Problem Solving on Global and Local Levels

This week in Global Affairs Fellows we met in our cohorts (2022’s, 2023’s, and 2024’s) to finish some of our curricular work. The sophomores have been studying the Council on Foreign Relations’ modules on the regions of the world. Each of the six sections has information on modern history, politics, geopolitics, economics, U.S. foreign policy, and people and society. For every region we prepare a briefing for “the state department”. On Tuesday, we looked at South and Central Asia. Some of the key issues we focused on were India’s multiple party system and increasing violence towards Muslims. We also noticed how climate change will affect this part of Asia in the future, with Bangladesh at risk of being underwater in just a few decades. We concluded by analyzing the pros and cons of a potential allyship with India. On Thursday, we spent the first half of the block researching East Asia, and how more governments in that region are becoming autocracies. We also recognized how China is becoming a greater threat to the United States.

For the last part of the block on Thursday, the 2024’s were given an interesting challenge. We were asked to count the number of tiles in the upper school. At first, we immediately started planning on how to divide up the rooms in the upper school to count the tiles most efficiently. After realizing that approach would take too long, we all gathered together and brainstormed other ways to solve the problem. We measured a tile and figured out that each one was a square foot. The only thing left to do was to figure out how many square feet were in the upper school. We tried to find the answer on the internet but were unsuccessful. We decided to divide up and ask different teachers if they knew anything that could help us. We eventually met with the Facilities Manager, who was able to tell us that there were around 33,000 square feet in the upper school. Through this exercise we learned the importance of being able to ask for help, delegate tasks, think of different ways to solve a problem, and most importantly, how to work well together.

~ Areen Syed ‘24

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