Taking part in the Student Alumni and Foundation Council is a new activity and experience for me. Without any hesitations, I joined the activity because I was very curious about how UWCSEA alumni were still able to connect to the school after they have graduated 10 or 15 years ago. I know UWC is a very diverse and international school and thought once we graduate from our high school, we won’t be able to connect to our friends and school properly as we all go on our own path after grade 12. Thus to explore, answer my curiosity and get ideas of how the school finds and connect with their alumni and in the hope to become one of them, I joined the activity.
The first few sessions were very exciting for me. Especially when we talked about how they always bring UWCSEA alumni from both East and Dover together after 10 years and how they celebrate together while also talking about their contributions (giving back to the school) to the school. Additionally, looking back at their alumni gathering photos and talking about how we can also bring the memorable photos of class of 2021, hyped my excitement. I look forward to more sessions where I can learn how to build and contribute to strong alumni network of UWCSEA and also build skills in different areas such as event management, presentations, creativity skills and most importantly building team work.
As I attended pottery lessons every Monday, I have come to realise my first impression and expectations of what pottery could have meant. Before I joined pottery, I thought pottery just meant making pots and vessels, thus it did not interest me that much even though I wanted to try it. However, after joining the lessons, although it was only once a week, I have learnt a lot. Pottery is a decorative art where objects can be made of clay, paint on top of it to add aesthetics and hardened with heat. These processes were very fun and exciting for me since it was a new exploration and I have discovered my skills and abilities in Pottery which I want to continue to develop in the future through getting more experience in this field. I remember the last time I took a handful of clay and started making random objects which I found creative and thus has driven my interest in pottery more. However, I struggled choosing the right kind of colour for my objects as there are hundreds of colours in the Art class with various names and I did not know how these various colours would turn out after heating it. Therefore, in the remaining classes of pottery, I hope to explore the different colours which I think would mostly suit the object while also understanding what kind of colour it is and how it will turn out at the end.
In the beginning of my essay planning, my initial topic sentences were to focus on how in different ways women in the novel were represented by the author and how it connects with the Japanese society historically and even now.
My previous topic sentences and ideas were;
- Topic sentence 1 – how are female characters represented ? (strong, powerful, weak, moving towards modernisation, holding on to culture etc)
- Topic sentence 2 – Predominant male character representation (Kikuji) – how does he think and act with different female characters in the novel with different intension and traditional values.
- Topic sentence 3- Weak women are more subordinate.
My topic sentences were not very focused and I found my ideas floating all around. When I did research and tried to find evidences to support my statements from the text, there was very less of them and I found myself researching and looking into the ideas of how women were simply presented in the book which were clearly visible to the readers as well and thus I felt my topic sentences did not make my arguments stronger.
However, after talking with my friends and teacher, I came to focus my topic sentences. While my main thesis idea is still the same as how women are represented in the novel but I would be focusing on only the idea about the different levels of subordinate women representation by the author and their insights.
Initial Topic Sentence:
- Representation of woman as less subordinate. (Chikako)
- Representation of woman as very subordinate (Mrs.Ota)
- Representation of woman who could fall under being a subordinate but one that pushes the factors affecting her to be submissive away (Fumiko)
With this initial topic sentences, I can focus my idea on one concept and at the same time refer my evidences from the whole body of book (Thousand Cranes).
The cancellation of the project week may be a disappointment for most of the students including myself but I have learnt a lot while carrying out the research and planning of the activities. During the research of our activities, we had to consider the consequences of choices of our destinations, daily activities, safety and manageable budget which made us feel more responsible for our own action since there won’t be an actual adult/supervisor going with us. Even though we could not go to our planned destination physically, our planning and group work made me feel more engaged in preparing for our trip where I also gained the confidence and skills in carrying out other activities if we had to go oversea alone. Therefore, not being able to do our project week, I realised that I have developed a strong mentality to face like the current situations and thinking positively to look forward for opportunities.
One of the activities that makes UWC experience special for me was the project week. A week worth doing various activities, services or creativities with our group friends either within Singapore or outside Singapore. Since the project has to be student led, I got lot of experience through doing independent research and taking roles and responsibilities for our group. For me, the most exciting part was doing the research about the different activities that we hoped to do in that particular place because it was very new and interesting activity that I have done before. Some of the activities we discussed to do were cycling in Taiwan, hiking and trekking in China and rock climbing in Indonesia/Thailand.
Due to limited budget, we had to cancel our plan to China and Taiwan and decided to go for Indonesia/Thailand. We were not sure if we should go for the activity in Thailand or Indonesia, so we were trying to get in touch with the organisers to sort out the itinerary estimating for about a week. However, not so long after working out the itinerary list, the school had to cancel our project week trip due to Coronavirus spreading across the world quickly and to maintain safety for all the students at school. I lost all the excitements the moment I heard the news but I knew that the school was making this decision for us.
Dragon venture is one of the activities that I think will help me to share my knowledge from business and management studies with the rest of the group and exchange ideas with the people who have similar interest. Since I joined the school late, I attended only one session before the October break. However, the first session made me feel very excited due to our group discussion on why some businesses fail while some succeeds really well and identifying the business organisations with advantages and disadvantages. Through this activity, I hope learn more by exchanging ideas with the new group members and experience something different beyond classroom.
Pottery is an activity that I have always wanted to join because of how the activity itself gives an opportunity for the students to think creatively and try to incorporate them into physical model. Back home in Bhutan, I have seen many pots and other vessels used as a tool for cooking, serving, decoration, storing food and many more at traditional houses, souvenir, art exhibition and even at home. However, I did not get a proper chance to learn how they made those creative pots and designs. Therefore joining this pottery is a new challenge and new learning experience for my personal growth in UWCSEA.
Through this creativity activity, I hope to explore different ways of making pots with various materials and learn to creatively apply my skills and qualities in making physical models. I also hope to develop my skills in art through teamwork and help from supervisors which can help me in the future career development and in many other areas.
- How might you use precise terminology to unpack the text more effectively?
- Note down the specific terminologies that I think are relevant to the text while stating evidence for that during the planning time since I forget to use them when I am nervous at the beginning of writing.
- Practise use of terminologies before tests to get used to it and on how to use/apply them.
- How might you unpack the verbal and visual elements of the text to derive more plausible arguments and clearer insights?
- Use Point, Evidence and Evaluation
- identify carefully what kind of text/prompt it is in order to use specific and relevant visual and lexical elements.
- Study the role played by male/female characters in the text.
- You put yourself in the audience’s shoe and imagine what it could mean to you.
- how are different gender identity represented in the text? why? how?
- Rule of thirds – break and analyse- supported by evidence
- Angel, shot and framing composition
- Colour contrast
- Use of characters – male vs female – if relevant connecting to resistant reading
- Placement/ representation of social classes
Verbal or lexical elements
- Fonts – size
- Repetition of phrases
- Power dynamics
- Ethos? Pathos? Logos? → Identify them and show why?how?
–> I began my English language and literature HL essay planning earlier and quickly in order to get more ideas and do more research on it. My first idea was on writing the essay based on the significance of preserving tea ceremony as part of Japanese culture and tradition and the consequences of not respecting it as I thought it was one of the open and main motif of the novel. However, as I started researching and reading more hidden messages in the novel, I found how the author represented woman’s role in the novel quite interesting and fun. After getting this idea, I was able to research on how Japan has always put heavy responsibilities on preserving their culture since the first world war and restrictions for women in the society which helped me to connect my idea from the novel to how women should/must be represented in the society. Additionally, watching the class video on “Deciphering Japan” by journalist Yumi Araki on “Japanese Identity” and “the role of women” helped me to focus my idea on my line of inquiry “How does Kawabata Yasunari represent women in Thousand Cranes?”
Link to English IO planning padlet.