Damjan Filipovski, UWC Adriatic
Damjan's ideas are well thought out.
Before answering, Damjan takes a short break to think. He grew up in Kumanovo, which he told me was a big part of his identity. When the UWC application asked him which languages he spoke, Damjan answered "Macedonian (Kumanovo dialect)". His thinking is logical when he explains the linguistic differences between literary Macedonian and the conversational Kumanovo dialect, which has retained some of the cases that can be found in the south of Serbia.
"Observing such differences makes everyday things important. Is there anything more everyday-like than the way someone speaks?” The fact that Damjan really pays attention to the world around him is not only obvious when it comes to linguistics. On almost every question, he gave several alternatives. For instance, he knows that he will choose math and physics at a higher level in UWC Adriatic. However, when he was telling me about social science options, Damjan pointed out a list of benefits for each of them. The same thing happened in the conversation about extracurricular activities: kayaking, sailing, hiking, and Model United Nations were all on the list of opportunities. He will wait until he gets to UWC before making a final decision.
After studying in Italy, Damjan finds himself in the United States. Or in Europe. Or in Kumanovo. There are good sides to most options. And modestly, Damjan says, "I keep telling you ‘I don’t know’”. To keep his unique mindset, Damjan is actively looking for new ideas. He had just read The Great Gatsby and watched a movie about the Vietnam War (which impressed him for the way the main character’s development was portrayed).
Damjan reads "literally everything" on the Internet. "Sometimes I'll just get lost," he told me as he explained an article he had read about music theory, which sounded interesting even though he couldn't fully understand it. In that way, he complements the education he has so far received at the American High School in Skopje. The openness to new ideas makes him more prepared for the upcoming experience in Duino, and that’s why he has already met some of his future classmates. "Very cool characters. In every way, there is someone who stands out.” He wants to share with them the aspects of his country that are most interesting to him, such as the demographic mix, cultural customs, or the interesting language.
July 21, 2020