GCD Global Understanding Reflection

In AISA volleyball tournament in Busan, I was able to meet and interact with students from Korea International School (KIS) and Seoul International School (SIS). It was interesting to see the differences between my old Korean friends in public schools and my new Korean friends in international school.


Attending to an international school is definitely a privilege, at least in some aspects. Being a member of AISA gives the students in the school a chance to meet students from other schools and countries, allowing them to expanding their knowledge in cultures and backgrounds. I personally heard stories from KIS and SIS about different learning environment, events and experiences, which I am very appreciative about. The public school that I attended did not even have volleyball and there were no tournaments or fun events where different schools come together and interact. In Korea, the interaction is usually limited to the school itself, and students do not get to interact with those from other schools unless they have known them previously. I believe that similar culture exists in Japanese public schools, which leads to my point that both in Korea and Japan, attending an international school benefits the student.


Now, the question is, why does not everyone attend an international school? The answer lies in concepts I learned from the Economics class. As much as the international schools offer a variety of experiences, it is very expensive to build and sustain one. Thus, in order for the school to keep its business – although not all schools desire profit – the school needs to charge the students a high price. I remember hearing my parents discuss the price of YIS as we moved to Japan, and the word that I remember the most is “expensive”. The issue is that since the price is high, only those with high income can sent their children to international school. This seems fine until we think about the concept of equity. Do international schools aim to provide the experiences to the world in general? Or do they target rich families only? It is arguable that the potential to grow as a great global citizen lies in all children, regardless of their parents’ income. If so, wouldn’t it be more fair for everyone to get a chance to join the international school community, and have the experiences like the ones I had in AISA? I believe that the concept I will study soon, distribution of income, could help the economy ensure the equity in general, which could potentially help the fair distribution of opportunities to be a part of the international community. I would very much like to see more and more students going abroad and interacting with each other, making this world more colorful and interesting.

GCD Inter-Cultural Communication Reflection

For my 9th-grade field studies, I could choose between going to either Izu or Phuket. The trip to Phuket included interacting with children from Myanmar, and I was appealed to that opportunity and decided to choose Phuket.


During the trip, we played soccer, sang together, and had conversations with the Burmese children. The interesting fact is none of them could speak any English. Some of my friends tried to introduce themselves in English or teach them some words, but it didn’t work out well. However, when I looked at the kids in front of me, I could see that they were interested in what I was trying to communicate with them. And I could clearly see that they had common knowledge as me in many areas.


For example, when we were playing soccer, I raised my hand and yelled out “Hey!” to the boy with the ball, and he naturally passed the ball to me. When I pointed at some direction, one boy actually ran into that space, showing that he understands sophisticated tactics in soccer. Also, during halftime, I pointed at our goal, and pointed at myself, and said “goalie, goalie”. Then my teammates all nodded, and I knew they understood that I wanted to be the goalie. All of this communication happened without a single English sentence spoken, and although it was very tough, I was very happy and proud to be able to communicate thoughts with Burmese children and learn that our knowledge has a lot of similarities (including liking soccer!).


Another experience I had in Phuket was finding the children learning how to communicate with us very quickly. When I tried to take a picture with the boys, in the beginning, they seemed like they feel awkward and didn’t know what to do. However, after we took a photo together, when I held up my phone they quickly gathered around. One of the boys even quickly came next to me so that he could take a photo alone with me.


When I had to say goodbye, I taught them how to do a quick handshake. They learned quickly and continuously asked me and my friends to do handshakes. Here are the videos my friends doing it and me doing it.


I was honestly afraid before the trip that it would be awkward to be around the children not being able to understand anything. However, as soon as I started interacting with them, my worries went away and I realized that it is easier than I expected to communicate with children from other cultures.


This made me wonder if people from different cultures are having too much worry about being not able to communicate with each other. When I visited my hometown in Korea a lot of my friends asked me if it was hard to live outside of Korea. When I told them that it is very convenient and full of experience, they all looked surprised and asked me, “But don’t you use English all the time?”. Then I had an idea that perhaps my friends are limiting themselves with a common thought that communication requires using the same language.


I think effective communication does not necessarily require coming from the same country and using the same language. Even if two people do come from the same background, there can always be miscommunication. On the other side, even if two people come from different culture, communication is definitely possible since we share similar thoughts and knowledge. It takes courage and effort to make it happen but once it works, I believe that people can gain wonderful experiences through intercultural communication just like I did.


GCD Community Engagement Reflection


One of the ways that I constantly engaged with the YIS Community is by organizing performances that target the student body and aim to satisfy their taste in music. In 9th grade, I performed a song by Arctic Monkeys, “R U Mine?” as the band was very popular amongst our grades and I believed that the song would bring out a good reaction. The performance went great, and the audience absolutely loved it. The following year, there was a rising news about the new Korean classmate, Simon, being a good singer. After watching him sing a Japanese animation theme song in Karaoke, I decided that the community would really appreciate to see him on stage. I talked to Simon and with a lot of support, we performed the most famous Japanese animation theme song at the time, “Zen Zen ZenSe”. The crowd cheered as Simon stood on the stage, and we received a lot of great comments mentioning how it was surprising and great to see him sing.


As such, I have always adjusted my plans for performances according to what kind of music the community likes, and what kind of show the school would like to see. I believe that without these considerations, performance becomes very self-centered and almost for self-satisfaction. I do not like that. I perform for the community, and I have always sought for ways to satisfy them. Once I planned a performance to interact with the audience more so that they can be engaged during the show too. This was in 2017 summer assembly, where I performed “YMCA” with the teacher choir and YIS Music Production. I thought that the simple dance would attract the audience to be engaged, and it worked beautifully. Everyone stood up and started dancing, and the show was a great success.


Planning a performance in an international community could be hard since everyone has a different background and taste. This was the big challenge that I have faced since I aimed to satisfy as many people as possible. Perhaps the factor that leads me to be successful is constantly talking to my peers from different backgrounds and trying to understand their taste. By doing so, I was able to get a general idea of the community’s interest in terms of performances and find the common ground where I could plan a performance to entertain the community the most.



Another club through which I engaged to the YIS community is Sustainability. In this student-organized service activity, we aim to raise awareness about wasted clothes that damage the environment and ways to recycle clothes. Upcycling is the main method that we advocate, which includes taking used clothes or materials and turning them into items that we can wear and use. For food fair, we gathered used clothing through clothing drive and turned them into small pieces that people can use to make their own bandanas with. Then, we allowed people to buy a piece of cloth, choose their favorite pattern, and use a stencil to make a creative bandana. Throughout this, we explained what upcycling is and its importance in saving the environment, in order to raise the awareness about upcycling. I believe that YIS community is a great service community that reaches out to different parts of Yokohama and help others, but it can improve in having more awareness about the environment in general, and that is where the Sustainability club comes in.

During service week, I wore a blank white coat, on top of which people drew different designs to turn a white plastic coat into a fashionable item. This was another attempt to raise awareness about upcycling and Sustainability, and we aimed to target the younger community in YIS as well. A wide variety of students and teachers came by and drew on the coat, and it turned out to be very creative and fashionable.

As the PR manager in the club, I aim to further raise awareness in YIS community through interactive and engaging activities and advertisements. Sustainability and upcycling could be a boring topic to read about, but if we use exciting and friendly methods to inform the community about its importance, we can successfully take a step towards saving the environment. I can perhaps improve in actually making products in the club since I have always been lacking talent in creating products with hands. In 2019 we are planning to contribute in Grade 10’s Design class fashion show, in which we can have a short activity where we can share information about upcycling and gather some interest and potential members in the club.

Making bandanas at Food Fair

Service Week activity

Service Week activity


GCD Wellness Reflection

Physical Wellness –


(June 2017)


I wasn’t necessarily interested in sports or believed that I have sports ability. Then, I decided do 20-30 push ups every other day, to make sure that my body stays fit. Also, I was interested in volleyball, and I decided to do vertical workouts with my friends, including squats and lateral jumps, to improve my vertical jump.


Now, I attend all of the volleyball sessions that the school offers, and I often play during lunch in the playground to develop my skills. I also have been attending soccer practices at YCAC on Sundays, and this allowed me to improve my athletic ability and keep up my physical health.

This start of regular routine allowed me to gain more muscle and sports sense. I wonder if I can further develop this over summer and get more game time in the volleyball team next year.


(August 2017)


Here we go. Volleyball season started and I made it to varsity this year as well. But I need to improve a lot to be able to have game time. I will keep working on my skills and vertical so that I can develop as a strong player. Of course, I will attend all of three practices each week with my team.


(September 2017)


I see some light. For the first time, I successfully spiked a B-quick set. This took a lot of trials with Shaun setting, but I am so happy that it worked. I am planning to keep trying the quick sets with Shaun during free time in practices. I feel like my body can coordinate better now, and the rhythm of the spike is embedded in me now. Now I have to make sure that I can spike it every time.


(November 2017)


The season is over, but I am happy. I made a few successful spikes throughout the season, and my vertical jump also increased. I have never been this athletic before, and I can feel that my muscles have grown. I wonder if I can extend this work further and become a more stable athlete. (Season highlight!)


Overall Reflection


The idea of physical wellness was not something familiar with me until I started volleyball. My wellness more focused on academics and social wellness, and I thought that physical wellness is for athletes only. However, as I started playing volleyball, I realised that  my body physically started to become stronger and that it actually helped my wellness in academics and social wellness as well. As I came home after tiring practices, my mind was fresher and I was able to focus more on my work. Also, I kept looking forward to the practices throughout the week – to use my muscles and get tired – which also made my time in school more exciting and my work time more efficient. Thus, the volleyball experience has taught me that being physically well can influence other wellnesses and that it is important to keep up the physical health.


Social Wellness –


(June 2017)


To ensure that I update and get updates from my peers about our daily lives, I keep up snapchat streaks with 10 of my friends in my grade. I also frequently check other social media, such as facebook, to check updates of my friends’ lives. As much as social media is a big part of our lives, it is an effective way to stay connected with my friends and take care of my social wellness. One question that I have is if there are other ways to stay connected with friends without using electronic devices. Perhaps I should contact my friends and ask them to meet in person more often.


Overall Reflection


Using social media indeed helped my social wellness in terms of increasing the frequency of communication with peers. However, it also lead me to think: is social media the best way to interact? I experimented this by investigating how I feel when I am conversing with my friends online versus when I am meeting them in real life. I realised in the end that I enjoy spending time meeting my friends in real life much more. Thus, I decided to spend more time in socialising with my friends in real life – at school or during weekends – to improve my social wellness. Meanwhile, social media still remains as one of my tools to keep check of my social wellness, since it is still the main mode of communication between people nowadays. Perhaps being more open and present when communicating online could improve the quality of time spent on social media and make it a more efficient way to benefit social wellness.

Editorial in response to “Pope Francis: freedom of expression has limits” (January 16, 2015 in The Guardian, London, England)

Freedom of Expression ensures that one could freely express any opinion without censorship, and limiting the “freedom” would simply contradict its existence.


Commenting on the Paris attack, Pope Francis mentioned that “Every religion has its dignity” and “One cannot insult other people’s faith”. It is true that the speaker should be cautious in the gray area of offensive language. However, since there is no defined rule for an expression being ‘offensive’, one’s interpretation of it decides the level of insult. For example, a more secular person would have had a less negative view on Charlie Hebdo, compared to Pope. While the speaker should be careful, the listener should also contribute in effectively resolving conflicts occurred by offensive expression.


Since people have different standards in offense, it is crucial to communicate effectively when one is offended. Islamic terrorists’ shooting was overreactive and it should not initiate the loss of a fundamental human right. It is one’s right to freely express any opinions, and if certain groups are offended they should take a peaceful approach to inform the speaker and, if needed, apply legal punishment. Freedom of Expression should not be limited and the world should improve on sharing opinions and ideas peacefully.

Juliet’s love story


Zeffirelli, Franco. Juliet. Digital image. Funmail. Funmail, 23 Nov. 1968. Web. 23 May 2016.

Once you find your perfect lover, is it going to be all romantic and happy? Will you live a beautiful love life, like the one you always dreamed of? Here, we interview a beautiful lover Juliet, also known as the Capulet’s daughter, and learn about her love life with Romeo as well as some conflicts.


 We’re assuming that the first time you met Romeo is memorable. What was your first impression of Romeo?

  • First it was mysterious since I didn’t know him, but after talking for 5 minutes I realised that we’re perfect for each other. I was making tough references to pilgrims and saints to kind of push him away a bit, but he quickly joined in and made his way through to kiss me! As we kept talking I felt a strong attraction to him and I know he felt the same way to me too. Not only did he have such flawless appearance, but he was also intelligent and witty.


How did you feel when you realised he’s a Montague?

  • Oh my, it was painful. A perfect man for me just appeared in my life, and the only thing that was dragging us apart was his name and the group he’s in, which in the end means nothing! The fact that I couldn’t do anything about it also really bugged me.


 So how did it work out with Romeo?

  • Pretty good actually. Although it was really tough to spend time with him since my parents will kill me if they find out. We met up after party and talked for a bit more. There we realised that we really love each other and built further plans. Then thanks to friar Lawrence, we got united as one. *smiles* I would also like to thank my dear Nurse, who has always been there to listen to me and also organised the marriage.


 We heard you’re really close to Nurse. How’s the relationship between you two?

  • Nurse is the person that I’ll go to if I have to talk about anything or ask something. To be honest, it’s really tough to open up to my parents and talk about my problems since it won’t change anything and just disturb them. Nurse is definitely the closest friend I have and I’m really happy that she is.


 Were there any problems caused by having relationship with Romeo?

  • I remember my mother mentioning this guy called Paris and suggesting marrying him, but I’m already married to Romeo, my true love, and we can’t be separated. Yet I don’t want to live against my parents, so there’s a bit of a problem there. But I don’t think they will tell me to marry him anytime soon.


What would you do if they tell you to marry Paris?

  • If they do, I’ll go to friar Lawrence first. I believe the wise man can come up with a solution where I don’t have to betray my parents and still love Romeo. If he doesn’t have any, *sighs* well… I don’t think I can live while I’m married to a man other than Romeo.


 Do you think the relationship with Romeo is worth the risks and problems?

  • Romeo and I are joined, and I love him more than anything. There are some risks due to the ongoing conflict between our families, but I can endure them for the love I get from Romeo. Besides, Nurse and friar Lawrence are always there to help us, so I’m not really worried about the negative side of the relationship.


 Where do you see yourself in five years?

  • I’m not really sure. If our parents are still against our relationship, we’ll probably keep meeting during nights. I really hope they accept our relationship so that we can live together without concerns though.


 Are you planning on having kids?

  • Wow, I haven’t thought that far yet. But I wish Romeo and I can at least get together soon. We’re married, but we haven’t shared our love yet. You know, there’s that final step to truly be connected… *blushes*  Oh sorry, to answer the question, if our parents allow us to continue our relationship, I guess we will have kids. But once again, I’m not sure if they ever will.

Tourism questions

  1. What were the top three countries in terms in international arrivals in 2014
    1. France
    2. U.S
    3. Spain
  2. What were the top three countries in terms of international receipts in 2014?
    1. U.S
    2. Spain
    3. China
  3. Explain the difference in patterns depicted by your answers of question 1 and 2.
    1. France drops to 4th place when it comes to international receipts. Perhaps people just want to see France, not buy products from the country.
  4. Describe the recent trends of tourism in Africa.
    1. More people are visiting and spending money in Africa. The increment isn’t as big as other country’s.
  5. Describe the changes in international tourist arrivals between 1950 and 2010. (p.14)
    1. The arrivals increased from almost nothing to 1.8 billion in total.
  6. In your opinion, why has tourism increased since the 1950s?
    1. The transportation has developed, allowing people to move between countries more easily.

Blogpost about Columbus

In InS we watched two videos about Christopher Columbus where people tried to explain the ‘truth’.



I was aware of killing and stealing that Columbus did during his ‘discovery’ of America, but I learned more about it in detail. However, my perspective didn’t change. Columbus has made an important discovery of the land of America which made Europeans move in/invade and form a society. On the other hand, he did unethical things during the process. He is a bad guy who connected the world. That is my perspective of Columbus.


Again, I didn’t know a lot about what native Americans suffered from. After watching the videos, I feel more sympathy towards them, and so my perspective has changed. They are the victims of European’s significant discovery, who were put in unacceptable situations like being killed by lack of gold they could find.



To read history and be aware of biases, I have to question how much of what really happened the information covers. What is not covered can be extremely important, and there are some cases where people find out the unrevealed fact of an event and be surprised. History is always told from different perspectives and being aware of other perspectives will help us be ware of biases.



I would focus on the significance of the discovery that Columbus made, and unethical events that happened. It will explain why people envy Columbus so much that they have a day with his name, but also open reader’s perspective and show that Columbus isn’t a nice ethical hero.



My reading focused on how a story of an event can be told different. It repetitively mentioned difference between the story Columbus told about the new land he found, and the one Las Casas wrote about.









Twins separated at birth

To quickly summarise, this video that we watched in InS shows a secret experiment where twins were separated after birth and one of them found the other one after 35 years. They share lots of similarities and some of them are rare. The experiment supports the idea of nature affecting human behaviours more than nurture.

– What unethical decision was responsible for the situation described in this video?

Although it would’ve not worked if the twins were told that they were being experimented, I believe it was unethical to secretly conduct the experiment, while the subjects didn’t even know that they were for 35 years.

– Can you think of situation when it might be justified to be unethical in the pursuit of scientific knowledge of genetics or evolution?

We often use animals to conduct experiments and some of them die. However, the scientific knowledge we get that helps the humans being develop justifies the unethical act.

– What is the most powerful evidence in this video that nature is more           influential than nurture in explaining, predicting, or understanding                 human behavior?

The twins never knew that they had each other, and they met 35 years after they were born. They should’ve had different experiences, but they still share similarities including the German movie they like. As far as we know, the environment they grew in aren’t similar, but their natural factors create these similarities they share. It clearly shows that nature is more influential than nurture in human behaviour.