These are the notes that I've made while studying for various courses the night before every exam. The IB notes are all based on the 2015 syllabus, and the university notes are all based on the textbook since all the professors do is tell you to preread the textbook anyway.
This is a collection of a bunch of schoolwork that I spent way too much time on. I put these here to remind myself just how bad homework is and hopefully scare kids away from pursuing IB. Not even once.
The International Baccalaureate (IB) Diploma Programme is a two-year pre-university education program offered worldwide with a rigorous international curriculum. It was a complete waste of time and tricked my perfectionist psyche into doing homework all day every day that never mattered at the end, because 80% of your grade is based on the exams written at the end of the two years, and because turns out American universities don't care about your IB score at all. Every candidate is required to write a 4000-word Extended Essay on some subject, and this is mine.
I spent a lot of time working on Tsukiyo, a program that displays and rotates various polytopes in 4D, not because the concepts were difficult, but because I decided to do all the math by myself without reading any external references. (Eventually in university we covered in a week what had taken me months to perfect.) Anyway, even though it's not allowed, I made Tsukiyo the subject of both my Extended Essay and Internal Assessment because I felt the work it took deserved to be split into two assignments. Maybe they found out, and that's why I got B on my extended essay!
My Math Internal Assessment is longer than my Extended Essay because there's a word limit, 4000, on the Extended Essay, but none on the Internal Assessment. On the other hand, History Internal Assessments have a ridiculous 2000-word limit in addition to a slew of additional useless requirements that left the actual essay with only 700 words. Thankfully, endnotes have no impact on word count, hehehe...
In Geography class, our teacher decided that everybody would be submitting exactly the same Internal Assessment, with exactly the same topic, method, and data. Unfortunately, our topic was "go out at night, measure the temperature at some places, and spend all your effort figuring out who skewed the data because they kept their thermometer in the car for too long". I had a lot of fun drawing the isotherm map and not very much fun pretending I knew anything about data analysis.
Seriously, 20% of the final mark in IB French B, and in fact in all IB second language courses, is based on one 400-word assignment. My assignment was literally 20 tweets long! 1% per tweet. Apparently my name wasn't French enough so I had to change it to the French equivalent of John Doe. Ne pas parler le francais to me, je have no idea how to parler le francais anymore.
Theory of Knowledge is one of IB's special features, a course nominally about epistemology but actually about following arbitrary rules that force you to demonstrate how thinking about one real life situation can lead to thinking about other real life situations. The only assignments are one presentation, which I utterly bombed, and one essay, which was the bomb, considering that we only had six possible topics and the others included "There is no such thing as a neutral question", "Humankind can only produce knowledge through observation or experiment", and "Discuss how shared knowledge can shape personal knowledge". Maybe if IB spent more than half an hour making up these topics, people could write actual discussions on epistemology?
The final special feature of IB, after the Extended Essay and Theory of Knowledge, is CAS, which requires candidates to exercise their Creativity, Action, and Service with 200 hours of community service. I ended up getting B in all of them, and as far as I'm concerned, the only B for CAS in my entire hundred-person cohort, mainly because all I wrote in my CAS reflection essays was how I failed all of my CAS goals. One component of CAS that nobody told us until halfway through the program was a Big Group Project for IB students to team up into a big group and make a project. Our project was a proposal for a municipal broadband internet service provider in Vancouver, which made its way up into a city council meeting and eventually a presentation to the deputy mayor before gently lapsing into the void.