If Concord students ever ran out of career options, I think being a part of a top secret ‘mission impossible’ definitely makes the top of the contingency plan. Hushed whispers fill the corridors as several crucial items (usually varying from a pack of Haribos to an upgrade of a fluffy plush doll) are passed down from a range of different hands. Poker faces permanently installed on familiar faces. Sealed envelopes placed in hidden corners. Coded messages just waiting to be encrypted.
“Code red: the eagle has flown!”
“Hide! He’s here!”
“Make sure no one sees you! Hurry!”
Speed, agility and great strength are strongly required for this top-notch activity.
No, the Hunger Games does not occur here in Shrewsbury (although we do have our daily share of it running to the dining hall). However, we have a great substitute for it: Guardian Angel. If you have enough courage, you can volunteer yourself to take part in this game. The week after your courageous act, the prefects will assign you your target, I mean, your ward, who you should take excellent care of for a whole week. Each volunteer will also be assigned to a guardian angel. The rules are simple: pay your ward a lot of attention, love him or her in anyway you can but keep your identity a secret. The last rule proves to be the most enjoyable and challenging rule to obey. Of course, anonymity is top priority in this game.
Some students may get their best friends as their wards or maybe even the boy in their History class or the girl who lives downstairs. For some, they may not even have a single clue on who their ward is. They would have to stalk their ward’s Facebook profile and the rather obvious student handbook to obtain all the crucial information. It’s like being stuck in the unrequited love phase – loving from a distance. But everybody knows that the chase is one of the best part.
This year’s guardian angels tend to give it all or nothing. Wards are presented homemade cupcakes for breakfast. Cute personalized drawings are slipped into wards’ bags. Motivational and inspirational messages signed onto every gift. Lots of food is given – yes, this is definitely the season to be jolly. Some guardian angels take the game to the next step: from dedicating a poem to their ward on Wednesday’s assembly, posting a public declaration of appreciation for their ward and even a flash mob for them during tea time.
Guardian angel is nothing more than a simple game but it benefits everyone in one way or another. This game helps us get to know other people better and enables us to build new friendships. The random acts of kindness also lighten our days as we watch people’s joy when receiving their gifts or when we receive gifts too. With our summer exams coming soon, it is easy to forget the simple things under all the stress and pressure. Thus, this game also helps us remind ourselves to appreciate the people around us who are there for us and reminds us to not always take, but also to give.
Astrid Suryandari 6.1
At 9:45pm, masses of students, graduated and current, huddled around the tennis court and main hall waiting for the fireworks to begin. The anticipation was bubbling in the air as lights flickered in the darkness. A flash of firework following a loud whizzing sound broke the peace and soared across the dark night sky. Immediately, cheers and laughter erupted. Colours exploded through the air, filling it up like paint on canvas. ‘Oohs’ and ‘ahs’ followed each amazing act with sudden bursts of cheers and applause.
The Concord College Reunion happens every two years and is considered to be one of the best events at the school. New students get to enjoy the fireworks and fun disco while old students reunite with their friends and enjoy another ‘Concord-style Saturday night’, which quite frankly, are some of the best nights in our lives.
The firework dispay ended with the words ‘CONCORD REUNION 2014’ glittering silver with a fan shaped waterfall of golden sizzling fireworks in the background. Students started flowing into the sports hall, which was filled with the smell of sweet cotton candy and chocolate. Music boomed from the speakers and trembled the floor. Through the smoke and the fluorescent lights, the dance floor was transformed into a 80s disco. The Cowboy Wild West themed night was very popular as the staff dressed up as cowboys and cowgirls. Sideshows orientated around the Wild West theme, including games such as a quick draw shooting gallery, milking cows and riding the bucking bronco. Students crowded around the chocolate fountain and queued up for the photo booth, others jeered and laughed as brave volunteers were thrown off the machine bull.
By the end of the night, the dance floor was overcrowded with students and some had resorted to dancing on the edge. Sadly, the night couldn’t continue on forever. When the clock struck twelve, Mr. Kerslake kindly reminded us of room check, students began unwillingly drifting out of the sports hall in twos and threes, saying their goodbyes at the door as graduated students walked to main hall to catch the school bus to Shrewsbury.
The Reunion at Concord College is a great chance for old students to relive their Concord days and reunite with their friends still in school. More importantly, it allows fellow students to communicate and helps new students see and hear about the challenges the future may hold. The Reunion was one of the best nights I have ever experienced at Concord, and seeing the looks in the old students’ eyes, I know I will be looking forward to coming back to Concord in the future and cherish the days I get to enjoy now.
Sutianne Li 6.1
The excitement in the air is palpable as I rush to catch the 12.33pm train to Birmingham New Street after an exhausting morning of Saturday tests. As peals of breathless laughter ring out from the sea of red streaming into the train carriages, I wonder if anyone even studied last night, all I can think about is the night of celebration that awaited. The train pulls out of the station. The night starts now.
Such is a time of festivities at Concord College, where the amalgamation of students from all over the world IS the status quo and has come to become an integral part of our dynamic. While the Lunar New Year has brought with it many new memories and hopes for the year ahead, it has also resurfaced memories of the past year, bringing to mind that a year has passed and only mere 5 months are all that stand between me and my ‘coming of age’. Yikes.
But in all seriousness, as someone who has been in Concord for a year, I think it’s safe to say that there’s nothing quite like it. While it doesn’t seem apparent upon first glance ( or perhaps even the second or the third for that matter…), trust me when I say you’ll experience the full spectrum of emotions at Concord, and it’s up to you to to make the best out of every single one of those moments.
No doubt there will be fun to find and friendships to make. In both your dark and light times there will be people there laughing and crying with you. It is not a probability or likelihood but rather a necessity, like air. I always supported the phrase ‘We are not the product of our circumstance’ but it is through Concord that I realised though that is true, it is also the truth that special circumstances make special people.
After a night of ‘hard partying’ (which mostly consisted of binging on Chinese food and taking an uncountable number of photos), I find myself once again running to catch the train. This time though, everyone is at full speed as we run around in circles (hopelessly lost) trying to find any semblance of a station entrance to charge into. The train is at 9.23pm and the clock has just struck 9.15pm.
9.16pm: We’re not going to make it, just take the next train! What? The next train’s at 10pm?! RUN FASTER!
9.17pm: Oh no what’s that feeling in my abdomen… What was that? You can get appendicitis from running after eating? Please no…
9.18pm: What? Birmingham New Street Station? Where? GO GO GO!
9.23pm: The train pulls away.
With wet shoes and big smiles, we march up to the card readers.
‘CHEN HUIMIN – REGISTERED ON TIME’
Huimin Chen 6.2