Halfway through grade 11, I watched a video taken in a factory farm. This made me question the ethics of consuming meat. I realized that I had been causing animals to suffer abuse and get murdered for my own diet. I started to think it was unethical for me to keep eating meat when I claimed to like animals and would never hurt one. I began to think that animals don’t want to be killed for food or live their lives in a farm/ confined factory. I decided to eliminate meat and animal products from my diet. Getting my parents to accept a change in diet, however, was quite difficult. The culture which I and my parents grew up in had allowed us to believe that killing animals was not a bad thing to do if it benefited ourselves. I had to convince them that I strongly believed that killing animals was wrong and that I didn’t want to continue eating animal products. Since then I have not consumed and animal products. However, I still find it difficult to have such a large dietary restriction.
When I joined the softball team I joined because I wanted to be an infielder. I wanted to be in the infield to be involved in getting runners out. However, a lot of the players on the team were much more agile and faster at running. This made them much better at catching grounders and running to bases. Thus making them better infielders than me. At tryouts for the softball team, you had to either tryout to be an infielder or outfielder. Because it was my first time playing softball I didn’t understand that there were other players who were better at infielding than me so I tried out with the infielders’s group. However, my friend who had been laying softball for a few years explained to me that I should try out instead as an outfielder as I would be more likely to get a starting position. Thus I realized I could make a much better contribution to the team as an outfielder. With that advice, I went down to a field nearby with my dad and practice catching pop flys. Then I tried out as an infielder. I feel as though it made me much more useful to the team and fit my skill set better.
When one of my friends joined a refugee coaching group, I realized I wanted to join. I’ve had very little experience in teaching/ being around, young children. I was quite afraid of whether or not I would be able to control younger kids. I decided I would go and try one week. The children are between the age of 5-15 and our job was to lead them through fun activities. I had no problem talking to and guiding the older kids. However, I had serious issues keeping the attention of the younger kids. Many of them would start to get distracted and run away or not partake in the games. I really struggled with kids getting distracted during the first session. I would ask them to pay attention, but that never worked. During the next session, I watched how the founder of the charity interacted with the kids. I noticed that she would attempt to get children interested in the game by making it sound really fun through talking about it in a very excited voice and decribing the game to make it sound really fun. SHe said things like “its the best game ever, I love the game” and other phrases to captivate the children’s attention. I worked on trying to convince the children to join the games the same way that she did. After a few sessions, I got quite good at interacting with the children.
Joining the basketball as a senior I realized that I was lacking many of the skills that other teammates and our opponents had. I found that as much practice I put in during training in drills and fitness I still lacked basic fundamentals. I’m not good at shooting or handling the ball. I realized that I wouldn’t be able to make the team unless I started practicing on my own. Twelve months before the season began I made a plan to practice twice a week at school in the morning to work on basic skills. At a pre-season training, I talked to the coach of the team and asked her what skills I could work on. She helped me to clarify what areas of basketball I would work on to help contribute to the team. I googled to find drills to address the areas that I lacked. I also went to youtube to find shooting techniques and pointers. Any drill that we worked on in preseason practice that I struggled with I practiced on my own in the mornings before school. One of the main things I worked on was long distant shooting. However, once I played my first game I realized that my speed in the game was not fast enough to get open to shoot long distance shots. After that, I changed my morning routine and began focusing on close distance shots and layups around the net.
This year I wanted to develop a new skill of being able to play softball/ baseball at a competitive level. In order to achieve this I practice catching/ throwing and hitting softballs the months leading up to the school softball team tryouts. By joining the team I hoped to not only learn how to play the games but also develop skills. I was able to play at a competitive level at SEASAC and learn a lot about the game.
Because of a strong passion for environmentally sustainability and plants I started a project called aquaponics at CDNIS.
I began by researching how large scale systems are built. While I was in the Chicago over the summer I visited the University of Loyola which has a large aquaponics system which helped me to understand how to build large scale systems. Collaborating with teachers and students we made a basic plan of what the physical structure of a system would be and all the electronic components that would be required to monitor the system. After designing this plan I submitted a proposal to the upper school principal to try and get a project to build the system at school.
I wanted to create a website that synthesis sports scores from a variety of leagues that would notify and help sports fans follow various sports that they follow. I began by figuring out how to read sports data from the internet. I quickly discovered that its impossible to read sports scores without using an API from a third party. With Dean (partner in creating the website) I researched how to read the API data. Then we learned how to convert API data into javacsript numbers that could be posted by HTML into websites. We went through a variety of problems. First, we realised that we would have to learn a whole new language PHP in order to read the data. Second, we discovered that we would need a third party to store data from the API.After addressing these two problems we built and HTML page that could synthesise and post all of the scores. In order to plan what the web page would look like we drew out diagrams of the website and various pages on it on paper to fully plan it would look like before we built the site.