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    Nov 2009
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    Australia

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  1. When people were pulled out of class to do their English Orals, the rest of the class was supposed to be writing an essay, but instead we watched "The Breakfast Club". Then we gave each other character profiles from the movie i.e. "The Basketcase", "The Princess", "The Nerd" et cetera and proceeded to write a Canterbury Tales spoof about each of us travelling to Cardiff on pilgrimage to burn our IB papers, complete in iambic pentameter. Also, classic Haney moments; - "Haney, why are you drinking a carton of rice milk in Maths?" - Q: "Haney, why do you have a 6 pack of juice poppers?" A: "I was late for the bus and I didn't have time to grab one" Q: "So you grabbed them all?" A: *Nods while drinking from a popper still attached to the other 5* - Haney: "Hey, I saw a good looking teacher." Everyone: "WHAT? Since when do you think people are good looking?" Haney: "Since I saw him." Everyone: "Where did he go?" Haney: "Football field" *Haney and I watch as in the distance, the headmaster walks across the oval showing the new teacher around. A bunch of girls follow, giggling, at a not-too-discrete distance* Also, the moment we all realised just how much we love our history teacher; Teacher: "And so the British generals are like 'jolly good spot of tea, this', and the infantry are like 'TRA-LA, run into battle and get massacred' and the..... Class?" Class: *Vacant stares/twitching eyes* Teacher: "Everyone, calm down. I have a candle on." Class: *Vacant stares/twitching eyes* Teacher: *Sigh -- pushes book aside* "Okay, what's wrong?" Class: WAHHH! *General bursts of tears, borne of stress and sleeplessness* She spent the rest of the class calming us down and convincing us that everything was alright. She was seriously an excellent teacher.
  2. To Tony Stark -- Sorry! I should have prefaced my response by saying that I was only talking about NSW, because I didn't want to comment on institutions I knew nothing about! It was a pretty strong reaction, but I guess I didn't want people to rely too heavily on the rankings which don't really represent local opinion and national understanding about the most desirable uni in the region. I've heard the Melbourne and WA uni's are really excellent also, but it seemed to me that the conversation was quite NSW oriented. Nanon -- don't give up trying your best! If you love your subjects and know your syllabus, you can do well enoughto get in! I know an IB class in NSW, where 4 (or 5?) students in the same grade got 45s! If you give up on doing well now, you never will do well! Good luck!
  3. In case you didn't know, you have to study undergraduate law in Australia as a double degree. I study a Bachelor of Science and Bachelor of Laws at Sydney Uni. I have three IB friends that also study law, one at ANU, one at UWS and the third at UNSW. To put this in context, every one of us put Sydney as our first choice on our Uni application. In fact, I don't know a single person who didn't put Sydney as their first choice, irrespective of the course for which they applied. The simple fact is that the debate between ANU and Sydney is like the debate between Michael-Angelo and Da Vinci -- both are fantastic, but we all secretly know that Da Vinci is better. Why? For starters, Sydney has renown. It's an arrogant thing to say, but it doesn't change the fact that employers look more favourably at Sydney graduates than any other uni graduates. Whether this is justified or not, it's a fact. In the early days of our degree, we swapped law notes between friends to help our study, but we soon found that each uni went at different speeds and (as was universally acknowledged), Sydney expected - and got - more from its students. My friend from UNSW really wanted to transfer to Sydney, despite the fact that UNSW is considered by Sydney-siders to be the 'runner up' to Sydney in the best Law School. I know this sounds completely pompous and obnoxious, but you'd be hard pressed to find a lawyer that didn't agree. My father is a Barrister in Sydney, and I can assure you that Sydney is regarded as the best Uni in Australia, and with the highest rapport. Here's a section I dragon dropped from Wikipedia -- "Over its 150 year history, Sydney Law School has produced a diverse and prominent group of alumni. It has produced four prime ministers and 23 out of 41 justices of the High Court. Many justices of the Supreme Court of New South Wales are alumni of Sydney Law School. There is also a justice of the Constitutional Court of South Africa among the ranks of Sydney Law School alumni." There are also 3 High Court Judges on the Alumni. Basically, anyone who's someone in the Australian legal community went to Sydney. I have friends who have transferred to Sydney that have told me that Sydney law was much more rigorous than their previous institutions. That being said, ANU and UNSW are both absolutely fantastic uni's with wonderful law programs! They are both very highly regarded in Australia, and Australian university education, whatever the institution, is excellent as a rule. I feel that Sydney has the best Law school from my experience and I would suggest that this is the predominant opinion in legal circles. However, as all the law schools are pretty fantastic, I would recommend choosing a Uni on the basis of the environment in which you choose to live. ANU is very fun! Canberra tends to have a lot of festivals and touristy things to do. It can be a little isolated and 'country town-ish' when you're used to the big city (and also cold!) but if you find a good circle of friends, it is a wonderful, beautiful place to live. UNSW is in Ryde, and anyone who doesn't live in Ryde generally hates the fact that it is in Ryde -- it's not on a train line. The Law facilities are very new, but I don't think the student amenities are all that brilliant. Despite this, it's a great place to be if you live on campus. USYD is big on societies. Chocsoc (chocolate society) and the Captain Planet Appreciation Society are two of my favourites. There are bars, shops, news agencies, doctors, cafes whatever on campus. It's built for the student life. The law building is brand new with fantastic services and Fisher library is currently undergoing a modernisation explosion. Just as an aside, I LOVE the buildings. They are simply stunning, and every time I see them I feel how honoured I am to be part of this legacy of learning. It's right in Sydney, so Concerts, Plays and Movies galore! Food heaven also. Not that I'm biased All the best with your choice!
  4. You must must MUST narrow your topic. For example, - What makes animal testing different to human testing/plant testing? - What does animal testing say about how people value life other than human life? - Are some varieties of animal testing more "ethically acceptable" than others? ie. testing of cosmetic products as opposed to testing vaccines or medical cures et cetera You might also want to consider whether ethics are relative or universal. Remember, you are not discussing animal testing so much as you are the underlying knowledge issues. In the first example, the issue would be "how do we know that there is a fundamental difference between humans/plants and animals?" The second example might be "What is the value of life/does the value of life change depending on the life/how do we know the value of life". The final example might be "does the purpose of an act change the ethical acceptability of the act?" Once you have identified a topic and the underlying knowledge issue, the knowledge issue and NOT the real-life topic should be the focus of your discussion. The TOK guide has literally a step-by-step procedure of what it is that they want exactly. Read it. Have fun!
  5. I did a history EE and got an A. I personally found it really fun to do. My topic was "The affect of Empress Theodora's early life on her women's, religious and building reforms". There was not an exorbitant amount of sources, so I could read everything ever written on her pretty much. Also, I could split the essay pretty perfectly into four sections (early life, women, religion and buildings) so it was very easy to structure. I recommend reading the EE guide EVERY SPARE SECOND! I slept with my guide next to me. It tells you everything you need to know to do well.
  6. As said above, you definitely need to focus your essay. Ask yourself "What is the aim of the comparison?" You are investigating. You are trying to answer a question logically. This means you need to compare a specific aspect of the two republics and then come to a conclusion about which republic performed better. For example, if you want to compare the republics in respect to how well they dealt with internal conflict, then you should choose 4-6 areas from which conflict arises (i.e. lack of food, financial ruin, opposition by other parties, poor policies, religious differences et cetera). Quoting historical examples, your would devote a paragraph to each topic in which you directly compare the republics. The paragraph could look like this: "Internal conflict arose in both republics as a result of lack of food. This was seen in Germany during the "Such-and-such Crisis in 1921", causing a succession of strikes and violent behaviour. The Weimar officials dealt with this by shooting aggressive individuals on the streets. This incited further rage and the situation escalated. This is compared to the similar "No Food Crisis 1930" in Spain when rioting peasants were given government provisions resulting in a period of relative calm. Therefore it may be seen that the Spanish republic met with greater success than the Weimar republic in suppressing internal conflict resulting from lack of food". That is a very primitive example, but by similarly analysing each aspect, it eventually becomes clear which republic was the most successful. You would therefore have a real conclusion in which you could say that, based on your detailed analysis of situations from which conflict arises, the Spanish republic, as compared to the Weimar republic, was more successful in dealing with internal conflict. If that made any sense to you, you can see that it becomes much easier to structure a comparative essay when you narrow the scope of what you are comparing. Also remember to quote historians i.e. "According to Taylor..." and "Fischer relates that..." et cetera. Good Luck!
  7. If Australia becomes a republic, i'll have the qualifications to move to England to study. I like the Queen
  8. AndyIB, I can tell you about universities in the Sydney region. For science I would recommend University of Sydney and University of New South Wales in particular. These unis both have new science units, and UNSW recently installed a world class cancer research center, if your interested in biomedecine. In terms of admittance, as you probably already know, mathematics and chemistry are additional selection criteria. If you have the University Admissions Center (UAC) guide, you will know this. According to the Board of Studies, the 'mathematics' prerequisite these courses require is equivalent to IB Math Studies. 2 unit mathematics (or advanced) is equivalent to Math SL et cetera. The mathematics the IB requires should be sufficient for these courses. In terms of acceptance of IB students, the universities are rather vague. They certainly accept IB students but appear to have preference (usyd especially) for HSC students who have earned grades via competition. If you fulfill the additional requirements criteria, and have the grade equivalents to be accepted, it might not be a bad idea to have your school headmaster send a headmaster' s recommendation to the university, as these are heavily considered in Australia. I understand that Griffith university and some Queensland universities have better IB recognition. Indeed, the Sydney area seems to have the worst IB recognition, but don't despair! I know many an IB student who has been accepted there. UTS would perhaps be the only other university in which one might consider doing science. The other universities in the region really aren't worth you while for that sort of degree. Macquarie's biology unit is a greenhouse on top of a sky scraper. Bad bad bad!
  9. IB Coordinators in Australia can access results today (i.e. the 4th). Our coordinator has already rung us with our results and I think that is the same for a lot of schools in this area. If you really want to know early, try negotiating with your coordinator.
  10. The article keeps referring to women in top CEO positions. If you want that sort of money, sure, marry a CEO, but you can still obtain considerable amounts of money these days withought making it to the top wrung. It has always been my plan to work incredibly hard in University to get a good job so that I can gain enough money to marry someone poor (If I love him) and still have a feather to fly with. I guess it depends on the type of life you envisage for yourself. For me, I don't ever want to be in debt, and would like to command perhaps a few simple elegancies (i.e. to buy new clothes without tearing my hair out as to the cost). I would call this situation 'having money', and a CEO position (or even a position of much distinction) would not be required to secure this type of comfort if you are smart. I think it depends on your life goal. Do you want to be rich (then marry for money), secure (work hard), happy (marry for love) or lucky (do all three). I honestly think the safest thing to do is to work hard, not just in your professional career, but also upon yourself as a person, so that if you do happen to meet someone who you love or who is rich, they will actually be interested in you because you've taken the time to understand and develop your own character and identity instead of relying on a man or money to do that for you. If you make yourself into a stronger person from within, then you are so much more able to defeat dissapointment when it inevitably comes. Afterall, there are only so many rich men. They are real people, and they want to marry a real person. Be careful that you don't neglect to develop your own humanity when searching for your goal.
  11. I'm from Australia (hence the flag in my profile), and there is massive segregation which occurs with almost all religions/races here. Australian general opinion of Muslims probably isn't helped by the fact that there are Muslim 'areas' which are seen as the 'shifty' suburbs. It is my opinion that the government simply doesn't put enough money into these areas because there are Muslims there which causes them to become 'shifty'. It's really sad. As much as I hate to admit it, it is my belief that Australian opinion of Muslims is very poor. In typical Australian fashion, riots against Muslims have broken out at the beach. An uproar occurred a year or so ago when the government was volleyed to build a Muslim school. I remember a woman on the television saying "I'm not trying to be racist, but underneath their head-scarves, they have guns. They do." I laughed at the time, but it is actually really sad/stupid. People kept accusing the Muslims of not 'assimilating' when actual governmental policy is 'integration'. That said, one of my close friends is an Arab (Arabian?) Muslim and she is lovely (albiet highly defensive). I go to a Christian school with her and she always acts as though she is being attacked. Not surprising considering the general 'anti-muslim' climate, but my school is really accepting and loving towards her, particularly because it's a Christian school. That might sound weird, but it is a school of real Christians. I think the Americans call us 'born again Christians'? Anyway, we are taught to love and cherish each person regardless, or even especially, of religious differences. However, one thing I have noticed is that when we discuss our faith (I have a Mormon friend as well and we often chat about each others religion) neither of them really seem to have a great knowledge of their faith. I mean, my Muslim friend prays, and upholds all of the main principles (although I don't think she's been to Mecca yet), but the particulars of the 'end times' according to their faith is not very well known I think. Is this just because the country is officially 'Christian', and so Muslim teaching is... rare? I don't really give terrorists a second thought. I'm more afraid of my government trying to make us a republic (darn them!!). I notice that my friend's parents are much more strict, but then a lot of families I know are much too lax. Other than that... I love every Muslim I've ever met (all seven of them)!
  12. You'll see the syllabus bullet point and then the information in answer to that bullet beneath. These notes are compounded from the textbooks and study guides by John Green and Sadru Damji and Geoffrey Neuss. There are "blanks" left where you can insert the correct equations as part of your study. These really must be learned.
  13. balloon

    Fidel Castro

    http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/98822/Fidel-Castro
  14. The EE is supposed to be on an original topic. The effects of fertiliser on seed germination has been done. This, I can say with assurance. However, your enthusiasm is lovely, and if you still wish to focus on this area, try to narrow a question down to an investigation of the effects of different fertilisers on seed germination, or even traditional fertilisers (manure, clover, urine et cetera) as compared to modern ammonia fertilisers. There is an abundance of topics which ofer enough variation to make it original, but do not deviate too much from your interests and aims. I commend your efforts to start early. However, don't do too much without having your supervisor and coordinator (as well as the EE guide), or you may find that you have done an exhorbitant amount of work in the wrong direction. Good luck!
  15. Try and find something different that will engage your audience. For example, a student at my school did a presentation on Australian shark attacks, and how popular public response was to call for Great White Shark culling. He identified the attitudes that caused this and concluded that humans called for the sharks to be killed because they had endangered human life, and thus assumed that human life was more valuble than shark life. He investigated the basis on which humans build this subconcious belief, and ponted out that each time we put on lipstick made from fish scales or ate a Christmas roast, we made a subconcious judgement that our vanity/hunder was more important than the fish/chicken. He asked whether this was justified, and presented the consequences of a decision for or against. It was extremely objective and analytical. It was striking to an audience because it questioned underlying beliefs typically taken for granted. Try and find an event that will connect with your audience, and provoke genuine throught. This is a signal to your marker that you have really understood the knowledge issue behind the real-life event. You are not presenting or preaching. You are engaging. Try to find an event condicive to this aim.
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