So I was planning to do this a little earlier, but what with the stress of final exams and the sheer amazing qualities of summer vacation, I haven’t had a time to sit down and write this. For my classmates that are reading my blog to make certain you did not miss an assignment (yes, I do know there are a few of you out there… some of you even tell me to my face) not to worry – this post is NOT PART OF CLASS. I just thought since ToK Year 1 is coming to a close, I would write up a little something about it, just because a large part of this class is blogging and I think it’s kind of a fitting way to end the first year of TOK. This being said, this post will be written relatively casually (kind of like I’m talking) with numerous conjunctions and idioms I would never dream of putting in a paper; as this is not a formal assignment, I just felt like this style would lend itself best to what I’m trying to accomplish. Now Ms. Burvall: if you have actually read this far, you do not need to continue; this is mostly for myself to gain a little closure (and of course to reflect upon) Junior year.
So this year in ToK, my brain was filled with hypothesis, questions and relatively odd solutions that constantly entertained me throughout the year. Coming into this class, I knew two things: 1. I am a very logical person, and 2. I really like things that have a single answer (ie. math, sciences, etc…). By hearing from upperclassmen, I knew that this class was almost the antithesis of my beloved #2, so I was not really certain how I would feel about a class with no definite answers. But, as the IB student that I am (hahaha…) I kept my mind open, and boy was in for a surprise. Although yes, the class did prove to be the antithesis of Kasey’s knowing things #2, I actually found it did not bother me at all and was one of the primary reasons that I enjoyed the course so much. The feeling… perhaps “liberating” would be sort of a close descriptor? The great thing about this course and this class was that every answer could be correct, but at the same time every answer could be incorrect. Maybe they could be both at the same time? This ambiguity really makes this course unique from other conventional high school courses. While other courses foster information memorization and application, this course… let’s people take their previous knowledge and add other people’s knowledge to their knowledge in order to help shape and change their perspectives. It’s kind of like taking a mish-mash of facts, opinions, theories, textbooks, speakers, emotions, and questions in order to synthesize something that the world has never seen before. And the great part is, no matter what conclusion you come to at the end, it’s not inherently wrong.
This year in TOK, this blog was a huge part of class. “Oh we have an assignment? More for the blog.” In order to make this specific blog post, I looked back through the blog posts, and was honestly a little surprised by how many posts I had made. I knew we have made a few, but I never expected to see pages and pages or writing, videos and links. I didn’t used to be a fan of blogs, but looking back I guess this blog has become an integral part of my high school career and I can’t bring myself to dislike it. Rather, I am relatively proud of all the work I put into this blog and am rather proud I can call this blog mine. I think it’s a really nice way to catalog all of the activities and such we do in class, and I think looking back in a few years, this blog is going to be really fun to look at.
Now this year in TOK we looked a lot at the “ways of knowing” or WOK. I thought it was interesting that these units were actually units, for I had never considered the different ways that humans come to conclusions. By looking at the various perspectives of different speakers and sources, I have come to realize that the question “How do we know what we know?” Is a lot more complicated that one would think. Pinpointing the origin of knowledge, finding the source of our knowledge is really philosophical and and interesting concept to think about.
As I wrap this blog post up, I guess it’s time for a few last minute thoughts that are popping into my head right now. So with this post, my Junior year in TOK class is over; wrapped up, finished, done. However, not to worry as I will be back next year in order to complete round two of the course. As I have gotten a little fond of this blog (as outline above) perhaps I will be posting some summer things that I find relevant to this course, as I have learned that “TOK moments” are truly all around us. This being said, I think those posts will constitute as something that is separate from this string of Year 1 posts, for they will probably take on a different kind of feel. With that note, I now officially end my first year in Theory of Knowledge class, and embark into TOK Summer and TOK Year 2.