I would say grade 10 as a whole has been a very productive and an extremely good learning journey. Despite COVID-19’s disastrous effects on schooling, it was nevertheless a very fruitful year.
In terms of academics, I have improved in many of my subjects. I can truly say that it has been a joy to learn so many different things. From the American Civil War in History to Behavioural Economics. If we were to take a look at my learning in History, the highlight would be the drafting of my essay on the Apartheid in South Africa. I worked very hard on this essay and learnt a lot, not just about history but about writing. How to entice your reader, how to write a solid conclusion. These were aspects that I had a lot of fun with, now that I am looking back. If I reflect on the history of Apartheid or The American Civil War and Slavery, I would say such topics are very pertinent right now with the death of George Floyd. Black people even now are not only asking for their legal rights but their rights to be a human being. After more than a century of fighting for their rights, I feel like we haven’t improved enough. It is not only saddening but jaw-dropping to me that even after so long racism exists.
Learning such grim topics in History were very important as they were part of my understanding of racism. However, even now, I have plenty of questions. This is a topic that I have read about and watched many films about and I am slowly piecing together the hatred people have.
I would like to also note my learning journey in Economics. This was a new subject to me in Grade 9, however, I am better understanding it now. The most notable of these topics was Development Economics, where we learned about poverty. We learned the difference between developing and developed countries and how to lift families out of poverty. To consolidate my learning in this unit I created an analytical movie that compared poverty statistics between Mumbai and Tokyo. This was a particularly enjoyable task, in which I learnt plenty of new skills and gained new insights into the poverty situation.
Even during COVID-19, I am learning about behavioural economics and this might just be the most interesting unit yet. We have conducted fun activities and games with our peers and learned a lot about rationality and the functioning of economic agents.
In all the other subjects, such as Drama, English, Maths, Science, PE and French I have learnt a great deal. English is a subject in which I am happy with my development. In grade 9, I remember struggling with analytical essays, however, it’s starting to come naturally to me now. I am improving quickly in Language and Literature and am very keen to continue my studies in the future.
In terms of service, I have continued my responsibility as blog manager in Tiger Watch GC. This has been an important learning experience for me and was enjoyable at times. My problem in Middle School was that I felt I did not have much of an impact on my service. However now, I feel somewhat different. I feel like I am needed so that the service can advertise and raise awareness for the cause of tiger conservation.
Howard Berman, an American attorney and former US Democratic representative said that “Intellectual property theft by a government represents the very essence of organised crime.” This was the quote I used in my MUN UWC opening speech many months ago. The times I had at MUN UWC seem so long ago. It was an event of ups and downs. I made many mistakes and did my best to redeem myself for them. I will not lie, though it was an excellent and fruitful event, there were times when I struggled and was disappointed in myself. However, more than anything, it was a learning journey for me that I will be forever grateful to be a part of. At the end of the day, I received an honourable mention for my contributions to the committee. I was happy by this and it pushed me to achieve more.
I would like to take some time in order to talk about my life during the COVID-19 pandemic. In the beginning, I was looking forward to writing my IGCSE exam and was willing to prove the practice I had done. However, COVID-19 snatched that away. This was something that left me a little saddened. But, after a little thinking, I stopped caring about it. I decided to persevere and be my best self in the coming weeks. I would say that even though the pandemic got in the way, I was able to work well and make the best of my education.