Monthly Archives: February 2014

Week 4 reflection:

It was justice week! What was your high point? Or low point?

A high point was going on the asylum seeker trail to the ASRC and being able to ask questions that I have wanted to know the answer to for a long time and getting reliable answers (not to mention chapman winning the swimming carnival). A low point is how stressed I am getting about this weekend. I have a lot of things going on outside of school, when piled with shopping for camp, packing for camp and homework it is a considerable burden to carry, especially for someone like me who likes to have things organised with time to spare.

Take the human rights temperature of UHS – follow this link & then share the result you came up with. How well does UHS look after the rights of students & staff?

I got a result of 86, I think university high takes good care of their staff and students.

What could the school do better?         

I think that members of university high school need to encourage each other to organize and take action to address societal and global problems more. Otherwise I think university high does very well on human rights.

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Week 3 critical question

“Our lives today demand that we face and respond to ethical dilemmas.” Do you agree or disagree?

I agree that we must face ethical dilemmas in everyday life because everything we do makes us think whether it is “right” or “wrong” or if not that it is maybe a choice between two different “rights” or “wrongs” and having to choose one, whenever we eat we must make ethical decisions and because of a survey that was done that showed impressive results towards ethics in everyday life.

I think that everything we do in everyday life is an ethical dilemma, no matter how easy or how long it takes for you to decide what is “right” and whether you should do it or not. We make countless decisions in our day-to-day life and most, if not all of them are riddled with ethics such as “should I not do my homework and do something active instead?” “Should I do my homework instead of going to soccer training?” “Is it ok to be late to school if I’m still the smartest in the class?” some of these may be easy to answer for you but for other may pose a serious ethical dilemma.

“Food makes philosophers of us all. Death does the same . . . but death comes only once . . . and choices about food come many times each day.” This is a fantastic quote from The Ethics of Food by Gregory E. Pence. And it’s true, every time we eat food, especially meat; we must make an ethical decision in whether it is ok for us to eat this food and we will have to be open for judgement by others on our choices. I think this argument alone is grounds for saying that everyday life demands us to face ethical dilemmas.

As Albert Schweitzer, a German philosopher has said, “Example is not the main thing influencing others. It is the only thing.” Thomas Shanks has had the chance to talk to hundreds of people about ethics and has collected many ethical questions. He understands that most people would like to live an ethical life doing the right things; however he also knows that people can get in the way of themselves and doing the right thing, sometimes going a huge effort now still won’t change how people will look at you, sometimes it’s hard to know the “right” thing to do and there’s a cost to doing the right thing also. The fact that this is published means that ethics in everyday life is real.

Because all decisions are bound by ethics, food choices are ethical and there is an article on ethics in everyday life I agree that life demands us to face ethical dilemmas all the time.

Bibliography:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Albert_Schweitzer -16th of February

http://www.autoinc.org/archives/2006/april2006/mech.htm -16th of February

http://www.scu.edu/ethics/publications/iie/v8n1/everydayethics.html -16th of February

http://books.google.com.au/books/about/The_Ethics_of_Food.html?id=Qob8owzCp-QC&redir_esc=y -16th of February

Week 3 reflection

Your first experience of community service – how was it for you?

It was good once it got started; I think there was a communication issue between the Galileo team and the ozco opportunity store because we arrived at 8:45 and no-one actually showed up until about 9:10.

What was a highlight or a low light?

It was quite good for me, I often find sorting things out relaxing and that’s what I did there until we left. A low light would have been waiting for the shop carer to show up because that was quite boring. At the end of the day it doesn’t really matter because we still got the same experience.

Do you think you’ll be able to progress with any learning goals via your placement?

I think the main goal I can work towards with my placement at the ozco opportunity store is my independence, the ability to get there and back by myself will be good to practice my judgment of how early to leave to go places so that I may get there on time.

 Your first fully self-directed research trail – do you think that your mini-trail was a success?

Yes, we did have some printing issues so we didn’t have as many survey sheets as we would have liked; but I still think it was overall a success by gathering data about the public’s opinions.

 What was the most unexpected discovery?

I was surprised how evenly split the public’s view on abortion was. I thought that opinions would swing favourable to either pro-life or pro-choice; however they were split very evenly, perhaps with a slight swing to legalised abortion.

How did your team operate?

We operated well and finished our trail in the time allowed despite printing difficulties. We had no conflicts and gathered our information well.

Did the experience make you feel confident about putting together your Options Trail at the end of the term?

I think it certainly allowed me to be more comfortable going up to strangers and asking them for things like surveys and it also gives a good idea of how much we can get done is whatever time we are given.

Week 2 reflection

Were there any experiences that provided a ‘light bulb moment’ for you in terms of how you operate in a team?

   Not particularly, I feel I’m getting better at working in teams gradually, not so much having a “light bulb moment” where everything becomes clear and I suddenly know how to work with my group perfectly.

 What role do you find yourself taking most often?

   On the Hoddle Waddle trail I was the map reader, and on my trail to Brunswick I fell into the position of un-official map reader along-side Aidan because we both lived in the area so you could say I took the role of map reader the most. I think this is good to increase my navigating ability and the Hoddle Waddle added to my knowledge of Melbourne streets.

What role do you aspire to take?

   I think map reader is an ideal role for me, but maybe in the coming weeks I’ll try being the leader as this could help with my goals of patience, conflict resolution, persistence and determination, But having said that in practice the map reader generally takes up the leader role as they hold arguably the most important role in the group.

Has your sense of Melbourne as a community shifted at all? Why / Why not?

   I don’t think my sense of Melbourne as a community has shifted much, however I think that’s because there was nothing much to shift. Coming into Galileo I didn’t have any pre-conceptions of Melbourne as a community.

Have you found yourself working towards your learning goals?

   In short yes, I have, but not all of them.

Which ones have you started making progress with?

   I have improved a lot on using and writing blogs because of all the homework I have had to do. I haven’t really been able to work on conflict resolution that much simply because the groups I’ve been in have had next to no conflicts and the conflicts that did happen were resolved before I got the chance to say anything. Outdoor skills I haven’t improved much, but I think that it will come with the skills workshops and the up-coming Galileo camp. I have improved immensely on my knowledge of Melbourne streets considering I didn’t know the lay-out of the city grid before Galileo. I think independence has been gradually improving throughout Galileo. Persistence and determination has been part of my life before Galileo and I have been keeping up with my commitments to not only to others but also myself. My patience hasn’t really been tested yet in Galileo so it’s hard to say if I have improved or not.

Week two critical question

“A sense of connection is the most important part of a community.”

A community is a group of people sharing a space or characteristic. A sense of connection is something between multiple people, created by having things in common or spending time together, also having a reason to keep coming back to a community.

A community is essential held together but connections and connectivity, but there are also many other factors for a good community which makes this an interesting and challenging to answer.

I agree that a sense of connection is the most important aspect of a community because once you remove connection to a community you become less accepted, cease to be part of it and with connection comes things like obligation and a different kind of motivation.

If you are part of a community and you lose connection with it, or if you join a community and the connection doesn’t really develop you generally cease to be part of it. This is because you miss out on important things that make being in a community fun such as: friendships, loyalty, love and inter-personal experiences. For example when I first started swimming in a new swimming pool; once a week I went swimming, did the laps and did what the coach told me to, but all the other kids in my class went to the same school and made no effort to get to know me, As a result I felt disconnected with the people around me, lost the enjoyment and stopped.

Another important part of community is acceptance, however a sense of connection is more important than acceptance because acceptance is useless without connection; there is no point of being accepted into a community if you don’t connect with them, it’s like being accepted into a badminton club when you don’t like badminton, there’s no point.

While on my trail to Brunswick I interviewed a lady, she believed that a sense of connection was important to a community; and she also talked about how diversity can help a community. Diversity does make a community better however it is not the most important factor in a good community. There are communities – especially online – that appeal to an exceptionally niche market or type of person.

A sense of connection also introduces positive things like an obligation to work for the community and motivation, this is because you know the people you are working for and helping; it makes it not all about you and what you get from the community but also about those you know, your friends who you’d be letting down by not turning up to a meeting because you might be tired or not volunteering to fill in a shift because it’s “not your turn”. By knowing the people you are helping better you get the most out of the community that you are part of.

In conclusion a sense of connection is the most important aspect of a community because without connection to a community you cease to be part of it and you won’t be accepted into it. Having a sense of connection also gives you obligation and drive to contribute to your community, and as has been proven by niche online communities; diversity is not vital to a community’s success.

What has been a standout moment for you?

A standout moment for me was the sense of accomplishment when I finished my first trail (city grid) with my group with more than an hour spare for lunch. Our group worked very efficiently for however long we did and reaped the reward of spare time.

Has anything taken you by surprise?

The only thing that has really taken me by surprise has been us having to go on two trails this week as I was under the impression that we only go on one trail per week, however I am not complaining, the trails are great and the more the better I say.

Has Galileo met your expectations thus far?                            

In short yes, Galileo has been pretty much part and parcel of what I expected it to be, work; but not as much as normal schooling, trust and responsibility; more so than normal classes and it has been nice getting to know some of the people who have come from mainstream up to the AP program.

Your first trail required you to work in a group and independently complete a task in and around Melbourne’s CBD. What was it like to receive so much trust from your teachers?

It was nice to know that the teachers trust us so much straight off the bat. In the beginning it was daunting, however our group got on well and we finished the tasks pretty quickly. I kept getting these thought like I could run away right now and there’d be nothing anyone could do to stop me hehehe of course I was seriously considering it, but it was an interesting feeling to get those thoughts in class hours.

How did you find working in a group?

The two trail groups I have worked with have been fantastic. I honestly expected at least one argument, even a minor one. The only teamwork I had trouble with was the team skills I went to this morning where the aim was to lift the hoop onto the chair with straight fingers keeping contact with it the whole time. I think our group just didn’t communicate enough which made the challenge a lot harder than it could have been.

What would you do differently next time?

I think next time I should take charge of the group to ensure enough communication is going on. As for the trails, I think I am doing them all to the best of my ability and I would be happy if things went on like this for the rest of the term.

What are some of your hopes for this term?

It would be awesome to be able to navigate the city by myself without a map by the end of Galileo.

My learning goals.

Using and writing blogs:

Despite living in this modern day and age I am not particularly computer savvy, I know a few tricks here and there but it is still something I would like to improve on. Having my own blog for Galileo should improve this and I will be putting effort in to keeping my blog up to scratch.

Conflict resolution:

Most of the time in Galileo is group work, and with groups almost certainly comes conflict. If I am able to resolve these conflicts quickly and without much difficulty it will be very beneficial for me and my group, because we will be able to get the work done faster.

Outdoor skills:

I am already quite outdoorsy however I would like to become even more comfortable in my outdoor capabilities, I believe the Galileo camp to the Yarra ranges will help me improve this goal. Along with some skill workshops I think this goal can be achieved without much difficulty.

Melbourne streets:

My sense of direction is not exactly bad, but it would be fair to say it is below average. By making sure I know where I and my group are on trails and not always relying on them to know where we are I can improve my sense of direction and knowledge of city streets quite quickly.

Australian political system:

For some reason a lot of my friends talk about politics and often ask me what I think about it. I almost always feel underqualified to answer and so I end up giving an answer without adequate knowledge or logic behind it. I’d love to be able to answer confidently, with enough knowledge to back up my answer.

Philosophy & values:

Philosophy has always been something I like to think about, and discussing philosophical questions with a friend such
as. “Would you kill someone to save three others?” or “Do you think our universe is a simulation?” can be eye-opening to different points of view and opinions.

Independence:

It is always chilling to think about how may years I have until I move out and live by myself making all of my own decisions. It is because of this I would like to build my independence and knowledge of things you need to know but mainstream schooling doesn’t teach you.

Persistence & determination:

I think of myself as a pretty persistent and determined person, if I want to do something I get it done, but I think persistence is something you can’t have enough of and there are different types of persistence, such as not taking no for an answer and being persistent with people who have a bad attitude. The group work in Galileo should help me with the latter.

Patience:

I feel like tolerance would be a better word for this goal, I think I’m quite patient with myself, as that is just persistence in disguise. The type of patience I lack is patience with people when they can’t understand me or are confused about something I find simple.

Doing community service at a school with younger children will allow me to practice my patience teaching kids younger than myself. Talking to others about something I understand and trying to teach them will be another way I can practice my patience.

Success in this goal will be when I can teach or explain a concept to someone who takes a long time to understand it without showing any visible signs of frustration.