Goals

Over my final year at Mulgrave, I had set a number of goals that I wished to achieve. However, at the time I unfortunately forgot to write about them on here, so I’ll do so now. Better late than never!!

Academics:
1. Finish with of final IB mark of 40
As of right now, my predicted grade stands at 39, which is one off what I aimed to achieve at the beginning of the year. I still believe this to be very achievable by the end of the year, since I’m working very hard towards the final exams.
2. Receive acceptances to all the universities I had applied to
So far, I’ve received acceptances from all the schools and programs I have applied into, except for one, which I still think that will come in the near future.

Athletics:
1. Make the BCEY7’s Team Travelling to Las Vegas
After attending all the trials for this team, I actually did end up making it. However, due to some complications of my parents being away at the time, I was unable to travel to Las Vegas with the team.

Creative:
1. Continue practicing and learn 10 songs on the guitar
After becoming more involved in teaching myself the guitar, since I no longer play the bass as often, I have taught myself quite a few of my favourite songs. I have surpassed this goal for sure as of now and do not plan on stopping to learn more anytime soon.

Service:
1. Increase participation with the Curio House Team as the Deputy House Captain
This goal has had its ups and downs throughout the year. At the beginning of the year, the house leadership team — including myself — worked very hard in sending e-mails, communicating and promoting all of the house-related events to our peers, and this worked quite well! However, as IB became more and more pressing with IA’s, mock exams and now final exams, it has been significantly more difficult to keep this up, although we are trying to.

Final IB Film

Just recently, before spring break, I finished my final IB film as well as the production portfolio that went along with it. This process was very long and very hard. The film is about a student named Calvin who has no motivation and refuses to do any work, spending his days playing video games. After finding an unlikely source of inspiration, Calvin is able to turn his life around. Our group was pretty well organized and despite this, we still ran into many setbacks that hindered the film. However, in the end I’m still very happy with the final product of the film as I worked very hard. My role within the film was as an actor and sound designer.

Final English Written Assignment

For the final English written assignment I had to complete in my IB career, I wrote about Gustave Flaubert’s Madame Bovary. This paper wasn’t too difficult to write since I had a great deal preparation in the previous year, making the process much easier. The following is the brief excerpt from the introduction of the paper:

In many literary works, secondary characters are of great significance. The development of the protagonist, and to develop to central ideas of the novel. In Madame Bovary – the story of a naïve young woman who ultimately commits suicide to escape her bitter reality –  Gustave Flaubert effectively contrasts the romantic ideals of Emma Bovary with the real relationships she holds with secondary male characters such as Charles, Leon, and Rodolphe to foreground the tenacity and superficiality of her unachievable romantic dreams. In addition, Flaubert uses significant male characters to provide insight into her inner conflict and foreshadow her tragic fate.

Mathematics IA

The Math IA that I had to write this year was about the Gini Coefficient. I had actually thought of this topic when studying Geography as the Gini Coefficient was mentioned in a lesson and really interested me. After doing more research, I found that there was a great deal of math involved in the Gini Coefficient. So I decided it would be a good topic to look into for my IA. The following is the introduction to my IA:

At the beginning of the year, learning calculus really came of great interest to me. Starting with limits, derivatives, and integration, I became quite interested in the expansions and applications of the topic. During my own research and studying ahead in the textbook, I came across integration and the calculation of the area under a curve, which I understood to be the opposite of differentiation, which I had already learned. The varying ways in which the area under a curve can be calculated mechanically, without the function, really interested me. Furthermore, the application of such calculations would prove to be of interest and show links between the subjects I am studying, in particular geography.

The Gini Coefficient is one area of geography in which I had studied earlier in the year. The Gini Coefficient identifies the income inequalities within a specified region, usually a country, and then calculates a coefficient between 0 and 1, to quantify the inequalities. The calculation of the area under a curve is directly linked to the calculation of Gini Coefficient.

Film Independent Study

In film, one of the biggest projects that I had to undertake this year was the independent study. As part of this assignment I had to write the audio and visual aspects for a documentary that compared 4 films all from different countries. This project is more difficult than it sounds, simply because of the correspondence that is required between the audio and visual components. The following is the rationale for my Independent Study:

While both the British New Wave and Italian Neorealism movements were brief, their thematic and stylistic significance in film history is unquestionable. As means of political comment, and additionally the exploration of topics and ideas previously thought “taboo” or “controversial”, both Italian Neorealism and British New Wave films were created.  In this documentary, I will explore some of the significant thematic and stylistic aspects that lend themselves to developing the concept of Social Realism, throughout both of these movements.

Biology IA

Right as I got back into school after the summer break, the first thing that I was met with was the Biology IA. During this time, things in grade 12 started moving right away so I had to be very diligent in delegating my time to each individual subject, although Biology took up most of the time with my IA. The topic I chose for my IA was to do with changing the copper sulphate levels in the soil of a Runner Bean plant and observing the changes in growth. The following is the hypothesis I had written for the final IA:

If the concentration of 0.1M Copper (II) Sulphate solution within the potting mix increases, then the growth of the plant should remain relatively the same, until the 0.1M Copper (II) Sulphate concentration surpasses 1.8 mL/150 g. However, taking into account the natural growth variation that exists between plants. This is because excess levels of copper inside a planting medium, can interfere with many aspects of plant biochemistry, including membrane integrity, pigment synthesis, and photosynthesis which can directly influence the standard growth of a plant (Fernandes).

Extended Essay

The Extended Essay process was a very long and tough one. It began towards the end of grade eleven, went throughout the summer and into the first term of grade 12. Despite the tedious nature and continual work that was required for the project, in retrospect, I’m glad that I had done this as it taught me many valuable lessons about time management and research. The topic I ended up choosing revolved around the economic and geographic influences that 2011 Rugby World Cup had in Auckland, New Zealand. The following is my final abstract of the paper:

Globally, mega-events are known as unique, one time events that take place in a specific city or country. One such event took place in New Zealand in 2011, The Rugby World Cup (RWC). Of the major cities that played a role in hosting the RWC, Auckland had the biggest role, hosting closing and opening ceremonies, as well as semi-final and final matches. Asides from touristic benefits stemming from such mega events, geographic and economic influences in the short, and medium term have been identified to play a role in Auckland. Thus leading to the consideration of the research question – To what extent has the 2011 Rugby World Cup geographically and economically benefitted Auckland, New Zealand?

This paper will discuss and analyze said geographic and economic influences. By first analyzing a portion of the urban regeneration that occurred as a result of the RWC, a conclusion can be made relating to the RWC-related geographic influences.  Subsequently, the short and medium term economic influences measured by Gross Domestic Product (GDP), retained jobs, sectoral value, and varying business influences, another conclusion can be made.

The conclusion made towards geographic influences was positive, showing that specific projects stimulated by the RWC, have been identified for their upside in different aspects. In addition to this conclusion, economically the RWC has had a benefit towards the Auckland economy showing a 0.52% medium term increase in GDP (compared against years prior), significantly higher sectoral values in the year of the RWC, and large, positive economic growth, in comparison to all RWC-related expenditures.

While these conclusions were made, limitations to the paper also exist. Geographically and economically, the greatest concern related to the lack in data found in the years following the RWC, where the legacy impacts would have been identified.

University Updates

Well into the final year of school, I am now also underway with my university applications. I would say that I am about 1/2 the way through them, having submitted my OUAC and UBC applications. I still have to complete edits to my Ivey, Smith and Rotman schools of Business at Western, Queen’s and U of T. Throughout this process I have actually learned a great deal of useful tips pertaining to writing. For UBC and Queen’s, I’ve learned that it is important to be reflective and to comment on what you’ve learned from specific experiences. On the other hand, for the Richard Ivey School of Business at Western, it is better to show what you, specifically, have done in situations to showcase your leadership/initiative/risk-taking etc. skills. As I continue to plough through these applications and submit them, I will be back with updates as to which universities I am leaning towards and more.

Pre Winter Break Grade 12 Update

Hello everyone, it’s been awhile since I’ve last posted on my eFolio and as of now, I am well into my final year of the DP Program and High school. Thus far into the school year, I have been and still am buried beneath copious amounts of school work. Whether it be IA’s, tests, projects and so much more. However, while I have been busy with all of this work, I still haven’t felt as stressed out as some of my peer appear to be. I’m not entirely sure whether or not this is good that I don’t feel the pressure, or if I should be concerned with my lack of emotion. At any rate, I am pleased everything so far in the year and hope to continue with the constant stream of work up until the end of the year, or realistically, the end of mocks.

DoE Gold Expedition Reflection

For my Duke of Edinburgh adventurous journey, me, eleven other students, two teachers and one guide went on a five day kayak trip in the Desolation Sound Marine Park, north of the Powell River. Desolation Sound Marine Park was established in 1973 by BC Parks and is a Provincial Park. These waters were first sailed in by Captain George Vancouver in 1792, and upon noticing the remoteness of the land and seascape named it Desolation Sound. In addition, Desolation Sound is within the traditional territories of the Hamalco, Sliammon and Klahoose First Nations, who have occupied many areas in Desolation Sound for thousands of years. Many of these First Nations groups still rely on the sea life in the waters of Desolation Sound for traditional food.
I chose this journey as kayaking is activity that I enjoy very much. Also, I had done some research prior, of Desolation Sound, and it seemed to be a very interesting place to kayak with high biodiversity which would prove to be compelling reason to visit. Finally, I wanted to bond some more with some peers that weren’t directly in my group of friends, and the trip was a great means of doing so.

Before the journey, months of preparation were needed to ensure that our group knew exactly what we were doing. In the beginning, it was more just deciding on what kind of trip we wanted to go on, and as we found out, kayaking was a very popular option. After this, the group split up into different areas to fulfill a specific task. For example, my friend Michael and I made ferry and bus booking for the trip, whereas some others would decide on the kayak route. When it came to the week before the trip, we all packed our dry bags according to the list that we created, and also organized tent groups, and meal plans. In my group, we split up the who brought what in terms of food based on what was easiest. For example, I brought a breakfast, one dinner, and all the lunches. We also set up the leader system, which would see everyone, in pairs, lead part of the expedition for the day, at least once. Prior to the journey, all of us had been on previous sea kayaking expeditions so everyone was prepared and knew what to expect for the trip as a whole.

On the 25th of June I arrived at school at 6:00 am to prepare for the trip. For the next half hour we collected group gear like tents, and pot sets, and filled nineteen dromedaries with clean water for the trip. We caught the first ferry from Horseshoe Bay to Langdale at 7:00 am. From Langdale we drove in the bus to Earl’s Cove where we caught a second ferry to Saltery Bay. Finally, we drove from Saltery Bay to Powell RIver Sea Kayak where we set off. At this point, we learned protocol of how to pack, unpack, and move our kayaks safely, which proved to be a strenuous and whole-group task. We set out into the water at 2:30 pm for the destination of Hare Point; our campsite for the night. This was a 4.5 nautical mile kayak that took about three hours, with us arriving at 5:30 pm. To my pleasure, Hare Point was an exceedingly scenic campsite, with many of the tent platforms along the side of a rocky ledge, overlooking the spectacular ocean view. The night prior to the expedition, I froze bolognese sauce. This sauce thawed over the trip of the first day, leaving it fresh to eat for the first night. Despite taking a little while longer than the other group’s meals, the pasta was one of the best dinners we had over the entire trip, due to its sustenance.

The next day was, unknowingly, the longest journey we would have the entire trip. We awoke at 7:30 am, intending to leave at 9:30 am for the 6.2 nautical mile trip to Tenedo’s Bay. Upon finishing our morning routines, we quickly realised how much time we truly needed to get ready in the morning, as we got into the water nearly 45 minutes later than we expected. Nevertheless, we set out at a good pace and reached our lunch area, Portage Cove, at 12:00 pm. We had a quick lunch of ham and cheese bagels to refuel ourselves, and then set out for the remaining journey to Tenedo’s Bay. Along the way, as many of us stayed close to the shoreline, we found that there was much wildlife to be observed, and nearly too many Moon Jellyfish. We finally arrived at Tenedo’s Bay at 3:00 pm, and all of us were very tired. However, the promise of a refreshing lake a short hike away revitalized everyone. Unwin Lake was a 15 minute hike inland from the camping area in Tenedo’s Bay, and in my opinion, was one of the best parts of the trip. Having a dip in the exhilaratingly cold lake was so nice after being baked in the unforgiving sun all day long. Many stray logs in the lake also served as boats and devices of entertainment in the lake, as an hour in the sun flew by. It wasn’t until I got out of the lake that I realized the awful tan lines I had received from wearing paddling gloves and short sleeved shirts all day, but thankfully no burns. That night we had Korean Ramen for dinner, that also was very tasty. Michael and I had volunteered to be the leaders for the next day, so we had a few big decisions to make. We had to separate options that we presented to the group for the next day. One included travelling to Prideaux Haven for a day trip and returning to Tenedo’s Bay to sleep again. The second was to travel to Martin Islands on a slightly longer trip, but would give us a new camping spot. The group decided on the latter, and Michael and I figured out the logistics for the rest of the journey, on the next day.

We woke up 7:30 am again, but left at 10:30 am knowing that this trip was shorter than the last. As was planned out the night before, We had a brief stop for lunch at the Curme Islands, which was a beautiful spot that many of us would’ve like to sleep at, however Martin Islands was our destination. Along the way there were a few attractions, for example we stopped at a small rock formation along the way, named Ray Rock. Ray Rock was home to many seals and we observed them for a while before continuing. After our 5 nautical mile journey to Martin Islands, we arrived at 2:30 pm. Martin Islands, like Hare Point housed a beautiful vista for us to enjoy, however one downside was that there wasn’t an outhouse. For dinner that night we made Kraft Dinner, and a lot of it. We set up a camp fire that night as well, and for me was one of the most enjoyable nights with much story telling and fire-side banter. In spite of this late night, we had to sleep well for what we expected to be the hardest journey thus far.

 

Now on day 4, we had to make the 8 nautical mile trip from Martin Islands to Grace Harbour, that was past Hare Point. We expected this journey to be about 5 hours long, and with the wind and waves, could’ve been even longer. When we reached the tip of Martin Islands, before we made a large traverse across an open body of water, the wind battered the boats and many people knew what we would be in for. To our surprise however, the wind and currents came to our aid pushing us towards our destination more quickly than we could’ve ever imagined. Contrary to what we thought earlier, the trip was a 2 and a half hour journey, and we arrived at Grace Harbour at 12:00 pm. We were ecstatic to realize our day wasn’t to be as hard as we expected, and happily exhausted when we arrived at our final campsite of the trip. This day the sun was hotter than the the past few days, and the promise of yet another rejuvenating lake was music to our ears. Black Lake was about a 20 minute hike from the campsite at Grace Harbour, however when we arrived it was not what we expected. Black Lake was more a bog, despite its unappealing appearance we were desperate to go in. The water, unlike Unwin Lake, was warm and silt-filled. There were many submerged logs and also, as we later found out leeches, making our trip to Black Lake very brief. For our final dinner of the trip our group made Uncle Ben’s Rice with some pepperoni sticks. After dinner we played some games with the group, and presented our final reflections together. My tent group, consisting of Michael, MattIMG_3099 hew, and myself, presented a collection of poems we had created during the course of the trip entitled, Cringes: The Anthology. After looking upon some of my peers reflections in pictures, speeches, and much more, it had only now settled to me how much fun I have had on my final outdoor expedition with Mulgrave School. In a rather mellow and sentimental mood, I 13533065_966253170158526_8679946092274935907_nslept early that night, excited to return home.
On our 5th and final day, we had a very brief 1 and a half hour kayak back to the Powell River Sea Kayak launch area. We unpacked our kayaks for the last time, and we relieved to finally be homeIMG_3086ward bound. Although happy to be leaving and to return back to ‘civilization’, it was a bittersweet feeling knowing that this is one of the last memories I would have of my time at Mulgrave. However, the skills I have acquired and friendships I have formed will last a lifetime, and I’m sure not going to forget this trip anytime soon.