This was my first experience in contributing my ability to serve my community in a large scale. It first started out with a curiosity of how could I serve my community? After brainstorming and thinking of my capability, I came to a conclusion of utilizing my art skills along with my peers (Rick, Avivi, Tiffany, Me). The goal was to create a mural painting in the street of Old Shekou (region in Shekou). Reason why we decided to paint the mural paintings in Old Shekou was from the fact that Old Shekou was very old; the walls were very dirty, streets were far from clean and in some places there were even rubbishes thrown away carelessly. If we were to paint the environment (walls) of Old Shekou it will help the community by making it seem more prettier and clean. After getting a permission to paint our mural painting in Old Shekou, our group began brainstorming on what type of painting we were going to paint. After agreeing upon to draw a octopus as a main theme, our team started to get to work. It took us almost 2 days to finish our painting. During the process of painting, Rick mostly took in charge to lead how to paint. With Rick’s directions and leadership, despite the boiling climate os ShenZhen, our group succeeded in our first mural painting to serve our community. Although it was very tiring, looking at the final product of our work, I thought that it was a very appeasing experience, and do not regret spending my time serving my community.
I have lived in China for over 10 year now and recently I have felt that although I am decent in Chinese, I still did not reach the level of where I should be considering the fact that I lived in China longer than 10 years. So I decided to set some goals for myself to take a step in learning Chinese. First I set a big goal that I can strive and run toward. Which is being able to pass HSK (汉语水平考试) level 6 test. Since I have set a large-scale goal that I can look up to, I started to create schedules and minor goals to reach my big goal (HSK level 6). These were my minor goals that I scheduled for my self:
- Read out loud 2 pages of HSK level 6 text book（朗读汉语水平考试的书）
- Find 20 words that I don’t know when reading 2 pages of textbook （找二十个的不知道的词）
- Write down those words I do not know in a notebook specifically for learning Chinese. （写不知道的词在自己的书里面）
Every Sunday… （每星期天）
- Revise all of the words I have recorded throughout the week (复习上个星期学习的东西）
- Solve the question in that chapter I have studied throughout the week （检查我的进步）
Although these were a hard schedule and was a big challenge for me to follow everyday, I succeeded in independently following these goals I have set up and grew a good habit of studying Chinese. I have not let a single day pass without following these schedule regardless if there was a big school activity I had to attend or such. From my effort and work, soon enough I was able to feel my progress and improvements. I have started to follow these schedule since February 17th, 2017. With the amount of time from then till now, I have not only progress my ability in Chinese, but also learned more ways in learning a new language. With these new knowledge in learning Chinese I achieved from my experience, I wanted to share my knowledge and give tips or advices to the community. From this, I decided to share little bit of my skill in learning Chinese to the SIS community by utilizing the upcoming End of the Year Project in my Chinese class. Through my presentation during the End of Year Project Presentation, I was able to share tips and tricks on learning Chinese to fellow students, parents and even teachers. Regardless of age, there were many people who struggled to learn Chinese just like me when I was first introduced to learn Chinese. I felt very satisfied with this result I created. First, I started to learn Chinese independently, for myself, however, I became a global citizen and was able develop my work to serve the community, by sharing little bit of my knowledge to those who seeks to learn Chinese. One thing I am not as satisfied with myself is that I felt that I was not ready enough to give some perfect advices that would really help the students in SIS. Therefore, I am looking forward in creating a project in teaching other students who seeks to learn a new language after I reach my goal of passing the HSK level 6 test, perhaps I can use activities such as Amped.
This years World’s Scholar’s Cup’s regional round opened at ShenZhen. As one of the founder of who brought WSC to SIS, I was happy and proud of how big WSC grew since I first brought it to this school with my brother Rick Choi. This year, my team were Me, Chris Kim and Kelly Yu. Since WSC was first time for Chris and Kelly, although I had to lead them and help them occasionally, they were quick learners. With our communication and dedication, our team was able to debate at a significant level in a short amount of time. WSC does not only hold team debates, but also hold other events such as Scholars’s challenge, Collaborative writing, and Scholar’s bowl, from this, our team planned our schedule outside of school to meet up and work on WSC as well. During the regional round, I did not feel so nervous, because I knew how much work and effort our team gave, and during that time we were able to bond closer with each other, knowing that we can trust each other. I was not so nervous in Scholar’s challenge as well, as I have sacrificed my free time and worked on WSC researches to achieve prizes. As a result, not just me, but our team, our entire school had a successful result. Independently, I achieved honorable mention for History and Special area for Scholar’s challenge, came in 5th place in debating out of every scholar who came to this round, and honorable mention for overall scholar. Collaboratively, our team was able to achieve 3rd place in team debate, honorable mention in Scholar’s bowl and came in top 10 for overall team scholar, thus passed regional round and was able to go to global round which is opening in Hanoi this year. Although I decided not to go to global round due to time constraints from other activities such as MUN, I decided to further support my fellow teammates who decided to go to global round by doing further researches. This year’s regional round gave me another unforgettable experience, and I was truly proud to represent SIS with my team as geckos and achieve many precious memories. I wish that there will be even more students who will sign up for WSC next year, and wish to see the growth of World Scholars Cup that I introduced to SIS, as everyone who joined this year seemed to love it.
This year was my 2nd year joining track and field and my 2nd time going to ACAMIS held in Beijing. The reason why I decided to join track and field again was mostly because of the experience of being able to bond and cooperate with my teammates when it came to some events such as relays. Last year I was in the 400 meter relay with Oliver, Yuren, and Eric. From our collaboration and communication, we were able to win 2nd place. I couldn’t forget the feeling when we achieved a medal from our work as a team. It felt better than when I achieved medals independently. This year for the relays, I ran with Eric, Sean and Vedant. Although it wasn’t the same members, we still performed greatly by working with communications and collaborations. I was surprised by how close our entire team were glued together, just by going to a sport event representing SIS. I am proud of the achievements our team made. Throughout the 2 years of track and field, we came in 2nd place for 400 meter relay twice, 2nd place in 200 meter relay, and I got marked the highest score in shot put within our school so far, by listening to the advice from coaches and my teammates. I don’t regret joining track and field and will try to join next year as well.
I was very excited when I heard that I was able to go to BEIMUN, since last year, I failed to go to BEIMUN and had to go to XIAMUN. I prepared a lot for BEIMUN by asking experienced Juniors and Seniors as well as our chaperones. Finally at BEIMUN, I was able to make an unforgettable experience. During the conferences, I was placed at ECOSOC where I had to talk about preserving biodiversity and Amazon Rainforest. From this experience, I learned a lot about our world’s current status regarding biodiversity and preservation of the Amazon Rainforest. Furthermore, during the conference, we were given time to meet new students from different school and grade level in the lobbying and merging session. During this time, I made a lot of new friends, and collaborated with them to make a resolution paper. Like this, BEIMUN gave me another experience that was different than last year where I got to attend to XIAMUN. At BEIMUN, we did not only attend the conference, we also had fun experience by going to places such as the Great Wall, going to mall, etc. From this, I was able to further bond with the students from not just our grade but the upper class men and the lower class men as well. Overall, I loved BEIMUN this year, I was able to collaborate with students from SIS, as well as other school, make memories with them as well as learn new knowledge in topics we don’t really learn in our school class.
Following my badminton experience from 2016, I joined badminton again in the year of 2017. When I first started badminton, it took me a while to get used to badminton. However, very soon I was able to recall my memories and with more practice, I was soon able to accomplish much more than last year. Last year, although I did go to badminton after school and practice, I did not really feel that I was improving as much, and I could not figure that out till this year’s badminton. Unlike last year, although I did come to every badminton practices, I always put in my best effort even in the practice games I played with my team members and coaches. And after every games, I tried to listen to the advices that they offered me, and tried to improve on the flaws I had. With this attitude, soon enough I was able to improve greatly and was able to set my goals higher, to be able to make it to ACAMIS this year.
Sadly, I could not make it in to the ACAMIS team this year again. However, I have accomplished a lot, not only my skills in badminton but also mindset of how I approach almost anything. When I heard that I could not make it into the team, I did not break down like last year. Since there was no reason for me to. I tried my very best in every practices, and from that, I improved vastly upon my badminton techniques. From me and other fellow teammates continuing to show effort in badminton practices, coaches gave the players who could not make it to ACAMIS another chance to play badminton. Which let me go to a game of PRC. For PRC, I further came to every practices and focused in games, I was also able to make new friends, be more closer with the freshmen and juniors, as well as the coaches.
Finally, when I went to PRC, I was able to play different student from other schools. Once I played them, I was truly amazed at their level. I wondered how much effort they put in badminton for them to reach this level. Although I could not beat most of the games I played, I still don’t regret coming to PRC as I was able to challenge myself with much better players, make new friends from other schools as well as getting closer with the students from our school and the coaches. I don’t think it was just me who was always this positive throughout this year of badminton, I felt that our entire team always supported each other and had a good attitude. With this positive mindset and attitude our SIS team carried throughout PRC, although we could not receive a 1st, 2nd or 3rd place in badminton, other schools recognized our positivity and attitude and let us get a sportsmanship award.
This year was the third time me joining MUN. The last time I joined MUN was last year when I was in 8th grade. Because I had previous experiences and other understanding of public speaking from WSC as well, I did not face any problems trying to go to XIAMUN for this ASA. However I faced a lot of problems and required a lot of patience when preparing for XIAMUN, however by approaching other upperclassmen who already has experience in MUN I easily solved those problems. During XIAMUN I had enjoyable time and learned a lot of things. Before I went to ACAMIS I thought it was only about public speaking and being confident when up on a stage infant of the audience however, MUN was also about bonding and being collaborative with people I have never met before. During the session bonding and merging I had to work as a team with students from different schools and create a resolution that had to be presented afterwards, throughout this time, I was able to be a global citizen and cooperate with the students that I have never met. However from this experience I have been able to strengthen my ability to collaborative with people and bond with them.
As a member of STUCO this year, I have gained different experience than what I learned and saw last year when I was a STUCO member as a 8th grader. When I was the member of STUCO last as a middle schooler, I had less responsibilities and work to do because most of the times, it was either the teachers job to get ready for all the events or the upper class men did most of the job. However, this year as I had a lot more responsibilities over the events that STUCO held. Throughout the year, I have learned what it takes to become a leader that listens to what the students want, need and report back to STUCO of what the student body wants. There were sacrifices that had to be made in the process, for instance I had to lessen my time playing with my friends in order to set up a event that high schoolers will enjoy. Although I had to make some sacrifices like I have previously mentioned, I believe that this experience let me learn what I have to do ignored to become a leader. As a STCUO member as a freshmen, most of the time I took responsibilities on small events, not because our STUCO could not trust me, but because I was new to this environment I still required time to watch and learn. Throughout this year, not only have I learned by myself and experiencing how to think of new ideas or set up events by myself, but I also learned by watching older STUCO leaders on their style of leading. When they have to be strict or when they have to be humorous. By working for STUCO this year, it made me a unforgettable memory and experiences.
Track and Field ACAMIS was a event where athletes from different schools gathered to perform their physical ability in different type of physical activity. Because we had many students from different grades, I was able to bond and merge with not only friends from my grade but also my upper class men (sophomores, juniors mostly) and class below my grade (8th graders). This track and field ACAMiS happened in Beijing, and I was excited form this fact because I was hoping to see my friends from my old school. Unlike what I expected, I could not meet any of my old friends, however I was able to accomplish what I came here for; to create stronger bond between my friends, build new friendship with other students that I have not yet gotten a chance to meet them and to have fun. During this event I was able to cooperate with my teammates and perform my collaborative ability to achieve 3rd place in 400meters relay sprint. Although I kept thinking about the minor mistakes I made, I attained something bigger which was pushing myself to the limit and performing advanced collaborative ability within the team.
The event WSC that I joined again this year consists of 4 events; Team Debates, Collaborative Writing, Scholars Challenge, and Scholars Bowl. Throughout this entire event, we require a team of three students, and my team were John, Jinwoo and me. Team Debates is where we are given 15minutes to prepare for a topic and argue either for or against about the topic that we are given. Two teams each takes turn to present what we have prepared. In this event I was able to acquire skills to be a leader. When my teammates were in trouble I helped them out by letting them understand the topic, offer them some points they can present, and lead our team successfully and was able to achieve a medal (honorable mention) for Team Debates. Throughout the following events Collaborative Writing and Scholars Bowl, I was able to create a strong bond within my team and achieve a a gold medal for both events. Lastly, across Scholars Challenge, I was able to test myself and challenge my knowledge. Although I faced troubles on several problems that were given to me, however I was able to attain 2 medals on the subjects social studies and science as well by studying these topics beforehand. I was able to be a leader from this event, WSC by helping outlay teammates when they were in trouble, leading our team to success and attain medals, and made some sacrifice for the benefit of the team. I had performed academic excellence by being a collaborative teammate, independent learner and a respectful opponent.