HoWSC 7 | Rhowan Ho

In 2017, I boarded my school’s WSC hype train…and haven’t looked back since.

From my very first Regionals in Penang, I was hooked. Globals was even more memorable: At Hanoi I proposed to two different people, pretended to be in love with a tree, ran around sweating in a hat, and realised I wasn’t done with WSC. Two rounds – Regionals and Globals – just weren’t enough.

This year, things are a little different. I didn’t expect to come 2nd Overall, or get School Top Scholar in Regionals. I didn’t expect to work so well with my teammates, one of which is a first-timer who gave veteran Scholars a run for their money, or to achieve what we did together. I didn’t expect walking away from the Regionals venue (to McDonald’s) armed with trophies, medals, and a new-found loathing for Havana. 

Then again there are lots of things about WSC I didn’t expect: that I’d actually be motivated to prep, that I’d hate a sound (or song) more than the monotonous school bell, that I’d place for subjects I didn’t study for. That there’d be events like the OnePwaa-run WSCamp, to which I owe my not-death in debate. At the camp I learned so much more about debate like types of analysis and angles to tackle motions from, ate pizza, and found new friends within the local WSC community.

Some of my favourite memories from WSC include the impromptu, usually off-key van/bus karaokes my school informally hosts on the way to rounds – Havana is now banned – and running up the steps during Closings; others are trying to locate toilets in a venue, working with my dysfunctional family of a team, going to McDonald’s after Regionals with our bling, and learning (disturbing) new facts about fanfiction. (I didn’t know what slash was before this year.) Also, randomly breaking into What Is Love during class.

The World Scholar’s Cup changed my life, and is something I continually look forward to – a break from lessons and homework that has somehow still taught me so much. Thank you, my schoolmates and fellow scholars from Han Chiang, for sharing these memories and experiences; thank you especially to one of my teammates (and previously mentioned first-timer) Hoven for being my basketball buddy – er, fellow Ho in closing: it was truly an honour to hear Daniel say, “The 2 Ho’s” in reference to us. Here’s to KL.

Rhowan will not be applying for OnePwaa’s Malaysian WSCholarship this time round, but he encourages Scholars to do so, and wishes applicants the very best.

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