Friday, June 8, 2012
As I reach my final days of being a student at OES, I find myself reflecting on my most memorable experiences at this great institution. Over the course of four years I’ve survived the rigors of Humanities, won an award for my writing from ECHOES, played some of my best tennis with the Men’s Tennis Team, and even picked up an award or two for my work on my Junior year science fair project. While all of these accomplishments may seem impressive, there is none that I hold higher than being granted the position of the head editor of the finest newspaper in the known universe: the Blophish. Now, some may scoff at such a statement, but I must say that I’m dead serious; I can’t imagine a more welcome environment or a greater group of people to work with. While it may sound like I’m advertising (and I’m totally not), I’d encourage anyone who has an interest in writing to check out who we are and what we do, and everyone else to read our work when it comes out. I will miss the Blophish dearly when I head off to college, but I know that it will be in good hands. However, my departure from the Blophish doesn’t necessarily mean my departure from writing newspaper articles. Who knows, perhaps you’ll see something written by me in your local paper soon!
at 8:37 AM
In the past year, the Blöphish Newspaper has blown away all of my expectations. Since I’ve come in a fresh-faced rookie, our humble periodical has gone from an unintentionally underground rag to one of the most read student-contributed semi-weekly newspapers to come out of OES. But it takes more than just a Twitter account and a dream to a reputable newspaper make. It takes a Twitter account, a dream, and a really catchy name!
I could humbly claim that I’ve had no part in this great journalistic endeavor, but that’d only be lying to you our readers. No, in fact, I’ve actually had no knowledge whatsoever of our great strides. You see, to me, the Blöphish is more than just a newspaper. It’s both an activity I can do to avoid sitting bored in the Great Hall during Activity and one more great reason to avoid most members of our incredibly talented English Department. To list out our entire staff of hardworking individuals would take far more words than I have to work with for this article. Or I’m too lazy and lethargic to do that, I forget which one. Basically, everyone in Blöphish is a completely creative cog in our calculated conglomeration of coolness. In all seriousness though, these individuals are the most talented writers, artists and innovators I’ve had the pleasure of watching work. Nothing that has happened this year, from the comprehensive coverage of the Leadership Summit to the raddest Blöstock I’ve skipped to date, would’ve happened without their hard work and dedication. I’d encourage anyone reading this to join up next year, for we be newsworthy!
at 8:36 AM
OES is a land of opportunities. Being a student here has really allowed me to try many new things that I was not able to do in my motherland. The greatest thing I have ever experienced here that I have not experienced before is that OES is also a land of kids!!!
As the youngest kid in my family, I have been taken care of by older cousins. I was not able to get a younger cousin until I was ten. Before that time, at every family reunion, I would be passed around on people’s laps and could not resist at all. As a result, I have become someone who always loves to bribe kids with snacks, play with kids and give kids hugs. And OES has been a great place for developing a good relationship with kids!
We have kids from kindergarten to 5th grade (kids above 5th grade are too big for me...), and they are all perfectly cute! By doing LS Interns the past two years, I got to spend two hours each week with Ms. Thompson’s kindergarten and 1st grade class. Although the little children always threw me weird questions which really puzzled me, the feeling that they always trusted my answer gave me a big sense of responsibility––and just by answering them I have broadened my mind! People say that kids are annoying. Yes they can be SUPER annoying when they do not listen to you. However, OES lower school has this great song that kids know to be quiet when they hear their teacher singing.
I never felt that I had too few chances to interact with the kids in LS. By volunteering to teach 1st graders to fold cranes, I received admiration from them, which has raised my self-esteem so much. When I hear “Help me!” “I don’t know how to fold this part!” the cute voices recall my deep love of kids and I dash to them to show my passion and support. The 1st graders, who are mostly six or seven years old, have such good manners. They not only said “Thank you!” to me after I finished teaching them how to fold a crane, but also began to say “Arigatou!” which is “thank you” in Japanese, when they were told I am trilingual. Their soft voices are the most adorable thing ever!
In two weeks, I will again be in the situation that I am the youngest person except my little cousin. Although she is cute and has a soft voice, the kids at OES are the first ones who have made me feel I am a reliable adult. I really appreciate OES LS give me this experience, and I will miss the kids so much during summer vacation!
at 8:35 AM
“Mzungu! How ahh-yu?”
As we stepped out of the van for the first time, completely unaware of what the next two weeks had in store for us, we were immediately greeted by the sounds of the young school children screaming the only English words they knew. Their ever-present smiles and welcoming words became the perfect constant of our trip: the happiness that radiated from each and every person, no matter how poor, was life-changing.
We began in Oyugis, Kenya, in a little modest hotel, three miles from our clinic site. Every morning our team of 16 hiked through the countryside to meet the local people patiently waiting for our help. Over our eight days of clinic, we saw many new interesting things, helped many people in small ways, and were able to change a few individuals’ lives completely. Throughout the clinic days, we saw babies extremely sick with malaria, and people young and old with exposed brains as well as heart defects, bad infections and wounds, and minor headaches and stomach aches. No matter what the case, we did our best to help every person in some way. Although we didn’t have the right materials to treat many of the cases, we did our best to lend the resources we did have to the people who needed it. For example, a three year old boy who was hit by a motorcycle came to us with a badly broken jaw and horrible head wound. Given almost all the people in these African towns live in extreme poverty, many of the families can’t afford decent medical care. When the boy came to us, he was septic, and his condition was declining rapidly. With the money we collected, we were able to pay for the boy’s jaw to be completely reconstructed. It took one-hundred dollars and a few days to change his life completely.
The little boy is only one example of the lives we changed. As much as I want to believe that we changed these people’s lives, I know they changed ours just as much. The people we met had extraordinary stories to tell about the hardships they faced throughout their lives. Many of the things we heard were beyond what I could ever imagine. We met orphans, who at eleven, became the primary care taker for their siblings, mothers who, at sixteen, were widowed and left to provide for the family, and children who were so dirt poor they didn’t know when they would find a meal again.
The people we met, experiences we had, and lives we touched have changed my life. I will never forget the happiness of the people who have nothing. In the words of one of the locals, “Things cost money, but a smile is free”.
at 8:31 AM
This school year is almost over, and surprisingly, I happened to like the new rotating schedule. I remembered how unhappy I was when the school, without consulting with the student body, decided to change the schedule system, and how I rejected the new schedule and attended all the meetings about it. Despite the small disadvantages of the new schedule, such as teachers always forgetting they are supposed to give us in-class homework time, and getting out of school five minutes later, the rotating schedule actually helped me out. I was often thankful to not have the same first period everyday, so I always had chances to do some make up work for certain classes, and I found trivial happiness when my free block rotated to the beginning or end of the day.
Now, when I look back, I laugh about my resentment from the beginning of the year, and I’m glad that I had put my oppositions down and learned to love the schedule.
at 8:30 AM
I could write something cliché and say that when our Blophish seniors leave next year, everyone would cry tears that would flow like a river, our hearts would burst out of our bodies, and not even the sun would light up our sadness. But that’s ok, because a sincere thank you is what matters the most. I’d first like to thank Andrew W. for the article pitch, and also our fearless leader, Chad D. Next year, our Blophish newspaper will miss Chad’s unique video game segments and Andrew’s witty golf haikus. To commemorate a great year in Blophish, I hope this analogy will do. The Blophish newspaper is to the writers and editors on Blophish as the Tesseract is to the Avengers. Yes, this newspaper is what everyone needs to read, glowing, four-dimensional, and the power of the universe. We be newsworthy, and we fight for the love of writing. Thank you seniors for guiding us this year in Blophish and for an incredibly memorable Blöstock! We’re bringing back the fun, and readers, please look forward to many more awesome articles in Blophish next year!
at 8:28 AM