Should This Be The Last Generation?

Everyone in my TOK class is supposed to ‘be the teacher’ for one day and it’s my turn next Thursday. So my question is ‘should this be the last generation?’ A professor of bioethics at Princeton ran an experiment, suggesting that we should consider if the best ethical choice for the planet and humankind is to stop reproduction, forcing humankind to become extinct.

When parents consider whether to have children or not, they take many things into account before making that decision. But few parents actually consider whether coming to existence is a good thing for the child. Some parents fear that the child’s life would be difficult as they might know of lethal inherited diseases the child might suffer from. This raises the question ‘how good does life have to be to make it reasonable to bring a child into the world?

Writer and philosopher Benatar claims that bringing into existence someone who will suffer is to harm that person, suggesting that we are being selfish by continuing reproduction, which will harm many children. To a certain extent I understand where he is coming from. I also believe that our generation is kind of spoiling things for the generations to come. We are contributing to global warming, we are not using limited resources properly and we also depend on technology a lot. However, I do think that everyone will suffer to some extent and that’s just a part of life. And also that the future generations will find a way to deal with those problems just like we deal with the problems now. Besides, human beings are very complex, there’s a lot more to us that we don’t even know. Humankind should not become extinct. What do you think?

Is the world better off with humans in it or without?

 

Building a snowman

Over the Christmas break, in my city (Almaty) we got plenty of snow and almost every day my little sister, Dariya, made me go outside with her to build a snowman. Though our walks always ended with us fighting in the snow, we did build one at last… Here’s a series of picture of my little sister messing around in the snow. photo 2

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Voilà our snowman!

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St. Lucia Presentation

I am going to talk about my English presentation. Actually it’s not as our usual topics, this time we needed to do it about our own country! So it is really exciting for everyone, I think. In my opinion, a presentation on our homeland is really a good idea. It will make everyone share their own culture and origin, which reflect the atmosphere of our International school. So mine will be about St.Lucia , and I am happy to let my classmates discover it. st-lucia

stluciapn

Seventy years since the Siege of Leningrad

The Siege of Leningrad, also known as the Leningrad Blockade,  was a prolonged military operation undertaken by the German Army Group North against Leningrad—historically and currently known as Saint Petersburg —in the Eastern Front  theatre of World War II. The siege started on 8 September 1941, when the last road to the city was severed. Although the Soviets managed to open a narrow land corridor to the city on 18 January 1943, the siege was finally lifted on 27 January 1944, 872 days after it began. It was one of the longest and most destructive sieges in history and overwhelmingly the most costly in terms of casualties.

And today is the day when the blockade finally was over!  blokada+leningrada+vostochnij+front+vtoraya+mirovaya+vojna+55139062356 RIAN_archive_907_Leningradians_queueing_up_for_water tmp389B-65 Мобилизация_в_Ленинграде_летом_1941-го

Interview – Natalia Kuleshova on Crans-Montana, part 2

Crans-montana 1 Jan 2014 NatKu

Elena: Hello Natalia! So tell us something about your second ski week-end in Crans-Montana! Did something particularly exciting happen?

Natalia: I jumped with my snowboard for the first time! A kind of “snow trampoline” had been set up, with a big airbag right under it. I could have practiced my turns but just jumping was great!

E: What about the weather? And the snow condition?

N: There was more snow that the previous week – more slopes open for us! I also enjoyed the fact that our teacher offered us more variety during the class, we explored different sides of the mountains and other slopes.

E: And then..?

N: Then we finally went to Amadeus restaurant, my favorite on the slopes!

E: I heard you brought a “special guest” with you this time. Who is it?

N: My friend Liza came with me. She is a former CDL student, she studies in another school in Geneva now. This was our kind of “CDL reunion”! She is also a snowboarder, we really had a good time!

E: Would you like to add anything else?

N: Everybody come! I am going again next week-end!

E: What is so special? Tell me the secret…

N: It is like being in CDL but… not really! I enjoy the change in the routine, it breaks the school rhythm… and it is so beautiful up there!

Crans-montana 2 Jan 2014 NatKu Crans-montana 3 Jan 2014 NatKu

 

“Brave New World” by Aldous Huxley

“O brave new world that has such people in it. Let’s start at once.”
The phrase of the Savage, one of the main character of the book.

Have you ever thought about what will happen in  thefuture? I think all of us have done it. I offer you to fly yourself into the world of fantasy of a future world by the increasingly famous British author Aldous Huxley during the 20th century, who remains a well-known figure in classic literature nowadays, too.
At first, when I started reading I thoughts it was just a fantasy about life in future, but after a few pages I realized what was going on in Ford’s society and how many deep thoughts and serious problems were just hidden under the unique and ironic language of the author.

Also, twists and tricks of the plot will keep you reading until the end of it. Let’s try to imagine that all civilization has been destroyed by a great war. Then there is another war, the Nine Years War, which creates a new era of Ford, propagandizing stability through dictatorship. The society in the novel is based on caste system. The higher of the five castes enjoys superior tasks, while the lower ones perform menial roles. Ten Controllers hold all the power in this new world and peace is maintained by conditioning infant minds and by soothing adults with atranquilizer, called soma. The population is further controlled through scientific methods; marriage is forbidden, and children are not born but produced in an embryo factory. What is going to happen to the world next? You will find an answer by reading and enjoying this beautiful piece of literature.

“Brave New World” is a great novel which describes and opens a whole “New World” to the reader and can make him/her think about what can happen in the future.

 

Interview

A couple of days ago, me and Natasha Kuleshova gave the interview to one of the Swiss tv channels.
I’ve never been through this kind of experience, but I must admit that was nice and exciting.
The questions were simple, but interesting. What is more important, that our parents can be now proud of us “young celebrities” as our friends call us now 😉

Thanks to the Boarding Office for such possibility!

Good music = happy me

I recently discovered a young singer, Jhene Aiko, who seems to becoming more popular in ever-changing and expanding music industry. Personally, I am not the biggest fan of songs which have too many words, I prefer something quite simple like a Lounge genre of music but talented Jhene Aiko is definitely worth changing old music habits for. Her soothing voice and the deep meaning behind every word she sings is what makes me like her music. She worked together with Drake, a famous rapper, on a few songs, and one that appealed to me most is “From Time”, where both artists sing about relationship issues and things that have happened to them in the past which made them what they are today.

Though it is important to study a lot and work hard, remember to take some time to listen to good music.

Interview to Natalia Kuleshova, our “eyes and ears” in Crans-Montana!

Monday afternoon, January 20th: I am sitting in Villa Ecureuil with Natalia, who participated to the first CDL ski week-end of this winter season. All our audience is very curious to know about the ski condition up there and about… anything else worth knowing in order to have a great experience on top of the (best) mountains!

Elena: So tell me Natalia, what was the situation like when you arrived in Crans-Montana?

Natalia: It was great! We went directly to the rental shop at Grand Signal* to rent what was needed… Then we found out the main lift was  closed because of the wind. So by bus we went to Aminona* and went up to the top – we [20 participants in total] split in groups with teachers. I was in the snowboarding beginners’ group but the teacher, seeing that I am experienced, let me skip the explanations aimed at the “real” beginners!

E: Did you go skiing immediately or did you first stop at La Moubra, the youth camp where CDL students usually stay?

N: We only went to La Moubra in the afternoon, after skiing.

E: What about your favorite winter sport: why snowboarding, if I may ask?

N: I was a skier before but got bored with it, so I changed to snowboard. Jumping with skis is what I would have liked to improve, but it is not allowed in CDL, too risky! So I moved to snowboard and I am now very happily at my third year!

E: And what about lunch break? Did you eat something yummy on the slopes?

N: On Saturday we went to the cafeteria on the top of the mountain at Aminona – salad and spaghetti bolognese. All the various groups came together for lunch – very nice!!

E: What about the evening? Was something planned for the participants?

N: After finishing our ski practice, we went to La Moubra, had just the time to change our clothes before going to the village to buy snacks. At night we went out for nice meal at the Italian pizzeria owned by Mr. Cuccu.

E: And how was your room in La Moubra? Who did you share it with?

N: It was on the 1st floor – which was all reserved to girls only . I was allowed to choose my room, and I picked a spacious one, that I shared with another Russian girl (grade 8). In the morning we had an amazing view when the sun came up! You could see the whole valley below…

E: Great! And tell me about your Sunday experience, how was the weather?

N: Nice sunny weather, all the ski-lifts were open so we went up from Grand Signal… We had lunch on the slopes again!

E: So, just a few final words: how would you rate your first ski week-end this year?

N: 10/10 as usual!!

E: Thank you very much for your precious words, Natalia, and I do hope that you will bring back some more exciting news next week-end!… Because you are going back, aren’t you?

N: Yes, for sure!

Stay tuned for some more news, folks!!

PS: * a map of the slopes… http://www.switzerland-trips.com/Crans-Montana/Crans-Montana-Hotels-Tourist-Info.html

Natalia Ku 1 Natalia Ku 2