As of December 2020, I have been working out for about three months now. I would say I have made some decent progress specifically with building my pull strength to do a pullup. Pullups have been something I have always struggled with all in all as I have always had a weak back. Since I used to play basketball, my coaches would always focus mainly on endurance and push strength to be able to play against bigger players. Focusing on mostly pushups, that was something I was pretty good at which made me neglect my back as a whole.
After a couple months of training, I was able to progress to consecutively doing 6-8 pullups in a row which to me is an achievement considering I could barely do a single one in the beginning.
As for the progression of the current weight I am pushing, I have seem to hit a plateau still maxing my squat at 70kg and my bench at 55kg. I think the main issue is the inconsistency I have when it comes to going to the gym. Ever since we have broken up for winter break, I have started to slack off and just relax. I still try to get some sort of workout in by doing cardio, whether it is on the treadmill or in the great outdoors, but that’s the extent I will go to. I have lost some body fat and some weight due to my lowered calorie intake and some cardio although I believe I have lost some muscle within that time period too.
I have gotten a DSLR camera after quite some time and I have been experimenting witch what type of images I like to take. At the moment it is a lot of pictures of my dog as he is such a model. I think I am starting to get the hang of using this DSLR the more I use it and it makes sense on what I need to do when an image looks a little off. I know what settings to tweak, what angles to change and the composition I need to rethink to make the image better.
Due to the number of pictures I have been taking, I have been able to think more creatively in terms of shot composition for my film projects which I have found very interesting.
At this point I just want to keep taking pictures of whatever I can to see if I can think of new ways to see things in terms of a composition standpoint for films.
Due to the current global pandemic, many of us have not been able to talk/interact with other people outside of our household. Specifically here in Singapore, Circuit Breaker has restricted us to stay at home and not go out with anyone let alone, talk to anyone. Due to Circuit Breaker, the remaining games of. Tagay Cup 2020 has been canceled leaving my father and I not being able to play basketball for the past 2 months. which leaves me to staying home and exercising through home workout videos rather than playing the sport I love.
Being stuck in my room all day sitting down in front of a computer screen can leave me lethargic and sleepy. Sitting in front of a screen all-day causes massive strain on my body and my eyes so I need to take a break from it either through sleeping or exercising. Doing simple things at home such as yoga with my mom or doing pushups can lift my mood or increase my productivity to get more work done.
Hopefully when this global pandemic all blows over, my dad and I will be able to play basketball again because I do miss going out and shooting hoops.
After weeks of working on my small sumo robot, I got nowhere because I did not know what I was doing. I got the code imported into my Arduino, built a small box, and connected all the components together but I could just not get the robot itself to work. At this point I was lost and did not what to do. The activity is coming to an end in about 4 weeks which was not enough time to get our robots working. I was not the only one struggling with building our robots, actually, everyone was at the same stage where I was: Everything put together but everything was not working. For sessions upon sessions, we got nowhere, doing nothing because we had no idea what to do until 2 weeks left in the activity our supervisor, Mr. Weaver, gave us a simple programmable and modular robotics kit which we would build. This kit was really simple to build and relatively simple to code compared to starting from scratch. It came with its own software, its own application on your mobile device and it worked.
As seen above, the two videos shows the simplicity of the robotics kit which we used which then we would play with for the remaining sessions. By then it was too late and the season was over. Not much happened afterwards, we gave back the components which we used for our initial sumo robot which none of us were able to make functional, and we went away with our tiny robot which we use for random things like driving around our desk when we’re bored.
If anything, this activity was fun. I have always been interested in robotics and building things since a young age, and this activity was something which reflected that. Even though I was not able to create a functional Sumo Robot from scratch, I was still able to create a small programmable robot which was more fun as it actually worked.
Personally I want to go into engineering, whichever engineering course I take, I will still be building something which I love to do. With the many things I have learnt in this activity, I was even able to learn how to build my own keyboard which I am using to type this reflection right now. As time goes on, I will continue to build things and my next project is to build my own computer which will be used for playing videogames, editing my short films and productivity work.
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.
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.
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.
I have always been into building things. Anything from lego, little figures, car models and so on.
In my IGCSE course, I took Systems and Control which is a Design Technology course based around electronics and mechanics. I was never great at it because it has always been hard for me to grasp concepts. Although a hobby of mine has always been something to do with robotics and mechanics. I personally have no experience when it comes to writing code or making a robot from scratch because the closest thing I got to that was using a Lego Mindstorm in middle school. I remember telling myself at the age of 8 that I wanted to be a robotics engineer when I grow up and saving up for 2 years to get a Lego Mindstorm which I never got because I just used the ones we had here at school. That driving force of wanting to become a Robotics Engineer does not exist anymore since I don’t exactly know what my passions are anymore so I am just experimenting with things at the moment.
At the age of 11 I remember I bought my first and only radio controlled car which took me a year of saving up and doing some chores. I loved that thing and played with it every single day after school until one day I decided to take it out on a track which had a lot of ramps and after a few jumps, the front shock towers (suspension) of the car broke due to the material being brittle and slightly old. The car was released in 2004 which means that the RC car had been sitting at the shop for quite a while. I was never able to repair it because I never knew what the part was called or in general, what the chasis model was.
Now, almost 6 years later, I have lost that passion of making things which is why I decided to join the Sumo Robotics club here at school. The club makes little robots which try to push each other out of a ring hence the name Sumo Robotics. I want to see if I can learn some new things and implement it into some future projects I might do. I don’t know how to code and only know the basics of electronics so I want to build my skills on those.
My current service is called Memoirs of the Pioneer Generation where we go to a Nursing home and we interview the older generation about Singapore and then we write short stories about their experiences. At the moment I have only gone to the centre once just to see what it is like and to introduce ourselves to the staff and the some of the elderly who stay there.
The main reason why I chose this service is because of the story telling aspect of this service. Being able to take other people’s stories and writing it in a way which conveys the “come up” of Singapore.
I used to mainly work with little kids for service because I absolutely love little kids and being able to make their day. I have many cousins under the age of 5 which is why I really click with younger kids. I guess I chose to change it a little bit is to expose myself to new experiences and to work on my story telling which will help me in film.