Action Stage: The Trip

LO2: Demonstrate that challenges have been undertaken, developing new skills in the process

LO6: Demonstrate engagement with issues of global significance

LO7: Recognise and consider the ethics of choices and actions

Project week has definitely been one of the most enriching experiences, not only in my high school career, but my whole life. Although the planning and investigation stages helped me develop my collaboration and organisation skills, I think that my biggest learnings took place in the action stage of the trip. As a whole, the trip ran very smoothly and it taught me the importance of going the extra mile of planning before. Everything was set up for us when we reached, from airport pick up, to the hotel people knowing exactly who we were the moment we stepped in the door, just through good communication prior to our arrival.

However, we did have one big problem in the trip. On out first day at blue dragon, Kylie had left her bag unattended, but on a table the staff at blue dragon said was safe, and all of her cash was taken out of her wallet. Later, after looking at CCTV footage, we realised it was one of the blue dragon kids that we had even talked to during the day. More than the practical aspect of losing all of Kylie’s money, this took a big toll on the morale of the group, as suddenly there was a breach of trust between the kids we were working with and us. After talking to my parents that night, I realised that it was very important to keep the spirit of the group up. It is often much easier for one person’s negative energy to dragon dow four other people than vice versa and I realised that we all had to be strong and work together to stay distracted and engaged. The next couple days at Blue Dragon were not as productive as we could have imagine, but definitely by the last day everyone was in good spirits and we had a lot of fun and made some great connections.

This lead me to one of my biggest learnings from the trip. Often we think that we are bordered up in our own little bubble of Singapore and we think that these kids would be so different to us. I learnt, however, that we have so much more in common with these kids than I would have ever imagined. Sometimes we would just be seeing together in the drop in center and the kids would go on youtube and watch the same videos that I watch sitting here in Singapore. I was even able to connect with some of the older kids on social media and realise how similar yet different our lives can be. This really made me more aware of the physical countries boarders do not actually prohibit connection being formed. 

Lastly, while working with Blue Dragon, it was amazing to see that even with such difficult lives, the children can have such positive attitudes. We visited some of the areas where a lot of the children were found and it was astounding to see the way some of the kids turned their lives around. Also I noticed that sometimes, we felt most productive when there was no agenda. These were the times that I made the best connections and this made the trip much more meaningful (and a lot less ‘voluntourism’) Whether this was just sitting with a kid and making rainbow looms in the drop in center for half an hour or walking around the lake in hanoi city, there were the most special moments that helped me really appreciate the opportunity I had been given and the city I was in. 

 

CAS Intermediate Interviews

After my Intermediate Interview for CAS this term I made one very big connection with all of my activities which is a skill I have developed over the last year. During my initial CAS conversation I discussed that one of my biggest weaknesses was collaboration as I had always felt that I needed to be in full control and did not trust other people to do work with them. After battling this weakness throughout the year, I began to trust the people that I was working with, not only in actives but also in the classroom. Additionally, I found that in order to use my personal organisation and discipline (which I originally viewed as a negative trait as it prohibited me from  working well with other) I had to transfer these skills into leadership ones. I never used to see myself as a leader, but rather a shy individual, but over the last year, I have found outlets to use my leadership skills and take control in group situations. Whether this be by running the play in Lighthouse, or allocating roles for my project week group, or even leading a dance in Kahaani I have managed to use my organisation skills to allow myself to stay on top of things, while guiding a larger group of people as well. This has also helped me build the trust between people and thus has improved my collaboration skills.

Preparation Stage

L01: Identifying own strengths and develop areas for personal growth

L07: Recognise and consider the ethics of choices and actions

Now that we have finished all the initial investigation, we have begun to work towards the preparation stage for project week. Our group has been extremely organised and have met all the deadlines and have handed in all the required forms already. Now we are beginning to prepare materials and finalise our itinerary for our trip. With Blue Dragon, our service partner, we have decided that we will assist the staff there by joining in on their daily activities as well as work with the students there on putting together a performance that they can do when they visit our school next year. To do this, we have to do some research into Vietnamese dance in combination with hip-hop (the style that the children are familiar with) and see how we can use this to help them come up with some steps. I think that this task plays to my strengths, as a dancer, and will help me grow and expand the ways that I interact with dance. It will stretch me out of my comfort zone, as it is a style of dance I am not familiar with at all. I think that it is important that we are very careful from the cultural aspect when we present ourselves. We do not want to inaccurately portray the Vietnamese culture as this could, in fact, harm the bond between our school and Blue Dragon. Therefore, we have to be very careful and detailed with our research first. On the whole, I am excited to take on this challenge and see what results it will reap.

EE Writing Day Reflection

After the sessions today I have learnt how to properly embed research when explaining a theory. I have always struggled with integrating data into describing theories and therefore I think that this is a very important skill that will be able to enhance my extended essay.  I am very proud, since today I had to change my EE topic. I was originally doing an economics EE but today I realised that I had to change to a world studies EE. I am proud of this because I was easily able to adapt my research question to incorporate psychology and address a global issue. Surprisingly, I feel as though I have a better direction to my EE now than I did before. Since I have changed my topic, I now have to redirect my research. I want to form an outline for myself on what I will research and how I will approach the research. Once I have a proper outline I will then try to formulate questions for my primary research and begin conducting that so that I can begin to analyse my results and form conclusions.

Initial Reflection 1

I have completed in-depth research of the implementation of Fair Consideration Framework (FCF) and begun to look at the effects of this, on the labour market in Singapore. I realised that in order to evaluate the impacts of FCF, I must first have comprehensive knowledge on the formation and objectives of it. When conducting initial research, I found it challenging to find statistics that directly linked employment in F&B to FCF. Therefore, I realised I would need to use triangulation to conduct quantitative and quantitative data to reach a thorough conclusion. Also I have noticed some flaws in FCF. It was initiated due to Singaporean PME’s being replaced by expats, however, the framework now exempts any job that earns over $12,000 a month and therefore wouldn’t have the desired effect of protecting employment for local PME’s. I feel like throughout this process it will be very important to questions some of the decisions made in order to properly evaluate FCF.

 

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