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Category Archives: IB

Image of the day: summer’s over

D.

3 ways to tell that you’re sleep deprived because of IB

“Apparently sleep is optional for teenagers” said a friend of mine. I agree completely. Apparently sleep is a rare nugget that is difficult to come by for IB students. The following are 3 ways you might identify with because you are a very sleep deprived victim of IB

 

1. You develop a completely different biological clock for the weekends.

During the weekends, you wake up in the PM because of the hours of sleep IB deprived you of during the week. Then, as a result of waking up so late into the day, your body forces you to stay well awake into the AM. Thus, by the time Monday rolls around, you’re screwed because you end up going to sleep late and waking up early. During the week, you slip back into going to sleep in the early morning, due to your massive amount of homework, and prying yourself from the bed (though we all know your mom does this), and trudging to school. The cycle then repeats throughout each week. You subsequently slip into a vicious circle of sleep debt caused by the IB Monster.

 

2. You don’t get work done during free periods.

According to my school, free periods are blocks during which students drive themselves academically by doing independent work. This is complete and utter cow cookie. Despite completely floundering in sleep debt and having piling mounds of work, you opt to spend your free periods socializing with your other IB friends (because these are the only friends you’ll have as another tragic result of the IB Monster’s reign of terror), gaming, or perhaps blogging (ahem, ahem). Oh yeah, the hours spent not thinking about, and possibly suppressing your memories, your IA or EE because you’re in denial comes back to bite you in the arse sooner or later.

 

3. You understand this word completely: caffeine. 

The word caffeine means the world to you. It saves you from going from class to class and being completely dead to the world. Caffeine comes in many forms: tea, soda, and most importantly, coffee. COFFEE. By the time your IB career is over (hahahahaha), you’ll drink twice your weight in coffee.

Coffeemakesyoutalklikethisforafewhoursoncethecaffeinehighstartstokickin                        andeverythignstartsslowingdownormaybeyourethespeed  ingupidkthis  sentencedoesntmakesenseatallandthenafter a few       hours things      start to                                                                  seem   like this       and  before                you             know           it,                                   you                                                     jussst                                            craaaaaassshhh.

Not only does IB “encourage a world perspective, allow you to develop critical thinking skills, and instill a lifelong love for learning”, it apparently also fuels caffeine-addicted IB graduates.  Thank you, IB Monster.

 

 

D

Dear mother, I think I have OCD.

It’s Mother’s day today in Thailand. I slept around 3 am? Woke up at 10 am to find that everybody already left to visit grandma. I feel bad for not making it, but not because it’s ‘Mother’s Day’ but rather, because I know this means a lot to both of them: mom and grandma. I honestly didn’t want to go visit her because it’s always so awkward. She’s a conservative Asian and a devout Catholic. She does everything the old way and is completely close-minded. She went to the doctor because she has heart problems. He said he’s not going to prescribe her the medication for her condition unless she stops taking those herbal shiznit she takes because he doesn’t know what the effect might be if she’s receiving two different types of medications where one’s active chemical isn’t even identified. She refused to stop. Gee. And now she’s having serious trouble sleeping. Always stressed about the things that are obviously out of her hands. So much that her most of her hair is falling off now. Mom is just a less severe version of her. At the moment. From what I see, she’s got the tendency to be much worse in the future. Mom is just like grannie. Personality wise. She’s her mommy’s favorite daughter. Had they not been mother and daughter I’d accuse her of being a sycophant. My grandma was a strong woman. That I know. But I don’t see that in my mom, in all honesty, even though their personality is so alike. My guess is that it’s cause my grandma put up so much for my mom back then that she’s still fragile but she learned to absorb my grandma’s values, nonetheless.

I hate Mother’s Day.

It’s getting me so frustrated right now, the more I think about it. Alright, so I said I feel bad for missing out because I know it’s important to both mom and grandma, not because it’s Mother’s day. But it still raises several question in my head. Like whether I really love them or not, or am I saying I do because it feels like an obligation, and because of the ranting from mom every time we fight that always ends with the “if you don’t love your parents you’re never gonna get anywhere in life” line. Typical Thai values. She follows what my grandma says as if they were rules. And she expects me to do the same. To both her and grandma. But fuck, she’s already got one to follow, her grandma but I got two? Okay, point invalid. They have the same brains anyway. Oops. Off topic once again. But this blog is, ultimately my ranting place. My apologies if it’s too long for the readers. But this…idkwatucallit feels like a middle class third culture kid’s dilemma. I added the middle class because a high class third culture kid would have less trouble, trust me.

So senior started 2 days ago and I’m already anxious about the things I know will happen, but hasn’t happened yet. You know, things like college apps and maybe SAT retakes and extended essay and then IA for all the fkn subjects you take, Religion retreat, balancing out work and sports because water polo season is about to start. In 3 days to be exact. And having the same Religion class as my ex’s new gf is definitely not the best thing especially when ‘Religion’ class isn’t really about different religions but as the name suggests, a religion, because it’s without the ‘s’ and yes, bad news. It’s Catechism. If I actually believe in all of that, I’d have to miss out on all the communion session during mass because of the shiznit that happened. And if Sister ever asks why, I’ll have to say it, and she’ll hear it. Ah. All hell will break lose right there, during mass, at the school’s church. Blahblahblah. So many things going on inside my head, let alone those involuntary and uncontrollable chemical processing and firing of neurons.

Back to the burden of a high school senior. Because promiscuity could be a life long issue, not just for your IB dip-er life. I’m not saying it is. IB year 2 has brought the dry spell. For academic survival. So. I did say that middle class third culture kids are in deeper shit. And this has nothing to do with the parents being less understanding or isn’t willing to give you some pampering after finishing a major essay or anything. It’s just the tiny little issue (to them) that they don’t got enough bucks to send me to a uni abroad. And even with financial aid, they’re kind of hesitant to support my living costs because they know it’s more expensive than here. And my grades aren’t that great. I mean sure, it’s been a jump. But frkn teenage hormones kicked in and last semester’s GPA was 0.07 lower than the one before it. And I’ll need better SAT if I want to go abroad. 1900 isn’t going to get me into a decent school with aid. This brings me back to my previous post about that sick cycle of contemplation whether I should just give up on school and lay back, watch the year go by and chill. Just go to a local uni. Or should I work my ass off and see if it gets me anywhere.

1. I’m scared of feeling worthless if I chill. And it’s not much of a choice. I can’t quit IB so the chilling option means ‘failing IB’ option. But either way I’ll have shit loads of activities. I’m definitely going to be in water polo and swimming team. And then the new stuff I’m planning to join are those like habitat for humanity, MUN and such. Oh and I’m part of the Link Crew too, if that means anything besides babysitting freshmen.

2. I’m scared of feeling disappointed if I work hard and don’t end up where I wanted. Knowing your best isn’t enough just sucks. And that is, in fact, what gives us the excuse to not give our best in most situations. Fear of disappointment. Not in anything else but yourself because you’ve given your all and according to the ‘standards’, it’s not enough. It’s like an A- student crying his ass off and posting fb status ranting about it. A grade B student would feel bad, even if they were satisfied with their scores. Well this is a real life situation, so excuse me if it’s not the perfect analogy but it’s just what’s in my head. Grade A- student says this is below his usual performance level and those grade B students are satisfied with their scores because that’s just their standards, so they shouldn’t hate him for crying out loud. But then I pointed out to him. That’s just like shoving it in the grade B student’s face that ‘Hah! Even my worst is better than your best!’ And that’s what I’m sacred of. Giving in my best, and still failing. And that IS liking getting that shoved in your face. ‘Hah! your best doesn’t pass the standards.’ Isn’t that worse than the real life example I gave? the ‘my worst is better than your best’. Cause at least both of them didn’t fail. Gah.

So. Comes down to 2 options, I think. Or maybe I haven’t thought well enough. I guess I’ll trust Robert Frost and choose the Road Not Taken. My assumption is that people are going to choose the easy way, option 1. So I’ll just go with #2, see where that takes me. Definitely not an easier path, but hopefully it pays off. If not with university, then for my own pride and ego. Because even at this point, I feel like I’ve got more life to my years than any of the others with the same amount of years I know. Hahaha. A long and ridiculously hard to follow sentence. Let’s just say I don’t know anybody else who’s got more ‘lifetime’ experience to their lives like I do. And I’m proud of that.

Oh. I haven’t started on my extended essay yet, and look at the word count of this post. 1362 at this point. If only extended essay was for ranting about IB. I’d finish it over a lunch break. (:

PS. I started this off with the Mother’s Day topic, and look where my stream of consciousness brought me. I definitely have an obsession with IB.

C.

(Ab)normality

What is normality or abnormality to you? Who gets to define what normality is?

During a (not so) profound discussion during IB Psychology HL, we reached the topic of abnormality versus normality as part of the abnormal psychology coursework. The question posed was: How do you know if someone is insane? A slew of responses followed this generic question:

-they hurt themselves

-they hurt other people

-they commit a crime

-they can’t function properly in society

I guess each one of these statements have a grain of truth in them. Me, being the ever-so eager student of the class, I shot a question right back: Aren’t all these definitions related? They are interlinked because they imply that society gets to dictate normality.

My teacher, flabbergasted for a moment, stuttered out a response. “All right, how else would one define normality, other than using the standards of society?”

After a few dispersed responses, somehow, a concordance was reached: biology should be the answer. Biology should be the definitive standard for deciding whether a person is sane or insane.

Yet, aren’t all the books (including the DSM) structured and written by human beings? Does this not, once again, trace back to society and its dictatorship in defining normality?

None of the young, brilliant minds of IB Psychology HL students noted this fact.

The common perception is that the majority is “normal” and that this “normality” is the standard for sanity versus insanity that applies to everyone else, including the minority. Funny how things work sometimes.

D

Following the yellow brick road…

First day of school and everything just adds onto the frustration and anxiety I’ve been feeling for the past week. But why frustrate over it? I mean seriously, I’m only thinking about the same thing over and over, which is about the possibility of being anywhere but here, in a year’s time while knowing that it is pretty much written in stone that I am staying here, in this pretentious yet ironically shallow and judgmental society. So what is the point of thinking it over? What is the point of trying in IB when unis here don’t even know shit about IB? What is the point of trying to do better at SAT if 1900 is probably one of the top scores they’ll get in the pool of applicants here? There is no point in trying anymore. Because 5 years from now, when I graduate from MUIC or whatever so-called ‘international’ program it is here, nobody is going to care if my SAT was 1900 or 2200. I got in, graduate with a Bachelor’s degree, done. Most companies here won’t even know what IB is, or even if I told them it was a 2-year program for high school juniors and seniors, they would still probably be clueless as to what these 2 fucking letters stand for. International Baccalaureate. And hence the question: then why are you doing IB? LOL…irony..I’m not doing IB. IB is doing me. aka. getting fucked by IB. And I’m only a candidate because my parents said so. They wanted me to take the hardest course possible in high school so that I can ‘make the most out of high school’. I think this is taking away more life than the knowledge it gives. This is totally selling my soul to Satan in exchange for useless knowledge. It’s not even about what you know, it’s more about how you show (or fake) it. So it’s just me following the laid-out yellow brick road now.. to wherever it takes me. To hell or to Wizard of Oz.

C.

‘Link s-crew-ed’

As a result of procrastination over the summer. I am now feeling the danger of the IB monster creeping in.
Today I was just at school for the Freshmen Orientation since I’m on the Link Crew and had to lead the activities. But godamit. For some reasons I’ve been having trouble sleeping lately, but last night I just dropped dead the moment I got home. No shower, no nothing. Got to school an hour and a half later than I should have.

Tomorrow: first day of the last year. last first day. first day as a senior. all these ‘firsts and lasts’ are getting me all anxious. Being on Link Crew to help the kids but I really am just Link S-crew-ed. (:
One good thing I liked about the training today was the end. Not because it ended, but because of the poem our high school principal gave us:

The Bridge Builder

An old man, going a lone highway,
Came at the evening cold and gray,
To a chasm, vast and deep and wide,
Through which was flowing a sullen tide.
The old man crossed in the twilight dim-
That sullen stream had no fears for him;
But he turned, when he reached the other side,
And build a bridge to span the tide.

“Old man,” said a fellow pilgrim near,
“You are wasting strength in building here.
Your journey will end with the ending day;
You never again must pass this way.
You have crossed the chasm deep and wide,
Why build you the bridge at the eventide?”

The builder lifted his old gray head.
“Good friend, in the path I have come,” he said,
“There followeth after me today
A youth whose feet must pass this way.
This chasm that has been naught to me
To that fair-haired youth may a pitfall be.
He, too, must cross in the twilight dim;
Good friend, I am building the bridge for him.”

– WILL ALLEN DROMGOOLE

That’s how I feel…or felt? Not just about Link Crew, but anybody. And the reason I put a question there is because I know I want to do that. But I don’t feel so motivated at the moment.
I’m wondering why I start to fall in love with almost everything that I do.
Busy trying to leave behind a legacy, building bridges and personal relationships.
But at the same time, I crave for that late night silence. And while having trouble sleeping the other night,

Insomnia or delirium?

Late night hours, or simply early morning, long ante meridian?
Serenity, or simply idleness?
Inner peace, or simply delirious?

I sit there in the old wooden chair,
in my grandpa’s room, at 4 am while he’s on a trip to upcountry.
Watching and following the ants’ train down his room’s wall.
Has this too, been his midnight hours companion?
only with his back turned, eyes closed, mind at rest.
Half mesmerized, half already a blur,
pondering about those antsy kisses they give each other,
at every rendezvous.
One comes out from the hole closer to the floor,
another one comes out the hole under the light switch.
Along the electric chord, they marched alone.
A colony not so crowded, I suppose.
Do they feel as lonesome as I do now?
When all the world is quiet,
all its creatures dreaming.
Except the insomniac me and the hard working little ants.
Except for a few motorbikes that seem to be riding itself,
grunting because they own the sleeping street.
For who would be up at this hour except for me?
Oh it could not be.
For these four walls tell me I am the only one.
These four white walls…
They tell me I am alone.

Not much is left now as the clock is ticking away each second and tomorrow is stealing all my time.
I am lost. Too anxious of what is coming to actually face it when it is coming. And here tonight, I search for myself.

C.

 

 

 

Early AM blogging

I guess the incessant gnawing feeling in my innards will not go away until I’ve done at least SOME work. I woke up this morning, well, technically it was yesterday morning, feeling all pumped and ready to work. However, 5 hours later, I found myself still surfing the internet with my work left untouched. I was only snapped out of this continuous reverie by calls to dinner by my mom. After dinner, a sudden bout of stomachaches left me curled up in a fetal position for more than an hour. Now that I think about it, it must have been the food that caused it. Before I knew it, the day was over and it was time for bed.  To me, summer days and nights just coalesce into one long stretch of time. I guess that’s how time “flies”.

Anyways, here I am in front of my laptop in the wee hours of the morning, all ready to start on my work. I’ve just downed two whole cups of orange juice so the sugar high should kick in soon, ensuring I won’t fall asleep, drooling all over my keyboard and leave unflattering marks all over my face. I THINK I CAN DO THIS.

School starts in 2 days. I can’t wait for the amazing and new material covered in IB Year 2!!!!!!!!!!!!!. Of course, this comes along with the many essays and lab reports, the many periods of hyperventilation and over  anxiety, and last, but not least, the many sleepless nights and mornings.

Yup, I can’t wait to face the IB Monster again.

Look at him, isn’t he adorable?

D