TOK: Being ‘Right’, Knowing and Explaining

by 042690 on August 15, 2017

Is being ‘right’ a rather objective affair, or is it more complicated than this?

Being ‘right’ is definitely not an objective affair but however there are certainly some instances when it is. Being ‘right’ almost always is subjective. Of course, there are certain times when everyone will agree that you were right. For example, there was a woman who killed two people and was sentenced to life in prison. People will think that this is the ‘right’ punishment and she got what she deserved. Now, at this point, it seems that everyone is happy because the punishment was ‘right’. However, a new fact is introduced that she only did this because they were the ones who killed her family. All of a sudden, the outlook on this changes. There are some people who still believe that the punishment is ‘right’ yet at the same time there are some who agree that she did something wrong, but don’t think that the punishment is the ‘right’ one.

Another case where being ‘right’ is subjective is in culture. For example, most Hindus do not eat beef but someone who lives in the middle of the rainforest might say that eating these meats are alright. In this case, I’d say both of them are ‘right’ because morals not only vary from culture to culture, they also vary in different situations and from person to person. In India, the cow is a sacred animal so Hindus believe that not eating this animal is ‘right’. At the same time, people living in a rainforest might say that this is their only source of food and therefore eating cows are ‘right’ because it is the only way for them to survive.

In terms of facts however, being right is a little bit more objective. For example, doing a math problem, most of the time, there aren’t multiple correct answers to the same question. For example, if the question was 8+3-4. The answer is obviously 7. There is no other answer that you could possibly come up with that would be considered right.


With reference to the class activity today about knowing and explaining, in what ways might it be reasonable to suggest that people who disagree with the statement:  You don’t really know something if you can’t explain it to someone else?” can be right?

People who disagree with this statement can be right in a few instances. Take the AOK (Area of Knowledge) of math as an example. There could be a certain math problem and formula that you understand in your own way but are unable to explain this concept or formula to someone else. The concept makes sense in your brain and you know what you are doing but you are unable to explain it to someone else because you understand it in your own way. Another instance where you may know something but can’t explain it is when you are trying to explain it to a 6 year old. You could know lots about the history of the world and try to explain it to a six year old, but they are not going to understand it because their brain has not developed as much yet which means that they are not able to understand what you are talking.

This also brings up the question of what does it really mean to know something. The dictionary on Google tells us that to know is to “be aware of through observation, inquiry, or information”. In simplistic terms, I believe that to know something is to understand it. You may not be able to explain it to someone but that doesn’t always necessarily mean that you don’t know it (sometimes it does, it depends on the situation). But to know something is to understand it. That may be in a way that you can explain to everybody but that also may be in a way that makes sense but only makes sense to you.


Grade 10 Service As Action

by 042690 on May 10, 2017

I completed my service as action where I organised a cricket program for underprivileged students at a local school and taught the students how to play cricket. This was also my MYP personal project.


How did you become more aware of your own strengths and areas for growth?

I grew through this service as I was able to become a better communicator in Mandarin as I had to communicate with the students in Mandarin. My collaboration skills also improved as I had to work with many people to get the project to move past different stages and also had to work with many people to coordinate the timing of certain things. One area of growth is my organisation skills because I spent lots of time doing things last minute because I wasn’t organised and did not really have a clear plan of exactly what I wanted to do which resulted in lots of improvisation.

How did you undertake challenges that developed new skills?

This project was tough for me because the students at the school did not speak any English meaning that I had to use Mandarin, my second language, when communication with the students at all times. This has allowed me to develop my Mandarin skills as I was able to apply what I had learnt in the classroom to the real world and learn from mistakes that I would make during speaking. Another challenge was setting up the whole program which involved working with a lot of people and through this I was able to develop my communication and collaboration skills.

How did you discuss, evaluate and plan student-initiated activities?

Because this was my personal project, I planned and executed everything in this project. I had to spend time coming up with a plan for drills that would be appropriate for the students and had to take into account their age and their skill level while planning the whole project. I also had to evaluate the project and did so by gathering feedback from the students on different things as the project went by.

How did you persevere in action?

I persevered by resisting the urge to use a translator and continually speaking Mandarin students so that I was able to see what I was doing wrong and learn from my mistakes. Though it was not easy communicating with the students, I persevered by continually trying to communicate and eventually things got easier when I got the hang of things.

How did you work collaboratively with others?

I had to work collaboratively with the Hong Kong Cricket Club when planning how the sessions were to go and how I would transfer the equipment to and from the school and I also had to work collaboratively with the students when teaching them new things. I also had to work with the HKCC coordinating the extra sessions for the students and getting special membership for the four students who were picked to join the HKCC Junior Gappers programme from the start of the 2017/18 season.

How did you develop international-mindedness through global engagement, multilingualism and intercultural understanding?

I developed international-mindedness through global engagement, multilingualism and intercultural understanding by communicating in Mandarin with the students. I appreciated how the seemingly insignificant things that I had learnt in the classroom in Chinese class could be transferred to a real life context. I also learnt how speaking Mandarin with someone who speaks Mandarin as their native tongue is not easy. Especially as I am not Chinese, communicating with them and understanding what they were saying was not always easy.  I also developed international-mindedness by realising that there were some common hand gestures that were universally known and I could use non-verbal communication at times with the kids to make things easier for myself.

How have you considered the ethical implications of your actions?

I do need to take into account that I did this as part of my personal project which may not make this the most “ethical” project. However, I do think I left a good impact on the students. Furthermore, because I did not want this project to be a one-off thing, I made arrangements with the club by j to have four students continue to play by getting a special membership at the club and taking part in the HKCC junior Gappers program from next season.


I wasn’t able to take many photos because of security reasons but here are some of the photos I did manage to take:


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Healthy Habits: Final Analysis

by 042690 on May 7, 2017


Level 1(Food): Eat a Healthy Breakfast At Least 2 Times A Week 

Level 3(Sleep): Get 8-10 hrs of quality sleep at least 5 times per week.

Level 3(Fitness): Walk 10,000+ steps per day


Were you able to continue with your selected habits for the entire semester. Explain.

For the most part, I was comfortably able to follow all of my goals that I had set for my self. Because I play basketball every day at school and I also play other sports outside of school such as cricket and tennis, I had no problem achieving my goal of getting 10,000 steps because I did lots of exercise every day to ensure that I stayed fit.  I also didn’t have much of a problem getting 8-10 hours of quality sleep at least 5 times per week because on school nights I am normally asleep by 10:00pm and wake up at around 6pm meaning that I get a solid 8 hours of sleep. On weekends, sometimes I sleep more especially if I stay up late watching a sports match. I tried to eat a healthy breakfast every week by eating things such as eggs and bagels that had good nutritional value.

Was this experience useful in promoting health and wellness into your life? Will you try to continue to implement some of the habits into your daily lives? Explain.

Overall, I think though this experience may have not been extremely useful in promoting health and wellness in my life, it will make me more wary about my health, fitness, sleep and nutrition. The reason that this was not the most useful for promoting health and wellness is that to some extent, I was already kind of achieving some of these goals even before I started this project. I think that this project made me wary that what I was doing was very important to ensuring that I stayed healthy because exercising a lot and getting a good amount of sleep every night is definitely key to having a healthy life and balanced lifestyle. On the other hand, I think that my food goal has allowed me to see how I don’t always eat many healthy things for breakfast and how I should change that a little bit by eating things that have more nutritional value such as eggs and bagels. That is something I will definitely try to continue to implement even after this project is over because I think that doing so is important to ensure that I am eating things that have good nutritional value. The exercise goal and the sleep goal are things that I will definitely try to continue to implement because they are all things that lead to a balanced lifestyle. I have also noticed that my ability to go to sleep early and get enough rest is also one of the driving factors that leads me to have the energy/strength to play sports at school and out of it. For example, by sleeping for 8 hours on school nights, I have the energy to play basketball the next morning before school starts or I have enough energy to get through the school day and play cricket after school.


If you were to do this again, what would you change? Explain.

If I were to do this again, I would try to set my own fitness goal because the fitness goal was sometimes not challenging enough for me. If I were to stick with this fitness goal, I would try to find a way to accurately record the number of steps I have taken because I would not have any thing tracking my steps when I played sports (I didn’t want to have a phone in my pocket when playing sports like basketball cricket or tennis) so I would not see an accurate # of steps that I had taken each day. This way, I am not limited to using data from when I walked more than 10,000 steps without any sports which hinders my ability to show how I was successful in this goal.

Another change I would make is to make my food goal a little bit harder by possibly making the goal a healthy 3-4 breakfasts a week. This would force me to become even more wary of what I eat for breakfast and ensure that I eat a healthy breakfast for most of the week. I think my sleep goal was suitable because even though it is something that I normally achieve, it is definitely something that I should try to keep up for as long as possible.


Health and Wellness: Exercise

May 7, 2017

I set a goal for myself to take 10,000 steps every day three times a week. I was unable to accurately measure this because I never had a step measuring counter when I played different sports so therefore I was limited to only measuring my steps when I walking around as supposed to doing sports. […]

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Health and Wellness: Sleep

May 7, 2017

My goal for sleep was to manage to get good quality sleep for 8 hours to 10 hours for five days a week. I think that considering I try to go to sleep at a consistent time, this goal was not too hard to achieve because I naturally go to sleep at around just before […]

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Health and Wellness: Nutrition

May 6, 2017

I have tried to eat healthy breakfasts (eggs, bagels, whole wheat breads) over the last few months and these are some of things I have eaten that are healthy and have good nutritional value. Once to Twice A Week Once to Twice A Week Once a Week Once a Week (occasionally Twice) Example of Breakfast […]

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Design + History Documentary

March 21, 2017

Here is the documentary that my team came up with:   To what extent has the film raised the target audiences knowledge and understanding on what the impacts of migration are and how migration can impact people? I think that after watching our documentary, the audience will get a better idea about the watching impacts […]

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Term 2 SMART Goal (Design)

January 23, 2017

Specific – target a specific area for improvement For this task, I want to improve on my Criterion B. I want to improve on Criterion B because looking at all of my previous design projects, my Criterion B grade is normally the weakest. Speficially, I sometimes do not have enough detail in Criterion B and my […]

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Design Criterion C Heart Valve Video

September 30, 2016

This is a video of my final heart valve design where I talk about how my heart valve design works and the changes that I had made from my original plan.  

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Design Day Term 1: Making an Artificial Heart Valve

August 25, 2016

Today, I had my first design day of the year. This design project was done with the subject of science where we focused on the heart. Our task is to create an artificial heart where blood can only flow one way and today we had to build a prototype in groups.  To do this, we had […]

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