Yesterday was my last session for the service. Looking back, I feel that this service has become an essential part of my grade 11 experience. I have learnt how to interact with many different types of people, rediscover the happiness when we play games from my childhood together, and most importantly, get joy from the smiles on their faces. I have also brought in different materials for activities such stamps and colourful paper to provide our clients with different options. As the year progresses, the individual clients have also grown more familiar to us. Thus we have also developed our session plans based on their needs and preferences. The dancing activity is a real success as it engages our clients better than usual. The more I get to know the clients, the more I appreciated their friendliness and innocence. However, we should also treat them with respect as they are also individuals with dignity, just like us. Throughout this activity, I have developed respect, session planning skills and also communication. These are important skills that I could utilise in my daily lives. I am really glad that I took up this service and I will miss my clients greatly.
For my project week, I feel that it is a great time to practise our organisation skills. We are entirely on our own, we have to manage our own safety, behave ourselves, and most importantly, complete the goals that we have set for ourselves. During the project week planning, our group members got to know each other better, and we also worked together for a common goal. Everyone collaborated to make it a meaningful experience. We have also grown more aware of the ethical implications during the process of planning, as the children that we are going to work with are unable to speak for themselves, while many of them have special medical conditions. When we are there, we have to make sure that we do not engage them in any activity that would be a hazard to their wellbeing while still bringing fun to them. Overall, I feel that the experience of project week will fuel my growth as an IB student and young adult, and I am really looking forward to it.
I decided to investigate tea for my EE because drinking tea is quite common in my life, and the material is also readily available. I wanted to know the health values of these “healthy drinks” because I have little understanding of what they do to the human body. I found out that the primary health benefit of tea is the antioxidative power of it. At first, I wanted to extract the antioxidative chemicals in the tea, however, the experiment involved is too advanced. Thus, I changed my research topic and started investigating the antioxidative power of teas. I found out an experiment on youtube which shows that the tea is able to turn the Iodine back into colourless, but the experiment is not precise nor accurate. Thus, I found out the Briggs Rauscher reaction has a similar function that could show the antioxidative power of teas while at the same time giving more quantitative data.
I have started working on my EE already with my supervisor, who is also my chemistry HL teacher. When we first had an Extended Essay meeting, she has suggested some of the ways that I could alter in order to make the experiment more accurate and interesting. For example, I could use different teas and measure the oxidating power of them by measuring the time it inhibits the Briggs Rauscher reaction, and also correlating it to the number of antioxidants by using an antioxidant pill to conduct the reaction. Also, I have listed the things I need before my preliminary trials start so that my trials will go as smoothly as possible.
I have started my preliminary trials before the April break but unfortunately was unable to finish it. My first trail was not a success, because in the end there is a purple gas formed instead of very clear oscillations. This might be because that the temperature is too high ( above room temperature) and iodine I2 turned into a gas. This time, I have tried to create bigger stocks but smaller reactions, so it would cool more effectively and hopefully oscillate normally.
Next, I need to plan out that what tea I am supposed to use. The tea helps to fight free radicals in the bodies as it has antioxidating properties, and helps to protect the DNA from being damaged. My experience helps to suggest that the amount of tea that one should drink in one day in order to uphold personal health.
I am still working towards the goal of achieving an ARSM diploma, however, it is delayed due to the intensity of the school work and other circumstances. I haven’t had much time for practice nowadays, however everytime I tried to improve upon the weaker parts of the piece, or improve on certain smaller techniques.
After half term, I am getting more comfortable with our clients at the service, and starting to know more of their personalities and their preferences. I used to always limit myself to the drawing activity because it is not really active, however this term I pushed myself out of my comfort zone and engaged myself with different clients that I didn’t dare to approach before. I started playing ball games and lego with them, and from my teacher supervisor I learnt that there are certain ways that you can communicate with them in order to make your communication more effective, such as: when they do not want to share their toys with the others, tell them “you need to share”, and most of the times they will understand and do so.
This service has become an enriching experience for me and as well as for the clients. I hope that I would push myself more and really get to know them for the rest of the term. This also strongly connects to the Learning Outcome 2 as I am able to undertake challenges and develop new skills in the process.
After half term, I have gained a much more thorough understanding of my job and is more able to facilitate the communication between the three parties involved in this GC.
We have been through our major event of the year, which is the Chinese New Year GC event. It was a test of the effectiveness of our leadership team, and after the events, we also reflected on the activities conducted and the merchandise sold at the event, to improve the event for next year. We have also encountered minor problems regarding finance. The service department thought that we were selling Starbucks vouchers, which is unethical and directly making the profit although it is for an NGO. It is proven to be a misunderstanding between the two as we used the Starbucks vouchers as prices for a chopstick marble game for the participants. However, I and the co-chair solved this problem in collaboration with the service department, and they also have given us advise on how we could improve our presentation of the GC goals at events.
I think my CAS experience links to the Learning Outcome 4, as I am able to show perseverance and commitment this CAS activity, and also LO7 because we are also considering the actions of our choices and actions on both sides while helping the others. It also links to LO2 because I am able to develop better communications skills in the process.
Here is an example of our meeting notes:
I have completed several smaller paintings since the last reflection, and my teacher suggested that we can move onto bigger scaled paintings as this will challenge my composition skills and it will also allow me to demonstrate the details in the painting.
In this painting, I plan to use mixed media, such as pencil, acrylic and oil painting. I have just planned out my composition and laid out my entire canvas. The canvas will approximately be 1.2 meters.
This experience links to LO3, 4 as I am initiating a new CAS experience while extending it from the older ones that I have done before, and it also links to LO2 because I am challenging my self by moving on to produce art pieces on a bigger canvas.
This term I have continued to join the circuit training for Healthy Girls For Life, and it has proven to be a valuable experience for me. During this semester, we have explored other types of exercises such as Yoga, HIIT, weights, etc. A combination like this gives me more self-esteem, as I can undertake new challenges and work through them with the help of my supervisor during this activity. These different activities require different techniques, for example for yoga one needs to be stretchy, and for HIIT is a very intensive training that exercises the major muscles. I think a combination of things is beneficial regarding being more active at the end of a Monday, and shaking off the sleepiness of the weekends. Now I feel like I am more stretchy, and developed a bit more of stamina.
Healthy Girls for life links to Learning Outcome 2 as I have undertaken new challenges and have demonstrated that I have developed new skills in the process. Overall I feel like this is a beneficial activity that I will definitely signup in the future again if I have time to do so.