Yearbook – Class of ’18 Photo



Monday, 29th January. The yearbook photography team gathered at 7:30am to set up the class of 2018’s graduation photo.

  •  Who did I collaborate with?
    I collaborated with my yearbook photography team, some teachers and the school’s main photographer, Sabrina. 
  •  What made it easy or difficult to work together with this person/people?
    The fact that we have worked together for over 6 months and that we already have group chats and chain emails lined up made it very easy to communication and collaborate with everyone. It was slightly difficult because we were told at lunch on Friday giving us no time to discuss it as a group face to face. 
  •  What challenges did we face when working together? How did we overcome them? Why couldn’t we overcome some challenges?
    The fact that we spent a few hours over the weekend trying to figure out the dimensions for the photo but when we arrived on the Monday morning and Sabrina had already come up with the dimensions (in the photo above). We had to adapt to her dimensions because she knows better than us. This was not exactly a challenge but more something that was frustrating. I felt like all my work on the weekend was wasted. 
  •  How important was collaboration to achieving the outcome or my goal?
    It was crucial that were effectively worked together because we needed everyone to complete the job. It was more important that we were able to get all the g12s in the right places so we divided the role up. I think this was an effective strategy and a sign of good collaboration to achieve the goal. Sabrina even told us we were the most organized and this year’s photo is looking the best. That was a great compliment especially to me being the head of the photography team. 
  • What could I do in future to be a more effective team player?
    I think I should be more willing to adapt because it really worked to our benefit in this scenario but usually I am not this adaptive. The fact I was still upset about my work going to waste is something I should change. If I’ve made a compromise I shouldn’t be hung up over it. I think that would make me a better team player overall.

Learning Objective – 5 COLLABORATION (Working together to achieve an outcome

Kahaani – Dress Rehearsal

  •  What was it about this activity that I found challenging/difficult?
    The fact that we had only 6 weeks to prepare this made it really hard to memorize and perfect the steps in time. Another thing was that our dance is one of the largest so it is quite hard to be in synchronisation with them.
  •  What risks have I taken as part of this activity?
    To be honest, I haven’t taken any risks but I do believe I have taken on the challenge of dancing the part of the boy in the partner dance. This is particularly difficult for me as I tend to sway my hips a lot and have a grace to my dance that is quite girl like. 
  •  What actions did I take to overcome these challenges?
    I have tried to mimic other dancers in the dance that are male and tried to copy their way of dancing to make my dancing more masculine. I also asked the dance leaders for help to make my steps look more manly. 
  •  Were there challenges that I could not overcome? Why/why not?
    I do believe I am still a little bit unsure of some parts of the dance because 1) we haven’t rehearsed it enough and 2) the dance is quite long (close to 5 minutes) so it is quite easy to forget certain movements. 
  •  How will approach a challenge like this in the future?
    I will ask for assistance whenever I will need it. I will also try to practise skills to perfect them on my own because practise does actually make perfect. 
  •  What new skills have I developed in this activity?
    I think I’ve become a better communicator as working with a partner for over 50% of the dance is hard and coordinating properly with them is difficult. I’ve also developed my dance skills further and I’m beginning to form a real passion for dance. I think I am becoming more diverse dancer and I’m able to do movements I don’t think I could previously do. 
  •  How did I measure my improvement?
    I measure my improvement through my confidence and my enjoyment. I know I’m improving if I’m comfortable with what I am doing. If I’m enjoying my dance, then I know I’m improving because I’m not worried about messing up or not matching the cues etc. 
  •  Why were some skills easier to develop than others?
    I do believe skills that I have recently developed such as dancing skills were easier to develop as I’ve recently worked really hard on them through Culturama. It is very easily to improve a skill if I’m constantly working about it. Whereas my communication skills, are already something I’m quite confident in but as there is always room for improvement, I constantly am improving it but I don’t believe I can develop it to the extent that I can improve my dancing skills, a newer skill. 
  •  How important were the skills I developed to achieving success in this activity?
    Very important. By becoming more confident in dancing and improving my dance skills, I will be able to perform really well which is great as for some parts of the dance, I am at the front where everyone will be watching me. It is very important that I was able to improve my dance skills in time for the performance. 
  •  How can I use the skills I developed in this activity in other areas of my life?
    I can now participate in more dance shows next year and later on this year because it’s turly become a large part of my life and something I’ve really enjoyed. 

I’m really looking forward to the actual performance and I’m glad our hard work has almost paid off. I wish I had gotten involved in this earlier!


Learning Objective- 2 CHALLENGE (Undertaken new challenges)/NEW SKILLS (Developing new skills)

Malthusians – Geography

Would you describe your views as more akin to the NeoMalthusians or Anti Malthusians? Why? 


Both the views of Neo Malthusian and Anti Malthusian are both quite extreme. Although I am usually an optimist in life, I would place myself as in between Neo Malthusian and Anti Malthusian. There are some things I agree with both sides on and other things that I disagree with.

I personally believe that we need to make changes to the way we live to ensure that we don’t keep consuming at our current rate. I do believe there is a limit to the amount of resources we have on earth. I also do believe we should change our habits for the betterment of the environment. I am optimistic that we will be able to survive without drastically decreasing our population. I believe that we will be able to sustainable live with our population size but our consumption habits are what have to change. Many resources that we rely heavily on are finite such as coal or oil. If we continue to consume at the rate we are consuming at and continue to increase our population, we will reach a crisis. This will not mean the end of the world but it will cause many problems of different levels. Unless we are able to suddenly discover technology that helps preserve these finite resources or find more of these natural resources, we will need to make drastic changes.

I do believe that being 100% optimistic comes with it’s problems. You will have to think realistically which could lean towards a more pessimistic approach. A good balance of 50%, 50% will allow me to think from both sides of the spectrum and come up with ideas that can help us use our resources in the most effective and sustainable ways for the future. It is sometimes even better to be slightly more pessimistic as it causes you think of ideas that could eventually prevent a crisis or fall of a current system. It will be a driving point for invention and adaptation. If people are forced to change their habits due to fear, at least that gets people to change their consumption habits.

That’s why I really believe that any little change I make to my consumption habits goes a long way. Even if it’s just turning the lights off when I don’t need them or denying a plastic bag at the grocery store. Any step in the right direction goes a long way.


IFP- Consolidation Of Learning

My journey in IFP begun a mere 6 months ago. Although it’s only been 6 months, I personally believe IFP has changed me as a person and has also become an important part of my life.

1) Where is your learning going? How will you apply skills, qualities you’ve developed outside of IFP?

I personally believe my learning is going very far. I’m able to apply almost everything I learn in IFP in other aspects of my life. An example is the mentor group planning session. I applied my new active listening skills and knowledge with the effective planning to ensure we had a fruitful session. I learned about planning activities and facilitating them in the best possible ways. I was easily able to justify the importance of IFP as well as the appliance of IFP learnt skills to real life skills. IFP has made me understand the complexity behind small conflicts and has overall made me a much more open minded individual. I try to apply any useful skills from IFP to my everyday scenarios.

2) What have you learned about collaboration? Have you learned to be more effective when working with others? What’s your biggest obstacle when asked to contribute to a team?

Collaboration is one of the skills I’ve learn and improved the most on. I am a very strong headed person who tends to speak most of the time. IFP has helped me, especially through the Personality activity and the active listening activities. Through the Personality activity I realised how important it is to have a range of personalities in the group to be effective. My biggest obstacle is letting other people talk and not talking the most. I tend to have a lot of ideas that I have to share and sometimes can intimidate others or make others refrain from sharing their thoughts as well. Through the active listening session I was able to understand that even though I may think I’m listening, it may not be actively which can affect the person I am listening to.

3) In what ways have you been a mentor to others this year? Where and when have you shown initiative?

I’ve tried to take on leadership positions to ensure that people can be actively participating. An example of this was in the simulation. There was a moment when nobody was talking and I tried to be a role model by talking to break the awkward silence and fuel a conversation. I have shown initiative and tried to talk to people I have never talked to before. I used to be afraid of going up to people and just start talking but recently I’ve tried to do it more often, especially after IFP. I tried to make people welcomed and in both small groups + larger groups, tried to make sure everyone was actively involved. An example of this is during the lead facilitation, my partner was too scared to talk but I tried to comfort her and taught her some techniques to gain more confidence.

4) Which session has done the most to address your areas for improvement as a peace builder? How did that session encourage growth?

I believe the session that has changed me the most and has had the greatest impact on me has to be the Jah and Kay simulation. This opened my mind to difficulties I may face as a peace builder at a conference or just in life generally. The fact that we were unaware of what the other group was told, the way we were selected to be in a certain group, the way we had a variety of instructions and just working in that simulation. I really feel like it’s made me more conscious of my life choices. It really changed me.

5) What have you learned about leadership & what qualities and skills have you developed in IFP to help  do this?

Personally, I’ve always been a leader so IFP has only helped me enhance my leadership skills. I’ve been active parts of many leadership activities such as MUN and Round Square but none of them are quite like IFP. I’ve developed better active listening skills which was one of my weakest traits. I’ve turned this weakness into a strength. I’ve learnt that being a leader doesn’t just mean I have to be confident and open to ideas in big groups, I have to be a leader in small groups too. I have also begun to understand the importance of checking in to ensure that everyone is involved. I believe I have many facilitation skills but most of them were with large groups. IFP has helped me enhance my smaller group and pair facilitation skills.


6) What has your engagement in IFP looked like your peers? What makes you say so?

I think I effectively convey my passion for IFP. I try my best to contribute as much as I can to big group discussions as well as small group ones. I look forward to IFP sessions and try to stay engaged in every session. I talk about IFP to friends outside of just the IFP sessions. I try to link some learning from IFP to that in other areas of my life.


Some Posts of Other IFP Sessions that have had a huge impact on me:

IFP – Peace One Day

IFP – Simulation

Me and My Waste – Geography

Do you recycle? Why? Why not? 

In my condo, there are 14 general recycling bins for everything and 12 more specialised recycling trash cans. Many people do not use these as they are not in every block. If I see someone throwing cans or cardboard in the normal trash, I try to politely tell them to throw it in the recycling bins instead. Although the nearest bin is quite far from my house, I make the effort to go three times a week to drop off all our recyclable trash in their designated bins. My family may tell me to save the effort and just drop a few items into the normal trash can but I always refuse. I believe it is worth walking for 3 extra minutes to the recycling bins for the sake of our environment. As a geographer, it is one of my duties to be an environmental leader. I need to set an example for others. I recycle because I do believe that although recycling is not the solution to the problems, it is a step in the right direction. It is hard to produce 0 waste but whatever waste can be recycled should be. I feel bad if I through plastic, paper or cans in the normal trash and refuse to change my recycling habits wherever I live. This is a topic I have been passionate about especially after completing a Global Perspectives critical challenge project on this topic in grade 10.


To what extended do you think that complacency is to blame for people not dealing with environmental problems? 

First, the world complacency means a feeling of quiet pleasure or security, often while unaware of some potential danger, defect, or the like; self-satisfaction or smug satisfaction with an existing situation, condition, etc. This for sure is a reason why many people avoid the topic of environmental problems and how to tackle environmental issues. Living in a little bubble, it is hard to think of our environmental impact. We get on with our daily duties the way we would like to Mindsets that people have is the root of the problem. If people don’t see the destruction their habits are causing, they will merely continue how they are living. This leaves many people in the world oblivious to the various environmental problems they are contributing to. Mindsets are the hardest things to change as these can be set and require the most effort to change but changing mindsets, can change the way the world functions. If people believe that many of their daily activities have a negative impact on the environment and slight modifications to them does a little bit to preserve our environment then we are making progress as a community.

The general public doesn’t wish to take an extra effort for something they can’t visibly see the effect of. They are unaware of their impact as it is not as black and white as other things. This is also a major reason why people hesitate from trying to make changes to their lives. On the other hand, many people have just never got the exposure to the knowledge and therefore can’t do their part because they are just unaware of how.

To an extent, a lot of these changes that may seem little are very hard to eliminate. An example of this is not using a straw when drinking store bought drinks. A lot of the time, it is impossible to drink the drink without a straw and other times it’s simply harder to drink without a straw. Although this would have a positive impact on the environment by reducing the amount of plastic used, it is an inconvenience to many. People need incentives to take any action. Perhaps, if drinks are 50c cheaper if you say no to a straw, more people would be willing to shift their habits. Humans think of themselves first. That is just how humans are. If an incentive is given, more people may change their mindsets and/or try to do their part.

People believe the ideas of climate change or other environmental issues are obscure ideas that are vague and not to happen in our lifetime. If it’s not in our lifetime, what have we got to worry about? This is a common mindset that exists in our society today. People continue contributing to these problems and worsening it without any form of change being implemented in their daily habits purely due to the fact that they are unaware of what they are doing or they chose to believe that they are not contributing. Many people also believe that their small change won’t have any impact and therefore see it as quite useless. A mindset shift is essential. People need to understand that every action counts, no matter how little it is.

An example of this is the president of the USA, Donald Trump. He is a prime example of someone who uses complacency to avoid climate change. He doesn’t know about the science and evidence behind it and merely believes that some Chinese people made up a conspiracy theory about it. As he fails to understand climate change, he maintains a closed mind toward discussions on the topic and tries to uninvolved the world’s greatest power from climate change talks with the world. He believes that our existing situation is fine and nothing like climate change is going to change how the world works now.

Despite this, many environmental activists and people in power and doing their point to raise more awareness of ways we can change our daily lifestyles to become more environmentally friendly. Now it’s up to the people to implement these strategies and do their part to save the environment.

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