I once again got to learn and develop my speaking skills in front of a large audience. This time I feel like there was a little more pressure because there were quite a few people I knew at the conference, so if I mess up these people would know. It could come back to me if I did poorly. Considering this is also a very big conference, I will have to give it my best. I wasn’t drafted at first but when I heard I got the part I was looking forward to being a part of this international conference. This was the first time that I was going to a conference in SAS (Singapore American School). Although it was a new environment, just being a part of the MUN conference made me feel like I’m still part of this community. Like all other MUN conferences, I enjoyed partaking in this one and took solace in the feeling that I contributed to the community by providing my perspective on the issue.
On the last day of our therapy sessions with the patients, I entered and left Apex Harmony Lodge with a heavy heart, wondering what would happen to Vincent (my assigned patient) in the future. Will he be assigned another person to listen to music with? Will that person treat him well? Will his nephew visit him again? Throughout my experience I learned a lot about respecting the elderly and being cheerful, even when there isn’t any response or the environment may seem dull.
Furthermore, I knew music was something that I could connect to and the music was a very personal thing I liked to engage in. Seeing how music impacted these patients, who are struggling to even recollect memories, showed me just how powerful music is. Regardless of age, language or even disease, everyone can enjoy music. I hope to use these learnings in the future when it comes to helping my family and being aware of how to help.
When we left, we were surprised with a certificate of appreciation and thank you quotes from some of the patients that nearly brought me to tears, (although I didn’t because there were people around).
I had decided along with my friend Akshat that we will be going to our GC for project week. We had collaborated with the rest of our GC every Tuesday to figure out what projects we will help out with when we go there. We had a few things planned out: understanding the plastic wastage there and how we can recycle it, the energy usage in the village so that we can help implement solar power and initiate the leadership workshops to help students take initiative and nudge them to help their community as well. Going to the school itself was a completely different experience, it’s nothing at all what I imagined it to be. I felt that the system there was so much more efficient than what I presumed it would be and the kids there were so motivated and engaged in classes. I also underestimated the energy requirements in the community because they had access to ample energy for daily usage. Switching to solar would just be a hassle for them. The person in charge, Sokrath, was very happy with our work there at the end. I learnt a lot about connecting with a new community and how being physically present is much different to seeing a situation from far away. We had to be extra careful of how we interact with the children there because we don’t want to hurt them in any way, so we had to be culturally and socially aware of what were doing there so that we did our duties and helped them at the same time.
Although I am grateful that I had taken Additional maths externally so I can help myself prepare a little for HL maths, nothing could have prepared me for the past year. At the start, while learning the basic concepts the knowledge from Add maths did help, but then I realised how quick we were going. It is a very rushed course and the concepts aren’t the easiest to understand. For me it took some time to wrap my head around some concepts and sometimes I just had to go with a few things without fully understanding them. I think being a new student also played a big role in the way that I learned because I had to study while trying to fit in at the same time. I would be lying if I said that it wasn’t hard for me at times, to balance everything, which is one of the reasons why my confidence level as seen in the graph never went very high. At the start of the year I thought that I could handle this, I am good in maths and I am able to solve questions and I never felt that the mini quizzes insanely hard. After the first long test however, I realised that the course is much harder than I thought it would be. The test caught me off guard and the I realised why I’ve heard the haunting stories and whispers of HL Math being the worst decision ever. from there I realised that I had to work harder and I started working more and doing more practice and then I upped my confidence again.
I really learnt the value of practising and revising because I have seen the result of not practising for myself and experienced the downfall of not working hard enough. I find the unpredictable nature of the questions the hardest to cope with and I think that more practice is the only way of battling this. I know if I’ve done good or bad in a test based on my scoring, and I like to go over my tests to see where I did well and where I can improve. Having a growth mindset is crucial because I couldn’t have made through the year if I kept getting hung up with the past tests and how I messed up. Instead, I like to focus on what I can do now to do better.
I enjoyed dancing and I never realized that I would actually have so much fun being a part of a dance show. Every part of it was so enjoyable, the photos, spending time with my friends, playing basketball in between the shows and best of all when the audience went wild after our performance! It was exhilarating! I learned a lot about what I can do when dancing. It was especially encouraging when I heard from all my friends that I was really good. Just hearing these compliments and praise I became much more confident. I want to dance more. I’ve decided that I will dance in more shows simply because its something I love doing. I have learned so much I didn’t know about myself – I always thought I wasn’t the kind of person who would be good at arts. Doing this has shown me that I’ve become more aware of my skills other than academics, and surprisingly enough it’s within the field of dance. I never would’ve thought that a dance show like this would be helping a larger community and raise awareness for issues through storytelling, which was done through dance. I’m looking forward to exploring this fun activity more in other opportunities I get.
I wanted to try a dancing activity without any pressure of auditions and all my friends were going for this one and encouraging me to do it with them as well. I feel like this opportunity would be a nice way to enter the dancing community and learn my strengths and weaknesses at being a dancer. Fortunately, it was Indian themed, which made it easier to connect with. I also came to learn that this event is about raising awareness for a GC, which is just extra motivation to take part. I’ve always enjoyed listening to music and even danced to it, but only when I’m alone so I’m curious to see how stepping out into the light as a performer will be for me. I only hope right now that I don’t make a fool out of myself in the final performance.
I realised my EE will require a multi-dimensional approach. Since my topic is unique, it’s difficult to find sources that explain the experiment. My model mimics areas which use surround sound systems consisting 4 speakers facing a common centre. So far I have done basic research and I think primary research would be more meaningful. In reality, sound interference patterns differ from the theoretical because of environmental factors like echo, diminishing intensities etc. I need to start doing experimentation to get an idea of how the model works. Before conducting the experiment itself however, I must first find a plausible model to compare my results to so that I start off with a hypothesis and use proper scientific method in my EE.
For me today was a very research and planning oriented day and I gained a lot of clarity as of how I need to pursue the EE in both theoretical as well as experimental aspects of it. At the start I was expecting to derive a very complex equation for the model that I am testing but I was able to simplify it so much so that I can apply the knowledge I have learnt in class and be able to creatively apply it to the model. I’m quite satisfied with this simplified version because it makes the process so much easier for me and I think I can get a much better job done for the EE. Of course this doesn’t mean that I have everything sorted out and it will all be smooth sails from here, I will have difficulties in my experiment which can affect the accuracy and precision of my results. I have assessed a few of those today such as the locations of where to observe the interference patterns, which I have narrowed down to 4 lines where I will be observing the intensity of the sounds coming together. I have also thought about the impacts of the surroundings on my experiment and how I would aim to minimise their influence. I’m proud of the fact that I have gotten a big mental blockage of this experiment out of the way, which was posing to be a very big hurdle for me but after persevering through that and getting this research done, I think I can now continue to build a model and plan it out so that I can start experimenting as soon as I can. I hope to start experimenting and gathering data by next week, which would be ideal, so I will need to figure out what I need and how I need to set it up. I have a basic model ready and I have started to think about what to write for the EE as well, which I aim to start writing up soon as well.
As this service went on and I kept developing ideas for our plastic press with my peers in Green Umbrella, I came to realise that I have started to enjoy not only working with my friends to work towards an effective and efficient solution, but also the feeling that I know these ideas will either directly be implemented in the school at Cambodia or at least help the future of the GC to further develop the ideas. I get inspired everyday to help those at Green Umbrella because as a part of the GC it is my duty to help them. I aim to work as hard as I can to aid them so they can get the education they deserve. I believe that the right to education is a basic human need and I want to try my best to help bring that right into the lives of those who may not get as many opportunities as I do. By helping the school out in the areas that they have requested us to, I believe that I am helping them in the ways that I can from so far away.
Since I will be going to the GC for project week, I have decided that I will step up and help more for the GC now. As I plan ahead with the teachers, other students in the GC and the Green Umbrella school as well, I aim to get a list of things, apart from the plastic press that I have been working on, that we can help with when we reach the school for project week. By getting a head start on what we need to do, we can make a plan accordingly and fully utilise our trip for helping the people at the GC.
I have enjoyed the past 2 seasons of STEM club, with all the debating and discussing that we do I have explored the applications of these fields in our lives. It’s interesting to observe how what we learn in class regarding STEM can be applied to many different fields such as economics and can also play parts in geography and politics as well. We used examples of scientific theories or advancements in technology and science and discussed how we believe they will impact the world we see around us.
These conversations are really engaging and fun to have because I can see various fields of my own studies come together. For instance I observe how we think about the economic affects of some technological advances and possible solutions to issues that are prevalent in today’s society. I remember we had once touched upon the topic of global warming while we were talking about the future of transport and we had discussed how transport will play a role in solving global warming by reducing pollution. However, sometimes I feel like these topics are forced at times and don’t feel genuine enough to be productive or learn anything new. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy seeing my favourite fields of study, namely science and engineering, being observed from different aspects and I have learnt how to look at an issue from various perspectives. But I believe that we should have these conversations more naturally and shouldn’t be as augmented as they are in this club. I still enjoy these conversations nonetheless and hope for more conversations like these in the future, just in a more naturally created environment.