The 2023 School Captain, Darren Lee, has taken a prize as one of the runners-up in a prestigious national German essay-writing competition.
Following an adjudication process that looked both at content and language, Darren was named among the prize-winners by King’s College London.
The A-level German writing competition run by King’s Department of Languages, Literatures and Cultures was on the theme of how to tackle and overcome the climate crisis (Wie bewältigen wir die Klimakrise?).
Congratulating him, Assistant Head of Languages Burgunde Lukasser-Weitlaner said: “Darren’s prize is richly deserved. His competition entry was creative; it displayed his impressive language skills to good effect, and it also made a convincing argument.”
Darren opened this 443-word piece with an original poem, before then setting out to break down the issue into the ‘macro’ and the ‘micro’, considering how both large corporations and individuals could tackle the climate crisis.
The poem takes an apocalyptic view, ending with the words “…unsere Masken können nicht den Gestank eines sterbenden Planets reinigen”. (“Our masks cannot clean the stench of a dying planet.”)
But thereafter, while not flinching from the difficulties, Darren, who is in Year 12, strikes a cautiously optimistic note, stating that although it might appear that humanity is already doomed, there is in fact some progress.
He concludes his essay by urging people to eschew the temptation to blame others (“Es ist zu einfach, die Schuld auf anderen zu geben”), whether it be the rich, previous generations or huge, faceless corporations.
Instead, businesses can work together at the micro level, he urges, and thereby collectively reach the macro targets needed to provide a healthy environment for future generations.
He thanked both Frau Lukasser-Weitlaner for providing him with the opportunity to submit his essay in the competition and his German teacher, Rebecca Grundy, “for equipping me with the skills to write it!” Darren attended an online prize-giving organised by King’s.
The runner-up prize is only the latest success for Darren, who officially took over as School Captain on New Year’s Day and recently won a prestigious Arkwright Scholarship for engineering.