Upon reflection, I realize that the statement that UWCers don't consider our schools to be a part of the countries they're located in is not entirely true here. One of our main aims is show that integration into the community of Mostar is possible, not in the sense that we try to tell anyone how to live or think we can solve all their problems, but in the sense that we take a genuine interest in building relationships and making this place our home. I'm sorry to say I personally have failed on many levels in that respect, partly due to the the fact that the internal struggles of UWC life are so intense that we get comfortably stuck in our bubble and forget the importance of letting it pop. Now that the future of the school is a little more solid than a question mark, we're looking both back and ahead to define whether we really do have a purpose here, what that is, and what carrying it out will look like in our daily lives. It's a complicated issue, believe me, and is leading to discussions ranging from whether international students should be obligated to learn local to whether our CAS (extracurriculers) are really approached in a way that will have a positive impact, from whether we as students need more pastoral support to whether we have a responsibility to focus on studying now so we can "give back" in the future, or to try to contribute something to Mostar and UWCiM now and to go back to our home countries later...and do we even deserve the scholarships we've been given?
This week is dedicated especially to bringing up these issues with the intention of making a unified mission statement but more importantly of recognizing what we can improve on and putting those realizations into action! This involves looking at the past, present, and future... we dub it the pruture. For us 2nd years, this is a metaphorical passing of the torch onto the firsties. We spend most of last spring fighting for the school to continue, and although it was an exhausting struggle, it drew us together and helped us grow up. Since they don't have to fight that fight, the first years are generally full of energy, optimism, and a will to initiate projects and represent the school with growing commitment integrity. To start off the week, we made this video to illustrate the fact that we have several viewpoints even among ourselves...and definitely areas for thought and improvement.
(I'm afraid the Internet connection's not sufficient for both uploading videos and doing research for lab reports, so...check it out at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3tFX-g6gs_8