Wilderness Engagement

During the October of 2017, I went on a hiking trip to Niigata with my grade level for the year’s expedition. Throughout the trip, we hiked, slept in tents, and did many outdoor activities. The main take away that I personally got from the trip was a new appreciation for nature as a whole and a more enthusiastic attitude towards spending time in the wilderness. 

There is a large variety of things that I learned during this trip. Possibly the most important thing I learned is that I can be resilient, even in difficult situations and conditions, like in the cold and rainy wilderness of Niigata. Throughout the trip, there were many moments when I struggled, due to many challenges I faced, including the awfully muddy ground, the steep ups and downs of the hills, and the long hours hiking, however, I was able to push myself to move on and get through the problems. I believe that the environment my classmates and I were in allowed us to push each other and push ourselves to do more and to keep going further even when we were struggling. In addition to reliance, I also learned more about how I act in different types of social situations. Throughout this hiking trip, I was with my classmates in a very different environment than I am used to spending time in with them. This allowed for me to see how I act differently when in a classroom compared to when I am out in nature, even if I am with the same people. I found that being in wilderness allowed us all to communicate and connect more as a community. 

Some of the challenges I faced during this trip are mostly challenges that I gave myself. During this trip, one of my main goals was to get out of my comfort zone, and I made sure to challenge myself, by always going up the steeper hill and offering to carry the heaviest part of the tent. 

I developed my self-reliance by trusting myself and by acting and thinking more independently than I regularly would in my normal routine. I forced myself to rely less on the people around me, and instead trusted myself much more and worked through challenges more independently. For example, if I was struggling with building the tent or had trouble with balance while hiking, I would first try to solve the problem independently, instead of simply asking someone else to do it for me.

My role during this expedition was to be part of a team. I was one of the 16 in my hiking group and one of 3 in my tent. Both groups were very different experiences, but in both, I was there to make sure that I could make everyone else enjoy the trip as much as they could. Over this trip, I feel that I have connected more now with the YIS community since I have been able to get to know so many more students. 

Next time, if I were to go on this trip again, I would make sure to be more prepared for the extreme weather conditions. By this, I mean things like the temperature changes throughout the day as well as the freezing rain. I think that I had appropriate equipment and clothing, however, I do not think that I had mentally prepared myself for being so uncomfortable the entire week. Now that I have already done a hiking trip like this and have had this experience, I would be much more prepared to do it again.

I think that this experience has made me feel much closer to the wilderness and nature in general, since I have now spent much more time completely in it, and have focused on it much more.


Unit 3 Reflection – Spanish

Reflecting a little differently:

  1. In this unit  we have researched and talked about different Spanish speaking countries around the world. We focused on their culture and specific things that are special in those countries. In individuals and societies we have been studying globalization and how it works in order to promote culture. I think that these two relate, since in both we can see how countries are similar, while at the same time each one is very unique.
  2. I felt very excited during this unit overall, since we again investigated different Spanish speaking countries. I very much enjoy learning about different places in the world, and new cultures and traditions. I think that overall these types of investigations are one of my favourite parts of class.
  3. This unit expanded my knowledge of  conjugation overall.





Looking at Development through Indicators

Development can be measured in many different ways. However, finding an accurate representation of a country’s growth, that uses a variety of indicators, is not always easy. In general, based on the level of development of a country, the world is divided into categories. Less economically developed countries (LEDCs), which are poorer and less industrialized countries, and more economically developed countries (MEDCs), which are wealthier and more industrialized countries.. Economic wealth, social indicators, the population, health levels, (and other indicators) are used to determine whether a country is classified as a MEDC or a LEDC. Some countries are also labeled as ‘Newly Industrialized’. These countries are in between being a LEDC or a MEDC. Positive development in LEDCs can lead them to become newly industrialized, and ideally, a MEDC. Development can be positive or negative, but either way, it can be measured to represent the country’s state.

Using Gapminder.com, I researched two countries, Ethiopia (a LEDC) and Norway (a MEDC). Since they are a at very different stages of development, the two differed greatly in most (if not all) of the indicators.

Many agree that the HDI1 is a much better way to measure a country’s development. In 2011, the HDI of Norway was 0.94. In Ethiopia it was 0.36. Again, that is quite a big difference. Norway, was (and is) a country screen-shot-2016-12-05-at-6-44-56-pmwith one of the highest HDI in the world. As can be seen on the graph on the right, Norway is so high up that it is barely visible within the scale. The same cannot be said for Ethiopia, as it has quite a low HDI. This is most likely due to the country’s lack of wealth, a low life expectancy, and a poor education. Norway is at the other end of the spectrum in all of the following indicators. This can be seen by looking at both of the countries’ GDP per capita, life expectancy, and adult literacy rate. Firstly, the GDP per capita2. The GDP per capita of Norway, in 2011, was 40 thousand, while in Ethiopia it was 230. That is a huge difference. Norway was (and most likely still is) more than a 100 times wealthier than Ethiopia. As for life expectancy3, in Norway it was 82 in 2015. In Ethiopia it was 65.2. In this indicator, the gap between the numbers might not seem as major, but if it is considered as a person’s life, growing up to 82, instead of 65, is quite an important difference. Lastly, the adult literacy rate4. In 2007, Norway’s adult literacy rate was 100%. This means that every person in Norway, who was 15 or older, could read. At the same time, in Ethiopia, people were not as well educated, since the adult literacy rate was only 38%. That is less than half of the adults in Ethiopia. Looking at the components of HDI, strongly helps to show why Norway has so much of a higher rank.

As for some other indicators, this same kind of difference can be seen in birth rate, population growth, infant Mortality Rate, and babies per woman. Looking at all of these indicators, can help to show the reason behind why Norway is a MEDC, and Ethiopia is a screen-shot-2016-12-05-at-6-45-54-pmLEDC. First of all, the birth rate5 of Norway, in 2015, was 11.8, while in Ethiopia, it was 31.9. This helps to show that Ethiopia has a faster population growth than Norway. Having a fast population growth is not alway bad, but in this case it has negative effects. This is because it leads Ethiopia to have a population, that is too large, so the people cannot be supplied with the resources that they need. Speaking of population growth6, in 2011, it was 1.27% in Norway, while it was 2.13% in Ethiopia. Therefore, the population growth of Ethiopia, even though it seems like such a small difference, is still twice as big as Norway’s. Again, this leads Ethiopia to have a population that is too big for them to handle, and therefore it can lead to a lower standard of living for all citizens. Next, the infant mortality rate7. In 2015, Norway’s infant mortality rate was 2. Ethiopia’s was 41.1 This means that, from every 1,000 births, in Norway 2 babies didn’t make it to their first birthday. While in Ethiopia, around 41 didn’t. This data helps to prove how much of a pooper health care Ethiopia has. Lastly, babies per woman8. In 2015, in Norway the amount of babies per woman was 1.93, when at the same time in Ethiopia it was 4.28. This stands hand in hand with the birth rate, to show how much faster Ethiopia’s population is growing.

In conclusion, there is a major difference between the development in these countries. Though, over all, this data (all collected from Gapminder.com) helps to show the difference between Norway and Ethiopia, and MEDCs and LEDCs.

World Religions Unit Reflection

Backward – Looking

What problems did you encounter while you were working on this piece? How did you solve them?

Some of the main problems I found, revolved around the fact that I have never been to a MYP school before. This includes things like MLA citations and the TSC. I solved this problem through talking with classmates, who were able to explain to me how I needed to do things. I am very grateful for learning this already, though, because I know that I will benefit from that in the future.


Inward – Looking

Did you meet your standards?

For this presentation (link here)  I did meet my standards. Before starting, I wanted the presentation to be informative, and project my and my partners learning. I consider that I achieved these standards, due to how the project turned out. I also believe that me and my partner worked well together, since we worked on the task equally.


Outward – Lookingscreen-shot-2016-11-08-at-11-50-24-am

Did you do your work the way other people did theirs?

For my research religions project I did not. This is because most people created either an infographic or wrote an essay. I, instead, chose to present my knowledge in a video format. I did this because it is something I have done before and therefore am very comfortable with, and I find that I enjoy it more. To make my video I used powtoon. The website is easy to use and very functional.


Forward – Looking

One thing I would like to improve upon is …

In general, I want to still improve on quickly finding useable and reliable information from my research. I think that research is very important overall, and it is very useful. Therefore, I find that doing research quickly but still efficiently would be a smart and useful skill to have for the future, which is why it is something that I want to get better at.

Unit 1 Reflection — Linnea Siukosaari


Reading: Over all I am doing well and do not have specific things that I need to improve on. Reading is one of my major strengths.

Writing: In my writing I am using new vocabulary and using a lot of detail. Something that could improve is using more advanced expressions and transitions.

Speaking: While speaking, I can add into conversation and use complete sentences. My pronunciation also is strong. I could improve by adding in new vocabulary while speaking, to make my language more advanced.

Listening: In listening I can understand general ideas and concepts, while writing down details and taking notes.

Grammar and Vocabulary: I know and understand a variety of vocabulary an grammar. I could improve by including some more of the grammar that I learn in my writing and speaking.

Some changes I want to make for the next quarter:

  • Revise my writing more thoroughly — If I am able to use my notes then I will go over my expressions list and add some into my writing. If I am not aloud my notes before turning a piece of writing in, then I before hand study the transitions and expressions that could be used relating to the topic more.
  • Have a clearer plan when starting to write — Before beginning a piece of writing I will create clear outline that organize the ideas of the writing in an order that I can follow when writing.