在我们的中文交流的单元，我的 ATL 技能不太好。There were a lot of problems with my ATL skills, particularly participation and self-management. In the classes, I didn’t participate as much as I believe I should have, and so some opportunities to learn more about the unit and the concept of communication were lost. This unit I also had a very poor record of completing homework, with many of my assignments being turned in late or incomplete for a very long time (such as this blog post, which is being completed almost three months late). Though I did not perform poorly on this unit’s assessments, a more consistent and responsible completion of my homework would have certainly given me a better understanding of how to complete the test efficiently and in a stronger format, because of the homework being designed specifically to do those things.
I will try to be persistent in overcoming these issues, as I am the main barrier preventing me from performing better in my Chinese classes and gaining a better understanding of the language.
第二个单元是 《多元化社会》。这个单元的探究说明是 “在多元化社会里，人们要以宽容的态度尊重不同民族和宗教特有的文化和传统”。我学到了一些关于少数民族的东西，比如人的文化，传统，外貌，和衣服。
我的少数民族报告挺不好的。这个报告是Crit C和Crit D考试。我觉得下次，我可以做更好。I scored a 5 in both criteria, which, according to my teacher, was very disappointing. I was anxious before my presentation because I knew that I had not been applying myself very much during the unit due to my feeling that most of the content was not very useful in practise. I hope that next time I feel more inclined to apply myself during regular lessons, and I believe that performing so poorly on one of this unit’s assessments may be the motivator I needed.
During my CAS week to Yangshuo this year, we had quite a service and new-experiences-orientated trip, doing a lot of things that I had never really wanted to do or had much interest in doing. Nevertheless, it was a beneficial trip to my character as I felt I have grown in many different areas. The caving for example, made me confront my mild claustrophobia, which gave me confidence in this area for the future. During our cooking-school activity, I realised that I actually am a surprisingly good cook, enjoying the activity as well. Perhaps I will consider becoming more learned in the subject.
During our service project of digging-up a trench to connect a local school to a water-source, and then covering the trench once the water-pipe had been inserted (in addition to re-painting much of the school’s buildings), the conditions were not too bad. It was hot and humid, with lots of bugs, but it was very much bearable as we could easily cool off and have frequent breaks, whilst still ensuring the project was completed on-time. We worked for about six hours each day, for two days. Our efficiency during the project was very good, and working collaboratively was very easy and effective being able to allocate people to work in different, physical locations. The task was completely finished after the two-day period, and our organisers said that we worked with more efficiency than they had anticipated. I believe I worked quite hard and I am happy to have been a part of the project, whilst I am also grateful for last year’s CAS trip to Sabah to desensitise me somewhat to manual labour in the heat.
A portable fan’s only target audience is the audience of people who need some sort of cooling mechanism that is mobile. It is not aimed at a specific age-group, gender, or interest. My (very messy) package is effective at reflecting the simplicity of the product, whilst also using minimal materials in order to reduce production costs of the already cheap item. Applying some mathematical knowledge helped me with the creation of the net and calculation of the nose-compartment’s placement, as I was able to achieve a deeper understanding of the space and proxemics involved. By visualising the assembly of the net I was also able to estimate where the locations of the fan’s blades would be, and cut holes out accordingly without sacrificing structural integrity. If I were to do this project again I would spend more time picturing how the net would assemble in practice, as some careless errors in the sketches resulted in set-backs and reduced efficiency overall, so when I encountered other problems like the shaping of the nose-compartment, I had less time to resolve the issue.
Through my research and investigation of package-designs I’ve learned a few things, including why it is important to create a secure package and a nice design for said package. Security in a package can benefit the manufacturing process, and an attractive design will compel customers to purchase the product. It is important to take into account the different techniques involved in creating an effective package, as these skills are important for marketing, economising, and the production of my own package as they could be implemented as necessary. Geometry in a package can be used creatively to lower one’s carbon foot-print and expenses by making shapes that would fulfil its intended purpose, but also use the minimal amount of materials. For example, in the Coca-Cola box shown above, there are triangular tabs on the fronts and backs of the box which keep the outer bottles secure, without using large amounts of cardboard.
What is the benefit of keeping a steady PULSE, and what strategies can you use to develop that skill?
Keeping a steady pulse makes it easier for the player to develop rhythm skills and play better within an ensemble, because once a pulse is created, following a rhythm requires only change in speed. To improve with this I could practice playing with a metronome, tapping my foot or just practicing a specific song so there are no awkward pauses in between notes, where I need to take time to read the notes on the page.
During this trip I became more aware of my strengths and weaknesses. In the first two days we had to do some intense service, that was absolutely exhausting. For both days we had to eight-and-a-half hours of cement-mixing in strong sunlight and over 40°C. Needless to say, my pasty white skin got sunburned very quickly. The first day after service was done, we spent 24 hours in a jungle — that began with a 5-hour hike uphill in the hottest temperatures I had ever experienced. There was also a limit to my water intake, which definitely didn’t help the situation. I learned that strenuous physical activity is definitely one of my weaknesses, which is partly due to my undeniable laziness and partly due to some health problems I have that supposedly make me far more sensitive to heat than others.
As for strengths, I don’t really think I learned any. I was able to accomplish things that I would have never dreamed of doing, but the only reason why I thought that was because I didn’t think I would ever be in the need to do something like mix 25 tonnes of cement or stay over-night in a rainforest and hammock, less than 3cm off the ground and with ants the size of my forearm. However, I will say that although I didn’t particularly enjoy this trip and I definitely wouldn’t consider going back, it was a very good experience for me and has helped me grow in a few areas, e.g. I stopped having a deathly fear of bugs, I was able to cope with extreme heat for 5 days, and I was also able to survive without being in a fully enclosed, indoor space for the duration of the trip.
Generally speaking, I am not great at music class — which is mildly odd, considering I’m pretty good at other aspects of music, like analysis or producing. To be honest I could have spent a lot more time practicing at home. I’d estimate that altogether this year, I have around 2 hours of total voluntary home practice. That is not sufficient.
Every time we’ve had a music theory test though, I’ve done surprisingly well. The first time getting 72%, and the second getting 82%. I exclusively understand very basic music theory, but I guess with just a little bit of outside preparation I was able to dramatically increase my score.
Throughout the year I think I have been a good inquirer. I was always trying to do research outside of school on different aspects of music (but generally theory) to ensure that I could do as well as possible on my different tests.
I also think I have been a good reflector. Whilst this may not have been so evident in my blog reflections, I was constantly reflecting to myself to see what I could improve myself on, in order to improve the way I would perform in class.