Reflection of the Run for Rights Process
I didn’t know that “Kahaani” meant “story” for the longest of times, but it truly lived up to its namesake.
From what I’ve come to learn about UWC, performances are intense and the amount of time that goes into preparing for the shows is far longer than anything I’ve done before. The week of Kahaani was very busy, with rehearsals until 8 or 9 pm for a few days. But, there was a large highlight to the preparations: people from Voice of World School For the Blind who are partnered with Kolkata GC came to UWC. We had an assembly and they presented to us how exactly the money and awareness that Kahaani brings is used, and they shared a humbling video of the goals that the school works towards. To actually see a physical manifestation of something that we dedicate our time and energy, there are very few words to describe that. I love the idea of actually seeing our efforts, because I think it became very easy to just think of Kahaani as another performance and event that the school has and forget exactly why we all dedicated ourselves to helping Kolkata GC. That was the most meaningful moment of the whole Kahaani experience to me, and made all the long rehearsals and other annoyances worth it. The people from Voice of World School also stayed the whole week to watch the performances, and I hope it brought them much pride and joy to see the amount of people that turned up.
Only since coming to UWC have I had such an immersion in a different culture, mostly due to the amount of different people from different ethnicities. Kahaani is only my second time doing Indian dancing, and it was so different from the first time. There is such a diversity in the styles of the dancings, costumes, and music that it is a constantly changing experience. Kahaani was still incredibly fun, there were so many people I knew in all the dances, and the show week was filled with so many fun memories. I hope to do Kahaani again next year, because it was only something to gain.
Dance showcase was definitely challenging, perhaps not so much in the actual style of dancing itself, but in my own personal feelings about how everything was organized and how the week itself went. It was a busy week, with rehearsals and then the show itself all right on top of one another. I also had two tests that were supposed to occur that week, but that I ended up having to move to the next week. I’m not sure how I felt about that, because I personally feel that my academics are more important than my extracurricular, and that having to reschedule assignments because I wasn’t released to go home until 9 at night is a bit unfair. That is perhaps one of my main negative experiences about the show week, in that I felt there was a lack of clarify and order in what needed to be done, and that I had to be on the stage very last minute for the entire show.
However, Show Week was a true test of commitment and collaboration between everyone. My dance had to meet during some of the lunches to fine tune some aspects of our dance that we continued to struggle with, and we all put in time on the weekend before to meet and put together all the different components of the dance. There were some things that we had to change of the week of the show, but everyone relearnt the choreography and integrated it back into the dance. Everyone worked together and shared different resources for hair and makeup and costume, and there was overall a good relationship between all the dancers and the dance leaders. I know that it was difficult for some people in my dance who were in multiple other dances, as I myself was part of the transitions in the show and it was an added aspect, but I didn’t feel there was anyone who wasn’t committed to the dance.
Especially to my dance leaders, one of who had never choreographed or taught before, it turned out wonderfully. We kept to the theme, through our music and our dancing, and the end result was everything that we had spent the months working towards. And while this week was exhausting, there is exhilaration in dancing in a group, when you’re on the stage and the music and lighting is as it is supposed to be, mistakes don’t change that feeling of pride.
I feel like it’s really important to reflect on more than just things that you enjoyed from, but to reflect on different activities or experiences that you were not necessarily comfortable with or enjoyed. I would say one of the experiences that I continued doing but wasn’t completely invested in was the Science Fair. Which is not to say that I am disinterested in science in any way, but I realized that the idea of our research project wasn’t completely something I was passionate about, and it wasn’t something that the rest of my group members were passionate about.
I did of course continue until the end, because I felt obligated to finish what I had started, and I didn’t want to let my group down by not completely any research at all. I would say this was more perseverance for me than many other activities, because there is usually more of a desire to persevere with an activity you really love. That’s why this experience for me was one where I really did persevere, because I forced myself to follow through with the plans we made and the research question we originally set out, and I did learn along the way. While personally fungal infections were not the highest on my list of things I find fascinating to read about at home, I did end up writing and editing the majority of the report. In the end, I’m rather proud of my personal achievement with this, because I spent a lot of time researching the different aspects of fungal infections and different drugs that can be used to treat fungal infections, and I worked with another group member to get all the information finished on time. I’m quite happy that her and I were able to pull it together.
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.
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
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:
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
- Not enough people to pack up event in school
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
- 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
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
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
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.