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Reflection on my Grade 10 journey

Grade 10 has been a really enriching in terms of academics, service and activities. It was supposed to be the year that I give my IGCSE exams so this year I spent two hours every day on schoolwork and exam preparation but, due to unfortunate circumstances, I could not give my IGCSE exams so I feel like this year was a great learning opportunity for me. In various aspects, I learned about myself as well as the environment around me. Though I did not end up taking the IGCSE exams, I was able to benefit from a variety of new thing that I learned in class as well as old things that I refreshed upon.  The biggest problem for me was time management and I overcame this over time. I looked at the problem and tried various methods in order to not procrastinate and manage time wisely.  Though Grade 10  has been an uneven journey, I can say that it was a positive learning experience and I learned from the mistakes that I made.  Throughout my IGCSE journey, I did service and GC. The service that I did was ‘Urban Gardening.’ Prior to joining this service, I had no past experience of gardening but, through the process, I learned a lot from grade 11’s in my service.  Urban gardening is a service that s plants, plants with a purpose strategically. I opted for Blue Dragon as a Global Concern. I have been a part of Blue Dragon for the past 2 years and I have really been interested in learning about the issue of Human Trafficking. This year we mainly worked on the Blue Dragon Podcast which was really beneficial as many people got to learn about the widespread of this issue. I had a problem attending all session at the beginning of the year as I had drama commitments. But later in the year, I loved being part of a great cause.  Another important aspect of my IGCSE experience was the activities that I did. Along with swimming, pre-season touch, I was a part of my first high school drama production, The Heart Of Robin Hood. though, in the end, I could not perform due to unfortunate circumstances, I enjoyed the process and learned a lot about leadership and collaboration from my teacher and fellow students. Overall, this year was a great learning opportunity for me, a year where I learned from my mistakes and made my way through hurdles.

reflection on the process of selecting my IB courses for next year

I chose Higher Level Psychology, Theater and English Language and Literature and Standard level Mathematics (Application), Computer Science and Hindi. I chose these subjects after re-considering multiple times. I was not in school through the selection process due to coronavirus, therefore I was unable to attend the mentor sessions with grade 11’s to talk about the various subjects. Though, living in the boarding house, I had the opportunity to talk to some friends from grade 11 and 12. This was really helpful because I got an overview of the subjects that I was considering. Then I did some research through online information provided about IB courses. Then I had a discussion with my university advisor about the subjects I was considering and I explained to him my choices. Psychology is a completely new subject for me though, I decided to do it since it is something that I would like to learn about and I am fascinated by human behaviour and why we make certain choices. I did IGCSE drama which was new to me in grade nine though I really enjoyed the subject and therefore I chose IB theatre. I am always keen on knowing more about English and I really like learning the language so I took it as my higher-level subject. Though Computer Science is a new subject for me, I am really interested in taking the course and learning more about it. I also feel that it will be useful for me in the future. After I explained my IB choices to my university advisor, I explained them to my head of grade and my head of grade for grade 11 and they thought it is good for me to try new subjects and see if it works out. Overall, I am looking forward to learning more about the subjects that I have chosen.

My Activities Journey at UWCSEA

I have learned so many skills throughout the course of this year: including leadership, communication, collaboration, critical thinking and being self-confident. Through the various activities that I did this year I have developed these skills. This year I did multiple activities like Pre-season Touch, swimming (season 1), Urban Gardening, Blue Dragon GC, High School Drama Production; The Heart of Robin Hood and History Society (season 3). Through these activities, I didn’t only develop the skills needed to perform these activities but also, ‘life skills’ that are essential for everyday life. I did sports like swimming and touch to not only lead a healthy lifestyle but to learn leadership and communication skills. Swimming is a sport that you mostly do alone, without communicating much, but at UWCSEA, the environment even during swimming was very cohesive and everyone was very supportive of each other. Even during touch, I realised the importance of communicating with each other and helping fellow teammates. These essential skills can be used in the future as communication is needed in every field of work from being a chef to being an Architect. Leadership skills are also essential in various aspects of life including teaching and giving presentations. In my service Urban Gardening, I learned the importance of collaboration. The first week of service, I was really nervous since I had never done any type of gardening before but, after communicating and forming a team with grade 11’s who were not new to the service, I learned so much about gardening. I realised the significance of communicating with not only teammates but my fellow students from other grades. It is important to communicate as it encourages the sharing of skills. For my Global Concern- Blue Dragon, which helps kids who have been trafficked in Vietnam, I learned the skill of collaboration. I collaborated with my group to form a podcast and spread awareness. I found the skill helpful because it enabled me to interact with my teammates and share ideas in order to spread greater awareness. Though I had never done history before, I was always intrigued by the idea of learning about the greatest inventions, various wars and different periods in history that influenced literature. Therefore, the  History Society definitely challenged my critical thinking and changed the way I perceive everything. Before joining UWCSEA last year, I had never seen a drama production but, I decided to take drama for IGCSE as a learning experience and I ended up loving the subject. Later I auditioned for the High School Drama Production- The Heart of Robin Hood, though I thought that I would never get a role but, fortunately, I ended up getting a role. I was really nervous since it was my first ever drama production and I had never performed in front of a big audience before but, I overcame my fear of public speaking and gained self-confidence through the process. After Practicing multiple times, I ended up enjoying the process and gaining lots of confidence along the way. Overall, My UWCSEA activities journey was one with a lot of self-development. I learned a lot of new skills through my experiences that shaped me into a more mature individual. These skills that I learned will not only be useful in school but also later in life.

Global Perspective: Climate Change

Climate change occurs when changes in Earth’s climate system result in new weather patterns that remain in place for an extended period of time. It is a result of human activities like increased use of fossil fuels in transportation, manufacturing and communications.  It is important that we understand the consequences of,  our daily activities and how it is massively impacting our day-to-day life. I agree with the representative of Partners in Health, (which an international organization that aims to bring healthcare to the needy.) Even though, we are the reason climate change is happening, at the end of the day, we are the ones who are facing the negative impacts of this predicament.

According to Partners in Health, “poor parts of the world
where medical treatments difficult to access.
For these people, climate change could easily
cause their deaths.” We need to be more thoughtful about our decisions as in the long run, we are destroying ourselves and we can already start to notice how this conundrum is impacting those parts of the world which are still developing.  Health is extremely important as, contribution to economic progress, as healthy populations live longer, are more productive, and save more. National governments and the international
the community have a responsibility to protect all
human rights, including the right to health,

Ethically, that adaptation efforts should be established to ensure health and wellbeing-ing of those most vulnerable to the effects of climate change as, the developed countries have been a major contributor in climate change and now, the countries which are still developing need healthcare support from International organizations and governments.

My Personal Statement

I look to the future and I can say that I am completely grateful for the opportunities that I have and the resources to avail those opportunities. I joined the boarding house this year and I was exposed to the real world where I faced certain challenges, and I had to make some important decisions such as ‘how much money to spend?’ and ‘what do I want to do in college?” these decisions gave me a deeper understanding of how my parents try to build a better life for me so that I don’t have any trouble.  These experiences made me think of people who are less fortunate, who maybe can not get enough exposure to be able to attend college.  I am not sure about the job that I will do in the nearing future but, my goal is to work with the UN (United Nations) or UNESCO ( United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization) or any other such organization to help give back to the community that I live in.

I am extremely appreciative l for the education that I get and the job opportunities that I might have because of my education but, there are people in the world who don’t get to go to school. According to UIS data, almost 60% of youth between the ages of about 15 and 17 are not in school, in sub-Saharan Africa. (UNESCO) I feel that, if I can make the slightest difference in someone’s life then I should because people around me can get influenced and they can follow an example that I set to make the less fortunate people’s lives better.

Overall, I am extremely grateful for the opportunities that I have been given and I want to set a goal in my life to give back to those who don’t get such opportunities.


Criminal Psychology 101 with doctor Christian Perrin:

Criminal Psychology 101 with doctor Christian Perrin:

by: Viralika


Dr Christian Perrin is a Criminal Psychologist living in Singapore. His job is split into two parts. One where he teaches police officers and prison officers, how to add psychology in their daily lives and the second part is to work with serious offenders. From a very young age, he wanted to become a policeman. He was always fascinated with solving crime. Only at 22 years of age, he decided that he wants to become a criminal psychologist.

He first started working with criminals at 21 years of age. He was working with offenders that early as he was working with a charity in the UK which prevented suicide. He found a link between criminals and how they often get suicidal thoughts; then, he started to work in prison because, in prison, people are more likely to take their lives. In fact, from my research, “Studies from England and Wales in 2016 reported its highest incidence of suicide since 1999, with the rate among male prisoners 5 to 6 times higher than the general population, and among female prisoners as much as 20 times higher” (Pickel).

For his master’s degree, Dr Perrin decided to research more on different sorts of offenders. Soon after, he started to work for a sex preparatory program in the UK for sex offenders, which is basically to help sex offenders in the UK from relapsing into sex crimes. This is program was prison based. Later on, Dr Christian started working with violence reduction programmes.

Soon he brought in a lie detection test to his work (at this point, he was 24years old). Lie detection was one topic that interested me the most. So I was extremely fascinated when he started explaining the lie detection methods. This is how Dr Christian explained it, firstly you ask a bunch of normal questions to the offender then,  you judge the criminal’s behaviour. Then you ask some questions that trigger them then compare their behaviour with the previous behaviour, which is recorded when ‘normal questions’ are asked. So the criminals don’t even discern when they are getting a lie detection. All these fancy machines for lie detection from the movies are usually fake, according to Dr Perrin.


(Lwp Kommunikáció/Flickr)


Since he has been working in the prison for so long now, he had many interesting and educative experiences to share. One of his experiences was that he had to interview people on that sex preparatory program to see whether or not the program has worked for these people or not. He had to ask a bunch of questions to these people to see what kind of people they have become now. Some of these people had committed very awful offences. He was once conducting interviews with offenders to see if they have changed. During those interviews, he was working with this individual who was in his opinion was ‘unhelpable’. The offender was trying to make the psychologist believe that he had changed. The offender was trying to manipulate him. The offender had committed a rape in 2014 and when the DNA samples from the crime he had committed were shared internationally, they found out that his sample was linked back to a rape case in Germany, 14 years prior. Dr Perrin as a criminal psychologist knew that, if he has a span of 14 years of committing a crime then has probably done something suspicious in between. The criminal thought that Dr Perrin was young, so he tried to manipulate him but it was an advantage for Dr Perrin as he went with the interviews but later informed the people to give the offender another right treatment.

Another incident that Dr Perrin had mentioned, was when he worked at the Brixton prison in the UK (it is one of the worst prisons with awful offenders). He got locked in one of the wards with serious offenders. He was with some people who forgot about him and locked him in the ward and went on. So he was stuck with serious offenders until someone figured out that they left him behind. From there he remembered this serious offender mopping the floor and giving Dr Perrin a deadly stare. Later, while he was working at the same prison, there was this criminal who got intimidated while the interrogation was going on he started punching the wall and doing all sorts of violent acts.

Dr Perrin has been in this profession for many years now. Hence he gave important advice that not only can help you in criminal psychology but also in daily life. One, “You can not judge people. Some criminals are nice and normal people in person” and two, “You can not help everyone. Some people might never  change.” Throughout his career and experiences, he also learned that  “The destiny of whoever he is speaking to is in his hands” and it is a massive responsibility.  He also mentioned that the media has portrayed offenders such that they can not be accepted back into society whereas this is not the case. Sex offenders re-offend at the lowest rates. According to him, “Media wants us to think that criminals are ‘evil monsters.” He highly believes that we need to reshape our society in the way we think and judge other people.


My Goals For The Year:

  1. I  should try and understand the new education system. Since I am new to the school, I want to be able to be well adjusted by the end of the year and understand the IGCSE system.

2. Stay consistent with my homework. To make sure that my work is up to date, I will make a checklist for my homework on my notes.

3. I want to get better at swimming. This means that by the end of March I should move one lane up and to achieve that, I will be consistent with my practice.


The significant thing that I learned:

UWCSEA is full of opportunities for us to learn and explore.  Coming from a different country, school, environment… I learned so many new things.

Especially now that I live in a boarding school, I experienced a massive change and I realised that I can live independently.

Earlier when I lived with my family and friends, I always had someone helping me around, cleaning my room, making me food etc… I had never known before this, that I can manage myself without having anyone tell me all the time on what to do.

So, the major thing that, I learned this year is to believe in myself and being independent. I now make my own room, in fact, the houseparents appreciate me for being organised and neat.  I also can cook my own little meals sometimes! I pretty much go alone to buy groceries, clothes etc… It is not only the chores which show that I have become more independent it is also, the way I talk to people and deal with situations which shows that I have become more independent.









The Afghan Girl

Sharbat Gula or extensively know as The Afghan Girl is till date one of the most famous covers of National Geographic and has been a topic of discussion for most photographers, mostly because of the tragic story that lies within those intense green eyes.

The photograph was taken by journalist Steve McCurry. It appeared on the June 1985 cover of National Geographic. The Afghan Girl went missing for seventeen years until an exploring journalist’s team found a man who claimed to know her brother and eventually they found the Afghan girl. Her brother let the female member of the team go in and interview her. During that interview, Sharbat disclosed her mixed feelings about the photo of her, when she was just ten. She felt that she became famous after the photograph and because of that she was the centre of attention most of the time and wasn’t treated very well in her culture.

The famous Aghan Girl or Sharbat was also sent to the prison in Pakistan for using a fake ID card to get out, in 2016. Now, the mother of three suffers from hepatitis C and is living her life in Afghanistan. Refuge crisis is growing day by day and like Sharbat, millions of other innocent children suffer and they have to travel from one place to another without having any idea about what is wrong or right.