G10 Personal Project : (GCD Personal Goal)

Before I started my Personal Project, I had no idea on what topic I should choose. This project was introduced before the summer vacation, but during the summer I did not work a lot on my project because I did not know what I needed to work on and couldn’t completely decide on what I should focus on. Therefore, the main goal was decided after my mentor was decided. I believe goal setting was one of the parts I have struggled during the process of the personal project because I did not know what will be challenging for me but at the same time it is achievable. I have noticed and understood this after going through all the process of the personal project, that the most important thing what topic to choose is depended on what you are interested in and things you want to know more about. This is because since this project goes on for about 6 months, it had to be something that motivates ourselves.

The main topic I have focused on the project was about food allergy. This goal was decided because of the allergic reaction I get from pollen and dust. This is currently affecting me which I have difficulty managing it. Although I chose food as a specific category of allergen was that I wanted to do something that interests me and keeps me motivated. The goal I first decided was very major such as ‘being able to make people ease the reaction that they get from food allergy’. I and my mentor thought it would be too challenging to be achieved. However, after discussing with my mentor and supervisor, I have decided to focus on a goal that was achievable but at the same time challenging which was to ‘create a list of restaurants that show the allergens that are included for people who are having a hard time eating out because of their food allergies’.

At the start of the project, I was struggling with understanding what I needed to do and work on. To be able to understand and go through the steps by managing my time successfully, I have started by creating an action plan as you can see below. To create my action plan, I first chose the format that keeps me on track of the schedule of what I need to complete by a specific date. I was able to do this by creating a digital MYP style plan which helped me follow each step and easier for me to adjust the deadline. While creating this action plan, because I did not know what I needed to do after 5 months (when the final report was due), I had filled in the schedule after I completely knew what I needed to complete. This way it had helped me complete all the tasks by due dates. This action plan really helped me in many areas because I was able to organize and manage my time while I had to work on my school work and extracurricular activities. Furthermore, this action plan had helped me with organizing all the due dates and mentor meeting I had planned. 

After creating the action plan, I did a lot of research on Food allergy. Because I first did not know what kind of food allergens exist and what symptoms it can cause, I first had to start by gathering very simple information. These are some of the information I have found out. Once I have found out some information on the internet, I decided to conduct a survey and an interview which was a good chance for me to improve my communication skill. I have collected many data and was able to understand more information that leads me to create a successful product.

These are some of the research I have done.

As part of the personal project, I also had to write a process journal that reflects on what I did, what ATL skill I used, and also what I discussed with my mentor. I believe keeping process journal was one of the most important things that helped me when I was writing my final report. This is one of the pages from my process journal where I reflected on Global Context.

By going through all the process such as researching and planning (creating success criteria for my product), I was able to make a successful product which was my goal ‘To create a list of restaurants that show the allergens that are included for people who are having a hard time eating out because of their food allergies’.

Here is the product I have made: LINK

Before I had started this project, although I knew there are people who are suffering from the effects they get from an allergic reaction, I did not take any action that would make that reaction ease. However, throughout the process of this project, I think I was able to take action and that can make people have a happier life such as making a list of restaurants that show the allergen. Furthermore,  before and during this project, there was no part that I thought it was easy or when I felt I was fully comfortable. I think this has been one of the main big steps of getting outside of my comfort zone. However, with the help of my mentor and experts, I think it had led me a lot in achieving the goal. By experiencing this big project, I think I can transfer the knowledge and skills I gained to future learning experience since there will be always a situation where these skill and knowledge are required.

Van der Poel Christmas Party 2017 (Community engagement)

On December 2nd, 2017, I have participated in the Van der Poel Christmas party as a part of my service activity. I have been joining Van der Poel since I was in 9th grade and it was my 2nd year for me to take part in the event.

The Van der Poel is a community service team that works towards the welfare of children in two local orphanages. Throughout the year, the Van der Poel members are involved in a number of activities and that benefit the children. This is not only the Christmas party (major event held at YIS) that I have participated but there are some other activities such as going to strawberry picking, Ice skating and going to visit their homes. The team also organize an event such as preparing for and running a booth at a Bazaar held twice a year at one of the homes.

To organize and to be successful at heading the Christmas party event, we had to work hard on collecting funds. There were several ways we collected it. First, the team had collected found by going around the classroom and asking if the students can found any money for the events. We always visited each classroom for two weeks and at the end of the week, we were able to collect 319,476 yen in total. Before we had started the party we also worked hard on decorating the place, wrapping the present, and also went to shopping for filling in the stocking with snacks and sweets for every two homes for the children to enjoy. To do this, we were separated into groups (People who are going to wrap the present and people who are going to go shopping). I was in a group where I went to shopping for getting the snacks for filling in the stocking which I also did this for preparing the last year’s Christmas party. After we were done decorating the room (cafeteria), we were ready to hold the party.

I personally felt the most challenging part of this event was to talk to little children who came to the party. This was because I do not usually talk to a little kid and also I am the youngest in my family member. Furthermore, since I was talking to people who are not living in the same environment as me, I was very anxious if I say something that made them feel sad. Although, I think by going to this event, it had to lead me to grow to be more confident in especially my communication skills. This is because I was able to speak to people I have never talked to before and was able to know and realize that although there are children who are not living in the same environment as my self, they are not very different.

Being part of Van der Poel had made me look at the world in a different way. By taking action on participating in events and activities, it had made me think how those activities can really lead to help people who are in needs of those supports. Over these two years, it had taught me how it can lead to supporting people but also made me personally feel how it can be very enjoyable with joining a service activity. Also, since I already had interested in joining Van der Poel, I was able to enjoy contributing to this service group and had led me to change in different areas of skill that are required academically. I am planning to join Van der Poel next year as well.

G9 Expedition : Niigata (GCD Wilderness Engagement)

From October 17 to October 21, we had a expeditions week. During this week, I went to Niigata as one of the Grade 9 expeditions. This year, I did a lot of new things and some were really challenging. Likewise, we had some keywords we focused on which was leadership, resilience, responsibility, and self-reliant. By focusing on these keywords, we made some goals that we wanted to achieve over this trip. I made some goal that was based on becoming responsible and self-reliant. One of my goal I wanted to achieve while this trip was to be responsible for my own stuff. This was because, during this trip, we had to carry our own stuff that will last for three days. Since we had to hike for three days with two days staying in the tents, I was a little bit worried. Furthermore, this was my first time for me to do a hike for long distance and at the same time staying in the tent without getting a shower for two days was really new for me. However, I think this experience was really good because I learned many new things.


After we arrived in English adventure (which we stayed on Monday and Thursday) we had to pack our stuff that will be with us for three days that includes our clothes, warm stuff, etc. However, I had to really think what I will need to bring since we had to carry our own stuff while doing the long hike. At first, I thought to carry heavy things will be tiring so I want to keep it light as possible, but at the same time I didn’t want to leave things behind that will be needed while doing the hike. Although It took time for me to pack, I was able to manage myself to pack my stuff that has good weight I can carry throughout the hike.


niigata-expedition-2016-gopro-1-1060040-xlAs we started the hike, the trail was very slippery and had many steep hills that made us really tired. However, at some points on the trail, we had a water break that made all of us have the energy to walk. On the way, we ate lunch that we carried and after we walked about 6 hours, we were able to make it to the first campsite. Although I was very tired and wanted rest a lot, we had to set up our tent. I hadn’t set up the tent for a long time so it was a bit challenging but once I was able to set it up, I felt accomplishment.


Experiencing this first-day hike, I think I was able to be more responsible and self-reliant. This was because even the trail had many steep hills and was very slippery, I was able to carry a very heavy bag by myself. Also even I was really tired after the hike, I was able to set up a tent without resting a lot. I think what I learned from this will be helpful at other times. For example, setting up the tent was challenging but I was able to put it up by taking time. I think later in life, I will have a time that I need to challenge myself but I think I can get over by taking time.


niigata-expedition-2016-6374-xlThe second day hike was also really challenging. There wasn’t a lot of steep hill as the first hike but there was a lot of downhill. Since before the hike, English adventure staff said that downhill will be harder than uphill, I was a bit nervous. As we walked the downhill I slipped a lot. Also, I got my legs into a mud that made my legs really muddy and I had to deal with it until I got to the campsite. Even I was complaining sometimes, I was able to walk all the way and after we hiked for about 5 hours, we arrived at the second campsite. This day we also set up the tent, but since we already did it before it didn’t take a lot of time as before.



From this second day hike, I think I was able to be more self-reliant. This was because even I put my legs in the mud and got really muddy, I was able to deal with it and walked about more than an hour. If I had this experience before the hike, maybe I wasn’t able to walk for that long with muddy feet. Because having this experience, I think I was able to be more responsible with my own stuff without bothering or having other people help me.


Overall, this expedition was the really good experience that taught me many things. I was able to be more responsible and self-reliant. I used to think hiking and staying in the tent will be really challenging. But as I did this camp, I was able to learn a lot and new things I had never thought of. I think think this was a really good chance for me because I wouldn’t think of doing this with my own thoughts. However, I actually feel like I want to do this again. This is because it made me be more confident and be more risk-taker. This means that even there is the really hard moment in my life, I need to challenge myself before deciding I can’t get do it. Lastly, I think the things that I learned by being on this expedition, will be useful in some other context. This is because by going to this trip, I learned a little bit of surviving skill meaning whenever I am in an emergency situation I can use that skill. This trip was really fun and exciting but at the same time, there were a lot of moment that were really challenging.

How does memory work?

5 words vocabulary

  • Neurotransmitter 

A neurotransmitter is a substance in your body that carries a signal from one nerve cell to another. A neurotransmitter is important since it helps our body feel, think, and move.

  • Long-term potentiation

Long-term potentiation is between the neurons which strength between brain cell connections.

  • Synapses

A really small gap between neurons where neurotransmitter passes by.

  • Neurons 

A nerve cell that sends a message to other parts of the body. It is the functional unit of the nervous system.

  • Cognitive impairment

When a person has trouble remembering, learning new things.  


Description – “How Does Memory Work”

The experience of an event in life seems to just go into our brain that will be stored, and make them into a memory. However, this isn’t the only way how memory works. The mechanism of how memory works is even more dynamic than we think.

Neuron communicates through synapses to other neurons, that send signals when it receives a certain stimulation from the neurotransmitters. A neurotransmitter is like an e-mail that sends many things that are basically the same and at the same time. According to William Griffith, Ph.D., a cellular neuroscientist, it said that long-term potentiation (LTP) can alter the strength between the brain cell connections. When LTP is provided, memory can be formed which happens when cell talks to one another without stimulation from neurotransmitter. Therefore, the ability to remember certain memory depends on the strength of the LTP. As the synapses and the pathway between them are used a lot, the stronger they get. On the other hand, when synapses are not being used as often, it can lose a strong LTP which can lead to having a cognitive loss and impairment. Since muscle and brain are both used to remember things, when they are not used enough, it can lose the strength. However, memory can be back by using senses such as looking at or smell something that relates to some event you had.

Nature VS Nurture

Recently in I&S we have been learning about Nature VS Nurture. We discussed the difference between nature and nurture and watched some video about them.


Nature is your physical features (characteristic) that can be identical to your parents (DNA/Genes). The things you already had from the beginning (from when you were born) is nature. For example, when both of your parents has a hair color that you have, it is nature.


Nurture is when you get affected by the things around you and didn’t have it from the beginning since you were born. ‘Culture’ can be one of the example of nurture. In Japan we have to take off our shoes inside the house. If Japan did not do this from long time ago, it might have changed. (Nurture can also be affected by people around you, like friends)

One of the video we watched in class (BBC clip on gender stereotypes) talked about how adults reacted to gender stereotypes. Usually, when adults give a toy to a child they would offer a toy that fits the gender. For example, when the gender is a boy they would give a toy car, but on the other hand, if it’s a girl they give a doll. This means gender stereotypes are mostly affected by nurture. However, they also tested if nature affects gender behaviour as well. They put some toys for males and females to see if the monkeys will really go and get the toys for their right gender. As a result, most of the monkeys got a right gender toys which mean that nature has also has been affecting gender stereotypes.

People might have physical characteristic, physical abilities, behaviors that might think it is either nature or nurture. However, sometimes it can be both and one of the reasons you can not completely decide which one might be because you still haven’t noticed which one you got affected by.


Recently in in Drama class, we have been learning about comedy and history of comedy. Then in groups we made our own comedy routine. In class, we learned a lot of tricks (slapstick, hats, walks) and there was two visitors that we leaned and influenced the development of our character. In each groups we had our own character and with that character we made our own comedy routine.

My development of my character was influenced by the visiting artist Philipe. He helped me to create and develop my character more interesting. I think the most influential part that he teached me was to present more to the audience using more facial expression and gesture. The suggestion was very helpful and it was easier for me to make my character simple and easier to understand to the audience. Since I wasn’t confident of making the facial expression and gesture, by Philipe’s suggestion I got more confident of using these in character including the scenes of the comedy routine. Another visiting artist Rene was also influential to our (my group) comedy routine. Since we were wondering a lot about our comedy on how to make the scenes more funny, the suggestion he gave to us was very helpful.

I received feedback from Ms.Erickson, saying that I should have a character that can make the audience easier to understand the personality of the character that I am trying to show. The character I was trying show in the scene was a assistance of a rich person that I hate working for him. Before I got the feedback, I did not act like I didn’t like working for the person (rich) that made the audience hard to understand the character I am trying to show. With this, it also made the scenes bored. Although, by Ms.Erickson’s feedback I was able to show in the scene more interesting by changing facial expression and gesture of my character’s personality.

Overall, I think this comedy unit was interesting. I enjoyed the two visiting artist Philipe and Rene who really influenced us. Through this, I learned that comedy is very hard to make the audience laugh and to show the character’s personality really using gesture and facial expression. Further more I learned that putting different character in one comedy routine can be very challenging.

English Unit 3 Reflection: Perspective and Prejudice

At the beginning of the unit I used to think perspective is about understanding other people’s feeling and most of the people have the same perspective. But as I learned many things about perspective, now I think that people have different perspective for their selves which can show the characteristic.

picture frame framing gravel

When we did the project on reading the outsider and writing a essay about it, after I read the book ‘Outsiders’ I learned that there are many characteristic in a group of people and at the same time they have a different perspective. As I went through this I learned many things about perspective and that can help me to understand the topic better and from a different view.

Drama Comedy Timeline

Ancient (Greek) Comics

Ancient comedy was a form of theater performed across ancient greece from the archaic period of 8th to 6th century BCE. The ancient comedy was popular and influential and became known to theater historians as old comedy in ancient greece. It was a series of loosely connected scenes which a particular situation was thoroughly accomplished through fantasy, stair, and parody, the series ending in a expressive celebration of unity. Aristophanes (Born 450 BCE-Died 388 BCE) was the most famous and greatest representative of ancient greek comedy. Athenian comedy is divided into three periods which is old comedy, middle comedy, and new comedy which he was a greek dramatist of the old comedy period. Still today, the old comedy survives in the form of the eleven plays of Aristophanes. The comedy included chorus, mime, and burlesque, which was characterized by bold fantasy and unabashedly licentious humor.3290











William_Merritt_Chase_Keying_upMedieval Comics

jesterDuring the Medieval and Renaissance eras (middle ages), a jester, court jester, and fool was historically an entertainer who was household of nobleman engaged to entertain him and his guest. Medieval Gestures plays a minor role court life but certainly brightened up the entertainment. Clothes they wear was different from normal and they had the heads of medieval jester was shaved, their coats were molty and the breeches tight had one leg different from the other. They do this because it had often help them to  excite the masters and and make them laugh.


Renaissance Comics

During the 16 century in England was when the new and vetal drama emerged. The tradition of interlude, was developed by John Heywood and others, someday producing the great Elizabethan comedy, which reached its highest expression in the plays of Shakespeare and Ben Jonson. During this period, there was great playwright by the name of William Shakespeare. He wrote the most of the famous plays, such as Romeo and Juliet. During the Renaissance time the Renaissance comedy was a bit different from the comedy currently mean today. People thinks when they hear about modern comedy it means to be funny, but comedies in renaissance it meant ‘A play having a happy ending’. In most comedies happy ending involved marriage or resolves a conflict. Through these comedy the play didn’t have to be funny and all have the potential to be. Characters in Shakespear’s comedies sometimes embarrass them self during the play.









PerilsofpaulineMelodramatic Comics

Melodramatic Comedy is a style of drama that has been applied on stage, film, television program, radio, and movies. Melodrama is dramatic work that often uses stereotypical character and exaggerates plots in order to appeal, and also has interpersonal conflicts. Historical musical contexts melodramas are dramas of 18th and 19th centuries. The victorian melodrama featured six stock  characters. The hero, the villain, the heroine, a sidestick, and a servant of the aged parent engaged in a sensational plot featuring themes of love and murder.



????????????????????????????????????Circus Comics

A circus is a groups of performer that may include, clown, acrobats,trapeze act trained animals, jugglers, musicians, etc. Circus skills can be performed as entertainment in circus, busking or variety show, vaudeville, music hall shows. The first circus was opened in 1768 in England and performances developed significantly through the next fifty years. In the circus there are different types of performances and clowns. The modern format are the Ashley and early British circus, Ricketts and the first american circus, Expansion and American format, Contemporary types, Touring, Russia, and China. These circus has a different types of performances. The clowns has four types: Whiteface Clown, Auguste Clown, Tramp or Hobo & Bag Lady, and Character clown. These clowns has different characteristic and stereotypes.

Cinematic Comedy (silent films, movies, television, web)

Cinematic Comedy is one of the famous, popular and one of oldest film genre (1900s-1920s). The Cinematic comedy can be include in silent films, movies, television, web, etc. The Cinematic comedy was ideal for silent film as it was dependent on visual action and uses physical humor rather than sound. One of the earliest form of the comedy was the slapstick. This is now used not only in silent film but in movies and stage with using sounds. Charlie Chaplin is one of a example who was an english comic actor and has been in cinematic comedy. He has become known in worldwide by his work ‘The Tramp’ and is considered one of the important figures in the history. His career spanned more than 75 years from childhood in the victorian era.


Charlie Chaplin
Charlie Chaplin










Source Citation

“Aristophanes | Greek Dramatist.” Encyclopedia Britannica. Maurice Platnauer, 24 Sept. 2015. Web. 20 May 2016.
“Ancient Greek Comedy.” Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation, n.d. Web. 20 May 2016.
“Ancient_Greek_Comedy.” Ancient History Encyclopedia. Mark Cartwright, 25 Mar. 2013. Web. 20 May 2016.
“Shakespearean Comedy.” The World of the Renaissance. N.p., -. Web. 20 May 2016.
“Melodrama.” Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation, n.d. Web. 20 May 2016.
“Meldrama.” Theater Links. Jastin Cash, n.d. Web. 21 May 2016.
“Circus.” Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation, n.d. Web. 20 May 2016.
“List of Circus Skills.” Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation, n.d. Web. 20 May 2016.
“Types of Clowns.” All About Clowns. N.p., n.d. Web. 20 May 2016.
“Charlie Chaplin.” Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation, n.d. Web. 20 May 2016.
“Comedy Films.” Comedy Films. N.p., n.d. Web. 20 May 2016.
“Medieval Court Jester.” Medieval Jester. N.p., n.d. Web. 20 May 2016.
“Jester.” Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation, n.d. Web. 20 May 2016.

Photo URL

1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, (CC search)

Hiyaku Reflection

Recently, in music class we have been working on a piece called ‘Hiyaku’ .
Last Friday we had a Hougaku concert (koto concert) and our grade performed this piece.

1. What was effective about my preparation? What worked best? Why?
The thing that was effective about my preparation was that I have practiced twice a week. This was effective because when I was performing, even I was a bit nervous I was still able to play it with out mistaking a lot. The thing that worked best was that when I was practicing, I focused on different kinds of area and not just playing one of the section all the time. This was good because when I was performing, I was able to play it smoothly.
2. How might I have worked differently to better prepare? What will I do differently next time? (There will be a next time!)
Maybe if I have memorised the piece perfectly and practiced the section that I was struggling would have been a better prepare. This is because for the performance, I was scared of mistaking and looked at the music. Next time I would do differently by making sure I have memorised the piece perfectly and make sure to practice the part I am struggling, and not just play the part I already can play.
3. Your overall impressions of your class’ performance. How did you do as a group (positive aspects, areas to improve)? For you individually – how did you do? Did you meet your expectations? What went well? and what will you work on for next time?
Overall, I think that the class performance was okay but there was a lot of part that could have improved. I think that we did well on having confidence and not starting the piece too fast. But I feel that we didn’t really do well on keeping the tempo throughout the piece. Especially in the middle of the piece, koto 1 and koto 2 was not playing the part at the same time. This was the area that could have improved. However, at the end we were able to bring it back together.
Individually I think that I did well on playing the piece smoothly but it didn’t really meet my exceptions. This was because I was a bit nervous that I couldn’t play the piece strongly and confidently. Next time I will work more to play the piece confidently and make sure to practice more the part I am struggling.

Hiyaku Focus Areas

Recently in music class, we are working on a piece called ‘Hiyaku’. We are going to perform this piece on March/11/2016.

These are my Focus Areas.

There are 3 focus area I am focusing on.

Focus Area 1: Page 1, Line 3, Measure 1 to 4

Firstly, I find this part difficult because there is a lot of notes to play. Because there are many notes, the note where I need to press the 12 (為), I think I am not pressing it strongly and I think I am realising the sting too fast. To improve this part I will practice the press many times and to make sure I am playing it with out getting the rhythm fast or slow. I think this will help me improve to play the press more strongly.

Focus Area 2: Page 2, Line 2 -Until-Page 2, Line 3 measure 2

Secondly, I find this part difficult because it is difficult to remember the number of finger to use when I am playing the notes. Because I found this difficult, I have practiced many times to make sure I am using the correct finger. I also feel I need to play it more dynamically and to play each note clearly. To do this, firstly, I have memorised the piece to make sure I am playing the correct not. This will help me to improve this section.

Focus Area 3: Page 3, Line 2, 3 <– Until Measure 2

Lastly, I find this part difficult because I need to use both hand. It is easy when it is the same pattern but, I find it difficult when the note suddenly changes to different pattern. To improve this, I will practice this section by using my left hand more than my right hand because we often use right hand. This will help me to play this section without struggling and accurately.


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