Saturday, June 16, 2012

A Very Good Place To Start

Greetings Knowers and happy summer. When we were last together, the big ideas were flying fast and furious, as were the hugs and roses. With a week's perspective (or amnesia) under your belt, please revisit Mia's speech. Extract a knowledge question from the speech and connect it to another moment of knowledge from your own life. This writing is due Friday 22 June at noon (in your time zone).


  1. In Mia's speech on graduation day she said, "Don't merely go through the motions believing your time or effort has been squandered. Don't close yourself off from something you don't think will immediately benefit you.” This leads me to question myself and others around me with the saying are we living or are we existing? Sometimes I find myself just existing and not living it fully, especially when things in life become difficult for me. When one lives they are fully experiencing and taking advantage of the opportunities life gives them. One who is existing in life is someone who is “merely go[ing] through the motions.” I would rather live my life than to exist within it. So in relation to Mia’s speech and my own personal life here’s my knowledge problem:
    Does one live to be in existence or does one exist in order to live?

    1. Lola, yours is an interesting question and especially apt for existential contemplation while basking. Can it be extracted from its context? In other words can it be applied to other areas of knowledge?

  2. Although I connected to all parts of Mia's speech, but when she said "Class of 2012, remember that we chose to become educated" I found it inspiring. I do not remember telling my parents that I wanted to start pre-Kindergarten but I am glad they made me. I was lucky enough to get an education whereas many woman in history where not allowed either by their parents or society to step foot in an educational building. Today, educated people gain more respect than those who are not. The value of education has incremented over time, allowing both men and women to go into high levels of schooling.So my knowledge question is: how does knowledge change perspective?

  3. In Mia's speech she told her class to "learn new things while [they] can still remember them... find those ninjas- even if if one kicks your butt, you fought a ninja. You're a cool kid." Though I also have ninjas to battle in Ms. LT's classroom, I more quickly related this to figure skating and how it took many hours of dedication on my part and on my coaches part to get me where I am today- though I never will or did reach Olympic level, I fought my ninjas. So my knowledge questions sprouts: How does one's dedication influence knowledge?

  4. When Mia explained that fighting Ninjas should make us happy, even if they do kick our butts, I could not agree with her more. It is best to take on challenges not to win them, but rather to work with them and accept the end results as an added treat. Here's the question at hand: How much do results represent the process?

    This relates to the IB diploma. I will never lose faith in any of us being able to get the diploma, but the diploma should not be the thing that tells me whether or not I did well with the challenging IB curriculum. If the IB is beating me up, it is not going into my brain and stealing all the experience and skill I have gained from the IB program. So how much does the end points really prove who I am an who I have become through the IB program? As of right now, if any of us did not get the diploma, I know that no one in the world could say that we didn't work hard throughout the program.

  5. Like Kate and NahFeeSah2, I loved when Mia said, 'find those ninjas- even if if one kicks your butt, you fought a ninja. You're a cool kid."
    (K.I; To what extent does experience alter perception?)

    To me, this is like embarking on the I.B Program as a whole. The ninja was clearly the program, and although I knew that it was going to be a challenge to do something, feeling seemingly blind as to what I was REALLY getting myself into, I was willing to take the risk to fight- and conquer the I.B. Even now, I am still fighting the ninja, but I think I'll defeat this one. I think that all of us in I.B are cool kids for doing this- we're awesome! I think this because I have began to experience the IB, and it makes me feel great. We are doing something that will challenge us in ways we have never experienced before September 2011, and we all are succeeding, which is very rewarding.

  6. Mia's speech was very relatable and inspiring to me. I think one of the things that made it so great was the fact that it was humorous but kept us engaged. When Mia jokingly said "and also remember that teachers are humans too, I think", she was giving us the advice to not only make good use of our ressources around us, but to also take in consideration that those ressources will challenge us to think, shift our perspective or provoke us to think deeper and differently. All that might not be very pleasing if you only consider yourself a regular student who just wants to get through high school.

    This strongly relate to me going through the IB diploma program, where everyday is a new challenge to think deeper that what is on the surface, teachers play a key role to this because they are the ones making us and forcing us to think deeper. By them doing so, there might be days where we might think that they are truly from another planet or we simply will not understand why it is necessary to think so hard. So my Knowledge Issue would be: To what extent does perspective shape understanding?

  7. Mia's speech was one of the most incredible and inspiring speeches I have encountered in a while. Although this has been used in many responses prior to mine, the part I related to the most was the part where she talked about finding our ninjas (even if they can kick our butts). My knowledge question goes as follows:

    To what extent do challenges enhance or hinder learning experiences?

    This question is one that is incessantly relatable to my own life. Mostly relate to it in relation to my riding. One week ago, I found a ninja: the warm-up ring. I have been showing for the past few weeks and have found that I usually do alright in the ring but find it incessantly difficult to deal with the hustle and bustle of the warm-up ring and still jump well. Although the warm-up ring doesn't always impact what happens in the show ring, I found that it often does. Over the last few weeks I have been trying really hard to "defeat my ninja" and although it is kicking my butt a little bit I will continue to work at it. So far, my challenge has slightly hindered my experience. But after a wonderful warm-up today and an excellent ride today, I am slowly starting to understand that fighting that ninja can change everything.

  8. Mia's speech was hilarious, and I will remember it for a long time since it was a memorable graduation for me. It was so funny how she said she looked up speeches on YouTube, because now when people do the same as Mia, they might find hers and take ideas from her! (That would be really cool)The part of Mia's speech which inspired me to formulate my knowledge question was when she talked about the game that we also played in my English class this year as well. Mia was given the descriptor of, “a pair of pink, sparkly high-heels in the back of the closet”. It reminded me a lot my life in many ways, and made me formulate this knowledge question: To what extent do one’s surroundings influence one’s personality?
    I can connect this to a moment of knowledge in my personal experience, and while watching others. For example, when someone meets someone new for the first time, they might make assumptions about them like that they are quiet just because they are shy in big crowds. But when you see this same new person in a smaller, more intimate environment, they are the life of the party and they are wild. Therefore, I find that while “people watching” it’s hard to know what a person is really like until you really get to know them, however some people’s personalities can be easily figured out at first glance. I also feel like this does not relate only to observing other people’s behavior, but for me it relates to your own personality as well.

  9. KI: To what extent can perception relate to our future?
    Mia's speech is definitely one of the best speech throughout the year because it does encourage us and make us move forward not only during the school year but also in our life. As a senior, and the representative of the school, she told us to use our time wisely and remember our remaining time in SBS.

    Right after I came back to Taiwan, I went to another graduation of my middle school friends, and of course, and there were another speech made by one of my friend's father. during the speech, he pointed out how as a student, we had pressure from homework and school, and he admit the fact that the school does give pressure on us. However, this is life, and all the things that we will be facing after our graduation, are realities. "Besides the precious experiences about life, we must see our friendship as the best treasure we've had, because a powerful friendship will last forever and helped you out with any difficulties we will be facing". It is hard to imagine how everything will be so much more meaningful to me when I look around, the people I'm staying with and the things that I'm dealing with(even homework) right now, because as a kid, I don't see their value right now.

  10. Mia's speech was absolutely fantastic. She really thought out of the box when it came to giving graduation speeches. The advice she gave was very accurate and unfathomably wise. But what really stuck out for me was a very simple sentence, "Protect that desire to learn." Growing up with a Father who tells his students and me that advice every day, I couldn't help but let this stick inside my head. This can be related to any circumstance in the process of learning. I can remember when I was in elementary school that I had an overwhelmingly sense of passion to go to school everyday. It may have been tough, but there was always an excitement to learn a new topic. It was magical. As I grew older it became more difficult. I became lazy, uninterested, and tired. Yes, I had become a teenager. Being a teenager often means that you are not automatically going to spring up from bed in the morning and say, "Yippee, it's time to go to school and learn." That is, percentage wise, not going to happen. But when you hear a sentence like Mia's, "Protect that desire to learn," it becomes clear that the desire to learn is precious. Many kids around the world have the desire to learn but do not have access to an education. We are the lucky few to have this access to a private school education. So "protect that desire to learn." It is in there somewhere. It can be said that the desire to learn is a natural human instinct. So don't lose it. Realize that learning is a gift and we should want to use this gift.
    KI: To what extent does one's aspiration to learn deteriorate with age?

  11. To what extent can community be considered a way of knowing or a way of obtaining knowledge?
    Perhaps an obvious question to many of us (or rather a question with an obvious answer), I still believe it is important to address. Mia, in her speech, assured us that we would all truly be OFL - that is, Owls for Life. Or, as she put it, "even if [we] try to camouflage ourselves, [we]'re all part of the Stoneleigh-Burnham Community."
    As it is phrased now, this question is probably too content-laden to be a true Knowledge Issue, but I still consider it very broadly applicable and am going to try to play it off as one anyway. Community, as we all know from that wise teacher Experience, comes in many shapes and sizes and influences what we know and how we know it in many, often unconscious, ways. (As I continue to type this I begin to realize one could argue for Community's branching off Experience, but as long as I've made the journey, right? that's the point, right?)
    I ask this question, however (and here enters the moment of knowledge), because in my pursuit of more-than-bilinguality, I've stumbled across so many instances of "Oh, I know this because THIS mixture of awesome obscurities I've never realized I know before (which come from my cultural and linguistic background)!" that I'm sure there are just as many connections that I miss, or make subconsciously. My awareness of such connections, and what I have learned from such conscious moments, has been one of the most eye-opening eye openers of my learning/IB/knowledge experiences (and therefore I will continue in my deluded quest to prove the knowledge-issue-legitimacy of my question). I have watched my peers apply (the experience gained from) their communities in all areas of knowledge, from English to Science, and also in more social knowledge areas. THUS, with this experience of watching the Stoneleigh-Burnham community pursue knowledge in the context of the experiences they have earned in their respective communities, I carry the Stoneleigh-Burnham community with me in the ways that I pursue knowledge.
    Here, conclusion-less, ends my TOK post.


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