31.12.14

I gave a little New Year concert on request. I played the famous song “Let Her Go” by Passenger and sang it at the same time. Although I felt a little stressed before my performance, I could play the song without any mistakes. I think I proved that I’m good at memorizing piano notes. I didn’t have a chance to practice since everything happened in the blinking of an eye. Without any notes or practice, I was in front of 27 people singing and playing. It was a great experience for celebrating New Year and it can be counted as an attempt to develop new skills such as improvisation. This experience also helped me to overcome my stage fear because I didn’t even have to time think what to do. My concert continued with “Hungarian Dance” which was a piece I studied two years ago. I was surprised and enchanted by the audience’s reaction, they loved my performance and congratulated me. At that moment, I understood how much I enjoyed music being a significant part of my life.

New Year Concert

Area: Creativity

Hours Completed: 1


 

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16.12.14

With the objective to go through what we’ve done in Edirne, a meeting was organized by our CAS coordinator Yeşim Irmak Bozkurt. We evaluated the trip and briefly discussed our strengths and weaknesses. Each participant school in this project had been given different responsibilities. Our school’s responsibility is to improve the playground of the school and develop the students’ art skills. Mr. Dew had some great ideas about recreating the vast playground such as sketching a colorful hopscotch to the ground and painting the empty walls of the school. We are going to use the patterns that we’ve captured in Edirne (2nd day) to create a design for the walls. Mr. Dew is planning to project these only just-designed photographs to the walls for us to paint. By that, the school will have a unique taste of visual quality that includes the city’s own ambiance or culture. But first, we should get together in the future to organize these photographs and create a design.

Mr. Dew also provided a list of materials to turn his ideas into reality:

For playground

  • Chalk
  • Duct tape/ masking tape
  • Old Rags
  • Ball of string
  • Outdoor Paint (three colors)
  • Large straight edge (1 meter at least)
  • Paint Stir (old sticks)
  • Narrow Paint Roller
  • Paint Brushes
  • 100 ft. Measuring Tape
  • Turps (to clean brushes)

 

For mural

  • Chalk
  • Masking tape
  • Old Rags
  • Emulsion (water-based) Paint (three colors minimum)
  • Paint Stir (old sticks)
  • Narrow Paint Roller
  • Paint Brushes
  • 100 ft. Measuring Tape

However, we need to find sponsors to effort all of these materials. But first, we need to get permission from our school administration to search for sponsors. I volunteered to write a petition to our school administration about this topic. So, it is my responsibility to get permission from our headmaster. We will be talking about it in the next few weeks: Petition

Area:  Service

Hours Completed: 1


 

09.12.14

Because of an unexpected motive, we didn’t have time to talk about the club in this meeting. Instead, we had a guest from Doğuş University, Prof. Dr. Serkant Ali CETIN, who is also one of the scientists working at CERN. During our club hour, we discussed deep concepts such as the creation of universe and quantum physics. I asked him a question: What if human mind was designed unqualified to discover the origin of our existence? I asked this question because I personally am worried about the answer of this particular question. What if everything that we are trying to discover is blocked in a way that we cannot access? What if all those experiments are just dead end streets? Although I raise these questions, I always believe that science is the most significant concept that human beings have ever developed. Thus, I know that it is constantly evolving with an indisputable enchanting progress. Even though the answer of these questions may be vague and generally pessimistic, I would like to go for Mr. Çetin’s optimistic answer: Human mind, brain is also expanding every day, we are evolving as well. You are right to be worried about those questions but don’t neglect the fact that intelligence is powerful and eternal.

To wrap up, today’s meeting couldn’t actually serve to our club purposes, however it provided an academic environment in which we could discuss complex concepts. I’m sure that the conversations had influenced the way we think about everyday physics. I realized that I can compel my mind when these kind of topics are being discussed. Maybe this is my way of knowing – by opening new windows. Today I was an inquirer and a thinker and I believe that I showed this by participating in the discussion and communicating.

Area: Creativity


 

08.12.14

Today’s sales were better than the previous ones because more people have brought food to the stand. I’ve realized that reflecting our effort to the customers is a significant factor while selling. The people who listen to us generally want to help, so they buy something even though they don’t want to eat. We could sell all the food that we’ve brought. As a result, we earned approximately ₺ 200. Even though I couldn’t stay in the stand every break time, I tried to help the selling as much as I could. I am content to spend most of my day selling food because I know it is worth making people happy who aren’t as lucky as we are. This is the reason why I will participate more by encouraging people from other classes to help bringing food next time. I will also keep cooking myself.

Area: Action

Hours Completed: 2


 

06.12.14

Day 2

The second day of our trip in Edirne was dedicated to visiting historical places and embracing the city’s culture. Our art teacher Mr. Dew gave us a task which was basically capturing different patterns in the historical places we visited. (Old Mosque, Selimiye Mosque and Bayezid II Külliye Health Museum were the famous places we visited.) Especially the mosques had really interesting patterns that we could see in their architecture and interior design. The patterns that I encountered in Selimiye Mosque were the most stimulating ones, thus I used my creative skills to transfer them into photographs. Finding and photographing these patterns were both easy and enjoyable for me because I really love capturing the real world and making it immortal. During our visits, I’ve learnt lots of information about Ottoman Empire and the architecture of that era. I suppose this activity contributed to my IB learner profile “knowledgeable” because I had the opportunity to examine what I’ve learnt, so I believe it will be permanent.

As Terakki IB students, we will use this photographing activity in the sister school project, however we haven’t decided what to do exactly. According to our observations, Mithat Paşa Primary School lacked visual material, one of the most essential elements that a primary school should include. Most probably, our task will be related to enhancing the school’s visual material. We will have a meeting about it when we return to Istanbul.

Area: Creativity

Hours Completed: 5

05.12.14

Day 1

As four IB schools, Uskudar American Academy, Enka, FMV Ayazağa Işık and Terakki, we have started a social responsibility project in order to fulfill the needs of our sister school Mithat Paşa Primary School. For the beginning of the project, we organized a trip to Edirne in an attempt to interact with the students in Mithat Paşa Primary School. We also determined the school’s needs while we were observing the school and spending time with the students. In order to introduce ourselves to the students and communicate with them, we did several activities: creating a postcard, making bracelets, singing&dancing, painting, playing kinball and designing bookends. Students from ages 7-13 were really enthusiastic to talk with us. This was a thing I realized when they surrounded me and asked many questions about the activities. It was fun to listen them and answer their questions. Since most of the students were smiling, I really enjoyed doing those activities and sharing my experiences with them.

They were also complaining about their school’s physical conditions. To this extent, I found this activity a bit challenging as well, because I couldn’t know what to say when they looked so upset and kept complaining about their school. I’ve learned that my emotional responses have an impact on my communication and reflection skills. When I felt so sad about the students’ problems, I lost my ability to speak and immediately started to think of solutions. However, knowing what we were going to do would help was a great feeling.

One thing that frustrated me was that the students lacked discipline and they weren’t respectful with each other. In addition, some of them didn’t know how to listen. There were times when I couldn’t manage to tell them to do a particular task. Especially some students were really difficult to control. When we asked their vice principle about this problem, he said that the majority of the students have been struggling with domestic abuse. As a result, the school management decided to grow soft on the students, at least, at school. I was both shocked and sorry to hear that. Once again, I apprehended how socioeconomic conditions could affect individuals’ lives.

When we returned to the hotel, we did a meeting at the convention hall. CAS coordinators from every school shared their opinions about the project. We discussed the needs of the school and listed to them. We also suggested ways to collect money in order to implement our goal. One problem about the trip was that we hadn’t had an opportunity to meet, as IB students, before the trip. Therefore, it was difficult to communicate with each other while we were also trying to communicate with the students. Since most of us have met, we know there will be a better atmosphere in our next visit to Edirne.

Area:  Service

Hours Completed: 7