Mesocosm Investigation Week 4

Day 22

day-22-mesocosm day-22-mesocosm-flash

Temperature: 14.8 degrees celsius

Humidity: 65%


– The bottom leaves are turning yellow
– There is little condensation

Day 23

day-23-mesocosm day-23-mesocosm-flash

Temperature: 15.8 degrees celsius

Humidity: 53%


– The weed is still wilting away
– The little sproutlings are not growing
– There is quite a lot of condensation in the bottle

Day 24

day-24-mesocosm day-24-mesocosm-flash

Temperature: 11.9 degrees celsius

Humidity: 60%


– There is a lot of condensation
– Drooping towards the ground

Day 25

day-25-mesocosm day-25-mesocosm-flash

Temperature: 10.5 degrees celsius

Humidity: 63%


– Still wilting away
– There is some condensation in the bottle

Day 26

day-26-mesocosm day-26-mesocosm-flash

Temperature: 12.0 degrees celsius

Humidity: 50%


– The weed is shrivelling up, perhaps because there is not enough water
– There is little to no condensation in the bottle

Day 27

day-27-mesocosm day-27-mesocosm-flash

Temperature: 14.0 degrees celsius

Humidity: 55%


– Some of the leaves are still alive, but overall still dying
– There is some condensation in the bottle

Day 28

day-28-mesocosm day-28-mesocosm-flash

Temperature: 11.9 degrees celsius

Humidity: 44%


– There is little condensation in the bottle
– Overall, after a month the stem is still intact but the bottom leaves are dead
– I will keep observing whether it lives on after this month

Mesocosm Investigation Week 3

Day 15

day-15-mesocosm day-15-mesocosm-close-up day-15-mesocosm-flash

Temperature: 12.0 degrees celsius

Humidity: 83%


– Bottom leaves are dead
– There is a little condensation
– There are little tiny sproutlings emerging

Day 16

day-16-mesocosm day-16-mesocosm-close-up day-16-mesocosm-flash

Temperature: 12.0 degrees celsius

Humidity: 64%


– The leaves at the bottom are still dead
– The small sproutlings are still there
– There is little condensation

Day 17

day-17-mesocosm day-17-mesocosm-close-up day-18-mesocosm

Temperature: 11.5 degrees celsius

Humidity: 48%


– Leaves at the top of the weed are starting to die as well
– There is some condensation

Day 18

day-18-mesocosm-flash day-19-mesocosm

Temperature: 11.2 degrees celsius

Humidity: 63%


– The bottom leaves are still dead
– There is a little condensation

Day 19

day-19-mesocosm-flash day-20-mesocosm

Temperature: 13.5 degrees celsius

Humidity: 81%


– The weed is slowly dying and wilting away
– There is very little condensation

Day 20

day-20-mesocosm-flash day-21-mesocosm

Temperature: 14.5 degrees celsius

Humidity: 43%


– The bottom part of the weed is dead
– There is little to no condensation

Day 21

day-21-mesocosm-close-up day-21-mesocosm-flash

Temperature: 14.0 degrees celsius

Humidity: 57%


– There is some condensation inside the bottle
– Still slowly dying

Mesocosm Investigation Week 2

Day 8

day-8-mesocosm day-8-mesocosm-flash

Temperature: 18.4 degrees celsius

Humidity: 61%


– There is some condensation found

Day 9

day-9-mesocosm day-9-mesocosm-flash

Temperature: 13.4 degrees celsius

Humidity: 69%


– There is less condensation in the bottle compared to yesterday

Day 10

day-10-mesocosm day-10-mesocosm-flash

Temperature: 15.5 degrees celsius

Humidity: 80%


– There is a little condensation in the bottle

Day 11

day-11-mesocosm day-11-mesocosm-flash

Temperature: 12.2 degrees celsius

Humidity: 71%


– There is almost no condensation inside the bottle

Day 12

day-12-mesocosm day-12-mesocosm-flash

Temperature: 5.0 degrees celsius

Humidity: 81%


– The weed is looking a little droopy and sick
– Very little condensation

Day 13

day-13-mesocosm day-13-mesocosm-flash

Temperature: 10.5 degrees celsius

Humidity: 64%


– The bottom leaves are starting to deteriorate
– Is perhaps not growing anymore
– There is some condensation found in the bottle

Day 14

day-14-mesocosm day-14-mesocosm-flash

Temperature: 11.5 degrees celsius

Humidity: 67%


– Starting to deteriorate even more, perhaps nearing the end of its life
– A little condensation

Mesocosm Investigation Week 1

Day 1

day-1-mesocosm day-1-mesocosm-flash

Temperature: 18.5 degrees celsius

Humidity: 70%


– The water droplets inside the bottle are not from condensation.
– Type of weed: unknown

Day 2

day-2-mesocosm day-2-mesocosm-flash

Temperature: 15.0 degrees celsius

Humidity: 75%


– A little condensation has been found in the bottle

Day 3

day-3-mesocosm day-3-mesocosm-flash

Temperature: 17.0 degrees celsius

Humidity: 80%


– Condensation in the bottle
– Mr. Hooker appeared for moral support

Day 4

day-4-mesocosm day-4-mesocosm-flash

Temperature: 13.5 degrees celsius

Humidity: 63%


– A lot of condensation can be seen in the bottle
– Unknown weed is definitely growing taller

Day 5

day-5-mesocosm day-5-mesocosm-flash

Temperature: 15.0 degrees celsius

Humidity: 59%


– Less condensation compared to yesterday

Day 6

day-6-mesocosm day-6-mesocosm-flash

Temperature: 15.5 degrees celsius

Humidity: 63%


– Even less condensation than yesterday

Day 7

day-7-mesocosm day-7-mesocosm-flash

Temperature: 11.7 degrees celsius

Humidity: 77%


– Weed is definitely growing. It has probably already reached the top of the bottle.

Overall, my weed is still alive and is growing at a very quick pace. Because it has presumably reached the top of the bottle, it will be interesting to see how the weed develops the following week. I hope that the weed will not gain enough strength to break the cap of the water bottle.


GCD Reflection – Fit for Life: Healthy Habits

1. Learning Targets (If applicable–it’s possible that a student will write about an unplanned experience. These can be academic learning goals or other, like to have fun):

More than a year ago, I decided that I should be tracking my sleep to find out more about what I can’t keep track of myself. Therefore, I downloaded the app called “Sleep Meister” on my iPod, which shows me the bed time, sleep onset time, ring time, wake time, time in bed, sleep duration, awake duration, sleep onset latency, nocturnal awakenings, and the number of times I hit snooze. Because this app gives me so much information about my sleep every night, I intended to learn more about my sleep patterns, and how a lack of sleep affects my mood and health. I chose this app because it has an option to start the alarm at your lightest sleep. You can put your alarm time at a range of as long as thirty minutes, so within the thirty minutes, the alarm will ring when your sleep is at its lightest. The purpose of this is to see on average how well I sleep, and how sleep deprivation affects the work I do at school.

2. Description of the Learning Experience:

As I am looking through the data I have for each night, I realise that it usually takes me around twenty to thirty minutes to fall asleep, which is unusual as the average time it takes for someone to fall asleep is five to ten minutes. I don’t have a problem with nocturnal awakenings, and even if it says I had a nocturnal awakening, I hadn’t realised it. I learned that I am a deep sleeper, because even when I put the alarm volume at its loudest, I only start hearing it after 30 minutes after the range of time I put in. Thus, if I put 6:40 – 7:00 as my wake time, I only start to wake up at 7:30.

sleep-meister-1 sleep-meister-2 sleep-meister-3 sleep-meister-4 sleep-meister-5 sleep-meister-6 sleep-meister-7 sleep-meister-8 sleep-meister-9 sleep-meister-10 sleep-meister-11 sleep-meister-12 sleep-meister-13 sleep-meister-14
3. Learning Outcomes (What did you actually learn from the experience? This may or may not correspond to the learning targets.) Comment using whichever of the following lenses apply:

What I learned from this experience is that because of my lack of sleep every day, I cannot concentrate that well in school. I can see this result myself, because during class, I start to zone out when the teacher is talking for a long time, and start daydreaming or something. On the days when I get more than seven hours of sleep, I feel like I have more energy and I feel more motivated to do things. I think that a result from me not falling asleep to easily is because I tend to use my phone before I go to sleep, When I don’t, I realised that I fall asleep much faster. A result from my late bedtime is because I procrastinate a lot, so I start doing my homework really late at night and finish past midnight. I think that if I were to keep continuing this lifestyle, I will get more health problems, such as a stroke, because of the lack of sleep. I have already had a few cases of sleep paralysis, which is probably because my body is fatigued. I think that I need to start sleeping earlier and sleep for a longer period of time, because the recommended hours of sleep for a person my age is seven hours or more, and I usually get five or less.

4. Inquiry (Where does this learning take you next?):

Because I have learned a lot about my sleep, I think that in the future I should make sure to not use my phone or my computer, or anything that emits blue light at least an hour before I go to sleep. After this past year, I should try to sleep earlier, at least before 1 o’clock. After these two years, I still don’t really know the extent to which the foods I eat relate to my sleep. I think that I can further investigate whether eating a specific food makes it more difficult for me to fall asleep or have a good night’s sleep.

GCD Reflection – Communication: Multilingualism

I was born in Dresden, Germany and lived there for eight years, so naturally I started speaking German in Kindergarten and later on in school, but I also learned Japanese from my parents. I took French class outside of school. Since I went to an international school, I learned to speak English as well. So by the time I moved to the Netherlands in the middle of second grade, I could speak four languages. In Holland, more specifically Amstelveen, it was mandatory to take Dutch class, and after two years I was moved to the native speaker’s class. However, in 6th grade I chose to do German A instead of Dutch. When I moved to Osaka in the beginning of 7th grade, I took Japanese class, and took after school French classes. During this time I unfortunately did not take German or Dutch classes. In 10th grade, I moved to Yokohama and came to YIS. Here for a year I took Japanese class with Orihara sensei, and German classes after school with Ms. Holze. When choosing the courses for my IB diploma, I decided to take German B SL, and not Japanese because I want to go to a German university. I took English A HL because I wanted to challenge myself to become better at writing and analysing in English. Today, I don’t take any French nor Dutch classes, but occasionally learn through a website called Duolingo, which helps me with the basic parts of the languages. I can still understand when people speak Dutch, but I don’t think that I can produce speech that well anymore. This is the same for French. At home I speak Japanese with my parents, English, German, and Japanese in school.

I currently speak English, Japanese, and German fluently, can understand Dutch and speak it a little, and can understand a few things in French. I think that speaking this many languages has impacted my life in a positive way because through learning these various languages I have learned more about each country’s cultures. I have also made many friends because of this, and I find it fun to be able to talk to my friends in German, Japanese, or even Dutch. Since I was born in Germany, speaking German fluently has helped me a lot, as I will be taken more seriously in Germany. Since I barely have an accent, there is less racism out on the streets, and in the city, but I still do encounter some racist people. If I wouldn’t be able to speak German, I think that I would have a more difficult time living in Germany or even just for visiting. Because I live in Japan now, it is beneficial for me to speak Japanese because I can communicate with everyone, and I can also help some of my friends who do not speak Japanese. I enjoy speaking all of these languages, and hope to learn more in the future.

GCD Reflection – Global Perspectives

1. Learning Targets (If applicable–it’s possible that a student will write about an unplanned experience. These can be academic learning goals or other, like to have fun):

I joined MUN in grade 10, and have been doing it ever since because I wanted to gain more confidence in public speaking, as well as to have a better understanding of the current events that happen around the world. I intended to learn more not only about these current events, but also the general way of producing and presenting a speech in front of many people. In these past three years, we have discussed various topics, ranging from racial inequality to E-Waste, as well as road safety and even discussing a historical event, namely the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand.

2. Description of the Learning Experience:

Since joining MUN, I have been given the opportunity to attend different conferences, that have all helped me grow my skills and knowledge in public speaking. I was given the opportunity to learn how to work with people you have only met a couple of minutes ago, and to be able to create a solid resolution in the given time that we had. Conferences are a little different than the MUN sessions we have at school, because they are more fast-paced so we have to think of a solution quickly to overcome the issue we were discussing.

Reflection for KMUN 2015:

Ashab encouraged me to main submit a resolution, which I did. We were both in General Assembly I, and there were three General Assemblies in total. I main-submitted a resolution on the issue of reducing the number of traffic accidents. I was the delegate of Bangladesh, and Ashab and Ken co-submitted as well, which was great because I had the support from people that I am friends with. When I went to the front of the Assembly to read out the resolution and answer any Point of Clarifications and Point of Informations pertaining the resolution or my for speech, I was pretty nervous, since answering these questions is still very difficult to me. Many of the delegates formulated their questions in a way which sounded very complicated, however I was able to answer all of the points of clarification as well as the points of information. In total I received something like 20, which was very crazy. The second topic we discussed was the issue of anthropogenic climate change. For this one, a delegate from K International School main-submitted the resolution and the rest of us co-submitted it. However, there was not enough time for us to actually discuss this issue in depth, which was a little bit disappointing. In conclusion, I think that KMUN was a success, and it really made me think of how the real delegates of the UN would consider this issue and find a way to create a resolution which would minimise or completely eradicate the issue.

Reflection for ASIJMUN:

The topic we discussed was “Containing the violence in northern Nigeria and preventing the spread Islamist inspired terrorism to neighbouring states”. I was the delegate of Mexico, and as the delegate of Mexico we did not have direct connections to this topic, however after doing some research I had found that Mexico had been implementing Resolutions in their own country that would prevent a crisis. My Position Paper, or Opening Speech that I said was this:

Honorable Chair and Fellow Delegates of this house,

The delegate of Mexico believes that major actions should be taken place to contain the violence in northern Nigeria and prevent the spread of terrorism to neighbouring states. Mexico has already implemented the United Nations Security Council Resolution number 1540, which can also be implemented in Nigeria to contain the violence. Mexico is under this resolution committed to the promotion of international efforts that allow for the construction and development of actions that strengthen the assurance of international peace and security, and enhance international law. In order to prevent the spread Islamist inspired terrorism, this delegate’s own country must first take the same actions which we wish to have other countries follow as well, which is to ensure international peace.

After all nations presented their speeches, we had a 45 minute caucus where nations with similar viewpoints get together to create a resolution. I was a co-submitter of the resolution that Nigeria was the main-submitter of. It was interesting to talk with other delegates with different viewpoints on this topic, and we all worked together to create a resolution that was less than 12 operative clauses. I had written one clause in the resolution, which I had written prior to the conference as I had researched about my country’s stance on this topic and thus knew of some solutions which would be effective in Nigeria. This was the clause I wrote in the resolution:

6. Urges the neighbouring northern Nigeria to ensure that all citizens have an awareness on this issue. This can be done in the following methods, such as, but not limited to:

  1. Newspaper articles,
  2. Broadcasts in the news,
  3. Implementation of education on this issue in the public school curriculum, such as, but not limited to:
    1. Regular classroom discussions regarding violence,
    2. Scheduled simulated demonstrations on the actions that need to be taken in case of an emergency that puts a risk on the students,

I presented a For-Speech for this resolution, and was asked two Points of Information, and it was a challenge for me to think of a response in the short amount of time I had, however I managed to give reasonable answers to both POIs. After we debated the resolution, we received a Crisis Topic, which was that if we did not come up with a solution, ISIS would bomb one of the major countries in Europe. We all rushed to create a resolution, which we debated again. After we voted on the resolutions, the conference was over. Through this conference, I learned that although this topic was focused on Nigeria, it was important for nations from around the world to come together and create a solution that would benefit Nigeria and their issue. In the real world, this would be the same, as many nations create alliances and treaties with other nations from around the world that would ensure their safety in case of an emergency. In the past, an example would be the Triple Alliance and the Triple Entente, which also played a role in the geopolitical chess of the situation during WWII.

Ashab, who was also one of the Chairs, was kind enough to write a comment on my performance at this MUN Conference:

“Nana was an excellent delegate at ASIJ, demonstrating her adept speaking skills through her clear and authoritative speeches throughout the conference (particularly during her opening speech). She had prepared well for the conference, her dilligent research showing through in her knowledge of the topic and contributions to the resolutions. Additionally, she kept sharp throughout the conference, being able to both ask and answer points of information with confidence. This marked her greatest improvement, being able to think on her feet and carry herself with confidence. All of the chairs were pleased with her progress as a delegate, demonstrating her sustained commitment to MUN.”

I think that if I were to repeat this MUN conference, I would maybe challenge myself to ask more Points of Information, as I only asked one throughout the whole conference. After this conference, I still do not really know the correct solution to the topic of containing the violence in northern Nigeria, as this must be a real-life issue. I think that this experience has really had a big impact on me as I am now more confident about answering Points of Information and generally speaking up more, and this would also be useful for me in school. Overall, this conference was a really good experience for me.

MUN Group 2015KMUN ASIJ MUN 2016
3. Learning Outcomes (What did you actually learn from the experience? This may or may not correspond to the learning targets.) Comment using whichever of the following lenses apply:

The learning experience I gained from MUN is that you always have to be prepared to answer questions, which are given through a POI (Point of Information), even if you are put under pressure. I learned that you cannot always be prepared and write a speech or script for everything that you are going to say. It has really helped me talk more spontaneously in front of a crowd, and to be open to any POIs. Although it is still scary for me to talk in front of a crowd without a script, I have gained more confidence because of this. I have been to two KMUN conferences, and also one ASIJMUN conference. It is very interesting to be able to discuss various topics with people who I have only met, and to be able to work with them on a resolution. It is also important to keep up to date with all of the current events that happen around the world. I think that my strengths were that I took a lot of challenges in MUN, such as submitting a resolution as a main submitter in KMUN, because I had to be prepared to answer any POIs or Points of Clarification. I think that I should still improve on speaking without a script, as I usually prepare a script for any speech, even for the sessions we have at school. If I can speak without using a script, that would be a very big accomplishment for me. MUN relates to engaging with issues of global importance because in MUN we always choose topics that are relevant at the current time, and so we may potentially be discussing topics that the actual UN is dealing with. Last year we discussed the refugee crisis, which was probably at its peak that time of year.

4. Inquiry (Where does this learning take you next?):

If I were to repeat some conferences I had for MUN, I would want to ask more POIs to other delegates, and be more engaged in the conferences. Because I tend to be shy, I am usually too scared to speak in front of all of the other delegates who I do not know. I think that I should overcome my shyness and speak up. I think that we have discussed various areas of global issues around the world, but there will definitely be more that we can talk about. Therefore, I want to challenge myself to talk more during the sessions, and also the conferences.

Further Reflection:

There are many things I learned about the world through research and debates with other delegates. For instance, participating in MUN has helped me understand how different countries have different issues they are focusing on. Although there may be some overlap, there are some issues that do not apply to all countries. For example, when I was the delegate of Bangladesh, the topic of road safety was one topic we had to debate on. Being the delegate of Bangladesh made me realise how one issue that is so important for one country does not have that much of an importance in other countries. Because there were many traffic accidents in Bangladesh, road safety had been one of the biggest issues. However, I can deduce that in Japan, this is not one of the most important issues as it does not come up that often in the Japanese news.

As I engaged with delegates from other countries/cultures, I had to consider a few things before saying something. I had to ask myself whether the thing I am going to say is going to offend their country or culture, or whether it is a reasonable comment. This was especially prevalent when we were discussing topics about the Islamic state and the ongoing war. Because it is such a sensitive topic, I had to think about what to say to a country’s delegate as each country has a difference stance on the issue.

As a result of being in MUN, I have come to understand the world at a deeper level. I can see how different countries are connected through some aspect, and how there are many different cultures around this world which is why a slight change in something could cause a major cultural problem. I think that to an extent, countries are maintained through the support of other countries, which is why there are always some alliances being made. Overall, I think that MUN has really made me more aware of the world around me.

GCD Reflection – Community Engagement

On the 21st of November 2015, some of us members of the Van der Poel team went down to Ofuna to go mikan (tangerine) picking with the kids from the orphanage Kofu Kodomoen. Van der Poel members met at Yokohama Lumine, and then altogether went down to Ofuna to catch a bus that took us to the mikan orchards. The children seemed very happy that we came, and we all played tag together. I was able to pick 12 mikan. We got a basket and a pair of scissors, and just had to cut the mikan by the stem with the scissors. We were only allowed to take home a bag full of them, which is why Mei and I stuffed ours full until the bag almost ripped. However, the good side to this was that we were allowed to eat as many as we wanted to, it was just that we couldn’t take that many home. I ate 2 right at the orchard, and it was a really satisfying experience being able to pick the mikan and eat it right away. It was the most fresh mikan I ever had. This was my first outing with Van der Poel, which is why I did not know any of the children. However, they were very welcome and treated me like a big sister, which I really liked. I think that while we were eating lunch, I could have interacted more with the children, however I was still pretty shy so I did not talk to them. Thus, I think that next time I should interact more with the children. I think that it is really important to get to know some kids from orphanages because we live in this community where we all have parents, so it gave me a different perspective to look at. It made me realise how grateful I am to have parents who take care of me, and I tried to imagine what it would be like not living with parents but just guardians. I think that these children are very strong because they are able to live without parents and still have the love and support from the other children and the community. Overall, I really enjoyed this day and I think that I got to learn more about how diverse every person is, even though we all live in Yokohama.

Orange Picking

On the 5th of December 2015, we had the annural Van der Poel Christmas Party. For 2 weeks, we went around during tutor to collect money for the Christmas Party. I went every day to three of the five 11th grade tutor rooms: Mr. Hooker’s, Mr. McKeown’s, and Mr. Brown’s tutor rooms. Many people donated every day which I was very grateful for on behalf of the whole Van der Poel team. We also helped a lot with making the decorations, such as long paper chains with green and red paper. I also went after school on Friday to do some last minute planning, and to get all of the christmas stockings and presents ready. In the morning of the Party, we decorated the entire Cafeteria with the chains, put up christmas trees, blew up balloons, and just gave the cafeteria a festive feeling. All of the Van der Poel members worked together for this party to take place. We all had to work together and share tasks to have everything ready on time. There were 90 children altogether, from 2 homes Kodomonosono and Kofu Kodomoen, and some of the children who came to the mikan picking a month ago remembered me. We played tag, and then went into the cafeteria to get seated and watch all the performances. We then ate lunch with the children, where there were lots of food options. There was also cake and M&Ms which also tasted very good. All of the food was taken care of the YIWC (Yokohama International Women’s Club). Finally, it was time for the present giving. The two Santa Clauses, one for each home, came and I helped with giving each present to Santa who would then read out the child’s name. They would go up and receive their present. I felt really happy when I saw all of the children being excited about their Christmas present, as it may possibly be the only time or only one of the few times they receive a present. It made me realise how grateful I am that I have parents whom I can always ask to have something from, and that I should not take everything for granted. I think that overall, the Christmas Party was a great success which brought a smile to every child’s face. I think that something I can improve on is interacting more with the children, by either talking to them and getting to know them or playing with them, as I think that I was a little too shy and did not talk to them as much as I wanted to. However, I did push myself a little and talked a little to some of the children sitting around me. I think that it is quite a challenge for me to initiate a conversation. It was, however, a very memorable day for me and I had a great time.

Christmas Party

On April 16th 2016 I went to go ice skating with 9 other Van der Poel members to the Kanagawa ice rink with the children’s home Kodomonosono. We went by train and met with the children at the ice rink. In the beginning I was a little shy and didn’t really know how to talk to the little kids, nor the bigger kids who are the same age as us. However as I skated a few rounds around the rink, the little children wanted to do a race against me. It was fun being able to play with the little children, and just have a good time. It was a challenge for me to talk to the children instead of them talking first to me, but I think that that is also something that I will have to know in the future, as children usually look up to the older ones. I think that it is beneficial for me that I speak Japanese, because a lot of these children only speak Japanese. Jake and I helped one small boy learn how to effectively stop skating on the ice by using one leg behind him to use as “brakes”. After skating for a little over an hour we went to go eat lunch at the nearby park. Kodomonosono actually provided a lunch for us, which was very kind of them. After lunch we had a lot of time to play outdoors, and since it was very warm that day it was a perfect weather to play all kinds of sports outside. First a few of the 10th grade girls and I played frisbee with a few of the little children and the home’s caretakers. However after that we all joined an even bigger group that were playing volleyball in a large circle. It was very fun and although I kept missing the ball, everyone was kind about it. There were also kids our age playing. I learned that I should be grateful to have two parents, and although these children do not know their parents and/or will never be able to meet them again, they all live together as one big family.It made me realise just how mature all of these kids are and how they all look out for each other. It taught me that working together as a group is beneficial. I think that my strengths that day were that I could easily play with the kids from the home, however I know that I can improve on my communication skills because in the end, I kind of regretted that I did not talk more with them. However, this outing was still a great experience for me and I hope I can go again next year.


GCD Reflection – Apprenticeship

During the whole of July I went to a dialysis hospital in Dresden, Germany to do a Praktikum, which is like practical training. I worked there without receiving any money, so it was not a job. The goal of this month was to increase my awareness of what happens at hospitals, specifically at the dialysis hospital. I wanted to experience what it’s like working at a hospital and the stress levels. Throughout this month, I started work at the dialysis hospital from 6:00 to 14:30 every weekday, and in the last week from 11:00 to 17:00 on Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays, and early again on Tuesdays and Thursdays. We would first set up all of the dialysis machines, and I learned how to connect all of the tubes together for the machine to work. The only thing I was not allowed to do was insert the needles into the patients’ arms, or connect their catheter to the machine. The health insurance in Germany has a rule that the minimum amount of time the patient should receive the treatment is 4 hours, so most people finished their treatment after 4 hours. There were some patients who did 4 and a half hours, and there was also one patient who did 5 hours. Sometimes, the arterial or venous pressure at the needle becomes too high so then within the 4 hours, an alarm would go off and the nurses would have to take action to bring down the pressure. In the first week or so, I would help out in the kitchen to prepare all of the meals, and serve them to the patients. I also learned the process of ordering the right amount of the sandwiches, where I had to fill out a form writing the correct date and the correct number of sandwiches, which the baker would later on come and collect. It was also important to make sure we had enough water, fruit tea, peppermint tee, black tee, and coffee to serve to the patients because there is only a limited amount of time for them to eat and drink. When serving the patients, I had to make sure to always smile because it is important to look approachable. I had to accept the fact that not everyone likes asian people, as there are some left-wing supporters. They are against all of the refugees that have come to Germany, and believe that there should not be any foreigners in the country. Therefore, I had to accept the fact that some patients ignored me when I asked them a question. I would also hear the patients talk to each other about the refugee crisis, and they were saying pretty controversial things, but the nurses told me to just ignore what they were saying and carry on.

Overall, this experience doing an internship in the dialysis hospital made me think about the medical ethics, because although it is a required thing for them to do in order to survive, they have to come every other day, which is pretty stressful and is taking time away from them. It would be nice for them to be able to go on vacation without having to worry about whether they can find a hospital in which they can do the dialysis at. Dialysis also affects the rest of their day, as after the four hours, they are very weak so it would be almost impossible to do any sports afterwards, and would only get minimal work done. An advancement in medicine would be to find a way which will allow the patients to have a shorter time at the dialysis, but will have the same effect. They should also be able to have ample energy after the procedure. I think that if I would have the chance to do this again, I would make sure to talk more with the patients and not be as shy as I was, so that they would get to know me better. The following picture is a picture of me with my best friend’s mother who has worked at this dialysis hospital for many decades.

My friend's mom who works there and me

GCD Reflection – Fit for Life: Physical Activity

1. Learning Targets (If applicable–it’s possible that a student will write about an unplanned experience.  These can be academic learning goals or other, like to have fun):

I have been doing dance and yoga after school for three years now. In dance class, we do not always do the same things. Sometimes, we learn the techniques of dance, such as Jeté, which is a jump; pirouettes, which are turns; tilts, which is to lean the upper body and lift one leg up high, and many more. Sometimes, we learn new choreography, and sometimes we make up our own choreography. I joined dance class because I wanted to get better at dancing, as well as learn more techniques since I enjoy dancing, but am not very good at it. I wanted to gain more experience on different types of dances, and since we do many types of dances in our class, such as lyrical dance, hip hop, or contemporary, I thought that it would be a good experience for me. The purpose of this experience for me is because I wanted to gain the experience of not only classes, but also performing in front of everyone. Since I would never have the courage to go up on stage by myself, I wanted to join the dance class and perform as a group. I also wanted to become more confident on stage, as it will benefit me a lot, such as for drama performances as well. When I first started dance, I intended to learn all of the techniques of dance, but now I know that I cannot learn everything all at once, and that I am not capable of doing all of the movements because of things like flexibility issues.

2. Description of the Learning Experience:

The learning experience I gained from doing yoga is that I have been able to learn many different exercises which I can do at home, or anywhere else when I am feeling a little down, sleepy, and need some energy and reduce my stress levels. In the past yoga classes, we have mainly been doing the sun cycle, which is composed of the movements, cat, cow, walking the dog, and then resting in child’s pose. The cat movement is done by bending the back like a scared cat while looking down and breathing out, and the cow movement is done by arching the back and looking up while breathing in. We then bounce off of our feet and go into a triangle shape with our hips in the air, which is the dog shape. Walking the dog means that we lift each heel one at a time to make it seem like we are walking on the spot, however keeping both feet on the ground at all times. After repeating the sun cycle a couple of times, we rest in shavasana, where we lie down on our back with our palms facing the sky, our feet the same width as our shoulders.

Yoga Yoga

The learning experience I gained from doing dance is that I have been able to learn many different dancing techniques, as well as learning to be more creative by creating my own choreography, not just an individual choreography but also with a partner. Even after I was able to do a pirouette, I further had to improve my pirouettes, such as the positions of my arms, my feet, my legs, and my position. For hip-hop, we have not only created our own choreography but have also gotten inspiration from choreographies posted on YouTube. For these choreographies, we have to learn how to copy the dance moves from the screen, which was very challenging at first. The hard work pays off when we perform at various times throughout the school year. In 11th grade I have also performed at STICH by myself, which was a memorable experience. This year in grade 12 we seniors have been leading dance class, which has been quite challenging. It is hard to take the role of authority when the people around you are all around the same age as you.

Play Perform Create Awards Ceremony

3. Learning Outcomes (What did you actually learn from the experience? This may or may not correspond to the learning targets.)  Comment using whichever of the following lenses apply:

What I have learned from yoga is that even if I think I am too tired to do yoga, doing yoga actually gives me more energy for the rest of the evening. I learned that it is a great way to destress at the end of the day, and to gain some more energy for doing homework after class. I think that my strengths in yoga are that I learn to correctly do the moves very quickly and do not worry and compare myself to the other students around me. I think that the areas for growth for me would be to not be scared to go to yoga class by myself. I have some friends who do yoga with me, and when they can’t go that particular day, I feel as if I don’t want to go to yoga because they are not there. I think that I should change this and that I should go to yoga class even if I am by myself without any of my friends. I think that my greatest challenge in yoga has been to free my mind of the thoughts that worry me and stress me out during the class. Because of these thoughts, I can sometimes not concentrate on yoga. Another challenge for me was to do the complete sun cycle in 11th grade, which was a little tiring because we did six in a row, which was quite challenging and my muscles got tired. I think that because of yoga, I can now relax more in stressful situations, and have learned to manage my stress and keep it at a certain level.

I think that I have learned a lot from dance class, not only about dance but also about management and leadership. Although I am still learning every day, All of us seniors have learned how to manage dance class and keep it organised each class, and to plan what we are going to do next dance class. We have learned how to take on the role of a ‘teacher’ so that there wouldn’t be as much chaos in the class. I think that my strengths in dance class are that I not only practice dance after school but I also go over the choreography again at home, so that I come prepared to the following week’s dance class. I think that my areas for growth would be to have a little more confidence when dancing, and to be a little more bold, because it always looks better to be confident on stage than look shy. I think that a challenge I had last year in eleventh grade was to dance center stage at the very front, as I had always danced in the back where the audience wouldn’t be focused so much on me. However, I committed to this position and danced in this position during the Spring Concert as well as the Awards Ceremony. At this awards ceremony, I received the dancer of the year award, which I was very happy about.

Dancer of the Year Award

4. Inquiry (Where does this learning take you next?):

I am still continuing to do yoga and dance after school. I think in yoga, I want to learn more yoga positions that will help me with different things, as some of the positions such as the downward dog are not optimal when you have a cold. I want to challenge myself and do more challenging yoga poses. This type of yoga has made me curious about a type of yoga called power yoga, which my mom has told me she has done before. Apparently, it is more tiring than the yoga I am doing now, as it is like a workout. I think it would be fun to try that in the future. I think that for dance, I want to further improve my dancing skills and maybe venture out to different styles of dance as well, not just hip hop and lyrical. I think that I want to challenge myself to perform more, and I have already planned with a few friends to perform this year.

Art can be described as something that expresses important ideas or feelings/emotions. Therefore, dance relates to art in the sense that dance can evoke emotion, which is also something that can be found in an art piece. In last year’s spring concert, we performed a piece called “Cycle”. This was a contemporary piece, in which we created the choreography by ourselves with a little help from Ms. Erickson. We wanted to show the different stages of life, from birth to death, and I think that it was quite a challenge for us to try and express this idea to the audience.
I think that what I have learned about myself as an artist is that I like to challenge myself into trying to express a certain emotion through dance, and this is done through lots of practice. The first stages of dance is learning the choreography. However, it is not enough to just learn the choreography and dance it. I want to always take it a step further, where I try to incorporate different facial expressions, and put more energy into the dance. For example, the dance we are going to perform at studentainment is to the song Runaway Baby. The song itself is very energetic, and so I challenged myself to give out as much, or more energy than the song gives. This conveys the message to the audience that the song and the dance are energetic and happy.
The skills that were necessary to take the role of a “teacher” for dance is the ability to stay organised, and plan ahead, as well as make certain decisions after discussing it with the rest of the dance group members. For instance, we used to always have Ms. Erickson who would decide what kind of dance we would practice and then perform. This year, since we seniors are leading dance, we needed to discuss this with the whole group. We decided that we would focus on one hip-hop piece and one contemporary piece. Every class, we also have to give some instructions, such as stretching, or going into a certain position or deciding the formation for the dance. It is sometimes hard to do this because we need to look at each dancer objectively, so even though they may be our friend, we need to see the best formation that will bring the dance to its fullest potential.
Confidence is important in creating art because it would be noticeable if you were not confident in your own art piece, which in my case is dance. For example, when I look at a video of a dance performance I did, I can immediately see the times when I don’t look confident, and this really shows in a performance. When the dancer isn’t confident, it makes the audience a little nervous too because they may assume that we are not ready to perform, or that we didn’t have that much practice. Therefore, we can build confidence by continuously practicing and building more layers into the dance to make it a complex piece of art. In the future, I can build my confidence by continuously stepping outside my comfort zone, and learning different types of dance. That will challenge me into doing something completely different than hip-hop or contemporary, and will force me into putting all of my effort into the art form.

1 2 3 4