For being socially well, try to hang around people who make you happy, and people who make school fun. Last but not least, to be spiritually well, try sleeping a lot, having me-time. For example, going out is fun, but it is also important to have some quiet time, watch a movie or read a book all by yourself.
For me, I think I was rather physically, socially and emotionall/metally well. With this I mean, I took part of soccer, and after the season ended, I occasionally go running and do some at home workouts. For socially, I hang out with my friends time-to-time, I go shopping, have a sleepover, or even go to dinner with them. Also, I joined the Sustainability Project, founded by Maho, which I think is loads of fun because you get to sit down with your friends and talk about what matters in the world and what is important. Lastly, for my emotional/mental well being, I sometimes just think about how I feel a certain day, and sometimes see how I could improve, etc. On the other hand, I could improve on my spiritual well-being. By this I mean, I need to go to bed earlier because I am constantly tired, and that is not good for my wellness.