What is IB? Informational Introduction and Pros and Cons

Image result for IB

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!


Pros:

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.


Cons:

-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.

Image result for a totally awkward love story

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

13638125 23299512

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

Image result for hamlet by shakespeare book

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

30117284 27883214 Image result for history is all you left me

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!

The Blogger Behind the Books Tag!.png

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
Image result for simon vs the homosapien agenda Image result for anna and the french kiss Image result for six of crows
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)
Image result for lady midnight Image result for confusing YA books
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
Image result for more happy than not Image result for carve the mark Image result for caraval by stephanie garber
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
Image result for if i tell you i love you then i'd have to kill you book
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
Image result for percy jackson book Image result for the mortal instruments books
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!

34609957

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.

Verdict:

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?!

March 2017 Wrap Up!

Copy of My Dream Book Conference Panel!.png

I’ve had such a slow reading month and have been so so very busy it’s ridiculous! School is sucking the life out of me like for reals. Exams are next month and everything is just like ahh!

Anyhoo, here are the measly amount of books I read this month! (6, I may or may not be behind my Goodreads challenge, I don’t even want to know at this point honestly).


I finished the Shades of Magic trilogy with A Conjuring of Light by V.E. Schwab!

Image result for a conjuring of light

I actually did a full review on this trilogy which you can click here to see! I LOVED this trilogy so much! Just everything was so great and my review was spoiler free and pretty much summed up all of my thoughts!


I also read these two thought provoking diverse YA books, More Happy Than Not and The Hate U Give 

Image result for more happy than not Image result for the hate u give

This was my first Adam Silvera book and I’m eager to see what else he has in store and I’m planning on reading his other books soon!

The Hate U Give was simply amazing! Angie Thomas’s debut novel was just so perfect especially with what’s happening in the world right now.

Like seriously yesterday at my white suburban high school there was this big crisis where everyone was like omg wear blue today to support the police and I’m walking through the halls and there are people wearing legit NYPD shirts, people that I never thought would do that. Our principal had to make an announcement and there were administrators walking around the school and everything. The theatre department’s shows got cancelled because they were human rights campaigns and there were problems because they dealt with the black vs blue lives matter movements apparently. And the thing is my town is a big pro police town, most people have parents who are cops or know cops personally so it’s easy to see why they think this way it just frustrated me that it turned into this big deal, whatever though.


I re-read Shadow and Bone for Battle of the Books and the Hating Game by Sally Thorne

Image result for shadow and bone Image result for the hating game

This was like my third or fourth time re-reading Shadow and Bone, and it’s 2nd place in my book compared to the brilliant Six of Crows duology by Leigh Bardugo. Side note: I’m meeting Leigh Bardugo at BookCon this year! Excitement!

The Hating Game was this cute adult contemporary that was reccomended by Natash Polis in one of her YouTube videos. It’s so weird because the main female character of the book is literally me! I related to her so much and I want to be her basically when I graduate college.


And finally I read Beastly Lights by Theresa Jane!

34609957

Funny story with this book actually, I used to read and write fanfiction when I was in my early teens and there was this one fanfiction that I really loved that was derived from the Mortal Instruments series and the author of the fic took the story down right before the conclusion a few months ago because it was being published as an actual book! I was so lucky to be able to receive an ARC of the book so I could finally experience the ending!

My review will be up within the next few days hopefully!


And that is all I read this month! What books have you read? Link me up with your March Wrap Ups! I’d love to check them out!

Stay awesome Sassenachs!-Calliope Fraser

P.S. I just checked, I’m 3 books behind. You know what, that’s okay I’ll catch up during the summer. (I say now, watch in a few months I’ll be like oh it’s summer I haven’t read anything oh welp).

Shadowhunters TV Show Thoughts

Image result for shadowhunters

Hello! Welcome! In case you don’t know, Shadowhunters is the tv adaptation of Cassandra Clare’s hit series the Mortal Instruments. There was originally a movie version, called The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones, but the series failed to make a sequel movie which I was quite disappointed about. 

I watched the movie and thought that it was okay, but after watching season 1 of the tv show, titled Shadowhunters, I thought the movie was excellent as the shadowhunters tv show sucked big time in season 1.

The tv show made the movie look faithful af.

The show was renewed for a second season and a new writer was hired and I have to say that after finishing season 2, the show has improved! Hallelujah!


So here are some of my thoughts! And it’s okay if you disagree! 

Image result for shadowhunters Image result for shadowhunters

I love how in the poster Clary and Simon are looking straight at the audience and everyone else is looking to the side. Like what is Jace doing with his facial expression? I like the Season 2 poster a lot more! It’s the one on the right. Except what’s with Jace’s turned head when we can see everyone else’s face?

The acting has gotten significantly better, and I actually felt some emotions while watching! Some of the plot lines still felt strange to me and didn’t make sense but overall the writers are somewhat following the book plot.

If I watched this show without reading the books first I would say that it’s an okay show, but knowing the amazing books and what happens in them, the show still continues to disappoint me because the characters don’t match the ones I already know in my head.

There are major defenders of the show who bash on us book lovers and say that it’s an adaption, we can’t expect it to be exactly like the books. Pretty Little Liars is nothing like the books and is a great tv show. My counter to that is that the Pretty Little Liars books were not relatively known before the show. There wasn’t that big fanbase that The Mortal Instruments books had before the Shadowhunters show.

And it also has to do with the actors, if I feel like laughing at some of the lines and facial expressions in a solemn scene, then it’s not good. I think I can honestly say that if the actors were more like the book, and there was a totally different plotline I would still like the show. It’s not about the books at this point, I just want a decent show.

Now maybe I am extremely biased as a staunch supporters of Cassandra Clare’s books, but why mess with an already perfect book series that has amazing plot lines that could be followed in a tv show with an amazing result?

I just don’t understand why the show couldn’t have followed the books, it would have made a much better show. That being said I do think that season 2 has gotten a lot better and there have been some moments where I was actually like ‘Yes! That’s my Jace!’

The season 2 plot has also been following book 2 and 3 of the Mortal Instruments series a bit more. I don’t think this show will ever match some of my other favorite book to tv series favorites like Outlander, but I think I’ve come to tolerate the show.

Actually, you know what? I am looking forward to season 3 a little bit, so that just shows that I don’t dislike the show that much, after all, I watch it every week when it’s on. I’m excited to meet Sebastian in the next season!


Some things I really like!

Simon! I love him and all of this lines! Alberto Rosende is doing a great job! I also like some of the Jace moments. When Simon and Jace are together, like at the bar scene when Jace is giving Simon girl tips, the snarky Jace comes out a little and I loved it!

I also like the guy who plays Valentine, Alan van Spring. The other characters I’m coming to tolerate I think.

So fav character? Simon for sure

Least favorite? Hmm, though I love Magnus as a characters, I feel like Harry Shum is making him really dramatic and he talks very slow and grave all the time? I don’t dislike any of the characters actually, I do love my Malec and also gasp! What’s with the Rizzy going on?? Where’s my Sizzy??

Anyhoo, that’s all from me today…


What do you think?! Do you still watch shadowhunters? Do you love it, hate it? Let me know in the comments below!

Stay awesome Sassenachs!-Calliope Fraser

 

Shades of Magic by V.E. Schwab Trilogy Review!

Image result for shades of magic trilogy

This is going to be a spoiler free review for this amazing trilogy that I loved so very much!

The Plot: 

I loved how unique and wonderful this trilogy was! The first few chapters of book one, A Darker Shade of Magic, were a bit confusing because ya know, beginning of a fantasy can often be puzzling. But I plowed through and was so glad I did! I think I gave book one a 4 star rating, and then books two and three 5 star ratings each.

The Characters:

I fell in love with all of the characters in this trilogy, good and bad. The evil characters were so deliciously evil and the side characters were so lovable, and then the main characters were so amazing! I liked how though there was romance in this trilogy, it wasn’t the main focus. The romance was sprinkled in pretty heavily though and I couldn’t help but predict and ship characters!

The Covers:

I loved the red and the black on the covers, because in the books red and black are the opposing forces basically. The red and black especially popped on beige/nude neutral backgrounds. After staring at the covers for a bit I also realized that there were quite a few details after reading each book that you realize suddenly make sense.

Verdict:

Yes yes yes! LGBTQ representation in a delicious adult high fantasy! Also such great characters that had flaws and messed up for real human reasons.

My Rating:

Overall 5 stars trilogy! I can’t wait to read Vicious, one of V.E. Schwab’s other books. I must say, I did like these books a lot more than the other books by her that I’ve read, geared towards young adults, the archived duology.


Aaand that was my quick sort of attempt at a review, I haven’t done one in a while

Thanks for reading! Let me know your thoughts on this trilogy below!

Also thank you soooooo much for 500 followers! This is surreal, I love you all so much ❤

Stay awesome Sassenachs!-Calliope Fraser

P.S. Sorry for my inactivity in the blog world! School is whooping my behind really bad right now. I’m just so busy! I took my first real SAT over the weekend and all of my IA’s are becoming suddenly due and now EE’s are starting and the TOK presentation and it’s just aghhh stressful! Anyhoo, the only thing keeping me sane these days is blogging, writing, and reading honestly