Living in a highly industrialised and developed country like Japan makes the understanding of economic disparities quite difficult on a local scale. However, from the content I have learned in IBDP Geography, I feel as though the course allows me to better understand the condition of other countries beyond the local scale of where I live. The course itself is dedicated to the study of physical and political geography across the globe using individual case studies to exemplify the coursework as a real life situation. However, as an approach to process the information from different units, we as students are trained to make the link between how certain geographical factors may influence the country’s economic, social and political status. Therefore, studying the course allows me to be much more aware of how geographical factors such as global climate change or population growth affects the economy and stability of various countries but also allows me to compare the countries from each other and my own. One unit which I found to be relevant in increasing my understanding of the diversity in our world was the Global Climate Change (GCC) unit because GCC has a relevance to all countries including my own and others alike. As case studies we further investigated the varying effects of GCC on Canada which is a High Income Country (HIC) and compared it to Bangladesh, a Low Income Country (LIC). The in depth case studies of the two countries allowed me to compare and contrast the vulnerability of the two countries and how that affected the way the countries adapted or mitigated climate change. For an example, although Canada is as influenced by GCC as Bangladesh, because of the more stable income of the inhabitants and the government makes it a better adaptable country to the effects of climate change. On the other hand, I was also able to recognise how Bangladesh being a LIC increases its vulnerability to effects of GCC such as increasing incidents of floods and cyclones. A big economic factor is based on the cheaply built infrastructure which is insufficient to mitigate the intensity of storms and floods. However, the economic instability runs deeper routes than just the physical money put into the buildings. Being a LIC also decreases the opportunity for education for the low income community which further increases vulnerability of not receiving the education to help adapt or mitigate the effects of climate change. Furthermore, I also understood the trend of how the least economically stable inhabitants tended to live near the coast most prone to flooding because their main source of income was dependent on fishing and farming. Like so, although I have never flown to Bangladesh after large scale cyclones or visited the poorest neighborhoods, taking the IB Geography course pushed me to be more aware of the vulnerability of the country and also made me think about other possible countries suffering through similar or tougher effects of climate change based on what I know about their levels of income and physical geography. The course itself only requires us to compare the vulnerability of two contrasting countries, yet I have also tried to make certain connections to Japan, being my home country. Japan is a highly developed HIC in which makes it evident that the country is better adapted to climate change in comparison to Bangladesh. Therefore, it is easier to draw similarities between Canada. However, due to the physical state of the country being an island contrastingly increases its vulnerability to natural disasters because it is much harder to maintain communication and access. It is at times like these when I am suddenly able to make connections between countries and even predict information that I recognise how the course has helped to me to be much more globally aware.
On a more personal level though, being an international student comes with the background of having lived in several countries and adapted to various cultures. As a young child, I was brought up in Hong Kong while being Japanese which allowed me to explore the similarities in culture and values in different asian countries. However, in the middle of my childhood and into my adolescent years, I spent most of my life moving around west Europe. As a result, looking back I can recognize how I have integrated different pieces of the Guangzhou culture such as my love for Chinese spices or my general preference for chinese food. Yet, through my upbringing between Japanese parents I also speak Japanese and take on some traits from my parents as well. However, I feel as though I am most influenced by the European cultures and perhaps the more lenient upbringing of children that the Europeans value. Like so, beyond what I study in class, I also have a global understanding of different cultures and values within different countries which I have been able to interact with and learn through my own personal experience.
Luxembourg yearly christmas market in the town square
Hong Kong boat trip island hopping
The use of language is one aspect of human communication which makes us unique from other animals. Language allows us to put forth our ideas but it also grants us the accessibility to receive information from others. I argue that language can be compared to a double-edged sword. It has the ability to enrich an experience through deeper understandings of a situation, beyond the basic perceptions we pick up from our senses. Yet, our dependency on languages that we are familiar with, is perhaps slicing off the opportunity to communicate with others beyond our linguistic understandings. Therefore, as an international student, the skill of communicating across cultural borders is essential.
Through personal experience I can agree that multilingualism has its advantages of broadening your “communication points” and being able to interact with people beyond your primary culture. For an example, I have spent 9 years of my life living in french-speaking countries or known as “francophone” in those areas. Being able to speak English helped me through the basic communication with the local people but it only established a “meet-me-halfway” mechanism since English was in most cases not their first language either. Therefore, we both had to rely on imagination to fill in the gaps and could not form any in-depth communication. On the other hand, being able to speak French deepened my communication with the locals and also helped me to form social bonds. Without a language barrier, it allowed us to express ourselves fully. Therefore, being proficient in a language allows thorough communication, beyond transactional purposes which adds a significance in our experiences.
There is one particular experience that I had during the time I was in Belgium which really forced me to be “culturally smart”. We had moved into our new house and my mother decided to invite the neighbours. The parents were fluent in french, flemish and english and had no trouble communicating with myself or my parents. However, their son spoke next to no English and I could hardly introduce myself in French. For both of us, it was frustrating and at times embarrassing as everything we tried to communicate was returned with blank stares or shrugs. However, we found one medium which we were both able connect with and that was our love for animals. I had 2 hamsters at the time and I remember placing one of them into his hand and he exclaimed “très mignon” which now I understand to be “so cute”. Yet, even at the time with my poor french, I was still able to understand his enthusiasm. After that I had asked him if he had any himself by pointing at the hamsters. He shook his head but barked and imitated a dog which came through to me clearly.
The communication mediator: The hamster
As seen in cases like this, I realised that language may limit the cross-linguistic understandings but it does not necessarily stop people’s wills of communicating with eachother. So maybe, communication does not only come with the cost of proficiency in the language but also the will to want to communicate and connect.
My biggest contribution in strengthening my community engagement is through my establishment and implementation of the Sustainability Project. I decided to start a service group which intertwines fashion and recycling as a way to push my passion for fashion beyond myself and add a service component as a way to tackle environmental issues. This started with my Personal Project in Grade 10 which was about upcycling used clothing. I decided to take it a step forward and started a club for people who are interested in fashion and design to express their talents in a sustainable way.
Especially living in Japan where the concern for waste product accumulation is overlooked and the act of reusing and recycling is not very common, I thought that the actions taken by the group would be very meaningful. In relation to fashion, there are many cheap fast fashion industries towering the streets of Tokyo and Yokohama. For people who have grown up in an environment as such, I think that educating the students at YIS about the harm of textile waste is a very effective way for students to start thinking critically about the fashion industry and what they buy.
As a way to take action to spread awareness about the issues with fast fashion and the importance of sustainability, the group decided to conduct an activity at Food Fair to appeal to a larger audience. We decided to use old clothing and fabric ranging from table clothes to curtains to someone’s little brother’s cargo pants as a base for bandana making. As a skill taught to us last year in design, we decided to incorporate stenciling as well. Bringing a creative aspect into the project really appeals to a wider audience both older and younger. By running this bandana making activities at the Food Fair, we were able to inform people of what we are doing as a group and also hopefully made an impact on some of our guests to also start thinking critically about waste accumulation and possibly decline the next plastic bag offered to them while their running their shopping errands.
In a community where the act of recycling is only vaguely known and even more sparsely done, creating ideas and carrying these ideas out to promote sustainability in both fashion and beyond is the first step to start bringing the strain off of our environment. The slight changes in people’s lives that we can push without having them sacrifice the quality of life they are living, is the goal that I am hoping to achieve or at least begin to push forward.
As a next step for our group, we are planning to move away from the idea of just fashion and spread out a little more into what we can change in the community of YIS. For an example, we are planning to look more into the issue with plastic bottles and promote the use of individual bottles from home. Therefore, I feel as though as the leader for the sustainability project, stimulating the small acts is part of my responsibility to engage in the community.
Sustainability Project – Bandana Making at Food Fair
Les familles monoparentale sont les familles construire par un seul parent. En France, il y a une augmentation de familles monoparentales et il y a environ une famille sur cinq qui sont une famille monoparentale. En générale, il y a plus de mères isolé que les pères dans ces familles. Avant, les familles monoparentales étaient largement à cause de veuves et veufs. Mais maintenant, il y a plusieurs familles qui sont monoparentale par choix. Par exemple, beaucoup de familles sont monoparentale car les parents sont divorcé. Mais n’oublie pas qu’il y a aussi des difficultés d’être un parent toute seul. Parfois, il y a une large proportion de mères qui ne travaille pas à temps plein. À cause de ce problème, il y a des risques de pauvreté et de précarité sociale.
Les cas de familles monoparentales et les familles homoparentale sont toujours assimilées parce qu’ils ne se conformer par la famille traditionnelle.
La Belgique v.s La France
Tristement dans notre monde aujourd’hui, il y a beaucoup de gens qui veulent la divorce. Le nombre des divorces sont varié selon les differente pays. Des taux de divorce sont augmenté dans plusieurs de pays développés, mais c’est la plus élevé en Europe. Un pays qui a des taux de divorce plus élevé dans la monde, c’est la Belgique. Dans la Belgique, 70% de gens avoir un divorce. En totale, il y a environ 2.2 personne par 1,000 qui sont divorcé. Cela signifie que la Belgique a plus de gens qui sont divorcé que la France (1.9 personne par 1,000) chaque année. Mais en 1960, la France avait plus de divorces que Belgique avec 0.7 personne par 1,000 tandis que la Belgique avait 0.5. La croissance du nombres de gens divorcé sont plûtot stable. Au contraire en Belgique, les chiffres de nombres de divorces dans les années sont beaucoup plus fluctuant. Les taux de divorce sont plus élevés en Belgique mais les nombres de divorces eux-mêmes sont plus moins que la France. La Belgique avait presque 35,000 divorces en 2008 mais la France avait 130,000 personnes qui sont divorcé. Il n’y a pas beaucoup de différences entre les raisons de pourquoi les taux de divorce augmenté dans les deux pays. C’est parce que les femmes dans ces pays sont habilités. Donc la plupart de femmes qui sont divorcé peuvent chercher un travail facilement. Ça c’est importante pour les mères divorcées particulièrement parce qu’elles doivent s’occuper de leurs enfants aussi que eux-mêmes.
Engel, Pamela. “MAP: Divorce Rates Around The World.” Business Insider, Business Insider, 25 May 2014, www.businessinsider.com/map-divorce-rates-around-the-world-2014-5.
Smith, Oliver. “Mapped: The Countries with the Highest Divorce Rate.” The Telegraph, Telegraph Media Group, 26 Sept. 2016, www.telegraph.co.uk/travel/maps-and-graphics/mapped-countries-with-highest-divorce-rate/.
Mecredi 13 septembre 2017
J’en ai ras-le-bol de mon petit frère. Il est toujours ennuyeux et trop bruyant. Tu sais aujourd’hui, il a mangé mes bons bons que je cachais. C’est pas drôle ça!!! Il m’agace tous les jours quand je fais mes devoirs et quand je m’énerve…il va à mes parents comme un petit bébé. Je ne suis pas finis, écoute moi: quand mon petit frère va pleurer à mes parents, ils disent que c’est ma faute. QUE C’EST MA FAUTE!!! Je n’en reviens toujours pas! Mais mon frère, il n’est pas la plus mauvaise problème. Mes parents… imaginer que tu habites avec deux adultes qui ne comprennent pas la vie d’un ado. Ben, c’est l’enfer. Crois moi. Je toujours leurs demande que je veux plus d’indépendance parce que je suis assez grande et comme une adulte maintenant non? Mais c’est toujours la même histoire, “Non, tu es encore trop jeune d’être indépendant. Si tu voudrais plus de liberté, tu dois nous prover”. Alors, comment peux-je prover que je suis prêt d’être indépendant si ils ne me donnent riens de liberté? Je ne suis pas une bébé, tu sais? Tous mes amis droits être en de hors plus tard et plus fréquent. C’est pas juste!! Cher journal, aide-moi s’il tu plait.
Bon, il est tard donc je doit me coucher.
C’est le début de…
Le blog de Maho Nambu
Mecredi, 6 septembre 2017.
Le Tour du monde en 80… non, 5475 jours
Bonjour tous le monde! Je m’appelle Maho et je suis une adolescente qui veut commencer un blog. Alors, un peu de ma histoire: Je suis née le 30 juin à Hong Kong et j’ai vécu là jusqu’au 4 ans. Après, j’ai déménagé à Bruxelles et commencé l’école primaire là bas. Puis, ma famille a décidé à déménager encore à Hong Kong. Je suis resté dans la pays juste deux ans quand nous devions habiter en Europe encore. Je sais, je déménageais beaucoup! J’habitais à Bruxelles jusqu’au 3 ans et à Luxembourg pour 2 ans. Finalement, je suis retournée au Japon, mon pays d’origin.
Dans les plusieurs écoles, j’ai eu la chance de jouer beaucoup de sports et faire d’activités différentes. Par exemple, je jouais le foot depuis grade 8 et j’ai fait l’hockey en grade 6 et j’ai recommencé en grade 10. Pour l’activités, j’ai commencé de jouer le piano quand j’avais 8 ans et je continuais jusqu’au 13 ans. Oui, j’ai arrêté les leçons mais je continue à jouer dans mes temps libre. Et toi, tu aimes le sport?
Ma passion dans la Fashion:
À part de ma vie academic, j’aime beaucoup la mode. Mes parents travaillent dans l’industrie de la mode, donc ils passent leur passion à moi aussi. Dans mes temps libres, Je cherche les nouvelles mode et crée les tenues. Après l’université je voudrais faire quelques chose en relation à la mode.
Ben, je suis maintenant dans le grade 11 (Première) et j’ai commencé le Bac International. Je décidais à faire le Bac parce que c’est très utile pour nombreuse université en Europe mais aussi surtout dans le monde. À l’école, mes sujets préférés sont des sujets de sciences sociales. Donc, j’ai pris le Psychologie et le Géographie pour mes sujets supérieur. Les sciences sociales, c’est très intéressantes non?
7 Septembre, 2017
Pour moi, la famille est quelque chose de la familiarité et l’assurance d’être la personne que tu es. J’espère que c’est un mot universelle et tous le monde est contente avec ses familles. À mon avis, l’importance d’un famille est que tous les personnes sont heureux avec uns des autres. Pour les enfants, la vie familiale a un grand impact sur leur vie donc c’est très important d’être un relation saine avec la famille. Pour vivre en harmonie, la balance entre la temp avec la famille et le temp sans famille est important. Personnellement, Je voudrais plus de liberté de faire des chose toute seule. Il y a parfois les temps que je dispute avec ma famille. Généralement les sujets de discussions sont sur les choses comme le manque de aider les corvée dans la maison mais pas les choses trop sérieux. La famille monoparentale est une famille avec juste un parent (mère ou père). Il y a quelques amis de moi qui a une famille monoparentale et je pense que il n’y a pas la nécessité d’avoir deux parents si la famille est contente. Je pense que la marriage était toujours populaire avant et ce sera populaire dans la future aussi. La raison que les gens marier varié mais je pense que la raison principale est l’amour. Parce que mes parents sont assez strict, je voudrais être plus libre avec mes enfants. Mais je voudrais aussi être impliqué car il y aurais les temps que les enfants veulent l’avis de leur parents.
Throughout the year of PSHE 10 we digged a little deeper into the aspects of wellness in our lives. One factor of wellness which I really developed through the year would be my physical health. I joined two varsity sports teams (Field Hockey and Football) in order to keep in shape. However, I found out that I gained much more than “staying fit” through the team sports that I participated in. I knew that exercise helped with brain circulation and it did in fact help me to be productive at home. Also, by having something to fill up my schedule, it stopped me from procrastinating. I chose field sports because I generally enjoy running and also moved me to be more agile even in everyday life. On more of a minor note, sports pushed me to drink a lot of water which I tend to forget when I am not thirsty. Therefore, through sports I was able to maintain my physical health. I also adapted my lifestyle so I could move around more. Since we spend a large amount of time working while sitting down, I tried to walk whenever I could instead of asking my mom for a ride.
Another aspect of joining a sports team was my development of social wellness. I say this because throughout the season I established a sense of teamwork and a bond with the team. Being able to communicate with my teammates and getting to know them both on and off the field expanded my interaction with people from different grades. I feel like being on a team with different grades burns down the social hierarchy between the grades. By breaking through the split between grades, I was able to get an insight on what was going on in the other grades. Also, by getting to know the people from older grades in particular, I was able to ask for advice in both my academic life as well as my social life. As I briefly stated before, I was able to understand the importance of communication. When you are part of a team, you are given responsibility (to cover a certain position for an instance). This required me to be more openminded and to think about the people around me and not just about myself. I found that this was what I found most challenging because unlike individual sports, when you are given the responsibility, you are holding something for the whole team. So if you let down yourself, you also let down the team. The pressure involved in this might have been the scariest part of the commitment to a team.
Pre-Game Huddle (Football)
Another development of my social wellness was through my establishment of the Sustainability Project. This really helped me to grow as a leader but to also think socially smart. I knew that I needed to take control but also think about others so they didn’t get hurt by my words or actions. For an example, we would have group discussions which would turn quite quickly into a debate because we have a large group of people who are very passionate. In cases like this, I would have to cut into the middle to cool down the discussion, regain control and to direct the discussion to its initial goal. Although hard at times, collaborating with others and adding to community really kept me socially in health as well. As a way of time management I have also made sure to keep everyone updated and remind the group before every meeting.
(Pre-Meeting Email Screenshot)
There are many things we take for granted such as the people that we interact with everyday. But by taking a moment and realising the impact those people have on us make us really feel thankful for them. The acknowledgement of our friends and family may be what also contributes to our social wellness.
Activitié 1: Tu as compris?
- Château de Chenonceau
- Par car
- Le guide touristque
- Visiter le chateau et faire le tourism
- Hector a disparu
Activitié 2: Qui…
- Céline, Hector et Virginie
- Céline et peut-être Virginie aussi
- Céline et Virginie
Activité 3: Le journal de Céline
- a acheté
- est parti
- est arrivés
- a cherché
Activité 4: Cherche les expressions
- A ton avis…
- C’est magnifique!
- C’est pas vrai!
Activité 5: Et maintenant, à toi
Je pense que Hector a trouvé la viste un peu ennuyeux donc il voulait faire quelque-chose interessant. Si j’étais à la place de Céline et Virginie, je voudrais téléphoner Hector.