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!

IFP TEDx “Peace By Piece”

We had a joint Dover-East IFP session for TEDx with the theme of Peace by Piece. I have to say that it was a very beautiful and interesting experience. One of the speakers that I felt moved by the most is Joy. It’s the first time that I’ve heard that she used to be a refugee. I think it’s amazing and it kind of just trying to remind us again as to how you will never know what the person has been through just by the smile on her face. You might hate someone just by the fact of what you heard and saw, and that’s just so shallow of you. A girl you called a slut, she’s a virgin. A man you said he’s weak because he cries, her mother died. A student who slept in class and you called “lazy”, he got 9 siblings to take care of at night. Sometimes, what you see is just a small part of the truth, hence try to sit and talk to them first, about their lives, about who they are, getting to know them first, go deeper before forming a judgement IN your head. Because it can work the opposite, too, you never know that sometimes, the greatest sadness can also be found behind the greatest smile.

Another speaker that I really look forward to is Jean. The fact that I kind of know her personally, make things more interesting. And I really want to see how she’s going to make the connection between the cryptography to peace. And the fact that in the talk, she brings up the story of Alan Turing and the Enigma machine. Because it’s one of the saddest human real-life stories I’ve ever heard.

(Out of topic: I mean Alan Turing is a socially-awkward but a genius man. He spent years trying to break the Enigma machine and when he finally did it, he was told to keep everything a secret. One of the real-life heroes, Christopher has helped save millions of lives from the war. But during the life, while he lives, no one knew he’s the hero. No one knew he’s the one who has helped the country. All they ever did to Alan Turing, is treating him with awkwardness and disgust by the fact that he’s gay. The fact that he prefers to be with men is greater than the fact that he’s helped the nation. Which in the end, force him to commit suicide by biting to a cyanide poisoning apple. And only later on, then the fact that he’s the one to decode the unbreakable Enigma Machine surface in the society. And only after that, then the queen gives him a posthumous royal pardon for being convicted of having an affair with the same sex in 1952. What’s the use of that? The man lives his lives with the society frowning upon him. Humans… How do we know if there are in other cases like this that the government hasn’t let us know? And it’s just stupid that we lost one of the greatest minds in the world, the father of computer science, to the rights of one’s sexuality. )

Anyway, Jean reminds me that age doesn’t really matter. She’s really brave to go up there and talk about what’s she passionate about. And it just makes me reflect on myself whether I have been brave enough every day to just try and make changes in the smallest possible way in the world. I think most people have identified the difference they want to change, and we’ve discussed it every day. But sometimes I feel that it leads us to nowhere. People tend to complain a lot about things but do nothing about it. Jean makes me realise that “Don’t complain about things you’re not willing to change.”   

Posted in CAS

IFP Gr 5 Joint Session

During one of our mentor session, I and my partner, Sanah, went to a Grade 5 classroom and have a mini session introducing IFP with them. It was to bring in the idea of positive and negative peace, identifying the conflicts and different ways to solve the conflicts. First of all, I myself really did enjoy it. I like their enthusiasms, their willingness to participate in discussions and raise up their hands to voice in their opinions. It makes me feel that we actually have done a good job. So, this is not necessarily an informative and hopefully interesting session to them, but to us as well. Hence, it’s a 2-way beneficial session.

(Out of topic: No offence, but what I had in mind already for some times is that these small kids tend to be more passionate about different activities than teenagers. They are at the age to want and try new things. For example, if 2 same activities are done during lunchtime, I’ve observed that there will be more people during middle school lunchtime than the high school one. There might be several factors to this. I don’t know. I just want to put it out there.)

Anyway, I can see that they are very eager and they do know how to approach these conflicts. We are not there to tell them anything, they know how to approach it themselves. They also realize that in the real situation itself, it would be not as easy, but it’s worth to keep in mind. We are just there to remind them that they could this or that that they’ve discussed among themselves.

Talking about my skills in the session itself, I think my strength is that I can control the crowd really well. I spoke in a clear manner, sometimes crack a joke, but also serious when needed, I know my audience well, and how to make the most out of it. And one of my weakness in this session is that at one time when some group is speaking, the rest of the group in the far back corner might not really be listening. However, I can’t just cut in and move everyone to the front and make sure that they listen to each other because I also realize that we don’t have much time left. Hence, I just left it to go with the flow for the last 1 or 2 minutes. I think I should have calculated in my head, in the beginning, and bring everyone to discuss this together at the start.

Overall, I think it was a very triumphant experience which was a good start to my day and was definitely a good start to prepare for the conference.

First Tournament against Canossian Secondary School

As a captain of the team for the last Badminton tournament away, I was asked to write 200-word paragraphs to reflect on how it went. And this is what I wrote:

“Last Friday, we had our first away tournament against the Canossian school. I think it was a very good opportunity for each of us to identify each individual’s strengths and weaknesses during a real-pressured game situation in order to work on it during our future training. 

It’s beautiful to see everyone giving it their best, both from our side as well as the Canossian. Even though badminton is a game that you play individually, however, during this tournament, we can really see that collectively everyone fights not only for their own wins or loses but for the faces of the school and the team as a whole. 

What we also learned from the Canossian school is their great sense of sportsmanship. It’s almost inevitable to feel competitive during any games between 2 different schools. However, what really touches everyone is that the during the games, the Canossian School even provides energy drink not only for their players but also us as well. And they even give each of our players a badminton keychain as a farewell gift, too. This gesture is beautiful! Be fierce in the game, but as soon as the game ends, no hard feelings, we are all friends. Our UWCSEA is very spirited that sometimes there are cases that we went overboard, hence I think our school can really learn a lot from the Cannosian School.  

Overall, in our upcoming tournament, I think we can all look back to this experience and try our best to improve as a badminton player as well as a human being.”

Thank you!

2nd IFP Joined Session

Last Saturday, we had our second joint sessions with the Dover campus. And I have to say that it was really fun! It’s a bit different from last time because, for this, we get to mix with about 2-3 others from East and 2 others from Dover, and you have to stay with them for almost the whole day, discussing various activities to lead later for everyone without any supervisors. In here, we can really see everyone’s most comfortable behavior, so it in a way kind of break the ice between the Dover and East and that’s as closest as we can get together.

During this session, I think I learn how to balance between voicing your own ideas and listen to other people’s ideas. Because I used to lead a conference in Cambodia for about 20 people in a similar way as in IFP, and it went really well. I also used to organize icebreakers, and activities for the orientation in the boarding house, too. So, I feel like I know what to do and what to avoid. However, not everyone in the group knows that, and maybe they also have their own experiences in leading some activities, too in the past that I don’t know. So, we might all have different styles, so I think I learned to speak my ideas when I think it’s a good idea, and at the same time trying to open up to other people’s style of organizing activities as well.

At the end, I think our group’s activities were very well planned, and the response seemed to be positive, and in term of teamwork, I think we all kind of work and complement well with each other.

CULTURAMA IS OVER!

This is pretty sad! You spend months preparing for the dance, and after 3 minutes 2 times and everything is done. I mean you kind of spend a lot of time with every dance members, and although you already know every one of them, it’s still beautiful to see some of the sides that we have never seen them before through Culturama. It’s just amazing to see everyone all first trying to learn the dance, pretty bad at it, and improve consistently until the final day on the stage.

I think what I got out from Culturama is all the wonderful friendships that we made, in a way just little bits that make you reflect upon yourself and improve as a person. For example, cheering each other up, or nudging each other to practice the dance, helping each other out in the dressings, bringing each other’s food…etc.

I think Culturama is one of the most personal indirect learning opportunity that I would cry that it’s over but at the same time smile because it happened.

Posted in CAS

IFP: Explore your passion

In one of our last IFP sessions, we were given about 10 minutes to think about something that you are really passionate about to share it with everyone under 1 minute. I didn’t really have a chance to go up there on the spotlight and share about my passion so I guess I am just going to do it here. I think what I really want to touch on is that I just want everyone to be nice! I have been here quite a couple of years, and so many people have told me so many stories and the root of the problem is all just come back to some people being a bit insensitive. I know it sounds hard but just try to bring the best out of you whenever is possible. Your best is good enough! For example, when you see a person who is sitting lost in a new class, why don’t you just smile to him/her and make them feel a little bit more included? Imagine yourself in their position and you would also have wished that at least someone would have reached out and make a casual check with you whether you are okay or not.

It’s hard to not judge anybody, I think it’s almost inevitable, it’s like a part of a human nature. However, if you are forming a judgment in your head, don’t show it in your face. Just think in your head but why show it on your face in front of them?

It’s also hard to like everyone. However, if you don’t like someone, just don’t associate yourself with them, but you don’t have to talk bad behind them or show that you really hate them. You never know how far those actions and words of yours can affect someone’s life, they can really pierce into someone’s heart deeply. You also never know what’s going to happen in the future. You can die in any minutes. You think you can act harshly now because they did something bad to you, and you think it’s okay because you can always pay them back later. But trust me, nothing lasts forever. What happens when that person suddenly is gone, you regret that you should have done something at that time. We all are going to die at one point, so why not just try to see the best from all and enjoy being in the moment with everyone?

I mean I am not perfect myself. Most of the thing I spoke of above, I speak it from my own experiences. There are things that I have done and regretted or wished I could have done or things that I have felt myself. However, the thing is nowadays I like to live my life to the fullest and make myself enjoying the moment. I communicate with people the same way I like them to communicate with me. Because after all, it also comes to your own selfish motive as well, like you also are going to feel good when you make someone else feel good.

I think this activity really forces you to explore what you really feel passionate most because sometimes it’s not always so obvious to know that you also have something that you want to share with others. Moreover, you are only given 10 minutes to think, hence what comes to mind first would be something that is most genuine to you.

I think it’s really nice to write about this now and reflects. Even though I like to live my moral life by this mission, sometimes I myself tend to forget about it. So, now when I am writing this again in this blog, it actually helps to remind myself again as to what I want me to do and reflect on how I am doing now and kind of rechecking some of my past gestures again and work on towards my future actions. 🙂