Somewhere along the process of meeting school deadlines and starting to fill in university applications, the sense of finality that came along with the last stretch of my high school journey was thrust upon me. I recognised the importance of this event that reverberated with the sentiment of unity within the school, while still celebrating diversity. I participated in the event as part of the German dance. It was a novel and thrilling experience for me. I worked on learning outcome 2 as I have never participated in a dance performance before and found it challenging yet exciting.
I enjoyed being a part of this activity. I have worked on learning outcome 1 as being a part of this magazine has helped me improve my writing skills through exploring different forms of writing such as poetry and prose. In the first week, we read an interesting poem and had a long discussion on the various stylistic features of the poem and how they work together to bring out meaning, that can vary for different readers. This helped me understand some aspects of poetry that I can include in my own pieces of writing, and was hence very informative.
Writing this extended essay was an exciting learning experience for me that wasn’t as laborious as it initially seemed. One of the most important yet hard decisions was choosing a film from each phase of Disney cinema to analyse. Limiting the number of films, as well as choosing films that were well received in their respective Disney eras, provided me with the opportunity for in depth analysis that had a clear link with my research question. While this did not allow me to analyse as many movies as I had initially wanted, it allowed me to optimise the balance between analysing films from different phases while still being able to explore each phase thoroughly. Hence, I am happy with how the essay went and would not do it any differently.
So far, my research has been successful. I have managed to find adequate research for the topic of gender inequality in Disney princess movies. I have come across a couple of psychological studies as well that may aid in supporting my research. I have however, faced some challenges in terms of how to specifically write an English category 3 essay that fulfils all the required criteria. After conversing with my EE supervisor, I have realised that I need to use more appropriate terminology that links my essay with the category. Hence, I have changed my approach towards how I write the extended essay by shifting my focus to the stylistic devices used in the movies. I now have a better understanding of how to write the essay and am working on writing it through the lens of the subject area that I have selected.
I enjoyed the work experience and was able to do it despite being out for most of the summer break due to the flexible schedule. I got to learn a lot about what goes behind the working of a company. Both of my supervisors were always contactable and were very warm and helpful when I had any questions. I got to explore different roles such as being a photographer and writing articles about the different activities available for children and families in Singapore. I also learned a lot about what goes behind a website, what kind of words and pictures attract audiences, and how socially media presence is important for a company.
What I initially found challenging was understanding how exactly to post the articles on the website as well as the technicalities behind taking photos. However, with the advice and aid of my mentors I was able to understand this eventually.
Aida was this year’s high school production, with music written by Elton John and Tim Rice. This year, on the 23rd and 24th of January, Tabitha was fortunate enough to be given an opportunity to set up a baked goods stand to offer light snacks to the audience before the show began.
For this event, we baked brownies, as well as sold snacks at the stall. All proceeds from this event went into funding next year’s project week trip to Cambodia, which involves paying for materials to build houses for the underprivileged. Selling and baking goods for a cause we believe in was an extremely enriching experience for us, and we managed to raise a total of around 790 SGD.
Through this experience, we explored learning outcome 5: Demonstrating the skills and recognizing the benefits of working collaboratively. The event incorporated the help of various people within the GC, some baked the goods, some funded the costs going into the goods, and some took time after school to set up and sell to the audience.
We worked together to bake a variety of food items and managed to sell goods efficiently by giving each person at the stall a role. Given the chance to do it again, we would need to work on effectively communicating and predicting just how much food we need for the event, as there was a substantial amount of goods left over after the event. Although this was taken back by the group members, it would be more reasonable to make as much as we are planning to sell. In addition to this, we would also probably cut out the drinks because it did not sell as well as predicted, and the pricing was more complex due to having to rent out additional reusable cups.
This year, I chose to be a part of the Global Concern- Tabitha. This GC has the mission of empowering the underprivileged in Cambodia to improve their situation through savings and other programmes. It also helps through housebuilding and monetary donations. I hope to visit Tabitha and help with the housebuilding sometime. I think I focused on learning outcome 7 through this GC as working with a service taught me about the ethics behind the fundraising events we can organise, what we can sell, and many other things.
The Digital Arts Club has been very beneficial for me so far. I think I have worked on learning outcome 2 during the course of this club, as I have faced some challenges using new technology. I have however, found it very helpful as I enjoy drawing as well as photography and see this as a sort of mid point between the two. I am currently doing an internship and hope to use my newly acquired skills of digital arts to help me as well as the company I am interning with.
Service this year has been a really eyeopening and poignant experience. I think I worked on learning outcome 3 during this experience as I got to lead and plan the service activities with two other students every three weeks. I found it challenging at first to come up with ideas of activities that would be suitable for all our clients as they had varying abilities and hence sometimes it would so happen that one or two of the clients found some activities difficult. However, over a period of time, as we got to know our clients better, we were better able to understand what they enjoyed and were able to do, and planned activities accordingly. I think another challenge was trying to change up the activities after a period of time to ensure that the clients were engaged.
However, I think we managed to eventually understand what would be most beneficial to our clients and managed to do a variety of activities with them. The highlight of the year for me was the Colour (Y)our World event that our service partners organised. I volunteered at this event and helped serve food to the people that attended the event.
I found project week very enjoyable and an extremely enriching experience. I worked with Free the Bears in Phnom Penh, Cambodia. Our activities included cleaning bear enclosures, preparing food and enrichment items, and painting cages. These are activities that I haven’t done before and I hence worked on learning outcome 2 as it was a challenging yet informative experience. I learned several things about sun bears and moon bears that I was not aware of prior to the trip. We also got to see several other animals. The highlight of the trip for me was throwing the enrichment items into the bear enclosures and watching them play with them and try to lick the food in the toys. I found it very fulfilling to see that our hard work was paying off.
I worked on learning outcome 6 as well because ill treatment of animals is an issue of global significance which our service providers are sincerely trying to tackle.