In this project on Human Rights, our main focus was to understand and help what charity organisations are doing to benefit the world. This is an important skill because it helps students know their place in society.  One thing I improved while working on this project is my ability to communicate to an organisation or a company. This blog post provides a reflection on my work, as well as a sample of what I accomplished.

 

  • What will you do to continue your involvement with this group or social issue, or with other service work?

In the future, perhaps I will help out organisations such as Sozo more not only because I need community service hours for college, but also because I care about the people affected by these issues. However, a lot of my motivation is purely selfish so I will like to keep my involvement minimum, but to a degree that I am still accomplishing what is required.

  • Have your career options been expanded by your service experience?

In any career, I believe that there is always a way to benefit society. As a scientist, you can focus on research needed for the survival of those less fortunate. As an economist, you can try to expand the budget to cover those affected by poverty. Really, there is a career to be made out of this.

  • How did my consideration of my “user” influence my work?

To be fair, they did not affect my work to such a significant degree that it's noticeable. However, I did take a new approach to thinking about the work I was doing. Instead of thinking about how much I would like the presentation, I thought about it from the perspective of the organisation.

 

Ben:TinaSozo Presentation

I disliked the poem unit. Not because I did bad on it, but I just didn't like the way that it was graded. Poetry, to me at least, it an art form, along with music, drama, or art. But instead, we were handed these strict rubrics that dictated what we could do, and what we could not. Art is not meant to be graded; or if it is, not according to a solid structure of words in a box on a singular piece of paper. Another thing is, while I had no problem coming up with inspirations for my poems (due to the fact most of them are fairy tales), it just felt wrong to have creativity graded. However, I will admit that is just how the concrete form of this school operates, and in accordance to that, I will now answer the following questions written on a piece of paper.

  • What have you learned about poetry since we first started the unit (what did you know at the start, and what do you now know)?

I had sufficient knowledge that could have lasted me a lifetime. I never wanted to become a poet or partake in any profession that had to do with poetry. Now, I can use line breaks to emphasise particular words, though I may never use that skill ever in my life.

  • What challenged you in this unit?

Coming up with new topics was quite hard, but really though I can just chuck that to my lack of imagination.

  • Which of your poems did you like the most and why?

If I said I liked all my poems, I would be lying. And since I don't like lying, I'd rather give a half-hearted response like I usually would. That is exactly how I feel about my poems: half-hearted. Really, I could have done so much more instead, I just threw up 7 drafts of each poem and called it a day. Not to say that these drafts weren't good, just that I wasn't very incentivised to do them.

  • How did your visuals enhance (add to) your poems?

Now here is something I never understood about this unit. Why is visual enhancement so important? To me, imagery in poems means that the author has to be able to create an image inside of a reader's head. Instead, we choose to lock their definition and interpretation of our poem into a single, lifeless image that more or less cannot reflect the meaning of our poem due to one thing: They are all CC licensed. It is the same thing as when one's favorite book is made into a movie. Many of the things that captured your fantasies when you read the book would be extinguished due to the fact that the movie is a movie. And you can only imagine what you see in one way, and that is the director's interpretation.

  • How did you find the overall experience of writing poetry?

Look at above.

  • What did you enjoy/not enjoy about writing poetry?

Pretty sure this is the same question as above.

  • Final thoughts?

Not really, no.

Over the weekend, we were asked by SOZO to participate in one of their Tea Talks. Basically Tea Talks are open table cafes where people can sit at whatever tables they wish and practice English by talking to one another.

  • Has the experience affected your worldview? How?

This experience has been an eye-opener as to how people not in our community view the world. The person I talked with is a medical practitioner and travelled the world. It was interesting to see how his life was outside of school.

IMG_4301

  • What are the most difficult or satisfying parts of your work? Why?

The most difficult part of this work was to keep up the conversation with the people out of nothing. This experience will allow me to become a better conversationalist.

Title: we need to go to school

Author: Tanya Roberts-Davis

Publication date: 2001

 

  1. Female literacy rate is significantly lower than that of male ones
  2. In Nepal, a small amount of people owns a large amount of land while the rest of the people owns nothing.
  3. Many NGOs are centered in Nepal to try to donate and provide education for those that cannot provide for themselves.

Link to resume

 

In school, I often find that my best quality is my adaptability. I can often understand a concept in minutes or finish an essay long before the due date. When situations arise, I can face them without hindering my other projects. Also, when I know a concept, it is generally very hard for me to forget it. A good thing that comes with this is that when I work in a group, I can pick up the slack of my teammates because I tend to know what I can finish, given the incentive. 

...Which is the problem because I always leave everything until right before it is due. When I realised I can finish most assignments within the span of a very intense day, I began leaving everything until the last day. It is not procrastination either, as I don't even bother begin on the project. Furthermore, when I have to finish anything with the due date right around the corner, it tends to lead to me staying up late and getting temperamental in class. This further hinders my ability to concentrate in class and resulting in a positive feedback loop. 

An essay is something of an artwork. But this time, I actually had to research for the essay instead of just using my existing knowledge. Unlike the past, this essay based on Soviet Russia was actually challenging and I did learn something this time. I find that learning about history is about adding on to what little or more that you already know. This is why I have no problems with learning the same topic twice. However, I feel like the research question for this Soviet essay is essentially...crap. The problem with this essay is that using "What Should Textbooks Focus On" as a focus question is far too vague. Also, after a further extensive study, I do feel like it is quite a shame that we did not study something else during that period.

During this process, we were required to write a persuasive essay for a specific audience to publish it to.

My link to the website that I published. During the publishing process, I already had an idea of what demographic I was targeting, which was the teens. So finding this website was not that difficult. Eventually, I got voted top, and received the editor's reward for my efforts.

 

Snack Time? Not Quite: Why You Should Always Read the Labels

Imagine yourself trying to find a snack in the fridge. You skim through all the available options and rest your eyes on an apple. Checking the tag, you find that this expired a day ago. Naturally, you throw the fruit in the bin. What’s wrong here? For one, you wouldn’t be eating apple for a snack, but otherwise, you just wasted a perfectly fine fruit.  

Of course, there are arguments from parents all over the world that if a product is expired, it must be poisonous, right? Well, not really. This is a very misdirected point of view brought to you by decades of advertisements. Company corporations schemes aside, “expired” or “best consumed” dates are not only quite arbitrary, but a lot of food is wasted because of it.

Taking a look at the statistics, about 15% to 25% of food is thrown away in a household. To put this in perspective, if every person that went shopping for food bought four bags, they would throw one away immediately. Adding everything up, about $6000 is wasted every second in Canada and the United States alone.

 

Unfortunately, most of this is your fault.

 

Like all problems, this one has its roots in the simplest of all things: You. When was the last time your family threw away food because it seemed “expired”? Well, my mother did just that earlier today. In fact, she does it every week. This process of throwing away food has become a routine so mundane that I have ceased to even question it. You may not see the link between you and the problem yet, but trust me, you are to blame not only for hunger, but worldwide poverty. When you hear poverty, where do you think of first? Africa? If you do, then you are not taking a close enough look at your neighbors.

Many orphanages and charities are facing issues from lack of food and money. Even though this is the case, you are still leaving pure, pristine, and perfectly edible food out there to rot and degrade away in landfills just because it is one day beyond its “best consumed” date.

For many types of pastries and canned food, the “best consumed” date does not refer to the time when the product magically turns inedible overnight. Instead, it refers to the time that the crumbs on a pie may be the crispiest or when an apple may taste the freshest. Do you really have enough money that you can throw away edible goods just because it may not be the “freshest”? If you do, the rest of the world certainly doesn’t.

According to the US census and the World Bank, 15% of American citizens still live in severe poverty and 12.7% of the world population still live on less than $1.90 a day. This means that 900 million people still live without a steady supply of food. In fact, over 21,000 children has died of hunger since your breakfast yesterday. Just think, how many lives you could have saved if you kept that piece of food past its best consumed date. In fact, you could have donated those fresh foods to people in need, next door neighbors, or simply started buying the amount you can actually consume.

This food crisis does not just stem from the households; the biggest culprit in this issue is in fact grocery shops and their seemingly perfect selection of not only fruits and vegetables, but also meat.

Haven’t you ever wondered why the items on display in large chain supermarkets always seem so perfect? With every item being uniform, flawless, and perfect, one must wonder: where do all the rejects go?

Official report estimates that over 10% of the food is lost simply on its way to your table because of “imperfections.” These flaws include the fruit or vegetable not meeting a certain size, having one or two flaws on the skin, or it just looked at the farmer wrong. Despite all this, the food itself remains edible. Basically, agriculture communities everywhere are collectively throwing away one tenth of their hard work every month just because markets want you to buy products that look good. Even then, one quarter of the time, you are still going to throw it away.

Corporations would argue that they could bring people the best of the best, cream of the crop, so to speak. In reality though, they are taking the food that appears edible and grown to perfection and forcing farmers to abandon the rest. This causes the remainder of the farmer’s food to be useless as they no longer have any buyers.  As you can see, even things as simple as your daily fruits and vegetables have been through the toughest selection process in the world, and one-fourth of that is lost before it even reaches your local market. .

There is of course, only one point of interest in this argument: You. It is you after all, who threw away the “inedible” and “expired” food. It is also you, that decided to submit to the corporate marketing of  “perfection”.  In fact, over 20 children has died of starvation since you started reading this article. So for once, think about it before you decide to throw something away. Even better though, think about it before you decide to purchase an product. If you are not going to finish the product, then don’t buy it. It is as simple as that.

Companies and supermarkets are not going to start bringing deformed tomatoes or tiny apples into the stores anytime soon. Over a century, these markets have found a way to make money and pay their employees. You may not be able to change these companies, but you can change your own lifestyle. If more people are educated about this problem, they will be more aware of what their actions and how they are contributing to the global food waste problem.. This is not a problem the concerns a person or a society, this is a representation of how humans, as a species, have shaped the world we live in, and how we will continue to survive.

 

Lee Yang

Mr. Jardin