IB English Final Project: Reflection


Posted by Ji Hyun | Posted in Year2 English | Posted on May 3, 2014





*please mind the uploading-quality issues! e.g.shaking of screen





The question I’m going to answer in IB terms:

 ”Reflection is a key to an individual’s growth in life.  To what extent is this true in examination of your personal life events?”


To respond to this question in an IB-student way, I’ll start by stating the definition of reflection: according to the Merriam-webster dictionary, reflection is “a thought, idea, or opinion formed or a remark made as a result of meditation”. At this point, it’s quite interesting how in this blog post, I am reflecting about the video I had about my current “problem”, while in my video, I have put a considerate amount of thought and reflection about ‘the process of studying for IB’. Therefore, in this way, I could call my blogpost a sort of reflection-Inception! This is especially true as for, in my video, through creating and organizing scenes and implying literary features and mis-en-scenes, I have reflected upon my problem of suffering IB, and highlighted its potential solutions. In the end, my efforts and struggle introduced in the video are presented as a challenge that I have learned to face, which represents my individual growth.

Reflecting upon my problem and effectively organizing my topic was the first step of making my final project. While choosing the topic of my video, I realized that my “problem” does not necessarily have to be one that is complex; instead, I learnt that my current process of struggling with IB was the true problem that I am facing. Therefore, while my ultimate motive would be to get a good score and go to college—either in Korea or Hong Kong—, my “problem” is “how to prepare for IB”, while my solutions would talk about “how to efficiently prepare for the process of IB (exams)”. Thus, in my video, I tried to present these topics in a simple organization (or technique) of “problem” and “solution”.

Moreover, through the literary and advertising techniques of symbolism, allusion, imagery, and fear, I have reflected upon and implied the hopes and struggles of myself as an IB student. First of all, the university logos of elite universities in the start of the video symbolizes my (exaggerated) yearning to go to a good university. In the same scene, the figure of a person (*special thanks to my brother!) standing with his crown, stating “God of University”, and the holy/glorious background music directly and indirectly alludes to the figure of a god. These qualities further symbolize my desperate wants to get in to college! Moreover, the stacks of red bull in the next scenes allude to its effect of helping you ‘stay up all night’ to study. Next off, the images of my sleeping dog and a “sleeping Jason” (:D) directly brings up the imagery of a “good/power sleep”, complemented with the background music of a lullaby. Lastly, the scene showing “IB Test-day” and the next scenes of a close-up on the remaining seconds represents the amount of time left until the IB exam, thus representing anxiety, and instilling fear upon the audience—or at least this year’s IB students.

In the video, the use of camera shots further complements the literary/ad strategies used in my video, which emphasizes my problems and solutions. In the “God of University” scene, with a pull-back shot, the camera angle zooms out from head to a medium shot, and shows the images of the universities that the figure withholds. The next close-up shot of the camera, moving horizontally, re-emphasizes the universities, and therefore the power the figure withholds. Moreover, the close-up shot of the “IB Test-day”scene, which quickly escalates to an extreme close-up shot, emphasizes my emotional appeal—the fear that an IB student receives from the lack of time left until the IB exam!

In conclusion, through choosing upon and using effective organization, literary/ad techniques learned from class, and diverse camera shots in the video, I was ultimately able to portray and reflect upon my problem, as well as techniques learnt from IB English. Furthermore, writing this blog-post reflection truly helped me to realize the fact that ‘reflecting back on my problems and solutions’ allowed me to reconsider the problems I have faced through my two years of IB, and my growth: how I was able to combat these problems with simple and effective solutions!



Eng FOA Reflection


Posted by Ji Hyun | Posted in Year2 English | Posted on April 2, 2014

For my FOA, I had presented on the topic of: How the internet shaped political campaigns in the US. Although I had briefly thought about the topic that I was going to present before the break, I had struggled upon choosing my specific materials that I will talk. This made me do a massive amount of research during the break, which led me to tweak my subject a little, from ‘the change of media over time’, to ‘US politics and their election advertisements’. Since I hadn’t thought of presenting this topic before, I tried to learn from various websites and blogs prior to planning my FOA presentation. And as a result, the part that I had struggled with the most and had spent the most time on, was simply going through all the information I collected and choosing upon which ones were the subjects I really wanted in my presentation. For example, I had initially planned to talk about smartphones and iphone/ipad Apps as a method of advertisement. Yet while researching, I had gave it up because I felt that this would take too much time, and could possibly become a entirely separate subject. Although this process took me a long time and a lot of effort, I feel that it ultimately helped me understand my topic better. 

One benefit that I had from my presentation is that I was able to reflect back on the techniques and we had learned from class; advertising techniques, tone, word choice, and more. So while preparing for this FOA, I was also able to review the subjects learned from English class, and use it to interpret and analyze my topic of advertisement campaigns. On the other hand, I feel that one factor in my presentation that I can improve on is to present in a steady pace; I know that I was very nervous on the day of my FOA, which could have affected me in delivering my presentation. When giving presentations in my future, I will spend more time practicing giving my presentations, to efficiently manage my presenting time and fluently present my topic.

Thank You For Smoking: Reflection


Posted by Ji Hyun | Posted in Year2 English | Posted on February 20, 2014

Nick Naylor is a tobacco lobbyist and the vice president of the Academy of Tobacco Studies, which exists to research the relationship between smoking and lung cancer, and is funded by tobacco companies. Although this seems ironic, it makes sense once the truth is revealed—scientific studies are manipulated to experiment in a direction that will reveal the opposite: smoking will actually benefit, and not harm, your body. This scene at the beginning briefly shows what the movie will talk about: how the tobacco firm, and moreover major corporations, will manipulate information using media and science in various methods, to ultimately sell their products to you—the public.

In Thank You for Smoking, Nick’s argument strategies as a tobacco lobbyist symbolize how major corporations influence their consumers’ choice with arguments of pathos, logos, and ethos. For instance, while teaching argument-skills and bonding with his son, Nick makes it clear that a good argument, in his definition, is not necessarily one that is correct but one that sounds true: believable by the audience. This emphasizes the importance of building ethos, reliability with the audience, through convincing them with supporting (manipulated) scientific researches and appealing campaigns, which also makes his arguments sound logical. Moreover, Nick explains in the ice-cream scene that ultimately, he’s not after the government, those arguing over tobacco, yet after the larger picture—the public and potential customers. Other from this, the use of pathos in arguments are also prevalent throughout the movie—this is most highlighted after Nick is kidnapped and threatened with nicotine patches by Senator Finistrre, which shifts the public opinion towards him to a more sympathetic one, while Nick also use this chance to appeal towards them that what “saved” him from nicotine poisoning was his smoking—his high nicotine tolerance. However, what he does not persuade to the public is the fact that nicotine had also affected his health by making him hypersensitive to the chemical, thus restricting him from ever smoking again. This fact is re-emphasized after the hospital scene, by close-up camera angles that focuses on no-smoking signs during his business flight.

Furthermore, the movie also demonstrates how big corps, such as tobacco companies, sell their products by persuading consumers with deceptive advertising strategies: bandwagon, testimonials, anti-advertisement, and so much more (research studies, movies, health/public policy implications). This is seen where Nick, the representative of the tobacco firm, joins hands with the media with aims to use hollywood movie stars to smoke in movies, thus conveying the effect of testimonials as well as bandwagon, to appeal towards the public and making smoking seem like a cool activity. However, during this process, he actually becomes a celebrity himself by winning national fame through effective, smart talk-debates that wins over the anti-smoking argument of the government official. On top of this, anti-advertising is one of the striking techniques that Nick often use in his arguments; instead of directly arguing with politicians and anti-smoking organizations in the congress, he initially steps back by addressing that he understands that smoking is harmful, then comes back with the argument that it is the individual’s right to make their own choice about smoking, and their responsibility as parents and adults to educate children about the harmful effects of tobacco. He further supports this with the use of logos by asserting to Senator Finistrre that if cigars were required to have scull labels on its cases, Vermont’s cheddar cheese should also have warning signs because it is equally harmful and responsible for causing high cholesterol-related deaths. Thus, along with applying logos, Nick appeals to the public by swiftly switching the center of attention from him to the rights of the public, while also seeming to promote proper education in a passionate tone. All at the same time, using logos to logically fight off Senator Finistrre’s argument and pathos when talking at the court that ‘he will buy his son’s first pack of cigar’ if his son truly wants one, Nick escapes the ethical questions and its consequences that he faces.

With these techniques and arguments made by Nick Naylor, “Thank You for Smoking” reveals how real-life corporations (as indicated in the last scene, where lobbyists of fast food, hazardous waste, and oil drilling joins the group of Merchants of Death) interfere with the media and government in the consumer market, thus both clarifying and confusing the public of the truth, and ultimately convincing them to buy their products.




What I found interesting about camera angle/distance techniques were that, close-up and extreme close-up shots were used for Nick Naylor when he was kidnapped, woke up in the hospital, and when he was talking to his son after the journal revealing his faults was published. These were all times when he was experiencing trouble or felt uneasy towards the situation, and they were effectively conveyed by having close-up shots of his face expression. (Close-up shots were also used for certain objects, such as the no-smoking signed mentioned above.) Along with this, over-the-shoulder-shots were also frequently shown in the movie, especially during the MOD meetings; this has an effect of giving the audience a feeling that they’re actually in the scene with the characters, therefore involving them in the movie. Last of all, I thought it was also interesting how, unlike Nick’s boss and the judge in the court, Senator Finisterre usually didn’t have low-angle shots until the last scenes in the court, other than the kidnapping scene. This reveals that he was generally not viewed as a very fearful or threatening person by Nick, but instead a person easy to ridicule.

Math Reflection


Posted by Ji Hyun | Posted in Year2 Math | Posted on February 16, 2014

– Exactly what is you goal for the IB exam? (grades 0 – 7) Why is this your goal and how does reaching your goal affect your future?

My goal for the IB exam is a 7; I need a high grade in Math to fulfill the IB grades in other subjects. This goal is important for me, first for myself (feeling of accomplishment after 2 years of IB!), and to enter my dream universities, which require high IB grades.


– What was your score for Paper 1? Paper 2? 

My scores for Paper 1 and 2 was a 4; the score itself is quite depressing 🙁 however, these tests were taken without much actual reviewing, so I would now start reviewing from my weakest subjects. For last year, the grade boundaries for Math SL were:

1: 0 – 18%

2: 19 – 36%

3: 37 – 50%

4: 51 – 61%

5: 62 – 73%

6: 74 – 84%

7: 85%+

So to get a 7, I would have to get 85% of the questions right.
– Areas/topics of strength? improvement?

The SL subjects I find okay with are algebra, statistics and probability. The areas of improvement and review are definitely trigonometry and equations. I feel that I need to look back and practice with the rules and principles in those subjects, and also review calculus after looking over the previous topics.

– Research….(ie “How do you earn/prepare to earn a 7 in SL Math?” Please add the advice and your thoughts.)

According to IBsurvival and other websites/blogs, the following recommended to earn a 7 in SL Math:

1. do well on the coursework assignments.
-really understand the material. Make sure you know all the topics; go back and revise them frequently.
2. do lots of past papers and take the mock exams frequently.

3. be aware of how much you need to write for each kind of question (short vs. long ones), and how much of your calculations you need to write out.

4. be familiar with the time allowed (don’t take more than 1 hour and a half to complete a paper)

+)aim to have enough time to review over the exam after having it done

5. go back with a mark scheme, check your mistakes and review

-skip questions if you’re spending too much time on one. Go over the hard questions later.

6. Be able to get through a paper with& without a calculator


-Past advice from last year’s IB graduates? or peers from other schools…friends who have already taken the IBSL exams.

-Do NOT procrastinate

-Start reviewing early; don’t cram for tests—this doesn’t work for the IB exam!




Links that help:




Advertisement Reflection


Posted by Ji Hyun | Posted in Year2 English | Posted on February 12, 2014


This is an ad from a Romanian telecommunication (mobile phone operator: Cosmote Romania) company, which reveals a touching story of a man and his aged father, and presents us a striking lesson through the message: “we’ve been given so much time to talk—we can’t find time to listen.” 


The central message the advertisement offers is to open our ears to our parents like how they did to us: to care about your family, and moreover to communicate with them. This is presented by evoking the audience’s pathos by presenting a personalized, sympathetic story that is told from the third-person point of view(has the effect of drawing more drama and reflection by involving more than one perspective of the theme), which allows us to connect to the empathize with the story. Along with the soft, slow music that increases the drama of the whole scene, and the last message that reads “we’ve been given so much time to talk—we can’t find time to listen”, the ad ultimately appeals to our emotional senses and draws the spotlight back to “us”, the audience, thus leading us to think back and reflect on our past actions towards our own parents. Such background and details, were the central key that empowered the theme of the advertisement: love your family. Do not ignore them.

However, the key elements that were built-in to the ad does not end here—advertising strategies also play a very important role in captivating the audience. While the main technique—the most apparent one—used in the ad is definitely the emotional appeal, using emotion to advertise Cosmote, the firm’s own brand, other sub-techniques are also hidden behind the scenes, which all contributes to effectively delivering the message of the ad. First of all, the ad addresses a conflict between the main characters, the man and his father, thus increasing the drama and tension within the story. This technique allows to grab the audience’s attention and engage them into the story presented. In addition to this, the conflict of these characters are resolved with the touching story of a loving father, much like happy endings in the movies. This further intensifies the drama by bringing the advertisement to a climax, and then to a close (inserted with the firm’s logo) while the audience is deeply moved, thus leaving them with a strong impression of both the story and the logo.  Another technique that supplements this effect is the plain folks effect, called “plain folks”, which uses common people in the advertisement to identify the product with the audience, although in this case, they’re not advertising a specific product, but instead certain ideas to associate with their firm’s brand image: family, love, and communication.

After analyzing these qualities one by one, it’s not a surprise that the advertisement is truly powerful and that it uses smart techniques to transfer their message to the audience. Moreover, this is proved by looking at the Youtube comments on the original video posted by Cosmote (with the help of the google translator!): “inspirational!”, “I could not help myself and I dropped some tears”, “commercials like this have an impact so great that emotionally arouse a moral spark in your mind”, and more. Comments against the ad were hardly seen in all the youtube videos of the same ad, yet there were a couple comments criticizing the Cosmote ad that it disgusted them because it “plagiarized a short film”. This made me search for the “original” film, which was a 5-minute movie called “What is that” by Constantin Pilavios and other directors, which had the same concept yet with a bird, a sparrow, instead of the butterfly in the Cosmote Romania’s ad. However, after searching for evidence, I found out that there weren’t much people aware of this issue other than the few Youtube commenters, and the original movie producer did not react upon this ad, which points out a controversial question: should the quality of an ad be judged upon exterior factors such as plagriasm or the director’s morality, despite its humanitarian content? Should this hinder the ad from instigating social progress?

The controversy behind this idea is highlighted through the case of quality—serving a humanitarian purpose—versus morality. Before knowing this plagiarism issue, I had believed that the ad surely instigated social progress because it had spread awareness about the importance about communication and the love that you give to your family, which we have at times forgot about, yet still is one of the basic necessities to keep a good, healthy society. Continuing from this idea, I originally thought that this advertisement did not only benefit the advertising company, Cosmote, yet also our humanity due to the fact that it served a good cause. However, this belief had shook after realizing the hard truth, which was not apparent in the previous scenes I had been moved by in the commercial. Some commenters had argued that plagiarism was a “common thing”, and it did not only happen in Romania. However, this leads to a logical fallacy—should plagiarism, in any case, be forgiven because it is a “common thing”? I do not believe so. Although I had initially pondered upon the same logics, I arrived to the saying that “violence, for any cause, cannot be justified”(except for legitimate self-defense, I believe), and in similar terms, a director who sacrifices morality in order to advertise humanity, cannot be justified. The advertisement company and director’s plagiarism, if not revealed or explained somehow that they had granted permission from the original copyrighter, would directly or indirectly end up hurting the original film directors’ creativity and production. Therefore, although the issue would still be open to the viewer’s judgement, I would personally conclude that for me, unfortunately, the initial impression I received from the ad had halved, and that it also had its quality degraded from its weakness in morality.






Youtube video (eng-ver): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4MFpomwWDt0&list=PLY_vY0F__BAZ_eSUNYm2mqaf1mOAFYu7i

Original film: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UgpF1GjxDCI



(Rapid) Semester Report Reflection


Posted by Ji Hyun | Posted in Advisory | Posted on January 27, 2014

1. What am I most proud of in my report and why?

Most importantly, I’m proud of the fact that I managed to go through all the hard work and tests, and sometimes even re-tests, to improve upon myself and bring my grades up!

2.  What would I like to improve?

Reflect! Test! Review! Frequently! For! Test!

3. What needs to happen in order for me to achieve the improvements?

Reflect! Upon! My! Grades!

4. Who might need to help me and how?

My teachers! to help me reflect upon my performance and work! 😀

5. What changes might I make to my goals now?

I will keep on pursuing my goals, but I would alter them a little for the second semester: to mainly focus on planning my schedules to review for tests(IB Exams!!!Ack!) and write college apps!

6. What questions do you have for your teachers?

Hello?! Have a great CNY vacation!

Math Mock Reflection


Posted by Ji Hyun | Posted in Year2 Math | Posted on January 26, 2014

1. Initial thoughts? Time?

2. Percieved Expectations/reality

3. Goals? Outline from now->may


The initial thoughts I had about the Mock IB exam was that I desperately needed time to review for these subjects—every and one of them. The results of the mock test were very different from the fact that I thought I was quite well prepared for IB Math SL exams, since there’s a 3 point difference from my perceived expectations and the hard reality. On top of this, I was lacking enough time to go back to the challenging questions/questions I skipped because I was struggling on the hard ones; this wasn’t very efficient. I figure that I will need a better, smarter strategy go review and go through the exams. So for now, my goal is to study well and do best on the last class exam in Math (Chapter 15 Probability). After that, I will start reviewing for my weakest subjects (Trig, Calc, Functions), fully understand them, then review the rest of the subjects. I plan to review for the IB exam by initially going over the practice questions we solved in Math; they sum up the major questions/subjects we had learned over the 2 years in IB. Then, I plan to review the mock exams we take in school, and also take mock exams at home while I’m at it. Frequently taking the mock exams and reviewing them was a tip that the last year’s IB Math SL students recommended to get a high score in Math, and I really believe that it will truly help me prepare for the exams. And of course, if I meet challenging questions along the way, I will first review them with my peers, then go find Ms.Gilmore if I’m still struggling with them!


Top 5 Things I Want To Do After I Graduate!


Posted by Ji Hyun | Posted in Advisory | Posted on January 21, 2014


…with friends!

I didn’t have to put much thought into ranking this first on my list…just the thought of taking a break, lacking off, forgetting about everything for a moment and busily heading for the airport with a bulging backpack is just awesome! Recently, this thought is especially touching my heart; I feel that this is because just like all the other seniors, I am stressed about all the IB IAs, TOK essays, college apps, and so on. And yes, since this is the case, taking a refreshing journey is definitely on the top of my list—especially if it’s with my friends! I can’t wait to fly to new places and roam around here and there, laughing and eating some good local food while I’m at it!



2. Go to a Beach and chill out

The beach is such a good place to sit out and relax in—holding a sizzling hot cheese pizza and a refreshing drink during the time would simply be marvelous.


3. Learn snowboarding


I can’t believe I haven’t seen snow for the past—3?4? years!! I definitely want to go to a country that snows and spend several days having fun—skiing& snowboarding.

4. Take Studio Pictures:)

Screen Shot 2013-10-18 at 2.45.32 PM postfiles9.naver

One of the most important things on my bucket-list is to take studio-pictures with my friends. This was a promise I made with them from a long time ago—that we would go to a studio, get wacky dresses (and props!), and let professionals take pictures of us doing all kind of poses! This plan was made after looking at some other inspiring photos that people had taken with their friends in a studio, or somewhere else in the world. Taking a picture like this—friendship photos—once every year, along with the pictures itself, is something that I feel will become one of my treasured moments, and I’m really looking forward to them.

5. Get a Driver’s License!

I’m not sure whether I’ll ever actually drive—considering the fact that I might not be a very pleasant or “peaceful” driver—, but I definitely want to get a driver’s license when I graduate! I plan on getting it before when I’m 20; it just adds to my field of personal accomplishments and satisfaction 😀 


It felt nice reflecting back on my wants and needs heheh That’s all for now!♡

Math Semester 1 Reflection


Posted by Ji Hyun | Posted in Year2 Math | Posted on January 7, 2014

Overall, I would say that Senior math semester 1 was filled with challenges and hardships, along with occasional breaks in between them. The year started off with Sequences and Series, which I found to be most pleasing due to its easeful nature of being solved easily by applying simple formulas from the formula booklet. This was a subject that I personally didn’t find much difficulty in. However, before I was able to enjoy the peaceful days of solving sequences and series, the very next subject, calculus, came crashing down. Although I had solved the practice questions (with help from a HL student) and had reviewed them before the Differentiation test, I didn’t earn a good score; this was even more annoying because it’s not like I hadn’t put much effort in studying for it. Because of this, I reviewed differentiation with extra care in order to understand the subject better. Now, I feel that I had scored better on the next topic, integration, because I had reviewed differentiation several times. I guess this is because differentiation serves as a base for grasping the concept of integration—which is much like the opposite of differentiation, like what Ms.G had said. From this lesson, I really came to realize how every subject in math was actually interrelated with each other, and thus, without a solid understanding in the basics of math, learning the harder courses would be a hundred times challenging. Looking back at semester 1, I feel that along with the previous subjects I have learned in junior year, differentiation and integration are definitely the main two subjects I would review throughly before the IB exams. Like how I have prepared for tests until now, I will do this by reviewing the notes I took from class, solving the practice questions, and asking peers or Ms.G for help if there are difficult problems I can’t solve. 



Posted by Ji Hyun | Posted in Goals | Posted on December 7, 2013

Academic Goal 1: Improving Chinese

Why I chose it: Working on my Chinese skills are one of my long-attempted goals, and once again, it is also one of my goals this year. I feel that improving my Chinese skills, both oral and reading/writing skills, will help me in the short-term by doing well on class quizzes and tests. In the long-term, it will definitely help me be able to communicate better with my local environment (traveling around China, daily activities, having conversations with/asking local people, etc.), as well as preparing for the IB Chinese exam.


(Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, Time-managing)

  • Improve my vocabulary by memorizing 20 Chinese characters each week: 10 during weekdays, 10 during weekends (spend 1~2hr)
  • Read at least 5~10 Chinese passages every week +solve questions (one passage every day)
  • I will print out the vocab lists and study for it, then will be tested on how to write them/their meaning/sentence composition either during class time or by my Chinese tutor.

Academic goal2: Reviewing Economy, Psychology, Biology, and Math every week


(Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, Time-managing)

  • Spend 1~2 hour of reviewing for the four subjects every weekend; 30minutes for each subject
  • Go over either: 1.New material studied in class  OR 2.Old material learnt before
  • Make notes if possible (according to benchmarks/IB questions)

ESLR goal1: Keep a schedule planner for my activities: schoolwork, exams, assignments, projects, etc.

2. Demonstrate Personal Management by Developing habits to maintain mental and physical health; keep a checklist!


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