A wild creature that has been known for centuries as the sacred animal of gods in some cultures. However in the western world, they are slaughtered, skinned, harvested for their body purely for the sake of pleasure. Their skin stripped off their bodies for apparel, shaped to fit another species as a secondary layer of skin, ironic isn’t it? Carved and reshaped to cover spheres which is thrown around for entertainment purposes. Tossed to prove which tribe is stronger than the other.
Question: Please explain what links you are making between this idea of privilege and paradigms. Can you draw on your own experiences of your own privilege here?
We have all experienced our own lives differently from one another which creates different paradigms for us all. Due to the many experiences we have all gone through, there are many factors that shape how we see the world around us and how we experience the world around us. For example, Singapore is a predominantly diverse Asian country that teaches no matter what race or religion, we are all equal. However, there is still some racism within Singapore whether someone is Asian or not due to their background. Personally I was born and raised in Singapore, attending a prestigious international school since the age of 4 and being exposed to many different cultures. However, when exposed to the local community of Singapore, I feel very out of place due to my background. I have a more western accent which the community around me notices and seen as someone who does not belong here, seen as a foreigner or specifically, ang moh (Caucasian) although I am not caucasian. However, when applying for different courses and interviews I am given the privilege of having a little more leniency in getting accepted due to the way I speak. I had an experience of when I was applying for my retail job at a local tech store, I was one of the few accepted due to the way I talk, my boss told me specifically she likes the way I speak and thinks everyone should speak like me. I did not think much of it because I saw it as a compliment rather than discrimination against locals who probably need the job more than I do. This links to my own paradigm of being someone who is privileged to go to a school such as UWCSEA, as we are all taught that we are all equal however when we interact with our local community of Singapore, we are seen as different, privileged, rich, and are given either special treatment or belittled.
Conceptual Understanding: Through our different experiences and the way we interpret different sources of information, we create different paradigms and process the environment around us differently. This creates subjectivity to one’s perception therefore we will not be certain on what the truth is.
Explanation behind CU: The steamboat story talks about two steamboat pilots and how they see the river in different ways. The novice pilot sees the river for its face value just stating what he sees as for what it is. Unlike his friend who is more experienced with the river, he can “predict” what might happen through his previous experiences. As for the novice pilot, he is still rather new to the environment therefore not entirely knowledgeable about the river and what it might hold. However, even though the more experienced pilot may “know” the river and what it might hold, he can never truly be certain of what will happen next. Hence the way that these two pilots interpret their surroundings are different which doesn’t allow either to know the absolute truth as we all have our different truths. Thus questioning what is the truth and if we will ever be able to see the truth.
The Natural Sciences are known to create theories and then prove those theories as facts. With the very large community of scientists and researchers who are constantly challenging what we perceive as facts right now hoping to create new theories. However due to how many people rely on science to always show and distribute accurate research, sometimes these papers/theories can be inaccurate. An example of this would be the big news in the Physics world when a Neutrino was thought to have traveled faster than Light. For a short period of time, this was accepted as a fact before many scientists around the world proved this theory to be wrong. I, myself believed this when the news came out as my favourite science is Physics. As shown through this example, many of us rely on the natural sciences to distribute what we think we know about the world, however, sometimes can be wrong as we all make mistakes.
Although another example of this that is completely different is the ideas and myths behind vaccinations. Many people believe that vaccinations are bad for their children, cause autism, stunt growth, and many more things which all have been proven false. The way these people have taken these theories as facts is because possibly one scientist published research on this which is enough for some people to take their theory as factual evidence. Nonetheless, a much larger majority of papers/research has also been released which proves that those myths are false. What confuses many people is that even though there are thousands of papers which prove this whole theory wrong, people still believe the one paper which supposedly proves that theory is a fact.
The way that we are wired to believe and rely on those who we think to know more about the subject is purely on how we want to see it. As humans, we are always drawn to arguments that expand our thinking but at the same time, we have a bias towards what we want to know. Therefore we can never be truly “neutral” in terms of accepting new research as we are always drawn towards what we have known throughout our lives or what we believe is true despite the opposition.
As the new school year starts during phase 2 of Singapore’s transition back to normal, we were granted the privilege to go back to school along with the other schools here in Singapore. Of course, as we are still in the middle of a global pandemic there are certain protocols we have to follow to minimize transmission. Being high school students, we are all fairly social, some of us haven’t seen or friends in person for the past 5-6 months, some even longer as some are still stuck in quarantine.
It’s tough not being able to hug friends which we haven’t seen in months, keeping at least a meter between my peers and me, following all these new rules and following them without exception. However, I can’t complain as everyone has to follow these rules, not everyone has the opportunity to go back to school. Many of my cousins back home in the Philippines have their school year postponed until October, some not even knowing when school would start for them again.
Being physically back to school trying to adapt to our new normal is difficult. Simple things which I used to take for granted such as using our secondary school library whenever we wanted and going to our local hawker center for lunch is something we can’t consider anymore. School feels a lot lonelier now with all the distancing and everyone doing their own thing. It is our final year which I think counts the most as it has all of our deadlines which would count to our final grade. It’s scary and with this whole pandemic, we’re all scared things might change even more.
Despite all the things which are happening in the world right now, we’re all trying to make the most of it. We’re all online now so we’re all still talking all day and night. Keeping in touch with friends who cant join us.
Just recently there was an experiment carried out in central Italy about Neutrinos. A neutrino is basically a small electrically neutral particle which is released after a nuclear reaction. In the experiment, they say that the Neutrino made a 731 kilometre run 60 nanoseconds faster than the speed of light. This caused an outbreak in the scientific community as it was known that light is the fastest thing known to us humans.
They also said that there was no flaw in their experiment until other organisations disproved that theory and suggested it was a timing error.
- To what extent can we trust things which are not exactly observable?
- How do we measure things accurately?
I personally have had my own fair share with cyber bullying. Both being the victim and unfortunately the bully. Thought I did not bully intentionally, I just thought something was funny. I am definitely ashamed of what I have done and have changed my ways, I have used this experience as an eye opener to make sure I think about my actions before I do them. Now I am very conscious of what I do in general, not just online. I think about the every single consequence that could happen before I say things, write things, post things and type things. Though I overthink about the consequences that could happen, I think that is has definitely made me a better person. At this point I have also gained the courage to even stand up for those who are bullied and not just stand there doing nothing. Therefore I think experiences like mine could help.
I like to sleep. I like to nap. But sometimes I think I don’t get enough. Every night I sleep around 10pm or 11pm latest because I get tired around those times. Roughly getting 7-8 hours of sleep a night is a good amount for someone my age but sometimes I think it isn’t enough. Because I use my phone right before my quality of sleep is normally really bad. Every night I would sleep really lightly and the slightest noise could wake me up. Most of the time I would wake up in the middle of the night with my eyes closed because im not comfortable or I just can’t sleep causing me to be more tired throughout the day. Sometimes when I get home I just pass out on my bed and just wake up right before dinner saying that is the best sleep I have ever had. A deep sleep with so much noise around me as my brother is watching youtube in the same room. If I sleep any later than 11pm, during the day I will feel extremely tired to the point during class where my head feels like a bowling ball and my eye lids just want to shut. I also feel fatigued throughout the day which affects my learning and my physical wellbeing. So yeah, thats my sleep habits for you.
So far it is the Friday of the first week of school and it hasn’t been that bad. Besides the fact that we are starting out IGCSE’s this which means we will be very busy. Since coming back I got to see some friends who I haven’t seen in weeks but it feels the same so far. The only change that has really happened is I have gotten 2 new teachers, I have to climb an extra flight of stairs and I went from 9KVa to 10KVa. Even though it has only been a week since school started, it feels like months and I have been doing this for ages. The start of grade 9, I mainly would wake up dreading school and try to avoid it at all costs but now, to be honest, it isn’t that bad. I have gotten used to it. My first post on this portfolio I was mainly talking about how much I hated school and now I am looking back at me and I am thinking wow. I am very nervous when it comes to my IGCSE exams as my mock exams last year weren’t the best and really didn’t reflect my understanding. I do procrastinate a lot so when I have a 2 month exam leave for my exams I am just anxious of what I will do. I guess the upcoming mocks in December will be a good practice for me. So I am really looking forward to grade 10 and to be able to look back at it during my IB years.
This is my 10th year at UWCSEA and I have been here since Kindergarten 2. After a decade of being at this school it is time for me to reflect on the past 10 years of my life. These past 10 years have been one heck of a year with the 10 first days of school. From the very first day at UWC, to the first day of middle school and this year, the first day of highschool. I have learnt many lessons which helped me grow as a person. Through the many bad decisions I have made and how I have learnt from them and the bad choices I will make in the future with some being irrelevant and some teaching me life lessons. Going to a school with a strict set rule of values which is still hard to adapt to even after 10 years. I am still young and still growing up which means I still need time to mature and learn from the many things I have done.
So far in my grade 9 year, I have gotten involved in some things which I deeply regret. Through the many talks I have had with teachers, I want to be able to grow into a better person. At the start of the year, to me it was another year like always but when the pressure comes on when it comes to exams and coursework it feels different. Something which I am not used to which really stressed me out and made me make bad choices which eventually lead to talks with teachers. Though this is due to my own time management and this will be used as a learning opportunity. Using these experiences, I am able to learn from my mistakes which will make me a better person and a true UWC student. The 9 years before I moved on to highschool, I stayed out of trouble. Did my best to not to do anything which would negatively impact me and others but somehow this year I just was not thinking.
After multiple talks with teachers, I have been reflecting a lot on the actions I have taken throughout the year. To change I have chosen to tone down the things I say. I always think about what I am going to say and how it will affect others. I have also learnt not to be a bystander when it comes to actions such as bullying, becoming an advocate against bullying. I have instead started to focus on revision to keep my mind off bad things which could potentially spark something negative. I haven’t revised much for any type of test before as I never really had to revise as often as I do for other tests. But I would say this is good practice for future exams. With exams which last up to 2 hours, I would not know how to manage my time with the amount of questions we will have for a 2 hour math exam and the thought of how long to spend on a question with answering it with confidence whilst using my time efficiently. For example, finish the easier questions quickly so I would have time on the harder, longer questions. Due to the fact that this is my first exam, there is a lot of pressure on my shoulder to do well. With my parents expecting results and myself wanting to do well.
Overall, transitioning into a blue shirt from a green shirt was pretty smooth. Though this year has been a real learning experience for me. I remember when the Tampines campus first opened up, I was in third grade with my small light blue shirt. I looked up to the blue shirts and thought to myself ‘I will be there one day.’ Now, where it is almost the end of my grade 9 year, I am still shocked that I have been here for this long. Soon moving on to grade 10 which will be the year of my IGCSE exams. Before I know it I will be wearing a white UWC polo shirt doing my IB exams. Though this is still my first year of highschool, I will be able to learn more from my future mistakes throughout the last 3 years of highschool.