Sunday, April 10, 2011

IB Blogger Says Goodbye

They say you have to be careful about what you put online. That people will do evil, nasty things if you reveal certain personal details. That employers will troll the internet looking for any excuse not hire you. That the cops will check Facebook, so if you're a criminal, don't post about your crimes. They say you have to be careful, and on this blog I really try to be. 

My readers know that my name is Katherine, from the address and header, but they don't know my last name. They know that I live in Toronto, but they don't know anything more specific than that. They know I'm in high school, but they don't know what grade or what type or what school. They know the generals, and not the specifics, and that's the way I like to keep it. 

With this whole online paranoia, I kind of just go with my gut. Some things seems okay to share and some things feel like they should stay secret. Sometimes I share secrets about myself but not basic facts. Today I've decided to give away one more piece of the puzzle, reveal one big part of my life that I have alluded to but never named. 

I am in the International Baccalaureate Program. The IB program for short. You may have heard of it. You may be an IB student yourself. But probably not. In case you're wondering, here's the website that will explain it in detail. And here's the fancy little diagram that they love to show us:

Note: I hate this diagram. I'm pretty sure all IB students hate this diagram

I'm trying to think of a simple way to explain it. It's a two year diploma program (taken in senior years of high school), focusing on six main subjects (my subjects are in brackets: a language A1 (English), a second language (French), individualities and societies (history), experimental sciences (biology), math (uh, well, math), and the arts (theatre arts). 

Each subject has a combination of internal assessments (marked by the teacher, then externally moderated), and external assessments (externally marked), and then the exams. Here's the break down for my subjects:

English: 15% World Literature Paper #1 and World Literature Paper #2, 15% Individual Oral Presentation and Individual Oral Commentary, 70% exams

French: 10% IOC, 90% exams (unsure about this. There must be something I'm missing)

Math: 20% Internal Assessments, 80% exams

History: 20% Internal Assessment, 80% Exams

Biology: 3% Manipulative Skills, 3% Group 4 Project, 18% Labs, 76% Exams

Theatre Arts: 25% Independent Project Portfolio, 25% Practical Performance Proposal, 25% Research Investigation, 25% Theatre Performance and Production Presentation. 

So, you know how I finish every post by saying that I have to go do homework? This is why! 

And, in addition to all these things, there's the extended essay (4000 words), CAS (150 hours), and Theory of Knowledge. Your life revolves around acronyms. Your end up speaking in sentence sthat would make sense to no one outside of IB. Some examples:

-Tomorrow, I have a CAS meeting during TOK, and at lunch I have to find my EE supervisor. 

-My english teacher is also my EE supervisor and I want to avoid her since I haven't done my WL, IOC, or IOP, or even started my EE.

-This week I have to finish my TPPP, IP, IPP, and I have to revise my PPP. And I have to find my history IA. I'll never get it all done. 

It's insane. A lot of days I forget why I do it. A lot of days I just want to give up. Especially now, as I prepare for these huge exams. There are parts I love about it and parts I hate about it. Everyone likes to debate IB. Here's my take.

The Good:

  • It made me take theatre arts, which I will forever be grateful for. I thought I'd hate theatre, but I really came to love it. It changed my entire future, and my entire self. For that, I will always appreciate IB.
  • It gave me a good work ethic. It made me learn how to balance my time. It made a a better student.
  • Through CAS, it got me involved in a lot of extracurricular activities I wouldn't have otherwise tried: track team, library, and even a summer exchange.
  • It challenged me every step of the way, making the most of what intelligence I have
  • It allowed me to mature in an environment of students like me, who have the same goals, and the same attitude towards school. It gave me a class of students who understand me, on the most basic level. 

The Bad:

  • It took so much freaking work! All the time! 24 hours a day! I have to schedule my life around school. It shouldn't work that way. I should schedule my homework around my life. 
  • It robbed me of free time or any type of real social life. 
  • It made me work harder, for little real result, other than a stronger character and more useless knowledge
  • It put me in a class with only 20 people for all of high school, which was very hard if I had problem with a friend, since there were only a few to choose from.
  • It made me take math and french for three full extra years, even though I suck at them, making me work even harder, get even more frustrated, and giving me skills that I never want to need. 
Most days, I think the good outweighs the bad. But it's hard to say. I hope I look back on it without regrets. We'll see. 

The reason I'm revealing all this now is because, as of May 3rd, I will be writing IB exams. In the time between now and May 3rd I will be preparing for IB exams. Everything else falls by the wayside. No reading, not even the new Sarah Dessen that comes out next month. No movies, not even Something Borrowed, which looks so good. And no tv, not matter how many finales I miss. Nothing but school. Say goodbye to my sanity. Most of all, say goodbye to my blogging. 

I'll be back May 23rd, I promise, with a whole flood of posts with my thoughts on Bumped and What Happened to Goodbye and Something Borrowed and the inevitable Chuck/Blair drama from the Gossip Girl season finale, and all the other season ending drama. 

I maybe might right something before than, if I need a break or something. But this is it for now, all I can promise. I'll back on the 23rd. I'm counting down the days. I'm sure you will be too. 

See you later rather than sooner. 


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