Tuesday, May 1, 2018

TOK Essay Practice

“Some areas of knowledge seek to describe the world, whereas others seek to transform it.” Explore this claim with reference to the human sciences and one other area of knowledge.

The quotation in itself is vague and does not provide us with any explanation; we are required to draw our own conclusions. This implicitly demands that we as the reader differentiate between the areas of knowledge (AOK) that describe and those that transform. There is an underlying assumption that one AOK can either describe or transform but not do both.


Human sciences are used to provide a valid
explanation for human behavior and apply this knowledge to how we live our lives. For example, anthropology falls under the human sciences category and this is the study of human behavior and societies in the past and present. When learning about the societal behaviors and interactions of past generations, we are able to apply this knowledge to our day-to-day lives. Anthropology, psychology, and history are all examples of human sciences that are used to describe the world we live in.

Religious knowledge systems (RKS) as an area of knowledge has a more blurred line between describing and transforming. I came to the conclusion that religion does each of these things but leans towards more transformation. For example, growing up my mom and step-dad went through a very messy divorce. I was forced to move out of my home and to a new school. I was lost as an individual and became the typical "mean girl" you see in movies, I knew deep down this was wrong, however this was my way of rebelling. One summer I went to a camp that my dad forced me to go to and I was full of anger because I wasn't going to know anyone. That summer I accepted Jesus Christ as my savior and turned my whole life around. I was no longer this rude and angry person; I was transformed.

Personally, I believe all AOK can both transform and describe the world we live in, it is just a matter of application.

Sunday, November 12, 2017

The Game of Life

The map that I created represents my life as a whole. It is divided into three basic sections: past, present and future. The pink section of my map is my past, when I lived with my mom. Within the pink area there are two houses that are both significant to me. My mom’s house where I lived for 13 years and my bestfriend's house. My bestfriend and I have been friends for  10 years and she has been there for me through all my ups and downs. Next to my mom’s house is a blue car with my younger brother and mom in it. Across from that is a bridge with my step dad in a car leaving. That bridge represents the struggle of divorce that I had to overcome. My mom and step dads divorce was very messy and it was hard for me to watch him walk out of my life. However that experience has made me who I am today and it’s now in the past.
The blue portion of my map symbolizes my present. I now live with my dad and stepmom. There is a bridge connecting my past and my present. This bridge is the largest because it represents the hardest thing I have had to overcome so far. The bridge symbolizes my transformation from living with my mom to living with my dad. My parents are two totally different people and they live about two hours apart. It was very hard to get used to a new school, new friends and a new lifestyle. There are four buildings in this part of my map. One is my home now, and one is my school that all of my amazing friends are at. There is a bridge separating my house and the church. Recently I have become very involved with church and my dad has become less interested in it. This is something that I am having to overcome right now because it is hard to not have the support from my dad in something so important to me. Finally in the far corner of my present is a house that is separated from me by the border of Texas. This is my older brother who is super important to me but sadly lives 13 hours away.
Finally, the purple part of my map is my future. My future is purple because the colors of my mom (past) and my dad (present) makeup the color purple. The bridge crossing from my present to my future has a car on it with only me inside because I’ll be on my own. There is a college in my future but I am not sure what college yet. Maybe Emory or Mercer. Also there is a carreer card labeled doctor because I do know that I want to work in the medical field. Lastly, there is the wheel of life (at least that's what I call it). I incorporated this in my life because you never know what kind of unexpected twists and turns life might take.

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Sense perception (WOK)

My group presented how we learn through sense perception. Everyone knows about the five basic senses: sight, sound, touch, smell and taste. However you may not know how important each sense is and what happens once you lose a sense. There's much more to sense perception than others realize.
       Our group worked really well together. We all talked equally and we did not interrupt each other during the presentation. Also we worked very efficiently, we decided to divide and conquer and it ended up working out very well. I think that the sound videos that Andrew used were most effective in our presentation. The videos got everyone involved and thinking and it started a very good conversation within the class. The videos made our classmates question their own ears because we can be deceived by sound and the way someone's lips move. It was really cool to see the way that the class reacted to the video and to what they learned about each different sense. word
       One weak point of our project was discussion questions. We had good interactive videos and interesting facts about each sense, but we did not have deep discussion questions that forced the class to think. This presentation taught me that discussion questions are important to have because they generate conversations that deepens the understanding of the class. If I could go back I would add a high level discussion question to each sense to really get people thinking!! At one point we asked the class to list some other senses. This didn't work out as planned because halfway through we realized that there weren't any other senses and that the things people were listing were actually just feeling.
       When I was assigned this project I was super worried because I thought it would be extremely difficult to teach a class for 90 minutes. When presenting it felt like those were the shortest 90 minutes of my life and it wasn't as bad as I thought it would be. I figured out that I really like teaching people and I like answering people's questions but also I probably wouldn't want to be a full time teacher. The 90 minute lesson that we gave seemed easy, but doing something like that everyday would probably be very difficult. Also there were a couple “awkward silences” and it was uncomfortable to try to get the class back involved.

Sunday, August 27, 2017

This I believe...

     I believe in the power of decency. There are so many cruel and hateful things in our world and we could change that if we would choose to be decent instead of hateful. Why can't we all just be decent human beings? You don't need to be best friends with everyone, you don't even need to be nice to everyone. All you need to do is be decent to people. The small act of decency could have a much greater impact that people realize.
     If we all believed in the power of decency then I'm sure that our world would be in a much better place. Less fights, less drama, and probably less stress! In middle school I was one of the “mean girls” of our school. I would judge people based on appearances and I would be rude to people for no reason. It wasn't until I realized that the things that I said actually affected people that I figured out I had to stop being the “mean girl”. After I started to be decent to people my life became so much easier, and so did the lives of the people around me. I gained many friends and lost several enemies, all because I started being a decent person. The power of decency was one of the best lessons that I have learned so far.
     It doesn't cost anything to be decent to people and it is not a hard thing to do. The power of decency is one of the most simple things that you can do to turn your life around. Being mean, rude, or judgemental isn't worth the troubles that come along with it. Always be the better person and choose to be decent because it’ll make your life and the lives of those around you much easier. And this is why I believe in the power of decency.

Monday, August 14, 2017

What does it mean to say that we know something?
          When we say we know something do we really know it or do we believe it? We tend to confuse knowing something and believing something. To know something is to firmly believe that something is true. We know that the earth is a sphere because of scientific studies that prove this to be a fact. Most things we claim to know because we've been taught these things in school or by our parents. Typically people just believe what they're told and they don't actually research it in order to find proof for themselves. I am very guilty of just believing what I'm told and not finding my own proof.
     When I say that I know something I think of it at as a solid fact, but normally that isn't the case. Knowledge is defined as, “facts, information, and skills acquired by a person through experience or education; the theoretical or practical understanding of a subject”. You don't necessarily have to have a scientific study to prove that you know something. Sometimes you just know because of your past exposures or because of common sense. For example, I know that my favorite color is orange. Not because orange has been proven to be my favorite color, but because when I see orange it makes me happy and reminds me of beautiful and warm sunsets. Also we know to stay on the right side of the road. We don't drive on the left side because it's common sense, and it's a learned behavior that we grow up with. There are many different ways that you can know something. In class we discussed how we know what we know and concluded that there is not one specific answer for that question.
   I know things because I have a concrete belief that these things are true. I don't research everything that I claim to know because I have faith that they're true. Knowledge and faith somewhat go hand in hand. It may sound confusing, but you have to have faith that what you know is actually true. Do we really know anything or is it all just some sort of allusion? Knowledge is an odd concept that means different things to different people. You can know something because of past experience, common sense, education, and belief. Therefore to know something is to strongly believe in something.