Personal Knowledge

Two years ago, taking advantage of my long summer break, I chose to go to a volunteering work camp in Fukuoka. My main intention of going to the work camp was to gain new knowledge from fields that I was unfamiliar with. Within my short one week at the work camp, I was able to do various things that I wouldn’t of done if I stayed in Tokyo, such as forestry and farming. After my experience in Fukuoka I believe I was able to develop myself in practical knowledge and I believe the experience in Fukuoka will be one of my strengths forward on in my life.

In Fukuoka, because I visited a really rural area, there were no internet connections and I was completely shut out from the outside world. There I helped out the farmers with rice farming and normal farming, and was also taught about forestry. The crops there were completely organic, and will use composts as fertilisers. The farmers there farmed concerning the whole environment, and were familiar with forestry as well. Living in Tokyo, where the only thing source of information about forests are videos of deforestation, I had a misunderstanding that cutting down trees, this action itself was bad for the environment. However I learnt that in forestry they cut down trees calculating growth speed and the amount of light that each tree gets. And there, the farmers were choosing a lifestyle to coexist with nature.

Despite the fact that I live in an urban area where I will supposedly never farm or use my knowledge from forestry, after this experience, farming after my career has become one of my life goals. To justify why this knowledge is practical even if I am not going to be using in Tokyo, is because not utilising the actual farming knowledge that I gained, doesn’t mean that the knowledge obtained wasn’t practical. After I went to Fukuoka I was able to realise the importance of food, and since then, I have become more aware of the things that enter my body. My experience isn’t directly implemented into my everyday life, but helps me to stay healthier.



To what extent do you “care whether your beliefs are true”

This was a question that was raised by Bob Korn, a former software engineer. Before going into deep discussion whether “I care my beliefs are true”, I want to underline the word “care” and examine its definition in this context. An official definition of this word is “to feel concern or interest; attach importance to something.”, however I feel as though that this word only manages to partially communicate Korn’s intention. This is because we can “attach an importance” to some kind of matter, but however, I believe that most often we do this subconsciously. I feel we instinctively decide whether we care something, from the influence it has on us. So I believe from this context it is more about the subsequent actions after “caring”.

Going back to the question, I would like to answer this question referring to two of my past experience as examples. First one is how I was told from my parents that whenever you drink Coke, your bones melt. Since then, I did not drink Coke. However, as I became older I came to know that this was in fact not true. Yet, now I correctly understand the downside of Coke and do not drink it. My second example is how I believed that margarine was better than butter, it was cheaper and it was easier to spread on the bread. However again, as I got older I got to know that this belief was incorrect, and now in my family, we do not buy butter.

As these two different examples show, my past or current beliefs may be true or false. Linking it back to the question, I believe we should not and we cannot “care” whether our beliefs are true or not. Our beliefs being formed within our knowledge capacity, we establish beliefs from what we believe is true, and even if it is false, there is nothing that we can do. As there is a saying in Japanese “知らぬが仏(Shiranu-ga Hotoke)”,  which translates to blessed ignorance, we do have to live with what we know, and there should be no “caring” whether your beliefs are true.

“We see the world, not as it is but as we are”

“We see the world, not as it is but as we are”, this is a statement made on the Talmud, a central text of Rabbinic Judaism. Although this statement was made hundreds of years ago, and the world has incomparably changed since then, I believe this is true in our modern world, and will be true forever. My definition of this statement is that we all see the world from different perspectives, and not a single person having an identical experience and knowledge as another individual, influences our views on things. This is where subjectivity/bias is created, but at the same time the world wouldn’t function as it currently is and wouldn’t contain its uniqueness.

In TOK, Ways of knowing is how we interpret information from real-life and process it as our own knowledge. Ways of knowing are: language, sense perception, emotion, reason, imagination, faith, intuition and memory. So how is Ways of knowing related to how we see the world? Ways of knowing is highly related to the experiences and knowledge that shape ourselves, as our interpretation of real-life events is done through Ways of knowing and is dependant on it.

One example of this is what happens in every El Clasico(Real Madrid vs Barcelona) game, Barcelona players diving. El Clasico being the biggest soccer game other than the UEFA Champions League final, and the most watched annual sports event, almost certainly in every game there are dramas and incidents. One of the most frequently happening and the most debate-causing events in the game is when Barcelona players diving, also called teatro(theatre) in Spanish. Madrid fans are obviously not happy about the “theatrical act” done by the Barcelona players since it will result in Real Madrid players being penalised for a red or yellow card, and Barcelona being rewarded a freekick and sometimes even a penalty kick. Here, there are two perspectives based on the individual’s emotion(Ways of knowing) upon the dive: one that criticises the dive and the other that praises the dive that it is part of soccer. Both of these perspectives are influenced by each individual’s preferences. Ironically, this blog post, or more specifically this paragraph, is another example of bias, and shows my perspective as a Madrid fan.

In conclusion, I believe that this statement is true. I think this statement is easier to explain by whether this can not be true. When you think about a world where every single one of us has the same perspective, it would be a boring world  where it is basically a world with bunch of robots. At least I do not believe I live in such a world, and if I did, this opinion-based blog post wouldn’t exist. It is true that these differences in perspectives are the things that cause conflict, but I strongly believe that these differences in perspectives are the things that make each individual unique, and source of where new ideas and innovations form.

“Who run the world?(Girls)” Analysis

“Girls! We run this mother (yeah) x4

Who run the world? Girls (girls) x4

Who run this mother? Girls x4

Who run the world? Girls (girls) x4”

This is the first 16 lines(chorus) of the song by Beyonce, “Who run the world”. This seemingly feminist song, contradicts from what everyone would presume what it would be like from the title. When I was first introduced to this song by my English teacher, I assumed that it would be about how women should be equally empowered with a position that has control and power. But after reading the lyrics it turns out to be that the intention of this song was nowhere close to it, and it was rather anti-feminism.

To clarify what exactly feminism is, it is: “Feminism is a range of movements and ideologies that share a common goal: to define, establish, and achieve equal political, economic, cultural, personal, and social rights for women.” What is important in our context, is the word “equal”. If the song was proclaiming feminism it should seek equal rights for women, but what the song is saying is how women sexually control men, and how that is the method for women to gain power.

Although throughout the history of this world, there were actual women who came into power through controlling men, a lot of things have changed since then. For example, Cleopatra(which Beyonce dressed as in the video), during her age, she technically did possess some power over the Roman Empire, but time back then, and this modern world is completely different. Back then, sexually controlling men was the only possible choice for women to come into power and to make change in the world, but now there are a huge number of brave and clever women that create change in our society. These women do not have to use their sexuality to do so.

I believe Beyonce seemingly not understanding feminism this much, she either has a brain from 69BC, or this song’s initial intention was to publicise “Who run the world? Beyonce!”, like thing and showing her own possession of power.

Media Fair 2015

As the last unit of this year’s English, we had a Media unit, and the YIS Media Fair was held among Mr. Kew’s class and Ms. Cox’s class on June 4th, 2015. Each student chose a topic from their area of interest and analysed how and what was reported through media. Students had their own booth to present their topic.

Mia’s topic was about Marijuana and whether it should be legalised or not. It was interesting how, despite the fact that Marijuana has harmful symptoms, people, especially celebrities, promote the usage of marijuana to the public. This, as a topic itself was really interesting because it had clear two opposing opinions.

Alex’s topic was about nuclear power plants. Again, this topic was interesting because there are two clear opinions, one side that values environmental flaws that the nuclear power plants cause, and the other that values the financial merit that the nuclear power plants bring.

Jake’s topic was about Jordans. This topic was interesting because there were various forms of media that advertised the Jordans.

Response to I am not Charlie Hebdo

Dear editors of The New York Times,

Regarding on the article “I Am Not Charlie Hebdo” published on January 8th, 2015, I totally agree on what the article is stating. The editors that were killed by the violent reaction of the two activists are praised as the symbol of freedom speech. It is true that the two activists that reacted to the cartoon reacted extremely, but what Charlie Hebdo had been publishing isn’t something to be praised. What Charlie Hebdo had been publishing isn’t the ideal form of freedom of speech, as recent posts from Charlie Hebdo were mainly targeted towards muslims. As it is stated in the article, we should be able to “legally tolerant toward offensive voices, even as we are socially discriminating” . I guess the use of social media assisted the instantaneous and wide spread of the slogan “Je Suis Charlie”, as I was one of them that were convinced that Charlie Hebdo was totally innocent and didn’t do anything bad. As I live on the other side of the world, a lot of information that I gained were minimal and partially picked up the parts of what had happened. The hashtags and the short slogan of “Je Suis Charlie” limited the perspective we look through and influenced our opinions on what happened in Paris. Freedom of Speech should be limited in the same way in all countries, as something expressed legally in a country can be received as a form of hatred in another country.

The Kill Room by Jeffery Deaver


The Kill Room by Jeffery Deaver is a story about an activist called Roberto Moreno being killed at a resort hotel at Bahamas. An ex-NYPD cop Lincoln Rhyme is asked to face the mystery, and finds out that the kill was commissioned by the US government. There were traces that Lincoln had collected that clarifies that it was ordered by the US government, but it turns out that it isn’t that simple.

Design Criteria Summary and Challenges

Inquiring and Analysing

In Inquiring and Analysing you research and identify a solution for your problem. You gather information from primary and secondary resources, and determine what you will have to do.

Developing Ideas

In Developing Ideas you analyse the research you have made in the previous criteria and create a plan of how you will complete the project and create a solution for your client/targeted audience.

Creating a Solution

In Creating a Solution you create the final outcome, the solution. It is better that all processes are followed by the plan that had been been created in the Developing Ideas stage.


Here you evaluate the final outcome, the solution. You can discuss about what improvement could of been made and if it is what the clients/targeted audience have wanted. You can also reflect on the process that you have been through.

-The Visual Communicator- Graphic Design

1. What are the strengths and weaknesses of your work during each step of the graphic design process?

photo 5-2

This is the title page of this unit, I used colours to classify all parts. All titles for each page are related to the colour here.

photo 1-2

This is the page where I have my mistakenly trimmed peer reviews.

Throughout this unit I think that my process is well designed. I think I was capable in using space effectively. I added a unique design for all titles. All of the colours of my titles were linked to the first page with all of the main aspects of the unit. For my first, define the task, I think I wasn’t able to show any design. I think I should have added some kind of pattern or illustration of each word. For example, for the client, I think I should have drew a simple outline of a person which I have done for the following processes. And for the “which application we can use” part I should of had drew the icon of the application which would create the visual of the application and would easily resemble the application. For the “what I have to include in the design” it would of been better if I drew the basic outlines of the main aspects of the YIS logo. For the Research part I think I do have a great composition and interesting layouts of each word, but I think that I lack in colour. The front covers from past years work make it look a little delightful, but I think I should have included more colour. For my Brainstorm and Sketching, although it seems like it contains a lot of colour, I think that the pink outline itself attracts more attention than the actual work I have done. For my peer review and my tight sketch, I had forgotten that I had the peer review on the other side of my tight sketch and I had cut it to adjust it to fit the page. After I realised I thought of how I can change it as some kind of design. I came up with the idea of gluing the edge of the peer review, and pasting the peer review for the tight sketch on the actual page. I think it turned out to be better than just pasting either the tight sketch or the peer review on a page. It looks more interesting than just looking at a normal peer review.

2. Evaluate your final work. Discuss color scheme, font, composition, spacing, mood and target audience.

YIS Student Handbook

This is my final design

I think my final work is a well balanced work. I think I have used positive and negative space effectively. Although the objects aren’t symmetrical by placing the title and the year at the place located where it is, I think it balances the composition. Although I had some worries with the blank red space on the shield of the his logo, overall I think I have use space effectively. I think the font matches the mood of the cover. The whole entire mood of the cover is cartoon like and think that the font is also cartoon like, which makes it match it to the cover. I think I don’t have a specific age range for my target audience. I think it is adequate for a wide age range.

3. Explain how you used feedback when identifying strategies to develop and improve your work.

This is the page where I had my client review

This is the page where I had my client review

For most of my feedback I mostly got positive feedback from both my peers and my client. I got some advise to make my front cover more balanced. My client told me that I do not have to include a complete logo of YIS since it is obvious that the design itself is a design of the YIS logo, I had some space and titles to configure. I moved the year to the bottom right corner.

What my clients and my peers helped me the most was with the open space on the red emblem. I was unable to decide whether I should cast the shadow of the torch or not. Both my clients and my peer told me that casting a shadow is unnecessary. Both of these advise had helped me to make the decision to not cast the shadow.

4. What two things did you learn that will most help you as an artist and two questions that remain unanswered?

What helped me the most:

Tutorials: Photoshop tutorials on Youtube helped me develop my design. It gave me ideas of what photoshop is capable of, and helped me develop the ideas of my design.

Sketches: By sketching my idea, I was able to visualise what looks good and bad. This helped me further on in the process in the create stage. I had a good idea of the must dos and the don’ts.

Two questions that remain unanswered:

Psychological aspects of a graphic design: In this unit we focused on the art phase of a graphic design and we haven’t learned how graphic designs have a psychological effect on people.

What is the difference between art and design: I think everybody would have a different answer for this question. I don’t think I can’t answer this question with just one unit of graphic design.


Tech Good Games

In this Technology Unit we are working on making educational games for little children.

We started investigating existing educational games. These are the games that I thought I would like to use some of their factors.

Bounce Physics l_Stairs

This is a game where you adjust your velocity of your x axis and y axis of your character(Mario).  In this game you can understand how velocity and gravity works. You would adjust the velocity and the results would change. Also in this game, you can see the velocity that you have adjusted, so then you can easily remember how it was like when it was adjusted to that level. The bad thing about this game is that you can’t clear the level. You can get an idea of velocity and gravity but it is impossible to clear this game. Also, this game is using Mario, it should be an original character.

Math Race

This is a game where you race against a dog and you accelerate by getting simple math questions right. It is a perfect example for our unit, as we are making games for kindergarteners this is easy to do and to understand. But there were few things that I would make a change to. Firstly there are too many races for a race. Kindergarteners are going to have a short temper, they will throw out the game before reaching the goal.

Greek and Latin Roots 1

This is not a game. But after you click the word the visuals would clearly show you what it means. You can easily understand every word since you have the visuals. One thing about this is that it isn’t entertaining.

This is another game that I would like to use somethings in my games.

Football Competition

This game, I found interesting because you actually move your body to save the ball from going into the goal. This game makes it seem like you are actually saving the ball from going to the goal.