skip_navigation
header-news_01.jpg

Our Teachers’ Hidden Talents!

Did you know my physics teacher is also an award winning writer?

Interview between Eva-Sofia Meindl (Communications Prefect on Student Leadership Team) and Hannah Phillips (Teacher of Physics AND award winning writer). Mrs Phillips has been at StGIS since 2017, and comes with her husband, Jake Lynn (our Interdisciplinary Unit Coordinator) and their daughter Elsie. Earlier this year she was awarded with Kindle Storyteller Award 2018 for her book 'The Afterlife of Walter Augustus'.

Interviewer: Science and the arts are usually seen as opposites. Do you agree? 
Ms Phillips: They’re not opposites! You couldn’t make new scientific discoveries without being creative, so no, I think they are interlinked. 

Interviewer: Is that why the two seem to harmonise in your life?  
Ms Phillips: Yes – I think they do in everyone’s. Anybody who is artistic is also scientific and methodical in the way they go about improving their own work. If you aren’t analysing and evaluating what you’re doing, which are the key ideas behind science, then how do you progress as an artist? I don’t think you can. It bothers me when people categorise themselves as either ‘scientific’ or ‘arty’ – you can be both.  

Interviewer: Is the process of writing similar to how you would approach a problem in physics?  
Ms Phillips: When I write, I plan before I start and then spend a long-time editing, or ‘evaluating’ it, when I’m finished. Both involve a lot research, so there are a lot of parallels you can draw between them. 

Interviewer: You received the Kindle Storyteller award, how does it feel now that more people seem to be aware of your writing? 
Ms Phillips: People aren’t really more aware so it’s fine. *laughter* The award is fantastic but fortunately, my books are still very unknown. I think when you do win something, you are judged much more harshly. 

Interviewer: What was the process of receiving the award like?   
Ms Phillips: It was a bit scary – I didn’t really know what was going to happen. The other competitors and I had to be interviewed by the press and we then we had our photos taken. I didn’t really think I was going to win because the others were full-time, professional writers and I’m a physics teacher. Winning was a bit of a surprise. 

Interviewer: When do you find the time to write? 
Ms Phillips: Every morning, from 5:30 to 6:30. I don’t really do ‘free time’ so writing is my main hobby. 

Interviewer: You wouldn’t make it your full-time job? 
Ms Phillips: Not at the minute. I did my degree in physics and music because it gave me balance. Having more than one aspect in your life means that you can always switch off from something that might be frustrating at one point. Having the ability to move between writing and school helps to keep me sane – I use that term loosely.   *laughter*

Interviewer: Has teaching and the variety of people it exposes you to influenced your writing? 
Ms Phillips: I see a story in everyone. If I were to see a random person with a dog, I would wonder where the dog came from and whether it’s always belonged to them since it doesn’t seem to like them very much and so on. 

Interviewer: What are you currently working on? 
Ms Phillips: Like I said, the stories come to me endlessly so I thought I would work on a young adult novel but I don’t like sticking to genres. That’s probably why I’m not massively successful writer. Most authors, especially those who self-publish, only write thrillers or only young adult, for example. That’s how they build a fan base, whereas I just like to write stories. If I have an idea, I’m not bothered about what genre it fits into or whether its marketable. I had an idea for a young adult novel but I also feel that Medusa was treated unfairly in Greek mythology. I think she deserves  a retelling. 

Interviewer: Are those the two things you’re focusing on at the moment?  
Ms Phillips: No, there are lots of things I’m working on. I have the second book in a series coming out in December and the third book of that series now needs to go into editing. Medusa is planned – mostly in my head – even though I’m only about 20 000 words into the first draft, but I also have another idea I want to do. I pretend that I will definitely commit to one project but secretly, I work on whatever I feel like. 

We wish Mrs Phillips all the best for her future of inspiring young scientists, and inspiring young readers!

STGIS INSPIRING PEOPLE – VOLUME 9 / LOUIS LEWITAN

Louis Lewitan, author of the book “Stressless”, gives tips to overcome stressful situations

With the new year in full swing, the “Inspiring People” lecture series is back at St. Gilgen International School

Reflections on StGIS Inspiring People Volume 9 - Louis Lewitan

Stress is important and signifies vitality, Louis Lewitan, the French-German Stress Expert, psychologist and Management Advisor explained during his visit to St. Gilgen International School.  During special workshops, the psychologist inspired students with ways in which they can convert stressful situations into positive energy.

“There is no such thing as a life without stress. Whether you are a student, teacher, professional athlete or top manager – no one can escape stress.” Mr. Lewitan, who was born in Lyon but resides in Munich, has a long-standing career as a consultant and counsellor, working with influential managers from various sectors. “It is important to recognise how stressful situations influence us, and what we can do to positively channel negative energy. A person who is unaffected by stress, is by definition dead.”

Stress is not an illness and also not a sign of weakness.
Mr. Lewitan, who regularly interviews prominent politicians, entrepreneurs and artists for the renowned “Zeit Magazin”, views stress as a normal reaction to the many challenges of daily life. In fact, positive stress can be useful and inspiring. “Stress itself is not the problem. Stress is not an illness and also not a sign of weakness. It comes down to interpretation, but above all, the possible ways in which we can cope and whether the stress is perceived as positive or negative”, the trained psychologist revealed. 

The Author of “Stressless” gave the following advice when it comes to managing stress in a positive way: “it is important to differentiate between what is essential and non-essential, and to prioritise things; to challenge oneself, but not to constantly push oneself beyond his or her own limit. The following can help accomplish positive stress management; self-composure, respecting oneself and environment, as well as the people around us.”  Louis Lewitan’s final advice to the students was to “occasionally switch their mobile phones to silent or place them on the side for an hour.”

What is your StGIS story? Episode 2

Our stories are an authentic expression of our culture, our values and our mission.

Our stories are our living memories. They are an authentic expression of our culture, our values and our mission. Whilst an organisational mission statement can summarize an approach or an ideal, a story is the embodiment of this. The passing on of stories is one of the oldest and earliest forms of education. Narrated by those who experienced them, we will be publishing a series of videos to capture these stories and provide a unique insight into life at StGIS. 

 

 

StGIS INSPIRING PEOPLE – VOLUME 8 / FLORIAN ORLEY

Snowboarder, Flo Orley, visited St Gilgen International School to give a presentation on extreme sports and risk management.

Reflections on StGIS Inspiring People Volume 8 - Florian Orley

The staff and students of St Gilgen International School were delighted to welcome Flo Orley, Freeride-Snowboarder and extreme athlete, to their school. The former World Champion, who recently retired from professional riding after a hugely successful career, visited St Gilgen’s renowned private school to speak about his passion of extreme sports and risk management. The multi time World Champion and twice Vice-World Champion, who was born in Tirol, gave an interesting insight into his 17-year career as an extreme rider, as well as his film projects undertaken worldwide and not to mention his daredevil stunts as a stuntman for Hollywood productions. Most important to Flo was always passion for sport and calculated risk management. “Being ready for anything at any time” was, by his own definition, his key to such success.

In January 2018, the 42-year-old from Innsbruck will embark on a new project; travelling around the world in a Catamaran. Flo, his wife Nina and their two children Keano (6) and Momo (5), who normally spend their summers in St Wolfgang, on Lake Wolfgang, will start their world adventure, setting sail for the Caribbean on their recently purchased Catamaran. Within two years, the family wish to visit the Galapagos Islands, having previously navigated the Panama Canal. The couple have purchased school text books and learning materials for the first two years of primary school in order to educate their child whilst travelling. Once the family begin their journey in January, they will document their adventure in the form of a blog, which can be found under the following link: www.sailawayfamily.com