Media Bias

Media is filled with many opinionated pieces trying to swerve your view on an issue. “Trump impeached? He’s a good man, let’s go after the lady that impeached him.” Some Bias pieces in media form opinions instead of delivering news which sways the perspective of people. There are always two sides to the argument and there are always two different opinions on each issue.


“SARS-Corona Virus 2019: Best Thing That Has Happened to Our World Since the beginning of the Human Race?”

With this current pandemic, everyone is mad at the virus for causing their lives to be put on hold. I, myself want my life to go back to normal and the common belief is that this current pandemic is bad. With this headline, it is contradicting the common belief that COVID-19 could be doing more good than bad. There are many articles stating that the pandemic has helped the environment a lot more than anticipated.

“Mental Health Medication: Manipulating Those in Need”

Many people around the world suffer from mental health conditions, and a percentage of those people are medicated. Many people believe that medication helps them, whilst others believe that it is a scheme to exploit those going through tough times. In a world where many different people have many different beliefs, everyone wants to voice their opinion on something.

“Higher Levels of Education is a Scam” 

With institutions of higher education being very expensive, many people are starting to consider if the money is worth the time. in a world with the internet, you can learn many new things for free or for a small price. It is a common belief that we have to go through University to get a job because we need to learn. What if we can actually learn the same thing we are paying $40,000 to $60,000 for $10 instead? People believe in higher education, others believe it is a way to exploit teenagers and their parents.

Singapore: CAS Home Based Learning

We are just about to end our first week of Home-Based Learning (HBL) as the Singaporean government announced Circuit Breaker. Due to this whole situation, we have not been able to go to school, go outside, see other people, exercise in public spaces so basically we are stuck at home in fact, I had gone out to meet a friend in the lobby in the past few days and the situation was so serious that I got into trouble for being in close proximity to someone whose not my immediate family with the police.

These past few days have been a bit strange as this is the first time we have ever done something like this. However, it has not been that bad as it has been a lot easier to focus on our own study spaces alone rather than being in a classroom full of peers and friends which can sometimes be distracting. At the same time, learning at the comfort of our home has also been quite a challenge as we have a tendency to sleep in or to get distracted with the things around us such as our beds, laptops, and phones with no one able to scold us or stop us. 

We have been stuck in our rooms or study spaces almost all day staring at a computer screen which can take a toll on wellbeing and our eyes. Taking breaks more than we are used to seems to be a way to help us moderate our time on screen. In fact, due to there being no other activity, I can spend up to 10 hours on the computer in a day which is extremely unhealthy. 

Lastly, our sleep schedule has gotten even worse than it would if we had normal school as we stay up even later than normal because we can wake up a little later. Many of us students have been getting off our screens and straight to bed right after all of our class has ended to get off our laptops and get back some of the missed hours of sleep.

Morals: Home Fire

Morality stems from two sorts of decision-making systems: Utilitarianism – what we think is good, and Consequentialism – what we think is the best decision based on the known consequences. In defense of Isma, she was considering the consequences in terms of her family and in terms of the safety of her country. Isma was considering the safety of her country if her own brother, Parvaiz, who is a member of ISIS, were to be able allowed back into the country. Thinking about the impact it would have in general instead of just her family. The duty of thinking about the bigger picture instead of thinking of just her family which could potentially come off as selfish. The idea of virtue ethics where a good person would do what is good in general. In this case, Isma is portrayed as a good person throughout the entire novel as she wants what is best for others and cuts ties with those who have made ‘bad’ decisions. When she decides to report Parvaiz, she decides it in a way where if she were to step into someone else’s shoes and what would they want for the better of society.

Duty Ethics is the idea that you completely ignore the consequences and think about the duty you hold in your role. For example, Isma clearly cares about Parvaiz and Aneeka but did think about her role as a citizen of her country. Weighing out the pros and cons of what could potentially happen. She knows that it would ruin her relationship with Aneeka but thought about her duty to report such actions that someone did such as Parvaiz potentially being a threat as he is part of ISIS.

Sumo Robotics: Working My Way Through Challenges


Going into Sumo Robotics, I was expecting a kit that we would be given, build the kit then make modifications that would help us in the sumo ring. Thinking that this activity was going to be easy that it would be something I could easily breeze through.


Something I was not expecting was learning the basics of coding. We had to completely make the Sumo Robot from scratch, something which was completely new to me. As a child, I was always interested in building robots, legos, and figures but most of them were fairly simple. In this activity, we were given an Arduino (brain – where the code goes) and a pair of servos. We were expected to build a small 10cm by 10cm sumo robot by the end of the 2 seasons and I had absolutely no idea where to start.

How I was able to Overcome the Challenges:

I was previously a DT: Systems and Controls student which was a 2-year course in IGCSE which specialized in Electronics, Structures, and Mechanisms of Design Technology. Coming into this, I had no previous knowledge of how to code or how to read code, therefore, I had to learn the very basics of coding so I could build the robot. When I was learning how to code, I asked for help from our supervisors and we found a code online for free which was easy to read and understand. Using that I was able to just make some small edits to control my servos and to the sensitivity of my sensor.

Now the real challenge of it all was building the body of the robot itself. Prototyping has always been something I have not been great at so I wanted to work on that purely visualize what my final product was going to look like, and practice working with card/cardboard for prototyping.

Update on CAS Experience

My CAS Experience so far:

Currently, I am on the track of completing all my CAS requirements. Although due to this whole epidemic of COVID-19 especially here in Singapore, it has affected my service and activity as we are not allowed to be within a large group of people. Realizing that I might not be able to finish my requirements due to this virus, I am still holding onto what I have done as thinking it will be enough for CAS. My service has changed from being a local service to more of a college service which still meets the requirements so that is all good. On the other hand, my activity which is Basketball within the Filipino community which is weekly is being postponed due to the whole COVID-19 outbreak, it is starting to creep up on me that maybe I might not meet the requirements if this virus lasts a lot longer than I think it will.

At the same time, CAS takes up a lot of my time which leaves me less time to work on everything else such as studying, preparing to start my Extended Essay, starting my IAs for all my subjects and so on. I just need to be more organised in how I set up my schedule so that I can manage everything in IB.

Mental Health of the Pioneer Generation – Yumna Al-Arashi Inspired Photography

(these pictures were taken with the consent of the man in the image, although he did not want to disclose his name)

Whilst walking through Pasir Ris Park, I noticed a lot of the older generation of Singapore sitting alone looking out into the sea. A common stereotype associated with the older generation is more insensitive, tough, thinking the younger/modern generation have it all easy, and either disappointed or grateful for their life.

In these two images, I have the same elderly man alone just sitting down enjoying the view of the sea. I decided to isolate my subject by making sure he was the only person in the frame, trying to use a lower aperture so there would be a little more background/foreground blur creating a shallower depth of field (which I was not able to accomplish due to wrong camera settings), and using the rule of thirds to frame him in the bottom left-hand corner to show that there is a lot more of the world around him.

I wanted to tell the story of a man who was contemplating his decisions throughout life, with all of us living in regret, just looking back and thinking about our past decisions really make us reflect on the mistakes we have made. A lot of the older generation say that they are satisfied with what they have done in their lives but is that really true? Everyone feels alone in this world, loneliness is one of the leading causes of depression, it is a common human instinct to want to feel appreciated and loved by another human being. This man might have lost a loved one, thinking about his future, his past, maybe suffering from a mental disorder, I will never know. Mental health among the older generation is something a lot of our modern generation do not consider as it is common amongst the younger generations.

We all have something we go through. My generation (Generation Z) and Millenials are not the generations going through something.

“Everybody’s got something” – Sneako

Memoirs of the Pioneer Generation -> Chronicles of East

Our main goal of Memoirs of the Pioneer Generation was to write memoirs of the local elderly community of Singapore. As we started going to the Care Centre, we realised that there was a major obstacle we had to face which was communication. Many of the elderly community there did not have the communication skills we were hoping they would have so we could communicate. Our objective, in the beginning, was to establish a relationship with the elderly community there which we achieved by playing simple games with them. We would play bingo, throw around balloons, stacking some wooden blocks and any simple motor skill activities. When we realised how challenging it was going to be able to communicate with the community, we thought that it was not the best idea to keep trying when we have been going for weeks.

After our service representatives spoke to our school service department, we were able to come up with the idea of interviewing the school community and their stories on service. Since our aim was to create memoirs or stories, we thought it would be beneficial to the UWC community to make stories on a major aspect of learning in our school which is service.

A setback we have faced was the CoronaVirus which has called our school to stop all local services at our school. This means that our group of writers are not able to talk to Local Service groups in our school. Instead, we decided to choose College Service groups within our school community to interview. We are currently at our planning stage within this whole operation: brainstorming different questions, deciding which services we are going to interview and the timetable it fits into.


Home Fire (Novel) & Yumna Al-Arashi (Photography)

In both representations of Muslim women, they are conveyed as empowered women. In Home Fire, Aneeka stands out because she is Muslim in a non-muslim country such as the UK. Whereas the subject in Yumna Al-Arashi’s photos is wearing a Burqa whilst posing in confidently.

Although Yumna Al-Arashi’s photos are all taken in Yemen, which is a Muslim country, it shows the confidence in the subject as the photos do not isolate her. A common theme between all of Yumna’s photos is how she decides not to use a low aperture to create a shallow depth of field (background blur) which is used to isolate the subject in photography, instead, she chooses to create a large depth of field to show that Muslim women don’t need to be isolated from society, feel empowered and take on the world. Likewise, the subject is wearing a Burqa, which is a piece of religious clothing and strongly represents the Islamic religion to show how comfortable she is as she stands out.

In Home Fire, the hijab is used to mainly represent empowerment as she is in the UK and wears a Hijab throughout her everyday life. With the discrimination women of religion face in the UK, Aneeka wears a hijab to stand up against that discrimination to show that she can do what everyone else can just with a hijab. However, Aneeka is represented as someone who is religious and takes Islam seriously through her comments on how prayer is not about the transaction and how she puts on a bra for the sole purpose of praying. Although before and after she prays, it is suggested that Aneeka and Eammon had pre-marital sex which is either forbidden or looked down upon in Islam.

Top Girls: Marlene Monologue – End of Act 3

Angie: Frightening.

Marlene: Angie, what’s the matter? Everything is alright little pet? Just go back to bed okay?

V.O: Oh no, was Angie awake? Is she okay? I hope she didn’t hear anything. I think I should tell Angie. She’s already 15 years old, she’s grown up. She has the right to know. 

Little pet, you okay? Come here and lie down with me. Everything is alright there Angie.

V.O: What am I going to tell Joyce? If she realizes that Angie knows. What is going to happen between them? Will they be alright? Angie. Oh dear, I cannot imagine what she is going through. Angie, oh dear. I’m so so sorry my dear. 

Angie, you’re a big girl. Ignore what your mum said. She doesn’t know anything. You are a strong, independent woman, Angie. You will be just like me. You can visit me one day at the employment agency and I will show you around the building. Is that alright Angie? Your mum is just speaking nonsense, she doesn’t know what she is talking about. Don’t listen to her. Everything will be alright pet, your mother and I just had a small argument about some things, probably had one too many drinks. Just some adult things which don’t really matter. Just go back to bed okay pet? 

V.O: Oh no, what would happen to Joyce if she ever hears about this. If she realizes that Angie heard the argument, what would happen to them? 

Come on now Angie, get some rest. I need to go to bed because I have a long journey back home tomorrow. I’m sure I will come to visit you again sometime soon. If not, come by the office with your mum and you can stay in my apartment. Is that alright Angie?

Political Cartoons: Rape Allegations

In this political cartoon it is talking about the issue of sexual harassment and rape which are very big issues. This cartoon shows 2 young girls which we can assume by the innocent setting of playing with toys and the play room. At this day and age, women have to face the problem of not being believed when it comes to allegations of sexual harassment due to being looked down upon by society. There are many labels which society calls women due to their sexual activity whether there was consent or not with examples such as whore, slut, hoe, b*tch and so on. All those words are degrading and women are labeled those if they decide to speak up about those things. Unlike men, when men are sexually harassed or raped by a woman, they are normally congratulated or praised due to society creating stereotypes that men just want sex. This is the complete opposite when it comes to women because when women are sexually harassed or raped, they do not want to speak up because they do not want to be shamed by society and it’s labels. The humorous aspect of this cartoon is mainly just the way the cartoon is the drawing/painting style where small things suck as facial features and are exaggerated but in this case does not have any context.

Without any context, this political cartoon would not exactly make sense to someone who does not know about the apparent issues. Someone could just think “why wouldn’t her rape allegations be believed?” which makes us think about the real problem at hand, if people know about this issue.

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