SWOT Analysis of my skills

After doing the audit test, my results showed how my strengths lie in the skills of communication, time management and personal mystery. I acknowledge that I have portrayed these skills thoroughly, especially when working through progress, and I believe it is what has helped drive me as an individual and as a team member, to success.

Strengths:

  • I am a critical thinker. When considering an initial idea, I like to think ahead and around the idea so that I can be sure that I am taking the right steps and decisions regarding the certain idea. I also like to ask myself questions to challenge my thinking further.
  • Time management. The audit test proved this, but I have always prioritised work above my other personal affairs as I value efficiency and organisation. Not often do I leave my work last minute, as I value it being of good quality yet being done within a specific time frame.
  • Communication. I am an active listener and whenever I have a certain doubt or query it is important that I clarify it instantly. If I also have misunderstandings regarding a specific task I usually don’t hesitate to clear it.
  • Personal mastery / Independence. Personally I have always preferred working individually as this enables me to self regulate my work and set personal goals. This is a strength regarding the upcoming CREST project as I will be able to individually plan and research accordingly.
  • Perseverance & resilience. This skill is mostly brought out on my athletic side when playing sports, however even in academics when I undergo a challenge or issue I tend to sustain my efforts and work towards overcoming the issue. This is important as the CREST will be challenging at times.
  • Regarding presentational skills for eg) throughout the means of an infographic, I can be very creative and innovative, presenting my ideas in an interactive manner.

Weaknesses:

  • Decision making. Often, I find myself caught between two or more several ideas in which I cannot chose. This could be regarding a certain experiment I want to do or even the area of focus I chose my project on. Being indecisive loses time and I think I should be more straight forward when making decisions, and not overthink once I’ve made the decision as this can only cause uncertainties.
  • When I don’t follow the initial plan I can get distracted by different ideas. The burden of ideas can sometimes be unsettling as I struggle to sort out the information and end up losing efficiency.
  • When working collaboratively, if workload is not distributed evenly or a member isn’t motivated as much as they should be, this can cause me to become irritated and impatient.
  • If things don’t go to plan I have a tendency to stress and panic. This loses time and also reduces my self esteem and certainty regarding my project.

Opportunities:

  • Doing a science project will enable me to explore my analytical skills regarding statistics and qualitative data, something which I haven’t done in a while.
  • This is an opportunity to explore the field of study in which I hope to study at university level- earth sciences and the environment. Hopefully I can gain more knowledge upon the earth and it’s processes

Threats:

  • With the ongoing pandemic it may be hard to communicate with teachers wether I am on the right track. Different forms of feedback via emails, etc may be harder to interpret and understand regarding the areas of focus needed for improvement on the project.
  • It’s easy to get caught up with other work during the time of the pandemic and I may be setting too many ambitious, unrealistic goals. It will be important to stay on track.
  • Not being able to conduct physical experiments could decrease my range of primary sources available. I will therefore need to select reliable sources (but not too many) that can successfully help with my research findings.

First week of G10- Reflection

  1. Things that were significant to you this week- why?

This week I already started playing touch rugby again. This was a very significant part, as I love being outdoors and playing sports. Especially after having played in a Euro Competition right before, when I came back to training, I was already straight back into it! After a day of sitting down I really needed to get back on my feet and move. I was also really happy to find all my team mates again.

2. This year- what are some potential highlights and obstacles, and why? 

I think that one highlight will most definitely be my participation in numerous activities and sports. I have plenty of opportunities sports wise, however, also culturally. I would really like to take part in Culturama this year as it seems like an unforgettable experience where you meet many new people, whilst also learning to dance and discovering a completely different culture. I really look forward to these extra curricular activities. They will help take a break from academic work which is still an utmost priority. Hence, I feel as if a potential obstacle will be juggling my school work with my sports. I often feel stressed and overwhelmed due to the substancial amount of school work I have. Sometimes I may over work meaning I spend excessive time, or others I have too many things scheduled for sports. This is hard as managing stress is often difficult for me, especially with exam pressure.

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The complexities of Lady Macbeth

“Lady Macbeth’s criminal mind and desire for ruthlessness have led many a critic to define her as evil. Closer examination, however, reveals that she is a multifaceted character.” 

I would agree with this statement. Throughout the early scenes of the play, Shakespeare immediately defines Lady Macbeth as a possessive, dominant character in which took control of and manipulated Macbeth’s actions. To further emphasise this, a comparison can be made to the stereotypical women of Elizabethan England. Whilst these women would often be portrayed as innocent, fragile, and vulnerable, Lady Macbeth’s personality is displayed as quite the contrary. She takes on a very present role throughout the events of Macbeth’s life, and her way of expression of words reveals her stern, cold blooded and ambitious side. For example, in Act 1 scene 5 when Macbeth writes to Lady Macbeth about the witches prophecies, she is immediately eager, and planning on how to kill the king. In line 1:5:1, “They met me in the day of success”, these lines already reveal Lady Macbeth’s ambitious plans, and how she strives to ‘achieve’ the prophecy immediately. Such behaviour would be commonly expected from a man, giving his inceptive to fight and protect, however Shakespeare has chosen to inverse gender roles, which is what further defines Lady Macbeth’s distinct, evil, criminal mind. Furthermore, in line 1:5:31, when she says, “Unsex me here, and fill me from the crown to the toe top-full of direst cruelty. Make thick my blood”, the masculine aspect of lady Macbeth is further revealed. It shows how she is willing for all her feminine traits to be taken away, and her desire to be of superiority. It reveals her dark spirits within her, further embodying her aggression and will to fulfil the witches’ prophecy.

Upon closer examination as we progress throughout the play, an element of character development is seen with Lady Macbeth. After Macbeth has committed the murder to Banquo, Lady Macbeth starts to be sidelined. This could possibly reveal how after having done one deed, Macbeth felt more of a powerful individual, who no longer needed his wife’s assistance or control over him. She is revealed as weak in Act 5 scene 1, when she starts to sleepwalk,  and claims that nothing can wash blood off her hands from the bloody dagger. This reenforces the multi-faced aspect of her. It implies that deep inside her there is still an element of pure evilness, however she is starting to resent guilt regarding what she has done. Rubbing her hands is seen as an action of regret in which she remorsefully tries to reverse her actions, but only to reveal how she is simply thinking in a more uncontrolled, chaotic manner.

Furthermore, she commits suicide which leads us to conclude that if she had sustained her initial personality of ambition and evilness, she would have not chosen to end her life. It shows to prove how Lady Macbeth’s personality varies greatly throughout the play, in consequence to her and her husband’s actions.

 

Personal Statement

Throughout my years attending UWCSEA since 2014, I would say that during my time here, I have experienced some vast growth and changes within my personality and approach to learning.

 

Having lived in the UK for 5 years attending a private girls school, as well as previously in the US in a mixed primary school followed by UWCSEA, I have been exposed to many cultures, people, academic style of learning, and other important factors, which have helped shape the person I am today. However despite such change, I would say that I have developed an important cultural awareness that I had not obtained before, especially having come here to UWCSEA in which would by far be the most culturally diverse and accepting school I have attended.

 

Whilst these past factors have ultimately helped shape and strengthen both my social and learner profile, till this very day I still find myself changing and developing. Here at UWCSEA I have become very passionate about sports and service. These two factors have ultimately brought me many skills and have motivated me in various ways. The competitive aspect of sports drives me to perform at 100%, the teams here offering plenty of opportunities to learn and play in competitive surroundings. Individual sport such as running and track also helps me focus individually, and set myself realistic goals, in which I take pleasure in pursuing once I reach achievements. Unlike my previous schools, never have I been so involved in team sports, such as touch rugby. It oxygenates my brain, helping me think of other things than work.

 

Secondly, another factor that has greatly influenced my learner profile is service. At UWCSEA it is taken into much bigger account than in the previous schools I had attended. It is here that I learnt the value and great importance of helping others in need. Having been on the Epic Arts and Moving Mountains trip, these trips have most definitely been emotional and unforgettable. Working with children of different abilities, or those in great poverty with less advantages, I have developed an awareness and sense of gratefulness for what I have. Being so privileged here in Singapore, it has given me the incentive to make changes elsewhere and help those in need. I am sure that, for the rest of my time here at UWCSEA, service will continue to undoubtedly play a big part as my extracurricular activities here and will continue to drive and passion me to make changes for the better across the world.

 

Regarding academics, I have set myself high standards and expectations, as naturally I find myself very keen and striving to do well in all my subjects. Across the year, I have set goals to sustain my hard work and efforts in all subjects. Some of the most significant changes I have seen are through math and science. I never took great interest in maths and found it quite difficult- therefore, this did not strongly motivate me to try or to enjoy the subject. However, as I started to gain confidence in the smaller extended class, and started practicing regularly, I started to notice changes in my work and understanding. This appeared surprising as I had never found that I properly understood maths, but until this point, I felt confident enough to do tests or exams with minimal stress of worry of misunderstanding something.

 

Secondly, I feel I have seen vast improvements in science. I would not say that I have struggled in this subject, however my interest in it has strongly grew and hence I feel this has driven me to work harder. Throughout the most part of the year, I have maintained consistency throughout my grades, whilst knowing a “number” should not hold such significance, and also have understood the key concepts learnt, clarifying for doubts when needed. I am happy to see my improvements in science, as comparing to the previous years, I had never been so intrigued or interested into the subject. I am satisfied with the progress I have made in this subject, and look forward to learning more about it.

 

To conclude, I would say that overall this year has gone very well, despite the moments of high intensity and stress I have experienced upon work, tests or assignments, as well as sports competitions I am proud to have endured through it, sustaining a focused and positive mindset. Regarding my future plans, I do not plan on anything majoritative, however I hope to pursue my passions and interests, especially in IB where I look forward to take more advancement and further interest into some of my favourite subjects such as geography or, environmental sciences. Regarding grade 10, I hope I will continue to sustain a positive state of mind and continue to work hard and efficiently, in hope of getting good outcomes.

“Never fail, just learn!” – Science Reflection

Emoji that represents my performance : 😅

Selfie with whiteboard :

2 Questions I got wrong / Corrections :

Correct answer: B

Explanation: Because it is focusing on what factors will lead to to plants transpiring too much, not about what would cause them to transpire less.

Correct answer: B

Explanation: Because the liquid has already melted! It is now in a stage of evaporation or boiling into the state of the gas, as it has already changed state by melting from solid to liquid.

Conclusion : 

Today was useful, because I managed to clarify any mistakes made or concepts which I had slightly less understood. Now I now which areas to be more careful on.

 

High School Reflection- 28 March

Regarding grade 9 overall, I believe that I have made extreme progress in many of my subjects. My strongest subjects would be geography, and Spanish, and am happy that I am managing to consistently sustain these good grades. However, I have also largely improved in sciences. In the beginning of the year I would achieve an average of 5s and occasionally 6, but at this stage of the year I have been getting 85%, and 90% for chemistry and and biology. I am really happy as I have been working so hard, and been striving to get higher grades. Giving that I also really enjoy science, I am happy to have improved so much and hope to sustain these efforts and good results. On another note, I am also happy with my progress in Gpers and drama. In drama I have learnt to built confidence to the point that I find myself capable of performing such incredible performances, especially in the style of Berkoff, for “Metamorphosis”. I find myself really passionate about this subject as acting relaxes me and clears my mind. I can use all my energy and feel great about myself, which is why I value that subject so much. I am happy to have seen my acting skills develop and evolve to become more matured and detailed. Regarding Gpers, I am also proud of my contribution in class and applying of my skills to the past papers we have recently been completing. I believe that my ideas have really  expanded and I have developed a wider awareness and initiative to learn. These are only a few of the subjects I believe I’ve made progress in. I am proud of how I have consistently worked hard this year, striving and achieving grades higher than I would expect. Aside from the grades, I am mostly happy I am not having too much difficulty understanding  the content I am learning in each subject, and if unsure I will never hesitate to ask questions or clarifications. My next step is to manage my stress, as going into Grade 10 it will be vital I don’t constantly stress or panic, as such anxiety could play a big impact on my studies and when coming to exams.

WF Reflection

” Our student-writers rose to the challenge, producing authentic, responsible, and powerful pieces”

I would partially agree with this statement. WF was a rare occasion for all of us to experience writing about motivational speakers, in which not only was an enjoyable process for the most of us but also strongly developed our critical thinking, analysing and reflective writing skills upon different experiences and perspectives. Our knowledge amongst so many different topics and issues was strongly widened as we now have a wider range of experiences to talk about. Prior to the writing process, I believe that the process appeared different for each individual. For me it was an enjoyable process as I was very passionate of the topic I was writing about, therefore my ideas came by faster and the writing came together much more naturally and concisely. I would not say that this experience was a “challenge”. As previously said I was passionate about the topic I wrote about, hence the writing process appeared much easier for me. It should have likely been the same for other students as alike me we should have all been passionate or interesting upon the topic we were writing about. This is why this task was not too challenging, but just right, as we still had the opportunity to extend and develop our writing and look further into different perspectives. Regarding the second part of this statement, I believe that we all definitely in some way managed to produce a, authentic, responsible and powerful piece. Depending on the story and style of writing, we all managed to convey a significant message or theme that appeared useful or impactful to the readers in some way. The amount of effort put into the articles also gave a specific outcome, for example for me I put in a lot of effort and dedication to it, hence from the feedback of the perspective of the readers I selected, they stated that the article appeared very interesting and hooking to read, giving an interesting perspective upon the Marathon des Sables.

Metamorphosis – reflection

Having now completed the metamorphosis scripted performance, I think that our performance went very well. Some of the successful elements of it were:

– Variations in pace, not only pace of our actions but also at the speed we talked. It created very good contrast and made each scene distinct to one another. Our use of pace also helped portray the image of our characters, for example Mrs Samsa sipping her tea at a face pace, or Mr Samsa strolling steadily, with one foot in front of the other.

– Our use of lighting also helped create atmosphere and mood in each scene. For example in the opening scene, the indoor nighttime blue light used in the beginning and mostly throughout the performance, really gave the image and atmosphere of Gregor’s transformation into the bug. The dark tone and shadiness provided the audience an insight as to how dark and creepy Gregor’s story is, and perhaps an idea of what was going on in his mind.

– Our use of the stools. Although we did not use it very aerobically, we used the stools partly for Mr & Ms Samsa as a tool for us to act out our designed actions. It would always recall our ritual actions and was well associated with each of our character’s sitting posture, for example Ms Samsa cross legged and Mr Samsa upright. The stool was also used for several sound effects throughout, especially when Gregor would slam the door open to reveal his body to his family, in which we used for the ending. It was used also to mark specific moments such as him turning over, or even used by Mr & Ms Samsa to indicate the importance of a line we had previously quoted, or to terminate a scene.

– Our use of music & sound effects. Alike the lighting, music reenforced our piece by really setting a suspicious, mysterious atmosphere. Especially in the beginning scene when the family repeatedly did their actions, the music in the background focused the audience’s attention as to what the theme of the story would be, and gave them a little mysteriousness and suspicion as to what was to come next. Other tracks were used to really embody Gregor’s transformation into a bug, the track’s roughness and gloominess giving the audience extra insight as to the certain atmosphere we were trying to portray. A beeping sound effect was additionally used throughout the Gregor! Cash! scene, the repetition of this effect revealing a static, robotic mood. This was the case as everyday Gregor’s family had so many expectations from Gregor and he simply had to bear with them. Nothing would change about their attitude and requests and the beeping effect was well associated with this scene to portray the lack of change, and constant inhumane behaviour and torture Gregor had to be put through.

All in all, I am quite happy with our performance. These are only some elements in which I thought played very good effect on our overall performance, but one strong element we all did very well on was characterisation. Throughout, we used maximum energy and over exaggerated every single of our lines to match the expectations of Berkoff. Having used such good characterisation extensively throughout the whole performance, this sustained our roles and whilst sounding totally inhumane, some of our phrases appeared humorous and appealing towards the audience, hence interpreting our performance in the best way possible.

How the mind carried the body throughout a 240 km race – A feature article

How the mind carried the body throughout a 240 km race

Following fellow Mr Stirrat’s unique journey amongst the scorching Sahara dunes from start to finish, the role of a strong mindset will never appear so vital.

How would the idea of running a 240 km marathon in the baking dunes of the Sahara Desert appeal to you? For most people, this challenge lies way beyond their capabilities. Every year in the Southern Sahara Desert in Morocco, the ultra marathon of 240 km is held over the course of 6 days. Its harsh extremities, challenges and unique landscapes the marathon offers, attract over 45 nationalities and 900 runners internationally, to compete annually. Through the scorching sands and dunes, running in temperatures varying up to 50 degrees, this marathon appears to be the ultimate challenge to take on, providing each individual the opportunity to discover one’s’ abilities and capacity to endure through such extremities.

Throughout this article, we will depict the journey of a UWCSEA maths teacher, Mr Stirrat, and his experience of participating in this marathon, amongst the ultimate challenges he faced throughout. From a young age till now, Mr Stirrat always enjoyed running both as a form of relaxation and competition, every year seeking a new challenge to face. One factor that strongly influenced Mr Stirrat to take on this challenge in 2014, was UWCSEA. He said how in comparison to other places he’d previously lived and worked in, UWCSEA had inspired and given him the most initiative to take such extreme risks.

Mudstacle.com – the Sahara Summit

The ultimate preconceptions

Mr Stirrat had long known beforehand that this ultra marathon would be a challenging one. Thus, huge amounts of time, dedication and sacrifices were yet to be made in order to be best prepared. Financially, this race was at high cost- savings and investments were mandatory to purchase all necessary equipments including a tent, daypack, bottles and more. Being a self-sufficient race, Mr Stirrat had to ensure he would be physically capable of carrying such equipments throughout the race, at all costs. Whilst many months of preparation and training in advance would appear orderly prior to such race, Mr Stirrat stated how his training consisted of 5 months training beforehand. He chose to train this way as he wanted to maintain utmost focus throughout the whole course of the training without any distractions, over this short span of 5 months. Whilst some wouldn’t go down this path, Mr Stirrat stated it was an effective, suitable training for him.

As he trained, Mr Stirrat had to make sacrifices, giving up football, dedicating his time to running. Other forms of activity at lower intensity such as swimming and cycling appeared as useful alternatives from constant, hardcore running. Mr Stirrat emphasised the importance of “maintaining a strict and balanced diet”. This meant incorporating a variety of superfoods such as kale, and high consumption of nutrient rich foods containing fibers, proteins, and vitamins. Other forms of fats, carbohydrates or sugars were eliminated, including alcohol.

The journey: Depicted

Having covered the essential backstory to Mr Stirrat’s training, we will now look further into his experience and emotions throughout the race. Now, upon personal reflection, Mr Stirrat would portray his feelings as an “emotional roller coaster”, with ultimate peaks and troughs.

Prior to his first impressions and encounters of the atmosphere, people and scenery, Mr Stirrat described the race as a “Romantic Vision”, the scenario and landscapes so unique and unconditionally real to be experiencing. However, despite his positive approach and adrenaline towards the race, Mr Stirrat simultaneously asked himself “Can I start, and finish alive?” Was this hard work all worth it? Well, that could only be answered later.

The first two days of the marathon began on a high for Mr Stirrat, at peak confidence. Having engaged in 5 hours of running on the gentle dunes, he claimed to have coped well, both physically and mentally. Similarly, having run a slightly further distance over more time on the second day, Mr Stirrat sustained his optimism, despite the underlying challenges. Consuming an average of 3000 calories and limited to 5L of water daily, it appeared crucial to sustain such endurance and great resistance through such conditions, with a positive mindset.

It was on the third day of the race that Mr Stirrat’s self-esteem fell terribly low. After collapsing under a shaded tree, suffering from heat exhaustion and dehydration, such conditions lowered his overall impulse and motivation towards the race. At this point in time, Mr Stirrat had specified,  “I nearly gave up on the race”. Experiencing such extremities and discomfort amongst running 38 km in 7 hours, Mr Stirrat found it inevitably difficult to endure through such challenges. Lack of grit and determination was engraved into his mindset, restraining him from pushing any further. The importance of a positive mindset here was crucial, as the mind undeniably had the potential power to surpass the physical incapability, enduring through it. It was one of his friends made amongst the journey who helped him get right back up to his feet, pushing Mr Stirrat past his limits, tolerating the pain.

Fstoppers.com – the extreme conditions of le Marathon des Sables

Having eventually reached the last benchmark in which a medical tent was located, Mr Stirrat started to take immediate consciousness of the surroundings around him. Observations of people suffering through harder conditions than him, such as one almost experiencing a heart attack, he realised that his case held such little concern and importance, comparatively to other patients. He’d personally acknowledged he wasn’t “suffering”, but his body was simply fatigued, knowing that the mind was the one thing capable to carry it throughout the remaining of the race. All he needed was to reestablish and enforce his approach, starting off strong again and striving to succeed. Alongside a drip that boosted his energy levels and physical form, Mr Stirrat rose again, stronger than ever, envisioning a successful finish.

Telegraph.co.uk – the Sahara’s extremities

A strong mind leads to a strong finish

As pledged prior to this great downfall of self esteem and resilience, Mr Stirrat finished the remaining days on a high. The following day having partially recovered from his exhaustion, he stated to have “cautious optimism”, with a positive vision over the following obstacles to come. The last days were plenty of contentedness and overwhelming joy, of having completed such a tiresome, staggering race.

When facing such difficulties in tough situations, we see how the role of a positive, healthy mindset plays great importance when striving to finish what you started. Personally, being a young runner participating in many races and intense competition, sustaining a determined mindset has always helped me in moments of complete doubt and exhaustion, encouraging me to never give up. Relating to Mr Stirrat’s fascinating story, we see the importance of a good mental approach towards all challenges is crucial. This, undoubtedly, is an important life lesson for all.

Works Cited

DeStefano, Michael, and Michael DeStefano. “What It Takes to Photograph an Extreme Event Like the Marathon Des Sables.” Fstoppers, 25 Feb. 2018, fstoppers.com/spotlight/what-it-takes-photograph-extreme-event-marathon-des-sables-224623.

“Marathon Des Sables 2020 – Registration.” | Marathon Des Sables, marathondessables.com/en/marathon-des-sables.

Mews, Tobias. “10 Things No One Tells You before You Run the Marathon Des Sables.” The Telegraph, Telegraph Media Group, 8 Apr. 2015, www.telegraph.co.uk/men/active/11520427/10-things-no-one-tells-you-before-you-run-the-Marathon-des-Sables.html.

“The Dangers of the Marathon Des Sables.” Marie Curie, www.mariecurie.org.uk/blog/the-dangers-of-the-marathon-des-sables/48594.