The End of an Era (Yale 2013)
No matter how long I’ll live for in this scintillatingly crazy world, I think I’ll always retain a fond rush of nostalgia for the November of 2013. It was a time of new beginnings, a time of new ends; or perhaps the end of what is only just beginning.
The World Scholar’s Cup is an annual competition that takes place, well, all over the world really. Held in countries from India to Hungary, Turkey to Dubai, the UK to Hong Kong, it strives to bring together students from all over the world to compete – or rather, collaborate – in debates, essay writing, SAT-reminiscent quizzes and, what’s even better, quizzes that require the clicking of buttons. Because who doesn’t love clicking buttons… right?
With this year’s theme being ‘A World in Motion’, all prospective scholars were required to research into phenomena ranging from globalization (alas, this is where the requisite ‘Gangnam Style’ section arose) to volcanic eruptions. My team of three, consisting of yours truly and two extremely fantastic, intellectual, humorous and generally beautiful individuals, spent hours and hours trawling through pages of Wikipedia pages to salvage every last morsel of information on volcanic rock types and the origins of some of the coolest gospel songs around (case in point: ‘Go Down Moses’. By Louis Armstrong, no less).
In the end, after all the Google Docs in existence were harassed with our incessant editing and our devout avowals to revising on the 14-hour flight, we ended up doing exceptionally well… as a team, we placed first overall and what’s even better, earned the right to laugh our way right through the freezing streets of winter-ized Yale in our quest for some of the best cookies in existence. And oh, those cookies were good.
For me, however cheesy this may sound, the experience was less of what we ended up achieving but more of the process we endured. My teammates are the dearest people in the world and I don’t know what I’d do without them – it’s nice to think we’ll be going through the 2014 season with one another once again. Moreover, I don’t think I’ll ever look at volcanoes in the same way… nor listen to songs about coming round mountains without bursting out laughing at all the memories that have attached themselves to the obscurest song lyrics ever written in history.
This was a slightly random (and undeniably belated) post, but I suddenly felt that pang of nostalgia you get at 11:11 in the evening and had the pressing need to write something on the blog. And yes, the satisfaction derived from such an experience is, I’m glad to say, as fulfilling as the Insomnia cookies we couldn’t get enough of during the trip – ah, the sweetness within that is only waiting to be found…