Social Media And Dat

In my opinion I have identified a lot of the dangers of social media tht were said in the video but one thing that really resonated with me was when Bailey said that the notifications that come from social media cause me to have a tendency to always check them right after they sound. I never really thought about it but now I realise how badly it distracts me from focusing on the task that I was doing. I was also really apalled when said that the average teenager spends 2 hours on social media everyday. I can think about the number of things I can do in 2 hours like learn a new card trick, practice badminton, study for a test, etc.

I think that going forward I am going to switch of notifications when I am doing something important and I am also going to make sure that I communicate with any of my peers if they are acting excesisvely mean on social media.

Personal Statement

Throughout this whole year, I have learned that I am a very outgoing and I stick to my beliefs no matter what other people around me say. There have been many instances in which I have had to stand up for myself like times when my peers around me were pressuring me to do things which I did not believe in. And these moments have rendered me a stronger person mentally instead of bringing me down. I have achieved numerous goals like making the SEASAC team for badminton and joining the SEAMC team. I have pushed myself to achieve these goals by constantly not giving up and I am extremely proud of these endeavors.

I did not get good grades at the start of the year because I did not adapt to the higher expectations in time. However this again did not push me down and I improved my grades in almost all my subjects. This shows that I am determined to push myself to be able to achieve my goals. However, I never worked towards my maximum potential and I know I could have put in a lot more effort than I did. For example for the end of year exams, I only started taking it seriously a couple weeks before the exams started. This caused me to try and cram all the topics and this seriously hindered the amount I was able to take in.

This showed during my exams when my grades were not as good as I know I could have gotten. Certain subjects like econs and science I scored well because I understand the subjects and they are easy for me to learn. There were some topics like additional maths and systems, which I know I needed to put in the extra work but I avoided because I was intimidated by them. This showed when I scored terribly in both subjects.

In the future I aim to avoid this by making sure I start to prepare much earlier. I am also going to spend extra time on the topics I know I am bad at instead of  overly doing the subjects I like.

Personal Response For Science Paper 4/6

I feel that after getting the paper 4/6 I am terribly dissapointed with my grades as I expected a lot better from this paper. I got a 84% which is not what I expected. Most of my mistakes were extremely silly mistakes like not reading a question and not drawing clean lines. One of my mistakes I made because I did not round a recurring decimal properly. I could have easily gotten 5 more marks without the silly mistakes and this makes me very angry. I also did not phrase my answer properly and even though the meaning was there for me, it was not clear to the marker.  One more thing I noticed is that I was missing certain key words from the answers and in the future I will try to memorise them so that I can utilise them in the future.

Arjun Final Writers Fornight Article

The lesser known consequences of Tsunamis


And why they are just as bad as the rest…


“Whenever an earthquake or tsunami takes thousands of innocent lives, a shocked world talks of little else”


Extreme Ecological Impacts

Tsunamis are terrible tragedies that kill thousands of people. However, there are other, lesser-known consequences that can affect society as a whole or the life of an individual. The first lesser known issue is the damage to the ecology of affected nations.

The 2004 Indian Ocean Tsunami was without a doubt one of the worst tsunamis to ever hit us. Apart from the loss of human lives, immeasurable damages are caused to coral reefs and the plants and animals around the coastal areas where the waves hit. Indonesia’s State Ministry of National Development Planning estimated that 20% of seagrass beds, 30% of coral reefs, and 25-35% of wetlands, and 50% of sandy beaches of the west coast, had been damaged. In some local areas, 90% of the damage was reported to mangroves and coastal forests. These devastations should be further addressed today as our oceans are slowly dying because of water pollution, ocean acidification etc. We need coral reefs to help preserve our oceans. In fact, it takes about 10,000 years for coral reefs to reform. They play a fundamental role in our environment providing nitrogen and other essential nutrients for marine organisms. On top of that, they provide habitats for a large number of marine creatures and help in carbon and nitrogen fixing.

In addition to the direct destruction of flora and fauna, tsunamis cause salinization as a lot of seawater rushes inland. Salinization is the buildup of salt in the soil making the soil less fertile to support vegetation. It also increases the soil’s vulnerability to erosion. Some of the other consequences of salinization is the damage caused to infrastructures like the corrosion of underground pipes and cables, the lower water quality for users, sedimentation problems, and increased leaching of metals like copper and cadmium. Experts estimate that only after two years can the soil be returned to its original salinity levels. This process, however, requires plenty of rainfall as well as irrigation with non-saline water.

Economic Downturn For Nations

Another huge problem that is not talked about as much is the financial consequences of tsunamis. According to the Guardian, the boxing day tsunami in 2004, cost the world about 8.71 billion dollars. It also destroyed the economy of various countries like Indonesia, who had to end up paying 4.40 billion U.S dollars. The blow the tsunami imposed reduced it’s GDP right after the disaster and put a halt on the growth for a few years (“Indonesia Economy”, 2010). Countries struggle to recover from this terrible calamity to their economies and almost all the time, large amounts of foreign aid are needed. According to an article by the Brookings, “Of the nearly $1 billion appealed for by the UN, pledges from governments now total more than $800 million.”. However, the question to consider is, how much of the money will coalesce as international attention and resources are diverted towards other disasters? According to an article by the Guardian, many pledges made to survivors of the 2003 earthquake in Bam, Iran was not fulfilled and survivors stayed in tents for up till two years.

Additionally, foreign aid is refused by many countries as they do not take into account the long term difficulties faced by the survivors like homelessness, lack of basic necessities and services and loss of income, which eventually proves detrimental for individuals and countries. In places like Thailand, which have rejected foreign aid, the government has reportedly not been providing assistance for the thousands of Burmese migrants, who are living in Thai coastal areas and that have been made homeless by the tsunami. All these problems have damaged the overall economy of these countries as it just increases the time countries recover from these terrible catastrophes.

Eternal Trauma

Apart from physical damages to humans, numerous survivors endure catastrophic psychological impacts. According to Cheryl Person, MD, “The conditions left in the wake of a major disaster–one’s house destroyed, the social fabric of one’s existence torn away–are often more damaging to the psyche than the disaster itself”. The survivors tend to experience most of their shock moments after the tsunami has faded as they come back to reality and behold the wreckage and ruin around them. According to Earl Wall, who spent from Dec. 28 to Jan. 12 assessing health care needs in Aceh Province, “The real problem is it’s just terribly inhuman to see people everywhere who have died suddenly and violently…”. Additionally, the wreckage and bodies are not removed for a long time as cleanups take a long time and this just increases the trauma faced by survivors as the abhorrent images stay in their minds for a long time. Dr. Person also says “psychological disorder that most often befalls such survivors is post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)”.  These victims experience the same symptoms as other PTSD victims such as:-

  • Re-experiencing the trauma via intrusive thoughts and memories, nightmares, vivid flashbacks or daytime fantasies;
  • avoidance, whereby the victim endeavors to avoid situations that prompt memories of the trauma or suppress painful emotions;
  • a condition of hyperarousal with insomnia, an exaggerated startle reflex, irritability and, hypervigilance.

However, tsunami survivors are not always prone to PTSD. There are plenty of survivors that do not experience trauma. For instance, Cameron Hunter is a tsunami survivor. He was enjoying a holiday in Phuket when the Boxing Day Tsunami struck. He and his family barely escaped the tragedy and in fact, he was even caught in one of the waves. He explicitly says that “I feel no trauma and in fact, I still visit Phuket every now and then”. This proves that not everyone experiences trauma.

Governments, communities and, individuals like us should not only focus on the immediate and obvious effects but also pay heed to the long term aftermaths of tsunamis like the ones listed above. Just because they are not conspicuous, it doesn’t mean that they are less impactful or relevant. We should be more responsible and  spread awareness as these have the potential to be just as or more deadly than the immediate consequences

Works Cited

ABC News, Australian Broadcasting Corporation,

Bam, Dan De Luce in. “Bam Survivors Turn on Iranian Government.” The Guardian, Guardian News and Media, 2 Apr. 2004,

Cohen, Roberta, and Roberta Cohen. “The Tsunami Tragedy: Political, Economic, and Environmental Lessons.”, The Brookings Institution, 29 July 2016,

“Corals.” NOAA’s National Ocean Service,

“Counting the Cost.” The Economist, The Economist Newspaper, 21 Mar. 2011,

“Ecological Consequences of Natural Disasters: Tsunami.” WWF,

JH Bloomberg School of Public Health. “After the Tsunamis: Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder.” Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, 7 Jan. 2013,

M, Dr. “From the Editor’s Desk: The Environmental Impacts of Tsunamis.” Deep Sea News, 21 Mar. 2011,

Killing at Least 281 People.” The Washington Post, WP Company, 23 Dec. 2018,

Admin. “Indian Ocean Earthquake Tsunami Diagram.” •, 6 Mar. 2019,

Education Behind Bars

Our speaker today Martin Suarez, taught in a prison for about 10 years. He shared his experiences, motives, and lessons learned from this experience. One thing that struck me during his talk was the passion he displayed when talking about the change he thinks he made. There was a moment where he expressed his passion by saying, “The people in prison taught me more than I taught them, They inspired me to treasure the little things in life. He also talked about his two favourite pupils Gaby and German. Gaby grew up in a very rough childhood, he had an abusive father who tried to kill his mother and him. He had to fend for himself in the violent streets of Argentina. He had killed numerous people and thus he a ‘Maximum Risk’ prisoner. One thing that Mr. Suarez said was German had only killed people like corrupt officials and other criminals. He never had a knack to kill innocent people. German on the other hand grew up with a family who loved him and one that took care of him. However, he got into some shady dealings involving stolen cars and thus he was put in prison. Gaby and German both had kids and it was evident that “They couldn’t live a single day without thinking of their daughters”. Gaby was extremely clever and he used to study religiously under the tutoring of Mr. Suarez. He even ended up almost passing law school. German on the other hand used to help the other inmates study and he was constantly being nice to everyone. I was so mesmerized by the talk that, I had not even taken two lines of notes by then. Here we had two people who made mistakes in their lives, yet they never gave up and kept pushing to be the best they could be. After getting out of prison, German went on to open up his own car repair shop, which was very successful. Gaby on the other hand also got out of prison with his almost completed law degree. However, Mr. Suarez thinks that he has gotten back into organized crime because the last time he went to visit him, Gaby couldn’t look him the eye when he asked him about what he was doing. Gaby specifically said, “Life is hard for me. It is hard to get jobs for prison inmates and I have lost a lot of loved ones.”. This made me realise that not every story has a happy ending.

Child Protection Officer Talks About The Struggles Children Face

Our speaker talked about her experience of being a child protector, This talk was not too interesting for me as I didn’t find anything compelling about her story. It was mostly just facts and there she didn’t really talk about her personal connection with the topic. However, I was slightly interested by the topic of child protection as I had never heard about it before. I was interested in how the various ways they help protect Children, whose rights are being violated. This experience deepened my understanding of the story as she gave some cases of the kids she dealt with. I never really understood the extent to which child abuse was happening. She gave us an example of this kid, whose parents locked her in a washing machine, and then turned it on. This really shocked me and it made me appreciate the work these officers were doing. This session helped me understand what it means to think like a writer as I was able to analyze the personal perspective of the speaker even though she barely gave any personal opinions. I had to ask her appropriate questions to try and coax her to tell us some information. In the end some of the questions like “Why did you get into Child Protection?” made her give some personal perspective to child protection but I still think that she should have mentioned it more.

Saved by sheer luck

We had a talk with Cameron Hunter, a survivor of the boxing day tsunami back in 2004. He was in Phuket when the Tsunami hit the city. He also happened to be on the beach right at the moment the Tsunami struck. He was extremely lucky survivng even though his family and him were stuck in the first wave. Barely making it to ground ground just in time. If I had five questions I could ask him:-

Has this experience made you more spiritual as a person?                                                                                                              I I would ask him this question as there are a lot of cases in which people become more spiritual as a whole after surviving a natural disaster. Thus I would be very interested to see if this affected him

Are you now paranoid to go to the same area and would you visit Phuket again?                                                                              I really want to ask him this question ask it would be very interesting to see his thoughts and whether he fears tsunamis now.

Have you emphtised more with tsunami victims and do you donate more to similar funds as a result of this?                                        I think that this question would be very good as it will tell me more about whether he holds this moment close to him as if he wouldn’t then he won’t care about others in the same situation

Was there any moment where you thought you sould not survive?                                                                                                 This question will be a nice addition as I could obtain a change of content in an article I would writing as, so far I have just asked questions about happenings after the tsunami not during. These will be a great addition to my story

Are you still traumatised by the event and if you are how are you dealing with the Trauma?                                                              I would ask this question as it could provide some interesting information on the type of person he is and wheter he is scared of the incident.


Segregration In South Africa

As I walked into this session, I barely had any thoughts about the apartheid problem in South Africa due to the fact that I had never heard the term being used a lot before. However, the speaker, was very friendly and she seemed eager to share her stories with us. However when the speaker was talking, I could sens a bit of sadness in her voice. She had clearly expressed in her speech that she was deeply involved withing the movement and that she cared a lot. I just expected the talk to have a lot of facts but what surprised me is the fact that she used a lot of personal examples and this helped me feel connected to the story. I could really understand where her perspective was coming from. For example she told us about various times where she herself had seen examples of racial behaviour and some of the examples were very crude and unique that I had never heard them anywhere else. After the talk I still wonder how much her family was involved with apartheid because she never mentioned them a lot. I would have asked her if she had a  specific moment which inspired her to help fight apartheid.

NYAA Goal Reflection.

After my enrolment in the NYAA program, I decided that for healthy living as a goal, I wanted to work on the backhand shot for my badminton as it is one of the more important shots at a high level. For my first lesson I decided to inform my badminton coach about my goal and he offered me some preliminary advice on the basics of a good backhand. After the lesson I went home and watched some videos about how to perform a good backhand and I found a couple of good videos. The next lesson my coach and I did a couple of drills together in which we worked on the power of my backhand. I had to hit a net shot in the front and then I had to hit a backhand shot at the back. This helped me work on getting consistently good shots in a match like situation. I did the same drill almost twice a month as I couldn’t only do that for the entire month! Now that my SEASAC season has started and my coach wants me to play doubles, I have been neglecting my backhand as in doubles it is not very important but after the season ends I will be sure to get back to working on it.