From my past 2 years in IB diploma, I have encountered many problems and challenges from both inside and outside school. Overcoming the challenges, I have found the two years not only rewarding, and also joyful.
From the beginning of my diploma in Grade 11, I was a little overwhelmed by the increased work load, which causes me to compensate my leisure time as well as my time for physical training in order to catch up with the pacing of my academic schedule. This is also caused by my poor skill in time management, which results as my challenges outside of school, since I had to push the schedule of volunteering and training after my assessments or exams.
I have find my academic improvement to be the most rewarding experience over the two years. As I become more comfortable working with IB’s criteria and its expectation, I become more efficient on finishing my academic work and completing researches, which not only improved my time management skill, but also provided me a life skill to move on in university. Also, it was the most satisfying experience to see my hard work has become the key to enter the university I wanted to study in.
In conclusion, I find the two years in Mulgrave my most precious time of my life, and I am grateful for all the people, especially my teachers and friends from both my school and other communities, who entered my life and brought me challenge and joy.
For the past two years, I have went to the gym twice to four times per week depending on the amount of school work and the type of excises done each day. Although I had a personal training during last summer, I found it more suitable for me to train on my own or with my classmates since more pressure from academics forces my schedule to be planned more flexible on changing appointments. Through the two years of training, I found myself not only enjoys the progressing on my body, but also the skills I learnt on time-management. it was a greatful way to spend my leisure time with my peers and a effective way to reduce the pressure I exerted from school.
I am exploring the topic on cognitive science for my ToK presentation, and the topic is about “conscious” and “unconscious” processes of human when creating and interpreting art works. It is an interesting but difficult topic to explore since the study of “consciousness” is still developing, and the processes are hard to justify whether a conscious or an unconscious processes are present. The TED Talk by John Searle explored the existence of consciousness, and claimed it as an unavoidable biological consequence. Although it is likely to be true, it puts the idea of “unconscious processes” in plight. If consciousness always exists and cannot be avoided, than it would be impossible for individuals to react without it.
On April 19, David, Jerry, and I attended to one of the lecture of the series called “Food: Sustainability and Innovation”. Professors of UBC and a local farmer has informed the ways of farming in B.C. and linked with the global issue where the food production is reaching the peak. It almost felt like a Geography class from Mr. van Zyl since the issues such as fertilizer run off and eutrophication has already been addressed in the class. Although the lecture has provided the perspective of genetic engineering and farming together, there were no suggestions of any valid solution. The issue around food is always linked with pollutions and soil degradation, especially for United States, and the issue cannot be completely solved if the two environmental impact are still present. However, this issue may expand the market on genetic engineering for microorganisms which may have the possibility to provide an alternative solution rather than increasing types of fertilizers for farming industry.
Ba Zi is the traditional way of fortune telling that is practiced commonly in ancient China. It uses the date of birth and the time of birth together to form eight characters that has associations with each other, and the property of the five elements embedded in the characters makes the Ba Zi for everyone special. Year, month, day, hour has two character each, coming from the sexagenary cycle. The stem of the day represents the person himself, and its relation with other characters based on the order of five elements gives the eight characters meaning. I spend one days memorizing the order of five elements’ generation and overcoming the unusual pronunciation of the specific characters.
Ms. Chen supervised me to learn various technics on memorizing the characters. The technics were helpful at the beginning but the branched association based on the original characters had challenged me a lot. Because the content of the book is advanced knowledge, I chose to spend some time doing researches before returning into the book. By now, I can do some simple readings based on the information of the date of birth, but it may not be accurate since special formation of the Ba Zi would transform or emerge to different characters which reveals critically different meaning.
From November 28th to December 26th, I have volunteered at the West Vancouver Memorial Library as a book-buddy with children who attempts to read books on Saturday morning.
On the first day of volunteer after the orientation, I was nerves because it is the first time for me to do this type of volunteer and I picked a variety of books ranged in different age groups in order to prepare myself before the children’s arrival. However, after I met my book-buddy of the day, I realized that the children have their own favorite series of book, and the book I chose may not satisfy their interest.
On the following weeks, I would prepare only two graphic books and lead my buddy to pick the book they like so they could enjoy the time while reading. Candies are also another trick to help them to concentrate on reading after confirming if they have any allergies with their parents. Once there is a good relationship with my book-buddy, it is much easier to communicate with them especially for then once who are shy.
Creativity: Create a club with Eric and run it for at least one year.
Activity: Join the badminton team.
Service: Apply for one service opportunity outside of school and do it twice a month.
Through my first year in Mulgrave, I felt the challenge in my courses which made me more excited on improving my grades. I was not satisfied about by athletic goal since I missed a few practices, therefore, I would do my practice during the summer in order to be in shape for the season in next year. I am also looking forward to the double science course which can make me ready for the applying the science department in UBC. I have the feeling that next year will be a great year.
The Old Man and the Sea was a book I read last summer and became my source for the Independent Novel Project in my English class. The protagonist, Santiago, was the symbol that Ernest Hemingway had created, which reflected many of his experiences. One can even argue that the old man was a representative of the workers in the Spanish revolution, and the sharks were the cruel nationalists. It was an amazing book that made me interested in the English language, and I was excited to do my project on it.