HS Maths Class Reflection

It’s been 4 months since the first time I had class in UWCSEA. I have always been a maths enthusiast, therefore I take maths HL as one of my subjects.

Maths class in UWCSEA is so different from what I thought it would be. I have studied in China for 16 years and the way of education of Chinese school and Western school is completely different. I expected teachers to guide students step by step and go through each question, but here in UWC, instead of spoon-feeding, teachers only tell you the way of solving problems and ask you to explore more yourself. At first, I found it hard to study in this way, but as the time passes by, I started to realize the advantage of this kind of learning method. It enables me to think myself and to be more flexible and more independent.

I like to do algebra the most. Play around with numbers is really satisfying and interesting for me. Algebra may seem difficult sometimes especially when I expend everything, but after I solve it, it feels so great and the logic flow of maths is just something really beautiful to me.

I think physics is a similar subject to maths. Physics is something built on mathematics. For example, when I need to calculate a force in a particular situation, I need to play around with formulas in order to get the answer I want.

SEAMC reflection

I have always been a maths enthusiast since the very first day I learned maths concepts. Therefore I joined SEAMC (South East Asian Mathematics Competition) as one of my activities.

SEAMC is highly selective towards its members. I joined the entrance test and got the permission to be a part of this club. Lots of my friends do not understand why I  enrolled in a math club. But the concept behind is actually the same: somebody likes to go shopping; somebody likes to play basketball while I enjoy solving math problems in my free time.

I thought SEAMC is only a place where math enthusiasts get together and solve problems by ourselves. But I was wrong. SEAMC is not only about understanding math concept and solving problems, it also requires us to collaborate with each other, to share our opinions towards questions and to learn new things.

Students are solving problems together even before the club time starts.


Ms.Tippy, the teacher who is in charge of SEAMC said that SEAMC is NOT “just an activity for once per week, it is an intensive brain work program on a daily base, and it is only suitable for students who are passionate in mathematics.

Several weeks ago, we were asked to group with others and to solve some question sheets. Together, we solved all the questions in 10 mins.

I think what is special about the SEAMC program is that it is actually not a “teaching course”. It does not provide “tuition course”, instead, it provides us a platform full of math enthusiasts (including myself 🙂 ). We do a large amount of self-study, and we collaborate and support each other. Most importantly, as a team, we aim to achieve some understanding of math that we could not reach as an individual alone.

The Meaning of RDA

These ideas belong to the whole RDA group.


What is the organization about and what is its purpose?

From the RDA Singapore website:

RDA Singapore was founded in 1982, with just 5 riders and a whole lot of heart. Since then, more than 6,000 disabled children and adults have experienced the benefits of the therapy that our horses and ponies so lovingly provide.

RDA Singapore is a registered charity and Institution of a Public Character (IPC); UEN No: S82SS0081H. Since our inception in 1982, we have provided equine-assisted therapy (hippotherapy) to more than 6,000 physically and mentally disabled beneficiaries. We have seen beneficiaries who can sit up longer, walk unaided or who have become more sociable after riding with RDA Singapore. These may seem like minor achievements to most able-bodied people, but to those with disabilities, these are life-changing feats.

Good health and well being:

  • The effect of being with an animal is very soothing especially for a person who doesn’t understand the society they are in right now.
  • The way we communicate with animals
    • Nonverbal; creates a common ground. Some children have challenges communicating with other people. If you are on a horse, that doesn’t matter. Verbal communication becomes less important.
  • The activity that helps the children strengthen their bodies, exercising their muscles, eg core muscles. If someone is sitting in a wheelchair all day, getting on a horse and keeping your back straight is an important exercise.


Reduced inequalities:

  • Riding a horse isn’t a common opportunity, the fact that they get to experience that, as well as having measures taken to cater to their disabilities reduces their stigmas of their own disabilities
  • Brings different ethnicities into the same room, reduces conflict and brings communities together, focusing on one goal. Breaking down the expat vs local communities. Abolishes possible stigmas.
  • We live our lives different to those we work with, and through this, we are raising awareness and learning and educating ourselves.
  • RDA: Horse riding for free; helping them engage in this activity that would otherwise be beyond their financial reach.


What we gain from RDA:

  • Reciprocal relationships: getting to know people outside your community, enhances and shapes interpersonal skills.
  • Getting to know more about different disabilities and breaks any barriers.
  • Working out how to change your sentence structures in order to have a strong conversation with your rider
  • Creates a solid bond with your rider
  • Getting us to think about goal settings; giving us an agenda and structure to the sessions

RDA Reflection

Riding for the Disabled Association (RDA) is a non-profit organization which aims to help disabled children with free horse riding therapy. So far, I have been working in RDA as a volunteer for 3 months, and the experience is valuable and amazing for me.

In RDA, horses have their own name. We do not treat them as animals but friends. The picture above is a selfie of me and my favorite partner Casper in my second session.  Casper is a little bit grumpy at the beginning of that session. But he calmed down after I padded him gently.

What really inspires me is the process of friendship building between me and a little boy. To protect his privacy, I will just call him “the boy” in this reflection. The first impression he gave me was skinny and introverted. In fact, he is one of the skinniest boys I have ever seem. The boy has a pair of big black eyes which reminds me of my younger brother. The sense of familiarity made me feel very close to this strange boy. My friend and I worked as sidewalkers when the boy was riding. Our job is to talk to him and to help him do some activities like stretch his body. But sadly, things did not go very well. Whatever my partner Judy and I did to try to interact with him, the boy just kept being silent. The constant ignorance by the boy frustrated us a little bit. Later, we started to play games with him. We gave him a ball and asked him to throw it to one of us, and we threw it back to him. The boy showed great interest in this activity had a big smile on his face. After the session, we told Erika, the person in charge of RDA, that the boy liked throwing balls a lot. Erika said in this case, she would provide this activity more often for the boy. I was very touched by the fact that the boy said “thank you” to the horse he rode on. I believe he is not as reluctant as he seems. It turned out that my intuition was one hundred percent correct. After some weeks of this therapy, the boy finally started to talk about himself with us. He did not talk a lot, but these words were valuable information for me to know him further. I think the boy is not confident enough and he feels disadvantaged because of his physical condition. I said a lot of encouraging words to him. I want to let him understand that physical condition is not his restriction. Physical condition is something hard to be changed, but the mindset is not. Perspective is powerful, sometimes we just need to see things from different angles. If you think the physical condition is something that restricts you, you will be sad and full of hatred to this world. But try to think in this way: special physical condition is something that makes you unique, then you will learn to accept it, live with it and even appreciate it. The boy is smart, I believe one day he will understand it.

The picture above is me and my partner, Judy.

Last week, the boy even brought me candies! He really changed a lot in this three months. I was really touched. RDA gives me the chance to know more people and to help others. I really learned a lot from this service. Communication is the bridge which connects people together. Not only communication, we also need to have patience. Sometimes we just do not truly know about the inside of a person. After further communication, I believe we will find out lots of beautiful virtues of the person and gain a valuable friendship as well.


IFP Conference Reflection

Last Sunday, I joined the IFP(Initiative For Peace) conference in UWC Dover campus. It was an amazing experience.

The conference was all designed by UWC students and was divided into 4 sessions: discrimination, violence, identity, and media.

After a series of ice-breaking games, we started from discrimination session. Here, we discussed the definition of discrimination, types of discrimination and why people tend to discriminate others. We also played some games in order to let us have a better understanding of discrimination. We also talked about potential solutions of discrimination which were equality and equity. Equality is everyone gets the same whereas equity is to be fair, to decide who should get more based on different people’s different situation.

In order to achieve positive peace, we should pursue equity. However, equity is not something that can be achieved quickly. So governments should build equity based on equality.

The second session was violence. We started by a simple game which demonstrates us different roles in violence. All the students were divided into two groups. One group needed to use chairs to make a barrier in order to stop the other group from reaching to the other end of the classroom. Half of the students in the other group were blinded by blindfolds and the other half needed to guide them to cross the barrier. But the barrier group members can say something wrong to deliberately guide them to the wrong direction. In addition, 3 students in the barrier group were asked to be bystanders, that is, they can only watch in silence.

I was assigned to the group which was required to build barriers. Students in my group were so excited when they tried to block the other group of students. I think it is a kind of human nature to gloat, to feel kind of “funny” when others are in little troubles. This also applies to those bullies who want to “make some fun” and show that they are superior. One thing I may never forget is when a boy tried to lift a chair and cross the barrier, a girl who was acting the role of bystander in my group started to yell at me:”say something!” I suddenly felt lots of pressure and started to misguide the boy to the wrong direction and soon I got the hang of it and kept doing it. This makes me realize that in reality, lots of people are kind of “forced” to become a bully. “If you don’t join us, then you will be the one be bullied.” This is a complex situation, maybe at the first place people choose to join because they have “no choice”. But once they become one of those evils, they will be corrupted soon. Education is not only about the academic study but love and peace as well. Before we know how to solve a maths question, we must learn how to treat others, how to love others and how to be a decent man. We should build a positive value and stick on it. As a peace-builder, it is our commitment to stay impartial and kind to the world.

I like the topic “identity” because I am always proud of my identity as a Chinese, as a girl, as a dog lover, as “me”. We learned to respect other’s identities and other’s life choices. No matter what gender we choose to have; no matter what religion we choose to believe, at the end of the day, we are all humans. Everyone has their right to choose their own interests and preferences, we should fully respect other’s choices.

Last but not the least, we had a lesson about media bias and fake news. We read some fake news and posts on Facebook. These news really affect other people’s lives and have negative impacts on our society. In addition, biased news twist people’s thoughts and values, which may lead to the downfall of a whole generation.

After we finished our learning sessions. We sang and danced all together in the conference room. There was also some performances given by students. I really appreciate those seniors who worked so hard to make this conference a big success. I did learn a lot about peacebuilding from the conference and made lots of new friends from all over the world.

How does chemistry link to economics

I am sure that everything in the world has some certain bonds between each other. So does chemistry and economics.

Superficially, chemistry is related to economics in terms of commercial profits. We cannot live without chemical products such as shower gel, shampoo, perfume,  detergent and so on. There are tons of companies in the world that sell chemical products. Of course, these companies’ only purpose is to make profits. In this way, during the researching and testing stages, entrepreneurs need to consider the cost of these experiments and the cost of the product, as well as a reasonable price of this particular chemical good so that consumers will find the product price-worthy.

Philosophically, or specifically – epistemically, chemistry is linked to economics because “both of them are able to become alchemy.” There is a pun in this answer where “alchemy” has two meanings. In chemistry area, “alchemy” can be explained as a form of chemistry studied in the Middle Ages, that was concerned with trying to discover ways to change ordinary metals into gold. However, in terms of economics, “alchemy” means a seemingly magical process of transformation. For example, Alibaba used to be a tiny small company that nobody wanted to invest into; but now, it has become the largest e-commerce company in China. The word “alchemy” reveals that people believe these two subjects are able to bring people fortunes.

However, if we dig deeper, other philosophical relationships between chemistry and economics include how Chemists study the behaviour of particles while economists study the behaviour of humans. But if we think even more deeply, what is the difference between particles and humans? It is a true fact that humans are made up of particles. In this way, we can deduce that chemistry and economics are intrinsically the same in nature – content-wise, of course, the two disciplines differ vastly. However, both require the correlation between micro variables and macro variables, for instance, the relation between individual atoms and chemical reactions, and the relation between an individual consumer with the economy at macro level.



About CAS

Everyone is different. these differences, to a certain extent, determine what we like, what we are interested in and what we are good at. however, most of the time, finding out what we are suited to do may be an uphill task. therefore I find it paramount that before signing up for my IB CAS programmes, I find out more about myself.

based on past experience, I would surmise that my strength lies in doing things efficiently. I am not afraid of obstacles, willing to achieve more in the face of difficulty. the greater the challenge, the more I will be spurred on to give my all.

With the development of technology, the Internet has become an integral and inseparable part of our lives. I am really passionate about maths and other science-based subjects and my ideal major in university would be computer science. I find it both interesting and challenging to learn such a practical skill. Therefore for CAS, I decided to join maths and cipher clubs to train my skills for critical and logical thinking and to train my brain’s flexibility.

In addition, I am always willing to lend my help to those in need.  I thus see CAS as the perfect opportunity in giving back to society. Considering that I am also passionate about computer science, I think it is a good idea to link the usage of and the picking up of a practical skill, to helping those in need. Coding for good and tech thinker will thus be two perfect fits for me. In addition, the initiative for peace and smiles of China are all on my list as they give me space for personal growth through the process of formulating my own project and using such skills to benefit those around me, thus increasing both my social awareness and skill set.


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