So three weekends ago, our school had the first round of the World Scholar’s Cup to ever be held in Elverum. I wasn’t going to compete so I decided to be a volunteer and help out with anything needed. Different tasks where performed, such as making sure everyone was in the right place at the right time, giving out information, other small errands, a bit of photographing and cleaning and tidying up after it was finished. Some difficulties were met but mostly it went smooth. I think everyone was satisfied with how things went, and many are looking forward for next time.

Learning outcomes:

  1. Show perseverance and commitment
  2. Working collaboratively with others

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I had my promotion this February, and *spoilers* successfully went from white to yellow belt, also called the 8. kup. As usual I was kinda nervous about it, since it was a first time thing. To promote, there was first a oral test, about what I had learned so far; korean terminology etc. Then I was asked to show the different exercises: punches, blocks, and kicks. The next thing was the famous, and my personal favourite, the poomse; which is a pattern. The last thing, I had to do with a partner, was the 3 step sparring; which is a sparring (obviously) consisting of only three steps. One does the defending moves and the other does the attacking moves, three moves, then they switch.

This was a chance to to show the skills I developed and my commitment to the sport and my improvement.

Learning outcomes:

  1. Undertaking new challenges
  2. Working collaboratively with others
  3. Show perseverance and commitment
  4. Develop new skills

Cutting my hair short was a wish I had for quite a long time, but because of my mother I never did do it. Then I turned 18, and decided it was time. But I didn’t just cut it to get it short, I also to donate it to a hospital or an organization that would make good use of it. I said I would do it when I got to Brazil on the Christmas break, so before that I did some research on the matter, and I found this project called Rapunzel Solidária. What they do is, they receive donations from everyone from every part of the country, and they make wigs for women and children with cancer or any other condition that causes them lose their hair. For some people, like me, it’s just hair, but for others it can be something important. This project really shows how with so little you can make a difference in someone’s life.

Learning outcomes:

  1. Planned and initiated activities
  2. Working collaboratively with others

 

I was in Brazil for the Christmas holidays last year, and I got together with some friends and we played beach volleyball. The activity is a weekly thing for them, they usually play every Monday and Wednesday, from around 19:00 and sometimes into the night.

Beach volleyball is pretty much the same as normal volleyball, but usually there is only two players on each team. My friends usually play with as many players as they have, but mostly not exceeding 6 players on each team. I am not really familiar with playing volleyball on a sand court, that was the biggest challenge here. My movement speed was slowed down and the sand getting everywhere wasn’t that pleasant either. Also, sometimes having less than six players was something I had adapt to. There was much more everyone being everywhere than I was used to; and when it happened I was the one stuck in my position. But I got a bit better at moving around as we played. I’m not really so good at it yet, but practise makes perfect. I also got to know some of my friends’ friends.

Learning outcomes:

  1. Undertaking new challenges
  2. Working collaboratively with others

Last week of November we had our first CAS celebration, which involved us presenting and/or demonstrating one or more of our CAS experiences. I talked a little about the learning outcomes in the experience I chose to present, and then demonstrated some of the skills I learned. This was the obligatory part. I was also one of the assigned photographers of the whole event. I don’t really like photographing people, but it was a learning experience; I believe I always have something to learn when it comes to taking pictures of people. It was also a reminder of how light is important in the photograph world. The lighting in the event room was kind of terrible. But I felt kind of legit with my tripod and everything, although I was still nervous about it.

My learning outcomes were:

  1. Undertaking new challenges
  2. Working collaboratively with others
  3. Develop new skills

The whole thing of talking to an audience is always a challenge, but still going there and doing (independently of it being obligatory) makes me a risk-taker. The point of this event was to be reflective and I achieved that through my presentation, which was about starting Taekwondo. I presented with Karen, working collaboratively before and during the event. I believe new photograph skills were acquired.

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On December we had the school’s annual Volleyball tournament. I planned for training our team, because I thought we all could benefit from that, and I was the one to organize the team the week before as well. Being a volleyball fan and having had played the sport before, it wasn’t difficult to do it. But the challenge here was planning the whole training session, something I had never done before. To do it I read about volleyball in general and volleyball exercises for beginners (because most of the team had only playing volleyball in PE). I also watched some YouTube videos and used my previous knowledge about the sport to develop good training sessions. Taking into consideration what exercises to do when warming up and stretching as well. Some revisions were made, as I also took into consideration the different levels of skills of the individuals on the team.

Unfortunately, my pursuit of getting a court to practise on wasn’t successful. I talked to one of the PE teachers and tried to work on a time the team could train, but the gymnasium at school wasn’t available. So, my learning outcome 2. Planned and initiated activities was only half achieved. Learning outcome 1. Undertaking new challenges was completely achieved, as I have described previously.

To what extent does free will play a part in our decisions?

To write this essay, I am supposed to choose to describe a small and a major decision that were made recently. Moreover, try to find an explanation to the knowledge question “To what extent did free will play a part in your decision?” I will try to focus on the matter of nature vs nurture therefore, natural and human sciences as areas of knowledge; and multiple ways of knowing.

After great dwelling with my brain and the use of reason, and my emotions; choosing to describe the process of decision-making, is my example of the small decision for this essay. I chose that free willingly. But what does free will means? I could have chosen describing my decision of making spaghetti instead of rice; or choosing what to wear in a school day. That is the definition of freedom of will, taken from a libertarian point of view; it allows us to say “I could have chosen (and done) otherwise.” 1 Thus, making me morally responsible for my own actions.

When exploring the matter of free will when making choices; scientist Benjamin Libet conducted experiments to find out how much free will played a part in our actions. The experiment 2  showed that the brain already made the decision before the participants acted on it. Free will therefore plays no part in the process of decision-making; this claim goes against the libertarian concept of freedom of will.

How do I know if it was free will, which played a part in my decision? When nature contradicts my intuition of believing I have free will, intuition that was influenced by the way I was brought up; knowing that I always have a choice. How do I choose what to believe? Does free will play a part in choosing what to believe in? In some cases, it does.

Choosing the IB program was a major decision for me. However, it did not take too much thinking about it, or any process of decision-making really. From the moment, I heard about it from Mr Sjöholm, the decision was made. Nevertheless, when looking for what influenced this choice different justifications come up. Being at ease with what my school life could look like was the strongest way of knowing that what I was about to act upon was the right choice. Seeing that the IB would be a challenge compared to normal school system in Norway, reminded me of my prior experiences attending private schools in my home country. My memories played an important role ­in this decision.

At that point, it was not certain that the IB program would be available this school year. Though, I believed in Mr Sjöholm when he said it could. Faith does not rely on proof; it relies solemnly on who you are as person, and what you choose to believe in. Free will does play a part when it comes to choosing in what to believe or not. Some people will free willingly choose to believe in something without any proof, sometimes just because of how they feel about it, other times because they were told to. This goes both ways, some people will choose not believe in something even though there is proof. Faith not relying on proof makes it reasonable for people to believe, or not, in whatever they want; to a certain degree.

Just because our brain decided it first, does it mean that we do not have free will? When this argument is made, does the mind exists as something separated from the brain? If so, which one is the real us? Alternatively, are we another external something, a soul? On the other hand, are the brain and mind one and the same? Are we the combination of the two? If so, does nature determine the extent of free will in our actions or the lack of it? It is the environment around us and the adjustments our brain and/or mind made from past experiences?

I believe that free will plays a huge part in my decisions. The fact that I am responsible for what I choose to do and that it will have impacts on who I am as person, and what my future will be like, is reassuring and at the same time terrifying. Being the egocentric being that I am, everything is about me. That is why when choosing and making decisions, free will, will always play a part in my decision-making process. I will always choose what I find will fit me better. Although, of course, this does not apply to every human being in the planet; since psychology is not a precise science when referring to individuals, the degrees to which free will plays a role in people’s decisions will vary.

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Grade: 8/10

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