GCD – GLOBAL UNDERSTANDING

Coming from a third world country, my father has always reminded me to be aware of my privilege. However, I have only recently noticed how growing up driving through the cities of the Philippines, no matter what age I was at the time, I would always see beggars on the streets the same age the same age as me. Many people pity small children on the streets, however, what truly horrifies me is that how the adult beggars are who those children grow up to become. However, my father never told me to feel sympathy for those people, for I can be aware of my privilege but will never be able to truly understand what they are going through, I learned from him that there is no way better to use my privilege than to take action to make a change. My father from a young age noticed the drastic differences between the social classes of our country. Determined to make a change, he became a doctor eventually pursuing the path to build free hospitals for those who cannot afford health care.

As a child, I am still unable to support the community as I have no authority over any of those issues. During my visit back to the Philippines, I actively try to pay attention to the gap between the social classes. Knowing that my cousin had just claimed an internship at the city hospital, I asked him to show me around the wing that offers free hospitalization for the poor. I was shocked to see the number of people with tremendous tumors, some on their heads. I do not know what caused them to wait that long and how they had developed it, however, it helped me to recognize how the social class is derived from time and not only money. I feel as I have forgotten the consequences of poverty and how it can lead to the development of greater issues. Every time I visit my home country, I recognize more of the cruelty of the wage gap. This is why I actively try to acknowledge their existence. I am unable to help now, but knowing that there are people I can help one day is crucial for me to go on in life to become a person who can serve the community for all.

GCD – ARTISTIC EXPRESSION

During the summer, I dedicated a month traveling alone. One thing I was able to do was to visit various museums of different genres. However, as an artist, I wanted to avoid simply attending the galleries and observing the works. In order to display my artistic talents, I decided to photograph the museums so I can express my artistic senses whilst visiting museums. Visiting my first museum, one thing I noticed was that I personally perceive museums as one product of art instead of a place that houses various pieces of artworks. The atmosphere and the people going past the countless artworks are all a part of one collective artwork. I believe this revelation works to describe art itself, an artwork shines based off how people interact with it. Without this, art will have no purpose as my personal definition of the subject is what the communication between the artist’s intention and audience’s reaction creates. Therefore, in order to capture this thinking, I started taking pictures of artworks with the people observing the work in the frame.

After taking pictures, it interested me how even a single frame capturing the various people in front of one piece displays how each person has a different interaction with the artwork: to choose to look at it or to not to, to like it or to dislike it. I feel as capturing these moments, it helped me re-recognize that the beauty of art is brought out by the community.

 

GCD – COMMUNITY ENGAGEMENT

For 3 years, I have been participating in the official school service activity of Animal Relief Club(ARC) with the intention to contribute on facing the issues related in Animals in general. Although the activity itself is open to any issues revolving around the topic of animals from local to global, I have been focusing on tackling the problem of sheltered animals for both reducing their numbers as well as finding them a comfortable life. However, since all the actions I took regarding this issue was through ARC, a school activity, I was not able to make drastic changes as I would have to act under the directions the ARC leaders have set. Therefore, unless there was an appointment I would not be able to directly attend adoption fairs or volunteer at shelters. Thus, on my 3rd year, my mindset has changed, as I was able to recognize that I could fulfill these tasks individually whether or not it was associated with ARC itself.

This is how I became associated with Animal Refuge Kansai(ARK) an NGO organization. I believe that working with ARK granted me the opportunities to take direct action towards a cause I have been meaning to support for a long time but struggled with how. For the entire day, I volunteered to participate in helping an adoption fair in a church in Roppongi. I was in charge of two main roles of looking after the animals(mostly walking cleaning) and interacting with the visitors seeking to adopt. As much as helping the animals directly did fulfill my determination to help unfortunate animals, I believed interacting with many visitors was what truly displayed my community engagement. While working in ARC and supporting the community indirectly by raising money does show commitment to resolve the issue, I felt as I was able to gain more knowledge. One thing that moved me was how I discovered the system of “foster pets”. Foster pets are basically animals that people take after in their personal time until they find a new pet. Until then, as I person who cannot adopt due to personal issues, I always thought the only way for me to help was to raise money. However, learning that temporarily looking after shelter animals was a possibility, it made me recognize that in a community, many people can help out in different ways. This was something I would not have found out, had not I joined an outside organization similar to the activity I do in school. It helped me recognize the importance to explore and connect in a community.

GCD – INTER-CULTURAL COMMUNICATION

During the Summer I had spent a month traveling solo around Six nations across Europe. As a visual arts student who aspires to pursue the studies of arts in university, I had visited various museums during my time abroad. For several museums, I had attended on tours offered in either English or Japanese given that they are the only two languages I am able to speak and understand fluently. I was hit with a certain realization when I had attended the same tour in these two different languages when visiting the Sagrada Família in Barcelona, Catalonia. I had noticed how the tours although it was for the same exact place, had offered different facts and information. Although I was never able to obtain a primary resource for the intention of the different contents of the same tour, I assume that this was for the cultural differences that essentially caused a difference in perception of what appeals to a certain demographic or group. The Japanese tour I attended empathized more on how the contribution of Japanese designers and architects whilst the English tour only briefly mentioned such a thing.

This brought me to question how the knowledge you can obtain can drastically vary depending on the language it is offered in. I have always been intrigued by the art produced during the renaissance era. Therefore visiting Florence, Italy, was what I looked the most forward to prior to the trip as I was anticipating gaining direct knowledge from the heart of the Renaissance. Given that Italy was the next country I visited after Spain, this the experience regarding the tour in Barcelona lead me to question how I can obtain the maximum amount of knowledge at my level of understanding as a foreigner that does not understand the native language of the primary resources. This thought continued to haunt me even as I returned back to Japan, as much I enjoyed the trip the sense of the reality of how I had no possible way to get the maximum knowledge even when being emersed in the culture itself bothered me.

Ultimately, this triggered my will to learn a new language. Since I felt the most upset about only being able to experience the outsider’s view of my favorite field of art in Florence, I was determined to learn Italian to challenge myself to be able to be as close as possible to how the people native to the Renaissance perceive the subject. In fact, I was so motivated, I developed the want to receive higher education in Florence, Italy. With two goals, I began taking Italian lessons while also attempting self-taught sessions. Since summer, I attend 2.5hour lessons every 2 weeks in Berlitz corporation. I specifically chose this association for the reason to be able to connect with a person(teacher) that actually comes from the culture they teach. Furthermore, the lessons are fully immersive which allows me to avoid limiting myself as I am pushed to express my thoughts in their language. I believe that my motivation to learn Italian performs my will to communicate over linguistic barriers and to connect with an unfamiliar culture in a deeper level.

Wellness Reflection

Throughout the course of grade 10, PSHE has provided me multiple opportunities to explore the idea of “wellness” as a class whole and as an individual as well. As an individual my personality does not quite correlate with the thought of approaching one’s wellness given both physically and mentally beyond my practical needs such as resolving stress or maintaining my physical health. However PSHE class had lead me to uncover elements of “wellness” that digs deeper than the required fulfillments considering physical and mental aspects.

Prior to this year mental wellness stood to define the stableness of one’s mind, and how it could be fulfilled and considered healthy when only it was balanced. However throughout the exploration of mental wellness during class I was brought to understand though my interpretation was only partially correct, true “wellness” within mental state of a person meant considering not only the mind but their “spirit”. Furthermore, something that helped me face my deeper inner side was picturing my current state as an object imagining every detail of it. This approach especially helped me when facing my negative emotions that bothered my mental state for I could be able to virtually let it go or break it in order to restore my state. Although class has fought me “wellness” can be faced through many different ways, I believe this was one of the major aspects of my understanding as it has actually helped me through difficult times.

Responce: “Pope Francis: freedom of expression has limits”

Logically it would not make sense if a specific topic or group is unprotected against the right of freedom of speech as it would no longer define ‘freedom’ for them. Given that the attacks were triggered off what was not a hate speech but a Satirical portrayal of Muhammad, there is no legal reasoning behind this specific case to be excluded of this right. Many believe sensitive topics starting with religion should often be protected from “freedom of speech” to avoid offensiveness. However the vector of these ‘taboo’ topics are often based off biased personal opinions and is not necessary recognised by everyone, especially as it is natural for opinions to have opposition. Similarly, Pope Francis claiming how “common good” should be considered when using freedom of speech is illogical. The “common good” itself is opinionated and would largely differ depending on the person given factors such as racial and cultural aspects. It is crucial to consider that while it is definite that there is no righteousness to ‘kill’ based on the motive of being ‘offended’, freedom of speech still stands far more legitimately.

It is simply wrong to take away freedom of speech, considering the law already functions excluding personal and biased factors of to interfere with the righteousness of people.

GCD: fit for life

Though I may not have gained us much knowledge throughout the year, I was re-taught some required elements to remember to have a “healthy life” revolving around physical and mental related things.

  1. Know your personality
    Knowing and having an idea of your personality will help quite a lot since, often recognising who exactly “you” are can be a difficulity to struggle through. When confused about your self, tests such as MBTI can help you determine the outline of who or what kind of people you are. Though this may not be exact and could be vague when testing multiple times, this can be a step to a new understanding and acceptance to love your self more.
  2. Learn to cope with differences
    As much as MBTI allows you to know your self, it will also open a door to understand the other personality types that exist. By determining who you are mostly like or act similar to, you can know what type of people you long for our how to deal or cope with others you may not understand well.
  3. Know when something is morally wrong or right
    In order to be “healthy” you will most likely need to have a personal moral to help you create a less stressfull and more comfortable life style when you do not feel you are following what you should be
  4. Physically being healthy and mentally healthy corollates

Tourism highlights

  1. What were the top three countries in terms in international arrivals in 2014
    France, the United States, Spain (and China)
  2. What were the top three countries in terms of international receipts in 2014?
    Again the top three countries of the international arrival numbers are also the top in terms of international receipts in 2014.
  3. Explain the difference in patterns depicted by your answers of question 1 and 2.
    Since the top three rankings are exactly the same, I suspect the tourism entering the countries flourishes the economy allowing people to gain more money to be allowed to travel more. This basically resembles a cycle of these countries developing each other.
  4. Describe the recent trends of tourism in Africa.
    Africa seems to be weak on it’s tourist specialities looking at the continent showing the least percentage growth of the arrivals having only 2% with 56million people. This suggests African countries are not yet developed enough in order to have the economy to sustain tourism and it’s business.
  5. Describe the changes in international tourist arrivals between 1950 and 2010. (p.14)
    Globally having only 25 million tourists travelling in 1950, having over 1133million tourist arrivals later on shows a huge improvement.
  6. In your opinion, why has tourism increased since the 1950s?
    Perhaps as time passes, tourism has become a more major thing due to the development of transportation. Nowadays planes and train rides has spread through many countries being easier to access in comparison to the 50’s.

Science Fair Reflection – making casein

Recently in our science class, we have just finished our last project for this grade. In this project, we have been working in groups of two or individuals to creating a project for a science fair involving two classes. I worked with Aisling to create a substance called casein created by milk and vinegar.

How did you find deciding on the question?

“What combination of different milk with plain vinegar creates casein with the greatest mass?”

was our theme question for our project. We have changed out question a few times to fit our experiment and it may have took time than the others, but I think we had enough sources in our school(internet/library) so I individually found it a pretty easy step and felt like it went smoothly.

Was the procedure and documentation helpful? How? How not? 

During our project, we used a procedure document on google drive that our teacher gave. For me it was a really helpful document and made our final product much easier to complete. What especially helped me was how it had different steps separated in weeks. By doing this, it gave us enough time instead of rushing on our last day before our science fair and was really good for my group. In fact, I couldn’t find any parts that didn’t help me and even think this document should be used more.

How did you work independently/individually?

I think I did pretty well on working independently because when we didn’t have enough time to do our experiment for data in school, I collected the equipment we needed at home and recorded all the data in my personal time. This kept us able to follow our weekly steps and was a wise choice.  I think this made me work successfully and independently although working with a partner.

What would you do differently?

I think we could collect more data by using different vinegar to make it more interesting for the audience in the science fair since more different information might make our presentation attractive for our listeners.

What did you learn about conducting scientific investigations?

I learnt that taking time and completing the steps we need one by one, was a really important thing to make our project succeed. I would like to remember this for my other projects next year.

Overall, I think this science fair was a very interesting and enjoyable project for me, because I like working and creating stuff with my own ideas which made me work enthusiastically.

Drama – DIY reflection

In drama class we grouped up into 2 or 3 and made our original Do it yourself(DIY) videos with the topic we chose. I worked in a 3 with Emily and Ryouko and made a DIY of making a origami crane(video above).
This video may look simple to make but actually we did much more than we expected. For example, because our target audience were children around 5-8, we tried to use simple english to make it understandable enough for them.
But because for our target audience ‘children’, I think we could have talked more loudly and cheerfully so they actually pay attention to us. This is my prediction but I think if Children around our target age watched this, they wouldn’t listen because of our  low volume, tone and stiff body actions. Also, this is for me individually but I wanted to say my script in a good timing so it actually fits the other 2 folding.
If I had to choose my best skill, I think it would have been waiting patiently not panicking when accidents happens.

Amongst all the DIY in my class, I liked and enjoyed Grace and Sophie’s DIY about making a book safe. This is because the topic was rare and interesting for me and how they talked sounded enthusiastic and made me feel they really knew what they wanted to do.