Posted in 12th Grade, IB English Learner's Portfolio

Reflection on the Previous Semester

Last semester was admittedly not really the best time for me. There were quite a few assignments that I handed in late or didn’t do for a long time. I managed to get my IO done at least. Personally, I feel like I poured as much as I could into it but whether it was worth it or not is really not for me to decide. I think it’s really about time I properly got my head into the game and try to power through the rest of the year giving it my all.

We read The Odyssey as another potential literary text for our IO’s. It was a long read and the language was sometimes confusing, but it was kind of interesting nonetheless to read something as old as that and learn more about Ancient Greek culture. We also did mock IO’s and a practice paper 1. The mock IO itself wasn’t exactly the best but for now, I should focus my attention on the paper 1 exam.

Posted in 12th Grade, IB English Learner's Portfolio

I’m a Fan

Snob Appeal: The whole advertising campaign is for celebrities who regularly stay at their hotels to be labelled as “fans”, which markets the hotel like some sort of rich person luxury hotel, so anyone who regularly stays at the hotel can become a fan also. Karen Mok is a famous person, and she’s wearing a fancy looking dress and holding a teacup, making her look high-class person, which adds to the whole luxurious hotel thing they’re marketing.

Famous people: Karen Mok is a celebrity with a lot of influence. If people find out that she likes Mandarin Oriental, more people will want to come. Also a form of transfer, so associating a celebrity with a hotel will suggest that the hotel is good.

Transfer: Transfer of colours. The text box below is red, and so is Karen Mok’s dress. Red is the colour of good fortune in China. This could appeal more to Chinese audiences, it’ll make the hotel look better in their eyes. Basically, because red is a good colour, associating red with the hotel will make the hotel also look good.

Ethos, kind of: Using Karen Mok as part of their marketing strategy, having her say that she likes Mandarin Oriental gives the hotel some credibility, that the luxury and good quality they say they’ll provide are not lies, and that they really are a good hotel. We can trust that this hotel is the good hotel that they say they are.

Posted in 12th Grade, IB English Learner's Portfolio

Onion-Style Satirical Article – by Siwoong, Amanda and Jenny

Interviews with 99 seniors at the International School of Beijing shockingly reveal that students enjoy the anxiety arising from serious consequences they will face from the next day by procrastinating.   

BEIJING, CHINA– “I love the feeling of crying myself to sleep,” says Amy Lu, a high school senior watching YouTube on the couch. “Also, being chased after by Ms. McRoberts and her WIP lunch makes me excited about going to school.”   

Image from Elestoque 

In recent psychological research conducted by a psychology student at ISB, Stephanie Zhang concluded with the following surprising conclusion: ISB students are masochists. Impenetrable actions are commonly found taken by ISB students to gain them great joy in the depressing IB program.  

The most frequently used torture method was sleep deprivation, which can create short-term euphoria and has a similar effect to that of a drug trip. ISB students, instead of using cocaine or marijuana, decide to use sleep deprivation to achieve that feeling of short-term happiness and hallucination.   

It has also been revealed in a study conducted by Harvard University on mice that sleep deprivation can cause the brain to degrade and slowly eat itself. ISB students have been revealed to enjoy memory loss and the feeling of their own brains cannibalizing themselves to stay alive.   

Another commonly used method was digression. YouTube, which has been their best friend since they were young, has decided to turn against them and turn pleasure into pain. This pain, however, is not one that causes suffering and despair in a negative way, but rather a sort of high that students indulge in.   

“I have no idea how seniors are managing their work by digressing during CORE classes,” says Ms. McRoberts, IB coordinator of ISB. “I had initially thought that the despair from IB would get these kids to work hard, but now they all smile at me with tears in their eyes as I pass in the halls!”  

“School does not give us enough time to enjoy harming myself,” says Jay Cho, a senior at ISB. He added that “the wellness weekends and long weekends have prevented him from watching the sunrise and that now he can no longer get the euphoria that comes with sleep deprivation.”   

“Seniors are the role model that we all look after,” from a junior at ISB, “I hope I can be like them and enjoy my life next year.” 

Posted in 12th Grade, IB English Learner's Portfolio

8 Articles in a Listicle

https://www.theschooloflife.com/thebookoflife/what-is-mental-health/

I chose this article because it is able to give an overview of what mental health really is.

https://www.theschooloflife.com/thebookoflife/mental-illness-and-reasons-to-live/

I chose this article because it talks about our reasons to live and our understanding of them.

https://www.theschooloflife.com/thebookoflife/mental-illness-and-acceptance/

I chose this article because it talks about accepting mental illness and accepting ourselves even when unwell.

https://www.theschooloflife.com/thebookoflife/melancholy-the-best-kind-of-despair/

I chose this article because it educates a bit about melancholy and what it can do.

https://www.theschooloflife.com/thebookoflife/on-feeling-depressed/

I chose this article because it talks about the feeling of depression our feelings towards it.

https://www.theschooloflife.com/thebookoflife/our-right-to-be-miserable/

I chose this article because we have a right to be miserable, even if society doesn’t like misery and makes us feel like we’re obligated to be happy.

https://www.theschooloflife.com/thebookoflife/the-role-of-sleep-in-mental-health/

I chose this article because it talks about how sleep can affect our mental health.

https://www.theschooloflife.com/thebookoflife/the-role-of-pills-in-mental-health/

I chose this article because it talks about how pills can affect our mental health.

Posted in 11th Grade, IB English Learner's Portfolio

End of Year thoughts

So as the year came to a close, so did our lockdown. Near the end of the school year, we were allowed to go back to school. However it was not really “school”, just the same self-studying we had been doing for the past few months, except in a different location.

I’ve realized that concentrating at school is better since I pretty much can’t get anything done when I’m all cozied up at home. After ages of being stuck at home, I have lost the ability to socialize and had just gotten way too used to isolation. Last year, it was interesting to analyze Carol Ann Duffy’s poems by ourselves. It was rather challenging to analyze a poem by myself but it actually turned out to be rather more interesting once you get to know her style a little bit more.

Looking ahead made me nervous about the fact that I was about to become a senior. I have decided that I really wanted to pull myself together for the final year. I wanted to try and at least get things done on time and stay more organized. To do that, I have decided to buy a planner, so I can keep important dates in there and

Posted in 11th Grade, IB English Learner's Portfolio

Coronavirus and Lockdown

In February, after Chinese New Year, we were expecting to go back to school. Unfortunately, we were never able to return for the longest time due to the coronavirus that went on. All learning was moved online and many people could not come back to China for a long time.

I was actually very surprised to learn that we were supposed to do a lot of self-studying. When we were told “e-learning”, I was under the impression that we would still have daily classes, but that they would all be online. Instead, I was met with self-studying and the occasional zoom check-ins. In a way, I was pretty glad that I got to stay home all day. It meant I could work at my pace, my own schedule, and I didn’t have to see anyone. The bad part was that since I was at home, it was easy to get too relaxed and end up getting distracted. My biggest worry was because I was getting too relaxed and distracted, that made me procrastinate even more, meaning more stress when deadlines were coming up. I personally believed that teachers did what they could, considering we weren’t on the same continent. But, I don’t know, maybe I would have felt a little better if zoom calls were more frequent so it felt more like school rather than self-studying.

Posted in 11th Grade, IB English Learner's Portfolio

Reflection on Duffy’s work

Duffy’s work, and poetry in general, had always been so confusing to me. I’ve always been the type to take things at face value and never really dive deeper into any hidden meanings or subliminal messages. Learning more about analyzing Duffy’s poetry has taught me to really look for these meanings, using all different types of techniques and literary devices. We were given a bunch of Duffy poems from her collection The World’s Wife to analyze during quarantine, namely Havisham, Anne Hathaway, Salome, Penelope, Delilah, and Medusa. We were asked a series of questions that followed, questions that I would most likely have never thought about before this unit. I found it a little difficult to answer them because the thought that just kept going through my head was “Why? I don’t know why, it’s just like that.”

Overall, I think learning about Duffy’s work really taught me to annotate better, look for any literary devices and how they connect to the overall purpose of this poem because I believe that’s the whole point, for any literary devices and subliminal messages shown to serve an overall purpose and message for the audience to interpret however they like.

Posted in 11th Grade, IB English Learner's Portfolio

Paper 1 Amy Chua Revision Reflection

There were a lot of things I did wrong with this Amy Chua paper 1 commentary. First, I forgot to add the title of the article, the publisher and date of publication in the first paragraph. This is something I forgot in both the handwritten version and the revisited version. Second, I used an informal tone, which is something to never be used in a formal paper. Third, I should have used more quotes as evidence, because people need evidence when trying to prove a point.

There were also a lot of minor things I did wrong, like spelling errors and not using an introductory sentence to a paragraph. In this paper 1 commentary, a lot of what I did was summarize what the author did and I did not dig deep enough to call it a formal analysis. I should have done more analysis and annotation instead of just summarize.

There were also some things that I didn’t completely screw up. I made valid observations, I had a decent flow of ideas, I was kind of organized and I had a clear understanding of the author’s intention.

Posted in 11th Grade, IB English Learner's Portfolio

ABC – Socratic Seminar

So, I had to do this Socratic seminar twice because, apparently, the first time I did, it was not that successful. I do admit, there were a few times where we had awkward moments of silence, and Ms. Cameron did say there were some topics we could’ve dug deeper on, but I still felt terrible about having to do the Socratic seminar twice. Ms. Abdallah did say that we should’ve prepared better by saying what topics we wanted to discuss before-hand.

The second attempt was a bit better. There weren’t as many awkward silences, although there were some, they were not that obvious. I think in the second attempt, there were a lot of topics we discussed like the herbalist’s wife, the significance of bubble tea, the transformer toy and so on. This attempt wasn’t as much of a train wreck as the first one but it wasn’t the best either. We didn’t dig as deep into certain topics as we could have and some people in the group didn’t contribute anything at all. But overall, the second attempt was better than the first.