Artistic Expression – GCD

I chose to take an art class for the arts course in high school, where we were given the choice between drama, art, and music. I decided to choose art because I have a strong passion in art. It interests me that many techniques are applied in one artwork to communicate a message, intention, and to express an emotion. I also like how the techniques used in the artwork can influence the viewers to have a different interpretation.

This year, in art class, we explored the ideas of using art to raise one’s status. We especially focused on the Dutch Golden Artworks and independently researched the techniques that Dutch Golden Artists, such as Johannes Vermeer and Rembrandt, used to raise the status of a person in a particular subject group. Throughout this unit, I have developed many habits and practices as an artist. For example, I developed the habits of following the cycle of researching general knowledge first to further develop the understanding of the work (Dutch Golden Artworks), the purpose, before actually creating the work of my own. For my final work, I decided to raise the status of my friend, as a model subculture in order to build a higher status of her model career, gaining more respect and inspire others.

In addition, I also developed my skills as an artist in general, including proposition, foreshortening, light and shadow, pose and gesture, expression. I managed to successfully apply these skills in my final work, to enhance the figure as a high-status model, considering the 5 different kinds of techniques that are often used to raise one’s status, by catching the audience’s attention and building contrasts/ focus.

In the second unit of culture shock, I learned the connections between art and culture, and how a simple artwork can have a big influence on certain aspect regarding how one views the world. Before this unit, I used to think that art is simply a style of expressing the artist’s emotion and conveying its intention. Now that I know the importance of art and how big of an impact it can have on the society, like changing one’s idea on a particular culture, or building closer relationships between two or more cultures in conflict. I now know that art is beyond self-expression. In this unit, I have explored the concept of gender stereotypes, and expectations in Japan to change the stereotypical gender roles that the Japanese society has. Researching this topic, I learned about the variety of gender roles in Japan that I have not realised before. It surprised me how much of gender stereotypes and expectations there are in Japan that I used to think it was normal. Throughout this unit, it made me think that people should not be limited to certain roles due to their gender, as both men and women should have the freedom to make a decision of their preferences.

Throughout this unit, I have also developed a variety of oil painting skills (impasto, sgraffito, scumbling, glazing etc). With the developed techniques, I was able to apply these skills successfully in my final painting, in which I intended to change the gender stereotypes in Japan through traditional Japanese sports ‘Sumo.’ By drawing women playing sumo in the sumo arena, it successfully changed the gender stereotypes in Japan, as it is against the law for women to go to the sumo arena. This work could also raise women’s status, as sumo players are considered as ‘higher ranked people.’

Finally, I have also contributed well to class discussions, and I always look upon others and help others when needed. I think that I managed to successfully contribute to this art community, and will continue to do so in the future as well.

Expedition reflection

This year’s expedition in 9th grade, we went to Niigata for a week. The main activities that we did in this activity were hiking, and spending time in nature. We had a three day hiking schedule, and we camped for two nights in the tent. We hiked different trial every day and went from one camp side to the other in a day. We also had to carry our bags of packages while hiking.

I learned that I really like to spend time with my friend, getting to know new people, and making new friends. This is because, on this trip, there was a lot of opportunities to make new friends because we had many different groups for the activities. Therefore, I got to talk with and made new friends with people I didn’t have a lot of opportunities to talk to at school. I also really enjoyed talking with new people that I normally don’t talk to. Furthermore, I learned that a lot of things are better than what I think. For example, I’ve never really went hiking for a long time with a heavy bag before, so I wasn’t looking forward to hiking. However, after trying hiking on the first day, I noticed that hicking is so much better than what I thought it would be, and I found myself enjoying hiking with friends even though some trial were very challenging. Since I have never hicked for so long, it was very challenging to hick continuously and stay on track with the group to not slow down the pace. At some points, the slope was very steep, muddy, which was very tiring and slippery. There were many times that I wanted to rest, but I stayed positive the whole time, and I didn’t give up as I made it all the way to the campsite. Furthermore, I challenged myself to work harder by voting for taking the trail instead of the road. Not having a disposable toilet and shower to take was a challenge as well, but I overcome this by thinking positively and preparing myself beforehand so that I am ready to face the challenges.


I developed self-reliance by being independent, taking care of myself, and being organised, as I don’t have my parents around me to take care of me. For example, every day, I had to pack the bags, prepare all of the things that I will be needed every day, and carry it by myself. We also built and carried the tent on our own, which developed my self-reliance skills, because we had to do by our self with no help from the adults. Next time, I would be more aware of things that I should prepare in my bag, such as the warm clothes, because it was way colder at night than I expected it to be. Also, I would try to pack up the tent in the morning quicker. I think my role in the community is that I try to stay positive even when doing things that I don’t really like to do, and I try to talk many people and include everyone to make sure that no one is left out. I feel more comfortable in the YIS community now, that I am closer to the people in YIS throughout this experiment.


From this experiment, I learned about the beauty of nature, because I live in places where it is surrounded by apartments. Therefore, it was my first time to actually spend a long time in nature without having all of the resources that I can normally achieve easily in my life. Throughout this experiment, I really felt closer the wilderness and nature because it was a new to me to hike and sleep in a tent for two night in nature. I also learned to appreciate the nature, because, in nature, there is no shower to take, and the bathroom is disposable. Also, it was extremely cold to overnight in the tent at night in Niigata, as the layer of the tent is thin. Therefore, I learned about the importance of the resources that I can achieve easily in my life, that comes from nature and wilderness. Therefore, learned that I should not take things for granted, and should really appreciate all of the things that I have right now, and all of the people who are by my side to take care of me. Also, hiking and spending a week in a place surrounded by wilderness made me realised the spectacular scenery of the nature that I haven’t realised before. It also made me like nature even more.


Phase 2 Reflection – Spanish

  • What am I most proud of? Do I consider myself a Spanish-speaker? Why or why not?

Throughout the course, I think I have developed and improved my Spanish skills, as well as building confidence when speaking Spanish. I believe that I have improved and expanded on my grammar, vocabularies. Also, I am now able to speak Spanish more fluently. I think I am most proud of my improvements in my writing skills. I think over the course, I have managed to write in more advanced Spanish. For example, I used new vocabularies from the unit in my writing, as well as different kinds of grammars, including preterite, Futuro, imperative, y present. I have also proud of my improvements in oral, as I used to need a script when talking in Spanish for assessments. However, this year, I have practised talking without looking at the script. Therefore, I am proud of the fact that I can talk with peers and answer or ask questions directly without the need to prepare or look at the script. For these reasons, I think I would consider myself as an intimidate Spanish-speaker, as I know some basic Spanish grammars and vocabularies. Although, I think I still need to build on my Spanish skills more as there are many rooms for further improvements. For example, I would like to expand on vocabularies more and use expressions more constantly.

  • What would I do differently if I could do the course again?

If I could do this course again in the future, I would make a better note each unit. Even though I often take notes of new vocabularies, expressions, transitions, and grammars, I don’t constantly look back at my old notes, as it is hard to find notes since it is written in different places. I would like to sort out by sections and organise my notes more properly in the future. I would also study more at home, so that I won’t forget the previous unit when starting on the new unit, and can refer to odd learning more.

  • What are three concrete actions I can take to ensure that I am prepared for Phase 3 next year?

1)Take a short review test on Phase 2 to make sure that I know everything that I am supposed to know from units in phase 2 so that I can be prepared for the next level.Create a checklist of what I already know, and what I need to know to be ready for Phase 3.

2)Create a checklist, and sort things that I already know and things I need to know more to be ready for Phase 3.

3)Reread notes from previous units and review notebooks and booklet. Practice vocabularies in Quizlet, and study basic things that we will need to know to make Phase 3 easier for myself.

Unit 3 Reflection

2. Use a metaphor and a simile to describe the preterite and/or the direct/indirect/reflexive pronouns.

Learning and using direct/indirect pronouns is as important as education.

Irregular of preterite pronouns is as confusing as the fish in dishwater.


3. How is what you have learned relevant to other classes/material you are learning?

What I have learned is relevant to other classes and material I am learning because, in Spanish class, we are also currently learning about in Spanish class, we are currently learning about preterite, direct/indirect/reflexive pronouns, as well as new vocabularies, expressions and verbs. English class, we also learned about writing sentences and stories in past tense using the different variety of verbs and vocabularies. Also, in Spanish class, we learned different Spanish speaking countries in the world and its cultures. In Individual and Humanity, we also learn about different cultures in different countries.


8. How did you feel during the learning experience? Why did you feel this way?

I thought that the new Unit was very challenging and difficult but interesting and fun at the same time. It was new and confusing at first because I have never learned preterite pronouns before, and it had complete new conjugation as the present tense and simple future tense. However, even though it was difficult at first, I felt achievements, after I started to get the new unit. Also, learning new vocabularies and adjectives was interesting and exciting. I was also delighted when I could use the new preterite pronouns to talk about things I did in the past. Also, it was fun to learn about geography and different Spanish speaking countries in the world.


9. Make a wordle or mind map of your learning.

APJ Skills 2017


Approaches to Learning Skills How did you demonstrate this skill


what do you want to improve?


(remember you need to include something from all your subjects)

Reflection I demonstrated this skill in music when I reflected on koto concert that was held recently. I wrote a reflection reflecting on what were the strength and weaknesses. What went well, and what could have been better. This helped me to rethink the practices and what I can do and fix to not make the same mistakes in the future.
I used my reflection skills when reflecting on how we challenged yourself in Field Studies. Also, I reflected on how we were being mindful and how we can push yourself in becoming more organised.



Thinking I transferred my organization skills from design to I&S. For example, in Religion Research project, I made a table to plan what I need to do by when in order to accomplish the task. I transferred the idea of making a table to plan the steps of process from Design class.
I also used my critical thinking skills in casino project when we used our critical thinking skills to come up with a game that we can win the profits for sure.  I also used my thinking skills in 2D and 3D shape poster. I used my knowledge to measure and calculated accurately the real life 3D shape.
I demonstrated my creative thinking skills when designing my animation. I created and thought of a story that can communicate and educate the message of poverty, and to illustrate the issues by creatively making my own unique animation.
I used my creative thinking skills when writing a creative writing in Criteria B,C,D. I used my creative thinking skills in my story to think of a theme, and to use symbols to describe the theme.




Communication I used my communication skills in Spanish class. We had a ‘Dating game show’ assessment to video yourself talking about our hobbits/likes, and finding common interests with others. I effectively demonstrated my communication skills to try to use as many vocabularies I learned from the unit. This helped me to develope and improve on my Spanish communication skills.
I used my communication skills when we discussed as a class of whether a mass production is better or hand made in Criteria A.


Collaboration I used my collaboration skills in P.E when I did the assessment of planning a game strategies in Criteria B and C. I created a strategies form my team by looking at our strength and weaknesses. I discussed with my partner to come up with the strategies.
I used my collaboration skills in Math when I did the project Casino game in Criteria C and D. I collaborated with my partner to come up with a casino game that can apply to a real life contexts. We looked at many casino game and created our own based on the rule and the odd of casino game.


Organization skills I demonstrated self-management skills, especially organization skills when writing APJ(Art Process Journal). Every class, I effectively organised all the new things we learned in class in a table. This helped me to keep on track of APJ, and to remember what each class was about. I also used my reflection skills when I reflected on what we did in class, and why that was important.
I demonstrated and improved on my organization skills in design. In criteria C, I set up a table of todolist. I planned what I’m going to finish by when in detail. This helped me to keep on track of what we are suppose to do, so that I don’t have to work on everything on the last minute.


Research skills I demonstrated my research skills in drama class when researching about commedia dell’arte. I researched about commedia dell’arte in order to make a video showing the characteristics of the commedia dell’arte.
I used my research skills in science when I did Acid Rain infographic assignment in Criteria D. I researched many information about acid rain, such as, the cause and effects, solution, and the two factors.  I looked at more than one resources to gather the information. I also effectively used command terms when writing the information from the sources.
I used my research skills in art when I researched about the artist, the period of mass production. I also chose two artist and looked at their artwork, and the artist’s intention on the project they made.
I used my media literacy skills in Criteria D project of Infographic Evaluation. I looked at many infographic for researching about inequality in development. Also, I analysed what was good in the infographic so that I can use the skills when I make my own infographic.
I used research skills when writing a report about the blue chord. I looked at different sources and summarised the about the blue chord in the document.






  • Soccer (Collaboration Skills, Communication Skills, Self-management skill)
  • Volleyball (Collaboration Skills, Communication Skills, Self-management skill)
  • Chowa (Self – management skill, Social skills)
  • Red and White commitee (Self – management skill, Creative thinking skills)


  1. Collaboration skills. My goal is to improve on my collaboration skills more. For example, to participate more in class discussion or group discussion. Sometimes, I refuse to share my ideas and perspectives with others when we have different ideas. I want to improve this so that I can be a built a better team member.

Gapminder Comparing levels of development

The two countries that I chose to research about is the United Kingdom and Nepal.


As you can see in the graph above, the United Kingdom is more developed in HDI and GDP than Nepal is.

The statistics the United Kingdom is 0.863 HDI, 63.2M of the total population.

On the other hand, the statistics for Nepal is 0.458 HDI, 27.3M of the total population.

The data shows that the United Kingdom and Nepal has a huge difference in HDI, and Population. The development of HDI of the UK is almost double of HDI in Nepal, and the difference between the population growth beyond double. This data shows that the UK is more developed economically than Nepal is. HDI stands for Human Development Index which is a combination of the statistics of life expectancy, education and  GDP per capita. If a country is high in life expectancy, education level, GDP per capita, but low in fertility rate and inflation rate. We can tell from the graph that there is a huge difference in the population growth of the UK and Nepal. However,  the birth rate and the fertility in Nepal are lower than the UK. The total fertility rate is the number of children that is born to each woman. While Nepal has 2.5babies per woman, UK only has 1.9 babies per woman. Also, the birth rate of Nepal is much higher than the birth rate of UK. The birth rate per 1000 population for Nepal is 22.1 where the birth rate for the UK is 12.7. This means that in average, Nepal gives birth more than the UK does. You can see from the graph and the data that even though the UK has much more population growth than Nepal does, each woman only give birth to 1.9 babies nowadays. This is a problem because if the fertility rate and the birth rate of the UK keep on decreasing as it is currently, the population growth will decrease. This can have an affect on other indicators such as GDP per capita because, without a good balance of the population, the country will not be able to develop economically. If the GDP per capita or the population decrease, it can also affect Human Development Index or the literacy rate.


Although the birth rate and the fertility rate of Nepal are higher than the UK, there are many babies that die under age 5 in Nepal. The child mortality rate of the death per 1000 births under age 5 in Nepal is 43.1 while the rate for the UK is 5.  43.1 per 1000 births is still pretty high compared to other countries. I think because Nepal earns less income comparing to the UK, they do not have enough money to afford health care, good sanitization, or medicine. Therefore, the child mortality rate of Nepal is higher than the UK.


As it shows in the graph above, there is a huge gap and differences between UK’s GDP rate per capita and life expectancy years compared to Nepal.  The United Kingdom’s rate of GDP is $28.3k and the average life expectancy years that each person will live is 80.5 years. However, the GDP rate for Nepal is $2350 which is really low, and the average life expectancy years is 68.4 years. The differences between GDP is beyond twice of Nepal. GDP is a measurement of average income per person in a country, which can show the standard of living of a country. By looking at the graph, you can tell that the UK is considered as the MEDC’s (More Economically Developed Country) and Nepal is considered as the LEDC’s (Less Economically Developed Country) as it is less developed economically and has shorter life expectancy years. The differences between UK’s GDP and Nepal’s GDP is $25950. I think poverty of a country is what causes the life expectancy of a country to become shorter. The less income each person earn, the less money he/she can afford for nutritious food, water or to pay for treatment cost when they have a disease. Poverty can cause a person to have a lack of good health care, which can shorten the average  life expectancy years of a country.


By looking at all sorts of indicators we can tell how developed a country is. For example, the measurements of Birth rate, Population growth, Infant Mortality Rate, GDP per capita, Human Development Index (HDI), Fertility rate, Life expectancy and Literacy Rate is what determines whether a country is considered us the MEDC’s or the LEDC’s. We now know that the UK is the MEDC’s while Nepal is the LEDC’s because the UK’s statistics of GDP per capita, life expectancy, Population growth, and HDI are all higher than Nepal. These indicators show that the UK is more developed economically as each person in British has a higher level of standard of living than people in Nepal does because each person earns more income.