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World Scholar's Cup Welcoming Address

News

17 May 2019

World Scholar's Cup Welcoming Address

World Scholar's Cup Welcoming Address

Whether this is your first regional round and you are not quite sure what’s going on, or you are a seasoned veteran who stalks World Scholar’s Cup crushes with no shame, you are about to embark on an exciting journey. 

My World Scholar’s Cup experience began back in 2017, when I was in year 10. I walked into a classroom and listened to Mrs. Beanland and my main takeaway was how strange this obsession with alpacas seemed to be. Little did I know then, but a short time later I would have accumulated four alpacas that still sit proudly in my room, even as I venture into adulthood. I’m even thinking of taking one of the small alpacas with me to university, but it will probably reside in the safety of my wardrobe instead. 

Through my experience with World Scholar’s Cup, I have been to the emerging beauty of Hanoi, Vietnam and the historical, prestigious of Yale University. I have had my mind broadened in a million different ways. There is nothing quite like doing poetry in your Year 12 English Literary Studies class, with everyone super serious and concentrating, and laughing out loud with your friends as you realise you recognise the poet. 

But I am not here today to reminisce on old memories. I’m sure you as an individuals will have plenty of your own memories you will busily make during your World Scholar’s Cup experience. Instead, I am here to talk about what happens after you receive your last alpaca, your last medal. 

What happens next?

For me, it has involved both my leadership position as Global Action Team Captain this year and my acceptance to university to study international relations, and, in particular, the Middle East, to an even greater depth.

What connects these two things is that from my World Scholar’s Cup experience, I have learnt it is not merely enough to be aware of the world around us. We must be active participants in it. I’m sure you can all agree that living in Adelaide can be pretty insular at times. We live in the world, sure, but as this tiny dot at the bottom of the globe, we often don’t experience much of it. Our initial experiences, values and beliefs all form from where we come from and what type of family we have. While this is fine for a while, in such an interconnected world it is not longer viable to live within a bubble. I’m sure through your World Scholar’s Cup study already that you have already had some of your opinions and knowledge grow and change. This is a great thing! You may have encountered challenging ideas about privilege and they ways in which some groups of society experience very different lives, even if they live in the same place. You may have found a cause, an invention or an idea that you can’t seem to stop thinking about and you wonder how you can make a real contribution to the effort. Even if none of those things are true for you, I’m sure we can all agree that we live in a world on the margins. As we marvel at the disappearance of the Neanderthals, grieve the way colonialism has impacted on the lives of past, present and future Indigenous peoples and explore the role that children have had within society, I’m sure you have learnt that there is a lot more to life and this planet we live on than what meets the eye. 

Now, with this knowledge, you have a choice. 

Will you keep it to yourself? And, In the unfortunate event that you don’t proceed to the global round and your journey ends here- will you forget? 

Or- in the entangled, unlikeliness of our imperfect world, will you strive to do more- to be more? 

Will you paint solar systems on the back of your daughter’s hands as you teach the next generation of World Scholar’s Cup participants that chocolate and rain boots are the solution for all heartbreak?

Will you use your 3D printing expertise to invent the world’s most comfortable prosthetic limb, and donate the profits to those who can’t afford it- so they may too get to experience the world as you have? 

Will you- and if you are getting these references, you’ve been studying!- help the outcasts, hungry from birth. Show them the mercy they don’t find on Earth?

Whatever you decide to do with your World Scholar’s Cup experience, make it special and uniquely you. Whatever the results of the regional round, you have been given this experience and this moment for a reason, don’t waste it! 

Grace King

BETTER THAN A TEXTBOOK Recently Stage 1 Biology students have been using Oculus Rift Virtual Reality headsets t twitter.com/i/web/status/1