Extended Essay Day – 9th of May 2019

Today, I’ve spent the majority of my day focusing on the biological aspect of depression and the relationship between neurons and neurotransmitters. I have learnt more about the way that neurotransmitters are transmitted and how this translates to a larger macroscale view. I was able to talk to my Psychology teacher about incorporating psychology into the EE contents, and I learnt of the different types of cognitive theories of depression. Ideally, I will structure my essay with the theory and the biological explanation followed by the case study, before critically analyzing the study both internally and to a general conclusion. I was able to complete and organize most of my research that is necessary for the parts of my EE that help to support the case study. I have also narrowed down several possible case studies that I will have to go through in order to further analyze. I began writing my introduction and initial aspects of my body paragraphs, and I’ve worked over halfway to the first 1000 word requirement, so I think I’ll be able to reach the 1000 words fairly soon. 

I’m hoping to complete my biological research soon, so that I can move on to the more complex psychological side. Once both explanations of depression are clarified, it will be far easier to look at antidepressants and pick a case study that can be analyzed.

Extended Essay: Reflective Conversation 1

In MYP Personal Project, I studied the link between environment and the development of several mental illnesses, therefore when I was directed from Biology to World Studies, I took the opportunity to look deeper into the link between the biological and psychological development of depression and how antidepressants treat depression, however, I struggled to direct my thinking into focusing a research question with a smaller lens to study health. I was curious why there were different antidepressants and why some don’t work for different people. My supervisor suggested isolating gender, as gender is a genetic factor that may have a permanent influence on the drugs’ effect. My initial strategy is to understand biologically and psychologically who depression occurs in and why, and what antidepressants affect. I feel this is base knowledge to understanding if and why there are gender differences that can be used to better understand and treat depression across high-risk populations

Ladakh Documentary

In Ladakh over two sessions, we spent the majority of the meetings watching a documentary that is set in Leh, Ladakh. The documentary was about how tourism is causing major changes within the economical and social aspects of living in Ladakh. The documentary was a mixture of many different interviews: some were from tourists, some were from local farmers, some were from local politicians and government workers. Despite this, the views were not as varied as one would think. Many of the interviewees believe that there have been some negative effects of globalization, especially to the native Ladakhi people.

Primarily, the growth in tourism was causing major changes with the Buddhist lifestyle of many of the locals. Much of the Ladakhi culture was being replaced or only highlighted for the purpose of drawing in tourists to Ladakh, which changed how the local people viewed their own culture. It became a tool to use in order to have financial gain. Especially because Leh is unreachable within the winter months due to dangerous weather conditions, the locals must utilize the summer months to the best of their abilities. As farming has decreased due to younger generations traveling from farms into the cities for work, there is a need for jobs within the city that can provide enough money during summer months to last workers for the rest of the year.

Here is a video of the discussion that our group had after finishing the documentary:

 

Ladakh: Run for Rights 2019

Run for Rights SWOT Analysis

STRENGTHS

The strengths of our service partnership are:

  • No one got lost – no one got hurt, we had the emergency team well coordinated
  • Lot of the stuff was available from last year so there was enough guides for logistics
  • Able to make a profit
  • Offered food and water
  • We planned for many different situations
  • Were coordinated
  • Marketed to the High School and many teachers were interestedWEAKNESSES

    Identify them and add strategies to minimise them:

    • Risk assessment was late as the guides of what to do weren’t organised
    • There needs to be a more logical order for what to do in terms of logistics
    • Less people for logistics
    • Confusion between pledge cards and risk bands
    • Too late for marketing
    • Unsure of placement in kilometer marker
    • Posters along the run weren’t visible or legible
    • Not enough people encouragement for runners – didn’t create the right environment (maybe need more people)
    • Wastage of food?
    • Not enough people showed up
    • Podcast
    • Not enough people to pack up event in school

OPPORTUNITIES
Further goals for our service partnership are:

      • Printing registration form
      • More communication with service office on the steps to organise events
      • Expectations and order need to be communicated by service
      • order
      • Maybe merge pledge cards and wrist bands into one
      • Clarify that pledge cards are competitive
      • Make it more of a family event
      • Earlier market
      • More organized shifts for GC members to allow members to participate in event
      • Move the date to not be close to exams etc.
      • More people for packing up the event on Saturday in school
      • Put snacks and water every kilometer for runners to hydrate and eat

THREATS

Identify them and add strategies to overcome them:

  • Weren’t extremely prepared for rain or lighting
  • Deadlines were cut close
  • Not properly marked hazards
  • Markers were wrong so runners confused

PSE: Relationship Banking

Deposits:

In terms of meeting with adults from partnerships such as Extended Essay supervising, Project Week supervising, or University Advising, it is really important to be able to understand what qualities are important to building and maintaining solid relationships. I believe that one of these key qualities is politeness. This includes punctuality, respect, and holding up your end of the bargain. If you decided that you want to invest in a relationship with a supervisor, this means that they also will also have to invest time into you.

Sample deposits would:

  • Sending and responding to emails on time
  • Preparing necessary materials
  • Being polite
  • Being cooperative
  • Listening to opinions and suggestions with an open mind
  • Working together to the best of your abilities
  • Not letting your partner do all the work
  • Asking for times that work for the other person
  • Being on time to meetings
  • Submitting materials by proper deadlines – not too late that supervisors can’t look at them

Withdrawals:

Preparation involves a lot of personal awareness about your own schedules and abilities. Therefore, if you think that it’s going to be too hard to meet at the predetermined meeting or to complete a task that you said you would complete, it’s better to inform the supervisor in advance. It helps both parties, as they are aware of your struggles and they are therefore much more akin to helping you, or at least support you.

Who are people in the future with whom you might have professional relationships with? How will you keep those relationships in the positive?

In the future, it’s highly likely that regardless of what career path I choose to take, I will encounter sorts of professional relationships with others. This includes working inside a company where there are many different levels of jobs, such as different types of managers or people who work within different departments or regions.

Regardless of how impersonal one knows each other, I think the same sort of deposits that I mentioned above are imperative to keeping lasting positive relationships. Being an agreeable person, one who is polite and cooperative, one who tries their best and holds up their end of the work.

 

Ladakh Video

In Ladakh, we’ve recently been working in small groups in order to produce three separate videos that can combine to form one video that displays the different goals and plans of Ladakh GC, along with how they connect to the goals and plans of the group that Ladakh GC works with.

My group was set to answer the following questions:

  1. What are the goals for Ladakh GC this year?
  2. How do the goals of both Ladakh GC and the Lamdon and Thiksey schools overlap with the UN SDGS?
  3. What does the Lamdon school do for its students in terms of education?

This involved some research from all the different members, and I directed the younger members to focus on the first question, while myself and another 11th grader each took question 2 and 3 respectively. From this, we then wrote an audio script that would be recorded separately from the visuals.

The Audio Script:

In Ladakh GC, we aim to cover multiple aspects of service in order to best support out NGO. Our indirect goal for Ladakh GC is to raise money for improving infrastructure, specifically improving sanitary conditions, while our direct goal is to raise funds, $1000, to purchase musical and sports equipment and send a project week group to Ladakh.

Part of the UWCSEA core values is to have a strong connection to the world around us, and to have personal engagement in global issues. As a result, all Global Concern service groups are connected to at least one of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, along with the personal goals of the NGO or organisation.

The UWCSEA Ladakh GC aims to promote Ladakhi culture whilst aiding the efforts of Lamdon school; this will be by providing necessary classroom materials and organizing 1 key event that we will raise majority of our funds by.

The schools that we work with, the Lamdon and Thiksey schools, have a specific mission that Ladakh GC supports through shared beliefs. The schools have an extensive list of their missions and visions, as can be seen below.

Vision and Mission of Lamdon School:

  • To eradicate evils from society by lighting the lamp of education, thus to have a fully content, happy and healthy society
  • To achieve our aims and objective
  • To provide quality education and equality to all
  • To preserve and promote the rich cultural heritage of Ladakh
  • To teach the Ladakhi language as a compulsory subject
  • To install good values in the minds of the children
  • To inculcate a sense of a responsible citizen
  • To teach the basics of Buddhism from the start
  • To provide free education to the children from poor families (by promotion of sponsorship)
  • To provide an education grounded in our own culture to lead a happy and prosperous life

Overall, the mission of the schools are to improve society by giving children of all backgrounds the opportunity to receive a quality education that encompasses the cultural heritage of Ladakh, the sense of good values, and the understanding and participation of Buddhism.

From this, it is possible to connect the goals of Ladakh GC and the Lamdon school to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals number four and number ten, which are quality education and reduced inequalities, respectively. These goals align closely with target 4.7 of quality education that: By 2030, all learners can acquire the knowledge and skills needed to promote sustainable development, including, among others, through education for sustainable development and sustainable lifestyles, human rights, gender equality, promotion of a culture of peace and non-violence, global citizenship and appreciation of cultural diversity and of culture’s contribution to sustainable development.

The goals of Lamdon and Thiskey overlap with the goals of the UNSDGS in terms of giving quality education to those that can’t afford it, reduce inequality and bring about a change for a better world.

The Lamdon School in Leh has 2175 students and nine other branches all over Ladakh including in the most remote areas. Eight hundred of these students are sponsored by various different donors. The Lamdon School is especially devoted to helping children from remote areas and poor backgrounds and charges a very nominal fee from those students who do not have sponsors. It focuses on preserving their culture and to which end it has made Tibetan Language compulsory till class 8. Those students interested in pursuing their traditional language have the option of continuing with it till class 12. The school has two residential hostels – one for the boys and the other one for the girls. This is an essential aspect of a school devoted to making education accessible for children from remote areas. A hostel acts as a home away from home for these children and they become a family of sorts as their families are mostly very far away. It is critical to the development of a child to have a safe sanctuary to grow up in.

Christmas Caroling

Caroling aka How to Get Into the Christmas Spirit

On the evening of the 7th of December, UWC held a sort of caroling night for the Lower school students to enjoy, where they could come

with their family and bring some food and blankets to sing along with some Christmas carols for the evening. Earlier that week, Ms Stirrat asked a few of us in Sonos if we were free to help sing some songs on the Friday. Along with Georgia, Emily, Lydia, and Hannah from Bersama, we met on Wednesday to choose some Christmas carols that we wanted to perform. We settled on White Winter Hymnal, Silent Night, White Christmas, Hark the Angels, We Three Kings, and It’s Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas. We spent around an hour and a half learning the different songs and testing some different ideas out. We decided to combine some of the songs and shorten certain parts, and tested the way our voices sounded with others, eventually coming up with partners in the song to sing different parts.

On the day, my service did not have a meeting, and I was therefore able to practice another time with the other girls. Considering the short amount of time we had, we were able to pull together most of the songs. However, we found out that instead of “performing” the carols, we would be singing along with the children, and inviting some of them to also get up and sing with us. This meant that instead of singing only 4-6 predetermined songs, we would actually be singing all 15 or so carols. Seems like a good idea, except for the minor fact that I am not familiar with many of the words or titles of carols, and therefore do not actually know which carols I can sing or not (Nothing quite like learning the song as you’re singing it into a microphone). We all covered for each other though, and there were adults singing with us as well, and many children, so the experiences wasn’t as daunting as performing in front of a large audience while being half prepared would normally be. It was all in good fun and Christmas cheer, and the children were even visited by Santa Claus. I got to know some of my other choir members and grade members, and learned some songs while we were at it.

 

Happy Holidays!

Wavelengths: Middle School and High School Music Concert

Wavelengths was a massive performance comprised of different instrumental and vocal groups from middle school and high school, including the middle school and high school orchestras and bands, middle school girls choir, Bersama, Sonos, three marimba groups, and percussion groups. This led to a really wonderful evening wherein all the hard work and new skills of the past few months could be displayed by a large group of students. The auditorium was packed with both family members and friends who were there to see the musical display and achievements.

Sonos choir sang one song from the upcoming HS musical Aida called “The Gods Love Nubia”, along with Bersama and the Middle School girls choir. This was actually rather shocking, because we didn’t know that we would be performing with the other choir groups until very soon before the concert, and this led to a large amount of adaptation while in rehearsal, in order to best fit the different vocal parts with all the new members, who had learned the song separately. It became absolutely necessary to focus on the way your personal voice and sound would interact and contribute with the other singers.

While Bersama does have tenor and basses, there were far more sopranos and altos as the middle school choir was comprised of girls. This led to a rather imbalanced sound, and the male parts were rather overwhelmed. This is a good area to focus on for any future performances that we do, to learn our strengths and which songs are fitting, and then work to make a performance with a solid and even sound throughout.

Science Society Science Fair Project

Since the beginning of Science Society, we’ve transitioned from learning about new science topics and concepts to helping plan and produce projects for the science fair that will be hosted in the new year. We began planning around the end of the October break and beginning of November period, and are currently halfway or so in the project.

Together with a few other students in 11th grade, we’ve decided to focus on The Effects of Antifungal Medicine upon Fungal Infections. Since we’re a mix of students who take Biology and Chemistry, we wanted an option that would be interesting for all the members of the group. Unlike some of the other groups, we’re choosing a more “theoretical” approach that doesn’t involve experimentation. Instead, it will be more of a research focused project that allows us to learn more about medicine and the effects from other studies that have been conducted. We all agreed that with varying schedules and other factors, carrying out an experiment wouldn’t be the most practical or fulfilling way to explore our topic.

In the past meetings, there have been lots of steps to initiate the projects and beginning to prepare for the necessary items. So far, our group has decided on a title, aim, and theory to research. We’ve began some preliminary research needed and written out a schedule of when tasks should be completed by.

We’ve finalized our Aim: To compare and contrast how different antifungal medicines affect fungal infections.