welcome to my blog!

SMART GOAL

For Chinese, I have managed to achieve my goal to an extent but could always make some more room for some improvement. On one hand I have improved my Chinese reading and writing character skills, however, I know that there are still more out there to learn so if I keep on practising and learning new words I can keep on expanding my goal!

Service As Action – Cooking for a cause and Respect

When stepping into this process of taking action, I wanted a to choose a need of help group to help. I took a great interest in issues of refugees in Hong Kong and I wanted to see how I could improve their lives. In order to do this, I took action based on a question I wanted to research and investigate.

My research question was to see what extent could we improve refugees future lifestyles in Hong Kong?
The relevance of this question is that this year 14,000 asylum seekers have entered Hong Kong but with The current refugee acceptance rate as low as 0.6 percent, whereas in Europe it can be as high as 75%, It is clear that Hong Kong government does not welcome or support refugees. , us as citizens of this community should be more aware of this issue and strive to take action to add to our community thus improving the quality of life for these refugees and our own understanding of this issue. This is why I choose this community to help.

I did some research on refugee’s current lifestyles, to find small issues they currently face. A news article from the Times magazine mentioned how asylum seekers cannot work and the government only substance them with a small amount of money of $190 and $150 in rental and food allowances, thus forcing them to survive with just over 10 dollars a day!

The South China morning post reported that it is very difficult for refugee kids to have access to proper education because many public schools in Hong Kong reject them due to their race or because their parents can’t get them a birth certificate or passport.

I felt we could help them achieve a better future by resolving these basic problems in their life. Example, providing free food for them so they can make better use of their money given, or teaching young refugees, to give them a better education and a better shot in life. Thus putting them on a better path to a better future.

In order to take my action, I joined two organisations. Christian action and the Refugee union which I will talk more about later. During one of the cookouts, I talked to a refugee who gave me some insight. Firstly, he explained the common misconception people have between migrants, refugees and asylum seekers. Migrants choose to move, yet refugees are forced to flee unless they want to face armed conflict or persecution, Asylum seekers are people who left their country, applied for refugee status and is still waiting to be approved. This guy was an asylum seeker, he told his story, about how he fled Afghanistan, and I was surprised as he sounded rather educated, then he told me he uses to be a lawyer but was forced to flee and lost his job and everything he built for himself. I learnt just because a person now is a refugee doesn’t mean they didn’t live a normal life before. He told me about the 5 basic factors that force a person to leave; social, ethnic, appearance (race), political and nationality. I also learned in another interview with a refugee mom that because money is so precious to them, they can’t afford to even lose money for transportation to take their children to these free volunteer education sessions. Therefore, those organisations, would have to support and pay for their taxi rides there.

Some challenges I faced during research, was often the Hong Kong government would be very conservative on this issue. This is why many Non-government organisations, like the Hong Kong Committee on Children’s Rights, accuse the government of withholding such information. As The government never releases the numbers of how many refugee children are accepted or rejected by those public schools, despite countless ignored applications. Thus, not allowing the public a clear picture of this issue. I’ve managed to overcome this issue though, by doing primary research and interviewing those refugees. Also by observing how these volunteer programs work, to learn more about their issues.

The action I have taken was by joining Christian action, for which we cook meals in Chung King Mansion for refugees. And also the Refugee union in Sai Ying Pun, in which we interact and teach refugee children. I joined Christian action as by cooking for them tackles a basic life necessity, so they can focus on more important things, and the refugee union so I can share some of my understanding to teach these kids for a better future. You can see in my action plan that I will be continuing this service till the end of next year, and I did some calculations that If I approxilmily do the cooking once per month and the tutoring once every week. By the end of the year, I will have done my service action 51 times.

Here is how I have met the 7 service action learner outcomes:
One, I found I was really good at explaining complex concepts to young children, as I was good at breaking it down to familiar ways they’d understand. For example by drawing pictures to visually illustrate what I was teaching or by using hand gestures. An area of growth would be executing this more efficiently as drawing can take time, thus making them learn slower.

Two, it was challenging keeping the kids under control, since sometimes they didn’t see the importance in learning that their parents saw, and wouldn’t concentrate. I developed the skills of learning how to motivate them. For example, I would say that if they finished the last question I would give them candy or we could play a fun game. Part of this is understanding the perspective of the kids and what they want.

Three, We were given a lesson plan to teach them, but how we taught it, was up to us. As I got familiar with the kids I would understand which teaching method to use on each kid, and evaluate how I could do better next time.

Four, for cooking at first I would always sometimes make mistakes. example, cutting the potatoes wrong, but instead of giving up, I’d persevere and ask for help from a peer and learn not to make the same mistakes next time.

Five, in the kitchen we’d always work collaboratively with each other, as cooking isn’t a one-man job. This way we were able to be very efficient and have the meals prepared in time

Six, A lot of the times the kids I was teaching wouldn’t understand English as it wasn’t their first language. Therefore, it was important I develop good relationships, and had effective nonverbal communication, with visuals and body language, so they could understand what I was teaching and I’d seem kind and trusting to listen to.

Seven, when cooking we would consider the environmental waste we would be distributing. Therefore we would always try to reduce uses of plastic bags, not leave the tap running and request the refugees bring their own lunch boxes for meals so we wouldn’t have to waste paper plates.

In conclusion, everyone has the ability to make a change. Just through these two forms of service actions, I’ve learned how I could improve the future lives of these refugees, and you could too, as long as you persevere and take action to build a better community for everyone!

Chinese blog post unit 2

Personally, although a lot of the topics we learned this unit was some once learned before, I still felt I gained a lot of knowledge about those communicational methods in Chinese terms, and leaning to communicating it in Chinese and display it or understand it in different forms. However, although I felt like I was able to understand and gain a lot of knowledge about our unit. I didn’t feel the format methods used to do the testing or homework, displayed my full understanding to the best.

A lot of the tests given throughout the unit, although not intended, required my hand to physically write the Chinese characters to answer the questions, when the original point of the test was to test my understanding of listening Although I knew what I wanted to say and the points I’d like to answer, being made to write it with my handmade it difficult, therefore, not enabling me to demonstrate the knowledge I’ve learned. To improve this aspect I would suggest using digital methods as we are not limited in the ways we can demonstrate our knowledge such as using ping young where we’d still have to recognise the characters, or through voice recording. Another method of testing I would have found more effective would be having more summative that were take-home projects, instead of being limited to a time constraint in a classroom, as everyone working habits are different, and some people are actually able to demonstrate and show their understanding when the situation isn’t in an olden test format but instead a take-home project or investigation that could help determine a grade. A formative assignment I thought worked with this certain “type” of test form I’d like to counter doing, was our personal inquiry about a place in China. In this project I felt allowed me to take the initiative to research about something I was actually inerting in, and formulate my own opinions on it as I analyzed it, then choose the form of presenting I felt was most suitable for me, matching the IB methods.

Building a Brand – Desgin Ad Unit Reflection

I used to think the process of making an ad was easy, that too much planning wasn’t required, and that you could just think of a basic idea and go out and film it. I also use to think the main importance of and was just an interesting storyline that will capture the audience’s attention. However, now I know this is not so. The important part of making an ad is the entire process and all the storyboarding and planning as well as research that goes into it. Gathering information on what your target audience wants or desires beforehand is key. Example, knowing which colours attract them, or songs that are catchy to them. Therefore, to design it for them. Another importance I found is what I learned about camera angling. The camera perspective and filming aspect is just as important as the storyline and planning The camera is the perspective we receive the commercial in, I’ve learned how having a low shot, for example, makes a child makes them seem more powerful and such, and also how the coloring of a clip  and effects of the visuals can affect the emotions it delivers to the audience.  Such as bright colourful clips seem happier compared to black and white clips. I used tips like this to my advantage when editing, such as the beginning where I mixed a clip of the colour and a clip of black and white together. Although we made this ad for ourselves, the final product was indeed is design for an audience, and therefore should be designed for that target audience. Overall though, I’ve learned the importance of the concept of ad-making, filming, editing concepts and the process and research knowledge of this all.

Hainan CAS Reflection

It has come to the end of our CAS Week trip to Hainan. Personally, I found this trip very enjoyable. My highlight activity of the trip was surfing because I’ve already done some surfing before and doing it again was fun. I was also able to improve on it and build on my water sports skills. The second activity I really enjoyed would be raft building, I like this activity as we got to tie knots and use our knot tying skills which I liked, we also got to create our own draft and have our own race on the water.Although one part of our raft kinda fell apart in the water, it was still an experience and fun activity.

Service and more globally interacted wise, although, in Hainan as the first and new trip of this year, we didn’t’ really have a service component. However, there were still some things as a citizen you can by yourself to be more solely aware. On the first day of my trip while having to do a pre-trip entry I decided to cross out all the questions there and build the travel journal myself. I decided to choose a question I wanted to inquire during my time on the trip and I made the research question of “Are the children in Hainan that different from us nonetheless of coming from different environment and culture background.” Some parts I considered on how to identify the similarities between us although we had some differences such as our origins, religion, social groups, race, political beliefs.  There were other similarities between us that aren’t always that obvious such as the games we play, or the way they interact with each other. The way I was able to identify and analyse these differences was by observing during the trip. Each day I would document a key moment in my pre-trip journal about the children that I saw while in the local areas of Hainan.

In the end, I came to the conclusion that although they were certainly some differences between the local children of Hainan as well as us I was able to see some similarities that maybe I wouldn’t have thought of before. At the end of the trip, my perspective was also changed on how much exposure we got to the Hainan culture and local community, as at the start of the trip I felt that there wouldn’t be as much interaction between us and the local community since we were mainly staying in a hotel then going directly to the activity resort. However, at the end of the trip, I realised maybe we did get some interaction with the local community and culture. During our walks to the restaurant or stays in the area, I was able to see some of the local kids and see how they interacted/reacted or works with each other and through all that I was able to answer my research question building my own purpose for the Hainan trip.

Waste not want final Design post!

It has come to a end of our Grade 8 Design cycle 2. Here is a photo of my final design box…

Screen Shot 2017-04-05 at 6.24.33 PM

My target audience that will use this box (purchase this product) is teens or young adults (mostly any age as it a quite natural and timeless design). Therefore, I made the aesthetics of the box very flashy and bold to catch their eye as well as include all the CARP elements to make it look very appealing. I also considered a meaning and symbolism in the aesthetics while I drew it, the example I drew the colour bird to hold our CDNIS logo up high as this showed our school’s mission statement of always aiming to achieve excellence. Other than the aesthetics of this box, it is also very effective for my target audience as it is very accessible. This required some math thinking, Often sunglasses are something people have to access in a rush as they are outdoors in the sun. Therefore, customers need to be able to easily stick their fingers in to take out the sunglasses. Therefore, I made the length of my equilateral triangle box 19cm instead of 15cm (which was the original length of my sunglasses) adding an extra 4cm as this would give customers more room for their fingers to slide in when they tried to remove the sunglasses. Thus, making my box more accessible customers.

This box was also designed to sustain the lifespan of the product for a long time, thus letting the customer keep it for a longer use making it more high quality. The shape of the box is a triangular prism so the customers can take out and put back their sunglasses without having to fold the temples making it again more accessible and be less time to consume to take out. This will also make the sunglasses have a longer lifespan as they wouldn’t have to bend the hinges to place the sunglasses in the box. Thus, making the screws not loosen up over time or get worn out, giving their sunglasses a longer lifespan and better use.

I have also considered the transportation (way customer will receive their product) through the shape and security/strength of my box(triangular prism). A triangle is the strongest shape due to the rigidity of its sides, which allows it to transfer force more evenly through its sides than other shapes. This would be an effective way as I could transport a larger mass/number of these products/boxes and pack more in a truck for transportation keeping them secure and safe from being crushed. Allowing me to sell a mass amount of product thus earning a high profit in a profitable way compared to the retail price of transporation and manaactoring.

I think the disciplinary was important to be used to make sure all my calulations and measurements to the results were precise. Therefore, my final box result would turn out exactly predicted and would fit the product. I feel a disciplinary approach is important with mesurements as you have to be precise with that. Howver, an intterdisciplinary approach would be better with the creative side of the design such as the aesthetcs as over time you might discover new things that worked better than others allowing you to be more flexible and open-minded to new ideas and possibilities.

If I was ablee to redo this projiect I might think of some other complicated shapes I cold have to combine togather or use to make my box look more complicated and interesting. Through that, I may also find another way to reduce the wasted volume and surface area through the change of shape and way the sunglasses are position inside, thus bringing me closer to my goal of creating a box that is rather environmental. Overall though, this was an intersting project that I highly enjoyed, and next time I find a packageing in a store I will definatly pay attention and notice to how it was designed and how much of an impact it will have on us and the world around us.

 

Waste not, Want not

This was our 2nd Design day of Grade 8, the task we are studying is making boxes for an object. We got to learn about the importance when making a box and even got to create our own box. This is the one I made…Screen Shot 2017-02-28 at 10.15.39 AM

I was able to make this without using any adhesives, I did this by folding paper over each other until it was a frustum shape. After creating this we thought of possible ways we could improve our design and I thought of perhaps a design with a sturdy base with a cylinder lid and base would be better as then it could balance on a flat surface and wouldn’t tip over while still using the least amount of material being environmental and economical. I did more research and thought of another design option would be If I just changed the whole box to be a cuboid, that would allow it to be transported/placed on 6 sides as well as being easy store. However, after thinking it over looking at different shaped boxes, I came across the hemisphere would be the best design as the object, in this case, was a muffin and a hemisphere box shape fits perfectly over this, while still being environmental and economical (as hemisphere has a small surface area). However, due to the given material of paper, this shaped box would be harder to construct.

After that, we looked at some existing boxes. I looked at the box of an iPad Air.boxScreen Shot 2017-02-28 at 11.13.46 AM

I analyzed it and found how modernly designed this was boxed to look, and even the inside was made to hold the items inside. However, I found there were some environmental problems with it. The plastic inside was made out of a specific type of plastic which is “recycle”. However, this is only “recycled” if anyone physically brings it to one of those recycle places where they can remake it into something new. If not it would not be unable to decompose itself thus not working to its environmental friendly purpose. I also discovered that although the width and length were designed to fit perfectly on the iPad product, the height wasn’t. I thought of some changes I could make (refer to my design journal for more detail.) which would be if they took out plastic mold and redesign the added devices (such as plug, by folding in the metal stick outs) This would reduce both the height of the box thus using less material making the box more economical and environmental. These findings will help me build a better box as it will  make me think about how the box-sizing (surface area and volume) can affect how environmentally friendly and economical it is. To help reduce your carbon footprint we can think of ways to limit the surface area of an object using different shapes/tabs and maybe even cut out windows, thus using less material while displaying the containg objiects. I can also consider the materials I”m using and weather it is the best. In addition, I can also consider the objiect the box is suppose to be containing and weather the box should be design to be reused and store the objiect again (example Jenga block box) or if it only has a one time use where the objiect isn’t put back (example shoe box).

Final iBook design changes made

 

Process Journal Question #1 (Music)

In music class we had to perform song #57, we then got some feedback later on about it.  Mine said, “What are the benefits of having good BREATH SUPPORT, and what can you do to develop it?” This means I should work on my breath support while playing the flute, as right now it isn’t very good, which causes me to take quick breaths between every other note, which isn’t good when trying to hold a long note or continuous beat. A way I could improve this is by going through my note scales, and holding each note as I go as long as possible. This will help me build up my stomach muscles thus allowing me to hold my breath longer allowing me to have more control over my breath support  while playing.

Canadian railroad track

click &-HERE-&

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