TOK and EE Subjects and Paperwork, oh my!

TOK. Urban Dictionary never fails. What if there were tiny worlds living in our mitochondria? How do we know they don’t exist? WHAT IS LIFE?

(By the way, it’s true that TOK is the number one class to sleep in. Believe me, I do it all the time. Oh wait, I’ve only had TOK for two weeks. Don’t we learn fast?)

In my school, our TOK teachers work in conjunction with the heads of the IB program at our school and our advisers in aiding us students in our journey to write the dreaded extended essay.

Step number 1: Pick a Subject Area.

Now, I don’t know about you, but the mere thought of doing an English EE or a History EE makes me cringe. I’m not good enough at Physics to even think about it, Math sounds tedious and I would never know what to do, and 75% of the rest of the available subjects require more knowledge than what I have at my fingertips currently.

From a list of twenty or so possible areas, I chose World Studies, Anthropology, and Human Rights, and Literature was my fallback.

I can almost see the train of thought running through every teacher’s mind:

#hipster #insane #whatthefuckiswrongwithyoustudents #pooreducationalchoice #lolfail

Then, from those subject areas, I’d debated between Anthro and Human Rights, World Studies having never been attempted before and fairly new in the context of IB. I talked with the teacher who would be potentially advising me, and somehow he managed to hedge me into Literature.

I was not happy.

I clung to the idea of Human Rights. I started word-clouding out of desperation. I really, really didn’t want to do another English Essay.

Step two: Decide on a topic.

I came up with this idea for Human Rights:

Abortion: Does the mother have precedence to the right to life over her unborn child?

And then I started thinking. And thinking. And thinking. Do I count the unborn…future human being…a fetus or a baby or an embryo? At what point would it stop being an embryo–wait, I already know the answer to this from Health. Do fetuses have rights? Are babies morally able to have rights? Do you have to be morally able to have rights? Isn’t this more about bioethics? IB says no bioethics. Is this too controversial? Will he accept it? Will IB accept it? Maybe I should choose something else. Is there something else? What about gun control? I have no interest in gun control. Is that a universal right? To what extent do the rights guaranteed by the Constitution match with the rights guaranteed by the Universal Declaration of Human Rights?

Am I overthinking this? Will I be too emotional invested in this? Is this even a good idea?

If he doesn’t accept, I suppose I will be left with Literature. And if I do Literature, I will compare and contrast gender roles or sexuality in The Left Hand of Darkness and Lady Chatterley’s LoverOr, I will do a close passage analysis of Lady Chatterley’s Lover and Fifty Shades of Grey possibly of the trashiest sex scenes I can find.

While I write, I will cringe and shrivel into dust in a littler dark corner, but that will be my small rebellion against IB.

Oh lord, what has my life become.

On a more positive note, I’ve recently started creating characters again for fiction authors online. Yay! And the National Orchestra Festival is in less than two weeks. I’m so excited!


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