Bye Bye CAS

I finally understood the point of CAS. It’s not something that you just get, you need to first grumble and do it because you have to otherwise you wouldn’t pass IB. Then you do it because it gets fun and it’s actually the only time you’re doing something which is not work (even though it is work). But as you approach the end of IB, it becomes something which you do because you’re addicted to the feeling of the knowledge that you’re doing something worthwhile.

While having my CAS interview, my interviewer asked me “How would you describe the importance of CAS to a Year 11 student?” I said “You can’t, I’d just tell them that you have to do it and let them figure out the why for themselves.” Because if you tell them what to feel, they’ll expect it and if they expect it, it never arrives as the pure bliss of that feeling of knowing you’ve changed something for the better only comes in packets of the unexpected (also teenagers… telling them what to feel, when has that ever gone wrong…).

In my short (but definitely painful) time in IB, I was part of the digital leaders, I taught chemistry, I recycled paper and I built a bike. All of these projects taught me things, gave me insights into my own character and flaws, and pushed to develop my positive traits and improve my flaws. I was impatient, I knew that but I didn’t have incentive to change that, teaching Chemistry incentivized me to develop my patience. I was a control freak, being in-charge of the Eco-commitee helped me to give out assignments and  delegate responsibilities to other people.

I don’t know what else to say, the CAS experience was amazing. It made me, a generally uncaring and apathetic individual, actually want to leave my cynical realistic attitude and feel hope and happiness originating in something other than my own selfish desires. It brought me out of my comfort zone and that is CAS.

Probably for the last time,

The Great Argon is over and out

CAS Learning Outcome Cumulative Audit

CAS Individual Student Completion Form for the Cohort 2015-17

The British School Jakarta

 

Student’s Name: Arjun Bansal

 

Use 3 colours for your notes:

BLUE for SERVICE

GREEN for ACTIVITY

RED for CREATIVITY

# Learning Outcomes Cumulative Evidence of fulfilling Outcome with date/activity reference
1 Identified strengths and areas for growth

What ‘strengths’ have I deployed to enable me to engage meaningfully in the program?

What do I need to develop to ensure my engagement in CAS can be more productive?

SERVICE

http://blogs.bsj.sch.id/thegreatargon/2016/05/10/cas-review/

http://blogs.bsj.sch.id/thegreatargon/2016/05/19/a-cas-reflection-made-of-and-for-paper/

http://blogs.bsj.sch.id/thegreatargon/2016/01/24/cas-audit/

http://blogs.bsj.sch.id/thegreatargon/2015/12/06/carbon/

http://blogs.bsj.sch.id/thegreatargon/2015/11/10/adventure-time/

http://blogs.bsj.sch.id/thegreatargon/2015/10/20/motorbike-project-mid-term-review/

http://blogs.bsj.sch.id/thegreatargon/2015/10/09/satisfaction/

ACTIVITY

http://blogs.bsj.sch.id/thegreatargon/category/cas/sport/

CREATIVITY

http://blogs.bsj.sch.id/thegreatargon/2016/05/10/cas-review/

http://blogs.bsj.sch.id/thegreatargon/2016/05/19/a-cas-reflection-made-of-and-for-paper/

http://blogs.bsj.sch.id/thegreatargon/2016/01/24/cas-audit/

http://blogs.bsj.sch.id/thegreatargon/2015/11/10/adventure-time/

http://blogs.bsj.sch.id/thegreatargon/2015/12/06/carbon/

http://blogs.bsj.sch.id/thegreatargon/2015/10/20/motorbike-project-mid-term-review/

http://blogs.bsj.sch.id/thegreatargon/2015/10/09/satisfaction/

2 Demonstrated engagement in challenges + consequent development of skills

What specific challenges have I faced up to? What was the nature of the challenge?

How did I face up to them? It what ways have I developed as a result?

SERVICE

http://blogs.bsj.sch.id/thegreatargon/2016/05/10/cas-review/

http://blogs.bsj.sch.id/thegreatargon/2016/05/19/a-cas-reflection-made-of-and-for-paper/

http://blogs.bsj.sch.id/thegreatargon/2016/01/24/cas-audit/

http://blogs.bsj.sch.id/thegreatargon/2015/12/06/carbon/

http://blogs.bsj.sch.id/thegreatargon/2015/11/10/adventure-time/

http://blogs.bsj.sch.id/thegreatargon/2015/10/20/motorbike-project-mid-term-review/

http://blogs.bsj.sch.id/thegreatargon/2015/10/09/satisfaction/
ACTIVITY

http://blogs.bsj.sch.id/thegreatargon/category/cas/sport/

CREATIVITY

http://blogs.bsj.sch.id/thegreatargon/2016/05/10/cas-review/

http://blogs.bsj.sch.id/thegreatargon/2016/05/19/a-cas-reflection-made-of-and-for-paper/

http://blogs.bsj.sch.id/thegreatargon/2015/11/10/adventure-time/

http://blogs.bsj.sch.id/thegreatargon/2016/01/24/cas-audit/

http://blogs.bsj.sch.id/thegreatargon/2015/10/20/motorbike-project-mid-term-review/

http://blogs.bsj.sch.id/thegreatargon/2015/10/09/satisfaction/

http://blogs.bsj.sch.id/thegreatargon/2015/12/06/carbon/

3 Demonstrated ability to plan and initiate activities/projects

How effectively did I plan; how did the planning provide a platform for a successful activity or project; how effectively did I collaborate; how far did I show initiative and imagination?

SERVICE

http://blogs.bsj.sch.id/thegreatargon/2016/05/10/cas-review/

http://blogs.bsj.sch.id/thegreatargon/2016/05/19/a-cas-reflection-made-of-and-for-paper/

http://blogs.bsj.sch.id/thegreatargon/2016/01/24/cas-audit/

http://blogs.bsj.sch.id/thegreatargon/2015/12/06/carbon/

http://blogs.bsj.sch.id/thegreatargon/2015/11/10/adventure-time/

http://blogs.bsj.sch.id/thegreatargon/2015/10/20/motorbike-project-mid-term-review/

http://blogs.bsj.sch.id/thegreatargon/2015/10/09/satisfaction/

ACTIVITY

http://blogs.bsj.sch.id/thegreatargon/category/cas/sport/
CREATIVITY

http://blogs.bsj.sch.id/thegreatargon/2016/05/10/cas-review/

http://blogs.bsj.sch.id/thegreatargon/2016/05/19/a-cas-reflection-made-of-and-for-paper/

http://blogs.bsj.sch.id/thegreatargon/2016/01/24/cas-audit/

http://blogs.bsj.sch.id/thegreatargon/2015/12/06/carbon/

http://blogs.bsj.sch.id/thegreatargon/2015/11/10/adventure-time/

http://blogs.bsj.sch.id/thegreatargon/2015/10/20/motorbike-project-mid-term-review/

http://blogs.bsj.sch.id/thegreatargon/2015/10/09/satisfaction/

4 Showed perseverance and commitment

To what extent did I ‘work through’ and respond creatively to difficulties and problems; how fully did I embed in attitudes and acts a determination to see a project through; what did i appreciate through commitment? Could I have been more committed: is do, what might I have achieved?

SERVICE

http://blogs.bsj.sch.id/thegreatargon/2016/05/10/cas-review/

http://blogs.bsj.sch.id/thegreatargon/2016/05/19/a-cas-reflection-made-of-and-for-paper/

http://blogs.bsj.sch.id/thegreatargon/2016/01/24/cas-audit/

http://blogs.bsj.sch.id/thegreatargon/2015/12/06/carbon/

http://blogs.bsj.sch.id/thegreatargon/2015/11/10/adventure-time/

http://blogs.bsj.sch.id/thegreatargon/2015/10/20/motorbike-project-mid-term-review/

http://blogs.bsj.sch.id/thegreatargon/2015/10/09/satisfaction/
ACTIVITY

http://blogs.bsj.sch.id/thegreatargon/category/cas/sport/

CREATIVITY

http://blogs.bsj.sch.id/thegreatargon/2016/05/10/cas-review/

http://blogs.bsj.sch.id/thegreatargon/2016/05/19/a-cas-reflection-made-of-and-for-paper/

http://blogs.bsj.sch.id/thegreatargon/2016/01/24/cas-audit/

http://blogs.bsj.sch.id/thegreatargon/2015/12/06/carbon/

http://blogs.bsj.sch.id/thegreatargon/2015/11/10/adventure-time/

http://blogs.bsj.sch.id/thegreatargon/2015/10/20/motorbike-project-mid-term-review/

http://blogs.bsj.sch.id/thegreatargon/2015/10/09/satisfaction/

5 Worked collaboratively and assessed benefits of doing so

How effective was I as a team member; what fostered a spirit of collaboration; what did I see as the benefits of teamwork; what militated against effective collaboration?

SERVICE

http://blogs.bsj.sch.id/thegreatargon/2016/05/10/cas-review/

http://blogs.bsj.sch.id/thegreatargon/2016/05/19/a-cas-reflection-made-of-and-for-paper/

http://blogs.bsj.sch.id/thegreatargon/2016/01/24/cas-audit/

http://blogs.bsj.sch.id/thegreatargon/2015/12/06/carbon/

http://blogs.bsj.sch.id/thegreatargon/2015/11/10/adventure-time/

http://blogs.bsj.sch.id/thegreatargon/2015/10/20/motorbike-project-mid-term-review/

http://blogs.bsj.sch.id/thegreatargon/2015/10/09/satisfaction/

ACTIVITY

http://blogs.bsj.sch.id/thegreatargon/category/cas/sport/

CREATIVITY

http://blogs.bsj.sch.id/thegreatargon/2016/05/10/cas-review/

http://blogs.bsj.sch.id/thegreatargon/2016/05/19/a-cas-reflection-made-of-and-for-paper/

http://blogs.bsj.sch.id/thegreatargon/2016/01/24/cas-audit/

http://blogs.bsj.sch.id/thegreatargon/2015/12/06/carbon/

http://blogs.bsj.sch.id/thegreatargon/2015/11/10/adventure-time/

http://blogs.bsj.sch.id/thegreatargon/2015/10/20/motorbike-project-mid-term-review/

http://blogs.bsj.sch.id/thegreatargon/2015/10/09/satisfaction/

6 Engaged with issues of global importance

What major issues, within a local, context did I address?

SERVICE

http://blogs.bsj.sch.id/thegreatargon/2016/05/10/cas-review/

http://blogs.bsj.sch.id/thegreatargon/2016/05/19/a-cas-reflection-made-of-and-for-paper/

http://blogs.bsj.sch.id/thegreatargon/2016/01/24/cas-audit/

http://blogs.bsj.sch.id/thegreatargon/2015/12/06/carbon/

http://blogs.bsj.sch.id/thegreatargon/2015/10/20/motorbike-project-mid-term-review/

http://blogs.bsj.sch.id/thegreatargon/2015/10/09/satisfaction/

http://blogs.bsj.sch.id/thegreatargon/2015/11/10/adventure-time/

ACTIVITY

http://blogs.bsj.sch.id/thegreatargon/category/cas/sport/

CREATIVITY

http://blogs.bsj.sch.id/thegreatargon/2016/05/10/cas-review/

http://blogs.bsj.sch.id/thegreatargon/2016/05/19/a-cas-reflection-made-of-and-for-paper/

http://blogs.bsj.sch.id/thegreatargon/2016/01/24/cas-audit/

http://blogs.bsj.sch.id/thegreatargon/2015/12/06/carbon/

http://blogs.bsj.sch.id/thegreatargon/2015/11/10/adventure-time/

http://blogs.bsj.sch.id/thegreatargon/2015/10/20/motorbike-project-mid-term-review/

http://blogs.bsj.sch.id/thegreatargon/2015/10/09/satisfaction/

7 Showed awareness of ethical implications of of actions

What ethical issues did I confront; how was I aware of and responsive to them; how did such awareness affect or shape my behaviour and attitude; to what extend have I acted ethically?  

SERVICE

http://blogs.bsj.sch.id/thegreatargon/2016/05/10/cas-review/

http://blogs.bsj.sch.id/thegreatargon/2016/05/19/a-cas-reflection-made-of-and-for-paper/

http://blogs.bsj.sch.id/thegreatargon/2016/01/24/cas-audit/

http://blogs.bsj.sch.id/thegreatargon/2015/12/06/carbon/

http://blogs.bsj.sch.id/thegreatargon/2015/11/10/adventure-time/

http://blogs.bsj.sch.id/thegreatargon/2015/10/20/motorbike-project-mid-term-review/

http://blogs.bsj.sch.id/thegreatargon/2015/10/09/satisfaction/

ACTIVITY

http://blogs.bsj.sch.id/thegreatargon/category/cas/sport/

CREATIVITY

http://blogs.bsj.sch.id/thegreatargon/2016/05/10/cas-review/

http://blogs.bsj.sch.id/thegreatargon/2015/10/20/motorbike-project-mid-term-review/

http://blogs.bsj.sch.id/thegreatargon/2015/10/09/satisfaction/

http://blogs.bsj.sch.id/thegreatargon/2016/05/19/a-cas-reflection-made-of-and-for-paper/

http://blogs.bsj.sch.id/thegreatargon/2016/01/24/cas-audit/

http://blogs.bsj.sch.id/thegreatargon/2015/11/10/adventure-time/

http://blogs.bsj.sch.id/thegreatargon/2015/12/06/carbon/

CAS Completion Projection: CAS Chemistry

 

You must be in your Project Groups to complete this document

 

PROJECT END

Define the best possible state of the Service Project by end of Term 1 Yr 13

To help the current Y10’s achieve the best they can in their mock exams next year.

 

PROJECT HAND OVER

Is the project a) to be concluded or b) handed over to Yr 12?

The Project will be continued by Marcello and I, but we will hand it over to Year 12’s as we will leave to study for exams.

If b) What preparations will you make, in the form of documentation about the project’s history, to ensure a smooth hand over?

No Documentation needed as the nature of the project is such that we get new and different students all the time, so the only thing to do is be able to improvise and teach well. We will prepare the collection of IGCSE past papers and question that we have collected and hand it over to Year 12’s so that they can can teach next year.

 

OBJECTIVES TO JUNE 24 2016

Define in very precise terms, as a check list, what you/your team will do between Mon 6th and Fri 24 June to ensure the project ends well and is ready to be resumed in August 2016 (amend the table as necessary)

1 Try to make a list of prospective Y12 teachers to be approached and asked if they want to teach.
2 Get a collection of past paper questions and have it ready for next year’s handover to Y12
3 Ask around in current Y9 and Y10 if they would be interested in coming to the afterschool session to get a ballpark idea on the numbers we would expect.

 

GROWTH MINDSET

Define exactly what you need to do differently/better to ensure your project runs effectively in Term 1 Yr 13 (amend the table as necessary). The first box should note a way to improve communication

1 Communication: We always could communicate better, we need to text and speak to each other about lesson plans and what content to teach.
2 Organisation: We always need to have a some sort of activity prepared for our students to do, if they don’t have anything else to do, like an exam coming up, they need to have something to practice
3 Social: We need to act like teachers, a lot of the time we end up being to friendly with the students and in the end nothing gets done. So even though the chilled atmosphere is nice we need to get things done and focus
4 Try to introduce new and weird methods of teaching to keep interest next year

 

VALUE ADDED

Define exactly how you can add a distinct value to your project in Term 1 of Yr 13 (e.g Cyber Shanty links to Australian school using Skype; Bintang Bisa! Designs new JSFA kit for the 2017 season)

Encourage students to start teaching people in their family or the daughters and sons of their maids about Chemistry or anything, just for fun

 

A CAS Reflection Made of, and For Paper

Hi All,

As all of you know, I’m in the Eco-Committee and since I last wrote a lot has occurred. We now have 5 huge Paper recycling bins rather than 2; the quantity of paper we collect has increased exponentially because of all the advertising and emailing and informing we do. But with this a few problems have occurred, the efficiency of collection has gone down and we now have logistical problems.

But more on that later, let me start my CASflection.

Identify own strengths and develop areas for growth

I am good at organization and getting things off the ground and done, I can plan and have a very hands on leadership style. I am good with throwing ideas out and just as quickly giving reasons for why it would and would not work. Some areas for growth for me is to improve my ability to give jobs off for people to do and increase my trust in my team. Also sometimes, I can be slightly pessimistic and overtly realistic, I focus on why it won’t work rather than how it could.

Demonstrate that challenges have been undertaken, developing new skills in the process

My greatest challenge when I started in the Eco-Committee was communicating with Pak Dartam to come and collect the paper. This was the first responsibility I delegated to my team, I gave responsibility to someone. It was a skill I learnt, to be able to give task and trust them to do it. Through this I also learnt how to communicate with the community, as when Pak Dartam showed up at school; more often than not, I was the one leading him through the school collecting paper with him. My Indonesian got better from non-existent to awful, and now I could talk to a deaf person fluently with the amazing amount of sign language I know. My artistic and imaginative skills were also tested as we designed a logo for the paper bins and printed them and laminated them. I must mention that the greatest challenge of all is lugging huge bags of paper across school multiple times, my muscle mass has increased and now I have weightlifting skills.

Demonstrate how to initiate and plan a CAS experience

Every Thursday, the Eco-Committee meets and plans it’s next moves. We got the idea of the big paper recycling bins in one of our discussions “to have a multiple spots across the school where students and teachers can recycle their paper”. Recently as I mentioned we’ve been having logistics problems. The paper in Year 5 and Year 2 is extremely far from where the paper can be loaded into Pak Dartam’s cart and because of the extraordinary amount of paper that is being put inside the bins it’s extremely hard to transport all of it. Also to carry the paper we use Plastic bags, while the point of ordering the Bins was we don’t use the plastic bags. So we decided in our meeting that, using the CAS budget we would provide him with reusable bags which we would give to him and he would get them every time he came to school. This would give him the ability to do his job with greater efficiency. The logistics problem is currently unsolvable as the place where he enters the school and keeps the cart is the closest it can get. So we decided that we would just get more students to help out instead.

Show commitment to and perseverance in CAS experiences

I’ve been doing the Paper recycling throughout the year, its a major part of my CAS. It is my responsibility and I often forgo my lunch to make sure it occurs in a timely fashion. I go to every meeting and always give good feedback and good ideas for improvement. As  I mentioned before, I have a deep love for the environment. I do all this to protect it and try and improve it one step at a time, which in itself is self-improvement on my part as I used to believe that humanity is hopeless and the ideology of “one-step at a time didn’t work”. Then I got tired of my pessimism and decided to just do something about it.

Demonstrate the skills and recognize the benefits of working collaboratively

As I mentioned previously my skill of delegating work has increased, I am able to trust and thus we work more effectively as a team. We get a lot done, for example a team of Y12’s have been working on and giving presentation and raising awareness in the lower year groups; while the Y10’s have been busy procuring new  plastic recycling bins for individual classes and labeling them. Of course, having more people during paper recycling is always helpful due to the amount of paper we have to carry.

 Demonstrate engagement with issues of global significance

W pay attention to Pak Dartam and his son, they are poor Indonesians and the paper they get from us is a major source of income for them. It is helping them out of poverty, giving them an ability to feed themselves better. We are going to be funding Maulana’s (Pak Dartam’s son) secondary education using CAS, he’s going to be educated, we’re helping him get up and out in to the world.

Recognize and consider the ethics of choices and actions

But there is a question of ethics involved, Maulana is Pak Dartam’s son. He is only 12 years old, by allowing him to help his father, have we become child laborers? Or are we allowing child labour to occur? Also how do we know our actions are actually reducing the carbon footprint, being Eco minded is a utilitarian philosophy. It’s done for the greater good, but who do we know what the greater good is. Is making Pak Dartam dependent on the school for paper good or bad?

Argon is out…

Mid-Point CAS Review May 2016- CAS Chemistry

Hello Again,

So the time has come again to show progress in my CAS and reflect on what I’ve done so far.

CAS Chemistry

What was the point of me teaching Chemistry through the year? How did it enable me to grow?

I originally did it for the sole reason of having to do CAS, it was a means to an end which also embraced my passion for Chemistry. But as I taught, it became more of a hobby and learning tool, it became fun to teach things which I had learnt last year, talking about how to answer questions on the exam, sharing my experience of Chemistry to my students. It has increased my patience, my skill as a communicator and my competence in chemistry. It’s given meaning to my often useless knowledge of Chemistry, also it’s given me empathy, something I have trouble with, about the difficulties of being a teacher and given me perspective on the responsibilities of being a teacher, it’s been like work experience.

The objective of this project was to help IGCSE Chemistry students gain a greater understanding and interest in Chemistry and as a result achieve better results in their exams.

Their Chemistry exam gets over on the 12th, 2 days from now, I have just finished teaching the last class to the Y11’s. The best possible outcome for this project is that they all get A* in their exams and have an appreciation and love for chemistry. For that Marcello and I have already prepared all our students for their exams, they just have to revise their stuff and keep a straight head on them over the next 2 days till their exam. 

Normally in a lesson, I teach and Marcello helps the students answer questions that they have from class or as homework. As I have a better understanding and Marcello is better at allowing the students to nudge them in the right direction instead of answering the question themselves. The reason for this is that there aren’t enough students for their to be 2 teachers and normally all the students always have the same questions on the same topic.

Some issues that come out sometimes are that the students don’t pay attention as students often do. They just waste time, also Marcello and I get distracted by their chatter and sometimes join in. We tried to focus and don’t listen in and try and be more teacher like and stop the chatter. It was not very effective, so we tried instead to make our lessons more interesting and engaging thus the chatter stopped as the students were interested in what we were teaching.

Every lesson we give the students a challenge question to try and solve, often mathematical in nature as they are the sort of questions they have problems with. Normally they are IB question which is beyond what they need to learn for IGCSE and we do this to instill a sense of curiosity in the students.

This project, though it is ending for the year as the Y11’s are graduating, will continue. I will probably continue to teach next year and recruit some Y12’s next year as well. This project, I hope, will continue for many years to come.

The great Argon is over and out

 

SEASAC MUN

Hi Guys,

Sorry it’s been a long time, my excuse: writer’s block, laziness, and a not awesome number of tests. Anyways almost a month ago now 20 students, including me, went to, surprise-surprise, SEASAC MUN in Singapore. It was an awesome experience, not something I can say for last years SEASAC MUN, my reasons: I had more experience, my Chairs (the guys heading the debate) were much cooler than last year, and I was in the Security council (in other terms, the most important debates happen here).

We debated about ISIS, refugees, privacy rights. It was amusing, to say the least, because, for some reason, the USA was fighting for Privacy rights of citizens,  Saudi Arabia was condemning ISIS and their human rights violations and UK was suddenly pro-immigration of refugees and allowing to free-flow into the UK. Now if you don’t find the entirety of the last sentence as ironic then please read the news and come out of that cave you’re living in.

What was I doing? You ask. I was France, I was stuck between, as you would say, a rock and a hard place. I wasn’t allowed to have an opinion. If I reeled with the US to much Russia would threaten to cut France’s supply of Natural Gas. If I reeled with China too much, USA would threaten to … actually his threats weren’t effective because all of them were against his interests and ridiculous. Example: withdrawing from NATO, unrecognizing France as a country, threatening to nuke France. I was called a ‘Cheese Eating Surrender monkey’ by… yeah pretty much everyone. On Saturday, the delegate of China brought me a white flag to surrender with. I, along with everyone else, laughed it off, but I secretly made plans to kill him.

But I’m me, so I did UnFrance-y things. I made a resolution which basically said kill all of ISIS by eradicating the population and land of Iraq and Syria through the usage of nuclear bombs. I justified the actions by using the Terrorist events that happened in November 2015 in Paris. On the topic of refugees, I was uncharacteristically racist and I vetoed pretty much any clause that happened to mention the word immigrate or move to Europe. I used words such as ‘not economically viable’ and ‘Terror Threat’ to justify my words, everyone was laughing on the inside wanted to murder me for being a scumbag.

Despite all that I did, I was still named most likely to surrender. It wasn’t all fun, I kind of fell sick in the middle of the trip and had to stay quiet unless I wanted a headache. Also, unfortunately I don’t have any pictures. Mr. Patterson accidentally deleted most of them (yes, I am snarling right now). The food was horrible and we awkwardly met a former principle of BSJ.

We went shopping at Orchard road, met old friends who had left for school in Singapore and walked a bit too much. Anyways that’s it.

The Great Argon is over and out

By the way, if you have seen that I’m using a lot more punctuation than usual it’s probably because I’ve been revising for the ACT’s and it might be rubbing off on me. (Actually it is doing ACT revision that has bored me enough to blog)

No Faith But What You Make

Hello,

Been a while, sorry, as you probably guessed from the title, this post is about faith as a way of knowing. In TOK class we were discussing Faith and how it can be interpreted as a bad way of knowing and Mr. Patterson felt like challenging us and asked us to write about how Faith is a actually a good way of knowing (DEEP SIGH OF REGRET AND PAIN). But know this, I write these words under protest.

The ways of knowing Sense Perception, Reason, Emotion and Language were the original ways of knowing as you can intuitively say that they are things that can be taught and we can know things through. The other four: Intuition, Imagination, Faith and Memory were added in 2014. They are more amalgamations of the original four. Faith which is the topic of this post is an amalgamation of all 4 of the original WOK’s which is what makes it special. It is, I consider it as,  the weakest way of knowing there is no solid base for it, just what an individual believes regardless of what is actually the truth and many other individuals may or may not believe in it. What actually makes Faith even defined as a way of knowing?

So let me begin by defining what faith as a way of knowing is to me. Faith is belief, total blind belief as if it’s absolute truth with or without any reasoning behind it. It is personal knowledge, thus the title, which may be shared among a group of like minded individuals and be believed as religion by multiple masses. Through faith you can know something will happen even though it is a completely irrational thought or action. For example some people had faith that the end of the world would come on December 21, 2012. They were of course wrong, but they still hired capsules which held food and water and were completely water proof to protect themselves and their families.

When can such blind belief be a good thing (currently struggling to not type the words “it can’t”)? When you need hope. Karl Marx once stated (I’m paraphrasing here) that faith and religion is the opiate of the masses, the masses cling to it in an irrational belief that things are going to get better.  In hopeless situations faith is what saves you, because you have an irrational belief that something is going to save you that someone or something is going to come along and make things better for them. That somehow things are just going to get better without any work being put in, that you get something from nothing, scientifically speaking it’s the same thing as hoping for a perpetual motion machine even though that’s against the first and second law of thermodynamics. This hope is what keeps them happy that keeps them calm and collected, belief systems are systems designed to keep people in control and not go completely crazy with the pain of the harsh reality of the world.

Another way faith is useful as a way of knowing is when to trust someone or not. One almost always has reasons for faith, no matter how absurd the logic makes sense in their head. If one grows up in a very trusting society where people are good to each other then you know that if you treat someone well they will treat you well back. If one person has continually kept several of your secrets from everyone you have faith, an absolute belief, that that person will not spill another secret that you will tell them. But this must stem from the sum of your experiences, if you grow up in nice neighborhood where everyone likes each other and go to a nice school without any fear you will trust much easier you will put your faith in people more easily.

I personally believe that only the paranoid survive, but that is because I have trust issues and have an ingrained desire for control. Brought on by a lack of control when I was younger and unreliability of people around me to do things that they were supposed to do. But then again I have faith in my own impressions of people and humans as a whole and I have faith that they will let me down if I put my faith in them. This conundrum in itself is why faith is a good way of knowing, you can believe and know something regardless of the truth and what it actually is. I have faith that people will let me down, my sister has faith in people and trusts them to do things. Faith is really open ended, which is a good thing for a way of knowing.

Anyway,

The Great Argon is over and out

Too many photos and I think I broke something

Good Evening fellow readers,

I am currently writing this while I am extremely sleepy, I have determined through a lot of experimentation that my blogging is best when my body craves sleep. Anyway, I just got back from residential, it was by far the best residential I have been to, partially because I cannot remember the Y5, 6, 7, 8 or 9 residential well (or at all) and we had IA on Y10 and 11 which is simply a really long walk and cooking your own food. But also partially because this time I was so much more involved than all the other residentials combined. In Ms. Barnard’s email, with instructions of what to write in this blog post she said reflect on your experience.

So I though about it, and I came up with a simple truth 1-2 years back I had a lot more embarrassment inside me, I didn’t know what it meant to be a risk taker. So if someone had asked me to host a lip sync battle, I would have said no, do a Scottish dance which involved me asking a girl to dance I would have definitely said no, take a semi lead role in the lip sync battle I would have said no, dress up with a…

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Yeah I don’t even know what I’m wearing, it just looks awesome, I would have said no. I was a bit of a party pooper 1-2 years back. But since then my outlook on life has changed, I have become a tiny (huge) bit crazy, where I actually feel like doing everything there is to do. Carpe Diem (I know, sounds a little cheesy).

So that’s my risk taking reflection covered, team work. Again I used to be bad at working in a team, something about me being paranoid that the other people in the team wouldn’t do the work right. I had trust issues, I’m working on them, but this residential was all about team work, we had paintball, raft building and team building activities all of which required teamwork. I needed to trust my team and I think I did, because all the activities we did I was really bad at.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

That is a truly amazing photograph of both the teams before the orange team completely creamed my team (the black team). We tried a lot of things as a team most of them didn’t work, possibly because most of the team couldn’t see because most of us had glasses and they fogged up in 2 minutes, and we realized in a game where we have to shoot the opposing team, sight is an extremely useful gift.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Yes that is the raft we built , it sort of broke once it landed in the water and Charlotte took a dump in the lake because it was so unstable. But we sort of did really bad repair job in 5 minutes and it was lake worthy enough for 4 of the lightest people which surprisingly didn’t include me, and it sort of half floated and half drowned in the water but we still took it out for a spin, because it’s not like we could drown in a lake with life jackets on. All in all I think I worked in a team pretty well though we could have improved our communication skills while in the paintball arena, apparently when you’re half blind and the person you’re trying to address has a mask on and you can’t tell who it is, it’s hard to communicate with them.

From the title, or if you were actually at the residential you could infer/ would know that I was taking pictures throughout the trip. I was only supposed to do it for half a day but I didn’t feel like giving up my camera. I sometime come up as a little aloof, and distant, probably because I’m in my own imaginary world, but sometimes I go on social media and see that people have made memories with each other with pictures and what not. So I thought that instead of simply remembering the good times, I would get something to remember them by. So I charged the camera and got it along and then I realized that if you’re behind the camera then you’re not in the pictures which kind of annoyed me. But I had a lot of fun annoying people with the broken flash mechanism of my camera also because of it I got some hilarious pics like this one:

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Glen looks like he seriously needs some sleep and Nice photobomb Ms. Barnard

The picture taking thing was how I was involved I took the entire residential up in my camera and I have shared it with everyone they can too remember the memories of the residential. I also got the most perfect picture of all time of Jennifer Collard (that expression is priceless):
12654678_10204625620195051_4849032425210517395_n

 

A residential is only as much fun as how much you get involved. I went all in in this residential and thus I think I had maximum fun and broke something inside me (probably my thighs, jumping off of a 20m tree while tethered to a not very think rope does that, ouch)

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

me falling off of a tall tree

Furthermore, in this residential I did my first proper split, I got stuck between a bamboo and another bamboo.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

This picture doesn’t accurately depict the actual amount of pain I was in and how much I needed to struggle to get out of that situation,the actual split occurred after this picture was taken

We also had Mr, McIver teach us some Scottish Folk Dancing and it was a lot of fun, and horrendously painful because I had just come back from the high ropes course and after it I couldn’t seem to lift my arm further than shoulder height. But it was fun, it was a new thing and fairly easy to grasp.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

A Scottish folk dance

Ms. Barnard also asked us to identify people who surprised us in our tutor groups in a positive way, I am a fairly good judge of character, I know what people are like most of the time. I know that Manuel Bocalandro is a bit like me in the fact that he is an amazing risk taker and doesn’t get embarrassed. So when he said he was ok playing a girl in the lip sync battle and doing girly moves, I wasn’t surprised. Neither was I surprised when Jennifer Collard and Maya Subba lead the dance instructions, or that Jiwoo Shin would make an amazing banner for us.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

12S Wolfe

I know my class is spectacular, so much so that I can’t be surprised any more when we do amazing things because it surprises me every day. Though I will say that Hyo Jun Kim, was the person that surprised me the most of all, he’s usually reserved and shy but in the residential was very open and friendly.

In conclusion I had fun in the residential, and that was the point of doing it. So here’s some advice have fun, you only become sadder as you grow older. Here’s a picture of 12S leaping in joy and Jenny tripping.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

The Great Argon is over and out.

The Art of WAR… Sorry Communication

Sorry for the mistake in the title. Or is it a mistake? Is there actually a difference in War and communication, or are they one and the same thing, different ways of settling disputes and sharing things (pain in war and knowledge in communication). But semantics aside, in class we’ve been learning different communication techniques to apply to the outside world. So for our assessment our CC teacher asked us blog

demonstrating/explaining how you have applied your improved communication skills to at least one of your IB subjects. Support your explanation with photographs or embed a presentation or document as evidence.

So that’s exactly what I will do. First I’m going to simply assess my own blogging style,my sentence structures are varied and my sentences often blunt and relatively simple. I often adopt a dry humorous tone, my sarcasm obvious even as I write this sentence I can feel it running through me. My blog posts are seldom longer than 600 words and they are generally aptly named. This is my style, it is used to optimize the readership of my blog, so that they can giggle as they read my blog and don’t have to deal with long complex words and huge blog posts which kill their brain cells or deal with implied meaning in sentences as I’m always extremely blunt about what I’m saying. It is just by pure coincidence that this happens to be my personal style of blogging but sometimes we need to actively change how we communicate to do so better. This is my account of how I did so using what I learnt in Core curriculum class.

In Chemistry, actually in all Natural Sciences, we discussed in our CC classes, language must specific, 1 word can only refer to 1 thing there can’t be differences in opinion or perception. There is no such thing as choice in the Natural Sciences when speaking about facts, unlike in the social sciences where we have differences in opinion because of upbringing or social values.  You can’t choose not to believe that there are 118 elements known to man, it is a fact, proven not 5 weeks ago. But it is similar to the social sciences in that different people can believe different things, such as with different hypothesis. For example some physicists believe in String theory and other physicists believe in Loop Quantum Gravity, both of which I have no idea what they mean I simply know that they are mutually exclusive, if one is true the other is not. Similarly with maths you can’t choose not to believe that 2+2 = 4 it is a fact, but mathematicians argue over mathematical concepts not proven yet.

Language as we know is made to communicate what we need to communicate, scientific communication requires a lot of specificity thus the language is often complex.  The language of the natural sciences is made to communicate facts and hypotheses as accurately and efficiently as possible.

Accurate: What the speaker/writer is trying to convey is what the listener/reader understands.

Efficient: In the least amount of words/syllables necessary.

This is exactly what I tried to do, I had a Chemistry test on Thursday and I applied all the communication skills I learnt to it. It was a test to so I couldn’t exactly take pictures (sorry). But I can still explain what I did differently. Normally in an exam what I do is keep writing till I feel that I’ve written enough to get all the marks (yes, I know super asian of me to do so), but this time instead of doing that I re-read the question and identified the Subject specific language that I needed to include in the answer and then formulated the answer in 1 or 2 sentences (but because of my huge handwriting I still ended up going over the lines). One exception to this, was one question to which I didn’t know the answer to so I made it up and hoped for the best.

Another example of what I did different were diagrams, in long answer question they don’t always ask you to input diagrams but you can get marks and through them it’s easier for the examiner to see your thought process. It was a bonding test so I had to describe bonds, so I instead of writing a paragraph on those 2 lines like I usually would have, drew in a neat annotated diagram to explain what I wanted to say, along with a short description of what I had drawn.

Another example in Chemistry is in the Chemistry class I teach in school, I have started to teach then use more SSL in the class in preparation for their exams (if I don’t teach it beforehand they don’t know what it means). So I’ve been teaching bonding and structure to the class and a lot of language which represents a concept is being used. Instead of saying the magnetic attraction between a positive and a negative ion I have been saying electrostatic force.

Also in IB chemistry, me and 2 others had to teach covalent bonding. So we made presentation which contained very few words and lots of Subject Specific Language. This was so we could explain what covalent bonding actually is efficiently and without blabbering or saying useless words.

Covalent Bonding Presentation

This usage of SSL is something I have learnt in CC class and I applied it into my Chemistry.

I have also changed the way I communicate in Mathematics. Most recently I used my new communication skills to write my EE proposal.

How did Alan Turing’s usage of the Banburismas method in WW2 help solve the Enigma cipher?

Mathematics : Crypto-Analytics

I will be doing research into what the Enigma code was and how it was cracked, and will focus on the Banburismas method of cracking the code as it was the most prominent technique used. I will be documenting how usage of the Banburismas method along with the Bombe machines were used in cohesion to crack the Enigma code and how other techniques that existed back in the 1940’s could not have yielded such results.
I’ve used words such as Banburismas which is the method of inferring what a code is by guessing what it says, I’ve simply said ‘Banburismas’  instead of ‘ inferring the setting of the Enigma machine using sequential conditional probability’. If you think about it, a word is simply a phrase/concept combined into 1 word but it’s easier to use the word rather than explain the full concept or say the entire phrase/sentence. All of language is made of pronouns. But back on topic, I’ve used a lot word which are not regular English such as Crypto-analytics, the Maths of codes, and cipher (a fancy word for code). All of these are used in Mathematics all the time and I have changed my vocabulary to enhance my communication skills.
Another way I have used my Communication knowledge from CC class in Mathematics is when I have discussions with my friends about maths. I have started to use more subject specific language while talking about mathematics as I have started to help some of the SL students with problems I have needed to use more mathematical language and notation to shorten the amount of time it takes for me to explain something so it doesn’t affect the amount of time I have to study. Also because they already know the notation and terms it is easy for me to teach them using it. For example, just for fun and curiosity , I taught some SL Mathematics students how to derive Euler’s form in complex numbers. They didn’t understand the concept of complex numbers but they understood what I had done on the board. How I had derived equation because they knew all the notation and the basic differentiation. So I was able to communicate.
20160201182835
So I have significantly changed my way of communication in all my subjects but I only talked about Chem and Maths. Anyway, I’m sure you don’t want to read anymore of this 1200 word essay which meanders a lot, goodbye and until next
The Great Argon is over and out

CAS Audit

Hello all,

This is an audit for all the CAS projects that I am involved in. I am currently involved with the Eco-Committee, I teach Chemistry to GCSE students, building a motorbike, and am a Digital Leader. So let me start my own audit.

Eco Committee- I am co leader of the Paper Recycling group of the Eco Committee, we have been recycling all or most of the paper waste of the school. We also have been encouraging double sided printing and trying to decrease paper waste through the reduction of printing as much as possible and using rough paper for notes. We have also been advising teachers to use the folder and paper method instead of using the notebook method as many times most of the paper inside the notebook does not end up being used.

We just received some recycling bins where we will be collecting the paper from now on. They are green (go BROMO!!!) and situated around the school, but more on them later.

IMG_1034

IMG_1033

The Project Outcome for this project is simply to make the school a greener place with a smaller Carbon footprint, saving the world one tree at a time. In economics we are learning about Private Marginal Benefit and Social Marginal Benefit, the Private benefit towards me doing this is immense but the Social benefit is even bigger. To society, having more trees and less garbage and more recycled paper is better than the opposite. It means more fresh oxygen and less trash on the streets. So it has a lot of value.

We as a group hope to achieve efficiency in the way the school uses paper completely by the end of 2016. We also hope to cut in half the amount of paper generated by Secondary School by the end of 2016. But a more personal goal for myself is that I hope to raise awareness of being an Eco Warrior outside of school in my neighborhood and especially in my family.

In our team we have 2 groups of students, one is led by me the other by Azalea. I’m in working party 1, what we do is data collection and the actual recycling. While working party 2 analyses data and makes info graphs and presentations to show to people.

Motorcycle Group: We finished the Bike, we are just sort of having trouble starting the bike. No big thing, it’ll be fixed easily enough the next time we get together to work on the bike. But enough on that, we are now going to be helping Sandi set up his business of fixing motorcycles. The main outcome of this new task at hand is that we make him independent and have an ability to run a business, so that he can be independent from BIS’s aid and make money to support himself.

Our group has good communication and we meet every week to discuss what we will be doing, and what our goals are. We also have predefined roles, Jenny and Tasneem are our translators to communicate with Sandi, Lukas, Prannay and I, are the sort of mechanics, and Isobel is our leader and accountant. All of us build the bike together and we have fun while ding it.

Digital Leaders: It’s been a busy term for the Digital Leaders, we have helped teachers and students in all our classes and we are going to continue to do so. We are also starting to come up with things that the student body might be interested in learning about, such as google cloud print. In school, whenever you need to print something, a student will need to log on to a school computer and send it through that and then go to the printer located at a different place. Google cloud print allows you to print things without going to a school computer, straight from laptops to the printers. We have also started to keep a log of whom we help to identify common problems among students and teachers.

Chemistry Club: After the Mocks of last term, we have to focus on improving the topics that the students didn’t do so well on. Our main focus now is to prepare the IGCSE students with as many exam hacks as possible (by hacks I mean walkthroughs or strategy) so they get the most marks they can achieve and to continually imbue an interest of Chemistry in them.

Goodbye