Final CAS Reflection

Several weeks back, I concluded my CAS journey with a final interview with my mentor, Mr. Conlin. In the interview, I reflected on my anti-drug service projects, SB online, Speak Up Indonesia, trampoline, tennis and gymnastics activities.

Throughout my CAS odyssey, there were multiple times where I was encouraged to think and act beyond my academic studies and work towards developing a holistic view of today’s world, which I am a citizen of. Prior to this experience with Speak Up, I never would have imagined that a 3rd grader could become a heroin addict, let alone imagine that they could be exposed to drugs. But, when visiting schools and slum areas all over Indonesia for my anti-drug campaign, I encountered children as young as 9 years old to seniors in their 70s who struggled with drug addiction or knew someone who did. This allowed me to recognize ethical issues and open my eyes to the reality of the world around me, beyond the tiny bubble that I lived in. 

For activity, I have positively grown and developed both physically and mentally in tennis – a sport I was initially foreign towards – gymnastics, and trampoline. I have worked towards displaying an enthusiastic and determined approach in self-improvement within these sports. Not only has this strengthened my physical perseverance and persistence, but it definitely developed a strong mentality and grit within me, whether it is in sports, music or studies.

CAS has certainly developed an inquiring, knowledgeable and caring version of myself, who has and will help to create a better and more peaceful world.

For more about me, please visit my website

Final TOK Presentation Reflection

Hyemin and I have officially completed the TOK presentation! It is truly a huge relief to know it is now over, and that we don’t have to re-do it next year.

This presentation has opened my eyes by exploring how each individual gains knowledge. Our presentation was linked to people’s varying perception of knowledge and the extent of language and reason in influencing our perception. This was based on the RLS of the excessive hype created by the media about the infamous Ebola disease, which reflects how information is fabricated daily through the medium of language. Due to media bias and sensationalism, realities of issues such as Ebola are distorted. It is statistically proven that there are marginally more people who are victims of HIV or AIDS, as opposed to Ebola. This brought us to the knowledge question:

How do language and reason influence the perception of knowledge?

My initial conclusion to the knowledge question was that language and reason both affect the perception of knowledge to a large extent. However, after thorough investigation, discussions, and research, the limitations of the methodological ways of measuring the subject conflicted the views of knowledge provided. We came down to a final conclusion that language and reason are extensively complementary to one another and used daily in construction perception of knowledge.

This conclusion also relates to other real life situations such as music (lyrics), foreign languages, national law and so on. How we choose to perceive a concept is up to what language, reason and background we come by and develop. Neither is it good or bad to interpret the knowledge in certain manners. There is no right or wrong way in perceiving a certain thing in a certain way. As part of human nature, we have an urge to understand, as well as the ability to think differently to the majority. Human interpretation is diverse because humans itself are very unique beings. This is my understanding of the world after completing my TOK presentation.

For more about me, please visit my website

CAS Reflection #4

Finally, exam week is over. Phew! It has been a turbulent week but I made it out alive. I had my second CAS interview with my mentor, Mr. Conlin, the Monday right after exam week. It was a delightful, reflective chat all about CAS and my personal growth over the course of Year 12. We went through all the questions and discussed my growth and possible improvements in the learning outcomes. So, here is my reflection on my Year 12 CAS journey.

I started off the school year feeling frankly intimidated by the whole premise of CAS, especially for service. I knew I wanted to create a big impact to my community but did not know how I would do so. So many ideas were swirling in my head, but all seemed unrealistic. Though I have done a lot of service work throughout my life, I have never created my own large-scale project from scratch. That was a challenge I faced, and I can humbly say that I have jumped over that hurdle.

Speak Up Indonesia, the online public speaking, declaration and yel-yel competition I founded, has been hosted for 3 months. This project was initially aimed to be a fundraiser for my future cancer event. However, due to the government reaching out to me for collaboration, the aim of the competition has shifted. I partnered with BNN, Indonesia’s National Narcotics Agency, to raise awareness of the dangers of drugs, with the emphasis on drug prevention. This was done by setting up the theme of all the competitions to be “Anti-drug & Anti-corruption.” To date, there are over 300 applicants from all over Indonesia, mainly from Jakarta and Bekasi.

This journey of creating and running Speak Up has brought me out of my comfort zone and taught me many things. However, the aspect that I have marginally improved in is definitely my ability to plan a project, linking into LO3. I have never been the person who emphasized on planning. I always relied on my skills to improvise in anything I do. But, through this project, I have recognized the importance of planning and managing time in order to ensure success. I had to plan the whole competition, starting from the competition details, financial projection, marketing tactics and funding for the project. Had I not planned it out meticulously, I would not have been able to attract sponsors, receive funding and ensure many students participate. All in all, the project would not have been as successful as it is now.

Furthermore, I overcame various challenges that I faced throughout my “Speak Up” journey. Meeting deadlines was always a huge struggle for me because I have never been good at managing my time and using it wisely. As they say, time is the most precious gift of all, and I do agree. I often procrastinate tasks – when I had to create the sponsorship proposal for Speak Up, I delayed doing it until the day before the deadline I had set for myself. Because of this, every other deadline had to be shifted by almost a month (due to even more procrastination). This comes to show my lack of discipline. However, I knew that if I continued this habit, everything would fall apart. Nothing would be fully accomplished. Thus, I started to set myself a schedule for every task I do – not just in this project, but in exams, written tasks, and much more – in order to meet that deadline with no exceptions. In creating the website, I made sure to start looking for a team 2 months before the deadline and gave myself 2 weeks to finalize a team and website fees. This way, we had more than a month to perfect the website and meet the deadline. Since then, Speak Up has mostly been on track and I came to completion at the end of my Year 12, just like how I planned it to be.

In relation to my Speak Up competition, I have recently been appointed by the Indonesian National Narcotics Agency as their Ambassador, tasked with promoting awareness of drugs among several national schools in Jakarta, in order to prevent drug abuse amongst students. So far, I have visited 10 places to campaign about drug awareness, including schools, orphanages, and even slum areas. I normally go with a team of about 5 people. We usually start off by hosting icebreakers and giving prizes. Then, I would fill in a session, introducing myself and sharing my life-story, continuing with the main part of the show: presenting the PowerPoint of drug awareness. In the very first campaign I did, I was very nervous and rather stiff in presenting. I have had many experiences of public speaking, but it was always about my personal life story. This drug campaign was a whole new topic I was not quite familiar about, so I struggled in my first presentation. However, I went home that very day and practiced presenting and speaking. Also, I made a detailed plan of what I will say in every campaign. Thus, I addressed the LO2 by undertaking the challenges and developing new skills.

My next creativity and service project is creating the revamped Sekolah Bisa website. Along with Jessica and Stephanie, we have successfully planned, received funding and created the Sekolah Bisa website. The only thing we need to do is gather content for the website. The SB website was created to raise awareness and increase exposure for Sekolah Bisa, to further aid the underprivileged children in SB. This project has helped me tackle one of my main challenges: working in a team. I have always (and still am) a perfectionist. Everything always has to be my way. That is why working in a team in a huge struggle for me, because I end of wanting to do everything on my own, not trusting my teammates’ skills. But, through this project, I learned to let down my “guard” and have faith in my teammates. I feel like we worked very well as a team and were able to achieve all our goals fairly quickly. We strategically split tasks amongst each other to fit each of our skills set. Therefore, I have effectively addressed LO5 by demonstrating collaborating skills and recognizing the benefits of collaboration.

Trampoline, tennis, and gymnastics have been my main activities throughout Year 12. In trampoline, I have undertaken the challenge to master various basic skills, in order to strengthen my advanced skills. Furthermore, I have created a 10-bounce routine showcasing a cocktail of basic and advanced skills to reflect my growth in this sport.

Gymnastics has been a sport I have always loved, so I was very much motivated in completing my goals. I set myself targets in terms of strength training and skills to accomplish. Though I have worked hard to successfully complete several of my goals, I still have a lot to achieve. This is because I lack consistency in training. Frankly, I have not been training as much as I should – merely once a week or even in two weeks. Time has been very limited, especially with assessments and IA’s. However, this does not mean I don’t exercise. I still need to make time for exercise, in order to keep a balanced and healthy life. Thus, I need to improve in my time managing skills, prioritizing what is important and procrastinating less in doing work.

Tennis has been a sport that I have reunited with after 5 years. My first time playing it after an extremely long break was around October. I could not even hit the ball. But, after re-training my skills and focusing on my basic forehand and backhand stroke techniques, I have greatly improved in my tennis playing skills and can now play a full game with my friends and coach. Through this, I am able to undertake challenges and develop my skills in tennis.

So, this is my final reflection in Year 12. What a year it has been! I have personally grown so much from this CAS ride. Fear not, we still have a few more months in Year 13 to continue our CAS journey, which I am very much looking forward to. Hope you enjoyed this rather lengthy reflection. Hats off to you for reaching this point.

See you soon!

For more about me, please visit my website

Mini CAS Service Update: Speak Up Competition, Anti-Drug Campaign and Cancer Event

Although I am currently in the middle of stressing for the end-of-year exams, I decided to get my nose out of the books and post CAS update/reflection. A lot has been going on in my main CAS projects, which are the Speak Up Competition and Anti-Drug Campaign, as well as a (currently nameless) cancer event I am planning to do over the summer.

So, starting off with the Speak Up competition. Since I  collaborated with the National Narcotics Agency of Indonesian, they requested me to add 2 additional section to the competition: reading-a-speech competition and creating a “yel-yel” (it is a short song which is less than 1 minute). The theme to these competitions is about Anti-Corruption and Anti-Drug use. I have updated my website to accommodate these 3 competitions.

So far, there are already 300 entries for the public speaking competition, which is a massive achievement for me. It was definitely worth the time promoting to various local schools in Jakarta.

Moreover, I was recently appointed as an ambassador for the Bakornas GMDM (National Anti-Drug Organisation run by the government), a huge honor and stepping stone for me. For these past few week, I have been assigned to promote awareness among several national schools in Jakarta, in order to prevent drug abuse amongst students.


Moving on to the cancer event coming up soon. I am planning to collaborate with various cancer foundations in Indonesia to bring about a collaborative event with the children cancer patients. Even though I have not thoroughly planned this out yet, I have collected some ideas and information from some of the cancer foundations I have visited. I may be doing some sort of a talent show or art and craft activities, but these are still rough ideas. I will plan this through once the exams are over.

Additionally, I recently visited the Indonesian Childhood Cancer Foundation to meet some of the kids and discuss the event with the managers. This was an extremely moving experience. Being able to laugh and chat with these kids brought so much joy to my heart. They all reminded me a lot of my sister’s fighting spirit. Even in the midst of fighting cancer, they could still have so much happiness in their hearts. I am remarkably inspired by their bravery.

So, that concludes my mini CAS update. I am very excited for what’s to come in terms of CAS. However, for now, I will definitely have to focus on my exams that are right around the corner 🙂

For more about me, please visit my website

SEAMC Reflection

In March, I had the opportunity to help out in the South East Asian Math Competition (SEAMC), hosted by our school. Our math class prepared several “icebreaker” activities for the participants beforehand. During the event, Jamie, Wysiana, Eun Soo and I presented them to the audience of 400 students and teachers. We were frankly unprepared to present and did not practice until 5 minutes before. I felt a lot of pressure because we were the ones opening the competition and needed to kick the whole thing to a good start. But we told each other to just have fun and enjoy this experience. And we absolutely did.

We presented 3 ice-breakers, which was the “Soto Ayam” counting game, followed by the “Hypotenuse” game, and topped off with the Ultimate Maths Quiz. It was amazing to see all the students and teachers fully participating in the games. They actually found it quite challenging, which was a HUGE achievement for us.

Running the “Soto Ayam” game

In this experience, I addressed several learning outcomes, particularly LO2 (I undertake challenges and develop new skills). This experience definitely developed my public speaking skills and confidence in general. Since this was quite an impromptu presentation, I had to take on the challenge of presenting the games in front of 400 people. It was nerve-wracking, but I jumped over that hurdle and ended up being very comfortable on stage.

LO5 (I demonstrate collaborative skills and recognize benefits of collaboration) was also one that I certainly engaged in. Without the help of my supportive teammates, I would not have had the confidence I had on stage. Nor would I be able to handle all the students while running the activities. We worked effectively as a team, making sure that all the needs of the students and teachers were met. And this was why all the games ran smoothly.

Overall, taking part in the SEAMC competition was an experience that I cherish dearly. And I do have a soft spot for anything math-related 🙂

For more about me, please visit my website

TOK Practice Presentation Reflection

To prepare for the real TOK presentation, we had the privilege of conducting a trial presentation beforehand. I partnered up with Hyemin for this. We spent quite a lot of time thinking about our RLS. After looking at various RLS, we stumbled over one video that captivated us both. It was a Buzzfeed video on “Women’s Ideal Body Types Throughout History”. We settled with this RLS and created the knowledge question:

How does emotion and reason influence the perception of beauty over time?

In terms of preparation, I think that we discussed the presentation thorough enough, but of course, a bit more preparation would have been very useful. But we collaborated very well and each did the same amount of work.

I think that our presentation was well organized in terms of structure. We started off with the RLS, followed by several 1st order questions, the KQ, definitions, our 1st WOK (emotion), our 2nd WOK (reason), finished off by the conclusion that includes other RLS. Since Hyemin and I are pretty comfortable talking in front of an audience, I think we confidently presented our presentation, which was one of the positive feedbacks given. We had a good array of 1st order questions posed from the RLS. The points and examples we made for each of the WOKs greatly supported and developed our arguments. Our assertion that “emotion influences reasoning, and that reason can distort emotional response” was one that received special notice in the feedback given.

However, what we noticed from our presentation and from the feedback is that there is a lack of development in our arguments and clarity on the claims/counterclaims. One claim we mentioned is that “There is always an expectation that women look beautiful”. However, we did not give evidence or a counterclaim to this claim. In our conclusion, we linked the 2 WOKs by stating that emotion influences reasoning, and that reason can distort emotional response. But we stopped there and did not further develop this conclusion in terms of how either of those WOKs subsequently influences our perceptions.

To wrap it all up, I think Hyemin and I did a solid job on this practice presentation. Of course, there is always room for improvement, which is why we have this trial run at the first place. But, I am content with our overall performance.

For more about me, please visit my website

Posted in

CAS Reflection #3

It’s that time of the school year again – another CAS reflection. This time, we are specifically focusing on the Service aspect of CAS. The 2 main service projects I will be incorporating into this reflection are the “Sekolah Bisa Online” project and my “Speak Up” project.

LO 1: I identify my strengths, I identify areas for growth
I addressed this learning outcome by identifying my strengths and experience in online marketing and utilizing the vast connections I have with students, companies, media outlets, CEOs, entrepreneurs and government officials. Along with that, I have always had a strong passion for helping children with cancer in Indonesia. With this, I had the confidence to create an online public speaking competition as a fundraiser for cancer patients. To make sure that the project can be successful, I needed to utilize my communication skills, which I knew I needed to develop. This project helped me a lot in doing so, as I needed to communicate with media outlets, government officials, my website team, and much more. Another aspect that is needed for a project like this is patience and persistence. In general, I am a person who lacks both those traits. I give up quite easily when I can’t find a way out. This project has helped train my patience when waiting for sponsors to respond, going through the website development, so on and so forth. I learned to persevere when I had to revise my marketing plan several times, as it did not fit my sponsors’ needs. All these contributed to developing those 2 traits I previously lacked.

In creating the SB website, I identified my strengths in website designing and my fluency in speaking Bahasa Indonesia. This way, I could use my skills in establishing and the aesthetic aspect of the website, as well as communicate with the people from Sekolah Bisa for interviews and picture-taking purposes. I knew I needed to develop my teamwork skills with my fellow peers, which is why I decided to join the SB website team.

LO 2: I undertake new challenges, I undertake new skills
In planning and initiating my Speak Up Public Speaking competition, I went through tough challenges. I found it difficult to creep ate a proposal for the project and search for sponsors. Promoting the competition was, in my opinion, the hardest part of this project. I had to create a marketing plan that was cost-efficient yet effective and propose this to my sponsors. But at the end, I overcame all those challenges. I learned simple skills such as being able to write “proper” emails to sponsors and other parties involved. Also, I had to be able to communicate my thoughts and ideas properly and accurately to my website developer team, which helped develop my communication skills.

Before creating the Sekolah Bisa website, I had very little experience in creating websites, other than my own personal blog. We had to create the Sekolah Bisa website using several different programs, applications and manually coding it, which I have never done before. But eventually, it all came together perfectly. I gained programming and website development skills throughout the process.

LO 3: I plan and initiate
Planning and initiating was one of the most crucial aspects of my CAS service projects.

I went through a tough planning process for my Speak Up competition. I spent a lot of time planning the website, promotion, sponsorship deals, marketing plan, and even things as simple as planning when to meet my website team. I also had to plan ahead for the Speak Up Cancer Project and how the public speaking competition can be linked to the cancer project. Initiating the competition itself was also a difficult step to take. There were a few difficulties in meeting the initial launch date of the competition, due to technical difficulties and communication problems, but we managed to initiate the competition within that week.

Furthermore, we had to plan the initial setup and layout of the SB website, along with the financial aspects of it. We initially planned to use SquareSpace, a simple website builder, but our proposal was rejected as it exceeded our budget. Therefore, we had to change our website plans to fit the tight budget given to us. We initiated a method to get the funds by contacting the procurement team. Afterward, we went on to create the website itself using the applications and programs needed.

LO 4: I show commitment, I persevere
Perseverance and commitment were detrimental to the success of my service projects. There were times where I wanted to give up my Speak Up project and opt for a simpler project. Initially, I felt very overwhelmed by the things I had to do, such as creating the proposal, looking for sponsors, looking for a website team, and creating the marketing plan. But I persevered, and at the end, it turned out well.

Creating the SB website also needed a lot of dedication. Since we were quite inexperienced, it took us quite a while to get a hang of creating the website from scratch. We had to frequently ask for help from people who were more experienced. Sometimes, we had to sacrifice our free periods and after-school time to sit down together and work on the website. We definitely showed strong commitment throughout the whole process.

LO 5: I demonstrate collaborative skills, I recognize the benefits of collaboration
For the Speak Up project, I collaborated with a group of university students in order to create the website and the marketing aspect of the project. We shared our ideas, thoughts and each of us contributed something unique to the team. I couldn’t have gone this far without my team. There were certain things that I would have never been able to do effectively alone, such as creating the website in under 3 weeks, handling the social media promotion and design the logo, posters, etc.

The SB Online project strongly addresses this LO. In order for this project to work, there must be a strong collaboration as a team. Throughout the process, we have all displayed strong collaborative skills. We constantly motivated and helped each other to complete all the tasks. I have always found it quite challenging to work collaboratively, as I tend to take the wheel and want things to go my way. This project has taught me to be open to other people’s opinions and thoughts. I truly recognized the benefits of collaboration. Every one of us in the team had something unique to contribute, and I couldn’t have been able to do this alone. We also divided roles to each of the team members to be as effective and efficient as possible.

LO 6: I engage with issues of global significance
The theme of the Speak Up competitions are focused on Anti-Drug and Anti-Corruption in Indonesia. Indonesia is one of the most corrupt countries in the world. Because of the corruption, our country cannot grow. There is a huge lack of funding in the education sector and health sector. This is also the reason why drug addiction is a huge problem in Indonesia. According to the National Narcotics Agency of Indonesia – the government organization that I am working with for this competition – about 33 people in Indonesia die due to drug abuse every single day. I am hoping that this competition can raise people’s and the government’s awareness and help fight these issues.

With the profits made from the Speak Up competition, I am donating it to help with the treatment of cancer patients in the Indonesian Childhood Cancer Foundation, a non-profit organization. All of the patients lack funding for their treatment, which is a significant issue in our country in general. Many patients do not get the funding and treatment they need from the government. However, I feel like this LO is one that I will have to further develop in the near future. I am in the planning process of creating the cancer project that will incorporate cancer patients in Indonesia in an event (maybe an event to showcase their talents such as drawing, writing, etc).

LO 7: I recognize ethical issues, I act ethically
In both my CAS projects, there were several ethical issues that I had to address. Since my Speak Up competition is a public competition that is open to all students of all race, sex, and social status, I had to make sure that the content within the website and the competition itself were open to all. Most likely the majority of people viewing/registering in our competition on the website are from different religious backgrounds, so everything posted there must be applicable to all religions and not bias/racist in any way possible. We chose the theme of Anti-Drug and Anti-Corruption because we know that these are issues that are not limited to any religion, social status, race or sex. We made sure to not discriminate anyone in terms of their social status. An example of this is by setting the registration fee fairly affordable. This makes sure that everyone can afford to join the competition.

When doing the SB online project, we went to Sekolah Bisa to interview some of the kids and staff there for the content of the website. We had to make sure the questions we asked are not offensive and discriminating in any way. Also, we had to make sure that these kids and the staff are comfortable with sharing a bit about themselves online.

For more about me, please visit my website

First Formal Reflection Session

The research and planning journey of my extended essay has been a challenging but extremely rewarding.

My topic was one that I was instantly drawn to because it connected with me on a personal level. Cancer has taken away one of my family members, my younger sister. I hoped that by doing this investigation on xanthone, an antioxidant with cancer-fighting properties, I can help free those suffering in the hands of cancer.

I struggled in deciding a research question and variables. Initially, my research question was “How does the different ripening stages of mangosteen effect the yield of xanthone.”  However, due to many complications in the methodology and the equipment in the lab, I decided to alter my topic. Eventually, I finalized a research question that is unique, feasible and allows a systematic investigation, which is: “How does the antioxidant activity vary in different mangosteen species of garcinia?”

Besides researching from secondary sources, I conducted fieldwork in mangosteen plantations and research institutions to further expand my knowledge on the topic. I had to collect information from experts and run trial experiments to test out the various procedures. I have written my methodology and am currently in the process of conducting the experimentation.

This process has taught me that with perseverance, there will always be a solution to any problem. There were countless times where I met dead-ends and could not find a way out. But I learned to always stay positive and persist in finding the best route out.

For more about me, please visit my website

Posted in

Year 8 Oscars

On March 2nd, my fellow Year 12 friends and I hosted the Oscars ceremony for the Year 8 students. Dante and I volunteered as the hosts of the ceremony. This was my very first MC experience in BSJ. I learned a lot from this experience, and am very thankful for the opportunity given to me.

Our team of 10 students and Ms. Harrison organized the whole ceremony from top to bottom. We started our planning process about 2 weeks before the event. This was where the LO-3 came into play.

Learning Outcome 3: I plan and initiate

The beauty of having a team is that we could split the heavy burden into smaller, more bearable pieces. We decided on everyone’s roles for the event, ranging from hosts, photographer, and table decorators. Even the “shopping” roles were divided so that everyone had to buy something. I had the task of buying the backdrop for the photo booth, as well as becoming the host of the event with Dante. By planning everything beforehand, we could see how much we have progressed towards our target and how far we were from our that goal. It allowed us to make wise decisions on where to go or what to do next. Because of our efficient planning, we could make appropriate adjustments to any problems we foresaw. One of the examples was our plan to purchase the Oscar trophies. Initially, I was assigned to buy the Oscar trophies for the winners. However, after I checked on the trophy store, they told me that it would take 3 weeks to complete, so we decided not to buy them. This was where our planning saved the day. We already devised a backup plan beforehand, just in case the trophies didn’t work out, which was to handing out certificates instead. We estimated that designing and printing those certificates would only take a week. At the end, the certificates were completed on time and every winner got a beautiful certificate.

Along with that, the LO-5 also had a huge role during the 2-week preparation process.

Learning Outcome 5: I demonstrate collaborative skills and recognize benefits of collaboration

I had to collaborate with Dante a lot, as we were the hosts of the show. We brainstormed the MC script 2 weeks beforehand and equally contributed to the script. There were some (rare) moments where we had different opinions on something, say, a joke, but we both respected each other’s opinions and figured out a good solution to unite our varying opinions. We assigned tasks for each other. I was responsible for writing the introduction of each award category, while Dante was the one constructing the jokes (I am terrible at writing jokes).

But most importantly, we supported and encouraged each other throughout the process. We were both pretty nervous about hosting the Oscars. I was extremely worried that no one would laugh at our jokes, or that I would mess up my lines. But we always reminded each other to keep a positive mindset and have fun. And we absolutely did.

Those 2 learning outcomes definitely came hand-in-hand. Planning was definitely a big part of the whole process, but we planned as a TEAM, not individually.

LO2 + LO5 = WE planned and initiated, with the help of everyone’s collaborative skills.

The Year 8 Oscars was a memorable experience for me, even though I did make a few extremely embarrassing mistakes while hosting. But don’t worry, it was all good. I just ended up laughing at myself 🙂

For more about me, please visit my website