Describe a profound experience and/or one that extended over several weeks. Give an example of when you reflected on any aspect of the experience. How did you change as a result of your reflection?
An example of a profound experience would be the Habitat for Humanity build trip to Rayong, Thailand. This was the first build trip that I have been on, and I had learned a lot from it. During this experience, we built a home for a family whose old house was very small and unhygienic. After we completed the house, the homeowner expressed their gratitude and at that moment is when I realised how lucky we were to be in a well-developed country with shelter and many resources other people do not have access to. From then, I have changed to be more open-minded and grateful for everything I have. It made me recognise that I should be more aware of current global issues, and that I should take every volunteer opportunity since I can make a difference in someone’s life. I plan to go on another build trip in the future in order to learn more about the housing issue and see it first hand.

In Amnesty CDNIS, we try to advocate for human rights in the school community. This falls under the area of inquiry: social justice and human rights. Each month, we try to focus on a current global issue and we generate ideas from news articles.

As mentioned above, a lot of our global issues come from news articles. When planning general meetings and events, we research into a human rights problem and think of ideas in which we can educate the school community. The next part of the planning stage would be getting resources, making time allocations and organising the team to convey our message.

This year within our general meetings, we covered several human rights topics such as freedom of expression, the right to life, and freedom of belief and religion. We hosted many discussions, which includes learning about current news and giving our opinions. In regards to events, we hosted multiple for our school community to participate in. For example, for the lower school, we held the Gratitude Project. The students would write cards to those that helped them daily but do not get much recognition: domestic helpers, security guards, bus drivers and bus mothers, cleaners, etc. An example for the upper school audience would be our Vow of Silence. Students would not talk for one whole school day, and the goal was to advocate for freedom of expression.

After these activities are held, we have reflection sessions with the general members, executive members, and supervisor. We look at what went well and what we could improve on for next time. In terms of our events, a common strength was the organisation of resources and the effectiveness for our participants (learning something). However, a weakness would be how we usually do the promotion a bit last minute, so next year we could make a schedule and advocate earlier. Personally, I believe that through these events, I had developed communication, collaboration, leadership and organisation skills. I also gained an understanding of local and global issues, which ultimately made me more open-minded. For example, after participating in the Vow of Silence, I realised how difficult it was to not have your voice heard and not be able to convey what you want to convey.

Demonstration and Celebration
In order to demonstrate the execution of an event, we like to take photos and post it on our Amnesty board. In addition, we donate any funds made to non-profit organisations in Hong Kong dealing with the global issue we are covering at the time.

How will you challenge yourself? or how did you challenge yourself?
This year, it is my first time taking a leadership role in a school club. I am currently the secretary of the Amnesty CDNIS executive team. Although I have taken leaderships roles in other communities such as scouts, this is still a challenge to me because it is a GIN club and the goals are quite different, thus operations and strategies will change. It will require a lot more of generating ideas in order to advocate and make change within the local and global community, as well as participation and commitment.

Moreover, another challenge would be working towards achieving the Queens Scout Award. This award will require the venturer to lead expeditions, complete community service, plan do and reflect on a project, and demonstrate outdoor adventure skills. The goal will be of ‘high’ challenge and ‘high’ skills, and I will at least try to fulfill some of the requirements.

What new skill will you learn? or what new skill have you learned?
As part of the Queens Scout Award (QSA), I hope to learn many new outdoor adventure skills. This includes: camping, aquatic, paddling, winter, emergency, vertical, trail, scoutcraft, and sailing skills. In order to learn these new skills, I will seek help from scouters and participate in more aquatic and outdoor activities planned by myself or peers.

What existing skill will you develop further? or what existing skill have you developed further?
As the secretary for Amnesty, I will develop communication, collaboration and organisation skills. Communication and collaboration comes from working with the executive team to advocate human rights. Organisation skills will develop through my role, as I am in charge of arranging resources and documents. In scouts, as vice president, I will further develop my leadership skills by organising and motivating the team to achieve the QSA.

What is an appropriate level of challenge for you?
An appropriate level of challenge would be pushing myself out of my comfort zone, which means doing things that I have never done before. This will help me develop skills and learn more about myself. In order to measure this, after participating in activities, I will reflect on what I have learned.

Strengths, Skills, and Talents
From the past CAS experiences, I have developed different strengths and skills. I have collaboration skills from working with many teams in order to attain a goal. For example, in sports, we have to work together so that we can compete and achieve success. Also, I believe I have developed leadership skills from taking on different roles within a small community. For instance, in scouts, I was vice president which gave me an opportunity to organise and motivate a team to work towards a goal.

Passions and Affinities
I have a great interest in sports, especially volleyball and basketball. In addition, I am passionate about human rights. As a result, for this school year, I am a member of the Amnesty CDNIS executive team.

CAS Experiences Before Grade 11
The creativity portion shows my interests as a person. From the activities listed below, it is evident that I like the outdoors, adventure, and promoting human rights.

              · Amnesty CDNIS General Member (2015 – 2016)
              · Habitat for Humanity CDNIS General Member (2015 – 2016)
              · Scouts (2009 to 2016)

Although I do not have many action related activities, the two that I do has been going on for a long period of time. Below are the sports that I play at school, and the years of which I participated in these activities:

              · Basketball (2011 to 2016)
              · Volleyball (2012 to 2016)

I believe that the service component of the CAS program is one of my strongest. I like to participate in many service opportunities as I enjoy interacting and getting involved physically. Below are some of the examples of service I have done in the previous years:

              · Canadian Commemorate Service in Hong Kong (2012 to 2016)
Fiji – Building a Pathway at a School (2015)
              · Habitat for Humanity Paint Your Glove (2016)
              · Family Fun Fair – Obstacle Course, Interact and Habitat for Humanity Booth (2011 to 2015)

1. What is intuition?
Institution is the action of which your mind automatically processes information unconsciously, resulting in fast, effortless but unreliable judgements.

2. What is System 1 and System 2 thinking?

System 1 thinking is intuition, which means that your thoughts are made on the spot (automatically), effortlessly and quickly. For that reason, it is unreliable. Meanwhile, System 2 thinking is reflection. This is where your thoughts are more controlled and you take time to process (thus requires more effort and time). System 2 thinking is more reliable as it is less of assumptions and takes in more context.

3. How could you incorporate System 2 thinking into TOK?
System 2 thinking could be incorporated into TOK when analysing texts and situations of which we have never encountered. This would help in understanding what is happening and determine the different perspectives.

What are the characteristics that you feel best describe language? Why?
I believe the characteristics that best describes language is that it is meaningful and a community is able to comprehend the purpose. The message must be meaningful in order to communicate amongst others. For instance, expressing thoughts and evoking ideas. If the meaning is not understood by other people, that does not showcase communication and language. Instead, it would be something personal and just reflects our thoughts. An example would be a baby making noises. I believe that this is not considered language because no one understands, hence a point is not being made.

What might be some of the weaknesses of language?
People may interpret a description in a different way because of past experiences. Therefore, we may not comprehend a certain text in the same way. In addition, they may be used differently in various cultures, hence we may not express ideas entirely identically. Moreover, it is difficult to convey something internal such as emotions.

Through the series of activities and presentations during the IB retreat, we were able to learn about the International Baccalaureate Diploma Program, university choices, and who we are as a person. It has developed each student into more of a global citizen, who are aware of the local and global community, and the next steps to achieving our goals. Finding your passion and your challenge was one of the main themes of the IB retreat, and was the one that I found most interesting.

The path to university workshop that we done was quite fascinating and thought provoking. We learnt about different types of universities and how to make the best decision. What I found interesting was the “small fish in a big pond and big fish in a small pond” concept. This refers to how you can be either an average student in a top university, or a top student in a smaller university. Both of which has advantages and disadvantages associated with them. The advantages of being the “small fish in a big pond” is that it may look better on your resume due to the school reputation. However, this is quite contradicting since if you do not do well at the university, it will look bad on your application. Meanwhile, the advantages of being the “big fish in a small pond” is that you can be the top student and it will look good in terms of grades. In addition, scholarship offers are more likely. Though, it may be bad because the reputation of the school isn’t the best compared to others, and it could potentially add more pressure to succeed at everything. All in all, this session has changed my perspective and made me realise that all universities has benefits and drawbacks, no matter the ‘level’.

The Real IB was another session that was also very helpful. In this workshop, I got to learn more about the IB diploma program from alumni. They gave several tips on how to survive, but one that stood out to me was that extra curricular activities helped them get through this program. Initially, I believed that extra curricular activities would take up a lot of time in which you could be studying, thus may impact your grades negatively. Though instead, they said that it helped them a lot since it is something they enjoy and it gave them motivation. This insight gave me a new outlook on activities. Specifically how you should not stop doing what you enjoy just for academics because that is what will inspire you.

Overall, I found the IB Retreat to be a valuable experience. I have learnt a lot about how to survive the diploma program, and the next steps after high school. Moreover, I learnt that CAS can be made to be fun and personal for you.

Do you agree more strongly with perceptual realism or perceptual relativism?

Both perceptual realism and perceptual relativism exists in the world. However, perceptual realism is the concept that I believe to be true. The human brain changes the things we see through past experiences and context, all of which each individual has differences in. We acknowledge the object that appears to be there, but the mind always creates thoughts and judgements. As a result, what we see is influenced by what is sensed of the world.

Outside of School: Remembrance Service in Hong Kong
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1) How did you become more aware of your own strengths and areas for growth?
From the remembrance service, I have became more aware of my community and the history of Hong Kong. In addition, after serving and participating in the Canadian Commemorate Service, it has made me more of a knowledgeable person. I learnt more about the world war situation in the past, and it allowed me to gain an appreciation for those who bravely fought for the protection of this city. To grow more as a person, I believe that I could continue on this research to learn more about the world around me.

2) How did you undertake challenges that developed new skills?
I undertook experiences and challenges during this event which allowed me to develop skills. For instance, I became more open-minded and knowledgeable through understanding the past, and especially about World War II. Another example is that I have developed listening and collaboration skills, since I had to learn a new group routine within 20 minutes.

3) How did you discuss, evaluate and plan student-initiated activities?
When the leaders of the troop gave the opportunity to serve at the Canadian remembrance service, I immediately took it. Prior to the occurrence, we had created a group chat on social media in order to communicate our ideas and inquiries. For instance, we had to plan and assign roles for each person to do on the day. After the event, we knew that the planning and performance was successful since the representatives thanked us. In addition, there were no mishaps and everything was coordinated.

4) How did you persevere in action?
My role during the remembrance service was to place the poppies and teach the younger members on how to do foot drills. It was quite difficult to communicate with them, since they had no experience at all. However, I had overcome this challenge by going through the movements step by step, making sure that they understand.

5) How did you work collaboratively with others?
During this service I had to work collaboratively with others. To start, we had to assign people different roles and responsibilities in order to complete everything. In addition, for those who placed poppies, we all had to be coordinated and in sync. This required collaboration and helping each other out when needed so that it turns out successful.

6) How did you develop international-mindedness through global engagement, multilingualism and intercultural understanding?
As it is a Canadian remembrance service, I got to learn a lot more about Canada and Hong Kong’s history (especially about World War II) through many speeches and visuals. Therefore, I developed international-mindedness as I am now more aware of the world and my local community.

7) How did you consider the ethical implications of your actions?
This service helped the community as we got to represent and commemorate the families of the fallen soldiers. Rather than progressing society, we helped out by reflecting and giving our respect.


Inside of School: Habitat for Humanity Paint Your Glove

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

From volunteering in HFH’s event Paint Your Glove, I have developed my communication skills. This includes verbal communication from the interaction with the kids, and non-verbal communication when listening to what they have to say. I believe I have yet to improve on my confidence, because there were times that I was scared to initiate a conversation.

2) How did you undertake challenges that developed new skills?
As mentioned in the previous question, the activity itself and its requirement to communicate with others was a challenge for me since I am shy. However, I overcame this obstacle quickly and for that, I think that I have developed my communication skills.

3) How did you discuss, evaluate and plan student-initiated activities?
I found out about this opportunity through my friends and the daily announcements. After doing so, I signed up and received multiple emails from the student leaders about the plan. We knew that this event was successful because we achieved the objective of: 1) designing gloves, and 2) children are joyful at the end.

4) How did you persevere in action?
At times, it was difficult to communicate with the kids as some were shy and did not respond. However, I still continued to try and initiate a conversation by asking about their glove, what they know about the club, and sometimes just about themselves.

5) How did you work collaboratively with others?
I worked collaboratively with others by listening to the instructions given by the executives and doing what was told. This demonstrates the skill as each person had a responsibility to perform so that the event goes planned and is successful.

6) How did you develop international-mindedness through global engagement, multilingualism and intercultural understanding?
Through this event, I learnt more about the local and global community. For example, I got to learn about the school community and the different clubs within it, specifically Habitat for Humanity.

7) How did you consider the ethical implications of your actions? 
This service allowed me to interact with others and help with the painting the glove process. Essentially, the project helped raise awareness about this club and the following trip to the Philippines. In addition, for me, the reward was being able to talk to other students that I do not know, which was a valuable experience for me.