Written by Charles Goldsworthy, Year 7
Recently, Ben Richards, Dylan Jones, Abby Mu, Zachary Hengel and I went to the USA to compete in the Tournament of Champions at Yale University. We had participated in the regional round in Melbourne. From there, we qualified for – and competed at – the global round in Hanoi. But this time, we were at the Tournament of Champions. The best of the best. The round that signals the end of the 2017 season of World Scholar’s Cup.
The trip to the United States consisted of over 30 hours of travelling with stop-overs at LAX and Newark, before a bus ride to the hotel in Shelton.
In the lead up to the competition, we went sightseeing in New York City, visiting Grand Central Station, Times Square, the Empire State Building, the 9/11 Memorial and more. We also took part in another tour of Boston, walking through the Harvard and MIT campuses.
The first day of World Scholar’s Cup saw us taking a trip on an iconic yellow school bus to the Yale campus. At the opening ceremony, we introduced our school – and country – with a “pwaa”, the sound made by an alpaca which is the mascot of WSC.
Rita Mae Reese, the keynote speaker, gave a speech filled with words of wisdom that life is all about having meaning. This was shortly followed by the Scholar’s Scavenge, in which we completed the most absurd tasks, such as proposing to a Yale student or attempting to hold as many phones possible in one hand – 20 was my record! We finished the day by having dinner in a Yale dining hall. It was exciting to sit in such an exclusive place where only Yale students would normally sit.
Over the next few days, our teams took part in the challenge, debated whether or not space travel would be necessary in the future and wrote essays on whether or not we should bring dinosaurs back to life. At the Scholar’s Ball, we danced away to loud music and showed off some of our best moves.
Furthermore, we were privileged to hear some of the best debaters at the tournament and saw them speak before crowds of a thousand people. The talent show brought some unique and interesting acts. One that stood out was when someone played Despacito on the piano – blindfolded.
On our final day at the Tournament of Champions, we saw students from over 50 countries around the world wave their flag with such pride. We were very proud with our individual and team achievements – a Clarendon total of 31 medals!
Many thanks go to all of the teachers who have helped us along the way, including Mr Stevenson, Mrs Sanders, Mr Calleja, Mr Moloney, Ms McGlinchey and Ms Ball, Miss Moriarty and Mrs Auchettl for their ongoing support. Additionally, we’d like to acknowledge the contributions of Jeanette Lim, who played an important role in making this trip happen.
Throughout this experience, we have made so many unlikely friendships we never would have had the chance to form without WSC. From the students joining us in the regional round at Melbourne, to those who studied with us in Hanoi, we are very grateful to have participated in this journey in 2017.