CAS Reflection 2

The kids are learning a lot in Sekolah Bisa Band, and it’s a pleasure teaching them (even though some are a bit stubborn).  Together, we learn more about music and create harmony between all the instruments and because of that, I believe I have achieved Learning Outcome 5.

#MakingMusic #SBBand #FutureArtists

Tedx Talks Reflection

Recently, some Year 13 students gave their opinions, concepts and ideas about existing problems that exist in Indonesia and even the world. All the talks were interesting as each of the year 13s explained to us how they dealt with the problem they presented and possible hopes for the future of solving the problem. The talk that piqued my interest was the first one by Wilson – Endless Battle on the Road. He explained about the ever-growing traffic problem in Jakarta especially. I took a liking to this because I’ve lived in Indonesia most of my life and I’ve visited a variety of countries and I can say without a doubt that Indonesia has the worst traffic problem out of every country in the world in terms of it happening on a day to day basis. And I agree with Wilson on the fact that traffic has changed drastically throughout the years, because I’ve experienced it firsthand. But how does this link to TOK? Well I did some digging and I am confident that this talk links to these AOKs and WOKs.

AOK 1: Maths

The idea that Wilson presented to help solve the traffic problem was a drone outfitted with a camera and a program that could predict when it’s safe for the cars to move. Along with his “Green Wave” which was his idea of fixing the absurd traffic light timers, in which I agree on; we need a alter the timers on the traffic lights. He represented this in the form of a graph. If the traffic lights were to switch between red and green at specific intervals then it would be possible for the cars to move between the traffic lights without ever stopping at one.

The idea of maths isn’t far-fetched as Maths provides us with exact details if the calculations are correct. In Maths, the equations are direct with one absolute answer. Wilson needed to use this if he wanted to ensure a possible solution to the problem. However, the solution couldn’t be determined from Maths alone.

AOK 2: Human Sciences

This is involved because traffic jams are ultimately caused by the people in the driver seat. Due to their behaviors can a traffic jam take place and because of the congestion of cars on a single highway, all it takes is a single person to slow down for an entire highway or intersection to be locked down. Using the drone, it could be easier to be predict how people react and make decisions in different types of situations on the road. Because of the congestion, Wilson said that Ahok, the governor has implied that the new MRT system would help solve the problem.

This AOK is essential to determine the solution because we need to know how people behave on the road. Without using this, we would have no way of knowing how to solve the problem. Perhaps by using this, new rules or laws could be made.

WOK used: Reason and Intuition

Reason and intuition is the most prominent WOKs that were used to determine the problem that Wilson presented. They used logic and factual knowledge to figure out and find a potential solution to the problem that they were facing. Logic and facts work hand in hand with Mathematics which is why I believe that these WOKs were the most prominent.

However, despite the efforts that Wilson and his team made, they couldn’t solve the traffic problem. The main reason being that the technology wasn’t advanced enough as Wilson put it, to help put Wilson’s plan in motion. From a currently developing country, that is understandable. That is the limitation of the Math that Wilson presented as well as the fact that we cannot produce, precise, concordant results when dealing with humans. Sometimes using reason and/or intuition without the right facts might draw a fallacious conclusion, which is a limitation of those WOKs.

No doubt it will be a long time before traffic in Jakarta, and all of Indonesia to improve. But this is definitely a step in the right direction.

CAS Interview Reflection

On Monday, I had my CAS interview with Mr. Durok. In it, I detailed the things I have done, doing right now and am planning to do with my CAS projects. We mainly talked about what my main projects were and what I am hoping to achieve in them. Both for myself and for the people who I am helping.

For Creativity and Service, I am doing the Sekolah Bisa Band, led by Y12 students as it is a new project. So far we are in a group of 3 and we have been teaching the Sekolah Bisa kids music. (Obviously). 2 kids learning to play accompaniment with the piano while the rest a focusing with the ukulele. Seung Hun is focusing on the ukulele while I am primarily focused on teaching the kids piano. Aisha is focused on singing as we are a band, we have been teaching the kids Indonesian songs such as “Laskar Pelangi”, as well as pop songs such as “I’m Yours” by Jason Mraz. Of course with them being Sekolah Bisa kids, having a basic understanding of the Indonesian language is helpful in communicating. Teaching the kids has proven to be challenging as they are easily distracted and easily bored. The kids at the piano give up way too easily and they way that you are supposed to have your hands at the piano hurts their hands they say. Unfortunately, they have to get over that if they want to play properly. The kids are also prone to complaining if things don’t go their way. However, I am determined to teach the kids the beauty in music and how to play the instruments properly. Teaching someone music is something that I’ve always been interested in and the satisfaction you get when you see your student finally succeeding on that part which they have been struggling for so long thanks to your help, is a feeling that is hard to replicate by anything else in the world. Because teaching requires commitment to give other people education in a subject and the creativity to make the lesson interesting, I put it in creativity and service. I also believe I have addressed these learning outcomes:

LO2: I undertake challenges. I develop new skills. Teaching is something I have never done, apart form the brief experience I had with the ATL conference. I could perhaps improve upon my performance at the conference. Teaching is definitely a challenge, especially with kids as they tend to shift their focus very easily. I need to find someway to keep them engaged throughout the lesson.

LO5: I demonstrate collaborative skills. I recognise the benefits of collaboration. Since it’s a band, we obviously have to work together with our instruments to make music. Along with my group members and the Sekolah Bisa kids, I am sure that we can play a full song together.

LO3: I plan and initiate. Obviously teaching requires a plan for the lesson. Sticking to that plan will prove to be difficult, however.

For Activity, I do my regular training sessions in PE which is Cardio. In which I do various exercises that benefit and improve cardiovascular strength (which is fancy talk for heart strength). I also do regular tennis sessions on Monday and Thursday. I hope to improve my serving technique and be able to consistently win games in tennis. I also need to work on my footwork as footwork in tennis is just as important as it is in football, in my opinion. Reason being that you have to move fast and be at the right distance to hit the ball just right. For my regular PE training, I was able to run 2100 meters in 12 minutes. That will serve as a guide to how well I am doing. To aid me, I am also taking regular training sessions every Wednesday morning with Mr. Metters which is vigorous to put it lightly. Because of this I believe I have achieved these learning outcomes:

LO1: I identify my strengths. I identify areas for growth. Exercising to get fitter and better is no easy task. In order to get better you need identify where you’re strong at, where you’re weak at, and take action accordingly to strengthen your weak points.

LO4: I show commitment. I persevere. Exercising to get fitter also takes determination and the will to progress. Without it, you won’t get anywhere in life.

I still have to address the last two learning outcomes which I can hopefully do with new projects popping up in the coming months. I can’t wait to progress with this!

CAS: Activity Progress

CAS enables students to grow and learn about themselves more. It shows how committed you are to something. The Activity in CAS makes students lead a healthy lifestyle by focusing on training and getting better in the sports you do or just by working out. Currently I am doing 2 things that are suitable for my CAS, my current PE lesson at school I do Cardio workouts, and Tennis before school.

For my first Cardio workout I was required to jog non-stop for 12 minutes along the 300 meter track on the main field. This was to show how fit I was and will serve as a guiding point for my future workouts. In that 12 minutes I ran 2100 meters which is equivalent to 7 whole laps in 12 minutes. I am quite happy with this result and hopefully it will improve by the end of this activity. Slow and steady really does win the race as by jogging slowly you use less energy than if you were running normally. In Cardio, you are required to do exercises that are designed to increase your cardiovascular fitness which decreases your resting heart rate. Exercises such as interval training where you have to go for 100% sprints with long rests in between, or Fartlek training where you have to run at different speeds while still maintaining your energy. The purpose of these exercises is endurance, and in sports you are required to endure long games and matches to keep playing. I have to admit, I was a bit skeptical at interval training at first. Sprinting your all with 3-5 minute rests in between doesn’t seem that hard. Until I realised that at the end of every sprint, you’re going to be exhausted and each sprint will just get more fatigued with lactic acid build up and in the middle of it all, you just treasure the amount of time you have to rest. I have done similar types of exercises before with Mr. Metters every Wednesday morning. His training lessons are nothing short of vigorous. I started taking his morning training sessions long before IB and I strongly believe that participating in those sessions helped me get 2100 meters in 12 minutes. I look forward into seeing how I progress with Cardio!

I started learning tennis when I was in Year 3. I eventually stopped because it got a bit boring. But I am back into it and I am more enthusiastic than ever. With guidance from my coach, I have gotten a lot better than I was. I can serve more consistently, I can hold a rally of up to 40 shots, I can carefully place the balls where I want it to go and more. I have only entered one friendly competition in BSJ. Unfortunately, I got beat the first round. Looking back, I was really inexperienced compared to the person I was up against. I did put a good fight though. I guess I was just nervous since it was my first time participating in something like this. So, my target for the next competition that I will attend: to be able to get past the first round. Maybe the second round as an added bonus. Footwork is important in tennis, and looking back, I could have moved around more to give my opponent less chance to catch me off-guard. I will definitely put some work into that.

I look forward to seeing my fitness grow in CAS’s Activity segment!

 

ATLs: Learning to learn

In absence of some teachers being away on residential, we at Year 12 had a productive week to learn more about CAS, the EE and more of the components that make up IB. But most importantly, BSJ hosted the 2nd annual ATL conference in which Year 12 students had to teach the younger years about ATLs or Approaches To Learning. And for good reason. In order to succeed with jobs and beyond university, we have to learn to adapt and learn different things in different ways. Ivy and I were assigned with the task of teaching the Year 7s how to research effectively and the Year 12s how to think effectively (Even though there were only 2 people who attended that workshop).

Ivy and I prepared for the conference by doing the most stereotypical way to present a topic: a PowerPoint presentation. Now no doubt some would see this as boring so we decided to get creative and add a few jokes here and there to liven the atmosphere. We also gave candy anytime someone got a question right. At the beginning though, we gave them cards and tasked them to arrange them into good sources and bad sources. They got most of them right and it was understandable for them to think Wikipedia is a reliable source, which it’s not. Our main focus of teaching the Year 7s research was so that it would be easier for them to find reliable sources when they move through the years. We wanted to teach them that in a fun and interactive way, which proved challenging as it’s quite hard to make research a fun thing to do. Nevertheless, most of them thought that our workshop was fun and will use the information they learned later in their lives. We taught them a variety of topics on research such as always citing your sources and how to tell whether a source is bias or not. I can happily say that most of the people in our workshop had an incentive to learn and were paying attention to us. However, looking at some photos of other people doing there workshops, I can potentially see multiple improvements if I were to do this again. I would definitely try to incorporate more team games and cooperation as I could see competition among the students as they wanted to get the candy. Although we did ask our students lots of questions, there were some that were unwilling to join probably due to boredom, so I would definitely try to make sure everyone is involved next time. Possibly, I could’ve tried to incorporate personal stories into my teaching as well as I find teachers who share their personal stories with their students, easy to get along with. Maybe that might work with the year 7s? And in hindsight, giving candy to already hyper kids might not have seemed like the best idea…

The 2nd workshop Ivy and I commanded was Thinking for Y12s and we named it “The Sound of Silence” which tasked the Y12s to share their opinions on a topic without speaking. They were only allowed to draw or write. Even though only 2 people joined this workshop, Ivy and I found it much easier to handle than 11 people. Our objective for this workshop was to encourage different ways of thinking other than talking with the person next to you to share ideas. In the end of the activity, the 2 people made a mind-map of their own opinions and facts on the topic. I am happy to say that the 2 people wrote 5 star reviews on our workshop. If possible, if I were to do this again, I would definitely come up with more interesting questions for the people to answer and brainstorm.

I think my experiences in this workshop followed LOs 3 and 2. I plan and initiate, and I undertake challenges and develop new skills.

Overall, I think that the conference was a huge success. Not only because we shared our knowledge with the younger students, but it allowed us to know what it felt like to teach other students for the first time. I ultimately have a new found respect for teachers as I did not realise how much work they do behind the scenes. The ultimate gripe that I have with this ATL conference was that we, as Year 12s, also have to teach other Y12s, who already know how these ATLs function, meanwhile, the Year 7s don’t. If possible, I would like to see the Y12s teach more of the younger years rather than themselves, because we already know about this. All in all, this ATL conference felt great and I wonder how the Year 7s will use this new found knowledge to aid them in their course.

My last residential at BSJ

I must’ve probably been to Lido Lakes 3-4 times by now. First time I went there, the school was still called BIS. Meanwhile Lido Lakes still looks the same as ever, glad to see it still looking strong. Obviously the activities were different but were centered around one thing: teamwork. Whether you’re building a raft, positioning yourself so you could cover a teammate in paintball, or simply dancing a cèilidh, it still required individuals to work together. So one of the main things I learnt from the residential: teamwork makes the dream work.

I think the main difference between this residential and all the others I’ve attended, is that everyone at the residential was more mature and I was more aware of what was going on compared to me in Year 4. I remember not even knowing where to go when we went on residentials when I was younger. I thoroughly enjoyed the range of activities we got to do. Compared to earlier years, they were definitely more risky and thrilling (aside from painting ’cause that’s always been there). The activity that challenged me the most was probably the raft building. Aside from tying knots which half of us probably didn’t even know how to tie, the raft my group built collapsed as soon as it touched the water. No doubt the painters at the time saw us. We still tried to race with an improvised motor, I was the improvised motor. Even though we didn’t even reach quarter-way, we still had fun!

I’d say the event that surprised me the most was the Scottish cèilidh. We have had dance nights before but it was mostly disorganised and we could do what ever we wanted to, however for this residential it was a Scottish dance organised by Mr. McIvor of all people! Most of the boys I’m sure were anxious to pick a partner. When we finally got to dancing, my pair got picked for best dance, although only a small section of it. Zelina and I were shocked and in disbelief as the rest of the year were laughing and/or clapping as danced for the most of 12 seconds. That night was probably the most tiring night as most if not all students I saw were exhausted as they were leaving the ballroom.

I’d say that this residential was the most eventful and most exciting. I’ll gladly remember this as one of my fondest memories of BSJ.

 

History vs Maths

Greetings. I’ve always been interested in these two subjects as a personal preference. I also believe in the belief that those who don’t learn from history are doomed to repeat it. But how exactly is History learnt? How exactly is Maths learnt? I would like to take a closer look at this.

Well we all know that History is learning about the past. Events that we weren’t alive for (and admittedly some of those events were much more exciting than stuff we’re seeing today) and an opportunity to learn about those events. As well as learn how was information learnt back then and the people who lived back then. What were they like? Knowledge in history is like a family heirloom. It gets passed from generation to generation and with each passing generation, it deteriorates a bit. Some pieces of knowledge are lost to the ages never to be recovered and the lucky pieces we do get offer amazing insight to what really happened back then. Obviously our main sources of knowledge come from people who were alive when the event took place as some documentaries about the world wars show us. Diary entries and newspaper clippings from the time also give us knowledge. In History we also learn whether information is reliable or not. Some pieces of media have proven to be biased in a certain way, to appeal to a certain audience and ultimately, blocking out true understanding on the topic. Professional historians know this and try to read in between the lines. In Maths however it’s a bit different.

In Maths, there is no need to read in between the lines, no need to find out whether information is reliable. In Maths, the numbers indicate the answer and the answer is absolute. There is no room for debate. For example we all agree that 2+2=4. No one can deny that. Admittedly, this is why Maths is one of my least favourite subjects, because there is no wiggle room so to speak. In Maths, there is a formula that people must follow to complete the equation, and while there are different ways to tackle a question, the result is the same. In History, you can look from several different points of view that each have different answers on topic.

We all have our different perspectives and different opinions on topics. But if there is one thing we cannot argue on, it’s that 2+2=4.

New (Academic) Year, New World

Halliday, Liam – CAS & Me

Hello readers of my blog! How are you doing? My name is Liam Halliday, a half English-Indonesian student and I am currently 16 years old. A newcomer to the IB programme and will be graduating in 2018 (hopefully). Here I am going to tell you about how my first steps in this new world felt like.

First coming back into this school after the long, exciting summer, I felt nervous. Not only because I’ll be back into daily school life again but because of a new uniform. A bright white shirt that signals to everyone “That’s an IB student and they’re going to be working hard.” And that’s no joke. The first week of IB already has me up all night doing work and studying. But with a little time management and organisation, I’m sure I can get rid of the problem. No longer an IGCSE student, but a mature, young man who is preparing for the real world.

CAS is one of things I’ve been hearing about in school. And in IB, we get a greater insight to what that is. Obviously, we’re going to be working with Sekolah BISA as majority of IB students who work on their CAS projects do. Optimal Health is an ongoing CAS project that I’m interested in that requires checking up on the students in Sekolah BISA’s well being. The Sekolah BISA choir also seems interesting since I love music and teaching the kids to sing would be very rewarding and entertaining. Another idea that popped up to mind is teaching the kids instruments. If the kids can be taught how to sing, why shouldn’t they learn to play instruments either?

Well in IB, I doubt that I’ll have a lot of free time on my hands considering the fact that it takes me more than an hour to get home from school. But I definitely love music and playing piano and violin is one of my talents and I love playing them both. I am also interested in composing in my free time if any ideas spring to mind. So far, I have been doing well in Biology and Chemistry so a possible career in Biochemistry could be open to me.

Hopefully my time in IB will be rewarding and fun. Granted it will be tough, and adjusting into this new world will be hard. But I am confident that I will cope!