Activity Progress CP3

While Cardio ended a long time ago, I have been training in a lot of other things as well that boosts my cardiovascular activity. I run with my dog over the weekend and train with Mr. Metters on Wednesday mornings. I’m pretty sure the latter being the most intense one. Prior to IB, I also trained with Mr. Moore that provided a lot of cardiovascular training. But I digress, if you fail to keep up actions or training, you will eventually become rusty or lose your touch. I have fallen victim to this multiple times but I have managed to bounce back multiple times as well.

My target for Cardio was to run 5k in 30 minutes. In the beginning, I ran 2.2k in 12 minutes which was pretty decent. I felt confident that my neighborhood provided ample room for me to run 5k in 30 minutes. I timed myself running around my neighborhood for 30 min and I ended up running 21 laps around the circle of my neighborhood. The area I ran around wasn’t measured exactly as the road was very bumpy but it was around 200m. Which averages to around 4200m. While an improvement, I didn’t reach my predicted goal. But I will use this to improve again in future runs and training.

My experience as a church organist

As a pianist, playing organs or keyboards wasn’t a foreign experience. Playing the organ in church came easy for me and the pieces I had to practice were relatively easy when compared to my piano pieces. However, they were a bit unusual. The piano and organ are very different instruments thus they require very different playing styles in order for them to be played effectively and efficiently. For example, the organ and its pieces is more suited towards accompanying a choir so organists have to hold the keys on the organ to prolong the notes in order for the song they’re playing to not sound ’empty’. Due to my experience with the piano, I had a habit of taking my hands off the organ in order to let the audience know that the piece was proceeding. This proved detrimental to my overall performance of the organ. I managed to fix it before my performance in church. Being a member of my school orchestra also helped as looking at the conductor to keep in time was also a skill that was needed.

Needless to say, I was very nervous, as every performer is before a performance. This experience taught me how to adapt to different play styles and a I learnt a lot of new pieces because of it which aided my sight reading.

I think this experience ties to LO1 and LO4.

Songwriting Workshop

Last year, I took part in a songwriting workshop to better my songwriting skills. As a budding pianist, I took part out of curiosity and to potentially be able to write songs in the future. The guest teachers, Tim and Rue, helped us in deciding our song format as well as to actually write a song. A cool technique for deciding lyrics is to take a random magazine, go to any random page or one that looks interesting.

Despite this new technique, I ended up making a piano piece with no lyrics as I wanted to stick to my comfort zone. My piano piece was based off the romantic composers Chopin and Debussy and titled “Flowers in the Wind”. To be honest, I didn’t put much thought into the title of the piece and just made it up when I got asked what it was. The piece is 4 pages long and consists of some themes people would normally see in romantic period music. Coming up with suitable melodies was challenging as sometimes it would just come to you and at others, you had to think what would go well or would proceed this section.

Because of my participation and the fact we had such a short time period to produce our songs, I believe this experience fits well into LO1 and LO5.

TOK Presentation Reflection

My real TOK presentation was about how we can potentially simplify knowledge about a topic, without sacrificing the main bulk of the information. I even included my own personal experience in BSJ on how topics are reintroduced with more information added to them and sometimes even negating the original information we learned. The jump from Y11 GCSE to Y12 IB Chemistry and Biology is a prime example of this happening and I included that in my presentation. With that I safely secured a 7/10 and I was given the option to redo it in February 2018. In my opinion, I don’t really think I need to redo it as a 7 secures at least 1 extra point to my final grade but a higher score would always be better.

I noticed in my presentation I didn’t mention how my topic links to personal or shared knowledge however that was briefly answered after the presentation when I was asked a question. If I choose to do so again, I’ll have to find a way to incorporate that into my presentation. I also felt my arguments were a bit lacking however there wasn’t much to go on in the first place, making this topic difficult. There was also the risk of being fixated on RLSs which was what I did in the first place. For my TOK essay, I should broaden my view and not focus so much on one aspect of my argument.

7 is an overall decent score that I’m happy with and I’m glad that it isn’t mandatory for me to redo it. I’m probably not going to because that’s just one more thing to stress about in the future. Now, the only thing involving TOK I need to tackle is the essay!

CAS Reflection 5

Recently, I attended my second CAS interview with Mr. Durok. Together we talked about my overall progress in CAS and went into much detail about how my service project, Sekolah Bisa Band, is going. We mainly talked about progress and how I am teaching the kids.

I reflected on what I was doing with the band. For example I felt that the amount of sessions that we were having was lacking. Since we do it once a week on a Monday, and we had to cancel due to various reasons, I felt that I went to 60% of weeks throughout the year. I’ve also been very lenient with the kids and Mr. Durok suggested that I try to be more assertive to prevent them from losing focus on practicing properly. He said “don’t be afraid to be the bad guy” and I agree with him. And honestly, it’s what I was afraid of when I started this.

I will also try to be more diligent in my blogging and updating my tracker.

Overall, CAS this year has been productive although I need more progress on my activity side. Can’t wait ’till next year!

Country Fair Service

Last Sunday, I took the liberty of subjecting myself to having kids throw sponges loaded with water to my face.

The country fair on Sunday was a blast! It pretty much had everything and everyone was participating. As for me, if you haven’t read the first line of this blog, I was in charge of the Sponge Game with several of my friends. Our job was simple, stand in the designated spot where we allow people to throw sponges at us. Dante ‘promoted’ it by saying some kids will get 1 extra throw for 1 token if they chose me as the target! Needless to say, they accepted the offer and I got pelted with 30 sponges. At the end of it, we would all be drenched with water, but we still had fun!

I could describe myself as a shy guy so advertising our stand and getting people to participate felt awkward to me. My friends helped of course and I feel this shows LO4: I show commitment. I persevere.

With this being my first time working for our community at an event like this, I can say that I achieved LO2: I undertake challenges. I develop new skills.

Next year will be my last country fair if I choose to attend. Considering how well the last one went, I’m sure the next one will be even better!

TOK Presentation Reflection

My partner for my TOK presentation was Lipi and together we presented “What determines what rights we should have?” We explained about human rights around the world, animal rights and even about potential robot rights as AI is becoming more and more advanced, it didn’t seem out of the ordinary to me that eventually, robots will develop personalities of their own and even demand their own “person-hood”.

The feedback I got from Mrs. Lautrette was that our presentation lacked focus and didn’t seem to argue anything, and it didn’t state any WOK or AOKs. Assumptions were made about everything with very little research presented to back our claims. It also didn’t present any counter-claims. Because of this, she awarded our presentation a 0.

I will definitely take this into account for my next presentation as there are many ways for me to develop and understand TOK concepts.

CAS Reflection 3

These past few months, I have been working with the Sekolah Bisa students along with Aisya and Seung Hun to make the Sekolah Bisa Band and I am happy to say that it has gone reasonably well. The kids have been enthusiastic and it has been a pleasure and a challenge teaching them. I have found keeping them focused has been extremely hard as they tend to lose focus very easily and can be distracted by the many instruments in the room. We try to keep the children focused on one instrument so that the band can progress, however I suppose it’s a good thing that the children want to try out as many instruments as possible so that they know what they’re comfortable with.

We have decided on an Indonesian reggae song we hope to perform soon. It’s called “Go Green”by Momonon. It has a catchy tune and it’s overall easy to play, the kids should be able to learn the chords easily. More than that, the lyrics tell of Indonesia’s environmental struggles such as pollution and constant traffic jams. Because of this, we hope this song is able to make people aware of the environmental problems Indonesia faces in the future. With that, I believe I have achieved LO2, as I have constantly thought of new ways to try and teach the kids, and LO6, as this song’s lyrics reflect not only on Indonesia’s environmental problems, but the whole world as well.

Activity Progress CP 2

My Cardio training is going smoothly, despite the fact that it has been raining very frequently so, training outside on PE days had to be moved to the gym. I have to say, I think I’d prefer the gym on the account of AC, and there are machines specifically designed to help you exercise, opening up a wide variety of exercises to increase cardiovascular muscle strength. I’ve been certain to use the treadmill any chance I get during those lessons. You know what they say, “Never skip leg day!”, and I have been continuously joining Mr. Metters’ morning training sessions every Wednesday. I have also taken the opportunity to try out the rowing machines as that also tests endurance, as well as the bike machines. Because I was in a gym, I couldn’t help but try the weight machines as well. Even though they focus more on lifting heavy weights rather than steady endurance, it’s still a useful skill to have.

I believe I have been making steady progress towards meeting my goal of being able to run 5km in 30 minutes or less.