"I have no special talent. I am only passionately curious" - Albert Einstein

English 9 Final Blog Post

Grade 9 English has been such a great journey for me, it has not only helped me develop as an English student but also as an individual, and as a thinker. Especially, the last unit – “What’s So Funny” was a particularly interesting one for me, since it was my first time truly considering how do speakers and poets and playwriters make their work funny. Through my investigation of the play “Mother Figure”, the poem “Frau Freud” and many other activities I did in this unit, I’ve learnt that the tone, diction and the context of the language are critical in determining whether the piece of work is funny or not. In particular, irony and satire is one common way for authors to make their work comedic, yet still, have a purpose or message. Some literary devices also assist in making a work humorous, like rhyming pattern in the poem Frau Freud, “the dick, prick, dipstick and wick…” or confusion in the play “Mother Figure”,

“Terry: Eh?

Rosemary: What?”

However, there is still a lot to humour that I do not know yet, like how do speakers time their joke so it will be more effective, or how do poets use rhyming patterns to make it sound more light-hearted and funny.

Unfortunately, I failed to complete my SMART goal I’ve set at the beginning of the unit. I did submit all of my work, but my goal explicitly said “in time” and “with the best quality”. Because there were a lot of other tests and projects going on, I had failed to submit my play analysis on time, and I will admit it wasn’t my best work this year. That is also the hardest thing about this unit – time management. Not going to lie, I was heavily overwhelmed at the start of this unit. I must’ve not organised my days properly, and that led to me lacking behind in many classes, including English. One thing I would’ve done differently is to have a look at what my tasks are before blindly setting plans for them since I was wildly underestimating the time it will take me to finish the 5 journals.

Everything has a silver lining though, and I did see a few success in this unit. In particular, I am quite happy with my analysis of the play. It was my first time dealing with a “modern play” (not Shakespeare or those older plays), and also my first time working with comedic devices. Even though I’ve got some comedic devices wrong when I was writing my journals, I am overall happy that I’ve identified a few. Here is an example of my analysis work:

Regarding my Student as Learner standard, I believe I deserve a Satisfactory for my “responsibility” and Exemplary for “attitude”, here is why. I gave myself a Satisfactory for “responsibility ” standard because I have been using teachers’ and peer’s feedback well, and was decently organised. However, I did not complete all my work on time, so that prevents me to deserve an Exemplary. For this strand of the SAL, I need to start proactively requesting feedback, perhaps before I submit the work even. I never really did that, and only went to the teacher when I was confused about something or need help. If I go to the teacher for feedback before I submit I can ensure that my work is all correct and will be approved by the teacher. For my “attitude” strand, I gave myself an Exemplary because I always have a good outlook on my study. I always made sure that I stayed on task, and take initiative for my work. One thing I can still work on, however, is to work on my goal setting, maybe have some short term goals instead of one large long term goal to guide myself through this unit.

Anyways, it will be only a few weeks until I finish my freshman year of High School. Overall, I am pleased with my year in English. Even though I started quite slow, I eventually caught up to the standard and had some great performances for different tasks that I am very proud of. I am definitely looking forward to English 10. My goal for next year is to increase my reading amount. It is quite ironic that that is already my plan I set last August at the start of this year. I did make some solid progress, like reading at least for the required class amount every other day and reading more in the weekends, but I still feel like I have a lot to improve on. Specifically, I need to venture out to more genres and types of books, or read from authors from different cultures, and not just from the “classic English canon”. Another goal I have is to increase my vocabulary. Honestly, I feel like I haven’t made that much progress in increasing my vocabulary amount since preparing for the SSAT, and that’s definitely one area I will look to expand upon next year since I believe it’ll help me greatly to write better, read deeper and communicate clearer. But enough said, overall I am just looking forward to continuing my study in English, meet new classmates and continue to work with some fantastic teachers. Thank you to everyone that made my English 9 such a productive and enjoyable time, have a good summer.



Oprah Winfrey Golden Globes Speech

CASE Podcast Episode 1 – Interviews

This is my edited version of my first episode of the CASE podcast. The most major change I’ve done to it is to mix the audios together all over again. I’ve done this is because of one major problem I’ve identified is that the editing of the different sections of my podcast was not consistent since I’ve edited them in separate segments. So this time, I’ve gathered the original clips again and merged them in one segment, so my editing will be consistent. This will ensure the volume is consistent, eliminate any peaks that will disturb the fluency of the audio, and overall makes the listening experience more smooth and enjoyable. One of the strands in the rubrics states, “Clear sound most of the time, balanced audio, sound effect track works okay, no awkward or overly long transitions, appropriate “. By remixing my sounds together, it will ensure balanced audio, and for my music to be more complimentary to the audio. Next, I’ve altered the tempos of a certain part of my interview, because during the recording I’ve spoken a bit too fast and some of the words were unclear. Finally, I’ve added some transitions to make my podcast more engaging.

Tutor Training Week 3 Reflection

Overall, I am making solid progress on this course. I had completed a few sections already and tested myself on them with the surveys after the class. However, I am uncertain about whether I can finish this whole course before the 1st of March, so I definitely need a more systematic and organized way of studying in this online course. For example, I might schedule like 30 minutes of working on it per day, I will test it out next week. But in terms of the actual contents of this course, I am very much enjoying them, it is not a heavy workload, and yet still made me learn a lot of information regarding tutoring. All of the new information I learnt about tutoring – regardings its origins, development, usage, techniques, etc – further provokes my interest in this discipline and certainly motivates me further in pursuing more knowledge regarding this.

Tutor Training – Initial Reflection

My start with this online course has been a little shaky. I wasn’t really used to a large number of instructions given on a page, so I missed a step during the student orientation class, which disabled me from starting the tutor course. I definitely should be more careful from now, reading each page with care, noting down every assignment and checking afterwards to make sure I had indeed completed them. Overall, my first impression with this class has been great, my mentor seems very nice and knowledgeable, and already provided me with some insights in terms of tutoring. After viewing the course break down, I had realised that tutoring is a more complex skill than I thought it war. Overall, I am just very much looking forward to proceeding with this course and start to make my self a better tutor. I am especially looking forward to “the philosophy as a tutor”, one of the questions on the first task I did in this class prompted me with this, and I spent a long time thinking over it. I still don’t have a distinct answer regarding that question, I think I need to learn more about it and tutoring in general for me to have a solid stance on this. I believe this will be one of the most important steps for me to become a successful tutor, because it will define my role and my approach with students in a classroom environment, so I am very keen on learning more upon this subject.

English Propaganda Analysis

IDU Reflection

The Grade 9 Interdisciplinary Unit was undoubtedly a challenge for me. Yet, I’ve also learnt many crucial skills in the journey of working with my teammates to address an inclusion issue here at ISB. This was a treacherous journey filled with tumultuous periods, but in the end, I am sincerely proud of the work that my team and I had done.


Initially, I wasn’t quite intrigued by the concept of this unit. I believed that ISB is a very inclusive school, and did not see the point for the project. Therefore, I did not possess a proper attitude towards this project at the start. However, one day, I was talking to Mr Dilts about this project, and he provided me with some insights that really shifted my view on the purposes of this project. He had agreed with me that ISB is a pretty inclusive school already, but there are certain aspects we can still improve on, which I concur. However, he also mentioned the school is planning to implement more policies to further improve upon our school’s inclusiveness to a broader range of students. In particular, he pointed out that we don’t have any physically disabled students in our school, like students in a wheelchair, students who are deaf, or students who have visual impair. This made me realised that this project serves as a stepping stone for the long term vision of our school in terms of being inclusive enough to provide a boarder range of students in need with the same quality education we have. Through this discussion, I’ve gained a better understanding of this project and its purpose. This benefited me to come up with me design solution that fits into the longterm vision of this project, and also taught me a lesson; I should never retain initial impressions of a thing without getting better understandings towards it.


In terms of collaboration with my team, even though we had a slow start, we still exhibited great teamwork to finish off the project. The initial days were the hardest, of course, we never interacted with each other before in school, so it feels quite awkward and uncomfortable. However, after getting to know each other briefly through the ice breaker activity, we found out that we have a lot in common, and made working together much more easier. We started off by establishing team norms. We kept it brief and straightforward, like always communicate through the WeChat group, etc. Through the whole project, I believe none of us had broken these norms, and I also think this is one of the significant factors to our successful teamwork. We all contributed our strengths to our project, in which we distribute our work equally. I was put in charge of the fitness aspect of our project since I am an athlete and I have a lot of experience regarding fitness and working out. Malia was in charge of designing our campaign, since she is the most creative person in our team, and skilled with a variety of visual media. Lastly, Matthew was put in charge of nutrition and education since he had researched similar topics before. We didn’t have a leader in our team, per se; however, we meet with each other before each work session to ensure each member is comfortable with accomplishing their target, which we never encountered a problem with. Then we split off executing our tasks, assisting whomever that needs help, and finally, we meet at the end of each day again to discuss our progress and reflect upon our work. We got this system from one of the sessions the teachers taught about effective teamwork, which is definitely quite useful.


Nevertheless, there are definitely aspects that I need to improve on. For starters, I need to keep my teammates updated and ensure clear communication with them even when I am not present that day. We had a communication error that cost us a lot towards the end of our project. I was out of the city for CISSMUN, and we didn’t really plan ahead for that since we were too focused on designing our final product. We briefly discussed and agreed upon to all work on the final pitch while I was absent. One of my teammates put herself in charge of creating the slide show for our pitch, which she didn’t inform me. So basically, unbeknownst to me, she was making a PPT to go with our final pitch, while I was doing the exact same task in Shanghai. This means we wasted crucial time and effort repeating each other work and forced our hands to have no time to create a video to go with our presentation, which was one media we were very excited to use to explain our design. In the future, I will ensure that I had clearly planned out my work with my teammates in the circumstances for me to be absent during the project, and regularly check in with each other.

Another thing that I think all of our group members can improve on is flexibility and acute thinking. For our final pitch, we practised our script many times to ensure that we got down every word we wanted to say. However, during the actual pitch, for some reason, one of my team member either forgotten or merged one of the slides with another one. This threw us off course. We were very unorganised after that since none of us was sure about what to do after that mistake. Thinking back from now, I realised it wasn’t that big of a deal anyway, and we should’ve just disregarded that slide, and continue with our pitch.


Overall, I am happy with my performance during the project, and I am incredibly grateful for the teachers to put in so much effort for us to learn about the issue of inclusivity, along with teamwork, presentation, big data and many more. Of course, I have a great appreciation for my teammates for always being productive, kind, and fun, making this project not only fruitful academically, but also an absolute blast of a time.

Tutor Training Blog 2 – Introduction

My name is Ray, a freshman, I am Cantonese, and I’ve been at ISB for a year now. Personally, my favourite subjects are English, science, PE and civics; basically, I enjoy most subjects. My general interest includes sports, I play rugby, football, basketball, soccer and many other sports, I just enjoy being active and meeting new people while playing sports. Furthermore, I also like music, gaming, movies, reading and a lot of other activities. The reason I am taking Tutor Training is that I always find joy in teaching other people, and never hesitated to help when my friends or peer need help with any subject. Therefore, I took up this course to hopefully learn more about how to be a better tutor and get more opportunity to practice skills related to this discipline.

One meaningful experience when I helped someone to learn something is when I’ve taught one of my friends back in Shanghai how to write good essays. This experience really means a lot to me, because that was probably the first time where I taught someone something and I actually have seen the results of it. At the start of the year, he was really struggling with English writing. However, through continually working with him on writing more consistently and with better quality; he had successfully written his application essays to American boarding schools quite independently and gotten into a top-ranked school. It was undoubtedly a very memorable experience for both of us. It had demonstrated to me the power of just merely helping someone with a specific thing can bring to that person’s future. That is another factor that inspired me to become a peer tutor.

What I feeling about the upcoming semester?

  1. Since I have a little bit of previous tutoring experience (through the club ESEE), I am incredibly excited to further enhance my skills in this discipline. I am inquisitive regarding what I have to learn and master to be a better tutor.
  2. I was in FA last year, and two high schoolers were enrolled in this course that was helping in my classes. They were really inspiring and great tutors, therefore I am looking forward to doing the same thing and take the skills I’ll learn in this class into other classrooms, and help students in need.

D-Log: Define & Inquire Unit


In this unit, we discovered and went through the first stage of our school’s design cycle – Define and Inquire. We had to first identify an issues we notice in our day to day life to focus on for this stage, which I quickly decided to focus on concussion since I’ve received one myself during the rugby season. Our main objectives for this unit is to create a tool to collect data, collect and analyse our data, and identify how we can use our data to create our final product.

A page on my final presentation discussing how I’ve identifies my problem

One of the example that inspired my data collection tool is a research paper published by NCAA on concussion of football student-athletes. There was extensive research conducted for that project, and the researched topic is similar to my research project, only on a smaller scale. This inspired my research tool specifically on the way I’ve collected my data and responses from my interviewee and my research philosophy. It discussed how each individual student-athlete should be treated as individuals, and any system created to help them should focus on adaptability, personalisation and making sure it can work for any student-athletes.

Another example that inspired me is research by NIH pertaining to the symptoms mentally of the student-athletes after receiving a concussion. This inspired me to focus more on this aspect of concussion in my own research project as well, by setting specific criteria in my questions to shed more light on the hidden changes of students when they get a concussion. Combined, all my precedents affected my development tool to make it more diverse, more professional and can be applied to real-life easily.

Initial sketch of my final product/ system

I’ve created a lot of knowledge about my audience’s problem throughout the project. This is partly because I’ve become an audience to my own project when I’ve gotten a concussion during APAC rugby. This unique and timely experience no doubly made me more conscious about some aspects of concussion recovery that I’ve never considered before and gave me a first-hand experience on the recovery process, and the journey to be cleared off of concussion.  Another crucial way I’ve learnt about the problems and difficulties my audience face is the interview I’ve conducted with Randen, the school physical therapist. He gave me another perspective on this problem. He gave me insights into how staff members and the school use the already existent system of concussion protocol to help my target audience, and this ultimately helped me shape my proposed final product.

A sample of my precedent in my research

Finally, some skills I would need to learn/practice to be successful in further stages of my design is how to make a personalised product, which will follow the philosophy and motives of my research. This will play a significant role in the shaping of my final product because that will be what makes my product different and more effective than the already existent protocol, specifically, it will be more for the student themselves’. It will be able to adapt to the needs of each and every student’s recovery. Because no student is the same, and I’m sure any physical therapist can confirm that claim. Therefore, I have to ensure that my product can be effective and beneficial to all student-athletes recovery process from a concussion.

The final prototype of my product – from my presentation

« Older posts

© 2021 Ray

Theme by Anders NorenUp ↑

Skip to toolbar