Global cooking class…ITALY!!

On the 16th of May, I joined primary school students for a cooking class! Global cooking is an activity run by Risa, a parent in school who weekly introduces a cousin from a new country to a group of students from grade 3 to 5. This Wednesday it was time for Italy so Risa contacted me to join the class on that day. It was a great experience for me because I made cooking all the kids a recipe my grandma used to make for me: gnocchi. I must admit it has been quite challenging keeping up with 20 kids excited about the yellow-soft dough and contemporary trying to replicate my childhood recipe which, despite all the good memories linked to it, I did not really remember. Here below some photos of the day with me and the kids cooking (maybe just playing) with extremely tasty gnocchi.

Initial EE reflection

This is my initial EE reflection. About a month ago, I had my first check-in session with my supervisor and, thanks to this first conversation, my ideas are much clearer now. The most challenging, but at the same time most helpful, part of work I’ve done is the final outline. It was hard for me to narrow down ideas because I had many and all of them interested me equally. In the end, I chose to focus on a film respect to another due to the greater amount of data and information that can be found about it. I’m ready to dive into the actual research process which I feel needs time and attention from my side because it will give me enough knowledge to start writing down the real EE.

Dear G11 exams…

That’s what I learnt from my relationship with you…

I think having these exams in April after two weeks of break was useful to get to know how IB exams work. Just sitting with all the whole grade like we were in the exam hall on the first day, where everyone was so serious and concentrate, made me feel under pressure. I personally did not like that environment but it is important to know how it is going to be like, no matter if you like it or not. Honestly, I don’t really like the exam air: it puts a lot of pressure on me and I tend to start thinking about everything that could go wrong. Strangely it did not happen a lot this week of exams (apart for math) but I’m scared for the future.

I think our relationship can work out with a bit of work from both sides: I’ll try to be as relaxed as possible and you will try to be as listening and helpful as possible.

Dance showcase – Final reflection

It was great. The show is over and the audience is enthusiastic of salsa Cubana. As soon as I walked on stage I  gave everything I had during those 3 minutes, really communicating joy and enthusiasm for this dance and the culture behind it. Our performance was really good, no mistakes, steps on time and everyone had a smile printed on their faces.As soon as we walked out of stage I heard screaming and shouting from the public and this really paid me off of all the effort we put in this event.

I was reluctant about joining this showcase at the start but I must admit now that it worth. I learned from this experience how to can be difficult putting together a show that lasts just 3 minutes and 30 seconds. Even if I joined and performed in Culturama, for this showcase I followed every step of preparation, since the beginning of the choreography until the outfit.

I am very satisfied of the work I have done and grateful for the great people I had the chance to work with.

Dance showcase- preparation

The moment has come.  In 2 hours I am going to stan up on the stage to perform what I worked hard for in the last 5 months: Salsa Cubana. The dance showcase is the climax of my dancing experience and I am now thrilled to show all the practise and new skills I have acquired so far. The 3 days before the show had been intense because of the many rehearsals we had every day from 15 to 20. I think all the effort we had put in this dance is appearing and since the final rehearsal it is already paying off. I am not extremely nervous as before Culturama but I still feel a little bit scared of what could go wrong on stage.

I am very excited. I can not wait to go on stage !!!

Things to remember when you take a photograph

1- Respect the third rule but be creative in a way that goes beyond rules: if you think you have a good capture, take it, do not stop yourself because you need to take time to position your subject.

2- Be creative. Do not limit yourself to taking cute photos with a nice background. We want to portrait real emotions

The time to organize me has come. I’ve been thinking in these days on how I will approach project week in term of media coordinator. I own a DSLR camera that I regularly use for my works in film class. Owning this type of camera, independently from the school equipment, has helped me in experimenting with shooting short films and in photography since December. My idea for project week is to focus my work to film the real moments of our experience. I will always bring my camera with me (with the appropriate precautions) taking photos of real moments: spontaneity is the key.

Scientific method applied to human sciences?

To what extent can the scientific method be successfully applied to humans?  Give specific examples of your answer and refer to the TED talk of Steven Pinker.

I have to admit this TED talk by Steven Pinker, contradicted a lot of what I believe was true about why humans have singular and different behaviours between each other. He supports the idea that what actually shapes our emotions, reactions and our ways of behaving is not the environment we have been raised in, but instead, our genetics. At first, I was quite unsure of this but then he pointed out some ideas and examples in support of his theory that I found interesting :

  • Anthropology tells us that there are hundreds of behaviours in common between all the human cultures.
  • Neurobiology studies measuring the distribution of grey matters in family-related people and unrelated-family people show that the there are a lot more similarities in the brain structure and distribution of grey matter between family related subjects than unrelated subjects.
  •  He brings up then, an example of two twins divided at birth, explaining how (after having been living separately from each other all their life) they show so many similarities in terms of behaviour, hobbies, fashion choices and tastes, as well as other aspects. He links this example with another one that presents a pair of adoptive twins showing the same behaviours and attitudes between each other but very different from the ones of their adoptive parents, with who they have been living all their life.

Steven Pinker really thinks that the sciences of human nature such as behavioural genetics, evolutionary psychology and neuroscience will lead to a better understanding of human nature. He supports the fact that, these natural sciences applied to the human mind, can explain a lot of what we only see happening at the moment in the years to come.

In any case, I think that a scientific approach to human science can be effective only until a certain point.
Let’s take as example a person who is unsatisfied with the election of the new first minister of his/her country. Our purpose is to understand why this person is unsatisfied with the result, using the scientific method. First of all, we observe this person before and after the day of the proclamation of the winner. Based on what observed, a hypothesis is formulated. After the hypothesis formulation, a test is carried to evaluate and measure the subject’s reactions to different opinions and statement said by the neo president about various topics, starting from education until immigration. Based on the intensity of the subject’s reactions, a conclusion is formulated explaining the reason behind of her discontentment. This final conclusion can confirm the initial hypothesis or instead deny the first presupposition.

In this method there are a lot of factors that can not be controlled at all:

  • the subject may dislike the winning candidate not because of his ideas but instead for his appearance and his way of speaking or presenting himself.
  • the subject’s reactions to different statements can be influenced by thousands of reasons. These reactions are products of different reasonings combined, therefore they can not be classified and labelled just as one.
  • Subject’s social and cultural background.

What Steven Pinker explained in his speech I think is a big generalisation of human behaviours. He is grouping cultures, races and societies not considering the individual will. In human sciences, every case is a world apart (contrary to natural sciences where finding common features between phenomena helps formulate a hypothesis to explain them) and even if similarities can be found, generalisations really cover and distract from the point of understanding human action. Anyway, I believe that generalisations need to be made in order to try to explain patterns among behaviour and cultures. In this case, the scientific method could turn to be helpful to understand the bigger picture but I think it can not be applied to singular humans because of their unpredictability that stop the scientific method to be effective since it presuppositions cannot be made.

As a conclusion , Steven Pinker quotes Anton Chekhov “Man will become batter when you show him what he is like”. I am not sure I agree with this: Is showing to the man what he is really like a way for him to improve and progress? And if so, what will this progress consist in?


Cuban Salsa. Exciting second season !

As first thing to say, I must admit at the end of the season. I wanted to quit this activity. The problem with it was that at every session, held weekly on Tuesday, new people joined. This means all the steps we’ve been learnt with so much dedication, needed to be repeated again and again to show new people. After 3 lessons it got very repetitive and everything felt useless to me. Despite all of this I still enjoyed dancing salsa so I decided to keep attending the lessons regularly. At the start of February, our teacher communicated us that, as dance class, we would have been involved in the dance showcase in March. Because of this, we started preparing a full dancing show of salsa with new moves and music. This news came just at the right moment so, since February, the entire class (that has finally found its definitive members) is focusing on perfecting steps, rhythms and costumes for the showcase.

I can not wait for the show in March and I hope everything is going to be alright to demonstrate our effort to everyone.

Mentoring primary school. Season 2

I have enjoyed mentoring primary school since the beginning of the year and still now every time I got to the class is a moment of joy. I found I have I great connections with the kids, from who is shyer until who is too excited. I regret not having spent as much time as I wanted with them due to my personal organization that prevented me to go see them every week. During my last visit on the last week before the CNY break I promised them and the teacher I would bring them to a tour of the boarding house as soon as we come back from holidays.

I am looking forward to this and I am planning games and activity to do with them when they’ll visit the house.

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