Advanced acadamics

After the end of 9th grade, during the summer I went to a pre-university program in England. I wanted to go to this pre-university program as I wanted to study in depth the topic that I want to study when I go to university and improve on the parts that I am weak at.

I went to a university in Cambridge through a program called “Summer Discovery” for three weeks. During the program, I took psychology and a writing course. This was the first time going to a camp and traveling on my own. This was a nervous experience for me as this camp was a whole new experience for me. The main aim of this camp was for me to get out of my comfort zone and become independent. My second aim was to learn in depth what psychology is in order for me to see if I actually enjoy the topic or not.      

During 9th grade, I found psychology an interesting topic to study. However, what I have learned at school was just a small bit of a big topic, Therefore, I wanted to see what psychology was in depth before choosing my IB courses. The course was taught by a Cambridge professor and the class consisted of high school students from all around the world. However, most of the classmates had a good knowledge of psychology unlike me who was learning the basics for the first time. I attend the class every weekday for three hours and a half in the morning. During the course, we had to do a psychological experiment and write a report and we also had to study for a test at the end of the course. The course was taught just like a normal school class where we would be taught about a psychology topic and then debate issues about it afterward.

For the first few days of class, I was worried that I might be wrong as the topics were something that I was not familiar with so I did not talk when we were debating. However, after figuring out the best way for me to learn I started to prepare for the next class beforehand as we were given handouts that we were going to be studying next class. I figured out that I was more of a visual learner. Therefore, I started drawing and writing down each of the things I needed to know for the class such as the different parts of the brain or the different case studies just like the pictures below.

Another course I took in Cambridge is a creative writing course. This was a course where we learned how to do creative writing. I took this course because I was not confident in my creative writing as I thought I lacked in creativity. I attended this course for two hours every weekday in the afternoon. In this class, the teacher taught us how to write a good creative story as well as poems. We did activities where we had to write a poem or a story just by looking at a picture just like the poem below.  


A room

soaked in

crystal water,


Where my son


Lays quietly.




at him.



for him to turn around


for him to come back           


The summer program has challenged me academically as the topics being taught were something that I would normally not study as they were more advanced. I also think it was more challenging because I was not used to the long hours of studying just one subject in depth. Another challenge was that I was alone and had no one to really rely on fully. This was challenging for me as when I am at home I tend to rely on my parents to help me during my tough times. However, during the three week time, I had to rely on myself to get through the tough times that I had come across while studying because at first I was not used to the environment that I was studying in. Therefore, the first few days I was struggling to keep up with the amount of work that I had for each of my classes because I wasn’t feeling comfortable. However, after meeting new friends I think that I was able to adjust to the environment much quicker and get used to the intense studying routine that I had. 

Inter cultural communication

During my school years, I have learned English as my first foreign language and Japanese as my second foreign language. I have been learning Japanese since elementary school and as living in Japan, it was hard to communicate with the people around me without having the ability to speak Japanese. When I first started learning Japanese I never thought that I would get to a level where I can speak the language fluently. For me, learning Japanese was much easier compared to learning English because Japanese is similar to my mother tough which is Korean as it has a similar grammar structure. By living in Japan, it has helped me to learn more about the culture through all of the daily experiences that are hard to be learned through books or movies. By having basic Japanese I was able to listen to the Japanese spoken around me and pick up some of the words that I learned in class and even learn new words.

As a Christian in Japan, it was hard for me to find a church as I was not fluent in the language to understand the stories being taught. Therefore, I lost connection with my religion. However, after learning Japanese for a few years I was able to attend a church. At first, it was challenging just to understand the story. Therefore, after each story, I went up to the pastor and asked him to tell me the story with simpler words and slowly. By going up to the pastor I had to push myself to speak Japanese to ask questions about the story. At first, I was shy to ask questions because I was afraid of making a mistake when speaking Japanese. However, in the course of the time I was able to ask questions without being afraid of making a mistake.  


After a few years of going to church, I had the courage to gather a few people from my church to go to a park nearby to tell people stories of God. However, at first, it was hard to talk about GOD to people as sometimes they would not understand what I was trying to communicate due to the lack of Japanese skill that I had. So, I started to add in body language to communicate with people. People were understanding my body language but I felt like they were not understanding the deeper meaning of my religion. Therefore, before the second time, I had to study the vocabulary in order to tell people about GOD to Japanese people. By learning the new vocabulary it helped me to develop my polite Japanese. During the second time, I was able to talk with more confidence to the people around me about God and people was understanding what I was trying to say better than the first time.


Through this experience, I was able to learn how important learning a new language to a fluent level is in order to tell people something that is a big and important part of my life. It also made me realize the importance of the language when using it as a tool to communicate because the things I was trying to communicate was able to be communicated through body language. However, body language limited the communication that was happening as it did not let people understand the deeper meaning that I wanted to communicate. Therefore, I learned to appreciate the language that we use every day as I learned how language can help us have a deeper understanding of a subject.  

Academic Skills

In the first two years of my high school, I demonstrated several ATL skills such as organization, collaboration and transfer skills in most of my classes and in the projects outside of the classes.

I think that the organization skill is one of the most important skills that we need in order to improve the studying as it relates to planning which is the first step in doing anything. By using this skill I was able to use my time more effectively and more wisely. I was able to use this skill during my personal project. The personal project was a project that was added additionally to our school work. This meant that if I was not organized I would fall behind in both my school work and in this project. Also, this project was a year-long project meaning that if I do not organize my schedule well enough I would not have finished the project in time or rushed it during the end of the project to get it done. Managing my time was important during the last few months of this project as that was when we started writing our final essay which was complex. By writing down each of the small steps that I had to do it helped me to not get lost in what I had to do. The action plan helped me to finish my project in time without having to rush things.    


Tasks Time required Resources Notes / Reflections


Date Complete
Milestone: Research
Research about the cause of sleep deprivation 30 min Do it in my research log Aug. 31
Research about the effects of sleep deprivation 30 min Do it in my research log Aug. 31
Research about how to get good sleep 30 min Do it in my research log Sep.1
Research about actual experiment done by experts 30 min Do it in my research log Sep.13
Read a book about sleep deprivation and understand it 2 hours Do it in my research log Sep.13 but changed to Oct.3
Milestone: Write annotated bibliography
Write annotated bibliography 20 min Oct.5
Hand in annotated bibliography 5 Upload it on managebac Oct.6
Milestone: Writing Success Criterion
Brainstorm success criteria 15 min Finish before mentor meeting Think about my final product and what it needs to be successful Oct.7
Write success criteria according to brainstorm 30 min Finish before mentor meeting and get it checked Think about my final product and what it needs to be successful Oct.7


Also, during the personal project, I had to organize the research that I did. This was important as if my notes were not organized and easy for me to understand later it would have taken me a long time to finish my final product. I first had to think about how I learn the best in and how I can use that specific method to make my notes understandable to me. After doing some research on the ways to take notes I realized that I understood better if I the notes were written in full sentences or in bullet points. That is why I have written my personal projects notes in a specific method.

Effects of sleep deprivation 1


  1. Sleepiness causes accidents

It is proven that not enough amount of sleep can cause accidents and injuries. In a study workers who complained about lack of sleep had more amount of repeated work accidents.

  1. Sleep loss can make you stupid

Lack of sleep can interfere with cognitive processes which can mess the ability to think.While you are sleeping various sleep cycles play a role in consolidating memories in mind. This means that if you don’t get enough sleep, you won’t be able to remember what you learned and did throughout the day.    

  1. Sleep deprivation can lead to serious health problems
  • Heart attack
  • Heart diseases
  • Heart failure
  • Irregular heartbeat
  • High blood pressure
  • Stroke
  • Diabetes
  1. Lack of sleep kills sex drives

A study published in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism in 2002 says that most men with sleep apnea have low testosterone levels. Nearly half of the men who lack sleep have abnormally low level of testosterone levels during the night.

  1. Lack of sleep can lead to depression

In a 2007 study of 10,000 people, people with insomnia were 5 times more likely to develop depression compared to the ones without. In fact, insomnia is often one of the first symptoms of depression.

  1. Lack of sleep can age your skin

When people don’t get enough sleep their body releases more stress hormone cortisol. With too much stress hormone the skin collagen can break down. Sleep loss can cause the body to release a little amount of human growth hormone than normal. This hormone helps little children grow and old people to help increase muscle mass, thicken skin and strengthen bones. According to expert Phil Gehrman the human growth hormone is released when the body is in deep sleep and it seems as if it is part of normal tissue repair.  

  1. Sleepiness makes you forgetful

In 2009 American and French researchers found out a brain event called “sharp wave ripples” which is responsible for consolidating memory. These ripples transfer learned from the hippocampus to the neocortex of the brain, where long-term memories are stored.

  1. Lack of sleep can make the you gain weight

Lack of sleep can lead to hunger. According to a 2004 study, people who sleep less than 6 hours a day were almost 30% more likely to become obese. There is a high risk of increase in type 2 diabetes.    

  1. Lack of sleep can lead to high risk of death

“Whitehall II study” British researchers looked into how sleep pattern affect the morality of more than 10000 British people for over two decades. The results published in 2007 said that people who sleep 7 to 5 hours or less a night almost double the risk of death from all causes. In particular Cardiovascular disease. This disease is according to NHS choices( a condition that is affecting the heart or the blood vessels. It usually happens due to buildup of fatty deposits inside the arteries.      

  1. Lack of sleep impairs judgment, especially about sleep

Lack of sleep can affect our judgment about things happening at that moment. This ability messes with our ability to make sound because we may not access the situation accurately and act upon wisely. Sleep deprived people seem to have a poor judgment when thinking about what lack of sleep is doing to them. Studies done overtime show that people who sleep less than 8 hours for a long period their body gets used to it. However, if you look at how those people do in mental alertness and performance test they don’t do well and their results keep going downhill.


The second ATL skill that I improved throughout the two years of my high school is collaboration skill. Collaboration is an important skill when working as a group as it is important to listen to everyone’s ideas and come up with a conclusion that everyone is satisfied with. I was able to improve my collaboration skill in design and P.E. In design I had to work in a group of three and come up with a clothing brand. This assessment was about tackling a problem in the world with fashion. We first had to agree on what type of clothing we wanted to create and how we wanted to create it. We all had different fashion problems we wanted to tackle. Therefore, it was somewhat complex at the start to come up with a theme for our brand. To come up with a theme for the clothing brand we brainstormed three of the different fashion problems separately about how the problem can be tackled and found the similar tacking method for all three of the problems. This then became our theme for our clothing brand. In P.E I had to work in a group of three to come up with dance moves for a minute and a half to a song called “That’s what I like”. This was one of the hardest group work that I had to do as all three people in the group had a very different dance style which were all unique. To overcome this problem we came up with dance moves for the same part and combined the parts together together to create something all three group members are satisfied with.


The last ATL skill that I improved is transfer skill. Transfer skill is important as it can help you use the skills that you already have in other contexts. I was able to use this skill during my science and I&S project. During the science project on finding which electricity the hotel should use,  I was able to use the organization skills that I learned during the personal project. This science project was an in-class assessment where we had to write an essay. We were allowed to bring one A4 paper of notes. Like I have explained before, during the project I was able to improve my note taking skills as I researched about the different types of note-taking methods and found a specific method that fit me. Therefore, I was able to transfer the organization skill and take notes in a way I would understand(my science notes down below).


Total power output of useful energy of all the lightbulbs in all rooms and restaurants(kW)

  • Incandescent typeⅠ:60W, 800Lm, 200yen, 2000hrs
  • Incandescent typeⅡ:200W, 3200Lm, 1000yen, 2000hrs
  • LED typeⅠ:10W, 800Lm, 2000yen, 30000hrs
  • LED typeⅡ:40W, 3200Lm, 6000yen, 30000hrs

Total power output of useful energy of all the lightbulbs in all rooms and restaurants

  • – Incandescent typeⅠ: 0.06[kW]×200[room]×4[/room]=48[kW]
  •   – Incandescent typeⅡ: 0.2[kW]×2[restaurant]×50[/restaurant]=20[kW]
  • Total power output of Incandescent = 68[kW]
  • – LED typeⅠ:0.01[kW]×200[room]×4[/room]=8[kW]
  • – LED typeⅡ:0.04[kW] ×2[restaurant]×50[/restaurant]=4[kW]
  • Total power output of LED = 12[kW]

Energy consumption = Power output × time of use(kWh)

<Incandescent for a day>

  • – Incandescent typeⅠ: 48[kW]×4[hour]=192[kWh]
  •   – Incandescent typeⅡ: 20[kW]×8[hour]=160[kWh]
  • -> Energy consumption a day = 352[kWh]

<LED for a day>

  • – Incandescent typeⅠ: 8[kW]×4[hour]=32[kWh]
  •   – Incandescent typeⅡ: 4[kW]×8[hour]=32[kWh]
  • -> Energy consumption a day = 64[kWh]
  • ・Total energy × Price per kWh = Total energy cost

<Energy cost for a day>

  • – Incandescent: 352[kWh]×20[yen/kWh]=7040[yen]
  •   – LED: 64[kWh]×20[yen/kWh]=1280[yen]

Total energy cost + the cost of purchasing the light bulbs

<As for Incandescent>

  • – Total energy cost: 7048[yen/day]×365[day] ×5[year]=12.862.600[yen] — ①
  •   – The cost of purchasing the light bulbs:
  • 200[yen] ×200[room]×4[/room]×4[considering lifetime of bulb]=640,000[yen] — ②
  • 1000[yen]×2[restaurant]×50[/restaurant]×8[considering lifetime of bulb] =800,000[yen] — ③
  • ★Total energy cost + the cost of purchasing the light bulbs = ①+②+③ = 14,302,600

<As for LED>

  • – Total energy cost: 1280[yen/day]×365[day] ×5[year]=2,336,000[yen] — ①
  •   – The cost of purchasing the light bulbs:
  • 2000[yen] ×200[room]×4[/room]×1[considering lifetime of bulb]=160,000[yen] — ②
  • 6000[yen]×2[restaurant]×50[/restaurant]×1[considering lifetime of bulb] =600,000[yen] — ③
  • ★Total energy cost + the cost of purchasing the light bulbs = ①+②+③ = 3,096,000


Which light is better?

  • Economical benefits- LED efficiency saves money over time, uses less electricity
    • Lifespan: LED requires less repairing and replacement
  • Environmental Benefit- Less electricity consumption leads to less pollution
    • Uses less electricity to produce the same light- less greenhouse gas emission  
    • Contains no toxic elements.
    • Fluorescent strip contain mercury
      • Contaminate the environment(lands) when disposing


During the I&S project, we had to research about a specific addiction or mental issue and compare two different countries. For this project, I chose to research about alcohol addiction and compared Korea and UK. I was able to use the research skill that I learned through the personal project as I had to do in-depth research about the two different countries and why a lot of people have alcohol addiction issues. I had to search through various lenses, for instance, I had to research the culture of the two different countries(Just like the research below). In addition, I was also able to transfer the organization skill that I learned through the personal project. As explained before, I learned that I understood the notes that I took better if they were in full sentences or in bullet points. Therefore, I transferred the knowledge that I had and made my notes both in bullet points and in full sentences. The bullet points were the parts that were less important compared to the full sentences which were the main parts for this project.   


What is alcohol addiction


Alcohol addiction or alcoholism is a chronic disease where the body and the mind becomes dependent on alcohol. Alcohol addicted people would be considered frequent drinkers and according to Rethink Drinking frequent drinking is defined as drinking 14 shots or more per week for men and 7 shots or more per week.




The symptoms of alcohol addiction is..

  • Drinking at inappropriate time such as at church, work or first thing in the morning
  • Wanting to be where alcohol is available
  • Hanging out with friends that are heavy drinkers
  • Depending on alcohol to live a daily life
  • Frequent use of alcohol




Korea is one of the world’s most drinking country. On average a Korean person drinks 14 shots of alcohol a week. This means 12.3 liters of alcohol consumption per capita every year. In Korea as you can see in graph 1 the death rates due to alcohol keeps increasing from the year 1994 and there are more male deaths than women. This is because there are more male who are alcohol addicts compared to women due to stress at work. The social economic level does not affect the amount of alcohol that a person drinks on average. This is due to the Korean culture.




A reason why Koreans drink a lot of alcohol regularly is due to their culture. In Korea alcohol is easy to get as people don’t check ID often and alcohol is very cheap. Also, Korea does not have a law restricting the places people can sell hard liquor. Therefore, any kind of liquor can be bought in places such as convenience stores and supermarkets for cheap prices all day long. The last reason is a bit similar to the UK culture but in Korea it is considered rude to say no to drinking without a reason and people will just assume that there is something wrong with you. Especially when a hierarchy invites you for a drink it is one of the biggest rewards that a Korean worker can receive as this is how the hierarchy is showing their respect towards you. However, at time to time this hierarchy thing can become stressful to some of the Koreans. Due to this being stressful Koreans get the habit of regular drinking which lead to alcohol addiction.    



Just like Korea, UK is one of the world’s most drinking country. On average a British person drinks about 14 shots a week. 11.6 liters of alcohol consumption per capita every year. Alcohol addiction is one of the fifth biggest cause factor of death for all ages and the biggest death factor among 15-49 year olds. In the year 2016, 38% men and 29% women regularly drink above the recommended safe limits of consumptions which makes them alcohol addicts. In the year 2015, there was 8757 alcohol related deaths which is an average of 14.2 deaths per 100,000 population. Just like Korea, the death rates due to alcohol keeps increasing since the year 1994. The social economic level does not affect the amount of alcohol that a person drinks on average.()   


Cultural reasons

A reason why there is a lot of alcohol addicted people in UK is because of their culture. In UK it is considered weak for people to not drink alcohol especially for men. According to one of the agency marketing director he said “There’s certainly a pressure to drink and an immediate assumption that something’s ‘wrong’ with you if you don’t want to drink. Someone looked at me a few weeks ago when I was abstaining and said, Come on, you’re better than that,” For women it can get awkward and personal if the person doesn’t drink. If you don’t drink people assume that you are pregnant most of the time. A senior sales manager confessed that she found out that she was pregnant but didn’t want her team to find out as if she couldn’t drink she thought that she would be less valuable. With all of the pressure that people feel and the assumptions that they receive from not drinking people in UK have no choice but to drink alcohol to ease the social pressure.(DIGIDAY)        


Wilderness Engagement- Okinawa

For the 10th grade expedition, I went to Okinawa and learned how to dive. While diving I was able to connect with a few marine life. The purpose of diving was to get out of our comfort zone and do something that we have not experienced before.

Before going to Okinawa, we went to a swimming pool near Disney land and learned our necessary skills of diving before trying it out in an open space. We even started studying for the final test that we had before going on the trip which continued for the first two days in Okinawa.

This was the first time I dived so it gave me a chance to learn new skills, skills that I would not have encountered in everyday situations. As it was my first time diving, I was nervous as I kept having the thought of me drowning since I have not been swimming for the past few years. This diving experience has put me out of my comfort zone by a significant amount as I am usually not comfortable doing anything related to swimming or not being able to breathe normally.

The biggest fear that I had during this whole diving experience was me thinking that I would not be able to follow my team in the entire training underwater. On the first day of diving, I had no confidence in my ability to follow my team that rather than enjoying the dive I was anxious the whole time. Even though I was able to follow the team through the first half of the first-day training, I still had no confidence in myself to allow me to enjoy the things around me while diving. In order to overcome my lack of confidence after the first dive, my teammates and I kept learning the things that we needed when diving such as what each hand gestures meant or how to use each different equipment for diving so that when we were inside the water we would not panic. By becoming more confident in the diving concepts I was able to become more comfortable when diving as I stopped panicking underwater about the small details that I was afraid of missing. Therefore, for the second half of the first day and the whole second day I was more relaxed to see more of my surroundings such as the fishes next to me.     

Also, during the experience, I was able to learn about what leadership was about. During the diving training in Okinawa, we had to plan one of the dive as a team. While planing this dive I learned that leadership was not only about one person leading the group but the whole members of the group contributing together to come up with a safe plan.

During this diving experience were not allowed to use our phones for the 5 days. Therefore, through this experience,z I was able to learn that our daily life is always technology-based and that we can live without the use of technology by interacting with people. I realized the importance of interacting with people as I was able to learn more about them such as their personality and their likes and dislikes which helped me to find common things between me and the other person. I realized that I was always into technology and was talking to friends through chat apps rather than talking to them face to face even at school. Therefore, from now on I would like to try to talk to people face to face and interact more with my close friends outside of the classroom environment.