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Welcome to another year of learning on my iFolio, a webspace where I will blog about my learning, community and service, and any other interesting things that pop up.

I’ll also share work, achievements and my developments towards my ATLs (Approaches to Learning.)


Header image by Taisyia K. Give their art some love!

Knowledge and Explaining – TOK

With reference to the class activity today about knowing and explaining, in what ways might it be reasonable to suggest that people who disagree can both be right?

Having conflicting opinions regarding the same issue doesn’t make the two people wrong. The question of right and wrong is based on the judger’s perception and opinion of the situation; in the eyes of the two disagreeing people each is right in their own eyes. For example, a book is held up in between two people. One side of the cover is black, the other is white. When asked what colour the cover is, one person will say black, and the other will say white. They will disagree with each other because their perception of the colour is different, depending on where they stand. But they are both right, because the cover is both black and white. Another example of this is with regards to a person or individual. Person A may be laid back and carefree with some, but closed off and introverted with others. Thus, these two people will have a completely different image of Person A in their minds, and could disagree about what kind of personality Person A had.

I believe that “being right” depends largely on one’s perspective and position in a certain situation, as evidenced by the hypothetical scenarios above. While there are some things that cannot be debated, like the fact that humans need oxygen to live, other things are more debatable. For this reason, the question of right or wrong falls into the ambiguous grey area of subjectivity. Different people will be able to argue whether they are right or wrong simply based on what they believe in their heart is correct.


Service as Action

My service as action this year has continued to build and develop on the activities I have previously taken part in, with some new experiences as well. I was a part of Applause For a Cause this year, a one night event comprising of various hit musical numbers, with all tickets from proceeds going towards a charity called Worldwide Action, helping to fund relief for people who were impacted by the Nepal earthquake. The proceeds from this performance ultimately helped to build two classrooms for children in Nepal whose classrooms were destroyed by the earthquake. This was a challenge, as my fellow cast members and I had a very short time (a few weeks at most) to put together this performance. I had to develop time management skills in order to learn all the parts necessary to perform at a high standard. We had to work collaboratively in order to ensure the choreography, vocals etc. were up to the usual standard set by productions at this school, showing commitment and organisation to a cause we were passionate about.

When rehearsing, I had to consider the ethics of the performance and be sure to perform to the best of my ability, because this performance could potentially impact others around the world. It wouldn’t be ethical to only perform for the sake of saying that I had, however I performed for the ethical reason of benefitting others, because I am passionate about global education for others.


As part of The Reading Tree, a club in which I am a leader in at school, I also participated in various reading sessions both with younger members of our school community, and with local children outside of school through and organisation called Kids4Kids. These sessions are all led and created by members of our club, some of which I helped to plan. The aim of the sessions both inside and outside school is to foster a positive relationship between the children and learning English from a young age. Throughout my interactions with younger students, I realise one of my strengths is being able to communicate with a variety of levels of English speakers. One of the areas I need to work on is coming up with different strategies to deal with students who may not be that enthusiastic to learn.

As part of inGINeuity week, showcasing different Global Issues Network clubs at our school, I was a part of organising a student-led reading session in the forum with children from the Lower School in order to show other members of the Upper School community what our club does. This involved developing lesson plans for the 40 minute session as well as games to play with the kids.

Throughout some of the sessions with local children, I had to employ language skills so the children would understand what we were saying and be able to complete further activities in English.029IMG_2683


IMG_6436I developed intercultural understanding through this year’s trip to CAS, where I went to India. We visited many different cultural sites and villages, which increased global engagement as we were interacting with an environment that we hadn’t experienced before. We went to an orphanage for children whose parents had passed away or were unable to take care of them due to various preventable illnesses in the area. This made me think about how fortunate most of us are to be able to have both parents still surviving, and what shocked me was that it was a cultural norm for the people in that area to have so many community members pass away from preventable diseases. This is a stark difference between our own culture here, where we have access to good quality medicine.IMG_6683IMG_7988

Inter[sections] Final Design Reflection

生意: Walks of Life from Eloise F on Vimeo.

Above is the link to our final design documentary for this Inter[sections] project, called Walks of Life (or 生意). As this is the final unit I will do in MYP Design, it is only fitting that I include an evaluation of whether the film we created achieved the purpose of raising the audience’s knowledge of how our event influenced the central characters.

Our audience for this project was our fellow peers in History class, and the event that connected the three individuals in our documentary were some of the Banking Ordinances passed in Hong Kong by Murray MacLehose. As detailed in the film, these laws allowed our relatives to establish successful businesses, some of which are still around today, in order to overcome the situations of economic hardship they were in at the time.

The interviews conducted in this film, of three individuals providing a variety of perspectives  on hardships experienced as well as the construction of businesses, helps to inform the audience of the various differences between their past and present lives. There is backstory from each individual into the hardships that they have experienced, then a focus on the uphill climb towards building a business, and the challenges they encountered along the way. This myriad of components of their lives definitely showcases to the audience the profound impact starting a business had on the individuals, shaping them as people today.

Not only do we include how overcoming these challenges impact the individuals, but in the film we also reflect on the implications the success of our relatives has on who we are as individuals today. If they hadn’t been as successful as they were, our parents would not have been able to have the life they had, and may not have been able to give birth to us, which would severely alter the events of our lifetime.

To enhance our audience’s understanding of how the characters were impacted, we included translations from Cantonese into English subtitles, as well as overlaid the audio with colourful, relevant and eye-catching B-roll footage to complement what was being said, making the overall film experience more vivid and memorable. This is an excellent example of how elements of design came into play with helping the audience understand a historical context.

The ultimate combination of historical information and perspectives with the design elements used in our film meant the information we delivered was not only useful, but successful in communicating our message.

Reflection on Heartbeats – Design Goal Setting

One significant improvement I could make, based on the last design project, would be to set more concrete deadlines for my Crit C project timeline (ie. the Gantt chart as well as the table within Evernote.) This is because I feel I could have managed my time more effectively when completing deadlines for the project. Often, a lot of my deadlines were not met due to unforeseen circumstances, such as having to use an extra class for planning and refining my design, rather than getting straight into construction of my model as I had planned. In order to combat this, I need to make sure I set more realistic deadlines for completion in Crit C, especially since this is a large scale project. In order to measure the effectiveness of my time management during the creating stage, I will make sure to maintain a consistent action plan and write about challenges I have faced within the ‘notes’ column of this plan. Although time management is needed throughout this entire project, I will know if my management has been effective if I submit the final project on time.

Healthy Habits, Week 1 – A Disruption

It was very difficult for me to follow my healthy habits goals this week due to a disruption – I got sick!

Healthy Habits Wk 1 Medicine

#fitness – While I did have swimming training on Monday, the two other days where I had exercise lined up (Thursday, Friday, netball and swimming respectively), I was unable to attend because of my illness.

#food – When you are sick, it is important to eat the right foods to help your immune system fight off the illness and so your body can recover. I did manage to eat fruits such as grapes and strawberries to replenish my body with energy, water and healthy vitamins. Healthy Habits Wk 1 - FoodMy other meals were not as healthy, however. Because processed carbohydrates such as white bread/plain crackers are very low in fibre/most nutritional value, it is a good food to have when you are sick, even though it wouldn’t be the healthiest thing to eat on a regular basis. I had a lot of these types of foods when I was sick. I added some light olive oil spread to the bread instead of butter.

Healthy Habits Wk 1 Olive Healthy Habits Wk 1 Baguette
One of the most important things when you are sick is to make sure you are drinking enough fluids. I drank a lot of water as well as both bottles of ‘Lemon Crush’ lemon juice pictured in the photo (diluted, of course). It is best to drink clear fluids when you are sick. Here is a snapshot of the nutritional label.

Healthy Habits Wk 1 Juice

#sleep – Funnily enough, I did manage to meet my sleep goal of 8 hours of sleep at least three times a week because two out of the three of those nights I went to bed much earlier than usual so I would get better quickly.

Heart Valve – Final Prototype

I’ve finally completed my artificial heart valve design. Please click the image below to see a video explaining my valve and changes I made to it.

Heart valves are a very important part of our bodies that we often don’t think much about. They prevent blood from flowing backwards into the previous heart chamber, which can be very dangerous. When a heart valve stops working, doctors and biochemical engineers need to come up with a solution.

Even though we haven’t come up with a heart valve that can actually be used in ‘real life’, this is a good investigation into understanding how our bodies work and things we may take for granted.

Heart to Heart – Design Day Term 1

Key Takeaways

Designing and creating something so complicated as a replacement for a crucial part of the human body requires interdisciplinary knowledge and application. For instance, knowledge about biology and mammalian heart valves wouldn’t be sufficient to complete a functioning artificial valve, physics/biochemical engineering is also needed to determine what sort of materials to use, how to make sure the valve will be able to function at 100% safely inside the body for the remainder of the person’s life, how to prevent the back-flow of blood etc…

If I Could Do It All Again

Saying “I wouldn’t have picked our design” seems like the logical answer to this question, but in reality our failure was a great contributor to how I will approach this project. Because this design failed, I now know to steer away from prototypes that resemble/rely on the same concepts as that design, thereby saving myself much work by having to re-do a prototype that didn’t work.

I used to think people came up with ideas to solve problems in the shower, or startled from their sleep in the middle of the night. I now know that hours, days, months, years of planning, brainstorming, testing and failure goes into some of the most every day things we see in our lives, that we take for granted.

What elements worked in the first prototype?

Our first prototype wasn’t a success at all- we didn’t even get to test it with the water. We combined the ideas of a few group members to create a prototype that had common ground – using a toilet paper roll, our idea was to attach two pieces of cardboard (cut to fit the tube) to a piece of string, and to mimic the opening and closing of the valve, move the string (along with the cardboard flaps) up and down.

First Prototype

Service – Past, Present, Future

I have had several community service contributions since the beginning of Upper School (see the ‘Service and Action’ tab under ‘MYP’). There are other contributions which I have yet to document here, including the service done during my CAS trip to Vietnam in November of 2015.




I have also been a member of the Digital Ambassadors for three years now and this year I also participated in the Photography Team. Although these are individual acts of service, I would like to aim for service that is long term as it shows greater commitment and also allows me to develop more as a student over time.

Ever since I first went on a trip to Crossroads in G6, I have always wanted to volunteer and do work there. I have applied as a volunteer for Crossroads and will hopefully be able to provide service there at least once a week, until the end of the year and through summer. Crossroads is an international NGO that works to provide relief for those in need, shipping household appliances, clothes, and basic necessities such as food around the world, particularly in areas of conflict or recovering from natural disasters.


Empire of the Sun – Final Design Reflection

After an extensive month or so of working, here is my final constructed piece, a graphic novelisation of a few pages of Empire of the Sun.

Design Final

One thing I learned during this project was how to use Adobe Illustrator. I’ve really only worked with Photoshop before so it was interesting to use another very powerful tool to do different things. I also learned that there is no ‘better’ tool. Although I still prefer Photoshop, the task was to do it using Illustrator, so one challenge was finding a balance between using Illustrator and using Photoshop in order to create a final, polished piece.

This final work shows how powerful technology really is – how it can help to emphasise the impact of an already powerful image. Normally, this would take a lot longer if I were to complete it entirely on paper, with re-drafting and doing some of the effects you see above. However because I had the appropriate technology available, this allowed me to produce an even more effective piece – and to get my message across in the same amount of time.

A lot of the time we are very focused on language and how to communicate using that. Although I agree that words can be powerful, sometimes we forget that visuals are also a form of language. Some of the subtlest things can only be picked up from someone’s visual appearance, some things that may not be said out loud but still have meaning behind it. As most humans are quite visual learners, having an image allows an audience to greater experience and imagine more effectively an idea or message the artist is trying to convey. This way, the message will be communicated with even more force than before. Another amazing thing about images is that they are ususally quite open to interpretation. Images draw on the audience’s own personal experiences, emotions etc. to allow them to put themselves in a situation with greater clarity. With words, sometimes there are restraints and pre-conceived biases. Images are far more personal.

As always with my Design projects, time management was again an issue (although not as big of an issue as with previous projects.) I found Criteria B (the mockup/drafting stage) the hardest to complete, because that was where the bulk of the work had to be done. For the creating stage, Criteria C, we could simply draw from the ideas already created in Criteria B. Illustrator was a new tool to me, and to some extent it still is – I had to figure out how to manipulate it to give me the results I wanted, including learning keyboard shortcuts and trawling through help forums to help me get the information I needed.

During this project, I think my sense of time was a bit warped. If I were to do it again, I would start brainstorming ideas for a final product much sooner than I did. I found myself scrambling for ways to communicate what I wanted to say, and although I am still pleased with my final solution the things I produce never seem to work out quite the way I want them to. With more planning, I might be able to achieve the results I want.

Graphic Novel Creation – Design Day Introduction

Today we had our introduction into one of our assessments this year – to take a scene from the historical fiction novel Empire of the Sun, and turn it into a series of graphic novel panels. For this project, we will be using Adobe Illustrator to create digitised panels.

At first, I had many concerns – the first of which being I am not very comfortable with Illustrator. I do have a drawing tablet and I do draw on my computer using this tablet, however I mostly use the ‘Paint’ workspace that Photoshop provides. One of the first tasks of the day was to practice using the Pen tool within Illustrator. We had several templates to practice on given to us, especially with curves, as it takes some time to get used to this. Below is a screenshot of one of the exercises.

Screen Shot 2015-11-02 at 1.30.55 pm

I found some of the other activities very challenging, however, and it wasn’t until I asked Mr Rahman if we were required to use the Pen tool for all the parts of our comic until I learned that in fact, this was not required. Just like in Photoshop, there is a Brush tool that can be used (in conjunction with a tablet) to draw human figures rather than spend ages with the pen tool trying to get the right curve angle. I also found out that we will be provided with brushes that we can alter the flow and pressure sensitivity of, which means creating the comic in Illustrator will be rather similar to drawing in Photoshop.

We also created a ‘KWL’ mind map and a table to better help begin our Criterion A investigation. KWL stands for Know, Want to Know, and Learn. This format helps me organise my thoughts so I can see what I need to further investigate (and I can then document my findings).

Screen Shot 2015-11-02 at 10.14.25 am

As you can see, most of my questions are regarding the Photoshop vs. Illustrator difference.

Below is a screenshot of a very simple, basic doodle using the default ‘rough’ Brush tool and the computer trackpad (not, as you may have noticed, pressure sensitive).

Screen Shot 2015-11-02 at 1.30.34 pm

My current assignment is to do research about the questions in the mind map above, as well as some others such as

What are the features/conventions of a commercially published graphic novel?
What are the literature and language requirements of the task (how will we be assessed in English?)

Overall, I would have to say today was the most productive Design Day I have ever participated in, as I managed to complete the set tasks in the given amount of time instead of fooling around and waiting to complete them at home. I’m also excited to see what transferring something written into visual images will be like, and how my drawing style/vision will be transferred to the digital screen.

Population Statistics With Gapminder

Category: Environment

Indicator: Total water withdrawal (billion cu metres)

Describe one of the correlations or lack of that you discussed with your group

There doesn’t appear to be any relationship between income per person and total water withdrawal.

Suggest reasons for the correlation with some reference as to why it might be strong or weak.

 Just because a country is rich doesn’t mean they will withdraw large amounts of water – rather, it all depends on size of the country and population as to how much water is required to sustain the country.

If there are any anomalies in your data on the graph suggest why this may be the case.

The total withdrawal amount isn’t related to the country’s income per person – China and India are not in the middle of the scale but have the largest withdrawal amounts.

Play around with Gapminder here – you can adjust both the X and Y axis.

 Screen Shot 2015-08-28 at 3.27.59 pm