IFP Nostalgia

Since this is my personal reflection, which is meant for me, MYSELF, I am going to write this as the way my thought processes.

I choose to write because it gives me more time to think. When I speak into a camera, I am a bit self-conscious, and I don’t like it when there’s a silence, which means I probably just keep talking and talking. I don’t want to do that with this, I need time to fully process and think it through.

Let’s start at the beginning. Since grade 9 or 10, I always knew that I am going to join IFP and I always knew I am going to love the conference itself. I remember I used to sneak into the Peace One Day conference held in Singapore when I was gr 9 or 10 and absolutely love its atmosphere. To be honest, I still half-heartedly think that the training we had at the beginning of the year is a bit waste of time, but it’s worth putting the effort to go to so that you can get into one of the conferences because trust me, the conference is BEAUTIFUL!

But in terms of skills, I think I learnt a lot. Although, I always knew that I am good at public speaking or controlling the crowd. I used to run mini-workshops (skills based: leadership, collaboration…) or various activities for orientation in the past. However, most of them are usually light-hearted, and I always aim it so that the audiences are having fun and at their highest energy. Through IFP, I learnt that there are of course different moods you can set in a conference, and it has as much of an impact if not more, to the audience. For example, a more down-time for reflection and a deeper, meaningful discussion (candle time…).
Most of the stuff I did before as I mentioned earlier is more light-hearted, hence this is my first “serious” conference I facilitated in. And I can see the differences and I’m learning a lot. We have a much clearer, more important goal that we want the delegates to get by the end of the conference.

Another interesting thing, maybe because of the confidence I have through past experiences, I thought that I can just wing the speeches sometimes. But during this trip, Sanjay asks us to create scripts, and it was planned to the smallest detail of it. I think our team shall thank him for that. Because after that, our team was working with the plans with more concrete checklists to check off like have we got a presentation, a script if we do then let’s run it through while timing it. (Although, my best speeches were unplanned 😉 )

However, what’s most important that I got out of this conference is that it got me thinking, reflecting A LOT. I cried because I realised that I miss this feeling so much. The pumping energy in me trying to make everyone feeling happy and comfortable, the me who gives the best to make everyone smile. And the happiness felt when all the delegates are happy, and all smiling. Because if they are happy, I am happy to the fullest.

In Singapore, there’s not much time I felt like this. But you can see the difference in me, during orientation, or when we go to our service partners, my energy runs through the roof, seeing them happy makes my day. But the feelings don’t last very long, as soon as we got back, everything is back to normal. I don’t know why before, but now that I think of it, maybe because people at our school, the students, the teachers, don’t need any of this, everyone still survives and thrive anyway without the energy in me.

I want to live in the IFP world, even though I and my friend used to talk that it’s a fake world. It’s too idealistic. It’s very sad, but it’s true to some extent. The past workshops I’ve done in the past was very beautiful, too, but as soon I am out of that world, I hit back to reality. Everyone goes on with their life just fine. We went back to our original lives worrying all about tests, colleges or family. To be honest, I’m afraid that IFP is going to be like this, too but seeing that we all still talking to each other on social media (like every day), I’m super glad. Now, I’m thinking of how we can bring the IFP world and share it with the outer world. And now I’m thinking of how I can make use of my own energy to benefit the world, how I can make everyone happy and hence myself happy to the fullest always.

IFP makes me think a lot. One of the delegates wrote me a letter saying that I have a potential to be a great community worker rather than a scientist and ask me to keep that in mind. And to be honest, it shocks me. I remember I used to tell people to do what makes you happy. And I’ve been thinking of what makes me happy, and I overlook the fact that helping people is what makes me happy the most. Now, I’m not too sure, I need to think more about my career path.

One of the many interesting conversations I had with the delegates. I think we somehow are defined of who we are by our pasts to some extent, especially matters like life and death. I remember talking to this delegate. I know him, at least the one at the conference, and that’s who he is, I think. Then, we got talking, and he told us that he has killed 2 people and he was also once shot, he fights a lot. I thought you know before that I would be so scared of anyone who has killed a person, A PERSON. But I realise my mind during that time was like, “Really? Oh my god. Tell me more.” And we got talking more and more. And I still see him as the way he is. I don’t know how to explain it, but during that time, we just listen to each other, advice each other, it really was a place without any judgements at all and if the world could just be like this.

During the passion speeches, I don’t know, I think in our real life, or maybe just me, I was always afraid to cry mostly about my own personal problems. Never shares it with anybody, because I always thought that everyone is just to busy to care. But again in here, when everyone has problems, instead of forcing that one person to man-up, be strong and face through it, and that it’s okay, and just pretend that it doesn’t happen; we encourage each other by being vulnerable altogether. People just want to be listened, and we did. And when you did so without any judgements, you can actually feel their pain. I say we embrace each other faults and passions. And only then, we all became one. It was very clear.

Before going to the conference itself, I was really afraid that what if they got out of the conference feeling that I shouldn’t have come here, what if they didn’t get anything out of it. And I have to say I WAS WRONG. But it’s also thanks to their open-mindedness as well. We, 17 years old, talking about violence, and they are a few years older, have done so much more to their community, have experienced real violence when we are only talking about the theory bits. But instead of judging us, they embrace us, they admire us, they open their mind and heart, getting as much as possible out of the conference itself.

Another, I thought I was on average a better listener than everybody else. The point is that when I listen to people, I look at them in the eye and listen. However, during this conference, at one point, during the candle group discussion, I was taken back when it’s my turn to speak, everyone leans in, their eyes focus on me, they just look so keen to listen. I was shocked, that the confidence when I look right into their eyes when they speak is gone. I just looked down at the candle and talked instead. It means a lot to me. These people are so real, so nice, so beautiful, they are going to do the world a big favour!

A few days ago, a delegate post on social media, “Best speech quote: Life without challenges is meaningless.”. I am soooooo glad that some of my words or my actions or ones from my mates, can have a slight, slight, slight inspiration and hope for some delegates. Because seriously in some cases, those slight hopes can save a person’s life.

The delegates said that we inspire them, but the truth is the delegates inspire me 100 times more than we inspire them. They know what they want and they do it. They have a burning torch of passion in them. They don’t care about where they are from, what they are capable of, literally, they are not afraid to make mistakes, they are truly brave people, they just do something to change what they want to see changes in.

Now, I want this IFP Maesot experiences to keep my life in check. I want to live with passion, with the energy to make others happy, without any judgements, to listen to problems and embracing everyone’s strengths and weaknesses. Because then, I can be happy, and peaceful within myself and hopefully it’ll have a domino knock-on effect by bringing peace to others too.


A short letter to the new IBDP students or more like to myself.

EE Day Progression

I predicted even before the EE day that there will be a lot of different problems arise from my EE experiment. And that’s exactly what happened today. First of all, my original method involves using a burette. However, it’s really difficult to measure the temperature of the water drops exactly. Since it’s a long narrow tube, it’s difficult to assume that the water on the top of the burette has the same temperature as the water dripping out of the burette. Then, after taking some tour to the different science department, I was casually introduced to using a shorter-length and bigger-width syringe instead. And I realise that it can solve my problems better. Now, the liquid can be mixed together equally, the top can be closed by a stopper, and the syringe can be wrapped around with aluminium foil to reduce heat loss. Hence, one problem solved.

Then, I decided to do a preliminary trial to find the correction factor “f” as well as finding the surface tension of water at other different temperature instead of the room temperature. I used a “water drop counter” in this experiment, it will tell me precisely the volume of each water drop. However, there is a bit of a technical problem, since I’ve never used this kind of equipment before. Due to time constraint and trust issues, I decided to try to do the experiment manually. However, after I get the value for the surface tension of water at 60 Celsius and compare it to the literature value, I realise that the value I found is close to the real value but it’s also close to the other surface tension values of the other temperature (e.g. it’s also close to the value of the water at 40 Celsius), too. The error bar is too big that it overlaps with the value of the other independent variable.

Then, I realise that I shall change my equipment to more precision ones. That’s when I decided to measure the volume of the water drops using a precision mass balance to 3 decimal places and count the water drops to 50 instead. Then, I set up the whole experiment at the back of the science class so to prepare for the next time I came, so that I just have to conduct the experiment and record the results directly. 

Initial EE Reflection

I’m writing my EE in physics on the relationship between the temperature change and the surface tension of water. I plan to work out the value of the surface tension by using the Tate’s Law. What I found difficult is that the original Tate’s Law doesn’t have the variable (f) in its equation, however only later that this variable is introduced into the equation. Originally, this is a characteristic value given to the stalagmometer, an equipment used to measure the surface tension. However, I’m not using this equipment, I’m using a simple burette, and I need to find the value “f” for this. I can’t just search up the literature value for this since burettes are not usually used for this Tate’s equation. Hence, this has been stressful during the research process. So, my plan is to do more research on this, and if I am stuck, I shall approach my EE supervisor for advice and move on from that.

IFP Conference Making Process

Hello everyone! I am very glad that I got chosen to be part of the facilitators’ team to lead an IFP conference that will be based in Maesot. Currently, we are divided into several groups planning the actual activities on each day in the conference itself. And I, with another person from East, and with 4 other people from Dover, are planning activities on the theme of “Making a Change”.

First of all, let’s talk about the whole group atmosphere. I don’t want to be frank, but since this is my reflection post and about my opinions only, I think I shall be honest with myself in this writing as I am in my head. In the past, there is from time to time, at the back of my head, where I felt like this is not an authentic experience as it supposes to be. I feel like people do stuff because they are told to do because they want to impress but not because they want to do so.  Sometimes, it feels a bit fake. Not only me, I’ve talked to some people, and they have expressed similar concerns. However, this might be just some prejudices that I have against people in a school lead activity.

However then, I thought to myself, this is not about me, this is about the delegates who come to the conference. They want to get something out of it, they want to make connections, they are real people out there. So, for once, I shall not think about my own comfort, and just plan the conference. Once, I’ve accepted the fact, I think I start to see people from a better spotlight. Maybe, I was wrong, maybe it was me who’s not true to myself, maybe I was just not comfortable with a different group of people that I used to work with, maybe we all are in the same situation after all. I think my thoughts have evolved better for the group! 🙂

Then, back to my final group. I think we worked well together, we all each have an equal say in coming up with the conference. I can sense that everyone is comfortable enough in a group to comment on everyone else’s opinion nicely which is nice. Maybe, one more thing we need to work on is I think we are a bit behind schedule. I want us to finish the planning of the activities and prepare for every nook and cranny.

Overall, I am really, really excited to meet the delegates! I am ready to be inspired, I am ready to make connections!