*currently listening to: summer bummer by lana del rey*

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The Infomercial (LOL)

I mentioned in another article that I would be started the International Baccalaureate Program aka the IB Program this year in attempts to get the IB Diploma that colleges like so much. Basically, IB is a rigorous, college-like curriculum that is universally the same curriculum that any other IB school or program in the world is also following. For example, I'll be learning the exact same curriculum as someone in the IB program in Australia or Europe which is super cool because if you want to study abroad or go to a college in another country then you'll have a better chance and an easier time adapting and learning.

There are schools for IB that are k-12 but I opted for just my last two years of high school because once I didn't know IB was a thing till three summers ago and because I only want the diploma and if I can shorten my time in IB and still get the diploma I'd obviously go with that choice.

My Courses and The Cool Thing About Them

The courses I'll be taking are:

IB English HL
IB Visual Arts HL
IB Spanish SL
IB Math Studies SL
IB History HL
IB Physics SL

[HL means higher level and SL means standard level. HL classes are on a 5.0 GPA scale just like AP or Accelerated Courses. So yay!]

IB English is nice so far because much like college my teacher gives us a syllabus/overview so that if you want to work ahead or just know what to expect in the year you can. Which I love because it cuts down on procrastination since there isn't a "this chapter must be read on this day" type thing. It's more like "this whole book should be done before the test or discussion days if you want to pass or not do you".

IB Visual Arts is especially cool because it's all components of arts wrapped in one: drawing, sculpting, painting, photography, wood work, etc. AND unlike most art classes that restrict you with specific assignments, in IB Visual Arts you are in charge. You do your own research and you find your own inspiration and you come up with the type of art you'll be partaking in. So if you want to do stain glass, you do that! It's all about finding an artist/ artistic style you like and incorporating that into your work.

IB Spanish is interesting because my teacher talks in complete Spanish which isn't as difficult as I thought it'd be because I had previously taken Spanish 1 and 2 which I recommend. (There are other languages in the IB curriculum but it's limited at my school since they didn't have a teacher educated enough for French, German, or etc. but the same recommendation is recommended.)

IB Math Studies is... I'm not sure yet. The teacher is nice but I've heard that she made students cry before and that she's condescending and passive aggressive but she's cool for now. I do like that all of the week's math assignments are due on Friday's. So if needed I can focus on any big history or English project or essay during the week and catch up on math on Thursday. Something to take note of is that she grades based off of accuracy, not completion. She also gives us all of our assignments for the unit ahead of time. ALSO, there is an advanced level of Math that is HL but that gets in calculus and trig but I don't plan to go into a science, medical, or engineering field so I didn't opt for it and I didn't take algebra 2 so it would have been difficult but they do make exceptions. In Math SL it's more about strengthening our Algebra skills and only gets into a little bit of calculus.

IB History isn't so bad so far. It's like a college class where it's all very detailed and about analysis and your opinion rather than knowing and memorizing facts like in AP courses. The topics we'll be learning about, the teacher got to pick so he's obviously going to do a better job teaching topics he likes than a teacher who only like WWII but is forced to teach about broad World History. Right now we're reading a book and after each chapter, we go on online and talk about what we liked, didn't like, our views, and etc in a blog post. He left the assignment very open ended which is apparently what IB wants, they want us to think for ourselves and explore so that's why the classes are so lenient and not restricting. OH, and there isn't a set textbook so you'll probably be reading real books to go with lesson plans like me.

IB Physics is ... I'm not sure yet. My teacher is pretty young so he's nice and he answers all of our questions and although Physics is complex for me he makes it work. AN interesting thing to note is that because the curriculum is universal, we don't go by standard U.S standard of measure. So, no pounds we use kilograms, and etc. Same in math.

Getting the Diploma

You have to take a test to get the special diploma but instead of it being all at once like in AP they spread it out so you take two various assessments your junior year and two per class your senior year. By various I mean they aren't all test, some are oral presentations or essays (if I understood my teacher correctly when she explained it.)

The Atmosphere

Because it's such a vigorous program there aren't many of us. There are 16 of us and 8 in the senior class. And we all see each other constantly because we all have the exact same schedule except if they are in Math HL, then we're split up. However, it's nice because although there are few of us, we all are trying to get through the year so we have a group chat to help each other on homework and projects and it's fine right now.

The teachers are nice because they work together to make sure we don't have tests on the same days and if they see that we're stressed then they'll push an assignment or test back to let us catch up. We're going to go on field trips often and have lots of events like breakfasts on Tuesdays or movies once a month or something.

Of course, every school and teacher are different and these are just what I was told to expect but there are definitely similarities.

The Wrap-Up

I hope this made sense, it was hard for the teachers to explain to us as well so it's more of a, understand as you go on type of thing.

And I started bullet journaling, ya girl is ready to take on the world now.
Well, this was informal, toodles.

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