Wednesday, April 4, 2018

NO more GRADES ????

Since the beginning of this semester our TOK class has been using the "no grades" system. Personally, I think it is an interesting system. At first I didn't understand a "no grade" grade system. But now I see that basically you get a "100" if you do the assignment, and you get a "0" if you don't do the the work or you do it wrong.. 

I've been accustomed to grades for my whole life at this point, and I'm not a fan of the new TOK system. I feel like if I do an assignment to the best of my abilities and I do another assignment that's crap, they should not get the same grade. 

Devaluing the "100" is an interesting concept still, though. I see that as a student, a lot of times, we are more focused on the grade than understanding what we are learning (exclude "IBDP" because if don't understand we won't get the grade). Previously, I wasn't sure that was inherently bad - I'm still not convinced that it's completely bad. 

If you work to get the grade "100" , by whatever means, whether it be just memorizing concepts, applying common sense, or being a strategic guesser.. then did you not still earn the grade? In contrast, on a deeper level I do understand the point of "no grades" is to encourage you to learn the concepts and connect with them for your own personal knowledge. 

The problem within that system is that not every student (probably not even most from what I have seen) care about the often absurd (seemingly, maybe not) topics that we learn about in school enough to genuinely unpack them and apply them to our lives.

Even still, because we are IB, and we expected to do this, I think the system is okay for TOK because it forces and encourages interpersonal learning.

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

400 words about CAKE !!

For our TOK midterm, Brewer assigned a Christmas Friendsgiving type ordeal. The objective was to bring some type of food that is special to either my family or culture. I brought CAKE! Not just any cake, but my Nana's special pound cake.

I decided to bring my Nana's cake because my family literally eats that cake at every special event, holiday, and sometimes even just on ordinary days when we crave something sweet to eat.

I remember ever since I was a little girl my Nana would always make pound cake for Christmas and Thanksgiving especially. Ironically, my family aren't huge cake eaters. My Papa doesn't eat sugar at all, my Nana likes to bake cakes but doesn't really eat them, my mom is really picky in the types of cakes she eats, I don't really like cake, and all my other family members like ALL types of cake. However, my Nana's special pound cake is meeting ground for even the pickest of us, we all love it!

The cake is far from bitter, but never too sweet. It doesn't have icing, and it's very moist. Also, pound cake doesn't have as many calories as say.. a red velvet cake! My Nana's special pound is significant to my family because it's one of desserts we all agree on.

Sometimes the day after Christmas or Thanksgiving my Nana will make a big pot of delicious coffee and we'll eat pound cake with our coffee for breakfast. From the youngest in my family, my 4 year old sister and my 7 year old sister, to the oldest in my family, my 81 year old grandma Ida, everyone in my family is crazy for that pound cake.

Not only does my biological family love the cake, my church family loves my Nana's special pound cake too! On days when we have to bring something to church, my Nana brings the pound cake pretty often. People try to reserve the cake, just because they know that it goes so fast!

That sweet, moist, delicious cake that my Nana bakes to perfection is a key component to special holidays in my family. Christmas/ Thanksgiving/New Years/etc. would not be the same without my Nana's special pound cake! I was happy to share my Nana's delicious creation with my classmates, and hopefully you guys enjoyed it as much as my family does!!

Saturday, December 9, 2017

CAVE Reflection

A long long long long long LONG time ago (I am honestly not even sure when tbh).. Brewer assigned the cave essay. The assignment told us to summarize Plato's Cave, give personal experiences in our ways of knowing, and basically tell how the cave effects our ways of knowing + it wanted us to give an example of a cave that we live in.

Reading my essay again -which felt like reading someone else's essay since it's been long that I became disconnected from my work- I see that there were many areas that could have used more connections, and an increase in clarity would have also been beneficial to my essay. Along with a few meager punctuation errors, and some lacking development my essay did not reach the potential that my ideas could have achieved if they were executed and evaluated more effectively.

I feel like throughout the essay I structured my paragraphs in my essay with the intent of creating well thought out TOK questions. However, from the comments Brewer made I'm not sure I did a good job at it. Still, even after reading it again I don't think my questions were horrible even though they could use some extra thought. For instance, one of my questions was, "So since the faith of the prisoners led them astray from verity, can we assert that faith can be unreliable way of knowing"? I do not feel that this is inherently bad, but if it were more developed, more narrow, and more direct it would have been more successful to my essay. It's definitely a good conversational question, but I should have focused more on some deeper concept that tied the paragraph together better for this essay and that was more TOK-y.

Honestly, my conclusions at the end of my paragraphs suck so much. As a general statement, I'm a pretty good writer most of the time. However, I'm not so great at being concise all the time. I have good ideas, but often I struggle at getting them on the paper in the same way that it was in my brain. I wish everyone could just see my thoughts as pure as they come to my mind or that I could get my ideas out more effectively. This was greatest struggle of my essay. My ideas and understanding did not line up with my train of thought.

I also feel that my cave allegory could have been explained better. Since the time I wrote this, my perception on the education system as a cave has changed. I feel that the cave is deeper than I thought at first. We are so far deep in the cave that we don't want to come out. Last weekend, I went to the swim meet to get 10 extra points on McCormick's midterm; I hated it. I wouldn't have went if the points weren't offered. I'm so deep into the cave that I'm willing to be bribed to get a desired grade. Attending that meet had nothing to do with me gaining any knowledge in HOTA, nor did it even have any significance to my growth as a person or a student. To not be constrained to a cave would mean that everything that we do should either add to our happiness, knowledge, or personal self-worth in some manner. The schooling system fails to achieve in so many different areas. The cave goes deeper. I realize that the cave exists, I dwell in it, and I'm not 100% sure I can get out (or that I desire to be out even). Imagine if I didn't know about the cave... the cave would then be even deeper for me. Neglecting to talk about this in my paper, made it fail short of it's potential. Identifying the different elements such as the sun, could have also helped. Most importantly though, I needed to hit the concept better.

Monday, November 13, 2017

Keys To My Heart

Being told to "map myself", was sort of a perplexing concept for me to grasp. I thought to myself, "How can I map myself...?". Usually, I probably would not take an assignment so seriously but I honestly thought that this was an important thing to do. I came to my own personal conclusion that mapping myself out would force me to think deeply about myself. Why am I the way that I am? Why do I think about things in the way that I do? What makes me who I am? I decided to try to find these truths about myself, and capture them in my map of myself.

Starting from my head down, my picture gradually gets deeper and deeper into my heart and soul. I have multicolored curls, both very curly and poofy. The hair itself is only literal, being that that's how it looks naturally. On the right side of my hair, I have golden glitter stars, and different variations of purple and pink flowers. These stars and flowers represent how my individuality is shown in my hair, even though they seemingly do not belong. They portray my feelings of displacement in the world..

My army green eyes in the picture, capture the beauty of my eyes in real life. In my left eye there is a pink starfish looking thing. In my other eye there is an orange sun. I see the world in pink and orange. Pink is subtle and orange is radical. Like how I have a dual understanding of the world, partially orange, and partially orange. Under my right eye, there are tears. The tears are representative of my life in the past. I put the tears on the right side because the orange sun (radical perspective) helps me to understand why a lot of things happened in the past; I have a sunny perspective of things that made me cry before.

On my chin I have stripes. In Isaiah 53:5, the bible says, "..By HIS stripes we are healed." So relating to the pain of the past.. I am healed and delivered through Jesus Christ. But when Jesus healed me, he replaced heartbreak with himself inside of me, and I am a different person today. So the stripes also show me now; I have multiple parts and layers, so you could also say that the stripes are representative of my many dimensions as a person... that I found in being connected to God.

As well as dimensional, I wanted to display my complexities as a person. On my right shoulder there is a collage of swirls. I purposely made the swirls go in various directions, and have different sizes. I personally, feel like that's how I am as a person. I can be a bit temperamental, and I am that way because I'm so complex. It's difficult for me, myself, to even understand the depth of my intricacy. This complexity that I have often leads me to utter disappointment, frustration, and stress, when things are not done the way I need them to be done (which is sometimes unobtainable), but wholly I believe that's part of what makes me who I am. It's beautiful.. so I put glitter on some parts. I put my complexities on my shoulder because the bible also talks about how Jesus was to have the government on his shoulders.. governments are a heavy load to carry, the same as my complexities.

I have a big heart placed on the right side of my chest, instead of on the left like it's supposed to be. The placement of my heart is a representation of my heart and it's morality. I try to do things in a way that's the way it should morally be done, and I have a lot of love that to give. I draw my personal morality from the Word Of God.. the bible. My heart has a cross dead in the center of it. It's my goal to have Jesus as the center of my life, that's what causes my heart to be big, my tears to be dried by the sun in my eyes, and that's where the stillness that prevents my complexities from overtaking me comes from. I have this in heart that I know I can't handle alone and I use arrows to show that I leave those things at the cross. Rooting from the cross are gifts that God gives me beyond the gifts that fulfill my physiological needs. I also have black spaces and white spaces inside of my heart. The white parts are open for like my children, and husband, and other things I go through out life, and learn to love other things and people. The black parts are my dark parts.. like my internal issues within myself.

I enjoyed trying to map myself, and honestly I could say so much more.. but we can consider the other parts "silences within the map" ;)

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Language WOK Reflection

I believe that my group did a great job on explaining how language works as a way of knowing. We started off by discerning between language, communication, and speech. Language is following a specific set of rules defining speech. We discussed the possible origins of language, and what the world would be like without language.

We posed questions, that encouraged good class conversation. I feel that my classmates were truly intrigued by the presentation. It was a great idea to start with the language charades game. We got the class involved from the beginning of the lesson. I also feel that the videos were key elements to our success in the presentation. The videos tied together what had been said, and further extended our points.

I think Eva did a good job at orchestrating, specifically in making sure our timing was good. We literally finished at 3:10 which was impeccable, and wouldn't have happened without Eva. Nykia was very knowledgeable in the origins of language. She did a great job at formulating class discussion questions. Rebekah kept the class upbeat with her useful comments. Finally, Gabe was did a good job working on the powerpoint.

I know that we're always supposed to have "room for improvement" and all of that blah blah blah... but honestly I didn't see any need for improvement in any area. I feel that our presentation hit every point that it needed to, and it also avoided meaningless elements. Every aspect had value to it. I don't believe that there was a need to add or take out anything. If there was, I was oblivious to it. I thought it went great.

Most importantly, our group worked well together. From each person deciding what they were interested in researching, to us tying all of our information together, to the flowing organization of the powerpoint, to how we all took turns in explaining, answering questions, and teaching about our area of specified knowledge, we truly worked well together. We all came together on one accord to get the work done, and that's what made our project have a successful outcome.

Being the teacher for the day was not something that thoroughly enjoyed, but it wasn't dreadful or anything. I didn't reveal anything about me to myself... as far as I'm concerned.. but either way the project was very good.

Sunday, August 27, 2017

Heartbreak to Hard work

I believe that heartbreak fuels hard work. One of my favorite people in the world is my uncle Tyler. I've always loved him so much. He knows how to make me smile no matter what. I figured he'd always be here in my life. You know, here when I graduate high school, college, and grad school, when I get married, when I have a baby, and I'd always thought that he would just be there whenever I felt the urge to be around him. Sadly, that's not the case.

It broke my heart when I found out that I can't just pick up the phone, and dial his number whenever I want to. It shattered me inside to know that I may not see this man's sweet face for years and years and years to come... if ever.

I remember that Monday morning in June. I got up 6 am and got dressed. A good portion of my family and close family friends loaded up to head to the the Fulton County court. I was nervous, but I was hopeful. I headed to my seat on the third row.

Then they brought him out. Chained up like a dog, in a dreadfully, ugly, orange jumpsuit, appeared my uncle escorted by a bulky bailiff. This sight instantly broke me down, piece by piece.

The verdict rang in my ears, my heart probably stopped, my eyes were red as blood, and my face was gross and moist. I'll never forget that day, a seed of everlasting hurt was planted in me that day. But, the thing is God turned it around.

I remember many things that my uncle told me, things that he wanted for me, hopes that he had for my life. I may not be able to feel his presence but, his remembering his words brings a warmth to my soul. I decided not to let that bring me down or to hold me down. Instead I keep my head up and smile like my Uncle Tyler told me to.

I haven't always been a very motivated person, I was indifferent to a lot of things. That seed of hurt and bitterness was supposed to make me quit and feel as if I couldn't go on. But instead my memories of him and the words that he inscribed on my heart watered that seed with hope and determination. It grows fruits of success, ability, and a will to never quit or slow down. My uncle isn't in the position to be my happiness anymore, but I can certainly be a fraction of his. He told me, see the world, and not to be bogged down by the chains that life sometimes tries to capture you in.

I've found that when you put the energy from being heartbroken into being a hard worker, you can make things happen. I strive to continuously give my all and, I know that this is what would make my uncle Tyler proud, I know that my life can be an encouragement to him. I miss him a lot.. but maybe it's better this way. I wouldn't be who I am today without the hard work that stemmed from my heartbreak.

Sunday, October 9, 2016

A Breakdown of Fear: and a Solution.

Fear is a very dimensional emotion. When defining fear you cannot just use one definition because, it has multiple meanings.

 The fear that makes your heart race is defined as an unpleasant emotion caused by the belief that someone or something is dangerous, likely to cause pain or a threat. This type of fear is synonymous with words such as; panic, alarm, frightened, worry, and phobia. *I'm going to refer to this as Type 1 fear*

The fear defined as reverence and dread is more of a respectful or honorable type of emotion. " The love and fear of God. " *Type 2*

A feeling of anxiety concerning the well-being of others is another domain of fear. *Type 3*

The last notable form of "fear" is the likelihood of something unwelcoming happening. This is the fear of chance, prospect, possibility, or risk. *Type 4*

Naturally, every man has instinctive awareness. I mean no sane person will run out in front of a car that they know is moving. Does that mean you fear you moving car? Not necessarily, that's more of a common sense thing. Fear excludes practical dangers because rational fear promotes human survival.

The thing about fear is, it's holds you back. It causes you to lose opportunities, sleep, and sometimes even yourself. Fear is pointless. You can't stop the inevitable, so why fear it? Living in fear isn't really living at all because you are confined to your box of fear. 

So what if I told you that the remedy to fear is.. fear. Type 1, Type 3, and Type 4 fear are all brought under subjection through Type 2 fear.

The fear and admonishment of The Lord will cease every sliver of fear that dwells within you. 

There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love. -1 John 4:18

For I am The LORD your God who takes hold of your right hand and says to you, Do no fear; I will help you. -Isaiah 41:13

When I am afraid, I put my trust in you. In God whose word I praise- in God I trust and am not afraid. What can mere mortals do to me? - Psalms 56: 3-4

God has not made us to be a people of fear but to be a people of bravery, a peculiar people. By having confidence in God, that he will help you through all things and the certainty that all things work together for those who love the Lord, whom or what shall you fear? No one and no thing other than God himself. 

The fear of The Lord leads to life, So that one may sleep satisfied, untouched by evil. -Proverbs 19:23

Fear not the things and happenings of this world and live your life in reverence to God. There is a better life in Type 2 fear. Type 1, 3, and 4 fear will make your life difficult.