From the past 2 years of IB Diploma, I have encountered many problems and challenges. One of the most complicated problems for me is time management. At first I was overwhelmed by the heavy schoolwork at the start of grade 11 years, and it took me 2 months to figure out the most efficient way of studying for myself and how to balance the time between study and all the other activities. I believe I could carry the study habit I have developed during these two years to the university and I will be able to both study and attend all other activities with proper time management.
However, I realized due to the heavy study in IB Diploma, I have reduced many exercise and sport time to my study. This year I didn’t have time to participate in the x-country team and I went to the gym and exercised once a week if there were no big assignment or exams. However, I still believed that my exercise time was limited for this year. I will definitely resume my sports activity as soon as all the exams are over.
Continuing with the West Vancouver Youth Advisory Committee, we helped with an project called “Give me five.” “Give me five” is an activity to give youth an opportunity to present their thought about local politics on the stage. It was interesting to communicate with younger people and listened to their thought of local politics. We both learned a lot from each other. Apart from “Give me five,” we also helped to hold the West Vancouver Council candidates discussion in the library. It was an valuable experience for me to really get involve in the local politics and listened to all the candidates’ idea of how to make the West Vancouver community a better place.
In conclusion, I really enjoyed the two years of studying apart from all the late night cramping and the upcoming due dates. So in order to prevent those horrible things happen again in the future, I will make better time management between study and activities and keep my body fit and healthy through exercise.
For the past two years, I have been the co-chair of the West Vancouver Youth Advisory Council (YAC), an organization that helps raise awareness about local politics among the local youth. As one of the team leaders, I realized that we needed to gain some expertise about local politics. With the agreement of Councillor Booth, a District of West Vancouver council member and consultant to our team, I implemented a schedule to attend council meetings in order to have a direct insight to how government works. At first, we found the language and protocols in a district council meeting very complex, and it took us a few visits to fully understand them. Using this unique experience, our team wrote a script that mimics the actual council meeting and presented a ‘youth council meeting’ during Youth Week in order to demonstrate our mission statement and initiatives to the youth of our community. During the meeting we addressed strategies to expose more youth to the importance of local politics and various other issues that were raised by the attendees.
Continuing our purpose of raising awareness of local politics among youth, our team obtained an opportunity to hold up an important local political event: the all- candidates meeting for electing a new councillor. We invited all the candidates of council to our local library to meet up with people in our community. But before the candidates came, we asked people attending this meeting to form a small discussion group to generate some questions that they wanted to ask their candidates. I was happy to see that not only adults, but also many youths around my age, attended the meeting and joined in the conversation with strangers of different age groups. With the collaboration of youths and adults, we actually produced many interesting questions that helped us to learn about the perspectives of each candidate.
We also helped with an project called “Give me five.” “Give me five” is an activity to give youth an opportunity to present their thought on the stage. I helped with the script and the content of the presentation of one of the member about the importance cultural diversity in Canada. By helping the member to make the presentation, I have realized that this project is also another way of raising the awareness about local politics through the voice of youth. The presentation went well during the Youth appreciation award though I was not able to attend due to the IB exam.
I believe that every small step in engaging our youth in politics will make our community a better place, and we are striving to create even more initiatives for the coming year.
Due to the heavy schoolwork, I wasn’t an active member in jazz band and concert band. I tried to attend every rehearsal and performance in school, but sometimes I just couldn’t wake up in some mornings to go to the concert band practices. Thus, I tried to use every minutes I had at home to practice bass instead of relaxing in order to be able to perform with the band together. Our performance during the Christmas concert was acceptable, and I believe our band will sound better if I got more time to practice and attend more rehearsal. After the winter vacation my spare time had reduced significantly due to the upcoming IB exams and all the written assignment hand-in due date. I had to temporarily stopped my activities in music and focus on my study. My passion toward music still exists in my heart, but I have to put aside some of my favorite activities and focus on my study. Music has already became part of my life and I will continue my interest as soon as all the exams are over. I really look forward to the university life that I will be able to have more spare time to spend on my own interests.
This year my friend David started an service group called Envision Vancouver, and I was able to help him to organize some activities. I was responsible for preparing for a jam sale to raise money for arranging an Christmas meal for homeless people in the local area. I calculated the budget needed to arrange for the Christmas meal and then found out the exact number jars of jam to sell and the price for the jam. I was also one of the jam makers: we spent a whole day at home to turn all the fruits in the boxes to each jar of jam. The jam-making requires many patience the care. As we got proficient on the process, our speed of making jam increased. Though I was not able to participate in the selling and Christmas meal part of the activity, I believe that my efforts for making jams has paid off when I saw all the smiling faces of the homeless people when they received the meal.
At the start of grade 11, I entered the IB Diploma. I realized that my spare time was limited due to the heavy school work as well as maintaining all the activities I participated. In order to fulfill my schoolwork and my x-country, I talked to the coach about my busy study time so I was not able to participate in some races. I also started to go to gym once or twice a week depending on my schoolwork to exercise to keep my body healthy and strong. However, my exercise pattern stopped temporality during the review time for my final exam. I will continue to exercise after the exam is over.
My activity in arts, particularly in music, continues in both jazz band and concert band. The jazz band size has grown larger in number this year which means that we would be able to play more complex pieces. Our performance during Christmas concert was decent but it still required many improvement, and with continuos practices, we had a wonderful performance in the Jazz festival in Whistler. Though I got less time practicing bass at home due to the heavy school work, I tried my best to attend every rehearsal to keep up with the band performance. I will love to continue jazz band and concert band next year.
This year attended a local community service group called West Vancouver Youth Advisory Council (YAC), an organization that helps raise awareness about local politics among the local youth. Before joining the group, I was unaware of the local political system just like all the other youth. After meeting with all the group member who was passionate about raising awareness of local politics among youth, I gained many knowledge about the local politics and realized the potential of youth in making changes in the political system. However, we couldn’t find a intriguing way of helping youth to understand the complex political system. In order to have a better understanding of local politics, we attended several real council meeting in the West Vancouver Municipal Hall. With the knowledge and understanding of local politics, we presented a mock council meeting among youth during the youth week. I believe that more efforts can be put in to raise the awareness of local politics among youth and with more preparation we can do better next year.
In order to prepare for a future community service project called “Envision Vancouver,” I attended the food safety conference in the Vancouver Science World. Overall the conference delivers some interesting idea about food safety. The staff invited an organic farmland owner to introduce his way of producing green organic product. Besides that, the audience asked many interesting questions about food safety and farmland which helps me to recognize the importance of food safety and the environmental issues occurring around the world.
Our senior school jazz band attended the Jazz Festival in Whistler last weekend. Overall, the Jazz festival is an unique experience for me. Apart from living with my friend in a hotel room, I have met up with many excellent school jazz band from all over the Canada. I was fascinated by all the performances from different school, especially the giant concert band coming from the United States. The concert band coming from United States had an excellent performance in a very professional complex piece. Seeing all those performances, I realized that I needed more practices to master my skill in double bass and electric bass. Our jazz band performance went well as well, and we were lucky to have an professional Jazz instructor to help us to play better after the performance.
This Monday the Youth advisory council arrange a youth council meeting in West Vancouver community center. YAC is an organization that helps raise awareness about local politics among youth. As the co-chair of the team, I realized that our team needed to gain some expertise about local government and the politics in order to inform the youth in our community. We are lucky to have Councillor Booth, a District of West Vancouver council member, as a consultant of our team, providing us with mentorship. As well, our team has attended several council meetings in order to have a direct perspective of how government works. Using this unique experience, we presented a “youth council meeting” during Youth Week in order to demonstrate our initiatives and purpose to the youth of our community. This is one small step in engaging our youth in politics and we are striving for more initiatives for the coming year.