Hi all, it’s Gem once again, writing now on my 85thday of the EVS.
Time flies so fast, you can’t even imagine how much. But I’m happy to share with you what happened between these days, which is actually, quite a lot.
Let’s start from where we left it. After coming back from the On-arrival training, the café started running normally, with all events happening on a weekly basis. More and more people started coming to the Café and also attending even when no special program was planned, just starting to create this atmosphere of relax-chill time. In short, February until mid-March happened so quickly also because I have used my days off to travel here and there, discovering Berlin and Napoli for the first time. Life in the school/community can sometimes make you feel a bit pressured, so it is a nice time to time to be away and then come back.
Right after the trips, we had to start planning the alternative weeks’ program. And that was to be fair, quite a challenge. The “Alternative weeks” are two weeks where the daily structure of the life in the school gets suspended to accommodate new activities, let’s say more fun and less academic, still not exactly true because some activities where still academic. The purpose is to have a break and bond more with the fellow students that stay. It is also the time where around half of the students leave IPC to attend different study trips (in this term, there was the Eurotrip – discovering Prague, Krakow and Berlin and the Colombia trip – of course, discovering the different faces of the country). And because of that, the school becomes a little spooky and extremely, extremely quiet (which in the other hand, it is also nice).
For the students staying 3 programs were running before lunch (Intensive Danish, Arts & Crafts and Peace & Dialogue). But the challenge was to plan activities for each afternoon and evening. Coordinating ourselves with the teachers in the school we came up with a pretty diverse schedule able to suit different interests in the students. If I can be honest, my goal was to come up with a nice program just as valid as one of the field trips, since some people were feeling sad because they couldn’t afford to leave. And it shouldn’t be like that. After going through Alternative weeks, I can tell that I believe that my purpose was achieved and that made me really happy.
If you’re curious about the activities where I took part, I assisted in the night-time visit to the Louisiana Art Museum, I planned (along with Alex, one of our student teachers for this term) a volleyball session in Big Hall and we (Alex, Glënn & I) created the first-time ever IPC Masterchef contest with really tricky challenges to face (such as that creations had to contain beer and green ingredients, due to the fact that it was celebrated during St. Patrick’s day).
From left to right (and downwards): Gem, Naoko, Hakyung, Alex,
Jong Min, Moe, Txomin, Yves, Maya, Mikako & Glënn
We (Glënn & I) had two major events, and I qualify them as major because we had all the freedom to develop the activities as we wish, but also, we had all the responsibility for it on us.
Glënn was in charge of the alternative sleepover (with movie screening) in common room and further listening of an album to be heard while sleeping. That was a huge success, imagine for a minute, the common room was not full anymore with chairs and tables, instead, mattresses covered all the floor. And we provided hot chocolate and popcorn for all and free of charge. Maybe that was the reason why it was such a huge success, in any case, I guess that we will never know for sure.
And I took the challenge to deliver a workshop about Corporate Social Responsibility since I understood that was a nice way to learn further on this topic and deliver the knowledge to others, all being part of my personal project for the EVS. I don’t know exactly how much time I spent working on the workshop, but all of it was worth it for the engagement that the students showed during it. It felt really great to be able to create something from scratch that you can build with no limitations, and that people react positively towards that. I consider that one of the main advantages of taking part of an EVS like this one, because you have huge spaces to develop your ideas and bring them alive, and the most important part, there is no right or wrong activities, just learning processes.
Now we are preparing ourselves for transition days since we have around 15 students leaving and up to 20 new students coming to attend the last 12 weeks of the term. I believe that the challenge will be to integrate these newcomers into the groups that already exist in the school and that are pretty solid. In any case, it is always nice to have new people to talk to and discover their realities, I’m looking forward to that.
After transition, we plan in having some changes in the schedule of the Human Rights Café. I will not tell much about it now but brace yourselves because changes are coming such as students taking over of the HRC or new clubs to fit with the new season. Any guess?
We are currently going through the planning of the Reunion Weekend (and I add a little spoiler: it will be amazing! Or at least we are working to make it amazing). I have worked with Alex to develop a new logo for IPC alumni, and now we will coordinate us with the program team for the RW, to provide the template for the brochure.
Next week Glënn & I will be setting the recording studio in the Human Rights Café for the second session of the “My IPC Experience: Mid-term impressions” – the idea of this project lies that I wanted to provide to the students a proof of their change along the stay at IPC, so I thought about recording them in 3 different moments of the term and at the end, send a video compilation where it is possible to see their evolution. We have 18 students taking part, sadly 3 other students that were participating as well were just here for 3 months.
In any case, you can see that exciting times are coming. There is no doubt about it. And I will try to keep you updated with all of it.
For now, enjoy the sun (spring is here!) and write to you soon.
All the best,