Why I don’t hate IB

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Kate Karstens, Editor-in-Chief

Yeah, yeah, everyone hates IB. Let’s rant about it in every single class and complain about their adherence to rubrics and grades while telling us to take risks. Heck, I even wrote a piece last year complaining about the IB society. But hold onto your hats everyone, because for once, I have something positive to say. Actually, a lot of positive things to say.

(This is the part where 90% of the senior IB candidates stop reading this because they are scarred from how messed up their extended essay timeline was. If it’s any consolation, I still haven’t turned mine in. Sorry, Mrs. Mahony.)

Click to read “Is the IB Diploma right for you?” by Fernanda Molina

The largest part of the diploma is the classes, which I absolutely love. I am a pretty average IB student taking three higher level and three standard level courses and the course load is extremely manageable. Granted, I am not taking Physics or HL Math because those simply aren’t areas I enjoy or excel in. When you take the courses you really love, which IB allows you to do through a variety of science and arts options, there is not a heavy course load because it isn’t a “load” at all.

(And now you’re thinking, ‘Geez, will this girl stop being such a hippie for a second. Of course she doesn’t have a bunch of homework every night because she’s not taking Physics.’)

To all of you thinking that, actually I do have significant homework and assignments. IB just taught me that the time to do homework due Monday and Tuesday is on my Saturday mornings and how to make the most of quiet corners in volleyball tournaments that have hidden outlets. Unless you have a scheduled event on a Saturday morning, I can pretty much guarantee you’re either sleeping or doing nothing crucial. Do some homework. It makes Monday suck a lot less.

I’m unsure if the CAS (Community Action Service) or Extended Essay requirement is neglected more. Regardless, CAS can be a pain in the butt and my reflections have not been touched in roughly three months. (Sorry, Mrs. Planas.) IB is really big on reflections, which I find utterly tedious and pointless but what isn’t pointless is the thing I’m actually reflecting on. An IB student doesn’t sit at home playing video games when not doing homework, because they have 150 hours to complete of CAS.

(Yes, I know that once you’re done with your CAS and homework or probably before any of that is done, you’re playing video games.)

Despite these reflections making me despise the 17th of every month, the best memories of high school are doing CAS activities, whether that was tutoring, playing volleyball, or writing for this paper.

This diploma made every single one of its candidates well rounded and gave them a chance to excel in classes they actually enjoy. And if you weren’t busy complaining about your FOA or IOP, you would see that when we go to college next year, we will be so much better equipped and be able to enjoy other aspects of college aside from the classroom.

(Hi Mr. Scharff. I know you’re reading this and you probably are grumbling that I just talked about a purpose of high school being to prepare us for college. That’s not totally what I mean by that. I mean that because we have been exposed to so much rigor in high school, our next avenue of learning will be more enjoyable because we won’t be tearing our hair out from the hours of studying required because we will know how to handle it.)

What I’ve noticed is that students just love to hate IB. It’s something we can all relate to and it’s an effective way to derail a class because even teachers can participate. Maybe it’s nerdy to love IB but this is Mason. This school is full of nerds anyways.

(And now you’re like ‘OK well she just called me a nerd but she’s the nerd talking about how she loves IB. Why am I still reading?’)

I’m hoping that just once, you stop and appreciate all of the opportunities that IB has given to us. Because of IB, I found out what course I want to major in. (Shoutout to Mr. P. You’re the real MVP.) Because I took HL World History, I learned to embrace my family history and not shy away from it. Because I had to take Theory of Knowledge (TOK), I learned that when I go for the grade, I’m no longer going for the knowledge. And no, that’s not really a TOK subject, but that’s what IB has done time and time again. It has taught me lessons that weren’t even in the curriculum and those are the ones I will keep for the rest of my life.

(Sappy ending to a sappy article declaring my love for IB. What a surprise.)