After minor disruptions to the first term of the school year, The Collegian is ready to introduce its core members for 2021.

Here’s the team:

Executives 

Annika Lee, Ellen Wang

Writers 

Elaine Cao

Oliver Dai

Nicole Lai

Vanessa Li

Kelly Ma

Binuri Marasinghe

Elizabeth Pham

Andrew Zeng

Editors

Alana Mackenzie

Elizabeth Pham

Josephine Sim

Digital Artists

Maggie Chen

Joanne Gee

Maggie Xian

Website Operator

Joshua Yee

 

Prepared below are a set of autobiographies from our group.

 

EXECUTIVES

Annika Lee

Heya! My name is Annika, and I’m a Year 13 from Snell house, running The Collegian as an Executive for yet another year—why else, except for the fact that I love it so much? Words have fascinated me since I was born—I can still remember reimagining Snow White from the huntsman’s perspective on a typed-up Word document, and dashing to the ‘M’ section in the library straight after school, because by some strange celestial force of the universe all my favourite authors had surnames beginning with that letter. This love has sustained itself through the years, manifesting in excessive journalling and Storybird-writing through childhood (resulting in a remarkably high wpm score), tender love for English Literature lessons (very sorely missed), and a rather uncanny penchant slash talent for spelling (and, subsequently, frequent and unsolicited speculation of etymological roots for arbitrary words). I revere the power that words have in impacting the world around you. How is it that a simple string of letters can mean so much? 

Beyond all my hectic singing, dancing, event organising, daily psychological philosophies, and at times saccharine but genuine appreciation for my loved ones, I’m glad to be able to come back and run this special little corner of Macleans: our official school newspaper, and our written podium for student voice. I leave you now with a quote that’s close to my heart: “To be the best that you can possibly be.”

Ellen Wang

Hi, I’m Ellen; nice to meet(ish) you. I’m in Snell house, and I’ll be one of the exec of the Collegian for my final year of college. I’ve spent my time developing skills that will help me navigate my way through adulthood, including humming and whistling at the same time, falling out of trolleys, speedrunning my shoelaces, and accidentally ghosting my friends. The past year alone has seen me from my best (flossing daily) to my worst (missing two buses in a row). I can’t honestly say that I don’t regret any of it, but regardless of our feelings on our adolescences, we are all going forward. Life continually morphs into a recursion of tomorrows; while she’s doing her thing, we can all just figure out why we’re here.

 

WRITERS

Elaine Cao

hello! i’m elaine and this is my third year writing for the collegian. i’m a year 11 student from batten. outside of writing, i’m also interested in balancing my want to play games (currently on my sixth playthrough of AQURIS) with my need to study and do better than i did last term. my lifelong dream is to have intrinsic motivation along with a will to live. the last film i watched was nomadland / the film that chloe zhao directed and made history with by being the first woman of color to win the oscars as best director >:).

Oliver Dai

Hi everyone! I’m Oliver Dai, from Year 13 in Snell. Some people who know me but don’t know me well would think I’m sort of a science-maths-kinda person. You are partly correct, yet somehow I’ve wondered through this journey of my life to a sojourn in literature. Bizarre, eh? I hope it will be a longer-than-temporary stay though. Everyone should be able to rest in the woods of words sometime, and just appreciate being here. Anyways, I’ll be a writer in the Collegian. More specifically, I’ll probably be only trying to write ‘poetry’. Why? Because I find that poetry is a way to the heart, an outburst against unfairness … Actually, it’s because I’m horrible at the other forms, and this is something I’m ever so slightly better in. So you’re in for a ride, I guess. We’re going to be going through time, space and humanity in whatever way I feel like it, whenever I feel like it (i.e. I might just never write anything wink wink). And to end, I’m not going to quote anybody so I can look ostensibly different. I’ll leave everyone to make up their own quote.

Nicole Lai

Greetings! Fellow visitor to the Collegian website, fancy seeing you here, visiting the place where all the cool kids come to write, obviously. I’m Nicole Lai, one of those oh-so-cool writers and I’m currently a year 10 in Batten. In terms of writing, I prefer writing creatively as there are no rules or boundaries as to how you portray a certain idea, and that certain idea can also be anything you wish it to be. You can write for an audience, for the world to read and marvel at your advanced language techniques and plot-driven story, or you can write for yourself, describing every crevice of detail and emotion you felt or should feel. It doesn’t matter and that’s why I love writing creatively so much. I look forward to seeing you around here more often, fellow visitor, and encourage you to have a read of some of our writers’ incredible articles, and see our artists’ equally stunning art pieces.

Vanessa Li

Hello all. I am Vanessa Li, a student from Hillary, one of the core writers of The Collegian this year. Genuinely, I did not expect that I would get in. But anyways. Taking joy in writing poetry, I also enjoy writing creative pieces. What’s appealing about poetry is its unique language. It merges and expresses: inspiration, emotions, signals, symbols, and thoughts and ideas. Poetry conveys many aspects to the audience; it can hide many aspects along with it. (By the way, National Day on Writing is the 20th of October and World Poetry Day is celebrated on the 21st of March.) Remember: “Poetry is nearer to vital truth than history.” ― Plato.

Kelly Ma

Hola! I am Kelly, a Y9 giraffe from Upham. Yes, I call myself a giraffe because I am way too tall for a year 9. I am always inspired and motivated by the world around me. I like to wonder how humans live on the planet we call Earth. I admire people like Nelson Mandela that changed the world. And yes, I love words. I love reading and writing. That’s why I am in the Collegian for 2021. I don’t remember how I started reading, but I think it was because my friend forced me to read a book by Roald Dahl. And yes (for the third time), I loved the book so much that I ended up reading way too many books. I guess that’s why my writing got better? I am also a debater (even though I don’t know how I made the team). Well, that’s enough about me, time to sleep! “When a man has done what he considers to be his duty to his people and his country, he can rest in peace. I believe I have made that effort and that is, therefore, why I will sleep for the eternity.” – Nelson Mandela.

Binuri Marasinghe

Hi, my name’s Binuri and I’m looking forward to writing for the Collegian for the third year!  My love for writing has stemmed mostly from my love for books, which has been a significant part of my life since childhood. Words have been my way of conveying everything in my mind onto paper, allowing me to create worlds and plots out of my imagination. Words have been a source of comfort and solace since I was young, and I feel so privileged to have been able to share my adoration for stories through the Collegian. Outside writing, I love obsessing over the avatar world and rewatching LOK and ATLA, and basically staying at home and doing what I do best – being an introvert. I’m so excited to write again for the Collegian this year, and hope to release some special pieces soon !!

Elizabeth Pham

Hi there! I’m Elizabeth, a Year 13 from Mansfield and a writer and editor for The Collegian this year. I find that writing comedy is harder than writing tragedy, but writing an autobiography beats both. What do I say and how do I smoothly transition to different tidbits about me? Now, let us transition to my favourite food: sushi. That’s been a staple in every one of my introductions since primary school. Some other non-staples: I have two main things that I want my writing to do: to express myself and to be of help to others. I like to read different opinions – even ones that differ from mine. Though I admit I have a hard time wrapping my mind around certain opinions, I’d like to consider all perspectives (unless they lead to infringing on others’ human rights (what would “lead to infringing on others’ human rights”? how do we know they would lead to that? that’s another can of worms that I’m not going to talk about in my short autobiography)). To end on a positive note, I’d like to quote the following quote: “It is impossible to live without failing at something, unless you live so cautiously that you might as well not have lived at all – in which case, you fail by default.” – J.K. Rowling

Andrew Zeng

Hey there. I’m Andrew, a returning writer for The Collegian in my last year at Macleans. To absolutely nobody’s surprise, I continue stumbling through life tanking hit after hit to my stats; whether that be grades or IQ (probably both, actually, now that I think of it) But hey! I’m still standing. So grab your balloons, lace up your shoes, or throw yourself into a shopping cart for all I care: It’s been a wild wild ride, and I’m honoured to have you here with me. 

 

EDITORS

Alana Mackenzie

Hi, my name is Alana, I’m a Year 9 from Rutherford and an editor for The Collegian this year because it seems that I have a talent for correcting people’s grammar (yeah I’m fun like that). My other talents include staying inside all day and doing literally nothing, watching YouTube for unnecessary amounts of time without breaks, being sarcastic and making bad financial decisions! When it comes to entertainment, aside from Stranger Things which I am chronically addicted to, I like dystopian movies/books like The Hunger Games and Divergent. My favourite game is Stardew Valley because of its relaxed-style gameplay and somewhat simple plot (I highly recommend it, it’s kind of like Minecraft but cute). Since I am an intense optimist, I’ll leave you with this quote: “Optimist: Someone who figures that taking a step backward after taking a step forward is not a disaster, it’s more like a cha-cha.” – unknown

Josephine Sim

Hey, I’m Josephine, a year 9 and a new editor for the Collegian. An absolute American patriot (nobody knows where that came from, but I assure you, red white and blue blood runs in my veins), you’ll often find me studying about firearms, knives, and US history, especially the Civil War. Or just sentimentally missing my fellow brothers and sisters. Other than those things, much of my life is spent trying to finish schoolwork the day before it’s due – not because I procrastinate, but because I often find myself interrupted ever so frequently by my own thoughts with a self-proclaimed ‘brilliant’ line of writing, such as: the wound he bore brimmed with blood, which glistened and glowed in the moonlight. I’ve spent more hours in my life staring at a blank page trying to start writing just a sentence or two than I’ve spent sleeping. (They do have a point when they say that you are your own worst enemy.) On that note, I’d better go get some shut-eye! See ya round school 😉

 

DIGITAL ARTISTS

Maggie Chen

Hi there, I’m Maggie (the other one), a Y13 aspiring artist from Snell house. I have a passion for creating new places and characters for stories and DND, building up cities, worlds, entire realms from scratch just with the power of imagination and a pen and paper. Whilst I’m not escaping from my everlasting workload from school, I tend to rack up plushies from claw machines (a recent collection has been established). Currently listening to: colorblind – Elysian

Joanne Gee

Hullo I’m Joanne – a year 13, fellow hilliarian and a member of the digital artists team for 2021. Oftentimes when I’m swamped with copious amounts of work from painting or graphics, I enjoy spending my limited time by participating in the procrastination olympics. Stylised digital art is my primary love but I am currently expanding into realism and the occasional abstraction in a polyamorous relationship. For 2021, I’m looking forward to working with the many talented writers on the team !! (and hopefully less lockdowns).

Currently listening to: fishmonger by underscores and have a new found addition to ‘Clario – Pretty Girl (Wallflower Remix)’.

Maggie Xian

Hello! I’m Maggie and I’m excited to be on board the Collegian this year as a digital artist! I have a passionate dislike for bad urban planning, the colour fuchsia, and Brutalist architecture. Whilst I’m not contemplating the thought of an unrealistic cottagecore lifestyle, you’ll often find me inhabiting the art department as a form of escapism from A2 physics.

 

WEBSITE OPERATOR

Joshua Yee

Yo, I’m Joshua – Y11, Battenite after betraying TK (no regrets). Currently, my mind is struggling to form coherent sentences while typing this, so thankfully, I am not a writer and am instead the web operator for The Collegian, where I have the role of making sure the website exists, etc. Within my free time, I do a variety of completely unrelated extracurriculars. Whether it be trying to resuscitate robotics before it goes to the grave, or tryharding in fencing while being the least athletic person alive, one thing for sure is that I won’t be having a social life any time soon. I also “enjoy” going on the internet, in which I watch youtube and play low quality mobile tier games on pc (still better than playing league of legends, of course). Basically, whatever ensures that I am sedated enough to not do anything productive. Not surprisingly, I am currently in a permanent cycle of cram studying, which somehow has worked so far (its not going to for AS though please send help). Lots of fun, as you can see. Now onto why would I choose this role? Well recently i’ve been on a downward spiral due to the internet (read above), so i figured I might as well do something productive with my time online. Also to gain insight on how to manage a public website, to practise web design and whatnot, but still mainly the former. So that is my bio, there you go.

Don’t search up lego brick 26047 worst mistake of my life – Mahatma Gandhi

 

Published on 06/05/2021. Header image courtesy Aaron Burden on Unsplash.

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