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JH English Monthly Writing Competitions – Andy Jin

todayMay 23, 2023 29 1

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DukeCast China
DukeCast China
JH English Monthly Writing Competitions – Andy Jin


JH English Monthly Writing Competitions – Andy Jin

This month we have a special JH Writing Competition hosted by both the English Department and Science Department! This competition aligned with our Annual Science Week. Pupils were tasked with writing, ‘The Journey of a Red Blood Cell’, which asked pupils to write a narrative from the point of view of a red blood cell as it travels through the circulatory system. We’re pleased to share a narrative from our winning writer in March’s competition: Andy Jin (1st place) in Grade 9 and Helen Lin (runner up) in Grade 7. Both writers are returning writing champions – well done! We welcome you to listen to Andy as he shares his experience writing this genre-bending narrative with Mr Speers (Head of English) and Mr Duggen (Head of Science). We hope you enjoy the journey!


Winning Article Below;

Hi there! I’m RBC 10238219 of this body (such a boring name for a cell, I know, but we all need to learn to cope with thing we don’t like), and you are… Well, you don’t have to answer, that don’t really matter as you will probably forget my boring name and I will do the same with yours very soon. You ask why we wear crimson? Yeah, crimson. That’s what anyone will say about me and my fellow red blood cells. Since our birth at bone marrow, crimson filled our life: crimson jackets, crimson carts to carry oxygen around, crimson pants… this list never ends. And all this boring color starts after a week of growing, when we remove our nucleuses and mitochondria for more hemoglobin that colored us crimson and grants better oxygen carrying ability (muscle cells claim that this lack of nucleus makes us more stupid than others, but it is just they are jealous of us being so cool).

Our work is quite boring, pretty much always the same everyday: travelling around the body for around (insert number) times to deliver oxygen for the cells everyday of our 120-day long life. What? You say how do we get around the body? Well, the heart(which is made by these arrogant muscle cells that always give their stupid without-us-nothing-moves look to us) pump the blood around the body, carrying us around. We then drop the oxygen from lungs wherever these gases are needed… and that’s it. Wait, where are my manners, surely you wish to know our journey of getting pumped-around-the-body-floating-with-other-cells?

Emmm…… Ok then, as we go around the body in cycles, there aren’t much about where we start or end, so for the sake of simplicity let’s say I started at vena cava, the very end of a cycle around the body. Like all sorts of veins around the body, vena cava is filled with deoxidized red blood cells, but far more crowded than any other vein even though it is the widest of them all. The space will suddenly expand all around us as we enter the atrium: the pink walls of the veins broaden and expand to hold us between each pump. Even with a relatively wider space it only gets worse after entering the right atrium: every red blood cell bumping into one another, and occasionally, a white blood cell (not those scary t-cells unless there is some infection going on in the body). We then get pumped through the tricuspid valve into right ventricle and finally through the pulmonary valve into the lungs via the pulmonary artery and get oxidized in sphere-shaped alveoli. After getting oxidized, the plasma will carry us back to the heart through the pulmonary veins, where it gets crowded again after the rare solitude at the capillaries. Passing through the left atrium and ventricle (such a crowded place), and through the aortic valve, we will enter the aorta and get pumped to the rest of the body.


You too could be featured on Duke Box in the future if you participate in our writing competitions!

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