TOK (Theory of Knowledge) Guide #IB

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Heyy everyone! This is my last post in my IB series of blog posts, and myself and two fellow IB students are going to be talking about theory of knowledge, or TOK part of IB, and this will be sort of like a guide to TOK.

So theory of knowledge is made of several components. It’s almost like philosophy in a way.

So first, there are ways of knowing, WOKs:

WOKs are the tools one uses to gain knowledge or the factors that affect what knowledge someone gains. These include:

  • Faith– A person’s beliefs
  • Sense Perception Everyone has their own perspective on different issues which can affect what knowledge they gain from something.
  • Emotion– How people feel and are affected
  • Language How we communicate both through the written word and spoken
  • Intuition The gut feeling of knowing something
  • Imagination– Using your brain as a creative stimulus
  • Memory– The past or things that you can remember
  • Reason– The justification behind doing something

There are also areas of knowledge, AOKs:

AOKs are like the categories that certain concepts or real life situations can be classified under. These are more specific than WOKs and WOKs are often used within the different AOKs. These include:

  • Religious Knowledge SystemsA specific system of belief or worship that focuses on knowledge claims about spirituality and the metaphysical nature of the world
  • Indigenous Knowledge SystemsA knowledge systems developed by a community
  • Human Sciences Study of the biological, social, and cultural aspects of life
  • Natural Sciences– A branch of science that deals with the physical world; chemistry, geometry
  • Math The study of mathematics and mathematical concepts
  • History– The study of past events
  • The ArtsThe expression or application of human creative skill and imagination
  • Ethics- Moral principles that govern a person’s behavior or the conducting of an activity

Knowledge questions, KQs, are broad, open-ended questions we ask about knowledge.

An example of a knowledge question is: If an answer can’t be neutral, does that mean the question can’t be neutral either?

We discussed this knowledge question in class and someone used the example of a ‘getting to know you question’. Like if you just met someone and they asked you what your favorite color is, it might seem like a very neutral question but the person asking might be hoping you say a certain color.

Claims and counterclaims refer to the stance you or someone else takes on a knowledge concept. If you are looking at a knowledge question then your claim would be your answer to the question. The counterclaim is the other position that you have to address and support but ultimately disagree with. 

I could have a claim that religious garbs should be allowed, using religious knowledge systems, ethics, and reason to support. My counterclaim would be religious garbs should be banned, and then I’d follow that up with why the counterclaim is wrong. 

We use real life situations, RLS’s, to put knowledge questions and claims into context.

When explaining what a knowledge question is I used the example of someone asking what your favorite color is. This would be an example of an RLS. RLSs are used to make TOK/philosophical ideas less obscure. By tying abstract ideas back to the real world it makes it more understandable and easier to explain.

And lastly shared vs. personal knowledge

Shared knowledge are composed of facts or data about a certain AOK or WOK that is considered universal, or known to everyone.  

Personal knowledge is specific knowledge to an individual based on their personal experiences and first hand observation.  

An example of shared and personal knowledge applied to a situation would be when trying to solve a physic problem, you apply the shared knowledge of physical concepts such as Newton’s Laws, and then you also apply your personal knowledge on how to solve that specific problem based off of the knowledge you acquired from learning from your teacher in class. You could be using a different equation to solve the problem than other classmates however, which is how you make solving it personal. 

Thanks so much for reading! Hope you learned something new, but if you were just totally confused, it’s fine, so was I the first month of TOK. 😉

Stay awesome Sassenachs!-Calliope Fraser

May 2017 Wrap Up!

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Hello everyone! IB exams are over and now it’s all about finals and regents. Fortunately, May was somehow a great reading month for me and I read 12 books! I’m nearly caught up with my Goodreads Reading Challenge which is a relief.

So anyway, first up this month I read How to Love and Fireworks by Katie Cotugno and These Broken Stars

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I definitely liked Katie Cotugno’s other book 99 days better than ‘How to Love’ and ‘Fireworks’ but both books were contemporaries that were well written, just didn’t suit my fancy really. I think that I was a bit bored and the plot lines just didn’t interest me that much. Likewise with ‘These Broken Stars’ I thought it was paced too slow and I just got bored while reading. All three books were good, I just felt a tad bored.

I also read Snow Like Ashes by Sara Raasch and the Sin Eater’s Daughter by Melinda Salisbury

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I enjoyed both of these as well, they’re both fantasies with interesting plots. I think that I liked ‘The Sin Eater’s Daughter’ a bit more in terms of the interesting and different plot. I also was intrigued by the main character, but she turned out to be different than I thought she would be.

I read A Study in Charlotte by Brittany Cavallaro, Alex and Eliza by Melissa de la Cruz, and the Duff by Kody Keplinger

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I really liked ‘A Study in Charlotte’. I think that if I was a Sherlock fan and knew the stories I would have ended up loving this book, but since I know nothing about Sherlock I didn’t make as many connections about the mystery and murders happening.

I was so excited to read ‘Alex and Eliza’ but the events in the book that kept happening made me laugh a bit in a like is this for real kind of way.

With ‘The Duff’ I watched the movie a few years ago and the book was so different! I think that the main character Bianca bothered me a bit because she and I are so different and also there was a bit of mislabeled feminism where Bianca made fun of a boy for reading a ‘girl’ book and then said she was a feminist.

I read some Karen Marie Moning books! I read the first two books in the Fever series, Darkfever and Bloodfever, as well as Beyond the Highland Mist.

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The Fever series is seriously addicting. My best friend was reading the first book so I grabbed that on overdrive when she finished so now we’re playing the game of waiting for the digital book to be checked out to us since it’s on hold and I can only read the next book after my friend does since she’s always going to be first on the holds list.

I love Fae and any books about them and the chemistry that Karen Marie Moning writes is just so great!

And lastly I read A Court of Wings and Ruin by Sarah J. Maas


For this amazing 5 star trilogy? Series? I’m honestly confuzzled, anyway, I think A Court of Mist and Fury was my favorite, then A Court of Thorns and Roses, and then lastly A Court of Wings and Ruin was my least favorite. I think mainly because I noticed SJM repeating the same sentences over and over, and the sex scenes starting getting so repetitive and less chemistry filled.

I also think that the regeneration think is too much. If a character is dead it shouldn’t be okay to keep reviving them. Also I understand what SJM was doing with Mor and the representation but it was kind of sprung I think in an effort to be more diverse; it could have been introduced better I though. Still a 5 star book though because wow a lot of great things happened!

What did you read this month?

Stay awesome Sassenachs!-Calliope Fraser

P.S. I’m going to BookCon!! Are any of you guys coming??


De-stressing and Relaxing Tips! // IB

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Hello! This is my second post in my IB series of blog posts in which I share IB tips and other things as part of my IB CAS Peace Project, Peace of Mind. (IB = International Baccalaureate).

So if you missed my last post, it was an overall sum up and pros and cons of IB, you can click here to see that.

Today I’m going to be discussing tips to stay relaxed and de-stress during times when everything can be too much.

1. Reading. Obviously as a book blogger I love to read and reading is my oasis from the real world. Whenever I just want to de-stress I read a book.

2. Youtube/movies. I always find when I’m not in the mood to read, watching something can help either calm me down or distract me.

3. Music. I love listening to music and it’s always calming and relaxing to either play my favorite songs, or loud angry rock songs to vent through terrible dancing and singing along.

4. Exercising. If I’m angry or stressed I find that going for a run or kicking a punching bag is always a way to get out frustration and anger.

5. Meditating/yoga. Doing some relaxing poses and focusing on your mind is a way for many people to reduce stress.

6. Writing it down. Sometimes I find that if I write down what’s stressing me out, I find that I can assess how I can take control of a situation.

7. Venting. If I’m stressed or upset I usually vent about it to someone to let off steam and just have someone listen to my problems.

8. Taking deep breaths. Focusing on something like your breathing can help calm you down and give you something to do while your body relaxes.

9. Ask for help. If something is giving you stress that it in your grasp to find help on, go for it. An important test coming up? Ask a friend to study with you or go to your teacher for extra help.

10. Don’t worry about the things you have no control over. In my theory of knowledge class my teacher posed an interesting tip. Make a list of everything that’s stressing you out, then cross out the things you can’t control, surprisingly, there are many things you can control. The things you cross out however, shouldn’t be your immediate stress, push those to the back. The things that are left on the list, the things you have control over, find a week to gain control over that thing that’s stressing you out.

For example the things that are stressing me out right now:

1. My mother


3. College

4. Life guarding job over the summer

5. My regents

6. My IOC for English tomorrow

I can’t really control my mother, college, or my life guarding job right now, so I have to push those to the back and wait until I can have control over them. I definitely can control my regents and the SAT/ACT by studying, so that’s what I have to do to make myself less stressed about them.

As for my IOC, (oral commentary on a passage from a book) that’s part luck tomorrow on which passage from which book I get out of Hamlet, the Crucible, and the Great Gatsby, as well how well I review the major themes and motifs from each book tonight or tomorrow before I do my commentary.

What are your tips for relaxing and de-stressing? I’d love to hear them, especially since my oral commentary for English is tomorrow! Yikes!

Stay awesome Sassenachs!-Calliope Fraser



What is IB? Informational Introduction and Pros and Cons

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So you may or may not have noticed that I haven’t been posting as much since my junior year has started. The reason for that is IB. IB if you don’t know stands for international baccalaureate, and yes I just failed at spelling that.

It’s basically a really rigorous international education program with “global prospects”.

So while I’m very  busy currently I thought I would put into words the pros and cons of IB, both to help others who are considering the program and to keep myself mentally sane right now 🙂

Also as part of my IB CAS Project, my friend and I are doing a Peace Project so over the month of May I’ll be posting different things relating to relaxing the mind and de-stressing etc.

Let’s get started with the IB intro!


Let’s start positive shall we?

-College readiness: IB really prepares you for college because the program is designed to challenge you. You think more creatively, write more, and take initiative in your classes with the different IA’s, and then also the EE. IA stands for internal assessment, which is a paper investigation for each class, and then the EE is the extended essay, a 4,000 paper on a subject that you choose. (I’m doing English naturally). My friend is doing French because she’s really good at languages, French specifically.

-Ranking and weight: IB has an extra class that AP classes don’t, and that’s theory of knowledge, TOK. That gives IB students a boost on their grade point averages.

-You learn in a new way: From taking IB classes for more than half a year, I’ve started to think differently. TOK teaches you to think more philosophically, and is incorporated into each IB class.

-Variety: In my school at least, we’re lucky to have a large variety of IB classes to CHOOSE from. Many schools I know force students to take classes but in my school we get to choose our classes which is pretty cool. There are also new IB classes added all the time.


-Money: IB is a bit more expensive, not much more than AP but that could still be a make or break for some people.

-Stress levels and mental sanity: IB is stressful AF and cannot be compared to AP. If I hear one more AP kid complaining when their work load is so much less oh my god honestly I will kermit. There was actually this fight a few months ago with the IB seniors vs AP seniors because the AP kids also wanted a senior sash thing like the IB kids. (It’s called a stole, I know this now). The IB kids fought back and said that they do more work and they should be rewarded. Anyway, obviously I support the IB kids in this cause I am one duh. IB has CAS, IA’s, and the EE, it’s clearly more work than AP.

-Work load: YES IB is more work than the average high school class. We have IA’s, EE’s, CAS (which is a whole other thing), FOA’s, OA’s, IOC’s, and a WA. (Yes all these acronyms did make my head spin at first too). The IB course load is also in fact compared to college and by some considered MORE rigorous than college!

-Secrecy: Now this depends on your school but some schools aren’t very forthcoming about the program until you join. If this is the case, please, ask any questions you have in the comments! It’s always good to make completely informed decisions.

-The standard level courses, SL, don’t count for college credit often, but the HL, higher level do! (HL classes are 2 years though). (You need 3 SL and 3 HL courses, though some students take 4 HL and 2 SL).

My schedule this year was:

IB Math SL, Business SL, and Spanish SL, while my HL’s were Physics, History of the Americas, and Language and Literature. Also Theory of Knowledge along with Newspaper and Yearbook. No lunch period this year.

Next year my schedule will include AP Calculus AB, HL year 2 for Physics, History of the Americas, and English, Spanish SL Year 2, Yearbook, Newspaper, and then College Marketing because I had room in my schedule. I also will have a lunch that I will treat as a free period basically for homework.

In all honesty, I should have taken Business HL and Environmental SL instead of Physics because I’m doing so bad in physics, but it’s a great class for your resume and I also wanted to take the physics regents to get that All Regents Diploma. Oh well, I’ve survived Year 1 physics nearly, so I’m sure I can survive year 2.

I had such a struggle sophomore year choosing between the IB route and the AP route, and though I complain and make fun of IB all the time, I don’t regret taking it, and once I committed to my IB choice last year, it was like a load off my chest. I truly wasn’t able to be confident in my IB choice however till the first week of junior year when I was really introduced to it.

What cool classes, IB, AP, or any other, do you have at your schools? My favorite class is definitely TOK (Theory of Knowledge) with English and History following that up. Though I really hate Math SL, (I suck at math) I absolutely love my teacher, he’s honestly like a dad to all of us.

Stay awesome Sassenachs!-Calliope Fraser

P.S. My friend also helped contribute to this post as this is both of our peace projects 🙂

April 2017 Wrap Up!

Predict My Life In Books Tag!

I read a grand total of 7 books this month, that’s just cause I read a lot during April break though. I’m still way behind on my goodreads challenge and school is still whipping my behind. Good thing IB tests have started, yeck, I’m probably not going to get any reading done in May.

Anyway, let’s get into it!

Firstly I read A Totally Awkward Love Story by Tom Ellen and Lucy Ivison.

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I thought that this book, while cute, had way too much unrealistic teen drama going on. I’m a teenager myself and sometimes I read books about people my age and have to squint a bit because wow things are different from other parts of the world. Maybe this book was typical for British teens in the 90’s but it seemed a bit too fanatical for me and the main character’s decisions annoyed me.

I read two V.E. Schwab books, Vicious and This Savage Song

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I love Victoria Schwab, she’s just such an amazing fantasy writer! I’m looking forward to reading book 2 of the Monsters of Verity series? Duology? Trilogy? I have no idea but I can’t wait to read it!

I also finished Hamlet for school

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I thought Hamlet was okay. My reaction to Shakespeare’s writing is usually meh. I like the stories he writes but it takes a long time and a lot of effort to understand what they’re about and that makes it difficult to enjoy reading his books.

And then I read Carve the Mark by Veronica Roth, Caraval by Stephanie Garber, and History is All You Left Me by Adam Silvera

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Yes I know, Carve the Mark has a lot of controversy going around, I’m aware. But it’s also kind of difficult for me to understand why. I don’t really want to get into this, but some of the arguments against this book are that the light skinned people were portrayed as the good guys and the dark skinned as the bad guys. The thing is, both sides had mixed dark and light skinned people so I don’t understand? I guess I can understand the whole white supremacy thing, but there are so many fantasy books with similar themes that no one complains about…

Caraval was an interesting book. I think I liked it, though the ending confuzzled me, and I think that I will be continuing with this series.

History is all you left me was all right. It had a very similar vibe to ‘more happy than not’ and I thought it was a good book but nothing amazing. Gorgeous cover though that really stands out I must say.

How are you all doing on your Goodreads challenges? Lemme know the books you’ve read in April, I’d love to read your April wrap ups!

Stay awesome Sassenachs!-Calliope Fraser


Panic! At the Disco Book Tag!

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I haven’t done a book tag in a while, but Sam @ River Moose Reads tagged me to do the Panic! At the Disco tag a few days ago and since I love Panic and heard one of their songs this morning at the nursing home I volunteer at, I figured it was a sign to do this tag.

The Rules:

1 – Tag the creator (RiverMoose-Reads)
2-Answer the questions
3 – Name your favorite song from each album.
4 – Tag 5+ people!
5 – Have fun!

Album: A Fever You Can’t Sweat Out

Fav song: Ahhh so many good ones on this album, I can’t choose! Ugh okay Lying is the most fun a girl can have without taking her clothes off
A book you can’t help but love
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Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli. Just warm fuzzy feelings all around. Also Anna and the French Kiss and Six of Crows.

Album: Pretty. Odd.

Fav song: Nine in the Afternoon
A book that confused you (in a good or bad way)
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Lady Midnight by Cassandra Clare, I think I finished this book rather quickly and just sat there stunned like what did I just read? So I guess confused in a good way? Also Mara Dyer, that ending was a big woah what is going on.

Album: Vices and Virtues

Fav song: The Ballad of Mona Lisa
A book you have conflicting feelings over
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More Happy Than Not, also History is All you Left me. Adam Silvera’s books in general I’m conflicted and can’t decide if I love them or not. Also with Carve the Mark, there have been many things said about this book which is leaving me conflicted. Same thing with Caraval, I don’t know if I like it or not.

Album: Too Weird To Live, Too Rare To Die

Fav song: Girls/Girls/Boys
A long title you love
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I’d tell you I love you, but then I’d have to kill you. This book was great when I was a pre-teen, I loved this series so much but their titles were so long!

Album: Death of a Bachelor

Fav song: Okay once again, I love nearly every song on this album, but if someone made me choose then…jeez this is hard. Fine, LA Devotee
A great book with a terrible movie
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Do I even need to explain?

Thanks so much for reading! Hope you have a lovely day, pass all your AP and IB exams and survive the 4th marking quarter!

I tag whoever wants to do this tag!
Stay awesome Sassenachs!-Calliope Fraser
P.S. Junior prom is next Saturday! Eep!

Beastly Lights by Theresa Jane Book Review!


So you might have seen in my March Wrap Up that I had finished this lovely book and promised a review, and here it is!

Goodreads Synopsis: 

Gambled away by her brother, Freya is now bound to the music world’s resident bad boy Liam Henderson as his live-in maid.

Freya Coleman is a struggling artist who can hardly get by. With a past she would rather not revisit and a future that didn’t extend past her next cup of coffee, something had to change. Freya just didn’t know how much.

Liam Henderson lives in the spotlight. His wild nights and latest conquests make every woman want him, and every man want to be him. The rockstar has a carefully constructed persona to keep everyone out. That is, until a drunken night gets out of hand and he finds himself with the winning hand in a poker game, and the prize is a feisty redhead. A prize who just might break down the walls he has been so desperately hiding behind.

Thrown together, these two are a disaster waiting to happen. A disaster the world is eager to watch and comment on until their fingers drop off. What starts off as a fake relationship to improve Liam’s image, blossoms into so much more, and Freya is swept up into the world of bright lights and illusions. Everyone has an opinion when the lights are shining on their beloved rock god Liam Henderson, and they are eagerly waiting to tear down anyone who is bathed in the famous glow.

Can happily ever after exist when the whole world is watching?

My Thoughts: 

So this book is in a way a Beauty and the Beast retelling with a lot of variation. The title of the book kind of hints at it with the word ‘beastly’.

I loved Freya and how easy she was to relate to. Starving artist could easily be starving musician, or writer, or any other profession where it’s tough to get into and make a living off of.

Freya’s strength as a character, and her decisions at the end of the book made me feel sad, but I totally understand where she was coming from. I liked that I was able to separate my shipping of Liam and Freya from what was good for Freya, and I suppose that’s what Freya did too. She made her choices in the end on what was best for her.

I feel like Liam should have totally seen Jeb for what he was, and that Freya should have pushed on Liam more to either fire him or confront him more.

I liked the themes and how the characters had baggage, they weren’t some fantasy that you were totally jealous of. Like Liam for example, hot rock star yes, but his past and his present made it hard for me to completely want his lifestyle.

I also enjoyed reading the sort of gossip column chapters and the comments many of Liam’s “fans” left on them.

My favorite scene was when Liam broke down Freya’s door because she was singing in the shower and Liam thought she was being murdered. As someone who cannot sing that well, I feel like this would happen to me…

One thing that I noticed throughout the entire book was the word ‘smirk’ was used in like every other sentence to describe a character’s expression, and while it didn’t really bother me that much, I found it amusing how every character smirked every 5 seconds.

Don’t get me wrong, I love the word smirk, but yeah…it was used quite a lot.

Also Lucy was described as almost ready to pop at the end when Liam visited her after Freya left, leading me to believe she was ready to give birth soon, but 7 months later she was just giving birth which was just a minor detail that confused me.

Some of my favorite characters were Davis and Freya obviously, Ryan and Ant. My least favorite were Mason and the dad and Jeb. I thought that there were some characters whose stories should have been developed more, just in my personal opinion, Raven and Jazelle could have been explored a bit more. I liked Raven a lot but he wasn’t around that much.


I’m so happy this story was turned into an actual book because it really deserved it, I loved exploring Freya and Liam’s relationship!

My Rating:

4 out of 5 stars


Thanks for reading!

Stay awesome Sassenachs!-Calliope Fraser

P.S. BookCon is approaching and some of the panels are up and I’m so excited!! Are any of you guys coming to BookCon?!