Our first dialogue speaker was a very eye opening experience. Although his style was very curt and blunt, we appreciated it because it gave us a new perspective on our country. If someone had spoken like that in the United States they would have been considered a radical.
Next, we visited the Supreme Court of Singapore, the center of the judicial system. It was cooler than the justice league riding bald eagles. At the top, there was a flying saucer-like structure with a great view of the city.
The building was mainly glass to represent the transparency of the law – fair and understood by all. This was a definite contrast to the courts in America, which are usually closed off by thick cement or some kind of opaque wall to protect privacy. For us, this raised the question: which is better, transparency or privacy?
One of the most exciting events during the day for us, was when we went to the Istana. We lined up according to countries (and subdivided into schools) and we were introduced to the president. While individual countries met with him and made conversation, the others students mingled and ate food. At first, we were a bit surprised because he was very soft-spoken, but nevertheless, he very friendly and polite. In America, often our leaders speak with dominance. However, this experience shows that both sides are applicable. This reinforces and gives understanding to Theodore Roosevelt’s famous quote: "speak softly, and carry a big stick." We were dancing before we spoke with him though, and he gave us funny looks. We posed for lots of pictures, and I’m sure it will be an event that we remember for the rest of our lives.
And now, a joke:
Change (globalization) is inevitable… except from a vending machine.
Ariel Ramsey, Alexander Lin, and Laura Feyer