Model UN

This year I started to participate in Model UN and I really enjoyed it because I was able to practice my public speaking skills in front a large group of people. I have attended three conferences already, although I didn’t receive any award yet, I still learned and improved throughout the process. For instance, I was learning more about the international events and relationship now and I became more aware of the world issues compared to before. I started as a student who knows nothing about Model UN to someone who is able to recall some of the document that the UN has created or encouraged to remain world peace. When I first started doing Model UN, I was very shy and I barely speak throughout the whole conferences, however as I gained more experiences, I started to speak more and more. Now I was able to raise my placard to let my voice be heard rather than nervously waiting for the chair to pick someone. I am looking forward joining Model UN next year and I am hoping to bring back some awards.

Academy of Tomorrow

Starting from the beginning of the year, I have participated in a leadership development program called “Academy of Tomorrow”. We had three modules (one week per module): one in January, one in March and one in May. Throughout these modules, I was able to develop my personal skills and enhance my understanding of leadership. One of the crucial thing that I learned from Academy of Tomorrow is that everyone could be a leader, it just depends on the type of leader that he or she wants to be. Before, I always think that leaders are the ones who have the authority and the ability to order people around, but I realized I was not completely correct. A leader could also be someone who is able to listen to others’ opinions very well, a leader could also be someone who is able to organize the notes very well, a leader could even be someone who is able to support others. Thus, I started to gain confidence in becoming a leader of some sorts because now I know everyone could become a leader. I also learned other valuable skills such as mindfulness; how to concentrate at the current instead of the past and the future. This really helps me develop my studying habitat because I always worry too much about the mistakes I made previously and the mistakes that I might make in the future. Mindfulness taught me how to bring my mind “back on to the track”. In general, I think that Academy of Tomorrow helped to enhance my leadership skills and at the same time helped me understand my personal strengthens and values.

Badminton Junior Gold Team

I am extremely excited to become a part of the Badminton Junior Gold Team because the team members were selected by the teachers through students’ performances during the try outs. This is significant to me because I hardly played badminton before and I didn’t even think about it seriously until this year. To be able to play in the Junior Gold Team means that my badminton skills have been proven by the coaches.

At the beginning of the year, I was aiming to get into the badminton A (Gold) team, thus I joined the Recreational Badminton Club to improve my badminton skills. I practice every Friday from 3:30 – 5:30 p.m. and eventually I got better at playing badminton. My participation in the Badminton Club create the chance for me to join to Junior Gold Team. Although at the start, I struggled a bit to catch up with all the hard core training, I was able to adjust myself and try my hardest. As the result I improved a lot throughout the seasons. For example, before the season, I could hardly smash the birdie, however after the season I practice the skills and I was able to hit the birdie accurately. Moreover, I was also “trained” to be able to play effectively during a high pressure environment (playing in a game). At the beginning I was always nervous, but I listened to the advices from the coaches, adjust my emotion and then focus on the current rather than the past and future.

Other than developing my own personal skills, I also learned how to corporate and work with a partner. When I was playing doubles, I was always afraid to hit the birdie because I was worried that I might hit my partners or I wouldn’t be able to hit the birdie. However, after playing a few games, I was able to discuss with my partner about the techniques and strategies we should use against a specific opponent. The team creates a supporting atmosphere, so I felt very included and supported when I was in the team. Now I am able to play efficiently with any partner that the coach assigned me and I am never going to worry about the mistakes that I have made before. Focus and the moment is the most important.

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2016 Duke of Edinburgh Silver Rock Climbing Trip

The past week I went on the Duke of Edinburgh Silver Rock Climbing Trip with 18 other Mulgrave students. The trip was three days two nights. We left on a Friday, missing a day of school, to Squamish where we would spent our weekend rock climbing and camping. It was a remarkable experience and I was able to developed my rock climbing skills, and at the same time bonded with the other students.

Since I have never rock climbed before, I had gained a lot of information about rock climbing through this trip. I learned the different names and purposes of the rock climbing equipment. Furthermore I was able to challenge myself by overcoming my fear of height and improving my rock climbing skills. Although at first, I was sort of scared to climb on the rock because there was nothing to grab on and no place to step on, I was able to climbed to the peak for majority of the routes. I couldn’t have done this without my own ambition of challenge myself and also the help from my peers and the advisors. When I was climbing, my partners  gave me advice about areas that I couldn’t see, so I could climb faster and higher. They also cheered for me when I accidentally slipped or I was too tried. Similarly, when my partners were climbing, I provided the same attention and care on them just as they did on me. Thus, this experience allowed me to collaborate and bond with classmates that I am not very familiar with, at the main time I am able to overcome my fear and challenge myself. Even though I got a lot of scratches, I would see them as “Battle Scars” rather than terrible wounds.

Pictures from the trip:

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Volunteer – West Vancouver Community Center & West Vancouver Memorial Library

Through the year I have volunteered at West Vancouver Community Center and West Vancouver Memorial Library for series of events.

West Vancouver Community Center:

  • Volunteer at concession Stand at Ambleside Youth Center (every Friday, 8:00 – 10:00)
    • For this job, I was required to sell food and lend out supply to the youth who comes into the center. This helped me develop my skills of communication and learn the sense of community because I was working and negotiating with people who live in the same community as me. I think that this is a very valuable experience because I got to know a lot of people from other schools, such as West Vancouver Secondary and Sentinel.
  • Children Logo Program (every Saturday, 10:15 – 12:00)
    • I was helping out at the Logo Program where I was able to develop my corporation and communication skills, especially with the younger children. I also learned to be more tolerance when facing a not very ideal situation, such as children screaming around.
  • Special Events  (Christmas sale, etc.)
    • Develop close relation between people from other schools which widened my friend circle. This really helped me develop the skills of communicating and working with people I have first met.

West Vancouver Memorial Library:

  • Book Buddies (every Saturday, 1:00-2:15 p.m.)
    • This volunteer opportunity not only provides me the chance to connect with the children in my community but also helped me ceased from the pressure that I received every day.
  • Special Events (Remembrance Day, etc.)
    • By helping out at these events, I got the chance to fell a sense of unity in the community I lived in. Although I couldn’t meet all the people in the community, I was able to see most of them and help them during these special events.

Jazz Band (Whistler Music Festival/Skills Development)

This weekend I went to the Whistler Music Festival with the Senior School Jazz Band and Jazz Choir. I participated in this festival with the Senior School Jazz Band. As the only flutist in the band, I was challenged to develop and improve my skills quicker than other instrument players and this music festival symbolizes everyone’s hard work during the year.

When I first joined the Jazz Band, I was quite scared and nervous. Not only because I am the only flute player, but also because the other bandmates were very good at playing. Everyone in the band was able to pick up a piece and then immediately sight read it, which is something I wasn’t able to do well. Due to this “pressured” environment, I was able to improve at leas twice as fast as I would in Middle School Bands. Now I am able to sight a flute piece and also any instrument’s pieces that is given to me and then play the piece by using the flute. For example, there was always a shortage on flute music sheets, thus Mr.Van de Reep always gave me a trombone, trumpet or a guitar part where I need to convert it into the right key in my head and at the same time playing it on the flute.  I was able to implement this skill when I was practicing with the Mass Band during the Music Festival. While others might spend sometimes reading the music sheets, I was able to play ninety percent of it correctly the first try. The development of the sight reading skill fulfill my goal at the very beginning.

Other than technical skills, I am also getting use to the chill and relax atmosphere during the practices. Since I was shy and nervous at the beginning, now I am more comfortable of talking to others during band practices and laugh at the silly jokes that are made by others. This helped me establish my goal of becoming more familiar with everyone around me and just treat things easily rather than in an extremely stressful and serious way. I was able to use this skill when I was negotiating with other performers during the festivals and I had made a lot of new friends due to this valuable skills I enhanced throughout the year.

I really enjoyed the Whistler Music Festival trip because I was able to demonstrate my improvement of this year.

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Completion of Personal Project

This Friday I have completed my whole personal project including the write up and the project itself. The whole process for this project was long, difficult, stressful and interesting at the same time. I have gained numerous of knowledge and enhanced my skills in different areas through the process of finishing this project.

My project was focusing on the global context of “Fairness and Development”. My initial goal for personal project was to create a project which could make teenagers be aware of the poverty  in the Southern part of China by comparing a normal teenager’s life to the life of a child who live in poverty. I wanted to make teenagers value what they have right now by knowing that many children in different parts of the world are living a much harder life than them. Based on this goal, I created my product which is to create a total fourteen piece of drawings by using water pencil crayons to resemble a day of the Chinese children who live poverty  and a day of a normal teenager’s life. Through the planning and creation of this project, I was able to develop my self-management skills because this project is basically all up to me. I could choose to do it earlier or I could cramp everything at the last minute. I used to procrastinated a lot, however after been through the process of this project, I was able to figure out how to manage my time wisely so I could maintain my school marks and also finish the project. 

I have also developed my skills of corporation, reflection and organization. For this project, I had to call the charity organization and the teachers who work at schools in the poverty regions. This involves communicating with people and listen carefully to their points and perspectives about the children. Since I wasn’t confident enough before to talk to stranger especially on the phone, this experience helped me develop my skills of communicate to others and also the skills of being open minded and be able to adapt to unfamiliar people and situation more quickly. Furthermore, I have also improved my reflection skill.When I made mistakes during the process of finishing the product, I was able to figure out the mistakes and then reflect on how to improve it.  For instance, when I started using pencil crayons to colour my drawings, it took me nearly an hour to finish colouring a small portion for the drawing. I reflected on this problem and then I decided to use watercolour the broad area on the drawing and pencil crayons for the details. 

Other than developing  my skills, I have also gained  knowledge about the lives of these children who live in poverty everyday. Instead of knowing only the surface of this issue like I did before, now I know majority of their daily life which makes me value my lucky life even more and it also incentives me to help these children in my best way.

This is a sample of the final complete project (a nice house V.S. a dilapidated house):

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Debate Tournament to Princeton and Harvard University

I started to attend a debate class outside of school since Grade 9. My initial purpose was to raise my confidence of speaking in front of a group of people and develop my skills to communicate with others.

In November 2015, I participated in a Public Forum debate tournament at Princeton University. It was my second time participating in a tournament like this. I went through a three day extra training camp where I had to prepare for the tournament from the 9:00 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. I thought of giving up at the mid way through the training because the day seemed so long, however I was able to go through these challenges by adjusting my mentality from a negative mood to a positive one. Then I participated in the tournament, it was massive, hundreds of teams have attend this tournament either from U.S. local school or International schools from China, Korea, and such. Even though, I did not bring back any awards, I still feel happy that I went to this tournament because it helped me to practice and improve my debating skills, and I was able to make some new friends outside of Canada.

This Month, I went to another debate tournament at Harvard University. My initial goal is to win at least three rounds out of six rounds. Thus, I prepared very hard for this tournament and attended a similar debate camp during the February long weekend. Luckily, my partner and I were able to broke into the triple final and ranked 48th out of 396 teams. We still have a lot of spaces to improve, but I felt that I have achieved the goal that I had set before. Through these tournaments, I was able to enhance my debating skills which also affects my communication skills. In Middle School, I was always shy to talk to people who I am not familiar with and I barely talk during class. Now I am more comfortable of talking to people whom I don’t know either at school or outside of school. These debate experiences have helped me not only enhance my critical thinking skills, but also how to corporation with others effectively, especially those who have the exact opposite perspectives.

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