Camp reflection

Which personal qualities, skills or areas of knowledge did you have the opportunity to develop? Were they connected to your learning goals, or did you surprise yourself?

My outdoor skills, tolerance/patience and resilience and all were one of my learning goals except for resilience, they were the main things that I were expecting to improve so no, I’m not that surprised.

 Reflect on your highlights and any personal challenges that you overcame – what aspects of these experiences do you think you will carry into other areas of your life?

A highlight was the caving which was a really fun experience. And me being normally a quite organised person struggled often with the untidiness of my campsite, I think this may help me in future if I decide to share a room in conjunction with someone else where I’ll have to deal with mess that isn’t my own.

 How was your experience moving from your small hiking group back to the rest of the 9S3 & 9C3 students? Exciting? Overwhelming?

It was a bit overwhelming but I got used to it pretty quickly I think because I’m generally quite out-going, I think I would have struggled more if I was generally a shy person and didn’t particularly like being around lots of people.

 Has your view of the Yarra River & our relationship to it changed at all? In what ways?

I don’t think my view of the Yarra changed much, I knew that the Yarra starts off very clean then gets more polluted as it flows downstream. What did move me though was the view of the Yarra dam; it gave me an insight to just how finite out water source is.

Critical question week 4

Is Melbourne Fair?

   I agree that Melbourne is fair because we uphold human rights well, we have a democracy and because everyone has equal opportunity no matter of your religion, race, gender or social group. These things considered there is room for improvement in fairness for Melbourne.

   Firstly, not just Melbourne but Australia in general are very good at up-holding human rights, according to http://www.ohchr.org/en/issues/pages/whatarehumanrights.aspx  human rights are rights inherent to all human beings, whatever our nationality, place of residence, sex, national or ethnic origin, colour, religion, language, or any other status. These include the right to free speech, identification (have a name), food, water, shelter, freedom and education. These are some things that most people in Melbourne take for granted. And the fact that we have them shows that Melbourne is fair.

   Next is the fact that not just Melbourne but Australia is a democracy, which meant we all have the right to vote and to have our voice be heard about whom we want ruling the country. In other lands where they do not have democracy, talking down on current government could land you anything between a fine to the death penalty. I believe the right to vote independently and confidentially is a sign of how fair we are as a country and city.

   Melbourne is very accepting of people and giving them equal opportunity, so accepting that we even passed laws on giving people of different sex, race, ability and age. This is a very important step I think that all countries should make to become as fair as possible.

   Despite all these good things about Melbourne and Australia there are a few areas I think need to be improved such as our asylum seeker situation, I had the privilege of going in the asylum seeker trail on justice week and I found out a lot of things, one of these is that there are currently no asylum seeker claims being processed, this is very unfair in my opinion because as I also found out it is, contrary to popular belief, legal to seek asylum, and people who come by boat are not jumping the queue because there isn’t one. Also I think that people’s attitudes towards different type of people, especially gays is extremely unfair, to use words for homosexuals in a derogatory way and mean it is something that I think needs to stop happening in society.

   Overall I think Melbourne is a very fair place, there are some things that need to change but I think they will if we give them some time.

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.

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.