CAS Project

During the winter break of 2016, I have been participating in a charity organisation which provides free lessons in english for new immigrants and refugees in Hong Kong. I chose this project as I believed it would help me with my interpersonal skills, as well as other important aspects, such as leadership and collaboration with others. As well, I wanted to contribute to the local community through education and share knowledge and experiences that I have gained with other less privileged people. At this point in time, I believe that this project has already helped me improve my communication skills with others, as I can now get points across more clearly and more concisely through the teaching of others.

To prepare for this project, I had to contact the institute that I had been referred to in order to organise and schedule classes as well as book a location for the lesson to occur. I also had to plan beforehand, allocating every other weekend to this project. This meant I had to balance my schedule around this, and this has definitely made use of my organisational skills, and indefinitely improved it. To actually take action and teach, I had to involve a partner to teach with me. After all the planning, an hour class is conducted, teaching people from ages 20-50 basic english, for example numbers, how to tell the time, grammar rules, etc.

After teaching for almost 5 months now, I have reflected on the fact that our education is very important and means a lot in the real world. The people that I have taught have often come down to Hong Kong from mainland China in search for a better job and better quality of life, often as farmers or without much education back at home. It goes to show how privileged we are because of this, and that all types of people exist in this world. It also made me realise the importance of being a teacher, and how they are highly necessary for many people in this world. Previously, I had taken education for granted and didn’t think much of school, but this activity has changed my views on this.

 

 

Historical Writing

Is it possible for historical writing to be free from perspective?
It is impossible for writings of the past to be free from perspective. There will always be bias depending on the writer. For example, if conquerers of England made the Bayeux Tapestry, we only get the winning perspective of the event, and perhaps facts that may hurt the conquerer’s image would be omitted in the end.

 

Is it a problem that it might not be free from perspective?
It is an issue, as historical information tied to a perspective would render it biased and untrustworthy. Because details are omitted if one particular party documents information, it is hard to know what the truth really is and how it differs from the recorded data.

CAS Takeaways

I believe over the course of different CAS activities and experiences, I hope to gain a greater understanding and respect for the world around us, not only locally in Hong Kong, but globally as well. I want to mainly focus on the service aspect, as I believe that is the most important part of the CAS program. With this, we can actually give back to the community around us, whether it is sharing knowledge, sharing emotions, even donations / charities, we are giving back to the world around us. As well, it will be a good experience for me as I believe activities such as interaction with people less fortunate and living in their shoes would strongly improve my knowledge of the wider world, as experiencing is understanding. Compared to the static everyday tasks that we must do (school, homework, tutors), I believe these activities may also switch it up and provide variety our lives, making it ever more entertaining.  Another takeaway from CAS is to be a better leader. Through activities such as CAS week, participating as a group leader or being in charge of a role (photography, yearbook, video, etc.) would help me interact better with friends and peers. Leadership is very important nowadays, and I believe CAS can help me become a better one. In the end, I want to be a more well-rounded person with more knowledge about the world we live in.

CAS Experience Reflection

During the summer of 2016, I volunteered as a teacher in a teaching facility for new immigrants. I was in charge of teaching english, and as they were new to Hong Kong (some from mainland China), I found myself having to go through the very basics of english, such as numbers, pronunciation of certain words, and even telling the time. Eventually, after teaching for 2-3 times a week over the course of 6-7 weeks, I found myself reflecting on the education system of different countries, and how different backgrounds were exposed to different areas of knowledge. There were a few students that were 30 to 40 years old, yet could not say the number eleven properly, which many are expected to know in kindergarten. I reflected on how privileged and lucky we truly are, where we have such a good learning environment and where many students / peers are multilingual, whereas it may be completely normal in other areas of the world to not know what we may know as little kids.

CAS Global Issue

One global issue that I want to focus on is regarding poverty and disparity. To do this, I want to firstly do some tutoring 1 to 1, helping kids or even less educated teens with their studies. As well, if possible I would like to teach a big class of people, much like I did for new immigrants during the summer of 2016. I would first have to reach out to different kids by advertising (perhaps flyers on the streets, advertisements online, etc.), then I would have to meet with the students to get a feel for what they are like. After, I would take action by going to teach them and eventually reflect on the experience of teaching.

CAS Who Am I?

My strengths would be in the action side of CAS. The activities that I do allow me to not only collaborate with others to develop my skills, but I also get a lot out of just being around others that are passionate about the sport with me. I am quite engaged in activities regarding creativity and action, whether it be competitions or in the case of piano, even concerts. For my action, swim trainings are 3 times a week, and for ice hockey it is training 2 times a week and a match on the weekends, and piano is once a week. For my service, it is not as often, but I try to make time during holidays and long weekends, typically during the summer.

Creativity:
Piano (since the age of 5)

Action:
Swim team (since 7th grade)
Ice hockey for HK Typhoon (since the age of 7)

Service:
Teaching new immigrants (summer of 10th grade)
Visiting the elderly and give out gifts (since 9th grade)

Intuition

  1. What is intuition?
    Intuition is the ability to understand something instinctively, without the need for conscious reasoning. It can be described as a “gut feeling” as well.
  2. What is system 1 and system 2 thinking?
    System 1 thinking is essentially effortless, quick, instinctive thinking, whereas system 2 thinking is effortful, slow, logical, processing of information.
  1. How could you incorporate system 2 thinking into TOK?
    For certain activities that we have done in the past such as optical illusions or awareness, we can incorporate this system into making our brains fully process the situation around it. For example, instead of just looking at an optical illusion and saying the obvious answer (which is often wrong in optical illusions), we can take a step back and look at the other possibility, that there is a more correct answer, although it may not seem like it at first. This is the same as the awareness tests, where instead of focusing on what they want you to focus on, for example the ball passing, we can use system 2 thinking and recognize that the main focus is not what they want you to focus on. Thus, we are able to see more of the bigger picture, for example the moonwalking gorilla.

6. Language

What are the characteristics that you feel best describe language? Why?
I believe that all language is perceived very differently and varies from person to person. However, language can only be language if there are common boundaries and structures that are generally known by everyone speaking that language. One of these requirements is that it has to be expressible. It does not matter what language it is (body language, sign language, spoken languages, etc.), but it has to be shown in one way or another in order for another person speaking the same language to understand what you are saying. The second characteristic is that all language has to follow some sort of structure. For example, in the english language, we have different rules such as subject-verb agreement, past/present tense, etc. However, rules have to be present in other languages as well, or else always saying something different will not result in a person understanding the speech. The final important characteristic of speech is that it has to have meaning. We can only understand and perceive language if words have meanings behind them, and without meaning we wouldn’t have proper language.

 

What might be some of the weaknesses of language?
One weakness is that it always requires 2 or more people to understand and speak a language. For example, babies are able to “baby-talk”, but if no one speaks their language, no one is able to understand the meaning behind the words, although there is intention and meaning inside the baby’s head.

3. Sense Perception

After this class, I believe that I am more of a perceptual realist rather than a perceptual relativist. Mainly, I believe that for the most part, what we see in our everyday lives is what is really out there, and not many things in life can easily trick our eyes (exceptions being optical illusions, etc.). I believe that we have evolved enough to a point where our eyes should be feeding us correct information 90% of the time. If that wasn’t the case, our species would’ve been wiped out long ago. Also, I believe that I know when my eyes are being tricked and that there are logical explanations behind it. I do not agree for the post part with the fact that what you see is completely different from what I see, for example I see the colour blue while you see the colour red. I also believe that illusions and delusions are indeed glitches, as we don’t normally have these experiences on a daily basis. If we did, we would be able to know and recognize that what we see is not real, just like ancestors did to come up with the terms “illusions” and “delusions”.

IB Retreat Blog Post

After attending the IB retreat from September 1st to 2nd, I believe that I learned a lot and developed myself and adapted it better. I believe the small seminars in the house groups were particularly effective as I could focus better in smaller groups. I managed to take away quite a lot from those seminars, and especially liked the talk with the alumni. They provided great tips, as well as cleared up different rumours about the following two years of IB and also lightened up the mood, making IB seem less daunting. This relates to the uncertainty theme present in the retreat, as I was able to take away a lot of useful information that I was uncertain about or had half the answer to.  I think the main reason I liked their talk was because we could relate to them, and they are essentially in the position that I will be in 2 years from now.
Another thing that I enjoyed was the stress relieving portion, with the main one being Mr. Lobo’s yoga session. I was able to set a new mindset and change how I thought about not only IB in general but everyday life as well. The theme “peace and mindfulness” was explored thoroughly during this 20 minute session, and I think relieved a lot of stress. During the beginning of the year, I tend to have some anxiety about the year that is ahead, worrying about how difficult it may be or how much I will have to do in comparison to last year. After attending this session however, I learned to control my stress levels more effectively and make myself more effective.
One of the talks, which involved Mr. Aldridge and  universities helped me a lot in deciding what to select for university. A key point I took away from that was to not always aim for the best and hardest universities, but rather the ones that you will be able to do very well in and stand out of the average crowd. If you do average in a good school, it may not mean as much as doing exceptionally in a less challenging school but gaining scholarships and different opportunities in relation to how well you do. I think this activity really helped me sort out a different list of colleges to apply for in the future. Compared to before, I would always want to apply to the best sounding college (most famous), but after this talk I realise that may not always be the best decision.
The last thing I really enjoyed was the poverty simulation on the second day at crossroads. We basically had to make paper bags out of garbage, and that mimicked the lifestyle of people who actually do this job on a daily basis and earn less than 25c USD per day. It really puts into perspective how privileged were are, and how difficult life is for the people who live like this in 2×2 sq.m houses in slums all around the world. Particularly, I liked the speaker as he was very motivational and passionate about this topic and really made me care a lot more about this topic. I recommend this simulation to anyone that attends crossroads in the future.

Service Post

I helped the community by doing charity work for the elderly by giving them gifts, teaching underprivileged kids english, as well as partaking in the Fiji CAS week trip by building a usable road for an underprivileged school.

1. How did I become more aware of my own strengths and areas for growth?

I believe that through the activities, I am able to be understand the community around me and through communication with the elderly people, I believe I am quite good at interaction and communicating with others. Through this, I believe I am more sensitive to the world around me.

2. How did you undertake challenges that developed new skills?

I believe that the service itself is not too challenging. I believe sometimes, the challenging part of the service was actually talking to the elderly, as some of them may have trouble hearing and understanding what you say to them. Also, there was a bit of a language barrier as they spoke mainly cantonese and I did not speak cantonese too well. However, I was able to overcome this by trying my best to use my language skills to communicate with them.

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

I organised something that involves me teaching underprivileged children english. The children are often from poor backgrounds, and teaching english would greatly benefit them and the wider community. I organised this by sending out an email to the organization saying that I was interested in teaching the kids, and got in contact with their mentor.

4. How did you persevere in action?

I aim to continue doing the service that I do in the future for years to come, and wish to help the community continuously. For my action, during my CAS trip I had to do manual labour and helped lay down cement and build a sustainable pathway from scratch. Due to this, I am able to see the full process of road building and just how difficult it is.

5. How did you work collaboratively with others?

I think that I had to collaborate with others on many occasions. First off, for the outside of school community work such as the elderly home visit and teaching the children english, I had to use different languages in order to communicate with them and cooperate and coordinate how I was going to do the service, including dates, content teached, where I am supposed to teach, etc. For the CAS trip, we had to work as a big group to see what tasks needed extra help on, or what could be done so that we were all of use.

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

I think that through teaching the children especially, I am able to see the different backgrounds different people come from, and it is really striking to me. I realise that I am very privileged, and should give back to others. I think that through teaching children, I am able to connect with them as people and able to relate to them. However, there were some linguistic challenges that were encountered with the children, as some were not proficient in any language I spoke, so rather than speaking to them, I would rather show actions, act out certain words and that way, the understood the meaning.

7. How did you consider the ethical implications of your actions?

Overall, I think that what I did has helped out the children by making their lives and education journey easier. I think that ethically, it is respectable and I did not really do this service to look good, I just liked to give a helping hand to those in need. Hopefully, my actions have a positive implication on other’s lives and I wish to keep doing what I do in the near future.

Music Composition Final Reflection

In music class, our most recent task was to compose a minimum of 24 bars of our own melody. We achieved this by using an app called Finale 2014, and everything was made from scratch. As I had nothing to begin with, I had to look for inspiration. I immediately thought about how songs related to human conditions, and thus composed a song representing life of humans. Contextually, humans have 3 periods in life: childhood, adulthood, and elder hood. I can represent the different aspects in the music by using an ABA form. The two A’s are sections in the piece that are quite similar (same tonality and key signature in my case) and can evoke the same mood. the B part, however, is between the two similar parts to show a turning point in the piece. I thought that by using this template, I could also represent how someone could start off as a baby without any knowledge, and as the song approaches the B part, it symbolises that the baby is growing up into teenage years, and then adulthood. In the B part, my tonality changed from minor (A) to major (B). Following adulthood, the song would slow down and turn back into a more serious mood, changing again from major (B) to minor (A), relatable to someone’s life slowing down from their peak years into their elder hood. This inspiration helped me come up with structure and an idea of the flow of my piece. I believe my piece demonstrates creativity because of many elements I have incorporated into the song, with a main point being dynamics as I had varying dynamics throughout. When section A was about to transition to section B, there would be a crescendo. Pairing that with a now major tone gives it a bright mood and feel to the piece. Then, from section B back to the second section A, a decrescendo is present, giving it a more solemn mood. Also, the chords I used give a solid enforcement to the main melody, emphasising the instruments and ideology of the piece. I wanted to go for chords and notes that flowed well with each other, unlike other genres such as jazz using dissonant chords often. I chose not to do this because it would ruin the mood, and clashing notes would not sound as good.

 

Self evaluation:
I believe that a strength of my piece is that my inspiration can be quite clearly seen in the piece itself. There are clear sections that can be easily told apart, and I have used the different elements (chords, major/minor, dynamics, etc.) to emphasise the parts effectively. The structure of the piece is also quite good. There are smooth transitions, and as a piece itself, the ABA structure organises the melody quite effectively. The A parts could be matched up together a bit more (have more in common), but I did not want to basically copy the first A part, add a few notes, and call it a conclusion. Another weakness I have is being able to identify different chord tones. I had to take extra time to figure each one out, and I may have even left out a few or gotten them wrong. I can improve this next time by practicing more and reviewing the old worksheet’s notes.  A weakness that I have is that my piece may contain too many solid chords from the piano’s left hand portion at times. Personally, I believe I can work on my harmony between the chords. I think that there may be too much of an emphasis on the chords at times, and they can be too dominating and may overpower the main melody. I could make it flow better that way. Also, I think that the slurs give the piece a good shape and nice phrasing, and I think I did that part quite well. The last thing that I think I could improve is that I could make my piece longer. However, I was not able to think of other ideas relating to what I had already, but more of the piece could improve the song’s pace.

Process:
Screen Shot 2016-03-23 at 9.31.44 am
Screen Shot 2016-03-23 at 9.32.34 am

When starting off, I had to decide on the core fundamentals of my piece. This included the key signature, the tempo, the time signature and the instruments. I did this by first thinking of a dominant idea or mood I wanted my piece to have, then went from there. I had actually changed the tempo and the key signature multiple times after starting before settling on the final one.

Screen Shot 2016-04-05 at 9.56.35 pmScreen Shot 2016-04-05 at 9.57.08 pm

Once that was done, I had immediately started composing the piece. I had around 8 bars at this stage before I consulted with Mr. Dacho about the direction of my piece. I had chosen to create the chords first, and then the melody. This way, I could have a certain picture in my head of what the phrases would sound like, and I went from there. Composing them separately helped me keep an organised idea of what it should sound like too. At this point, it was a very rough idea, yet this section still made it into the final piece.

Screen Shot 2016-04-05 at 9.59.34 pm

After finishing the composition of both the piano and the clarinet sections and I was content with it, I then started to add more details to the piece, including more dynamics and rits. My two A parts consisted of a softer dynamic, whereas the B was a total opposite, so it was mainly forte. The dynamics helped with the transition from section to section. I chose to stick with these two only because they suited my mood quite well, and anything else such as staccatos did not go well with the notes. Also, once those were done, I had started to add the labeled chords in, as shown by the picture.

Finally, my last step was to create a title. I wanted the title to both represent my idea, and also my piece in general, yet still wanted to keep it super simple and understandable. I called it “Life”. I thought this was a suiting title because of the different aspects of the piece that show the different stages of life, and that was basically the idea that got me started on this piece.

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After we were done composing our own melodies, we were given the task of commenting on other peer’s work. I had commented on three other people’s compositions, giving my thoughts and feedback so that they could potentially improve.

Jonathan:
Screen Shot 2016-04-07 at 9.52.30 am

Nathan:
Screen Shot 2016-04-07 at 9.58.03 am

Ryan C:
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Thru The Lens: Reflection

Our documentary:

Overall, I believe our final documentary was a successful one, because it met our design specifications we came up as a group. I believe that most of the points in our “essential” column were what contributed to a successful and strong documentary, and we have met those requirements. Our documentary had included many facts that helped answer our topic, which were the economic implications. With this, it was successful in informing and educating our audience.

With that being said, our group had considered other aspects that made our documentary successful. One of them was visuals. We had to create a documentary that had a somewhat old feel to it, and it was created quite well with the black and white clips signifying the past, and regular coloured clips showing the present day. Also, at first, the director and videographer agreed that the photos / videos had to be of clear quality, but upon further discussion we decided against that as the clips could be of lower quality to show its authenticity.

Also, there should be music included in a good documentary in order to keep it from being too boring. The music had to add to the mood of the film, and thus engage the audience. Although it was listed as something that was nice to have in our design specifications, we decided to include it into our final video. Another audio feature that was strong was the narration. It had to be loud and clear in order for it to be heard, so we had wired up microphones so it was easier to hear and less background noise would be captured.

As the editor, I contributed to the film through discussing closely with the director and the editor what each clip should look like in the final product, how fast/ how slow, how cropped, etc. I was in charge of putting different clips together to create a flowing and visually appealing documentary. This discussion had helped our group understand the direction of this film further. Also, I was in charge of finding some clips that our videographer couldn’t, and editing them into the video myself. Furthermore, I was also in charge of having to find a soundtrack for the film, as I was also given the role of sound/lighting. I had also helped the director with the script writing, editing and proofreading his work in order for it to be the most effective it could be at communicating information.

Music: Line 120 Crit D Reflection

1. How do you think you did with your performance assessment? Did you perform as well as you thought you would, or not?

I think that I did fairly well during the assessment, but I believe I played worse than I thought I would. It was a lot harder playing inside the room than when I was practicing outside of it. I believe that my performance was not up to my standards because normally, I put in quite a bit of effort into performing the song correctly according to the book. For some reason, I did not play as well compared to the times I practiced this song.

2. If you performed worse than you expected, explain why. If you performed better than you expected, explain why.

It was a lot harder playing inside the room than when I was practicing outside of it. It was harder to put air into the instrument to blow the notes out, so I believe that I sometimes ran out of air, or that I could not play the note accurately. I tried to correct this by playing softer to make myself use less air, but that did not really work. Also, I squeaked the first note, so I tried to make a reed adjustment to see if it would work, yet it did not do much. I believe this partially contributed to why I believe I did not do as well.

3. Explain your rehearsal process.

I spent around 15 minutes each day at home this week, and also spent time in class to rehearse this line. I practiced all aspects of the song such as dynamics, articulation, note accuracy, etc. I make sure to follow the song exactly the way it is written. Also, I start by using an online tuner to make sure my clarinet is tuned properly. However, in the 15 minutes that I had in class prior to taking the test, I did not do this step.

4. Which of the following was the most successful: note accuracy, rhythm accuracy, articulation, dynamics, tone quality, breathing/phrasing?

I believe that rhythm accuracy was the most successful. I was able to play the rhythm correctly, and still maintain a solid tempo. I was able to do the majority of the slurs, and the notes were consistent throughout. I also believe that my note accuracy was good, as I did not play incorrect notes during the test.

5. Which of the following was the least successful: note accuracy, rhythm accuracy, articulation, dynamics, tone quality, breathing/phrasing? Can you explain why?

I believe the least successful was tied in to what I mentioned previously. I did not have enough air going into the clarinet, so I believe that the breathing/phrasing was not done as good as I hoped to be. I also struggled a bit with tone quality, as I could not play the notes with 100% of my air. This also tied in to how I believe my articulation was lacking in the performance. I could not fully do all the articulations such as the staccatos. Also, I did not do very well in the dynamics aspect as I was running out of breath throughout the piece.

6. How can you specifically (not musicians in general) improve your level of skill in a realistic manner?

I think that definitely more practice in the future could help me improve my level of skill. Also, getting songs that are more challenging and learning them (perhaps off the internet) could also improve my exposure to the instrument. Also, I need to get more prepared for situations that involve performing in front of people, as I believe I have a certain level of stage fright, so that could also impact the quality of my performance. This could include performing in front of my parents more, attending more competitions outside of school, etc.

7. Discuss how another musician has inspired you to be more successful (this could be someone in school out in the community, or can be someone who doesn’t even play the same instrument as you).

I think that a musician that has inspired me is my piano teacher. She has exposed me to much music over the years, and I believe those skills I’ve learned from her (theory, ways to have a perspective on music, etc.) can be transferred into all aspects of music. Although she does not play the clarinet, I believe the skills I have learned from her over the years have benefitted me when playing the clarinet.

Cover Letter

November 25, 2015
Mr. Smeed
Smeehu High School
ryan.luk@gmail.com
32 Old Avenue, New Territories, Tower 3 Flat 7/F

Dear Mr. Smeed,
After looking at countless different schools in Hong Kong, one that stood out to me the most out of all of them is Smeehu High School. I believe I would be a great student and furthermore, great part of your prestigious high school. I first heard of this school from fellow friends already attending, and believed it would be the best choice if I was part of Smeehu High.

I believe I would be the perfect student at your school because I am fit for the curriculum. I have skills such as ability to listen to instructions and do what is told of me, have organisational skills, and I believe I can get along with other students and teachers perfectly as I have good interpersonal skills as-well. Previously, I have attended the Canadian International School of Hong Kong, and I have learned many important things and wish to transfer those skills and improve my education at Smeehu High School.

At CDNIS, I am the recipient of the Honour Roll award, suggesting that I am fitting for your harsh and rigorous curriculum. I believe that these traits I have gathered over the years will help me excel in a new, yet challenging environment. As a student, I believe that I have gathered enough experience to be a suitable student in your school.

I would welcome the privilege of meeting with you to discuss the position you may have available. My skill set and my prior experience in schools make me an excellent candidate for your prestigious high school. Please feel free to contact me at ryan.luk@gmail.com to arrange an interview if interested.
Thank you for your time and consideration,

Ryan Luk

CAS Week Pre-Trip Post

Before going to Fiji for this year’s CAS week, I am excited for what is to come this week. I chose this trip because I wanted to experience Fiji for what it is, eg. it’s strong history / culture, sights, activities, etc. I have never been to Fiji prior this trip, so that makes me even more excited for this week. I expect us to be doing a lot of service work, and I also am hoping to experience the spectacular scenery of Fiji. This week, I am also excited to meet new people I have never had the chance of knowing beforehand. Hopefully, this trip will give me an experience that I will not forget for years to come.

Line 60 /72 Reflection

Line 60:
This was the piece we had to play. Prior to the recording, I had practiced for 20 minutes straight, and before today I believe I have played this song around 1-2 hours alone at home, not including class time. Typically, I tend to practice this piece once or twice a week leading up to the recording. In my recording, I tried to use the articulation and try to follow it as best as I could, and I also tried to follow the dynamics properly, but I don’t think I did that too well. I will have to pay more attention to that next time in order to improve my performance. I will also aim to practice more frequently, as I believe 1 to 2 times a week for a song is just not enough.

Line 72:
This scale study was the more challenging of the two. I had many problems when trying to play this piece, and just trying to record this took me around 10+ tries. I had played this song a bit more frequently than the other piece, simply due to the fact I believed it was a harder, so I practiced 2-3 times a week, for around 15-20 minutes each time. For some reason, my metronome did not show up during the recording and I could not get it to work, so unfortunately the pace and rhythm of the recording may be a bit off. Here, I have also tried to follow the staccato and slurs as best as I could, but the note switching for the c sharp and b on the clarinet were too troublesome, and my attention was mainly focused on that. The most challenging part of this piece is the switch between those two notes, and I believe that was what impacted the recording the most. Next time, I will once again need to practice more and more, to ensure that I can play it perfectly.

Heart Valve Design

This is my video about my final model. This model is an elaboration of my prototype B. Some significant changes I made was that I ensured that masking tape would not be in a place where it could get wet. I used see through clear tape for that instead, as masking tape is paper based and will not hold up the model when wet. Also, the most important thing I changed was the material I used to build the model. Instead of cardboard, I used plastic folders to create the four walls. Even though there was cardboard, the plastic folder helped to prevent it from getting wet. Also, I wrapped the cardboard on the flaps with salad tape to make it water proof. Some other minor changes was the colour of the model, and the size of the model was scaled up quite drastically.

Design Day Term 1

Today was known as a Design Day. We had to complete tasks, individually, and in groups to prepare for the real design cycle that takes place later on in the year. What we did today was look at the anatomy of the heart, study it briefly, and create things known as “valves”. We were given materials, and we had to make a contraption that allows water to flow through one way, but will not go through when poured backwards, just like how heart valves work in real life.

My key take aways from today:
My key takeaway points from today is that failing is okay. Failing fast is a way of improving, and should not be looked down upon in any way. This is why some of the most successful people in life come up with their inventions, innovations, technology, etc.

If I could do it again:
If I could do it again, I believe that I would focus more on the process rather than the final product. This is because I had to take pictures throughout the process, yet failed to as I was focusing too much on what the final product would look like / function like. Next time, I need to pay attention to the process of making it just as much as the final product itself. Generally, what I “forgot” to take photos of was our first try at the model, where we rolled up cut off glove fingers on a tube then tried to cut holes in it. This was to simulate the flaps that valves have. However, we realised it wouldn’t work as valves prevent blood from flowing the wrong way (one way), yet our design was two way, so it didn’t work.

I used to think… now I think:
I used to think that failing was unacceptable, but after today, I know that it is a form of “motivation” in a sense that it drives you to improve and perfect what you are trying to do. Hopefully I can incorporate this into everyday life in the future.

Which elements work in my first prototype:
I believe that the “valve” creation itself works quite well. What we did was we put two semi circles cut out from cardboard, tied string to it, tied the other ends of the string to two cardboard boxes. Then, we put a small piece of cardboard with hot glue under one of the semicircles to prevent water from entering back where it came from. When water or pressure was on the middle of the two semicircles, then it would fold downwards, and that is the exact purpose of a real valve in the human heart. However, something that didn’t work was the material. It was made out of cardboard, meaning that it could not be exposed to too much water. This is why our second prototype will be made out of something besides cardboard, probably plastic.

The Two Most Significant Events of the 20th Century

This year in history class, we had the task of coming up with the 10 most important events in the 20th century. Once we came up with them, we as a group created some sort of presentable timeline that we would share the next day. After everyone presented, we had a small discussion about what we thought the two most important events in 20th century history was, and in the end we decided it was World War 1 and World War 2. We decided that this was the case because we thought that the sheer size of this event was incomparable to other, smaller events. Millions had died, and the world was basically in chaos in both wars.

Below is our presentation, and you can see what we thought were the 10 most important events.

End of Year Reflection

 

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Today, we finished all the summative assignments related to music. For my theory test, I received a 5/8. I am not satisfied with this score as I did review quite a bit prior to the test. I think I am most weak on transposing and creating 7th chords, and that is what I will focus on for next time we have a test. I do not often study for transposing at home, so that I believe would be my main priority. I will use the notes I got from grade 5 theory tests (ABRSM) to revise for the next test in grade 10. An area I did improve on was writing triads and intervals. Last test, I remembered that I did quite poorly in that section, so I throughly went through my notes to fully understand how they work. Although I got one or two wrong, it was an improvement from the last theory test. I believe I also improved on drawing key signatures. I used to be quite confused with all of them, but now I memorised them all and know what major / minor has what key signature. However, another point I could focus on is alto / tenor clef. I didn’t remember what they were coming into the test, so I did not do a question about constructing a scale in alto clef well. I got them confused, and that cost me two marks. I need to learn what they are for next time.

 

For my performance, I can say that I have improved quite a bit from the beginning of the year. I think that I did the performance piece Etude quite well. I had tried my best to follow all marks of dynamics, articulation, tone quality, but most of all breathing. Mr. O’Toole had told us in class to breathe every 2 bars so that we can link our notes better, so I aimed to do just that during the test. However, up to about 3/4 of the way, I started to run out of breath. The last few notes in my opinion were quite unclear and was not played well because I completely ran out of breath and could not play anymore. This made it very hard for me to connect the notes and make a proper slur. I tried to speed up the tempo during the middle – end section, but I started speeding up rapidly and it became very noticeable, so I decided to play back in the original tempo. For my articulation, I had a hard time tonguing throughout the piece. It was very long, so I ended up being quite inconsistent at the end as I couldn’t keep my composure. That is an area of improvement for me. Rhythm wise, I think I did pretty well. I followed the right tempo  But for the rest of the piece, I believe I practiced enough to make sure I hit the right notes, but I still had a bit of errors at some places. Overall, my grade was a 7 and I am quite content with that score. I need to mainly work on my technical skill such as playing properly after a period of time. What tends to happen is that my cheeks can not squeeze in the air, so it starts leaking and gets very hard for me to play. I need to train this up by practicing more out of class time, but that has been difficult as I could not make much time to play the clarinet due to my leg injury.

I think the IB learner profile that reflects my learning in music this year would be open minded. This is because throughout music, I have learned much more about the music world. I know more about jazz, I know more about new theories in music, different styles, etc. It has really opened my eyes to the world of music more, and I am now a lot more accepting of different types and styles of music. A learner profile I need to work on is being a risk taker. I need to learn to try new things, probably a new instrument if possible so I can broaden my variety of instruments played.

 

Ternary Composition Reflection

After finishing my composition, it has been played to the class and my peers have given some valuable feedback. For my composition itself, I have met all the criteria that is needed by the composition rubric. That includes labelling chords, labelling passing tones and neighbour tones, an A B A section, etc. I think that the comments that my peers given me have really given me a good insight into what my composition compares to others. A few of the comments have said that my use of chords in the first A section was a bit repetitive, but the majority of the comments said that they really liked the melody and some even thought it was the best they’ve heard. I believe that this is because of the chords that I had put together, and the clarinet part and the piano part had quite a big contrast, but did not differ completely. An area I can work on is making the dynamics more on point. I think even though that I do have some, my dynamics do not shape the piece enough. I could maybe add more dynamics next time to make my piece more interesting. I think that applications of composition will be used next year in music. I heard that we will also have to be composing, so I think that the practice this year will benefit us all when it comes to that. Also, I do plan on taking music in university, so this basic composition knowledge will help me then. After the whole composition unit is done, I think that this unit was very enjoyable and was informative too. I think that it will benefit people that do have this practice, and will be used in the future.

Ternary Composition Draft

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This is my ternary composition draft. I had previously finished the first 16 bars, but since this was still a work in progress I was still figuring out what to do for the remaining 8 bars to make the 24 needed. After posting this, I realize that my last 8 bars are in the wrong key, as the flow of this composition should be A B A. In my case, the A does not really relate with each other, and that has to do with the key that my last part is in. I am trying to work on it and fix it currently. The piano part also needs a bit of development, and I will add dynamics and name the chords before my final post.

Business Unit 3 – Inquiry Questions

Factual:
1) Why do businesses expand globally?
Businesses expand globally because the company’s aim in the end is to do one thing: to make money. They can do this by reaching out to other unexplored regions in which their company is currently not operating in and draw customers in that way, expanding to a larger global audience. The more franchises of a company there are around the world, the more money they can make as a whole. Also, there might be a big demand for a certain company in a certain place. Let’s just use Taco Bell in Hong Kong as an example of this. Socially and culturally, 8/10 people said that they wanted a Taco Bell in Hong Kong, meaning that it is desired even outside of the U.S.
Conceptual:
2) How can we analyse a market’s suitability for expansion?
 There are many ways to analyse a markets suitability, but the main and most efficient way of doing so is with the P.E.S.T. analysis method. It stands for political, economic, social / cultural, and technological factors. If all factors are taken into consideration and there are benefits that outweigh disadvantages (if any) for that specific factor, than it is safe to say that a company will have a fair chance in the market it is looking to expand into. The main 2 points are the political factors and economic factors. These do impact the business’s chances of survival the most, because they may have restrictions (depending on the location) on the expanding business, thus they may make less money. An example of this would be the rental prices of a place. The business has to consider the advantages and disadvantages mainly, and only then should they decide to expand or not.
3) How does one determine if an action is ethical?
We determine this by seeing if they are doing actions that are responsible for the citizens, for the company itself, and to the community they are wanting to serve. A company may be deemed unethical when they do something very controversial, such as Nike using unpaid workers and putting them in conditions that are not suited for the average person. Many believe this is breaching a moral aspect of the company, and that is why they are known for being “unethical”. Society have generally been influenced by companies that they are flawless and make the best products, but behind the scenes is where it happens the most. An ethical action would be something that is the opposite of unethical. The company could have been doing something that benefits the society, such as using environmentally friendly materials to prevent harming the environment.
Debatable:
4) To what extent do businesses behave ethically?
Many businesses try to act ethically, to earn reputation, to earn more trust from a local and global community to earn more money that way. Despite this, some companies believe that being unethical will benefit their company, such as not paying workers, or using unsafe materials / machines to get the job done quicker. They are often to benefit themselves, and do not really take into consideration society’s views on their company. To an extent, many companies do behave ethically in certain aspects, whether that would be making sure their products do not harm the environment, even little things such as Goldman Sachs voicing their opinions on gay marriage and supporting it, all deem a company “ethical”.
5) To what extent does globalization create opportunities for business?
Globalization is something that can not be stopped or will be stopped in the near future, so as new cultures expand into new countries or continents, many people see that as an opportunity to start their business in that country. It creates opportunities as maybe there are branches of that company already in that area, and may want to display their company to a much wider audience as mentioned previously. More customers may result in globalization, and that comes naturally along with globalization itself. Globalization has also brought many new people into an area. These people may have great ideas on creating a business that suits the local area. This happened in Vancouver, and the place is currently known as Chinatown. Although China did not “invade” or “colonise” Canada, their impacts have been viewed worldwide, and Chinatown is a replica of China’s culture and experience. Chinatown also provided a lot of business opportunities to smaller entrepreneurs, with many small street vendors selling miscellaneous items such as food and jewellery. Without globalization, Chinatown could not have been possible, let alone allow America to see China’s lifestyle and culture.

8 Bar Rhythm

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This is my 8 bar rhythm. This is the very first and basic draft of my ternary composition. I first laid out a basic rhythm for my to use and reference in the future. However, after receiving feedback from the teacher and from peers, I think that my rhythm will be too fast for the clarinet part to play, as that is what I am going to be composing my piece for. If the clarinet part can not be “playable” by me, I won’t do it, so I will make some major changes to parts to make it possible and realistic.

 

8 Bar Composition

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In this composition, I changed up my 8 bar rhythm a lot because I believe that it sounded very monotone and quite boring. I added the use of faster notes and the rhythm doesn’t repeat a lot. This keeps the listener interested, unlike my older rhythm. I also added a piano right and left hand to accompany the clarinet so it doesn’t sound monophonic.

Civics: Alan Moore Quote

Quote: ‘People shouldn’t be afraid of their government. Governments should be afraid of their people.’ Alan Moore, V for Vendetta

 

This quote is very powerful to me, because it uses a few techniques to make the reader drawn to it. Firstly, the meaning of this quote I believe is it is talking about how the government should listen to the citizens, instead of brainwashing them and getting them paranoid. It also makes it seem like the people have no control over anything at the moment, and Alan Moore wants some change from both sides. The quote uses a rhetorical technique known as chaismus, and is effective at doing so. I like this quote because it relates to the world we live in today, with the government taking over a lot of the freedom, making people fear it.

Design Crit D Reflection

  • What have you learned from completing this project?
    I have learned how to use Illustrator with confidence. I came into this project not even knowing what Adobe Illustrator was, but after using it a lot over the past month or so, I am quite confident with my abilities. I believe that after using this effective tool for a couple more months, I could take on some more challenging tasks.
  • How does it relate to the unit question(s)?
    I believe that the visuals of a graphic novel do reinforce a message, but in a way that is more interactive and more interesting to read / look at then pages of text. Also, text can now be visualised through images in a comic rather than having to imagine it yourself. Technology does, in many ways, facilitate the communication of ideas, such as this task. Without current 21st century technology, we wouldn’t even have been able to do this task. Visuals reveal meaning by giving the reader a better understanding of everything in a scene of a book. Most chapter books do not have pictures, so it is hard to show all of the scene in just words. Perspective does change through the use of visuals because maybe you can imagine a particular scene in a different way.
  • What challenges did you face, and how did you overcome these challenges?
    When I started inking, I had gotten the wrong format for the Illustrator page, so that was one of the challenges, but I simply started over and set it up correctly.

If you were to do this project again, what would you differently?
I would do a bit of prior research on how to use Illustrator. I believe that this would speed up my pace when inking and also save me a lot of time trying to find out how to use a certain technique or brush on Google.

December Tests Reflection

On December 15th, we had a playing test. For this test, we had to play 5 scales, a chromatic scale and a song, which was essentially a simplified version of the nutcracker. While playing the songs, I felt quite nervous, because I had troubles playing the chromatic scales at home. I decided to play concert g major chromatic scale, and when I actually played in front of the teacher I didn’t make any major mistakes, apart from maybe breathing a bit too much. I felt like I did quite well in the scales, and I didn’t make any noticeable mistakes. My timing was a bit off, but that was only because I felt a bit nervous and could only hear my heartbeat, which drowned my playing. After playing that, I had to play the song. I also had a bit of trouble in the fast part of the song, but I believe I did quite well in the end. I played the stacato bit quite well, and were played quite clearly. I think I paused a few times because my clarinet squeaked while playing the high notes. Also, at the end of the song, I ran out of breath and had to force the last few notes out, but I barely managed to squeeze the last few notes out. I kept a steady tempo, without speeding up too much and didn’t drag my notes. For dynamics, I did quite well, but I feel like I didn’t emphasise it too much, so that is why next time I want to focus more on dynamics.

On December the 17th, I had taken a theory test. No marks have been issued back yet, but I thought it was quite hard and struggled a bit. One part that was hard was the transposition. I forgot what the instruments transpose to (french horn, clarinet in a, etc.)  I asked around with a few of my friends, and I think I got one of the correct, which is good. I predict I got a 4 or a 5 out of 8 for this test because I really did struggle and made a few mistakes.

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I just received my marks back for the theory test and the playing test. For the playing test, I got 7/8 for the scales and 7/8 for the song, which was quite surprising because I thought I messed it up a lot more. This caught me off guard because I thought I made quite a few mistakes, so that is why I was quite happy with that. On the other hand, for my theory test, I received a 4/8. Like my prediction earlier, I had seen this coming already, so there wasn’t a big surprise there. With that being said, I believe that I did poorly because as I have taken ABRSM grade 5 music theory, I should’ve received a much higher mark than a 4/8. I am quite dissatisfied with my performance, but I probably forgot all that was learned in preparation for the ABRSM exam. Next time, I need to study more on the conceptual side of things and make sure it is all memorised in order to get a higher mark next time.

 

Here are my scanned theory test results:

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Oct. 30 Design Day: Say It With Style

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In this task, I had to use Adobe Illustrator to create words using the pen tool. Unfortunately, my Adobe had problems with logging in, which meant I couldn’t use the program myself, so I did this task on someone else’s computer. There were instructions on what to do at each point, but at times it got quite challenging and I struggled a little bit. Although I need a lot more work on Adobe, I think that it is quite interesting and want to learn more about this program. I believe that we will have more opportunities in the future to use this app, so I will be looking forward to that.

 

Harmonic Minor Scales Presentation Reflection

After presenting our music presentation on harmonic minor scales, I believe that I did not do as well as I thought. The work and presentation itself was okay, but the way Ryan Chiu, Nathan and I presented the work was all over the place. All of us had collaborated to do the presentation, but some of the information was quite irrelevant, such as the example of where the harmonic minor scale is used, such as a blues piece. The example we presented was quite good and added some interaction between the presenters and the audience, but we had too little info on how to find the harmonic scale, which was one of the most important slide of the entire presentation. Our group also incorporated a piano to further explain some points, but I couldn’t really hear what Ryan Chiu told me to play, so I didn’t play it correctly. Next time, we have to throughly focus on what matters, instead of elaborating on something that doesn’t even have significance to our topic. Also, our presentation I thought looked quite engaging with pictures of piano scores and pianos, which didn’t bore the audience unlike the original bland theme. Some points we wrote were quite confusing too, such as the slide with the ascending / descending scale. We tried to explain that slide, but it our thoughts came out all over the place. I think that Ryan Chiu was the main presenter, while Nathan and I were on the side explaining the less important things, which I think next time could change. I have to take more initiative to become the main presenter of the presentation. I can learn more about the topic myself to give myself the edge when presenting. I believe I deserve a 5/8 because I did most of the worksheet, but did not present our topic too well.

Russian Sailors’ Dance

Before playing this song, I had properly used the tuner to tune my clarinet. I had played long notes for about 5 minutes to warm up my clarinet prior to the recording. I followed all the markings on the sheet including the forte, mezzo forte, accents, etc. so I did not have a problem there. I think some of my staccatos had more of my breath sound then the actual note because I started to run out of breath. I think that overall I think that I played it quite well as I followed everything as shown on the score. After hearing my recording through the computer, I heard a bit of static, meaning my notes were too sharp and it also sounded like my clarinet squeaked, when in person I did not hear the note fluctuate. For the tempo, I did not use a metronome, but I believe I played at a steady 100bpm.

Grade 9 Business – Unit 2 Unit of Inquiry Questions

Factual:  

1) What influences supply and demand in a market?
A factor that influences supply is the price it takes to manufacture / supply a certain good. Prices include resources, which are human, natural, and machinery. Basically, the lower the price is to make a certain good, the more companies can make it, supplying more to the citizens that are going to buy it. If the price it takes to manufacture the good is a lot higher, then the company may not be able to afford it, so less of it will be made. Another factor that influences supply is the weather / act of god. For example, there is an apple farm growing apples, but suddenly a typhoon strikes and all the apples are unusable, therefore there will be a lot less supply than a normal day. A factor that influences demand is incomes of the consumer. The more the consumer is payed, the more of the product he can afford, increasing the demand for the certain product, and vice versa. Another factor that can influence demand in the market is the price of related goods. For example, a related good would be cars and fuel. If the price of the fuel goes up, the demand for cars will decrease because consumers know that they will need to spend more money on both of those things. If the price of fuel goes down however, the consumer will want to buy more cars as they know that they will have to spend less on fuel.

2) How can economic sectors relate to each other?
It is usually chain of events, known as the chain of production. All sectors rely on each other to make a finished product. Without one sector, the process can not be completed. The first sector, known as the primary sector is responsible for gathering the raw materials such as wool from sheep for clothing and leather from cows for shoes. Without this industry, shoes can not be produced as the cow was never slaughtered. Without the secondary industry, goods can never be sold as the materials gathered are not refined. You can not just take a piece of pork and sell it on shelves in a market. Without the tertiary industry, the materials that were gathered and processed in the primary and secondary industry will be wasted as there is no where for the product to go and be bought, so money will be lost.

Conceptual:

3) What path do raw materials take to consumers?
The raw materials go through the chain of production to reach the customers buying it. The primary industry is the first industry that starts off the product. Materials have to be gathered in the environment first, usually in unmodified areas such as forests for trees. The wood that is cut down is then shipped off to factories which are the secondary industry to start forming the finished product, wether it would be shaping that piece of wood into a table or making paper. Those products are then put on shelves of the tertiary industry, and an examples of this are stationary shops for the paper or IKEA for the wooden table. The product that had originally costed a few dollars to collect in the primary industry can now be sold for a lot more than it was originally worth.

4) How is equilibrium reached in a market?
Market equilibrium is reached when the demand and the supply of a certain product at a certain price is equal to one another. If a market is at equilibrium, prices will not change unless demand / supply factors as mentioned above affect it. If the price is below equilibrium, it is called a shortage. When there is a shortage, the price of the good / service will increase, making less people want it, so the shortage will be gone. If the price is above equilibrium, it is called a surplus. When there is a surplus, there is more supply then there is demand, which means that prices should decrease in order for consumers to be willing to pay for the good / product. 

5) How is price determined in a market?
The price of a good / service is the point where the supply and the demand at a given price meet each other. Price is determined by supply and demand factors. For example, there is a market for pencils. Let’s say that 500 people will pay for pencils that cost $5, 300 people will pay for pencils that cost $15, and 100 people will pay for pencils that cost $25. There is a decrease in demand as the price of the pencils go up.

Debatable:

6) To what extent do companies compete indirectly with each other?
To a large extent, companies compete with each other as long as they are in the same type of industry, meaning that they can compete directly or indirectly. For example, the food industry. There are two fast food companies, KFC and McDonalds. They compete with each other directly because they both sell fast food. But then, KFC is indirectly competing with restaurants such as Ding Tai Fung. They indirectly compete with one another because they both are in the food industry, although Ding Tai Fung is not a fast food restaurant.

PE: Aquatic Movement Reflection

Here is the link to our video.

When setting your goals, decide on an area you would like to improve. This could be an area of assessment or your activity levels. Ask yourself:

1. where am I now? (what level do you think you are at?)
I think I am at a 5 out of 8.

2. where do I want to go? (what level do you want to achieve?)
I would like to achieve the highest mark, 8/8.

3. how am I going to get there? (what action am I going to take to achieve my goal?).
I am going to get there by putting more time and effort into P.E. and making sure that I am pushing myself to the limit every class no matter the sport.

When reflecting on your performance, ask yourself:

1. What did I do well and why?
I think we did well at making sure our moves in our plan had matched the requirements of two arms, two legs, and two core exercises. We had carefully planned our basic set of moves before practicing and we eventually agreed on a aqua exercise based routine that included all the movements.

2. What level do I think I have achieved in my performance and why?
I think that I achieved a 5 out of 8 in my performance because although we did all our moves correctly, we had not fully considered all of the attributes to make the perfect routine. We also had some synchronisation issues while demonstrating our routine, which resulted in a messy and at times sloppy looking performance.

3. What do I need to improve and how?
The main thing that we needed to do to improve is to practice more, wether it would be in class or out of class. As mentioned previously, I need to improve on synchronisation, timing, aesthetics, etc. and that can only be achieved by practicing more.

When reflecting on your interpersonal skills, ask yourself:

1. how well did I work with my team members?
I worked quite well with them most of the time and we could usually use all of our time to either perfect our routine or practice.

2. was there any difficulties working with the team and how did you over come them?
For the small majority of the time, my group would either not focus or just ignore everything that was going on, so it seemed like I was the only person who wanted to do something and get a good grade, so I would have to remind them constantly that this actually counted for something in grade 9, and that got them motivated.

3. was there anything you were particularly proud of?
None.

4. Is there any part of being a team member or leader which you feel you need to improve on? e.g communication, taking into consideration other people’s views, making a compromise to achieve agreement.
I think I need to improve on listening to other’s ideas. I may have some pretty good ideas and opinions, but sometimes others also have some good views and I just don’t really accept it. I need to really improve on that to benefit our entire group.

Business Unit 1 – Questions of Inquiry

Factual:

1) What creates opportunities for entrepreneurs to start a business?
Entrepreneurs find business opportunities when the market advances and customers like a certain product or good. The entrepreunuers then can create a product of the same nature and and add some features to attract the customers. Also, when there is a small pause between the supply and demand, entrepreneurs will take this opportunity to create a business. For example, when Apple were making phones, Samsung saw a small delay and created their first smartphone with the capabilities of an Apple phone, with some extra features such as better accessibility, etc.

Conceptual:

2) How do entrepreneurs respond to the needs & wants of society?
They start their own creative business that caters to whatever the trend or fashion is at the time, such as the clothing industry. As fashion keeps on progressing as time goes on, different styles of clothing are wanted by the public, so the entrepreneurs probably have to change their plan as to what their selling, how well their selling, and what they are selling.

3) Why do individuals become entrepreneurs?
A lot of people become entrepreneurs for money. They believe that if they predict what the public wants and invent a product that is innovative or is completely never-before seen by the public, that they will have financial stability. They believe that the payout in the end of all their hardships and long hours will pay off more than a normal office job. For example, the fan company Dyson had spent millions on testing over 5000 fan prototypes to eliminate flaws. As long as they can cover the expenses, then the reward will be much bigger.

4) What drives innovation?
Entrepreneurs are often faced with challenging rivals in the industry. A lot of that drives innovation, as they always want to be better than one another, and that cycle goes on. Take Samsung and Apple for example. Apple started producing the phone first, but Samsung probably saw that as a business opportunity and they made an Apple like smartphone, with more features. Then Apple releases a product like the 5, and Samsung comes out with the S4. Then Apple takes their “5” and adds a fingerprint scanner, calling it the “5S. Samsung responds with the S5, which was an advancement from the S4. Apple’s next phone, the “6” is due to be released in five days.

Debatable:

5) Are the traits that are needed to be successful as an entrepreneur always the same?
They do not all have to follow a set of rules to be successful. A company named Phonebloks, created a phone that consisted of a circuit base, but the screen and all the hard drives, cameras, wifi, bluetooth etc. blocks were connected to it. That meant that when one part malfunctioned, we wouldn’t have to throw out the entire phone, just replace the specific part. This is a big step in the phone industry as this could save a lot of natural resources. This company didn’t play by any of the modern “smartphone” rules, but instead innovated the “phone” in its own ways and has currently raised over 380,000,000 million dollars.

6) Is there an optimal form of business ownership?
There is definitely no optimal form of business ownership. Many different types of ownerships such as partnerships and sole traders all have a chance to succeed, despite the challenges one may have over the other. For example, a sole trader is easier to run than a partnership as all decisions are catered to your liking, but partnerships are better and earning money and getting noticed. People choose a certain form of business ownership that caters to what they want to accomplish.  For someone who just wants to create a new product and choose the path in which their company will go, then they would choose being a sole trader over being a partnership.

7) To what extent should competitors work together?
They should work together for research and development if they want to advance the industry or cater to the customers rather than making money for themselves. Working with other companies that have better ideas than you in some areas that are combined with your great ideas in another area can be a win win situation as both companies are contributing to form one better service or good. The two companies can still make money off of the new product, but will be split according to how many contributors there are that made it.

Mask Reflection

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In art class, I had recently made a hockey mask using paper mache. I essentially drew circles around the border of the mask to make the holes and painted under the eyes for the simple but effective design.

Reflections on Playing and Theory Tests

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Over the course of the last week, I had taken a music theory and clarinet playing test. For the playing test, I got 8/10 and another 8/10, and for the theory test I got 7/8. Looking at these marks, I think they are above average and the amount of work I put into it shows in the outcome. For the playing test, I prepared by practicing every other day of the week, and usually for about 15 – 25 minutes a day. This helped me steadily improve my playing and although I might have skipped a day or two because I was too busy, I was still able to progress every time.

My goals for next semester (grade 9) will be that I have to achieve full marks, and play everyday (if possible). I think that playing everyday will significantly improve my performance in music and will help me achieve the higher marks.

 

 

Criterion D Music Reflection

I think that I deserve a 6/8. In class, I can keep up with the clarinet playing and don’t find the songs too much of a struggle. When there is homework, I usually get it done and bring my clarinet, practice book, and instrument the majority of the time. I also practice every other day, so that helps me stay warmed up with my clarinet and it is easier to play in class. Although I practice at home, I sometimes forget to write it down in my practice journal and that may cost me marks. I think that music class in general is a good subject and is very interactive, with a lot of songs and every tap day, we get to do theory which is interesting. I do not participate in a band, and that is why I think I can not achieve a 7 or 8.

Math Exam 2014 Reflection

About a month ago, the grade 8s took a math exam. This exam consisted of everything we learned throughout the course, and included topics such as geometry, integers, simple and compound interest, percentage, ratio, indices and algebra. To study for this test, I had not only reviewed all the past assignments and textbooks, but I also downloaded extra worksheets about each topic. On the exam, I got a 5/8, which is a decent score. I could improve this by focusing more on the topics that are more unfamiliar to me. On the test, I saw that I had the most problems on hard geometry problems. I needed to study the volume and area formulas to understand how to properly do the question. I also had problems on the percentage questions involving compound interest. I can work on this by practicing more on these topics. I had studied for this test for about 7-8 hours over the course of 1 to 2 weeks.

Celebration of my best Digital work

I think my best work I did digitally is the music 16 bar composition. My composition was made in Finale Notepad, and the melody sounded really good. I learned a lot from this project, especially how to operate the program itself. This will help me in future assignments that require the use of Finale.

My composition:

CAS Week Grade 8

Last week, the whole grade 8 went on a trip either to Vietnam or to Guilin. I personally chose Guilin, with the majority of the grade also choosing the China trip. We had stayed in Guilin for the first day, and on the second day, we took a cruise down the Li river to get to Yangshuo, and that was where we spent our other four days. The activities we did contained a lot of mud as it had rained really hard before we got to China. The outdoor activities included hiking, cycling, rock climbing, etc. The scenery in Guilin was really nice because there were a lot of mountain formations which were perviously the bottom of the ocean. In Yangshuo, there was a place called West street, and we were given some time at night to walk around and buy things. At night, we would use toothbrushes to clean off our shoes that were covered in mud. Overall, this trip was a big success and I would definitely do it again if I could.

Service Day Reflection

How did the day begin – with Mr. Lobo’s focus activity? What does mindfulness have to do with service work?
I think that the activity helped me focus on what was important.

How did i feel while I was doing the service work? Did it feel worthwhile?
I feel like I did the community a favour by painting the recycle bins, which was quite a rewarding feeling.

Our bin:

How do I feel after we did this activity?
I actually feel more confident with spray painting. Also, I think that it is worth painting these recycle bins that will (or will not) be used on the streets.

Did I learn anything in our group’s final sharing at the end of the day? Do I see serving the community different than I did before?
I do think I look at community and service differently because I realize how good it feels to help people in a good way.

 

Design Reflection Journal

I think something I learned from the Waste Not Want Not project was to use time effectively. I really need to prioritise my tasks according to what is more important, or what is due in a shorter time span than others. In our project, we only had about one to one and a half weeks of completion time for each criteria, which was quite tight on time. I think a personal strength that helped me succeed in this project was that I was able to use sketchup to make drafts of my container. I had started out as a person who had never even heard of Google Sketchup, but then as I got to use it more it became a very unique and useful tool. I used the app to make a rough idea of how the container was going to look and went from there. I think something to do better on the iBook project was to make a better script. I think our group’s idea was on the right track, but we could not really express it through the iBook as we got a little off track the main idea, tuberculosis.

Our YouTube video:
[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v46sBOIrx-0&feature=youtu.be[/youtube]

EDIT:
I’m sorry that this post didn’t come out earlier. I didn’t realise I only made this a draft and never published it.

8 Bar Composition

For this assignment, we were supposed to make a 8 bar rhythm. As we were only making a rhythm, l only used one note during this assignment, which was B flat (since my chosen instrument is a clarinet in Bb). I had a few problems such as putting a triplet sign. I always had an extra note stuck to the triplet making it four nots in the time of 1, which was not what I wanted. I ended having to change the note at the end to a 4th note to avoid this error. Also, I had to redo like a few bars because when I first started making the rhythm, I realised that I had put the key signature to c major, not B flat major.

Please follow this template if you want to leave constructive criticism on this post.

Does the piece have conjunct and disjunct motion?
Does the melody have an appropriate range?
Does it start and finish on the tonic note?

Waste Not, Want Not Reflection

Something I learned from this Design project is that I have to manage time effectively. I think that this is something I did fairly well because I could do everything on time. I had actually set personal dates for myself to complete different tasks at different times so I could basically prioritise the more important tasks first. A personal strength that helped me succeed in this task is how I can mentally handle the stress. There was quite a lot to do in this task but I could handle it. I think a strategy I could do better in the iBook project was to come up with a logical script the first time.

iBook video link:

In this task, we had to copy an excerpt from “Greatest Song Ever” using Finale 2012. We had to get all the notes correct and learn how to properly use Finale. I think that this assignment is quite challenging because I had never really had any experience using the app and what I found was the hardest was adding the small details. For example, my computer would have issues applying slurs from one note to another making it pretty much impossible to do so. In the end, I think that this has given me an insight on what Finale can really do and I hope to use it more in the future.

December Theory Test

Today, we just finished a music theory test. I don’t think it was too hard because I had already learned all this previously. I studied for this test for about 30 minutes and I looked over all the past homework assignments on my blog. Also, I used Father Charles Goes  Down And Ends Battle and Battle Ends And Down Goes Charlie’s Father to help me remember the key signature positions. Also, Mr. Shane O’Titus pointed out that I needed a natural to change the note tone. After I saw the results for the test, (80%) I feel like I didn’t do too bad. I definitely could do better by studying more.

Instrument Care Reflection

I think that our group presentation was very detailed and I did not mess up what I was supposed to do.

How did you interact with your group? Was there an equal division of work?

I interacted with the group by giving ideas to the team. There was an equal amount of work between us but that was because we did not have enough people.

What aspects of your presentation would you improve if you had to do this again?

If I could do this again, I would put more time into how I present because I found out that people didn’t really hear me clearly.

Is your poster clear with detailed specific instructions?

It is not the clearest / prettiest thing in the world, but I think it is readable and understandable.

Is your poster appropriate for the assignment and reflect the required amount of work?

It reflected the required amount of work because it was kind of sloppy since we only had about 2 days to do it.

Waste Not, Want Not III

How was your experience different from what you anticipated at the beginning of the day?

Originally, I expected us to be basically creating containers as that was what the people at the briefing had said, so I guess it didn’t really anticipate anything too far from what we actually did.

What would you like to learn more about, related to this project?

I think I would like to investigate more into Google Sketchup because I still do not know how to make complex figures. It is also quite entertaining to play around and experiment with the tool, and can really help with other projects related to DEAD day.

 

If you could do the day over again, what would you do differently?

If I had to redo this task, I would have spent more time developing a more complex and appealing container, but there was a 20 minute time limit, so all our group could come up with was a simple cube container.

 

(Please feel free to comment using I like…., I wish…., what if….)

Waste Not, Want Not

During DEAD day, we were told to design a container for either an apple or a banana. Our group had chosen to contain an apple, and we had to make a container that could fit the apple but not be oversized. Our creation was a simple cube that could had a flap on the top and could open / close.

How it meets the criteria:

Attractive: Although it is nothing special, it is very simple.

Secure: We have tried to put the container upside down (we sealed the lid with tape) and the apple did not fall out.

Accessible: All you have to do is un tape the tape, so it is not hard to use.

Reusable: To reuse it, just replace the tape after tearing it off the flap to open.

Our container:

 

Music Test Reflection

Recently, we had done  a music test. I had expected my mark to be between 35-40 (40 being the maximum score) because I had a lot of prior knowledge due to my theory classes outside of school. I had reviewed my notes from the grade 5 theory test to achieve the mark. Next time, I should also review the things taught in school and not only review one source.

Math Assessment Reflection

What did I do well?

I did well on the 7-8 questions. I did well in explaining the steps, but what I found easy about those questions was that the questions were explained in detail. I also did well on drawing a graph and making relationships.

What are my areas that I need to work on?

I need to work on the basics like dividing decimals / fractions. I had the most trouble with multiplying and dividing them.

Next steps:

Next time, I would have to know my strengths and weaknesses and work on the weaknesses first. I also need to explain my steps better because I usually do it mentally, but it is not always correct.

My Summer Adventures

This summer, I was fortunate enough to go to Canada with my cousins. At first, we stayed in Virginia where my cousins live for about 3 days, then we flew to buffalo before we drove to the “Canadian side” of the Niagara Falls. When I was there, it was not what I had expected it to look like ( I thought it would be a HUGE drop), but im sure everything is not as it seems. Anyways, while we were there, we stayed at a hotel called Embassy Suites for 1 night, which had a beautiful view of the Falls, and thats where I took the picture. Before the picture, there was a huge rainstorm so we were basically trapped in the hotel, but after a few hours the rain stopped and the sun came out, making a giant rainbow.  Overall, I really enjoyed the nice scenery and the trip in general.

Experience week trip

Last week, I had a fun time in Beijing for 5 days. We did a lot of things like sightseeing, bargaining for $20 Beats, climbing the Great wall and we ate a lot of food. I think during this trip, I was a risk taker because I climbed the hardest parts of the great wall and I made it 🙂 I also think that I was principled because I didn’t fool around or get in trouble. (actual results may vary) On this trip, I got to meet a new friend called Zhi Wei. He was really nice and did pretty much everything with me. The biggest challenge on this trip was the Great wall because the terrain was so broken it was like stepping on sand. Blocks were missing, and the stairs were very steep.  Also, I had a very fun time bargaining at the Pearl market. The prices there were so high we had to bargain for 1/10 of the price they offered. A lot of the shops there said no, but once we started walking away, they started shouting lower numbers 😀 The original price of my beats were $300, so when I said $20 she said no. Then I started walking away and the owner said $150, then 75$. The farther I walked away, the lower the price. $25! $20! Then I walked back and I got them for 20 dollars 😛 Overall, this trip was very fun and could possibly be the best week ever!