“The only impossible journey is the one you never begin,” Anthony Robbin
Learning experiences that allow students to gain a deeper knowledge or expertise in areas of interest or excellence. These experiences are also utilized to develop skills necessary for current or upcoming curriculum.
A novel — regardless of what language it’s in — is a powerful literary platform that can teach readers about a time they can’t personally experience and tell a story that may be useful for life.
In Khmer class, we read and scrutinized the novel Mealea Doung Chet, novel set in 1939 about two lovers from two different countries with war.
The novel Mealea Doung Chet depicted the Khmer society back during the French colonial era. During that time, young men got the opportunity to pursue education, just like the male protagonist Tikheavuth. It was also a time when people in the rural area heavily depended on agriculture. In addition, the story took place during World War II which the protectorate France was also involved in. Besides, Cambodia and Thailand were in serious territorial dispute, and as a result, Cambodia lost a part of its land, but soon after obtained it back. Not only did the novel illustrated the economic and political aspect, but also the religious side. Mostly like today, Cambodians during that time heavily believed in Buddhism and other spiritual beliefs.
The legendary author Nou Hach mainly reflected love across different nations in the novel. The two young people, Tikheavuth fell in love with Chann Mony, from Thailand, despite the fact that she’s from an enemy country, and the love became mutual over time. However, the glory did not last when Thailand started invading Cambodia. Tikheavuth mistakenly accused Chann Mony and her family of being spies and their love terminated. Despite the challenges and distance they’ve experienced for years, the young lovers cleared the misunderstanding and reconciled when the war ended.
To see a summary of the novel in English, click here.
There are many projects that are going on at Liger. Some of them can’t be funded by Liger; this means we need fund from other foundations. One of the projects is writing the Geography of Cambodia book.
All Junior students involve in researching information for the book. They’re doing this because they realize the need of geography lessons for Cambodian students. There is a lack of geography lesson in the government school curriculum books and students aren’t learning about the geography of Cambodia beyond their province that they’ve lived in. Furthermore, the world doesn’t know much about the geography of Cambodia; usually, the only thing they know is Angkor Wat, which is located in Siem Reap province. Students of Cambodia should be able to talk more about Cambodia in terms of history, culture, politic and most importantly the geography of Cambodia. There’s a plan of distributing those books into every secondary school in Cambodia, just like what happened with the wildlife and Cambodia economy book.
In order to make that happen, two other teammates and I are putting together a grant to ask for the fund from Sam Mellett Foundation. I’ve used many skills while writing this grant. One of them is collecting information regarding the topic and knowing who to approach for specific information. Another one is writing clear and organized paragraphs that encompass all the information that’s gathered.
This is a very important project. If this grant is successful, I can make a change to Liger, as well as to Cambodia. This is also an opportunity for me to learn this essential skill because, in the future, there’s a possibility that I’ll write grants for projects I’ll have.
This year ISPPMUN was very different from last year for me. Last year I was in a Junior committee and this year I was in the Environmental Assembly with a lot of people who are older than me. This year I was the main submitter for one of the resolutions we created during the conference. I was able to make a lot of speeches and point of information (asking questions). By attending MUN, it prepares me to be a change agents since it encompasses networking, collaborating, innovating, problem-solving and many other change agent characteristics. I am looking forward to doing this next year again!
Liger has its first long-term science research team, Liger Marine Research Team, and I’m one of its members. We will be doing long-term marine research that includes surveying marine life underwater. To do that, we need to be certified divers. On October, I became one of the youngest certified open water divers in the world! I couldn’t believe that myself because I wasn’t a person who is passionate about being in the water.
In the next three years, starting this month, our team travels to Koh Seh in Kep to study about the ocean. During the first trip, we did a lot of underwater courses and dives in order to get us certified. It was really hard for me because I needed to put so much energy into doing activities on this trip. There were many times that I heard certified divers said they took months to become certified. I and my teammates only took a week to become certified! I’m extremely proud of that!
I’m looking forward to further research the marine ecosystem in Cambodia and involve in protecting our ocean.
On the 26th of November, the TEDxISPP occurred at 12:30 pm to 5:00pm at the Blackbox Theater at ISPP. I was one of the 15 speakers, talking about feeding the world’s population. Do you know that there will be about 9 billion people on earth in 2050? This would make it harder to feed everyone! This problem is really interesting to me, which is why I chose to share about this topic with the audiences.
In order to stand up on the stage talking, I did a lot of work before the event actually started. Those things include researching, writing and practicing the speech. This topic is actually connected to one of the topics for my MUN committee, so I used some of that information. My favorite part of the speech was in the last part, where I said: “Please try to cut down your food waste, if you want your children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren to have enough nourishing food to eat.” I think this is a very strong line that people can relate to.
Going up to talk on the stage wasn’t easy, and it was scary. There were some problems as I went up there, like I couldn’t remember a small part of my speech. But, I think I did very well, because I reflected back to the past year, when I think I couldn’t do something like this. This is an opportunity for me to practice my presentation skill, which a very important one.
MUN is an extra-curricular activity, which simply is when students role play as delegates of different countries and they come together in one committee to debate resolutions for some problems. ISPPMUN is a MUN conference lead by International School of Phnom Penh. This year, the event was held on the 28th, 29th, and 30th of October. I was in JGA2 (Junior General Assembly 2) committee, where we have three topics to debate on, the question of deforestation in Southeast Asia, the question of feeding the world’s growing billion and the question of returning cultural artifacts back to the country of origin. It was a very amazing experience for me because I can practice my public speaking skill and I also makes some new friends. You can check out what it was like in that event by checking out the pictures and a video that is made by my friend, Samady below.
A group photo in JGA1
School photo with the wonderful flags
With our certificates!
The chair (leader) and the deputy chair (co-leader) of the event