HoWSC 12 | Team Mitochondria

Jackalyn:
2016 ended Imperfectly-
Screwed up my first ToC,
Then shattered my leg
​(Sticks and stones can break your bones,
And trampolines can too.)
Sprawled out, dejected,
New year, new text-
Caden and I are missing a teammate-
New team.
Mitochondria, Vic named us, because
We are the powerhouse of the cell.
I was over the moon
Like the Apollo 11-
Put that science to use at regionals,
Crutches knocking on stairs.
Left before awards for a speech comp,
So now there’s a photo of Caden and Vic
Running onstage on my behalf,
Screaming like hell’s flames are after them.

Two months later I was walking again.
Though with the luxury of the Marriott,
The expanse of Hanoi’s 4000 red seats,
I felt like I was flying.
Victoria, ever the mom,
Made us cup noodles for a
Late-night cram session-
Tasteless, until we fished out the
Unopened seasoning packet halfway through
And died of laughter.
(Then Vic fell off her chair
And bruised her hip.)
Caden named his alpaca Poopy;
I decapitated a carrot;
Our last night in Vietnam we dived
Into the hotel pool
All clothes on
Splashed at the night view
And left in high spirits.

As Unlikely as it seems,
Despite the jetlag,
At the Shubert in New Haven I was made
A myth but not a lie.
Before that, though, Vic tripped in heels and a skirt,
Woke me up to the sound of a blowdryer
And the threat of water in my face,
Forced down me lentil soup
When I caught a cold (Thanks,
I almost flushed it down the toilet);
Caden and I passed out
Facedown on the Omni carpet
(With a video to prove it);
Our friends trashed the two of us at Spyfall
(We are terrible liars);
He was in tears at Anastasia,
Which started Vic’s craze as a Fanastasia.
And so, Mitochondria returned home
Dazed, on a high.
As Unlikely as it seemed at 2017’s birth-
I was happy.

Entangled, barely announced, but it rang true-
We were going to quit, but the very day we got back
I couldn’t resist. We debated our parents
For hard-won permission: Mitochondria, the sequel.
Regionals: a blur of laughter and tears-
Sabrina, we missed you at Globals, we did.
And then, study break-
Dropped all things WSC for IGCSEs
(It was worth it, in the end).
Vic’s place turned into a hideaway
Of academic crap and stolen yogurt
(I said I was sorry)
Then, as first-year seniors,
We stormed KL-
You better get ready.

One long platonic hookup
Is the best way to put it:
A whirlwind of exhilaration.
Shoutout to Shunsei who may never read this
For carving out a Scavenge to never forget.
The OnePwaa bunch converged like a house on fire,
Flags stuck proud at the cultural fair-
Representation (I am no longer invisible).
Caden twerked shamelessly at the Ball (and yes, that is meat);
I battled him for contacts obtained at the Fair (wink);
Mitochondria ran on adrenaline and Krispy Kreme;
I became a hairstylist for the week and Vic, a vlogger;
Y’all melted into tears over Batik wax
At the prospect of our last season…

Only six of us now face ToC:
Team Mother Russia (don’t even ask)
And us. The powerhouse hopefuls
Of endless banter
Who’ve come so far since the first text,
Who each claimed a Powerpuff Girl
(Guess who resembles who).
My chosen family.

The American air’s gonna freeze
Even the breath in my lungs,
But not our resolve. Never our resolve
For this is our last round
And we will
Stand out In a Crowd of Thousands.
It’s the small slices of life as a scholar
That stick with you,
The tiny flames that flicker and stack
Until you’re the Olympic torch in the night.
Our days are numbered, and IB’s out for blood.
Time’s ticking fast for Powerpuff Mitochondria-
But though none of us are wallflowers,
I swear we are infinite.

Victoria:
an Imperfect end to 2016-
didn’t go to ToC,
watched on wistfully
as my friends came home
from New Haven,
medals around their necks,
bright smiles on their faces.
new year, new season, 
so I sent a new text:
Caden and I are missing a teammate-
new team.
Mitochondria, I named us.
We are the powerhouse of the cell.
I had never been so proud-
her crutches knocking on stairs,
his voice loud and echoing in the stairway;
running onstage on her behalf
as she was on her way to win a speech comp.
winning our first two ever trophies as a team
not knowing that this was only the start.

a few months later
we are soaring 
through the air on our way to our first global round together;
we are roaming
the old streets of Hanoi;
we are walking
through the expanse of 4000 red seats;
we are diving
into the hotel pool, fully clothed,
making so many memories
splashing as the night unfolded next to us through the window,
leaving in high spirits.

as Unlikely as it seems,
a few more months later, 
at the Shubert 
we finished our first season
on a high note,
in high spirits.
but before that, we walked the bright streets of New York City,
dug into falafel on the hotel room carpet,
and made countless memories while battling jet lag.
and so, Mitochondria returned home
dazed, on a high.
as Unlikely as it seemed at the start-
we were happy.

Entangled, barely announced, but it rang true-
finding my way back to Mitochondria for another season,
welcoming to the club many new faces.
and soon came regionals-
a blur of laughter and tears,
a celebration of friendships, new and old.
soon came IGCSEs, and then came globals-
Mitochondria arrived in Kuala Lumpur,
ready to make more memories.

studying late into the night,
breaking down during writing,
leaving the ball early for card games,
running down the carpeted stairs
flickers of silver and gold swinging around our necks.

and so it ended-
now there are only six of us to face ToC.
Mitochondria has come so far
since that very first text-
simple teammates turned into so much more.
the American air will freeze the breath in my lungs
but not our resolve-
for this is our last round
and we will make history.

it’s the small slices of life as a scholar 
that stick with you.
small bits of passion building up
so that even when it’s all over
we still have our emotions and memories.
Team Mitochondria only has so much time left-
and though our days are numbered, and IB will soon consume our lives,
our memories will be infinite, and so will we.

Caden:
An Imperfect gap in 2016 - 
​Didn’t join the program again
After a devastating lollipop at 
2015 KL Globals. 
Went home with a single
Medal around my neck.
Afraid of failure
I abstained. 
Watching my friends return home 
With flying colours.
It ignited the flame in me
To join again. 

New year, new season,
Victoria and I are 
Scrambling to find a third.
A surprise encounter 
On the staircase,
I saw Jack limping
On her crutches. 
In that moment, I knew,
I found our missing piece.
Mitochondria
Victoria named us. 
I thought it was perfect.

Regionals come around, 
I remember the debates
Where Victoria tripped over boxes
While I debated my heart out.
Never before was I so eloquent.
I knew, I had to give it my best. 
(No more “zombies can love”)
Hard work pays off,
With medals and trophies,
Our journey as Team Mitochondria 
Began.

Looking back, 
Hanoi Globals seemed like
A dream.
A dream where I 
Performed on a stage 
In front of 2000 people. 
A dream where I 
Befriended scholars
From all around the globe.
A dream where we, 
As Team Mitochondria,
Became victorious(hehe) again.
Amongst the bowling, Marriott breakfasts,
VR shooting and swimming in the hotel pool.
I will never forget the forgotten pack of 
Seasoning in our cup noodles. 

Cold air descended upon us,
While we roamed the streets of New York City. 
Hearts beat, 
As we grew ever so excited for the
Tournament of Champions. 
I truly saw an Unlikely world -
Sleeping on hotel floors the night 
Before our debates.
Feeling the jetlag while
Jack wrote her winning piece next to me.
Team Mitochondria was unstoppable, 
And that is why we decided to carry on,
Another year, 
Another set of awards,
Another set of memories. 

An entangled world,
They called it. 
As new friends joined the 
WSC family,
We joined hands, entangling ourselves 
In each others’ stories
In each others’ memories. 
Regionals was full of 
Laughter but also
Tears. 
Even in the midst of IGCSEs and 
Coursework, we were determined 
To conquer it all.
Because nothing can stop
A burning heart. 

As I set foot in Kuala Lumpur again,
The nostalgia of the city 
Rushed back to my mind.
Two years, 
Since then I’ve grown so much 
As a scholar
As an individual.
This time, I was more ready.
With Team Mitochondria 
Snatching the trophy -
The trophy of teamwork
The trophy of friendship.
I was so proud
Of how far we had come. 

And so the page turns - 
Six of us will storm the
Tournament of Champions.  
The winds may freeze the 
Breath in our lungs
But never our resolve.
It may be the last round 
But our memories will be infinite. 

It’s the small slices of life as a scholar 
That stick with you. 
And though our journey may be coming 
To a full stop,
Team mitochondria
Will go down in history.


To Ms. Chung, Ellen, Maria, Michelle, Charlie, James, Thomas, Ian, Darren, Telia, Stephanie, Jasmine, Elise, Gordon, Bryan, Katrina, Jadon, Raphael, Geoffrey, Gabriel, Van An, Marielle, Shunsei, Tjasa, and our friends at OnePwaa- Emily, Darren, Sarah, Joshua, Charlie, Terry, each and every member of this family, and of course every single member of staff at WSC. Thank you for making Team Mitochondria who we are today.

Tell us your story - apply now by emailing onepwaa@gmail.com!