alleynian the No.706 Partnership, Community and Lifelong Learning, Free Learning: The Bigger Picture, A Year of Reflections on the TwoWorldWars, CreativeWriting, The Union, Drama, Art, Music, Sport, Trips and Expeditions, CCF, OA News, Valete C O N F L I C T & R E S O L U T I O N
Staff editor Jo Akrill
alleynian the No.706
Staff team Ella Davison Charlotte Judet
Y ou are unlikely to find a more diverse, wide-reaching issue of The Alleynian than this, the 706th edition. This, in no small part, is due to the nature of this year’s theme: ‘Conflict and Resolution’. We have each experienced the former at some point in our lives, and we each strive for the latter wherever possible. Speaking at the Upper School Symposium, Professor Barry Smith proclaimed that ‘we are living in an age of uncertainty’, alluding in part to the numerous on-going conflicts which bombard us wherever we look. Every edition of the News at Ten seems to feature a windswept correspondent shouting over gunfire from some far-off, war-torn desert, whilst here in Britain we appear to be a nation divided, much like our trans-Atlantic neighbours. In reality, small-scale conflict is all many of us have ever known at first hand. This issue features both a personal account of war in Iraq and a proposition for resolving everyday problems in the Wodehouse Library, with many more articles in between, all under the umbrella heading of ‘Conflict and Resolution’. One of the first decisions Ms Akrill and I took when producing this year’s Alleynian was to expand our team of editors and contributors to include boys from every year-group of the College, a move which has produced an all-encompassing edition appropriate for our theme. We felt strongly that The Alleynian ought to offer a platform for as many boys as possible to voice their opinions, and we hope that this is reflected in the subsequent pages. The introduction to last year’s edition referred to ‘a world on the brink of revolution’. Resolution, rather than revolution, is the crux of this issue. There is more than enough conflict in the world and not nearly enough effort to abate it. The onus must be on each one of us to resolve whatever unsavoury matters the world sends our way. Don’t just read the next 160 pages; be inspired by them!
Student editors Ammar Al-Kahachi Joe Atkinson Sam Schulenburg Kerem Tezcan Arjaan Miah Jai Singh Yao
Staff section editors Art: Robert Mills Drama: Kathryn Norton-Smith Music: Clare Cousens Sport: Phil Greenaway OA: Joanne Whaley, Trevor Llewelyn Photography The Alleynian features photographs by boys, staff and professional photographers. We would like to thank all those whose photographs appear in this edition Drama photography by Maggie Jarman, Fred Robb (Year 11), Nobby Clark, Ben Carpenter
Valete photographs by Maggie Jarman Cover image, ‘Nature transformed’,
by Kush Newatia Design and layout Nicholas Wood Proofreader Frances Button
With thanks to Joseph Spence, Simon Yiend, Jane Scott, Rory Fisher, Paul Fletcher, Helen Stein, Calista Lucy, Robert Totterdell, Nina Pittas, Deborah Field, and all our contributors, whose patience, dedication and sense of humour have been much appreciated by the editorial team
Joseph Giles on behalf of the editorial team
Alfie Brown (Y12) represents the Junior Great Britain Rowing Team in the Men’s Eight at the Coupe de la Jeunesse. In Cycling, Innes Harvey (Y10) secures a silver medal at the National Omnium Finals. Femi Sofolarin ’s (Y13) team comes 2nd in the 4 x 100m U20 relays at the London Anniversary Diamond League Games. Alfie Bro n (Y12) represents the Junior Great Britain Ro ing Tea in the Men’s Eight at the Coupe de la Jeune se. In Cycling, I nes Harvey (Y10) secures a silver medal at the National O niu Finals. Fe i Sofolarin ’s (Y13) tea co es 2nd in the 4 x 1 0 U20 relays at the London A niversary Dia ond League Ga es.
Skiing Success at the Canada Cup Ski Racing Championships: numerous medals won, including Louis Wright ’s (Y13) Dave Gibson Award for overall contribution to the races. Dulwich College 1st XV win the Champions Trophy and become the first team to win both the Champions Trophy and the U18 Schools Cup. Jamie Anderson (Y9) joins the ISFA U14 National Team for the Christmas Camp. Sk ing Su ce s at the Canada Cup Ski Racing Cha pionships: nu erous medals on, including Louis right ’s (Y13) ibson Award for overa l contribution to the races. Dulwich Co lege 1st XV win the Cha pions Trophy and beco e the first tea to win both the Cha pions Trophy and the U18 Sch ols Cup. Ja ie Anderson (Y9) joins the ISFA U14 National Tea for the hristmas Ca p.
Sean Butcher (Y10) comes second in the Go Karting British Championships. Academy Rugby: over the half term break seven boys from Y11-13 play for either Harlequins or Saracens youth teams. Sean Butcher (Y10) co es second in the o Karting British ha pionships. Acade y Rugby: over the half-term break seven boys fro Y 1-13 play for either Harlequins or Saracens youth tea s.
Junior Cross Country Team finish an impressive fifth in The English Schools Cross Country Cup. Noah Armitage-Hookes (Y13) finishes the previous season first in the National U17 5000m. In his first race this season he runs a PB of 15:11s to rank 12th nationally in the U20s. Oliver McNeil (Y12) selected to play for the Independent Schools Football Association, South Division. Junior Cro s Country Tea finish an impre sive fifth in The English Sch ols Cro s Country Cup. Noah Ar itage- okes (Y13) finishes the previous season first in the National U17 5, 0m. In his first race this season he runs a PB of 15: 1s to rank 12th nationa ly in the U20s. Oliver McNeil (Y12) selected to play for the Independent Sch ols F otba l A sociation, South Division.
Luca Franchi (Y11) and Mike Humphrey (Y11) are the first Dulwich College boys to receive ARSM accreditation, both with Distinction 22nd Annual Piano Competition: Finlay Johnston (Y9) wins the Graeme Jenkins Cup for the most accomplished and compelling performance of the day. Luca Franchi (Y 1) and ike Hu phrey (Y 1) are the first Dulwich o lege boys to receive ARS a creditation, both with Distinction. 2nd A nual Piano o petition: Finlay Johnston (Y9) wins the Grae e Jenkins Cup for the ost a co plished and co pe ling perfor ance of the day.
Young Pleasance Production of The Curse of Cranholme Abbey at the Edinburgh Fringe involves Dulwich boys and OAs. Young Pleasance Production of The Curse of ranholme bey at the Edinburgh Fringe involves Dulwich boys and OAs.
CCF: O¡cial change of a¡liation for Army Sections from the Royal Artillery to the Welsh Guards; Dulwich College CCF wins Guthrie Cup. The Upper School Symposium: Uncertainty. Ayman D’Souza and Samuel Gordon Webb (both Y13) win prizes for Best Negotiator and Best Speaker respectively at the inaugural Cambridge University Schools’ Model United Nations. Ubaid Mussa (Y13) speaks of the benefits of an apprenticeship EY Business Trainee scheme at the Beyond Dulwich Evening. F: O cial change of a liation for Ar y Sections fro the Royal Arti lery to the Welsh uards; Dulwich Co lege F wins Guthrie Cup. The theme of the Upper Scho l Sy posium 2017 is Uncert inty. Ay an D’Souza and Samuel Gordon Webb (both Y13) win prizes for B st Negotiator and Best Speaker respectively at the inaugural Cambridge Univ rsity Schools’ Mo el United Nations. Ub id Mussa (Y13) speaks of the benefits of an apprenticeship EY Business Trainee scheme at the Beyond Dulwich Evening.
Actor Michael Pennington hosts a masterclass for A-level students from DC, JAGS and the Charter School. Actor Michael Pe nington hosts a mastercla s for A-level students fro D , JA S and the harter Sch ol.
Minghao Zhang (now OA) represents the UK at the final of the International Chemistry Olympiad in Thailand. The team wins a silver medal. Theo Macklin (Y13) represents Europe in the International Space Design Competition in Florida, and places second overall. inghao Zhang (no A) represents the UK at the final of the International he istry Oly piad in Thailand. The tea ins a silver medal. Theo Macklin (Y13) represents Europe in the International Space Design Co petition in Florida, and places second overa l.
Results: Best ever GCSE grades for Dulwich College; 30 per cent of A-level papers are marked as A*. Results: Best ever G SE grades for Dulwich o lege; 30 per cent of A-level papers are arked as A*.
The renovated Barry Building is ‘topped out’ Over 70 external The renovated Ba ry Building is ‘to ped out’. ver 70 external
20th annual German exchange programme arrives in the UK. The return visit to take place in April. 20th a nual Ger an exchange progra e arrives in the UK. The return visit to take place in April.
The Winter Concert at St John’s, Smith Square, involves all major orchestras, choirs and ensembles. The Winter Concert at St John’s, S ith Square, involves a l major orchestras, choirs and ense bles.
exhibitors attended the annual Dulwich College Courses and Careers Convention. exhibitors a tended the a nual Dulwich o lege Courses and ar ers Convention.
Matthew Yu (Y13) achieves a Gold Award in the Biology Olympiad. a the Yu (Y13) achieves a Gold Award in the Biology ly piad.
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Artem Baryshnikov (Y13), Francis Zhu (Y13), Simon Xu (Y12) and Andy Li (Y12) finish an impressive fourth in the Regional Final of the UKMT Senior Mathematics Team Challenge. Arte Baryshnikov (Y13), Francis Zhu (Y13), Simon Xu (Y12) and Andy Li (Y12) finish an impre sive fourth in the Regional Final of the UK T Senior athe atics Tea Cha lenge.
Launch of The Philosophy Circle . This complements the RS Gym, and the new Philosophy A-level. Philosophy for Children introduced to the Junior School. Bailey, a chocolate cockapoo, joins the Dulwich College community. Launch of the Dulwich College Launch of The Philosophy Circle. This co ple ents the RS Gy , and the ne Philosophy A l v l. Philosophy for Children introduced to the Junior Sch ol. Bailey , a chocolate cockap o, joins the Dulwich o lege co unity. Launch of the Dulwich Co lege o unity Gardening Project in Dulwich Park. cial opening of the e orial Garden, dedicated to the wives of two OAs and designed by Rachel Reynolds. Community Gardening Project in Dulwich Park. O¡cial opening of the Memorial Garden, dedicated to the wives of two OAs and designed by Rachel Reynolds.
Tom Drayton , Ethan Lue and Karwyn Chan (all Y12) come fourth in the Royal Society of Chemistry regional heats of the Analytical Chemistry Competition. To Drayton , Ethan Lue and Kar yn Chan (a l Y12) co e fourth in the Royal Society of Che istry regional heats of the Analytical he istry o petition.
Senior production of The Recruiting O¡cer in collaboration with the Music Department and JAGS pupils. Senior production of The Recruiting O cer in co laboration with the Music Department and JA S pupils.
Cheks Nweze (Y12) takes second prize in Erasmus Essay competition. heks N eze (Y12) takes second prize in Eras us E say co petition.
Duke of Edinburgh Gold Award boys spend four days in an unaided expedition in the mountains of the Lake District. Duke of Edinburgh old Award boys spend four days in an unaided expedition in the mountains of the Lake District.
Lucas Miller (Y13) wins 17th Thwaites Bach Competition. Lucas Mi ler (Y13) ins 17th Th aites Bach Co petition.
Inaugural Dulwich College Spanish Competition won by Danny Piers (Y13) and Sachin Patel (Y13). Inaugural Dulwich Co lege Spanish o petition won by Da ny Piers (Y13) and Sachin Patel (Y13).
All Y8 pupils take part in The Bigger Picture free learning day, opened by OA Al Scarfe . A l Y8 pupils take part in The Bi ger Picture fr e learning day, opened by OA Al Scarfe .
Lucas Brown (Y7) bowls for the Kent U11 cricket team, who win the Taunton festival. Lucas Bro n (Y7) bowls for the Kent U 1 cricket tea , who in the Taunton festival.
Louis Wright (Y13) and his younger brother Archie Wright (Y9) are selected for the National Schools Skiing Squad to compete in the BISS Alpine Championships in Italy Rugby - Femi Sofolarin (Y13) and Sunni Jardine (Y13) represent Harlequins, Max Bliss (Y12), Tom Brearley (Y12) and Oludara Odunlami (Y12) represent Saracens in The Academy League programme. Louis Wright (Y13) and his younger brother Archie Wright (Y9) are selected for the National Sch ols Sk ing Squad to compete in the BISS Alpine ha pionships in Italy. Rugby - Fe i Sofolarin (Y13) and Su ni Jardine (Y13) represent Harlequins, Max Bli s (Y12), To Brearley (Y12) and Oludara Odunla i (Y12) represent Saracens in The Acade y League progra e.
Dulwich College sponsors the 2017 Dulwich Literary Festival. Thomas Whittaker (Y13) and Jack Probert (Y11) win prizes for their short stories in the Southwark Schools Learning Partnership Short Story Competition, hosted by Dulwich College and judged by Ali Smith. Dulwich Co lege sponsors the 2017 Dulwich Literary Festival. Tho as Whi taker (Y13) and Jack Probert (Y 1) win prizes for their short stories in the South ark Sch ols Learning Partnership Short Story o petition, hosted by Dulwich o lege and judged by Ali S ith.
Inaugural Pop Up Library visits the PE Centre, Lord George Building, Laboratory and Christison Hall. Dulwich Political : a week of whole school free learning. The Gothic Society holds its first meeting by candlelight in the Masters’ Library. Inaugural Pop Up Library visits the PE Centre, Lord George Building, Laboratory and Christison Ha l. Dulwich Political : a w ek of hole sch ol fr e learning. The Gothic Society holds its first m eting by candlelight in the Masters’ Library. Senior Prefects welcome 27 boys into The 2019 Society. More than 1,800 pupils are now members. Senior Prefects welco e 27 boys into The 2019 Society. More than 1,8 0 pupils are no me bers.
Ayman D’Souza , Ho Pang Mak and Krzysztof Oliwa (all Y13) win Gold award in the Cambridge Chemistry Challenge. Ay an D’Souza , Ho Pang Mak and Krzysztof liwa (a l Y13) win Gold Award in the Cambridge he istry Cha lenge.
Hakan Digby (Y11) selected to train for the National Sailing Squad in the 29er class. U11 Football team win ISFA London Regional 7-a-side Tournament to qualify for National Finals. akan Digby (Y 1) selected to train for the National Sailing Squad in the 29er cla s. U 1 F otba l tea win ISFA London Regional 7-a-side Tourna ent to qualify for National Finals.
‘Architect Matters’ group, winners of the Turner Prize in 2015 and If_DO Architects speak to Year 12 and 13 students. ‘Architect Ma ters’ group, i ners of the Turner Prize in 2015 and IF_DO Architects speak to Year 12 and 13 students.
Conflict and resolution: discussion and debate Science and technology Interviews Partnership, community and lifelong learning Free learning: the bigger picture A year of reflection on the two World Wars Creative writing Drama Art
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Music Sport Trips and expeditions CCF The Union Old Alleynians Valete
CONFLICT & RESOLUTION
Are they 21st-century tools for learning or constant sources of distraction? Ekow Amoah , Gregg-Jensen Cowie , Loore Onabolu and Joshua Soyke-Pinon discuss the pros and cons of smartphones in the classroom Lord of the rings
It is ludicrous to expect students not to use their mobile phones at school: we should encourage them and monitor their use. A mobile is an extra work station when all the computers are occupied in the Wodehouse Library, a database when you have forgotten your prep diary and a notebook with unlimited pages. As well as encouraging the use of mobiles, teachers should use them to make lessons more interactive: Kahoot and Quizlet Live are immeasurable assets – resources you would be hard- pressed to find in an old-fashioned text book. The world has developed but education hasn’t. I think Dulwich College should take the first step and lead the change in the way we educate our population. Ekow (Year 9) These small gadgets dictate your life and mine, but can be very helpful: you can use a mobile like a computer for notes, or as a calculator, or to look up a visual representation of something. However, if a student becomes bored in a lesson (let’s be honest, we’ve all been there) it is very easy for them to discreetly play on their device without a teacher noticing. This can be challenging for teachers, as they need to monitor activity constantly. If a student is caught using a mobile inappropriately, then a teacher should have the right to confiscate the device. This would ensure students pay attention in class and don’t cheat in exams - or use all their data playing Clash Royale. Gregg-Jensen (Year 9) I believe that the use of mobile phones in schools is more problematic than beneficial, although there are points to consider on both sides of the debate. In class, students often find it easier to do research on their phones, as opposed to using books; on the Internet, there are hundreds upon hundreds of search results, allowing you to gather information from multiple sites. On the other hand, pupils can abuse their right to use smartphones in class. For example, if a student misuses their phone they could miss out on key information such as homework instructions, and deadlines for projects and upcoming tests. Students may then leave school with lower grades than if they did not have the distraction of a mobile phone. Loore (Year 9) I have only recently become the owner of a mobile phone, so I find myself in a good position to talk about the topic and its relevance at school. Despite thinking that mobile phones have taken too tight a grip on our society, I can see both sides of the argument. At school mobile phones (specifically smartphones) allow instant access to information. They have also created a more inter-connected community within the College. On the other hand, the zombie-like effect phones have on students wandering around the campus is hard to ignore. Overall I think that mobile phones are a step in the right direction, as long as we understand how to use them responsibly. Joshua (Year 11)
CONFLICT & RESOLUTION
A near miss in Iraq highlights the reality of life in a conflict zone for Ammar Al-Kahachi (Year 12) Taking life for granted
A s a Year 12 Dulwich College student, born and raised in Baghdad until I was 10 years old, I can honestly say that conflict and resolution are close to my heart. Iraq’s place in the Human Development Index (which reflects education, life expectancy and income per capita) has plummeted in the past two decades, moving from 76 th in 1990 to 126 th by 2002 as a result of conflict, corrupt government and lack of democracy. I went back to Iraq three years ago: a life-changing experience that made me reflect on how I now take my day- to-day life for granted. It was exciting for me to go back — to see my school, visit the places where I grew up and be around my family. But underlying the joy, there was worry, even fear for my life. You have to understand that just leaving the house puts you in danger, due to bombs placed randomly in the streets of Baghdad. Thankfully, over the years the number of these has reduced quite drastically but bombing still occurs in some areas. I have one memory of going with my family to visit my grandmother’s house and being stopped at a checkpoint in the street. When it was clear that we weren’t carrying any
weapons we were allowed to drive on. A few minutes later we heard a bomb go off. We all looked back in shock, realising with horror that the checkpoint had been blown up. I wish I could explain how I felt but I can’t seem to find the right words to describe my sadness. After this incident I found myself questioning many things in life. I had lived through the Iraqi war in 2003, but I was very young then. This single event completely changed my mind-set, showing me how precious life really is. I do reflect sometimes on how lucky we were. If, for any reason, our trip had been delayed, I wouldn’t be here writing this article. I do also think about those lives that have been taken: children, teachers, scientists, artists and many more. Individuals who might have changed the world for the better. Because of the incident, I have, sadly, grasped the true definition of death and how final it is. I would love to see change, to see peace of mind and equality for those who live in Iraq. But to get there, the Iraqi people must stop ‘hoping’ and must stand up for what they think is right. A sustainable, safe future with opportunities is what they deserve – and what they must demand.
‘Perspex Perspectives’ Charlie Leithead (Year 11)
Luke Jensen-Jones (Year 10) argues that honing your logical reasoning, fine-tuning your persuasive skills and expanding your social circle are all excellent reasons to take part in UK Schools Debating
CONFLICT & RESOLUTION
Debating improves your ability to make arguments I n today’s political climate, where the high-quality ‘discourse’ that we are subjected to by crazed tabloid headlines, so- called expert political pundits and, of course, Twitter, results in nothing more than a mud-slinging, insult-laden shouting match between the Left and the Right, debating is greeted with understandable scepticism. Many people think of debating as being increasingly frenzied, increasingly polarised, increasingly likely to result not in resolution, but in more conflict. They remember the angry Brexiteers and Remainers on Question Time in the days leading up to the referendum; Donald Trump’s cries of ‘fake news’ during his debates with Hillary Clinton; and, more recently, the attempts of both Labour and the Conservatives to blame each other for the fallout from the Windrush Generation scandal. As a two-year veteran of the UK Schools debating circuit, I would like to change their minds. The style of debating that I am used to is very different from what you see on television. We follow the BP (British Parliamentary) format, in which four teams of two compete in each debate. Two teams argue for the motion, and two against. The aim is to beat the three other teams in the round, even the one that is arguing on your side. Each team has 15 minutes to prepare two five-minute speeches on a previously unknown motion, ranging from invading Syria to banning gambling to having the state raise all children. Bear in mind that, during the 15 minutes, there is no access to the Internet, so the debaters’ own knowledge is crucial. The teams are then ranked fourth to first based on the quality of their analysis, their speaking style, and their ability to rebut the other team’s arguments. The top eight teams advance to a semi-final and then a final, where one will be named the winning team. This has been a successful year for DC debaters: we were the winners at Cambridge Schools, gained second place at Oxford Schools, and one of our number won a place on the England national team, which has selected at least one Dulwich student every year for the past seven years. So, I hear you ask, that all sounds great, but what’s the point? You aren’t necessarily debating your own personal views, and it’s unlikely that anyone will ever be convinced by what you say, so why bother? The first thing I think debating can do is help break down a fear of public speaking. Not only does practising something regularly help make it easier, but also the speaking tips and
techniques you learn are immensely helpful in providing you with the ability to convey your thoughts to others with clarity. Debating also improves your ability to make arguments. Each round requires you to present the logical reasoning behind an idea and explain its impact, while maintaining an engaging speaking style. Perhaps the reason that politicians don’t seem to be able to engage in rational discourse is that they don’t have judges giving them feedback or coaches teaching them how to pick apart opposition points without resorting to personal attacks. The structured, content- focused format of Schools Debating means that, in contrast to the unfiltered wastelands of Facebook comment sections, BP debates are civil and meaningful. Another benefit of debating concerns knowledge of current affairs. The lack of Internet access means teams must be able to debate on any relevant subject, ensuring that those who read the newspaper or watch the news have the upper hand on those who don’t. Debating also encourages you to consider issues from multiple perspectives, and as a result can help provide an insight into how those less fortunate might be affected by a certain policy, or how we can help minority groups. The final thing I think you can get from debating is a broader range of social interactions. You meet both boys and girls, from both private and state schools, and get to experience a much wider section of society, as well as making friends with like-minded people. All in all, I think it is safe to say that, in a world that is becoming increasingly polarised, the ability of individuals to engage in the structured civility that debating fosters is becoming ever more rare and ever more desirable. Perhaps if more people were willing to engage in such meaningful exchanges of ideas, we might start to see more resolution, and less conflict.
CONFLICT & RESOLUTION
Alleynian Editor Joseph Giles (Year 13) reflects on the tricky task of juggling the curricular and co-curricular demands of a Dulwich education, and asks: how can pupils be enabled to thrive academically, making the most of all that Dulwich has to offer in the sporting and cultural arenas, while remaining happy and healthy Balancing acts
C onflict always hits hardest when it affects us personally. However horrific we might find the news reports from Syria or Myanmar, few of us in Britain have had exposure to such global crises, and hope that we never will. Indeed, any first-hand experience of conflict, an argument amongst family or friends for example, hurts us far more, however trivial it is in comparison to true disaster. There are of course those who have witnessed real horror: Ammar Al-Kahachi (Year 12), whose heartfelt article reflects on the war in his native Iraq, is far more qualified to discuss international conflict and resolution than I am. But there is an area of conflict in 2018 which I feel qualified to write about, one which I am sure most Dulwich boys and almost all parents will relate to. Now more than ever, many of us are simply too busy. There is an unspoken culture at Dulwich; we admire those who succeed in numerous curricular and co- curricular ventures, especially when the boy in question displays as little visible
stress as possible. In a school which offers so many diverse opportunities it is inevitable that students are encouraged to take advantage of the outstanding sports, music and drama facilities. Many boys straddle all three fields and do so extremely well. Dulwich has produced more than a handful of fine sportsmen, musicians and actors in the last 10 years alone. And yet it is difficult not to speculate whether this number would greatly increase if only the emphasis on multi- tasking was somewhat scaled back to allow for a more specialist approach, thus catering for the needs of far more students. Demanding sustained success in both academia and other areas of college life is unrealistic and can lead to a sentiment of low self-worth for those who do not achieve it. For the few that do, the stress of identifying priorities or simply feeling overworked takes its toll sooner or later. The problem of course is that for an educational institution, academic performance will always take
precedence. Dulwich is neither a rugby academy nor a music college, but a school in which the ‘primacy of the classroom’ is adhered to. In Year Seven, one is presented with a plethora of activities, and many inductees answer the call, becoming examples of that happy-go-lucky Dulwich boy who can dash straight from the sports pitch to the concert hall, pausing only briefly to swap boots for bassoon. By the Upper School, however, with the looming threat of life-defining exams drawing ever closer, the reality is somewhat different. A very close friend was recently required to drop various non- academic ventures in a bid to improve A-level results. A pragmatic measure perhaps, but one which has deprived school sports teams and orchestras of a phenomenal talent. The final year is undeniably a deeply stressful period but forced removal from the co- curricular scene hurts both the school and, more importantly, the boy who loses something he held dear.
CONFLICT & RESOLUTION
Photography by Alfie Keenan (Year 13)
Now, more than ever, many of us are simply too busy
Dulwich rightly promotes independence and will usually encourage boys to resolve clashes themselves, but sometimes the fates seem to conspire and make this impossible. This was certainly the case when, last year, rehearsals for the Upper School Musical fell on the same night as Big Band, Alleynian Blues and 1 st XV Rugby training. The avoidance of all clashes is perhaps an unreachable utopia for Dulwich boys, but no one wins in a scenario where four mainstream activities are occurring simultaneously. Surely a brief email exchange between those in charge would resolve such situations without the blame being laid at the doorstep of students who are only trying to take advantage of opportunity. I am eternally grateful for the wealth of activities Dulwich has allowed me to participate in, and I know most of my Year 13 peers would echo this sentiment as they depart into the ‘real world’. Preparation for dealing with conflicting interests is no bad thing: in 30 years’ time most of us will probably be performing a far more difficult juggling act, torn between holding down a job and caring for ageing parents as well as a family of one’s own. By comparison balancing sport and music may seem a pleasant problem to have, but no one ought to feel overwhelmed by activities which, after all, are supposed to be enjoyable and enriching. The recent creation of a new staff role, Deputy Master Co-Curricular, is hopefully a sign that we are moving in the right direction. Mostly, when asked how I feel about being busy, I respond that it makes me far happier than I would be if I had nothing to do, and I am sure this is true of most of us. I certainly hope that Dulwich achieves the right balance between busyness and stress in the near future. I feel we are getting there.
We now live in a world where, thankfully, society is increasingly aware of mental health. Surrounded by teenaged boys and testosterone-fuelled bravado, we are perhaps the least likely demographic to recognise the negative impact which increasing stress levels can have on our emotional wellbeing. George Kingsley-Moore (Year 13 and Wellbeing Prefect) has been instrumental in bringing this prominent issue to the forefront. Speaking from personal experience, he cited occasions this year when the stress of Upper School life has been simply overwhelming, saying: ‘There is an expectation that you have to do everything you have been asked to do to your full ability, even when you’re staying up until two each night to get it done.’ This is hardly an unfamiliar problem. Psychology Today found that 25% of men experience fatigue two or three times a week, whilst 43% of us say general sleepiness has affected us in the workplace. Yet few of us are going to bed any earlier, most likely because there is just too much to do. According to George, the only way to combat such a build up is to recognise when ‘enough is enough’. The appointment of a Wellbeing Prefect and a staff Head of Wellbeing in Ms Coppin, as well as the continued good work of the School Counsellor and Chaplain, is a show of the willingness Dulwich has displayed to address this issue. But there is still a sense that school ought to be doing more to prevent boys from reaching the stage where they require help. More often than not, academic staff are accommodating with regard to sporting or musical commitments (there is the odd exception) but communication between co-curricular departments themselves appears to remain unduly difficult.
CONFLICT & RESOLUTION
Faith, conflict & resolution A personal viewpoint
Reverend Justin White , the College Chaplain, asks what role religion has played, and might continue to play, in the conflicts faced by humanity, and in the pursuit of peace
Photography by Alfie Keenan (Year 13) and Fergus Thomas (Year 12)
CONFLICT & RESOLUTION
R eligion causes violence’ is as much a truism of our time as ‘fat makes you fat’. However, any student of Critical Thinking should be able to spot the some/all fallacy. Does politics kill? Does colour redden? Violent politics kills, and red reddens, but peaceful politics doesn’t kill, and green doesn’t redden, and nor does good religion cause violence. A life shaped by religious convictions is neither this nor that – neither commendable nor terrible, but is at once creative and destructive, kindly and murderous, tender and brutal. Human beings kill for their gods, or for their God, or because there is no God and the destiny of humanity must be shaped by great exertions of human will. Indeed, that last category seems to have, empirically, more blood on its hands than most if the history of the 20th century is anything to go by. Men and women kill for faith, for blood, for passion, for soil, for empire, for grand political ideals; for socialist utopias, and democratic ideals, and capitalist imperatives. The truth is that religion and irreligion are cultural variables, but killing is a human constant. On the face of it, the Christian religion may have more to answer for than most when it comes to inborn violence. It places the violence meted out upon a Galilean Jew called Jesus front and centre of its self-understanding; the Cross is its ubiquitous corporate logo. The wrath of a retributive God, provoked by a sinful and disobedient humanity, found its lightning rod in Jesus, the Son of God. Those who cover themselves in
the blood of the slaughtered Christ are saved; those who refuse face an eternity of hellish violence. To hold fast to such religious certitudes surely makes one prone to a commensurate violence. In fact, such an understanding of the central Christian message is a gross misreading of what the Cross is all about. The real narrative of the Christian scriptures is of a humanity addicted to violence – and a very particular myth of violence. Humans have an insidious way of preventing conflict slipping into all- out war between individuals or groups or nations. The solution lies in the mutually agreeing upon a third party upon whom the ills of the warring parties can be transferred. The sacrifice of the victim effects a temporary peace; a sticking plaster that will suffice until the next conflagration of violence. These scapegoats can be individuals, or races, or genders, or creeds, or simply those who are different. Humanity is so wedded to this murderous mechanism at the heart of human culture that the God of the Judeo-Christian story resorts to extreme measures to make us see our hapless collusion in the lie. He sends his Son to freely take on the role of the scapegoat. The Son becomes the focus of the people’s opprobrium and is duly murdered in the way that so many others have been. The scapegoat fulfils his role insofar as an uneasy peace now ensues between conflicted religious and political factions; occupying forces of the Roman Empire and the vassal theocracy of Israel. So
far, same old story. But, this time, the narrative is different. For the first time in the telling of historical narrative, the story is told from the perspective not of the winners, but of the victim. And, crucially, this time the narrative has a denouement; the victim returns from the dead and reveals that he was innocent all along. The murderous mechanism upon which our culture is founded is exposed for the falsehood it is. That central, defining image of violence at the heart of Christianity – a man nailed to a tree – is the undoing of violence. So, does religious conviction provide a powerful reason for killing? Undeniably it often does. It also often provides the sole compelling reason for refusing to kill, or for being merciful, or for seeking peace. The story of ‘Violence Undone’ in the death and resurrection of the man from Galilee has been the inspiration for many of his followers to refuse to reciprocate violence with violence; to break the cycle of violence and counter-violence that shapes our personal and political – and religious lives.
CONFLICT & RESOLUTION
Socialism or barbarism: a year of LeSoc
Challenging the perception that the College consists entirely of right-of-centre mind-sets, Ben Tudor and Edward Wilson (Year 13) explain why they believe their new society offers a refreshing dose of left-leaning discussion and debate
S chool is a deeply political environment. We have a Politics department, we study political history, we vote in mock general elections and occasionally in real ones. It seems incongruous then that, until earlier this year, no society existed in which people of similar political affiliation could meet. Spurred on by the turmoil of contemporary conventional politics, we decided that an unambiguously left-wing group should be formed. Our aim was to create discussion where once there was consensus or apathy; our method was to give in- depth talks about leftist theory and practice. Of course we’ve had our share of detractors. For one, there was the eternal accusation of public-school hypocrisy, to which we plead entirely guilty. If nobody opposed the existence of systems from which they benefit, the order of society would be entirely static. The other option, an ambivalent non-engagement with the world, is simply too distasteful. In spite of these naysayers, we established a successful programme of complex lectures and discussions throughout the year. We began in the winter with a talk, split over two weeks, which
covered the recent resurgence of neo- fascism in North America and areas of Europe. Our specific concern was how this unhealthy resurgence might be redressed, as we attempted to explain ‘How to Spot a Fascist’ and subsequently ‘How to Resist’. We discussed the nature of the alt-right and profiled some of the key figures in the movement. The danger, we decided, is that these people are easy to underestimate as figures of derision. An analysis of their ideology, however, demonstrated how their poisonous approach to issues of race has infected more mainstream discourse, prompting a discussion of the Elvis Costello lyric: You think they’re so dumb, You think they’re so funny, Wait until they’ve got you running To the night rally The issue of political violence was quite fiercely debated within the society, as we examined the controversial tactics of the anti-fascists who line the streets in protest against neo-fascist rallies. The conclusion that everyone drew, however, was that fringe fascism was primarily a product of the alienation of a certain
group (unemployed, unsuccessful and increasingly interconnected white men) from the workings of capitalism. A full response to the right, therefore, has to be from an unequivocally socialist perspective. The next talk was given by a friend of the society, Ben Joe, about contemporary imperialism. Following Ben’s focus on the South China Sea and the tensions that cultural and economic competition is causing in that arena, discussion turned to
CONFLICT & RESOLUTION
‘The Only Way is Exit?’ by Owen Davies (Year 13)
how China’s actions can fit into a wider narrative of empire. Drawing on Lenin’s approach to imperialism as the ‘Highest Stage of Capitalism’, we wondered whether China was depending on imperial aggression because of internal economic difficulties. Eventually, however, we concluded that this brand of imperialism was quite particular to ‘late capitalism’ and therefore requires a separate set of theories, which could take into account the extent to which the economy has become global. The society then took a more theoretical turn as we attempted to work out exactly what ‘dialectical materialism’ is supposed to be. The core philosophical component of Marx’s work, it proposes a theoretical system of infinite division of every thought into ‘Thesis’ and ‘Antithesis’, which in turn leads to a ‘Synthesis’. While this was inevitably complicated, we sought to demonstrate how all of us essentially think ‘dialectically’ all the time. After looking at the origins of the idea (tracing it from the Pre-Socratics, through Hegel and finally to Marx), we turned to its applications. Following Marx’s Capital , we attempted to analyse the history of human society as a clash of different classes and ideas. Most importantly, we looked towards our future, and tried to apply the system to a more advanced and more complex society, with the aim of identifying a possible resolution to the ideological conflicts we face today. Finally, we talked about the work of a specific figure: Theodor Adorno. A significant influence on the foundation of the society because of his analysis of fascism after World War Two, Adorno sought to explain the failure of communism in both the East and the West by analysing the ‘superstructure’ of capitalist society: consumer culture, art, music and the ideology with which people approach their everyday lives. Argument arose over the efficacy of his materialistic approach to art criticism, and whether many of his points about the relationship between ideology and art are rather obvious.
Overall, LeftSoc has tried to diminish somewhat the distance from which we — those whom the system protects — regard politics. The good attendance at every talk (even those dealing with specific and difficult matters of philosophical theory), from Years 9 to 13, was heartening, and we hope that those who attended felt pleased that such a society exists. In an era where young people form the bulwark of socialist politics, it is important that, in all walks of life, the value of radical theory is not overlooked. Our world is faced with unprecedented challenges: war, the refugee crises, starvation, climate change, mass invasions of privacy, sexism and racism mean that the number of people for whom capitalism offers no solution is growing. It is clear that, until we embrace the egalitarian maxims of socialism, most people in the world will be subjected to unprecedented barbarism.
CONFLICT & RESOLUTION
The question of whether silence can, or should, reign in the Wodehouse Library has a long history. Debate is fierce between those who strive for absolute peace and quiet, and those who take a more relaxed approach. Tom Anderson (Year 11) ponders this perennial issue, and puts forward a modest proposal of his own Sounding it out among the volumes
‘Sewn Shrouds’ by Louis Downham (Year 13)
CONFLICT & RESOLUTION
W ho, one asks, should have the right to dictate the decibel levels in the Wodehouse Library? Many young library-users would argue that the draconian laws of this absolutist establishment are far too stringent. Under this totalitarian regime students are forced to speak in hushed whispers, huddled in the dark corners of the non- fiction shelves, in constant fear of being ejected from their lunchtime sanctum sanctorum. Should we ask the opinion of those bashful Year Nines, just beginning their careers as North Face model wannabes, who pierce the library’s rarefied air with their high-pitched voices? No: the real power to oppose does not lie with them, but with the rowdy rabble of the years above. Having graduated from mute mumblings, this more mature clientele has acquired a rebellious streak that strains against the harsh ‘no speaking’ policy of the library. Congregating around tables, under the guise of researching their Biology prep, they exchange tales of their weekend conquests, blind to the warning glances directed their way from the bibliophile basilisks. Eventually, as the tale reaches its climax, the librarians move in: a skilled taskforce that swiftly dispatches the giggling group, often chastising a lone straggler who dared break bread in their haven. Incidents such as this have become commonplace. The students almost always believe the actions of their adversaries to be unjust; the following lunchtime a similar scene will ensue. Viewed from the other side, the situation is nothing short of a nightmare. One simple favour is asked, but is never granted. What can the librarians do? They cannot allow the library to fall into dishonour. Though some may be fierce, with gazes that could open oysters, they exercise their gimlet eyes for the greater good: to establish tranquillity for those actually attempting to work or — whisper it — read. The students must resolve, or at least try to resolve, their differences with the establishment, in order for peace to develop between the two warring factions. But the odds of such an occurrence are infinitesimally small. What is the resolution? Can there be a resolution? I believe so. However, given the obstinacy and belligerence of the student body, a moderate form of control will never work. It is my view that a technique slightly more niche, more incisive, must be deployed. And so I put to you my modest proposal. The sewing shut of students’ mouths as their tender feet cross the threshold of the library must be admitted to be the only sensible solution. First and foremost, it will achieve silence in the library (save perhaps a stray sob and gurgle every now and again). Thus, the main
cause of so many disputations will be solved in a simple and effective manner. Secondly, be in no doubt: a higher rank in the league tables will surely follow. Thirdly, it will result in a sewing Renaissance. This noble art-form, long unseen in the industrious bowers of the Barry Buildings, will bloom and flourish, furnishing students with essential skills as they weave their way towards their golden futures. Students will be able to suture themselves with a free sewing kit provided at the entrance to the library, an expense that a modest rise in school fees will surely enable. The process will help to tame the students as well; their insurrectional natures will be calmed and the school will be able to churn out more conformist and conservative characters. Before objections are raised, let me reassure you: the litigious enthusiasm of any unreasonable parent will be quashed, for the thread will be soluble, therefore leaving minimal scarring; straws will be provided to keep the students on the right side of hydration; drop-in clinics for sign language will be made available on Friday lunchtimes. If the school were to follow this suggestion, all of the aforementioned benefits would ensue, and all previous problems posed by librarians and students alike would be solved. I hope that the decision-makers will be able to see the plausibility of my idea, and will commit to promoting and implementing it for future prosperity. Unfortunately, I believe that my modest proposal will take at least two years to implement, by which point I will have left this fine establishment.
CONFLICT & RESOLUTION
Some queries aren’t quite what they seem. Some questions carry an implied sense of conflict which the recipient cannot easily resolve. Arjaan Miah (Year 9) shares his experience in responding to a particularly loaded question But where are you from ?
H ow often do you get asked where you are from? If you have a ‘normal’ name and chalky-white skin, I don’t suppose you get asked very often. With most people I meet, the topic comes up, without fail.
One of two responses ensues. Either something regarding my name, or simple denial that I could ever be Italian. Everyone seems to be a genealogical expert by this point. Either way, they’ll then repeat the question, with a different emphasis on the ‘from’. Some will make it short and curt, as though angry at me. They seem somewhat peeved that I don’t tell them what they want to hear. Others will elongate it, as though trying to lengthen the whole ordeal. Often, they add a tonality, with a descending, condescending tone to it. You might have guessed, I’m mixed race, or rather, I’m brown. For that reason, even in Italy, I can’t be Italian. At this point they might as well have a Dulux colour chart to hand. All they want to know is where my skin comes from. They don’t see me. They see my skin, and that represents me. In such discussions, little matters beyond a thin coating of chocolate. Even if I’ve never been to Bangladesh, spoken the language or made a curry, in this country, at least, it defines me.
‘Where are you from?’
It doesn’t seem that big a deal; all it takes is a simple ‘here’ and that’s the end of it, right? Wrong. ‘Here’ doesn’t suffice. I was born here, have a British passport and have never left these islands for more than three weeks at a time, but I don’t actually belong here. I never did, and never will. Emphasis can entirely change the nature of the enquiry. The question may be the same; my response isn’t. At this point I’ve discerned that they don’t want to know where I’m from, but rather what my ‘heritage’ is, as it is quaintly phrased, in an attempt to soften the blow. I do speak Italian, and have an Italian mother. I can make a mean pizza alla Diavola , and know most of my Italian family, from Sicily to Genoa. So, even though I don’t live in Italy (and never have), my response has to change: ‘I mean, where are you from?’
‘My father is Bangladeshi.’
‘Oh! You’re Bangladeshi.’
I am from London, my heritage is Italian, and my skin is Bangladeshi. But then again, I don’t belong in any of the above categories, do I?
How about you? Where are you from?
SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY
Reaching for the stars
Theo Macklin (Year 13) a member of the UK Space Design Competition team over the past two years, reflects on taking part in this exciting project
H aving entered the UK Space Design Competition for the first time in 2016, we returned to the fray this year with eager anticipation. Our seasoned Year 13 team was joined by a joint DC and JAGS team composed of pupils from Year 10 and Year 12. In addition, a group of Year 9 boys entered the Galactic Challenge, a smaller-scale version of the competition for younger entrants. Last year, our video, which showcased a design for a human settlement on Europa, one of Jupiter’s moons, had earned us a place in the national finals, during which we worked to design a habitat on Mercury. Following this, I was lucky enough to be asked to represent the EU team at the final of the International Space Settlement Design Competition (ISSDC) at Kennedy Space Center in Florida. For both the experienced team and the novice one, this year’s projects started well. We were required to design the structure for a settlement on the Moon, taking into account construction processes, liveability factors, automation, operating procedures and business considerations. This proved a significant challenge for all; time management and communication skills were put to the test as much as scientific and engineering know- how. After nine gruelling hours of researching, 3D modelling
and intense spreadsheet work, both teams had to present to the judging panels at their respective regional heats in London and Oxford. Battling off eight other schools, both teams were victorious, securing places at the national finals at Imperial College, London. At the finals, we and the other qualifying teams were challenged to design a space station to house 10,000 people. Over the course of the next 24 hours, participants were pushed to their limits of knowledge and resilience, playing their part as members of a fictional aerospace company. Many students from DC thrived in this environment, delivering a final presentation detailing a design that was commended for its scientific rigour and high engineering standards. While we were narrowly pipped to the post by another school, the competition brought out the talents of many students as they demonstrated existing skills and learned new ones, such as confidently presenting to almost 300 people, including an eagle-eyed judge from NASA. Thanks to his self-effacing, efficient leadership and his realistic engineering solutions, Emyr Williams (Year 13) has been asked to represent the EU team at the ISSDC this summer, continuing what we hope will become a longstanding partnership.
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