My first week in Middle School was really busy I rarely had time in between classes.Also, there are new teachers, new classes, new rules, new friends, and of course new activities. I think that a metaphor is when you compare a thing you don’t really have a clear picture of, with a thing you are sure you now about. The way I chose my metaphor is because since we are in Bangkok and the city was busy and there are a lot of cars, that made me come up with the idea of  choosing a city as my background and the base for my metaphor. The connection of middle school with my metaphor is since  I never came  to middle school, its as if I walk into a city I never visited (except for bridge day.) Another connection, is that middle school is busy and there are a lot of people talking so that compares to cars honking their horn nosily.

 

 

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I think that the best part about grade 4 was that I was lucky to have a awesome teacher like Ms.Bellone. Ms.Bellone is so nice our class has special privelages like playing games getting homework passes. I think everybody in my class agrees.

I have made lots of friends in the time I have been here and I fit very well my class, I think that having friends is very important in life.

I think that being in 4th grade means quite a lot because next year we are 5th graders at the very top of elemantary school and the little kids look up to us like giants.

A very fun part was the 4th grade book awards we found out which books got voted the winner in there topic it is fun because we did not know who won so it was a surprise.

Bye till next year adam

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I think that some areas of the world are richer than others, because of what kind of people live there, and what kind of taxes they pay. In america, the government lives mostly of the taxes of the people. While in richer countries, there are less taxes, indicating that the governments in those areas are poorer. In short, the governments depend on the people to make themselves richer.

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My academic goals

  • To get an A or B on my grade.
  • Learn more about this subject to get good at this.
  • Get more skills to prove this subject. Like writing, spelling, and reading.

My social goal

  • To recognize how the world is going on and how the world will happen in the future.

My personal goal

  • To learn more vocabularies to get good of English. And especially don’t forget my homework.

 

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We’ve updated the avatar plugin so now it actually works! You can upload an image that will appear next to any comments you leave on others’ blog posts. Your avatar will also show up on the new homepage with your blog posts and your comment.

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I learned about many things in the duration of this course. The main focus was the deforestation in Sumatra, Indonesia. Sumatra is the island with the most biodiversity on the planet; a square meter of forest contains 200 different species of plants. The island has been on the equator since the division of Pangaea. It is the island that has been under the equator the longest. This and the rich, fertile volcanic soil of the island creates the ideal environment for many plants and animals. However, this once fertile, beautiful land has been subject to mass deforestation leading to the loss of 82% of its once abundant rainforests. Palm trees have been farmed all over the globe to increase the output of palm oil, replacing nature rainforests. Palm oil is used in many of not all beauty products and in numerous food products; including the infamous KitKat.

The palm trees are not only affecting the rainforest, but the animals that reside in them. The Sumatran Orangutan is one of the only two species of Orangutans on the globe. It is currently endangered due to deforestation. The lack of rainforest is destroying the noble creature’s natural habitat, pushing them to the brink of wiping out. The only Orangutan-filled parts of Sumatra are 12 isolated patches of rainforest. Since there are no pathways of trees or forest to connect these patches, the Orangutan populations are in danger of inbreeding. This also has a negative effect on the population. Another large reason for decrease in Orangutan population decrease is poaching. Orangutans are very valuable on black markets. Poachers will shoot the Orangutan mother in order to steal the infant and sell it. Many infants are either hit by the bullet or die in the fall. This could be considered the most disturbing factor.

Many different projects are underway to prevent the extinction of the Orangutan. Some involve protesting against byproducts of palm oil or refusing to buy these products. Others involve teaching farmers to replants palm trees rather than deforesting their beautiful island. Other, more direct solutions involve planting trees connecting the patches of Orangutan territory. Other people would say that the most effective tactic would be to inform the locals of the ecologic goldmine on which they live. They are living in the most biodiverse land of the planet; and they should therefore treat it as a national treasure. The more aggressive resolutions concerned attacking or shooting poachers who killed Orangutan mothers in order to retrieve an Orangutan infant and sell in on the black market.

During this trip, I felt a lot closer to the environment and the ecology around the globe. I realized that there is more than the world of technology and media; nature was here way before humans, and might be here after us; if we let it. Every bit helps, humankind must unite to help preserve all of nature, not just North Sumatra.

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1. What did you learn from this course about yourself?

2. How did you grow and/or change as a result of this course?

As a freshman, I didn’t think that I would have a good variety of choices for my first Global Citizenship Week. Turns out I did, and the trip I put as my fist choice, I got in. Sumatra, Indonesia! I signed up with my bestfriend, not knowing anyone else that was signing up for this trip. Monday morning we look at the board with the trips stapled, I was on, so was my bestfriend. We just had to see who else was going to be going on this trip with us. First meeting comes up, I knew a few people in this course but not many; I was never close to any of the other students on this trip. I thought to myself, this should be an interesting trip…

Just returning home from IASAS swimming, I wasn’t very pumped for GCW, and I found out that my bestfriend had an eye infection so she would not be going on the trip. For a minute I thought that the trip would be terrible because she wasn’t going to be coming along on this journey but I realized that without her I could make new friends, and strengthen friendships that were just pass-in-the-hall-and-smile friendships. Without my bestfriend by my side I learned that I need to be able to open up to others if I want to have a good time. She wont always be there with me, and I cant isolate myself because she isn’t with me. I also learned that to have a good time you sometimes have to come out of your comfort zone and try new things.  Most of the acitivities that the students participated in during this week long trip, I wouldn’t have done if I was with family. Being with friends that wanted to do it, and encouraged me helped me open up to new things and different experiences.

 

As a result of this course, I think I grew as a better, more environmentally friendly person, also a more open person because I saw many different cultures and different ways of life throughout Indonesia. Traveling around North Sumatra by bus you got to see many different ways, from the city to the country. It made me realize even more that a lot of people are not as lucky as we are and are a lot more less-fortunate.

 

Just this week long trip opened my eyes to way more than Bangkok has so far. I got to experience different cultures, got to see amazing sites, bonded with different people in my class and the sophomore class, and learned more about myself. It was an amazing first GCW trip, and I have high expectations for next years trip!

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For my Global Citizenship Week Course, I went on the North Sumatra Adventure where we travelled to various eco-friendly hotspots for tourist, learned about Crater Lake geology, trekked through different forests, and hiked up a volcano. There, we were also introduced to a variety of studies about the different people and cultures that inhabit the island as well as the issues that face the country of Indonesia.

We were taught a lot about Indonesia as a country. One topic was rainforest ecology. Indonesia is the richest country on the planet in terms of biodiversity. This is because of its position on the Earth. Tropical Rainforests hold the most species of plants and animals on the planet and because it stretches the Equator longer than any other nation. Another reason is because the rain forests of Indonesia are one of the oldest lasting forests to still inhabit the Earth. Indonesia leads Brazil, Columbia, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo (former Zaire) as the most mega-diverse country in the world. However many of these regions are under threat in Indonesia. The rainforests are being cleared away mostly because of palm oil plantations. These were cause by a “green” initiative by European nations who vowed to be completely “green” by 2020 in 2000. After this, Asian countries like China sought out to grow as much palm trees as a cash crop. Rainforests have been cleared out to carry out such actions. I remember when I was living in Singapore in 2006; a horrible haze covered the city for a month. This was due to mass burning of Sumatran rainforests to make way for farmland and plantations. Now, the Sumatran Orangutan is the most endangered species of ape; only a few colonies remain which are separated in small pockets. The public needs to be informed about the dangers of the palm oil industry and how it hurts the biodiversity of Indonesia.

For the duration of the course, our wonderful instructor, Thom Henley, also taught us a lot about the different cultures found on the island of Sumatra. At first I was expecting a lot of Muslims speaking in Bahasa, but what I found was entirely different. We studied the Batak Karo and the Batak Toba, two entirely new cultures that never knew existed. These are two cultures that, for hundreds of years, have inhabited the territories inside and around Lake Toba. We learned a lot about these cultures by experiencing their traditions and art forms especially dance. We not only observed but participated in traditional dances as well as experienced a role-play of an ancient execution ceremony. The two tribes, I noticed, are similar in many ways such as their dress/costumes and dance styles. I noticed these features and linked it to tribes of the Philippines where black, red and white patterns are common as well. Learning about these two cultures made me realized how diverse this country is and not just in wildlife.

In this trip I learned so much about the world around me. I am certain that I can look at the world differently now. I have learned to be more aware of the issues our generations face to take care of this beautiful planet. I have also learned that there are more cultures out there hidden the most remote areas of our world. This was a truly memorable experience. And it was all thanks to Mr. Sheridan & Mrs. Corning for making it the best GCW ever.

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