Welcome to my iFolio! My name is Janice and I have been a student in Canadian International School of Hong Kong for 12 years. I enjoy playing sports, such as volleyball and tennis, and also reading, baking and cooking and also exploring the great outdoors. This iFolio is a glimpse of my learning experiences throughout PYP, MYP and DP!
What do your teachers throw at you in advanced to two years of hefty work loads, spontaneous breakdowns and a strangle of extra curricular activities? A retreat to teach you how to manage them together. This weekend, my grade and I went on a retreat to the Gold Coast in Tsuen Mun to prepare ourselves for the rigorous IB Diploma Program. The theme of this retreat was Gestalt which means what is organized as a whole can be perceived as more than the sum of its parts. Gestalt represents the DP accurately as each individual benefits differently from the program based on the combination of subjects they have chosen to take or the goals they’ve set for themselves to achieve. During this Retreat, we participated in an array of activities such as a game teaching us how to accept then learn from failure, a movie screening of the 12 Angry Men as well as a crossroads simulation about poverty within our world today. Through this experience we bonded with our peers, understood more about the program as well as learnt different skills and techniques to tackle the DP successfully.
During the first day, we visited Crossroads, a Hong Kong based non-profitable organisation who’s purpose is to connect people within our ‘broken world’. We were simulated as a family of 7-8 living in slums with the objective to make and sell as many paper bags using newspaper and wet flour for ten minutes straight in three intervals. Every ten minutes, we had to ensure we had earned enough to pay the ‘landlord’ for access to food, water and rent. Adding on, within those ten minutes, many opportunities arose with the sacrifice of money such as a chance to send one child to school, a healthcare class or even to sell an organ of ours. Although my group was successful in surviving within that simulation, we had a reality check which helped us understand how lucky and fortunate we are as people to be brought up and living in Hong Kong. That was one of the highlights of my trip as it not only impacted my perception of the world but it also taught me that even small forms of action can help change the world. Besides from the simulation, I really enjoyed my chance to bond with my fellow peers during the retreat. Whether it was participating in teacher held activities or just eating dinner, I felt it was a great opportunity to get to know my peers better before the DP program.
At night, our grade watched an insightful movie called 12 Angry Men. The plot of the movie was based off the closing arguments of a murder trial and the twelve jury members had to reach a decision on whether the victim was guilty or not. Within the movie, we learned about different forms of logical fallacies such as to ‘appeal to emotion’ meaning to manipulate an emotional response in place of a valid or compelling argument, as well as ‘special pleading’ which is to create exceptions to the case when the claim is showing itself to be false. I felt that these two logical fallacies were often used within the movie and it was interesting to experience how each one had a different effect within the argument. Lastly, one of the other things I enjoyed the most was speaking to the alumni who have previously been in our shoes. I felt they gave me really give me good advice about the IA, EE, TOK and class itself and how to manage my time properly and how sleep is vital to success in the IB program.
During the course of the retreat, I learnt that the most important trait to have during the DP is to persevere. Like any other major event in your life, there is only one time to get it right and make the most out of it. As cheesy as it sounds, the last two years of High School is not only the most important two years for our future lives but also the two years which we will remember for the rest of our lives. Therefore I feel that whether you are trying to understand a course’s content better, or attempting to make Division one of a sport, you will eventually end up successful with the trait of perseverance. Challenge does shape you as a person and you should face it right on right now if you want to grow.
‘If you cannot explain something to someone else, you do not know it.’
Within this statement, a few questions arise such as are there different extents of knowing? Are perceptions of knowing created by each individuals own experiences? What does it means to be ‘right’? Is it reasonable to suggest that people who disagree can also be right?
The Cambridge Online Dictionary states that the noun of the word ‘right’ is “what is considered to be morally good or acceptable”. To determine between what is morally good or bad, the perspectives would take in-account the individual’s morals and beliefs. What feels right to one party may not feel right to the other therefore the ‘who is right’ question comes in to play.
In an example scenario, Emily tells her mother she wants a pet poodle for her 8th birthday. Her argument states she wants a poodle because she thinks dogs are cute and all her friends have pets. However, her mother disagrees with her and argues back that raising puppies are time consuming and expensive. In this scenario, who is right and who is wrong? Or is the situation more complicated than that? So to what extent is the mother right in comparison to the daughter? Does this mean that the mother’s disagreement leads her to also being right within the argument?
In another scenario, I grabbed the first dictionary definition of the noun ‘right’ to feature on my task which happened to be Cambridge’s Online Dictionary definition. Was this definition the most certified of the word or would another be more suitable? What makes Cambridge’s definition more right than for example, Oxford’s one. Just because Oxford disagrees with Cambridge’s meaning and makes another one doesn’t mean their definition is more right or justified in comparison to Cambridge’s vice versa. When people choose a dictionary definition to represent their understanding of the word, they don’t factor in which definition is right and which is wrong but rather which one fits better within their understanding than the other.
In conclusion, I believe that to be right or wrong varies within a spectrum; it doesn’t fit within a clear cut black or white area. There is no definition to if both people are right, if one is right and the other is wrong or if both people are wrong; as all right and wrong have multiple extents determined through the context of the situation and the belief each individual obtains. Therefore it is reasonable and possible for a person who disagrees to also be right however the main argument does not circulate upon who is right and who is wrong but rather what justifies the person who’s argument is more right to be more right than the other.
This is a film created by four students regarding historical moments a family member of each student’s has experienced. The process of creating this film was very eye opening as it enabled me to better understand both the process of creating a film as well as the historical event my family member has experienced. The theme of the video was migration meaning that each interviewee was liable to migration somewhere in their life. I believe that the film did not only impact myself but also impacted my targeted audience (my peers) through their understanding of how the theme influenced the interviewees in the film. My group made the choice to address every single historical event which affected our interviewees such as the June 4th Incident and the fled of the CCP. I feel that with the context of these events, the audience now have a better understanding of the push and pull factors of migration and the liabilities that accompany the migration. Through listening to the stories, the audience now also have a better idea of what it feels like to be in their position and hence take empathy upon their situation.
Overall, I feel that without the interviewee’s participation in the film, the audience would not truly understand what migration is and how it feels like. Therefore I feel that with the addition of both the historical context provided pertain each historical event and the interviewee’s perspective on their personal circumstance, further extended the understanding of this topic for the target audience.
Primetime is an activity where members in my Canadian International School Community has the opportunity to participate in helping children in the Pre-Reception level and Reception level with their morning routines.
I have been coaching U14 girls and boys basic volleyball skills to broaden their understanding of volleyball as a sport as well as to inspire them and motivate them to participate in volleyball as an interest.
- How did you become more aware of your own strengths and areas for growth?
I became more aware of my own personal strengths and areas for growth by participating in the program Primetime and also coaching U14 volleyball kids. I was more aware of my strengths through these activities as they are activities that enjoyed participating in and chose because I had passion in them. I was more aware of my strengths and areas for growth through actively participating in collaborating with people. I learnt that a few of my strengths are interacting with people and also being organised however a weakness of mine was time management.
- How did you undertake challenges that developed new skills?
I developed new skills such as collaborating with peers that I am unfamiliar with as well as managing my time better through organising and managing events. An example of a challenge I faced was during PrimeTime when I had to organise the schedule for the volunteers so that there would be an even amount of volunteers participating every day and there would be volunteers participating daily. To solve this, I sent out a survey to ask the volunteers when they would be free so that I could collect data on each individual’s schedules and work around them to create the primetime schedule.
- How did you discuss, evaluate and plan student-initiated activities?
I initiated in the activity Primetime by speaking to Ms. Stewart, my schools counsellor about service I would be interested in and she recommended I join this activity. Instead of just participating and joining this activity, I reached out to my counsellor to find a service that I would be interested in.
- How did you persevere in action?
Like I mentioned above, when I faced a difficult situation such as the schedule in Primetime, I persevered in action and found a solution to solve the issue. I also persevered in action by forming initiative to participate in forms of service I had interest in and also would give back to my direct community in CDNIS.
- How did you work collaboratively with others?
As both Primetime and Coaching U14 kids how to play volleyball are very hands on activities that involve a lot of active participation, I learnt to work collaboratively alongside people that are younger than me and I learned to be more understanding of others and also to be more aware of how people younger than me act. I also planned the schedule of Primetime and I also coached U14 kids how to play volleyball by speaking and collaborating with my coaches on how to find new innovative methods to allowing the children to understand concepts.
- How did you develop international-mindedness through global engagement, multilingualism and intercultural understanding?
I developed international-mindedness through global engagement, multilingualism and intercultural understanding by participating and leading in these two forms of service. I was open minded to each child’s individuality and understood their perspectives and adapted to them to make them feel more engaged.
- How did you consider the ethical implications of your actions?
I considered my ethical implications by reflecting upon my actions and how I acted on that day. I always thought about what I could do better within the program when doing it or make it more enjoyable. For example during volleyball, when the students were performing one of the drills, I saw on their faces that they were quite bored therefore I arranged the drills to match their interests to make volleyball more enjoyable.