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By Nikole Klodowska, VI Form
A Lesson from Fish Fillet
I am afraid of fish. No one can remember what childhood trauma could have caused me to physically shake in the presence of these scaly creatures. Over the years, I have slowly made progress – from being unable to be in the mere vicinity of fish, to tolerating a walk past the seafood section at supermarkets, to interning at a one star Michelin restaurant where I spent the day working up close with my biggest fear.
During my internship at Warsaw’s Amber Room, I worked every section of the kitchen, including what I had dreaded my entire life: seafood. One morning, I was assigned to fillet salmon for a small banquet. I winced as I inserted the knife at an angle between the fish’s skull and fleshy body, my gloved hands trembling. After successfully filleting two fish, my mentor noticed my trepidation and asked me what was wrong. I was determined not to quit, but admitted I felt utterly uncomfortable around fish. He decided to spare me the additional trauma and moved me to another position where I would feel more comfortable: to weigh and prepare the fish for cold storage. I felt an enormous weight lifted off of my shoulders, knowing I would no longer have to feel the bumps of the bones as they scraped against the knife, or see the glossy, lifeless eyes staring back at me. (more…)
By Tony Banson and Tommy MacNeil, V Form
What Is Cancer: Looking Through the Multiplex Lens of Immortality
Cancer is a disease that has touched the lives of many around the world (Figure 1). It is a disease that afflicts both the young and old, and the rich and poor. The American Cancer Society estimates that there will be 1,688,780 new cancer cases diagnosed and 600,920 cancer deaths in the United States in 2017 (Cancer Facts & Figures 2017). Biologically, this disease arises from one’s body when normal, healthy cells begin to grow uncontrollably. Because of genetic and environmental factors, the subset of cells no longer cooperate with evolution’s safety controls, bypassing important regulatory checkpoints of the cell cycle. With the advent of technology and medicine, humans are living longer and the cells that make up our bodies have more time to mutate in ways that can cause havoc.
From a personal standpoint, cancer has touched the lives of many of our loved ones. (more…)
By Sam Lauten, VI Form
I Go Back to Limón Because of Love
“Reading is just not a part of the culture here.” I blinked at the man standing before me, not quite sure how to respond. Five years, thousands of dollars, and dozens of hours on planes, buses, and on foot had been poured into building the “Learning Center” we now stood in. I had spent days drafting and rewriting my application to multiple grants, citing so many hopes and plans of how we were going to change so many lives bringing books and computers to the underprivileged children of Limón, Costa Rica. Now, there I was, standing in the embodiment of all of those dreams, being told that everything I had done was in vain. (more…)
By Carrick Zhu, V Form
Empathy Through Education in China’s Xi Ma Yin Village
My mom and I began our volunteer teaching trip in 2014. With the help from the local Red Cross Organization in Ning Xia, China, we were able to find a local primary school situated in Xi Ma Yin village. Xi Ma Yin rests at the base of the Helan Mountain where the water supply is scarce. The villagers are mostly immigrants from the other side of the Helan Mountain. The elementary school where I worked is called Xi Ma Yin Immigrant Development Zone Elementary School. (more…)