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.

ISTJ-A Personality Type

LOGISTICIAN PERSONALITY (ISTJ, -A/-T)

We took the Myers Briggs Personality Test in PSE today. After answering all the questions, I was given the result of Logistician, also known as ISTJ.

ISTJ stands for Introverted, Sensing, Thinking, Judging.

ISTJ indicates that this person is:

  • Introverted – is energized by time spent alone
  • Sensing – focuses on facts and details rather than ideas and concepts
  • Thinking – makes decisions based on logic and reason
  • Judging – prefers to be planned and organized over spontaneous and flexible

Below are some of the results from the website that I feel particularly resonate with me, and that I feel like are accurate to my character.

General Characteristics:

  • Logistician personalities can competently tackle any project that comes with a manual. On the other hand, this makes them reluctant to give up responsibilities even when they are overburdened, or when there are better people for the job.
  • The seriousness in their approach to work makes them surprisingly sensitive to criticism, leading to a levels of inflexibility.
  • Consequently, people with the Logistician personality type often prefer to work alone, or at least have their authority clearly established by hierarchy, where they can set and achieve their goals without debate or worry over other’s reliability.
  • While they are unlikely to become friends with substantially different types, they still recognize and appreciate others’ strengths and qualities.
  • Value predictability more than imagination

Strengths:

  • They respect authority and hierarchy, and have no problem following orders and instructions.
  • Punctuality is unlikely to ever be an issue
  • While clearly set steps and well-defined responsibilities are needed, they are exceptionally loyal, dedicated, meticulous and patient in completing their work.

Weaknesses:

  • Stubborn – They tend to resist any new idea that isn’t supported by them. This factual decision-making process also makes it difficult for ISTJ’s to accept that they were wrong about something
  • Always by the Book – They believe that things work best with clearly defined rules, but this makes them reluctant to bend those rules or try new things, even when the downside is minimal. Truly unstructured environments leave Logisticians all but paralyzed.
  • They need to remember to take care of themselves – their stubborn dedication to stability and efficiency can compromise those goals in the long term as others lean ever-harder on them, creating an emotional strain that can go unexpressed.

Science Society

I decided to join Science Society because I want to study the sciences in my future, and I was hoping that science society would be a good way to meet others who had similar interests as me. I also thought that it would be a good opportunity to hopefully learn about some interesting new concepts that I otherwise wouldn’t have become exposed to.

The first meeting of Science Society was mainly for introductory purposes: we introduced ourselves and the areas of science we were interested in. We then listened to a presentation and short video clip of the Voyager 1 launch on September 5th 1977. We split into groups to discuss and then make a mini-presentation about a science topic, and my group chose the Wave Particle Accelerator (The formal name: The Large Hadron Collider) in CERN’s research facilities.

Over the past few weeks, we have covered a variety of topics such as Robots and AI, Pulsars, Space Time, and Biomimicry. Each time, we spend the first part listening to a presentation that gives a general overview before then going on the do a small amount of discussion and research in groups to further the discussion. We ask questions about the ethics behind a scientific discovery, or about interesting uses/applications.

For example, this website here has great examples of biomimicry in our everyday lives: including how biomimicry is a part of transportation, structural design (ventilation), and military technology (camouflage).

https://www.digitaltrends.com/cool-tech/biomimicry-examples/

Riding for the Disabled Association – Global Issues and Ethical Implications

This reflection about the RDA is less about what I do lesson by lesson and more about the deeper implications behind working at RDA and what it means not only for me, but also for the riders that we work with. This reflection is about the global value and the ethical implications that I face while working in this service, and how it impacts me.


LO 6​ GLOBAL VALUE (Engaging with issues of global importance)
The largest global issue of working at Riding for the Disabled Association Singapore is working with groups that are outside of the “normal” sphere of society. In current society, there are a lot of issues with Ableism and the way that disabled people don’t have the same opportunities that able-bodied people have. This also means that there isn’t a big connection between the two groups in society, and the groups don’t get the opportunity to interact with one another and work together. As society changes and improves, we’re finding more and more people that face different sorts of disabilities and we’re working to be more open and supportive. Doing this indirectly though is much different from directly working with a group, and that really tests how principled you can be. You have to be able to go from saying “I don’t have that discrimination” to actually displaying that you don’t have that discrimination. So far, I’ve learned a little more about down syndrome (which is the disability that my rider has) but also about cerebral palsy (the disability of another rider I worked with). I know the scientific background of down syndrome, but it’s difficult to actually compare the diagrams in science to a real person. I’ve learned more about how to work with mental disabilities versus physical disabilities, and different ways of interacting depending on what is needed. I think us working with the riders helps them as well. I think that we both don’t know much about each other. I don’t know what they do in their day to day life, I don’t really know what they go through, or what their family goes through. Riding may be the best part of their week, as it was for me, and I hope to help them through. Last week, when I was waiting with my rider for our turn to  mount our horse, the rider before us went to mount their horse, and they had the largest smile on their face. I hadn’t ever seen that from this particular rider and it was really heartwarming.

I think that we’ve been taught very little about disabilities. I think that people with disabilities are labelled by their disabilities and not by who they are, and that we can’t see past that. I feel that we’ve been taught to classify them in a different category because they are not as able-bodied/minded as we consider ourselves to be. I’m hoping that participating in this activity forces me to change whatever prejudices are internalized into my mindset and behavior. I’m hoping that I actually act as an openminded person instead of just wanting or thinking that I am one. I’m hoping to learn more about disabilities so that it isn’t a foreign topic and that it’s a comfortable idea to work with.


LO 7 ETHICS (Considering the ethical implications of actions)
The largest ethical issue that I face in RDA is the issue of safety, which can split into a few different subsets. The primary subset is the physical safety of the rider. As a side walker, you are responsible for supporting the rider and keeping up with the horse so that the rider doesn’t fall to either side. This puts an enormous responsibility of safety directly into your hands, linked with your actions. You need to make sure that the rider is steady and that to the best of your ability, there are no falls or accidents. Additionally, you have to make sure that you’re aware of the rider and the horse at all times, and do your best to tailor yourself to each rider. Some riders need more support than others, and some riders want to do things alone. The biggest question for me is how much support do I give? I really worry about the strength and capabilities of myself and my rider, and I’m scared that they could get injured if I overestimate the amount of help they

One of the sessions when I was working with a rider with cerebral palsy, I was extremely hesitant to let go. The instructor kept telling me to only support their ankle instead of their ankle and back and I was very conflicted over this. I wanted to listen to the instructor, as they would obviously know best, but I didn’t want to let go because I thought he would be more likely to fall. Although I did in the end listen to the instructor, I still felt nervous for a period of time after changing my positioning. It was a battle between what would be good for the rider and what I feared could happen.

The second subset is the safety of the rider outside of RDA. We keep information about the rider and their personal details in the RDA facility, and we also do not talk about the riders and their disabilities outside of the people working in our service group. It’s why we blur the photos that we take and is also why, as a personal choice, I do not use pronouns or names, instead say they/their when talking about a rider.

 

The Week of CultuRama

This week is going to be extremely busy. The schedule has been released and it’s very full; There is rehearsal on Monday and Wednesday from 4 to 9 pm, a dress rehearsal performance with an audience on Wednesday, and two full performances on Thursday. I’m worried about the long hours and managing other work at the same time, and I hope that everything will go as planned.


Monday: We’ve been modifying choreography and changing the music to the full version with a longer introduction than we have used before. We’ve changing the entrance of the dance along with the end formation, and we have to run through the show two times today. We also have to combine with India Garba at the beginning and end of their dance, which is uncomfortable and confusing for everyone. We only have around 15 minutes to figure out this new choreography before we have to head to the auditorium to begin the main rehearsal for the day. We practice one time before the official start on the stage, and there are mistakes from everyone. I’m really worried that we won’t be together, even though the new choreo is supposed to help with this.We switched the placement of the dupatta (scarf) so that it’s further towards the crown of the head, it sort of gets in the way of my arms when I’m turning. It’s a really long day and we ended much later than supposed to.

Extra notes: The other dances were amazing to see, I’ve never seen some of these dance styles before, and everyone is so synchronized and energetic. Seeing all the dances with the full lights and costume, and ours with India Garba, is really beautiful. It mimics the performance so well, the anticipation is building.


Wednesday: We have an audience today during the second rehearsal!! Very exciting but also extremely nerve wracking, we’ve practiced a lot individually and as a group: I listen to the music and watch the videos of the rehearsals on my way to school in the morning, and I feel like the music is really internalized to the point I know all the melodies and even some words. The first rehearsal went well but some minor mistakes, but we’ve fixed the entrance and the exit/entrance mix with Garba. Us reentering into their dance is still a bit messy with the turns but it’s much better than on Thursday. We’ve fixed the dupatta to be much further back over the bun, and everyone already knows what makeup/jewelry/hair needs to be done. No issues with the costume luckily, and much more synchronized. I still think of today as an actual performance even though it isn’t classified as one. Very late night again but more fulfilling to do.

Extra notes: Lots of congratulations from people watching the performance who said it went really well. Helps all of us to feel proud about what we’ve achieved in so short a time, but the real performances are tomorrow.


Thursday: Show Day!! We immediately have to start getting ready from after school onwards because there is only a few hours until the first show. We’re all running around very busy with hair and makeup, and all helping each other and helping the Garba girls as well. We don’t have any costume malfunctions luckily, although using the candles are stressful and some begin to burn out. We fit in a short practice of the end formation outside the auditorium while waiting for out turn, we’re nearly the last dance and have a lot of time. Poorvi and Mansi are very stressed, but we all are. Now is the time for fixing small mistakes that can make or break the dance. My candle placement is on the clear opposite side from where I need to be next, and I’m running across the stage every time to make it before the lights turn on again. It’s very hard to not be obvious side stage when holding bright lights. We’re all very tense but while dancing it is very freeing, it’s exhilarating for everyone when we finish our dance and wait to reenter with Garba. The circle was in the center and the ending was sharp, there were no large mistakes with formation or movement and the turning was synchronized. Poorvi begins the dance extremely well and we all end together, the ending with Garba is also very sharp even though there are a lot of us on stage dancing different things.

Extra notes: Many of my friends came today, and my parents watched the first show. A short break in between where there was food from different cultures, many things that I recognize. There was even pepernoten, a flashback towards being home.

After the Show: Celebration from everyone in the dressing rooms and scrambling to clean up before we all cram into a conference room to hear thank yous and to gives cards and flowers to the organizers and the dance leaders. Lots of cheering and clapping from everyone for a wonderful show with such a variety of dances.


In the end, it was such an amazing experience, and a very unique one that I would have never gotten the opportunity to do other wise. I met girls in different grades and different backgrounds that all worked together with me to produce an amazing dance. I learned a new style of dancing that I had never heard or seen before, and danced for the largest audience I’ve ever danced for.

The biggest takeaway of all? I would do it all over again.