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Culture at AES – Embrace It

As a member of The Direct Message, it’s my and my team’s responsibility to represent who we are as a Middle School. We love crazy news like Logan Paul and Kim Jong Un. We embrace sports and our opportunities to travel. Those extracuriculars and electives are like safe havens to us, away from the mumbo-jumbo of long, tiring equations and writing long paragraphs about the deep meaning behind books. Yet something that represents us so greatly but is hardly ever touched upon is our culture. This is an editorial that emphasizes how lucky we are to have the culture that we have at AES, and that we should embrace it. So as a member of The Direct Message, here’s my take on my favorite part about our culture here at the Middle School:

When I think about culture, what comes to mind are multiple things: food (Indian food is hands down the best, people!), art, religion, monuments… yet when I think about our Middle School, what comes to mind is the people; and our diversity. Not just in the Middle School, but in the entire school.

In our whole school, we’ve got kids and faculty from around 56 different countries all around the globe. That – is – amazing. This is something that not many people get the opportunity to have, and those who are experiencing this (like us)? Well, we just never fully appreciate this privilege until we leave the community here (which we all soon will).

Being here at AES for 7 years, this is something I’ve eventually taken granted of. And, let’s face it. This is probably what most of us have done too. Yet take a look outside and be in the environment of another community. Is this what you see? A community from completely different social and ethnic backgrounds, who follow different religions, who have different passions, capabilities, traditions, mindsets, cultures, and ways of life? I’m taking a second to think about the benefits that this diversity has had on me. Come to think of it, there are many. I’ve become open minded to differences. I’ve been able to learn empathy and compassion. That there’s more than one answer to everything (don’t you start debating me). This sounds all cheesy, doesn’t it? But take a second to think about this yourself.

Also, how about to listen as a benefit? No? Well, you’re probably doing that right now! You’re listening to a middle class 13 year old Indian-American girl, addicted to boondi ladoos (shame on you for those who don’t know this sweet heaven) and annoying her siblings, and who is still trying to figure out what her purpose is in life and who she really is.

Would you have listened if the only people you knew were the same as you? I probably wouldn’t have. So when it comes to my favorite thing about the culture at AES? Definitely our diversity. Embrace it, too. When you go out into the ‘real world’ (it’s not all sunshine and rainbows, you know), the experience of being in this community will definitely come to use. Let’s not take it as a privilege. Let’s take it as an opportunity. (Again, apologies for the cheesiness. But we’ll all realize the value of this once-in-a-lifetime experience soon enough, won’t we?)

Let’s face it: there’s been a lot going on in our Middle School lately. And some of what’s been happening? Well, it hasn’t really been representing who we are. So it’s important for us to regain the idea of who we are as a Middle School, and what we really value and really need in our community.

It’s not just me who thinks the culture in our Middle School is important. Here are the opinions of eight 8th graders (how ironic!), and their favorite things about our culture:

“My favorite thing about AES culture is how diverse each grade is. As well as we can make friends from many places.” – Esther

“WOW, because it brings you outside your ‘Delhi box’.” – Rohan

“I like how everyone’s friendly (well, mostly) and how it’s easy to make friends here because people are very accepting and helpful.” – Suhani

“As a new kid, the welcoming culture at AES is amazing.” – Kiran “No matter the differences, we all come together to learn about each other and have fun. This is the best part of our culture.” – Fareed

“I really appreciate how in the AES middle school, we have a reputation to be environmentally safe. For example, in our middle school socials, when somebody starts dancing in the middle of a group (no matter how lacking his/her dancing skills may be), everyone around him/her joins in as well, rather than laughing and pointing fingers at the person. And in my opinion, the kind of safety our middle school demonstrates is crucially important; not only inside the school campus, but outside of it as well.” – SeungYoon

“My favourite thing about the AES culture is all the sport programs offered.” – Keti “My favourite thing about the AES culture is the friendly and accepting environment.” – Giri

“We are the keepers and stewards of our culture”, says Mr. Currey. All of us come to school, ready to learn (well, MOST of us!), five of seven days every week. We spend around 7 hours every day inside the walls of AES, surrounded by people hardly at all like one another. We are the ones who continue to nourish our culture day by day. We are also the ones who decide our culture every day. So when you enter through the gates into the environment we’ve created here? Take a second to embrace our culture. These are the thoughts from students, a teacher, and a member of The Direct Message who is addicted to boondi ladoos (shame on you for those who don’t know this sweet heaven!).

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