After we got selected for the different conferences, we have formed different groups with people from Dover and East. I’m going to Initiative for Peace – Mae Sot conference and during the preparation weeks, we have to plan every detail of our conference. My group is mainly focusing on planning the activities in connection with individual and group identity, stereotypes, the celebration of diversity and cultures. The challenges for us are mainly the ways we have to find to contact and share our ideas with each other, because the two campuses are far enough from each other to not to meet every week. While we need to be effective and also fast, skyping/chatting makes it harder to reach this. We are still developing how we should do it, but next to that, we are trying to adopt to each other and get to know our team better to be able to develop our ideas and being able to always listen to each other.
Looking at the upcoming conference our collaboration is crucial, because we can’t let the coming delegates down and we have to produce a quality work until then.
During the Religious Knowledge Systems TOK Day we heard many different viewpoints about the topic. Firstly, we had a presentation about how we see faith in our daily lives and what its influence on us as individuals and as on communities as well. The most remarkable example was the young American who wanted to declare Jesus and got killed by the Sentinelese men. In this case, we could see how two areas of knowing, reasoning and faith confronted each other and how faith had overridden the clear logistics of reasoning. The man knew it’s forbidden to go close to the island, as it is a remote place and the tribe there is dangerous, but he didn’t care. He was educated, young – had his life in front of him, but he chose to take the risk and believe in faith and also in his intuition in a sense that he was convinced he could bring some kind of change despite the risks.
Secondly, we were listening teachers talking about their religions and I found it quite impressing as I heard about beliefs I have never faced before. For some people it felt quite controversial to listen these information from clearly high educated people, most importantly from those who are working in the science area. This idea connected to the big debate topic whether there is place for science and faith and how is it possible to believe in both. While we were questioning why humanity even has the need of faith and of course we couldn’t end with a clear conclusion as the topic is so broad and has so many sides of it, we were able to see how these areas can be connected and not just confronted with each other.
As one of the core ideas in connection with the Religious knowledge system, we need to talk about how religion depends on shared knowledge and given respect to authority. As it can be seen as a code of culture, it’s needed to see who is the ‘leader’, who we are giving legitimacy to learned the rules from.
Next to that, the basic ideas are similar in the different beliefs system to help people to become the better versions of themselves. This fundamentality can be shaped by different interpretations and also, as well as creates ethical boundaries, it’s giving space for some people to use it as an explanation for their actions.
Humanity created religion to help to explain the unknown, exploring questions which haven’t got answers from science. This opens the door for debating it’s certainty and also, the question of the need of evidence.
I participated in Write for Rights this year which means that we were learning about different human rights violation and write in connection with them for 24 hours to different governments and leaders.
It was really interesting to deep digger into the diverse problems, see the manifestations of problems from all around the world. I could get to know Amaya’s situation better, see the aftermaths of the girls’ segregation during their period in India and also let my voice heard in connection with the Mexico borders family separation ( just to mention some).
I haven’t done anything like this before and it was quite challenging to write constantly. 24 hours seems to be not enough most of the time, but working constantly can show our mistake in perception.
To be honest, I would never be able to accomplish it for the whole time without the others. We were there for each other and support every one of us when we felt down and it seemed to be the night would never end.
Creativity: Being a stage manager in the school musical, AIDA
This was my first time being a stage manager and it was challenging in many different areas. When my drama teacher offered it to one of my friends and to me, we were happy to take it, but we didn’t think it through what does it mean exactly.
Firstly, it was hard to work out our schedule, because it clashed with the other activities and services that we have started. We had to go to different teachers and making compromises, trying to figure it out who it could work.
Secondly, controlling more than 60 people is hard and usually it’s not the most popular job to do. We have to be super confident and always be able to manage many things at the same time. With keeping in mind that when do I need to go off the stage, help costume change, give props to people we still had to work on fixing the lights constantly. There was always something to do.
It was stressful and overwhelming sometimes, but I got so much out of it. Not just the experience, but the joy of working with so many people. We had our hard moments, but they faded away during the shared laughs at rehearsals and at the shows. These incredibly talented guys were so kind and cheerful, while they were acting like professionals. I learned not just about them, but about how to be a better person as well. At the beginning I expected that I will be left out of the team, because I’m not performing, I’m not on the stage. Luckily, my predictions are wrong. 😀 During this whole process I learned that even if the show is from the actors, they could not exist without the stage crew and the importance of working together and help each other. Backstage
If I could I would go to all of them and thank for being so amazing.
Dan Gilbert is discussing the way we are making decisions during our everyday life. He starts his presentation with quoting Bernoulli who tried to clarify the method of making a good choice. “The expected value of any of our actions is the product of two simple things: the odds that this action will allow us to gain something, and the value of that gain to us.” The only problem with this quote is the failure to acknowledge the error we are making in estimating the odds or values.
I’ve done extremely large amount of bad decisions in my life, especially when my ‘error’ was influenced by language, a really complex way of knowing things. We had a refugee crisis back in my country and we heard how immigrants are dangerous, because they are aggressive, usually steals and rape and terrorists are coming with them – ‘ a part of their group’. Of course, I didn’t believe, but the amount of hatred I saw, convinced me to be careful. There is a huge train station close to me and many immigrants were staying there for a couple of weeks. Because of inductive reasoning, I avoided the station as much as I could, until they were gone. There weren’t any bombing or death that they brought with them and I felt ashamed to avoid them that much, while there is a chance I could help them somehow and also make my life faster with using the transportation there. However, my premises were false, therefore my conclusion couldn’t be true and this lead to a bad decision.
My chosen issue is the conflicts and stereotypes between the day-students and boarders. I’ve heard many prejudices in connection with our living area and we can see that there is a separation because of it. ‘Boarders are such a close community, it’s hard to be friends with them.’ – is the most common one or ‘Day students already have their own friendship groups and they’re not open to us.’ Because I can understand why and how this issue has evolved, in my opinion, the way that we should to prevent and solve it is pulling together our community. It’s quite obvious that boarders are closer to each other, because we’re living together. We have many activities and Boarding House outings thanks to the house parents, so we have many opportunity to form relationships and share memories.
I think this issue can’t be solved with a one-day long workshop or with discussions. As a UWC school we’re proud of our community, which I wouldn’t say it’s strong at the moment. In my view, creating challenges and opportunities to work together would be the right solution. Of course, we can’t move the whole school, but we can initiate Grade outings, weekends together. I’ve heard that even though many students have been living here for a long time, they don’t really explore Singapore. Next to that, it could be a long weekend away to go together to one of the near countries, for instance Malaysia. These can be at the beginning of some of the breaks (October/Chinese New Year), but of course, it’s crucial to send out surveys and questionnaires about the programs, ask about the students’ opinion and ideas about what, how and when to do.
The whole-day IFP Activity was quite interesting and unusual, because of the appearance of the Dover students. We got much more closer to each other, than ever before, but it was challenging to be not just strangers who are working together, but real teams and be effective. Our collaboration was surprisingly good and fun and during the activities. We were taught to be better leaders and how shall we perform as coaches. It helped me to connect more to people, get a deeper understanding of each other and also, teach me how to control myself sometimes for the others’ benefit.
Mathematical method is created and used by humanity. We based on of our perception of the patterns in nature and we use it to express our observation about the world. It’s a logical system, built up by different patterns, proven by us – it’s an axiom. Unlike the scientific method, which needs a hypothesis and replication and the challenge to prove itself wrong the mathematical method is self-evident truth. It’s invented to be another language – make the communication easier when we’re talking about how to measure something and answer to certain questions. It’s essential to use when we’re talking about science – it’s in our everyday lives, we base a big part our scientific knowledge on the rules of maths. Our mathematical knowledge is systemised and having a strategic reasoning, just like science and we’re applying it in many area. For instance, architecture, technology, economics, politics etc… Even though, it’s a huge part of our lives, we often forget that we can’t solve everything with math or predict the future with it.
We had our second meeting with our patients and this session helped me re-evaluate many things. Even though, my lady is not talkative, communicative at all, it made me realise that because of this, I have to appreciate even more the moments when I can reach some kind of reaction and be happy for the smallest things. Yes, other patients usually younger and in a different stadium of dementia and I can’t compare our development to others. I was totally wrong, when I tried it. Now, I know that I need lots of patience and I have to see the positive side. This realisation help me to be happy, when she’s initiating eye-contact, or taking the Ipod onto her leg and starts to sing. These little moments are showing that there’s a chance to help and reach development. When we’re entering the room, she usually stares at one point and not looking at anyone, she’s not doing anything. So these tiny changes that I can create, means huge progressions.