– THE DEEP THINKER
This week we met with Senior student Amelie T. (’22), who joined ISKL in Grade 9, right after the new campus opened in 2018! Named after the famous French movie ‘Amelie,’ she lived in Shanghai, China, for ten years before moving to KL.
Amelie has been incredibly busy this year working on ‘QuaranTeened’, an online anthology of artwork, poetry, and prose that exhibits the creativity of teenagers during the pandemic. She started the project to connect with other students her age as she was curious about how others were dealing with growing up in a pandemic.
Amelie likes to play badminton or draw during her free time and ‘attempts’ to learn new vocabulary in French, Arabic, or Chinese, as languages interest her!
Here is her story.
“Like everybody else, it’s been a lonely past couple of years, which is especially difficult for teenagers already dealing with school, social pressures, and the awkward transition into adulthood. In many ways, I felt robbed of the “teenage dream” I grew up envisioning.
‘I started the “Quaranteened’ project with the hope of creating a virtual space where students around the world can express their pandemic stories through art, poems, and prose. The project has made me feel more connected to the people around me, even in a time when isolation is mandatory. We live in unprecedented times, but that shouldn’t stop us from reaching out and seeking ways to share our stories; in fact, it should motivate us to do so! Seeing pieces submitted by kids from Nigeria, Australia, India, and the United States – I realized that even though I certainly felt it, I wasn’t alone in my experience as most others were struggling too.
‘There were times when I wondered why I was working so hard on this project through the process. However, what kept me going was knowing that it was still an impact, however small it was. This website has given people a small window into the lives of the teenagers who are currently facing a pandemic, their thought processes, and their emotions. I set out to provide students a way to connect with others, and although ‘QuaranTeened’ is minuscule in scale, I believe that I am beginning to achieve my goal even with its infinitely tiny form. This is the thought that keeps me motivated.
‘I worked on the project over the summer, and it was thanks to the help and support of my fantastic teachers like Ms. Jo Tilton and Ms. Lisa Hengstler who helped me bring it to life. Without their constant support and encouragement, none of this would have been possible. The challenges I faced with logistical issues were more manageable because I had help from the people around me.
‘My advice for students who want to embark on a similar project? Don’t overthink; just do it! If Covid-19 has taught me anything, it’s that we don’t have any time to waste. However revolutionary or inspiring, an idea is meaningless if you don’t take a risk to materialize it.
‘And when it comes to time management, organizing your priorities with calendars or planners is very helpful! As someone who can be pretty terrible at managing my schedule, I’ve realized that your teachers are there to help you more than you know! Communicate clearly with them if you have trouble meeting deadlines within a reasonable time, and it could give you time to polish up school assignments while also accomplishing your own goals.
‘My teachers are my greatest inspiration. Their endless patience, support, and enthusiasm put into helping us learn more about the world we live in pushes me to strive to become the best version of myself and positively impact others as they have done for me. I am constantly awed by their seemingly unlimited vaults of knowledge and their open-mindedness to all different perspectives and opinions.
‘After graduating, I hope to go to university to study theology or international relations! I want to pursue a career that will allow me to travel around the world in the future. I look forward to learning about new cultures, communities, and languages!”
What does “Be All You Are” mean to you?
“Is there truly a perfect version of ourselves? This is the question that ISKL’s motto has raised to me. Being “all I am” means to continue reaching for the highest standard of ourselves, even if it means failing in the process.
I believe that it is only when we try to embody the best person we can be that fulfillment is felt, and meaning is discovered in our day-to-day life. Being all I am means to chase after my goals and ambitions, even if it’s a challenge or risk.”
Do you know a student, faculty, staff, or alumni with a story to tell? Nominate them to be featured in our Panthers of ISKL stories by sending in your submissions here. To find out more inspiring stories of our community, read about Ren L.. our multi-lingual student or Ruby L. the empathizing student!