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


HAMILTON Obsessed!

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I’m slightly drowning in high school over here and that’s why my blogging has been suckish as of recently. My apologies.

You may or may not have heard of this musical called Hamilton?

I’m obsessed. We’re learning about Hamilton and Jefferson and the Constitution and all that jazz in my IB History of the Americas class and my teacher played the Room Where it Happens and the 1st Cabinet Battle and I was so insanely happy at that.

Of course everyone else in the room was confuzzled and not singing along like me so I was the odd one out there.

I’m even doing Hamilton for my English project! I’m fake interviewing Lin Manuel Miranda and kind of doing a historical vs. ideological truth kind of thing with it. It’s hard to actually understand if you’re not in my English class haha.

So I finished the entire soundtrack about a week ago and my life has changed. I’m being dramatic here obviously. Previously I only really knew a few songs, like I was obsessed with Take a Break for a good few months, and I only knew Schuyler Sisters, Alexander Hamilton, my Shot, and Farmers Refuted.

Now though, I know every song and I love them all so much and my new favorites are Satisfied, Helpless, Non-Stop, You’ll Be Back and Right Hand Man. 

I’ve gotten my brothers to sing along with me in You’ll Be Back, it’s really great. I never knew King George III could be so fun to sing as.

I’m also being forced to rake leaves because it’s that time of year and so I blast Hamilton obviously and I’m sure my entire family hates me because of it and when You’ll Be Back came up, my 6 year old brother did the da-da-das with me and it was great.

And to all the Hamilton haters out there, well, I have nothing to say to you because HOW?? How can one not like Hamilton? Okay, most not like it I can see, but like to outright hate it and refuse to listen to it at all and not give it a chance is just rude.

Who here also loves Hamilton?? Who’s actually seen it?? Cause that’s a dream of mine that probably will never happen.

–  ❤ Calliope

P.s. HA! Did you see what Trump tweeted about Hamilton the other day?? This is the President of the United States ladies and gentlemen

P.P.s. I can’t really sing that well, there’s a difference between liking to sing and actually knowing how to sing. Sadly I’m the former, but that’s okay!

New York Times by the Book Tag

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I was tagged to do the New York Times by the Book Tag by Deanna @ A Novel Gimpse

Thanks so much for that tag! I feel like I haven’t done one in ages because I’ve been so busy since school started. It’s crazy how the 1st quarter is already over and there’s only three more to go for the year.

Anyhoo, let’s get started!

What book is on your nightstand right now?

I currently have 14 books on a shelf behind my bed. It’s my current tbr from my birthday that I’ll hopefully finish soon.

What was the last truly great book you read?

I had the greatest opportunity to read two amazing ebooks last week, Bright Side by Kim Holden and It Ends With Us by Colleen Hoover.

If you could meet one author (living or dead), who would it be? What would you ask?

I would love to meet Stephanie Meyer, she seems like a cool person.

What books might we be surprised to find on your shelf?

Little Women. It’s the only classic on my main shelf.

How do you organize your personal library?

You’ll probably cringe at this but okay, I have my main shelf which I got when Borders was closing a few years ago. This shelf has all of my YA books organized by height and series. Then I have the shelf behind my bed with my tbr, then I have 2 cube shelves with all of the middle grade books I no longer read, along with the Adult books that I’m saving for when I’m older. And lastly I have a few books on a shelf that’s attatched to a lamp that are also adult books for the future.

What book have you always meant to read but haven’t gotten to yet?

The Ruby Circle by Richelle Mead, it’s on my tbr shelf so hopefully I’ll get to it soon!

Disappointing, overrated, just not good: what book did you feel you are supposed to like but didn’t?

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child for sure, I just didn’t like it.

What kind of stories are you drawn to?


Emotional NA novels, sexy YA fantasies. Books that hit me in the feels basically!

If you could require the president to read one book, what would it be?

Well, we’re going to get a new President based on the election tomorrow, but if we’re talking Obama, he should read Unbroken because that book was so inspiring.

What do you plan to read next?

I’m currently reading Love and Gelato, but I plan to read Wolf by Wolf next and the Crown’s Game. Also if After You ever comes off hold at the library, that one too.

I tag anyone who wants to do this because I’m a tired and struggling IB diploma candidate student 🙂

❤ -Calliope