Grade 10 – First Week of School Reflection

Today is Friday, 23rd August 2019, and it is the first Friday of grade 10. The most significant events of this week were meeting my friends and new teachers, and the fibs. This week feels pretty much like last year, it just feels like a continuation of grade 9. This week was also kinda stressful because we have so many tests and tasks coming up next week. It was also pretty boring and I can’t wait for the holidays because I’ll get to sleep in again 🙂

Potential highlights for me would be Culturama (if I get in). Last year in Culturama I had lots of fun, and I wanna get into Culturama and have fun this year as well before I get bombarded with all the exams. Some potential obstacles of this year could be exams, mocks, and coursework. All of these things affect my attainment grades in the long run, and they are a huge deal.

Well overall, I’m lowkey excited for grade 10, and the units we’re learning in our classes seem pretty cool this year. But I’m not excited to stay up all night finishing all my coursework and studying for exams. Good luck to me!

NYAA Outdoor Appreciation : Ladakh 2019!

In the summer of ’19, I went to Ladakh – a beautiful region in North India – for my Grade 9 Expedition, and also for my NYAA Outdoor Appreciation trip. My trip was around 19 days long, and it was a really hard trip. I learnt a lot from that trip, and I feel like that trip changed me for the better.

My research question for this trip was “How do the residents of Ladakh sustain their culture for their future generations?”. After my trip to Ladakh, I realised that Ladakh is not that Westernised, it still follows its traditions, therefore allowing the younger generations of Ladakh to learn and follow them. The school which we visited in Ladakh, Lamdon school, is an English medium school, but the teachers and students all communicate in Ladakhi. The students also have a mini monastery in their school, which is almost like a mini heritage of Buddha. These things will allow the younger generations to embrace their culture and carry it forward to future generations.

Before going on this trip, I was very excited, and I thought that I would find this trip really fun and easy, but I was wrong. There were lots of things that I found easy and fun in Ladakh, such as socialising with the students of Dover and the students of Lamdon School. I also found it easy to get used to Ladakh and not get that homesick, mainly because of the beautiful scenery in Ladakh. But despite all of that, I found the most important thing of the trip hard, trekking. Trekking was the main activity we did during our trip and I found it really hard. I think the main reasons for that was because I didn’t train enough for the trekking. I also fell sick during my trip, so that made trekking pretty hard for me as I was very tired and sick during the trekking.

Despite being sick during the trekking, I still continued to trek, I never gave up. During the trekking, I went at a slow pace and took lots of breaks, but I never said “I can’t do this”  and that was because I knew I could do it. One of the members of Snow Leopard told me: “Every step you take brings you closer to your destination, even if you take a break after every 10 steps.”. After hearing this, I realised that I should never give up, and I should stay resilient, or else I would never get to where I wanted to. During the trip, I became so much more resilient, and I think that my resilience is the skill that I developed the most. Usually, if I end up not being able to do something, I would immediately give up and not try, but since coming back from my Ladakh trip, I became much more resilient and I still try to do things I find hard instead of simply just giving up.

On our second last day of trekking, we had a reflection session, where we sat by a rock formation and just spent some time to reflect on our trip. In our reflection, we had to write about our thoughts, and I wrote: “I’m so happy and proud that I managed to finish the hardest parts of this trek without dying, but more importantly, I’m really happy that I figured out I’m stronger than I think.”. This is definitely my biggest learning from Ladakh. Learning that I’m stronger than I think has given me a sense of confidence, and now I know that I can do anything as long as I am determined since I have the strength to do it.

“You can achieve anything, as long as you have a good attitude.”. One of the teachers on our trip told us this during our group discussions, and this became one of my mottos during the trip. Despite finding the treks hard, I still managed to finish them. This was all due to my resilience and my good attitude. I always tried to stay as positive as possible, and it really helped me to finish my treks and prevented me from giving up.

In Ladakh, I also did so many skills that I haven’t done that much before, for example, I took initiative to start an advanced group for the students in our trip. I told Amy, our Outdoor-Ed teacher, that I was finding the trekking hard, so I asked her whether we could form a group of students who left earlier and travelled at a slower pace than the rest. This helped a lot of the students on our trip as many students found the trekking hard, so they joined the advanced group.

Since coming back from Ladakh, I’ve started to appreciate the small things that I have in life, such as 100% Oxygen in Singapore; the exposure to other cultures that I get by living here in Singapore; the connectivity to all places in Singapore; schooling; clean water, and many more. During my trip, I realised that if one of these were taken away from me, I would be able to live such an easy and convenient life. The main reason for this realisation is because Ladakh’s Oxygen levels are much lower than that of Singapore’s. Due to the low oxygen levels, I found it hard to do little everyday things, such as walking, packing, and even eating. I would need to take small ‘breathing breaks’ every minute or so while I’m doing these activities due to the lack of Oxygen.

To conclude this reflection, here is a list of my main learnings from this trip:

  1. I am strong, I have the power to do anything.
  2. With a good attitude, one will be able to lead a good life.
  3. Every step you takes brings you closer to your destination, wherever that may be.

Service : End of Year Reflection

Format Gallery

Service has come to an end, and to be honest, I am very sad about that. The service I participated in this school year was Arts and Craft with PCF 858 Kindergarten. During this service, we would do fun activities, such as colouring, making masks, and making hats with the little kindergarteners. Our main aim as a service was to overcome cultural barriers and try to brighten up the day of the little kindergarteners. We really wanted to make their day better, and we wanted them to look forward to spending time with us. We definitely have achieved our aim as their teacher told us that the little children always looked forward to our activities, and she told us that they consider us as their older brothers and sisters. This shows how much we all have bonded with the little kindergarteners, and how much they have come to trust us.

Service was always the highlight of my week as I always enjoyed spending time with the little kids and hearing their laughter and seeing their smiles. Service was also the time where I got to relax and not have to think about any school work that stresses me out.

When I joined this service, I thought that I would hate it as I am not that fond of children, but over time I realised that spending time with these kindergarteners was like a mindfulness session, where my mind was just very relaxed. I used these service sessions as a time where I could freshen my mind and have a mini mind ‘detox’ where I get rid of negative vibes and stressful thoughts.

Through the service sessions, I became close with the little children, therefore I found it really hard to say goodbye to the kids during our last session. Despite the fact that I am going to see them next year when I continue to do this service, I will still miss them a lot, and I will miss the weekly Tuesday sessions that we had with them. I am really excited to spend more time with the little children next year!

Science Reflection (#FailWell)

I felt really disappointed when I got my science exam back. This is because I made really silly mistakes in the exam which could have easily been avoided during the exam if I wasn’t feeling so cocky and confident during the moment. After the exam, I felt like I did well during my exam, but my results state otherwise. I am pretty sure that this is the worst science test that I have taken in the whole grade 9 course, usually I ace the tests, or get 92% at the lowest, but in this test I only got 91.2%. A lot of people will say “oh you did so well”, well I think otherwise, I think that I did pretty bad and I could have done much better.

Two things that I have learnt about exam techniques, specifically science exams, is that the only thing that is actually needed for a science exam is the keyword. As long as you know the keyword, and you know how to phrase it into different sentences, you will be guaranteed full marks for the question. This was shown in the first question itself, I lost a mark because I didn’t state the keyword that was needed for the answer – the solution is more dilute than the leaf – instead I wrote – the solution has a higher water potential than the leaf – which didn’t give me the mark as I didn’t state the necessary keywords needed. The second thing that I have learnt about exam technique is that we always have to be accurate with our reading, there usually won’t be a range of different answers when the question asks for a reading. This was shown in question number 3, where I somehow managed to get the reading off by .1, even though the scale was right in front of me. I have made this same mistake in a few of my science tests, and I honestly don’t know why I keep getting the readings wrong, maybe I just need to focus and be more in the moment when taking exams.

As I stated in the previous paragraph, keywords are EVERYTHING in science, and I mean everything. The only way to get marks in science is by getting the correct keywords, even if you explained the question properly, you won’t get marks unless you have the specific keywords. In biology, if the question asks you about plant cells put in water (or something within those lines), then osmosis is guaranteed to be one of the keywords. A few other keywords for these types of questions will be – dilute/concentrated, water potential, down a water potential gradient, into the cell/out of the cell. For chemistry, if the question is talking about the rate of reaction then a few keywords will be – collisions, more/less frequent collisions, activation energy, successful collision. If the question is about physics and about things like force and acceleration, you should always remember that if the forces acting on an object are unbalanced, then the object will accelerate at a constant rate, it will not accelerate and an increasing rate.

3 specific mistakes that I have made which shows misunderstanding in 3 concepts are:

  1. (5a) I wrote that oxide is OH instead of O. This was a misunderstanding as I thought that a hydroxide and an oxide were both the same.
  2. (3dii) I wrote that since the values don’t go up by the same ratios, they are not directly proportional, but my misconception was that we need to use the evidence given to us, such as the table, and that we have to be more specific about how the data values show that it is not directly proportional. An ideal answer to this question would be the data values in the table show that the values for Power do not double as the values for Current doubles. My main misconception in this question is that I thought we didn’t have to be specific, so I made my answer very broad.
  3. (8biii) In this question, I wrote that a difference between boiling and evaporation is that boiling produces bubbles, while evaporation does not. For some reason, I thought that this would be a valid answer but turns out that this is not, and that my answer is incorrect. The correct answer, in this case, would be evaporation is only happens at the surface, while boiling happens throughout the liquid // evaporation produces cooling, while boiling does not, etc. My main misconception was that I thought that boiling producing bubbles and evaporation not producing bubbles would be a legit answer.

Looking forward, there are many things that I have to keep in mind. I always have to remember to focus on the exam and to stay in the moment so that I don’t make silly and unnecessary errors. Another thing that I should keep doing in the future is past paper questions. For this exam, I felt pretty well prepared, but I didn’t do as well as I expected, but in the future exams, I will do much better by practising even more with past papers.

Personal Statement

“Time flies over us, but leaves its shadow behind.”

– Nathaniel Hawthorne

The reality of the everlasting flow of time never fails to hit me. One day I will be sitting at home and suddenly I’ll just start thinking of how far I have come from a little toddler crawling on all fours to an almost fully grown adult who makes decisions by herself. The reality of how fast these 15 years of my life has flown by will always haunt me. I always look back on my memories and I still remember my first birthday party, how I had a big white cake with blue frosting, how I had a very carefree and stress-free life. Now that I am in high school, stress will always be a part of my life, I can’t escape it.

“Success is the result of perfection, hardwork, learning from failure, loyalty, and persistance.”

– Colin Powell

To all of you that don’t know me, I am Parvathy Sunil, a 9th grader who is really into K-pop. Through my grade 9 course, I have come to realise that I really strive for perfection, and it is a really unhealthy habit. I have noticed this when I get specific tests back, such as science and math, and I tend to get unhappy with my 7s. I realised that I am only happy when I ace the test, a 7 is just not good enough. This brings upon a lot of unnecessary stress upon me as a 7 is a 7, despite it being a high one or a low one. Due to my constant 7s, my perception is that my teachers expect a lot from me, and they have very high standards for me, bringing a lot of pressure upon me to do well.

Other than a perfectionist, another word that people use to describe me is narrow-minded. This is mainly due to my upbringing. Since I have lived in Singapore for almost all of my life, I am not someone who welcomes change, I am not that open-minded as of now. I have lived in my current house for the past 10 years, and I am not ready to move out when I am older, I don’t want things to change as I don’t like change. Due to this, I am the opposite of open-minded, I am somebody who is narrow-minded.

A goal is an aim or a desired target. When I was younger, I had very unrealistic goals for my future, such as become an actress or a singer. That was mainly because of all the fame that came with those jobs, but now after seeing the tedious lives of many K-pop stars, my goals have changed, and they are nowhere near being famous. When I am older, all I want is a well-paying job, such as an architect or a math professor at a good university,  that allows me to lead a content life full of success. Both of my current goals are very math related and this is mainly because math is my strongest subject, and I genuinely enjoy math. A few short term goals for myself are to do really well in my IGCSE exams and try to get a minimum of four 7s, and also, to get into NUS. The reason why I want to get into NUS because it is in my home, Singapore, so I won’t have to face any big changes when I change schools. Another reason why NUS, is because it is a really good university that is well recognised.

Personally, I think that these goals are right for me, even though they may seem a bit unrealistic. This is mainly because I am someone with very high standards, so I need my goals to be of high standards as well, and I need them to be challenging. I will achieve these goals firstly by revising my math and science units and doing very well on the tests we get. After that, the next step to getting closer to my goal would be to make sure I understand everything that I have learnt, and do practice and get really good scores on my IGCSE. After that, I will grind really hard in IB and keep practising and learning, then I will hopefully do good on my IB exams, then I will get into NUS and have a smooth transition to a well-paying job.

During this school year, I have done multiple activities and services, some of which have affected my perfectionist outlook on life. I did the service Knit-a-Square for the first two seasons of the school year, and in that service, we knit blankets and scarves for the orphaned children in Africa and Thailand. When knitting, you have to get each knit perfect so that the overall scarf/blanket looks good. This service that I did just made me more of a perfectionist as I had to make sure that the blanket I made is as perfect as it can be so that the little orphans who get the blankets will be very happy. There are two activities that I did in this year that really made me more a perfectionist – Karate and Badminton. In Karate, it is all about finding your focus and ensuring that all of your punches and kicks and katas are perfect. With this perfection or almost perfection, one will be able to take the grading and move on to the next belt. Badminton is somewhat similar to Karate as we have to ensure that every swing that we do with our racquet is perfect so that we will be able to beat our opponent. Perfection is key is both of these activities, therefore doing these activities makes me even more of a perfectionist, even though I enjoy these activities a lot.

Taking a step away from perfection, I have actually learnt a lot from all of the activities and school-related events that I have participated in. For my school trip, Ladakh, we had a training session pretty recently, and during the session I learnt that I will never always be in my comfort zone, there will be many times when I feel uncomfortable, but these moments will help me grow as a person, and it actually helps me to realise that I am living such a privileged life where I never really have to get out of my comfort zone. From the two services that I have done this year – Knit-a-Square; and PCF Arts and Crafts – I have learnt that I always need some time during the week where I can just release all my stress and not think of anything related to school. During Knit-a-Square, the knitting that we did always helped me to relieve stress. In my weekly service PCF, we did fun art and craft activities with little kindergarteners, and it was so healing to just see the smiles and hear the laughter of the preschoolers, and it was even more healing to know that the laughter and smiles were caused by us. This service just always made my week and it made me so much happier as I got spend time with the pre-schoolers and I didn’t have to think about any schoolwork that stresses me. From these two services, I have realised that I always need to find some time for myself when I just relax and not have to think about anything that stresses me out.

Something that has gone particularly well this year, and brought me closer to my goal, is my straight 7s, which mostly consist of aces, in both Math and Science. With my straight 7s, it brings about more pressure on me as others expect me to keep my 7 streak, and I tend to increase my standards for myself. At the moment, when I get a 7, it is never good enough, I need to ace the test to feel good about myself and to feel smart. This is not a healthy form of thinking, but it still brings me closer to my goal as this mindset will push me into studying and keeping up my good grades.

Reflection : Gender, Sexuality, Identity

Our previous PSE (Personal Social Education) unit was gender, sexuality and identity. Personally, I didn’t like this unit as it brought up a lot of anger in me and a lot of conflict in our class. I personally believe that there are only two genders, male and female. A lot of people say that sex and gender are different, but they are the exact same thing. There are two sexes, male and female, and there are two sexes, male and female. I do not understand how there are multiple genders, and how gender and sex are different. This may just seem like I’m being very close-minded, but I just fail to understand. If someone explained to me how they are different, with evidence, then I might be able to understand.

Another big thing that caused debates in our class is my statement: “you can’t change your gender.”

I personally don’t understand how one can change their gender. They can’t alter their DNA, they can’t change their genetics. Let’s say that a girl wants to become a guy, how can a doctor possible change their XX chromosomes to the XY chromosomes of a girl. SO when a person changes their gender, they are still the original gender they were, they are not fully the gender they want to be as you CANNOT alter your genetic chromosome just like that. I don’t have that much scientific knowledge on this topic, but this is just what I think.

Euthanasia: Playing God

Euthanasia, derived from the Greek word euthanatos meaning easy death (“Ethics – Euthanasia”), is when a doctor painlessly ends one’s life, as long as the patient and their family agree. The patient will usually be suffering from a terminal condition or an irreversible coma. Many people have different opinions on euthanasia, and their belief systems impact their perspective on euthanasia. In this essay, I will look into how our religious and ethical values determine whether it is morally acceptable for doctors, or the government to deny euthanasia for someone with a terminal condition. There are two forms of euthanasia, passive, when the doctor terminates the medication that keeps the patient alive, and active, when the doctor uses lethal substances to end the patient’s life (Nordqvist). People find passive euthanasia more ethical than active euthanasia, therefore passive euthanasia is legal in more countries than active euthanasia is, such as Finland, Germany, South Korea, and many more (“Legality of Euthanasia.”). The main controversy revolving around euthanasia is that it goes against the oath that doctors take, the Hippocratic Oath. The original oath states that: “I will neither give a deadly drug to anybody who asked for it, nor will I make a suggestion to this effect.” (Nordqvist). Active euthanasia definitely goes against this oath, therefore the oath has been revised and modified to the current version: “If it is given me to save a life, all thanks. But it may also be within my power to take a life; this awesome responsibility must be faced with great humbleness and awareness of my own frailty.” (Nordqvist). Despite euthanasia being compatible with the current oath, many people still think that it is immoral to take one’s life, making euthanasia one of the most controversial topics that are being debated over. There are many stakeholders involved in the controversy that is euthanasia, the doctor, the patient, the family of the patient, the government, and many more. In this essay, I will be discussing the perspective of the doctor, a patient who got denied euthanasia, and a journalist for the Straits Times.

Chantal Sebire, a woman who was suffering from a rare form of cancer, esthesioneuroblastoma, had requested a court in Eastern France to allow doctors to help her terminate her life,  but her request was rejected. Siebre believed it was wrong for the government to deny her euthanasia, she said: “It is simply wrong that terminally ill people not just in France, but also in the UK, who are suffering unbearably are not being given the choice to die with dignity.” (“Health | France Rejects”). From her statement, I concluded that Chantal Sebire had a utilitarianism belief system as she wanted the best outcome for herself, which was to end her suffering, despite the procedure she would have to go through. Utilitarians want the best outcome from each situation, they care less about the actions they undergo and more about the end result. In Sebire’s case, undergoing euthanasia would have been the best outcome for herself, as she would end her suffering. This is the main reason why Sebire was very confident in her opinion, despite it going against the French government. Another reason why Sebire was very confident in her opinion on euthanasia is because France is an individualist region that promotes freedom of speech. Due to this, many people protest against certain issues, voicing their thoughts on them. Sebire might have been inspired by the many protestors, therefore voicing her opinion to the government, despite having a different opinion from the government. Clearly, Sebire’s perspective has impacted France at a national level as the French prime minister’s office conversed with Jean Leonetti, the French lawmaker, to remedy the French law of euthanasia (Schpoliansky, “Cancer Sufferer”) after Sebire pleaded for euthanasia.  The reason why the impact was more national than global was because many countries around the world have already changed their laws to accept euthanasia. The main consequence of having this perspective is that Sebire fails to realise that the procedure the patients undergo is morally incorrect as the physician is ending one’s life, putting guilt on themselves. Due to Sebire’s utilitarian perspective, she believed that she has the right to die as it had the best outcome for herself. She was very determined to find someone to help her die with dignity, “I now know how to get my hands on what I need, and if I don’t get it in France, I will get it elsewhere.” (“Health | France Rejects”). In the end, two days after Sebire’s denial of euthanasia from the government, she was found dead in her apartment. The cause of death was unknown, but it is confirmed to be an unnatural death.

A more of a national perspective on euthanasia is from Darius Lee, a journalist for the Straits Times. Lee believes that: “Laws against the killing of patients vindicate and uphold every person’s right to life, especially that of the terminally ill or vulnerable.” (Lee).  He also stated that “euthanasia is contrary to both the law and medical ethics, and should remain so.” (Lee), showing that he believes that it is moral for doctors and the government to deny euthanasia to a patient with a terminal condition as the denial will provide the patient with a ‘right to life’. From this, I concluded that he is a deontologist as he believes that it is moral to abide by the laws rather than break the laws. Deontologists believe that the actions people take are more important than the result, in this case, abiding by the law is the right thing to do. The main cause of Lee’s deontologist perspective may be because of the place he is from, Singapore. The laws in Singapore are very strict, and most Singaporeans abide by the law as the consequences are extreme if you break a law, such as penalty fines, imprisonment, and even the death penalty. Therefore, most Singaporeans don’t overlook the laws, they tend to just follow them, causing them to believe that the law is always right, and there is no doubting it. In Singapore, euthanasia is illegal. This may also be one of the influences on Lee’s attitude towards euthanasia. A few consequences of having this perspective is that Lee fails to realise that the act of “mercy killing” ends a patient’s and their loved one’s sufferings. A bigger, more national, consequence of having this perspective is that Lee and other Singaporeans like Lee will end up passing on the same mindset to their children, that euthanasia is wrong and that it is immoral. Once the laws in other countries and even the Singaporean euthanasia laws change, it will be hard for these generations to adapt with the change as they will be used to thinking that “euthanasia is immoral”. If you compare Darius Lee’s perspective on euthanasia to Chantal Sebire, you can see how different a deontologist and utilitarian thinks. As I stated earlier, Lee believes that euthanasia is wrong because it violates both the law and the medical ethics, and that it is moral for doctors to deny euthanasia to a terminally ill patient as it gives the patient a right to life. On the other hand, Sebire believed that it was immoral for a doctor to deny euthanasia to a patient with a terminal condition, as it would make the patient suffer.

My third and final stakeholder is a group of Muslim doctors from Pakistan. Like Lee, these doctors strongly believe that it is moral for doctors to deny euthanasia for a terminally ill patient. They believe that “only God should terminate their lives” (Afzal). The main reason why the doctors feel this way is because of their religion, Islam, which teaches that Allah is the only one who gives life and has the absolute authority of taking it (Ayuba, 6). Like Singapore, Islam has a lot of consequences for breaking its rules. It’s is stated in the Qur’an that, “The enormity of the sin on a person who deliberately terminates a life other than in the course of justice such as murder or spreading mischief in the land, is as if the whole people have been killed by him” (Qur’an 5:32 cited in Ayuba, 6), showing that the murderer, the doctor, would have a big burden on their shoulders if they proceeded with the act of euthanasia. The main reason why the group of doctors are very faithful to Islam is because the Pakistan government highly encourages its citizens to follow Islam. There is no real consequence of not being a Muslim in Pakistan, it is just highly encouraged by the people of Pakistan. The main consequence of having this perspective is that these Pakistani’s fail to realize that many people are suffering from terminal conditions, and they are being a burden to their loved ones. If they received euthanasia, then their sufferings would end, so would their loved ones’. A more national consequence of having this mindset is that, like Singapore, the younger generation will also end up having the mindset that it is moral for doctors to deny euthanasia to a terminally ill patient as euthanasia goes against their religion, Islam. When comparing these doctors’ perspective to Lee’s perspective, you can tell that the doctors and Lee have the same moral ethics as they believe that they should always follow a rule. In Lee’s case, it is the law, but in the doctor’s case, it is the Islamic rules. When comparing all three perspectives to one another, you can see that their upbringing has impacted the stakeholder’s belief systems and perspective. Sebire had a utilitarian point of view because she was raised in a country that allowed freedom of speech, while Lee and the doctors were raised in a country that has very strict laws that very strict beliefs, making them believe that following the rules and laws is always the right thing to do.

Personally, I believe that it is moral for a doctor to deny euthanasia for a patient with a terminal illness as I believe that the act of euthanasia is murder, despite the medical reasons behind it. The main reason why I have this perspective on euthanasia is because of my deontologist belief system. Like Lee, I believe that our actions matter more than the consequences, abiding the law and doing moral things are more valued than a good outcome. A factor that has influenced me having this belief system is because of the way I am brought up. My parents always told me that the grade I get for a test doesn’t matter as much as the effort I put into my studies. This has made me believe that the actions we take have more of a value than the consequences we face because of the action. Another reason why I have a deontologist belief system is, like Lee, the place where I am brought up, Singapore. As I stated above, the consequences go as far as the death penalty for breaking certain laws in Singapore, causing us, the residents of Singapore to willingly abide by the law and believe that the law is always right. After reading Sebire’s story, my opinion of euthanasia is not as strong as it was, I believe that under some circumstances it is okay for doctors to provide euthanasia, as long as the patient and their family are truly suffering. This is because I believe that nobody should do something against their will. If living is against a terminal patient’s will, then the patient and their family will be suffering a lot, so euthanasia will be the right action to take in this situation. As time passes, the controversy on euthanasia will continue to grow, and so will our perspective on these controversial issues.

Works Cited

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  3. “Health | France Rejects Right-to-Die Plea.” BBC News, BBC, 17 Mar. 2008, news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/health/7301566.stm.
  4. Lee, Darius. “Euthanasia Contrary to Medical Ethics.” The Straits Times, 21 Nov. 2018, www.straitstimes.com/forum/letters-in-print/euthanasia-contrary-to-medical-ethic
  5. “Legality of Euthanasia.” Wikipedia, Wikimedia Foundation, 18 Dec. 2018, en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Legality_of_euthanasia.
  6. Muhammad Nasir Afzal, Rabia Latif, Tahir Ahmad Munir. “Attitude of Pakistani Doctors Towards Euthanasia and Assisted Suicide.” Pakistan Armed Forces Medical Journal (Rawalpindi, Pakistan), no. 1, 31 Mar. 2010. EBSCOhost, search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&AuthType=ip,shib&db=edsnbk&AN=13FF6CB02A50E6A8&site=eds-live&custid=s5027800.
  7. Nordqvist, Christian. “Euthanasia and Assisted Suicide: What Are They and What Do They Mean?” Medical News Today, MediLexicon International, 17 Dec. 2018, www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/182951.php.
  8. Osborn, Andrew, and Sarah Boseley. “Dutch Pass Euthanasia Bill.” The Guardian, Guardian News and Media, 11 Apr. 2001, www.theguardian.com/world/2001/apr/11/andrewosborn.sarahboseley.
  9. “Religions – Christianity: Euthanasia.” BBC, BBC, 3 Aug. 2009, www.bbc.co.uk/religion/religions/christianity/christianethics/euthanasia_1.shtml.
  10. Schpoliansky, Christophe. “Cancer Sufferer Who Begged for Death Found Dead.” ABC News, ABC News Network, 19 Mar. 2008, abcnews.go.com/Health/story?id=4484359&page=1.
  11. Schpoliansky, Christophe. “French Woman’s Euthanasia Request Denied.” ABC News, ABC News Network, 18 Mar. 2008, abcnews.go.com/Health/International/story?id=4468663&page=1.
  12. Tran, Can. “Death of French Woman With Rare Cancer Was Not By Natural Causes.” Press Release – Digital Journal, 22 Mar. 2008, www.digitaljournal.com/article/252024.
  13. “Woman with Disfiguring Cancer Dies, Euthanasia Debate Lives.” USA Today, Gannett Satellite Information Network, 20 Mar. 2008, usatoday30.usatoday.com/news/health/2008-03-19-cancer-euthanasia_N.htm.

 

Played by Luck : A Tsunami Survivor’s Story

On the  26th of December 2004, one of the world’s most destructive tsunamis, the Indian Ocean Tsunami, struck.  Hundreds of thousands of people lost their lives during this tragic event, but Cameron Hunter and his family were one of the few lucky survivors.

14 years ago, Cameron Hunter, a current middle school vice principal at UWCSEA East, went to celebrate Christmas with his family of four at Bang Tao Bay in Phuket. The day after Christmas, Mr Hunter’s two young children, Kyle and Callum, woke him up early to go play on the beach, which was empty compared to the day before.

“I was planning to go windsurfing at 9:30 am,” Mr Hunter recalled. He was waiting impatiently at the beach while his kids and wife were playing with the sand. After a while, the person who rents out the surfboard did not come to the beach, and Mr Hunter stated that “In retrospect, was really good, and I probably wouldn’t be here if he came.”

Something is wrong

“The water receded quite fast at around 9:30 am.” Mr Hunter recalled. Mistaking it for the low tide, he and his family ran out into the sea with their buckets, marveling at the starfish on the exposed seabed.

They went out into the sea, meeting the water. “At this point, I knew something was wrong, as the water wasn’t  not ebbing and flowing, the water was frothing.” Mr Hunter recalled. The rest of his family were scattered around the sea, so he decided to go back to the shore with his family. He was fortunate to have noticed the frothing water as a dangerous sign. Because of this, he managed to get his family together before the tsunami hit.

“Almost as soon as I decided ‘let’s get back’, the water just went up like that, up to your neck height, but it wasn’t a massive wall of water, and that is why I think we were lucky. We were lucky because we were in a protected bay.” Everything that Mr Hunter did on that day was ultimately full of luck, such as not going windsurfing, and noticing that the water was frothing. These actions built onto one another, making this a luck-filled day for Mr Hunter, despite the fact that he and his family were struck by a tsunami.

“Everyone is screaming, and we are now being pushed into shore,” Mr Hunter stated. “We were swimming in with one hand holding the child, and it’s a long way.” Mr Hunter’s wife gave both of their children to him, so Mr Hunter was struggling to swim to shore while both his toddlers were clinging onto to each of his arms. “It’s really panicky, but still I was like, ‘yeah it’s going to be okay, it’s just a big wave.’” This is because the reality of the wave didn’t hit him yet, allowing him to remain calm.

Just Like the Movies

They got onto the shore with the help of the man who rents out the surfboard, and they ran for their lives, as fast as they could to their hotel. Mr Hunter and his family were played by luck a second time that day as their hotel was on a hill. Even though the hotel got flooded, it wasn’t devastated like the beach huts.

“The massive wave came in, and it came in huge. We were now on a balcony and it was like watching a movie. We were watching this massive wave come in and destroy everything on the beach.’” Mr Hunter remembered, talking about the devastation the tsunami caused.

Toying with Luck

“We were very lucky again, many, many, many lucky things,” Mr Hunter concluded as he tells us his tsunami story. They were very lucky geographically as the water had a long way to travel from the epicenter to Bang Tao Bay, therefore the force of the wave won’t be that strong when it hits the Bay as the wave hits many islands on the way to the bay.

“We were just looking at each other, thinking, ‘wow, how lucky were we’.” Mr Hunter recalled thinking while watching the devastation around him. All the events of that one day shows that Mr Hunter and his family were toying with luck.

Aftermath

Afterwards, the survivors were evacuated into higher ground where someone managed to get a wifi signal. “It’s a bit like a refugee camp […] people sick, broken arms, things like that, and you realise ‘oh this is really serious, people have died here.’” Mr Hunter and the rest of the survivors found out that an earthquake happened at 5:30 in the morning, but Mr Hunter doesn’t recall feeling the earthquake, despite the it being a massive one. This natural disaster affected millions of people all across Asia.

That night, the survivors were taken back to the hotel to get a night’s rest. Fortunately, Mr Hunter’s room was on the second floor, so neither his room nor his items got ruined.

The next day Mr Hunter was awoken early by his toddlers once again. He took them to the pool to find out that a lot of people were still at the poolside, despite a massive tsunami just happening the day before.

“It’s a bit strange,” Mr Hunter explained, describing the emotions he felt when people who marvelled over the fact that he and his family survived. He remembers an Australian man who walked up to him and told him, “Were you the family that was out? Were you the family that was in the wave? Someone was looking out for you.”

Someone was definitely looking out for Mr Hunter and his family, making sure that the family of four had all the luck possible, just for that one day. Having no belief in any higher power, Mr Hunter was truly fortunate to have luck on his side.

Works Cited

Bank, Asian Development. “Damage from the Asian Tsunami of 26 December 2004.” Flickr, Yahoo!, 24 Dec. 2014, www.flickr.com/photos/asiandevelopmentbank/15906703969/in/photostream/.