Post Pines — Moon
Edmund Butt — Amy Dyer
Sleep Party People — I’m Not Human At All
People’s Minds — Heroe
You can clearly feel the weight of the words, of the music, on your heart, like with every note a small pebble or a stone, at random, is being put in your pockets. You can feel it all throughout your body. You make yourself believe its just your imagination but you know better, you know you’re getting heavier and heavier with every second. You know it should not be happening, these are not bad memories. But the sheer fact of them existing purely as memories scares you, makes you aware of your breathing and of the difficulty it comes to you with. It makes you aware of the passing of time, of the life you had and will never get back. Of the; sunsets watched with friends, of the walks around the lake when nothing seemed to matter of the newly found lost love a feeling you have never experined before of the joy it broughthgt you of the breakfasty ou were still eathing because you had te time of the time she made all of thoseth ings up and youd not hear fromm her for dayjs and you would wonder what happwend ans shje woulsdnt fyxjinf respond (okay, maybe this one was not so good) of the mosquitos in yourroom of the short sleeves and burning suun catching and ignitingyo ur skin settingit pn finre burninghurtingeatingyoualivea feeling similar to the one youre experiencing right now. It’s just your imagination, though.
On the current global situation
and I’m drunk again
on that foolish hope
that my life will find a sense in the end
right now it’s vaguely wandering about
wondering about the character it’s leading
poring more lies into the glass and forcing it down their throat
like liberal propaganda of president Macron
questioning whether it’s worth looking for class
by squeeling in the face of people kneeling
on that altar of global fact
you are a fever and i am burning with it
my blood is on fire my eyes are just tired
skin to skin oh you’re so keen
darling is it a virus or is it just me, and you
b**ch you vaccinated right
Theory of Knowledge
Theory of Knowledge is a part of International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme core, and is mandatory for all IB students. TOK is composed almost entirely of questions, most central one being: “How do we know?”. During the class students are forced to doubt their own perspectives on the world and many issues concerning their local and global environments. They learn to discuss and defend their own views but also question if what they are being fed in the media is true. And what does “true” really mean?
TOK is many things for sure but how does it look from the teachers’ perspective? Here is an interview I conducted with one of the TOK professors, Mr. Marcin Cieniuch, on 20th November 2018.
How long have you been a teacher in II LO and what classes have you taught?
I’ve been teaching here for 4 years. I started off as a teacher of English, as a foreign language (this is my area of expertise). I have been doing it for many years now and this is what I was hired at Dwójka to do for. But because I have been also fond of number of other areas, for example as a PhD student at university I used to teach literature, I am interested in number of topics, like debates, a bit of economics. I somehow thought that I might do other things as well and I volunteered to be trained as TOK teacher. That happened a year ago. Last year I was teaching TOK in the pre-IB class and this is my first go at the TOK course in the IB.
How are you feeling as a new TOK teacher?
I find it challenging. This is something new to me. This is the first time in years when I was teaching a content rather than just the manner of languages at all. I can put anything I want into my class as long as my students are working in English, dealing with a specific subject area, learning specific vocabulary. TOK is more restricted in the sense that it has a specific amount of knowledge that the students are supposed to be able to take away from lesson, as well as a specific manner of thinking (specific mindset let’s have it) that’s supposed to be developed during those classes and with help of the tools that the students get. Which challenges the way I have been teaching so far and makes me think of new possible ways of working with students. Also the subject area itself, there are very disparate areas to be discussed in the TOK. I am obviously quite familiar with some of them, maybe arts, language, but some of the seem to be much more challenging to me, so natural sciences or maths definitely are not something I am an expert on.
What expectations/advice do you have for your students?
My expectations concern myself primarily, in the sense that I think that if I do my job well and I prepare for the lesson, and I managed to find stimulating materials and engaging examples, problems or issues, the TOK is interesting enough for the very intelligent students that we have in this school and curious and intellectually sort of awakened students, to be engaged. So if I do my work well, the students will work. What I expect from them is the open-mindness and the ability to try and engage with the material. Sometimes it’s a little challenging a task to get them involved, especially if we start from 7am. And I understand that everybody is tired and sleepy and hungry and it’s the last thing that they want to do, to deal with the abstract question of that nature but what I want them to do is engage and to try to get involved with the problems that I’ve prepared. My expectations are that if I have done my work well, it should work. Mostly it’s myself, because I have a very high opinion of the students and if I do the work well, they will respond and appreciate it.
Thank you very much for your input and cooperation.
73 days of summer vacation
2 weeks spent out of town
15 outings with friends
3 family visits
6 watched TV shows
5 watched movies
1 read book (for fun)
That’s more or less how I spent this year’s summer. Now, the last year of high school started and a list of very quick deadlines is staring at me. Looking at my agenda, I should be coming back to school with a well-prepared presentation for Polish, a started Extended Essay and Maths exploration, a nice Biology IA draft and at least the results of a survey for my Geography IA. Now, looking at things I did… Well. I don’t have to say the list looks very, very different, do I? I’m not saying that I did absolutely nothing, but it’s still not as much as I should have.
I barely slept the first three nights, either trying to quickly do something regarding things listed above or laying in bed, worrying about all of this. But, turns out deadlines can be moved (a bit) and most teachers know IB students well enough to not expect much after the summer. Overall, the first week wasn’t exactly bad. There’s been definitely less stress and angry rants than I imagined there would be, but my agenda for this month looks pretty daunting. I’ll have to somehow turn off my eternal procrastination mode and become my most productive self. It shouldn’t be too difficult, right?
I guess it will come as a surprise to exactly no one that ‘becoming your most producting self’ is easier said than done, especially when you have distracting roommates, a mild Netflix addiction and there’s literally a thousand other things you enjoy doing more than analysing poetry or designing essentially useless experiments. So you put it off. You tell yourself you’re gonna work on it during the weekend. But then the weekend comes and your friends want to see you, or a new show comes out and you decide to watch it ‘for your Language B class’, or you decide to be helpful and do grocery shopping (going to the store located the furthest from your house, of course), or, when you absolutely run out of things to do, you have a sudden realisation that you haven’t seen your elderly aunt who never shuts up and loves to fat-shame your friend in far too long and you absolutely HAVE TO make up for it. And then you spend your whole evening quickly drafting up your IA and hitting that ‘Send e-mail’ button at exactly 11:59 p.m.
Obviously, some deadlines came quicker than others. Unfortunately, those same deadlines were also the most important. Do you know this feeling when you come up with the perfect topic for your presentation? The one that seems almost ridiculously easy and you just can’t wait to present it in front of the whole class, because you know you’re going to nail it, because it’s THAT easy? Here’s my tip for you: DO NOT TRUST THIS FEELING. In IB nothing is easy, least of all Polish A. If you haven’t had your IOP yet, my two pieces of advice would be:
1) Really, seriously consider making it creative. It will save you so much time. You won’t have to spend hours looking through your potential secondary sources trying to decipher if the gibberish you’re reading will actually be useful.
2) If you think of doing it on poetry, think again.
Now, you may ask, “What does it feel like knowing that you completely butchered your presentation and you could’ve done it a hundred times better had you started working on it during the summer like the teacher recommended?” Well, it kind of sucks. But then you remember that one bad grade, no matter how important, is NOT the end of the world and your Paper 1’s are always so bad that this presentation wouldn’t help your grade much anyway. Or, I mean, that’s what you can tell yourself to make yourself feel better.