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.
Oversea Conference Application
I have always been a natural leader and building a leadership skill is something that I want in my subsequent role. I like taking initiatives and doing volunteer work that has always positive impact in the society. It not only helps the society but it also helps me gain confidence within myself and it helps me to view the society in a different way. I am also a very passionate person who gives immense time to community service work. During this summer (2018), I interned in an NGO (Bhutan Youth Development Fund) where my friends who graduated from high school and I have hosted a charity show so that we could raise some money to give it to the NGO who helps people with disabilities and youths (NU. 14,000 in total). On the other hand, I have also guided and initiated a project called “Zhenphen Project” literally meaning “Altruism” in which we formed a group of four to five members including myself. We collected and made a donation of clothes aiming for slum families in the capital city of Bhutan and even donated to Tarayana Foundation (public benefit organization, registered with the civil society organization authority of Bhutan which was founded by Her Majesty the Queen Mother Ashi Dorji Wangmo Wangchuck). Moreover, we extended the project through sharing on social medias and to other schools as well.
I came to know about Initiative For Peace through my seniors who have graduated from UWCSEA. During summer, she also did her internship with me at the NGO (National Committee of UWC) and during one of the biggest camps (Golden Youth Award Camp) organised by our National Committee, She led a workshop on IFP with the students who come from across the country. I was also one of the members who led the workshop with my senior and that’s how I came to know and understand more about IFP. Thus, I joined the activity immediately so that I can learn more and help spread how to build peace in different societies and environment. IFP has been one of my favourite activities and throughout the sessions, it helped me to reflect on my own actions and about the things that I have been doing till now. It helped me to change my perspectives towards different people’s situations and significance of understanding diversification.
Being an openminded person, this personality has helped me to grow and learn from others. Apart from that, depending on the situation, I can also sacrifice my comfort if it is going to benefit the other person. Also I have been a team leader and I always find it fun and useful when people work together in groups and share ideas. Thus, if I am able to become one of the team members of the overseas conference then I think it will be a great opportunity for me to improve myself and at the same time, help people understand how to reduce conflicts and understand peace building.
Till now in IFP we have been talking, discussing and planning on how peace is important in any situation in any country or with any people. I have been understanding peace in a way I could understand the world from a different perspectives. Now because the world itself is in chaos and it’s hard to explain how we can get together and build peace together because everyone is facing different difficult circumstances and I know that its hard to think about the rest of the world even when you know that you need to build peace and help each other. At times like this we need to come together and fight together and I strongly agree that it has been already time to share and take action from what we have learned from IFP. The session that took place virtually on the 9th June was very impactful for me. As I talked with my friends, I could hear different perspectives about how they are thinking about this situations and how all of them are remaining positive and supporting around the world. The session also made me realise the significance of the values that UWCSEA holds and to what extend we are trying to implement them or have been able to meet them. The discussion was helpful for me as I was able to share my opinions and at the same time, hear others opinions as well. I hope taking advantage of the current situation, all of us are able to become a good peace-builder.