You Know You're In IB When ... (241 examples)
1. You are already planning where your lockers will be next year.
2. At least 4 of your classes (history, english, TOK, psychology) are talking about almost the same thing, or at least you think they are ... it could be an illusion ... maybe you're not in class at all ...
3. You start walking in geometric circles.
4. You start analyzing random books, song lyrics, and street signs.
5. You say the same sentence over and over again, not realizing you've said it before.
6. A good night's sleep is 5 hours.
7. You say the same sentence over and over again, not realizing you've said it before.
8. You can't enjoy a heart-warming cartoon because the French grammar is wrong.
9. You have made up complicated metaphors relating your love life to a card game and have fun doing it.
10. 16 + 2 = ... wait, let me get my graphing calculator!
11. The idea of "getting off on tangents" is hilariously funny.
12. You start overanalyzing the rainbows on people's clothing.
13. You write a newsletter half in Latin.
14. Your Physics teacher knows how to say "outstanding" in over 30 languages, yet chooses "cool beans!"
15. You need a graphing calculator to bake.
16. You're disappointed when you only get 100% on a test.
17. You're smarter than all your teachers ... no, that just means you're in public school.
18. You relax vicariously through your non-IB friends (what non-IB friends???).
19. You forget to breathe.
20. Your backpack is heavier than you are.
21. You realize that something is missing when your backpack feels too light.
22. You say the same sentence over and over again, not realizing you've said it before.
23. You complain that you can't store notes on your graphing calculator for the IB English exam.
24. You write parodies of Faulkner's work for fun.
25. You attempt to do your extended essay on Dr. Seuss.
26. Your idea of a 3 AM party game is analyzing the socio-political commentary in Dr. Seuss.
27. You complain about studying for your foreign language exam ... in multiple foreign languages.
28. You write stories and give them to other people to analyze for you because you don't understand them.
29. You were a pair of antennae (deedleyboppers) on your head and think you're a water molecule.
30. The fact that "wear" is spelled wrong in #29 bothers you. a lot.
31. You forget the meaning of the words "free time" yet remember the meaning of "literary analysis" (n. )
32. You have complicated dreams about graphing circles and ellipses.
33. You take over the hallways in the morning before school, unloading your bookbag and settling in for a 30-minute homework party.
34. You walk in the movement patterns of a knight to improve your chess strategy while you nap on your way to your next class.
35. You have theological discussions at parties
36. You have theoretical physics discussions at parties.
37. The number on your screen name corresponds to the page number that character you use for your screen name has an appearance in the book you got it from.
38. Whenever you're watching a movie you find all the motifs and themes ... without trying.
39. "Friends" and "fellow IBers" are interchangeable.
40. You go to bed at 3 AM and think, "Oh, it's an early night!"
41. Your favorite saying is "If I get a hundred on every test for the rest of the year ..."
42. Social life? What's that?
43. You've fooled yourself into believing that colleges actually care whether you're in IB or not.
44. You try to wake up fast enough to catch yourself sleeping - and succeed.
45. You talk to yourself in the 3rd person.
46. You write sentences on multiple choice tests.
47. It's okay to fail, so long as you are not alone.
48. You frequently catch yourself saying "What?? We had homework??"
49. You say the same sentence over and over again, not realizing you've said it before.
50.The Sun is too loud.
51. Trees begin threatening you.
52. You can see individual air molecules vibrating.
53. While writing a TOK paper, you begin to actually understand the material.
54. You explore the possibility of setting up an IV drip of espresso.
55. You wonder if brewing is an essential step in the consumption of coffee.
56. Things become "Very Clear".
57. You begin speaking in a language that only you and Channelers can understand.
58. You believe that if you think hard enough, you can levitate.
59. You heart beats in 7/8 time.
60. You and Reality file for divorce.
61. It appears that people are speaking to you in binary code.
62. You have great revelations concerning Life, the Universe, and Everything else, but can't quite find the words for them before the white glow fades, leaving you more confused than before. Oh well, ice cream time!
63. You discover the aesthetic beauty of school supplies.
64. You begin to talk to yourself, then disagree about the subject, get into a nasty row about it, lose, and refuse to talk to yourself for the rest of the day.
65. You yell: "STOP TOUCHING ME!!!" even though you're the only person in the room.
66. You manage to complete a semesters worth of homework the day before the term ends.
67. You finish your extended essay shortly after midnight. Your smile of satisfaction fades when you remember to start on your World Lit paper.
68. You've sold your soul â€¦ and have to wait 4 years to get it back.
69. You cloned yourself so you could sell your clones' souls to each of your teachers.
70. Desperate to fill up your CAS hours, you claim watching a black and white movie as "creativity" and walking your dog as "activity", and your teacher approves it.
71. You have a special "test writing sweater" that you wore to all the IB exams.
72. Your idea of impure thoughts is whether or not to copy math homework.
73. You can count your first math quiz grade on one hand.
74. You wonder if there's SparkNotes on the Calculus book.
75. You don't really cheat - you just tell people the answers.
76. Cheating became too difficult, so you took up telepathy.
77. You have a tab running at Barnes & Noble.
89. BN.com, amazon.com, and Books-A-Million offered to give you a free shipment/order each so you took full advantage of it and are now banned from those stores/sites (it took 6 semis to deliver the orders!)
90. You understand that the list skipped from 77 to 89 for one sole reason: LACK OF SLEEP.
91. You've consulted tarot cards for hints on a History test.
92. You have the library on speed dial.
93. You've developed an imprint of your book bag in your back.
94. Your best hope for most classes is either divine intervention or a strategically placed lightning bolt.
95. Your books weigh more than you do.
96. Your thesis for the Extended Essay is whether or not Bert and Ernie are gay.
97. Your alternate thesis for the Extended Essay is why IB jokes/checklists are so prolific and the amount of fact contained within them.
98. You plead insanity on a research paper.
99. Your plea is accepted by your teacher.
100. You do your essays on the plane ride to school.
101. You can lead your way through a frog's intestines with your eyes closed.
102. You have to stop twice and get gas to make it all the way to school.
103. You've been out various times looking for the Abridged Cliff's Notes.
104. You consider giving up going to the bathroom permanently to give you more time to study.
105. Your backpack is only comfortable when it weighs >30 pounds.
106. You have convinced your parents the "1" you received on your IB Chemistry exam was really the "top 1% of all IB students worldwide".
107. You skip breakfast so you can get to school early to get in some extra cramming time to gain that "upper edge" on the rest of the class.
108. Your home becomes a "home away from home".
109. You think the meaning of life is: G = -RTlnK.
110. Your favorite equation is e(iπ)+1=0
111. Said equation comes up on a test.
112. You go insane from trying to work Pythagoras' constant and the golden rule into said equation.
113. You succeed in mathematically correctly adding above to said formula without changing number bases.
114. Pressed for time, you conclude a history essay with, "And they lived happily every after. Amen."
115. You get into a slugging match over priority for the library photocopier.
116. It's essential to learn to live with occasional failures.
117. Can we say EXTRA CREDIT??
118. You actually worry about the 105% you have in math.
119. You find that you overreact when you get 2 points marked off on your homework.
120. You find that you spend more time sleeping in class than at home.
121. You are 18 but can't drive.
122. You have 15 library cards each under a different alias.
123. You searched all the books in the local public library, so you found a loophole that allowed you to check out books from the local university stacks.
124. Your list of excuses for not doing your homework is the length of Anna Karenina.
125. You exceed the 4200 word limit on the Extended Essay (by over 1000 words).
126. The simplest words you know are at least 10 letters long.
127. You ask what your summer reading assignment will be in October.
127. You come into school at 6:00am to do Biology and don't complain.
128. You get dirty looks from the Regular Kids in your homeroom.
129. It takes more than one trip to carry the books you need between your car and your locker.
130. You carry around SAT vocab flash cards to whip out in your free time.
131. You can list all 5 definitions on vocabulary tests.
132. When you are home sick, you can't help but wonder what work you're missing and what your homework is.
133. When you're watching TV, you feel guilty because not all of your homework is done.
134. That was a lie, you don't watch TV (except for NBC News at 6).
135. You show up 4 hours late to an IB test and still manage to get a "5".
136. During a Chemistry test, instead of doing the work, you write a random answer program in your TI-83+ Silver Edition and get the highest score in the class.
137. Your idea of great art is simultaneously graphing the sine, cosine and tangent graphs on your calculator.
138. You have functioning electrical appliances in your locker.
139. You can type 70 words per minute -- on a TI-89.
140. You actually believe "mental health days" are excused absences.
141. Brewing coffee takes too long, so you just eat the beans.
142. You're afraid of sunlight since you haven't seen it in 3 years.
143. Breakfast?! What's that?
144. The bags under your eyes are heavier than the ones carrying your textbooks.
145. You always seem to have one continuous headache.
146. You haven't seen light in so long you glow in the dark.
147. You find yourself thinking "Without stress my life would be empty."
148. Your contacts are so thick that you have trouble closing your eyes.
149. You can count the number of hours you sleep each week on one missing hand.
150. You've taught yourself how to take naps while walking to your next class.
151. You actually put the apostrophe in front of the word " 'cause. "
152. You think MTV is a formula for mass, temperature and volume.
153. You clean up your room and find a bed.
154. You wonder about things like what would happen if your car traveled at the speed of light and your turned your lights on.
155. Everything you know about sex, you learned from the English reading list.
156. You enjoy finding out the hard way why normal distribution should work.
157. It's the little things that confuse you.
158. You have the chemical formula and steps of synthesis for caffeine memorized.
159. You still think Beavis and Butthead is a true-to-life TV show about "normal high school".
160. You find all the "glitches" in movies.
161. You use your ToK background to analyze Winnie the Pooh's Book of Quotations.
162. When asked what significance Hitler had to Racial Social Darwinism, you say "Well, he didn't like Jews."
163. You look foward to hell week because you think hell would be an improvement on your current situation.
164. You've mastered the art of procrastination so well that your research paper finishes printing just seconds before you have to leave for school.
165. You get to college and realize the classes you are taking seem really familiar.
166. Your college professors' grading systems seem a little too lenient.
167. You dread the word rubric.
168. You managed to write 4,000 words on the subject "Hitler was a nice guy, wasn't he?" (sarcasm not included)
169. You've managed to get through an entire year of History of the Americas without reading one page of your test book.
170. You hold "parties" to study.
171. You look forward to your parties.
172. Your fellow IBers look forward to your parties, attend them, and do actual studying there.
173. Your pick-up lines include compliments on the quality of her (his) epidermis and the wonderful shape of her (his) occipital plate.
174. You forget your brother's name because you haven't seen him in three years.
175. Wai t... what brother?
176. When on vacation, you visit other schools.
177. You have races with your friends to see who can say the entire periodic table of elements the fastest.
178. You'd go into severe spasms if you ever lost your IB herd.
179. You see your Extended Essay advisor more than you see your parents.
180. You talk in your sleep -- in Spanish.
181. The only French you know is "J'aime manger le poission."
182. You resort to communicating with classmates through a series of clicks because languages take too long.
183. You love the "Macarena" not because it's a neat-o dance, but because you actually understand what those Spanish guys are saying.
184. You say the same sentence over and over again, not realizing you've said it before.
185. You no longer speak English -- You speak a combination of English, German, Spanish, French, Portugese, Swedish, Dutch, Chinese, Russian, Norwegian, Hebrew, Arabic, Japanese, Korean, and Polish.
186. Fellow IBers understand and use the same combined language.
187. You convert it to 36-bit words converted to hexadecimal numbers to communicate as it is faster.
188. You write a text-to-speech program that uses this hexadecimal linguistic conglomerate.
189. You modify your text-to-speech program so that it also works as speech-to-text, and is eerily accurate.
190. You know how to integrate a chicken and can take the derivative of water.
191. You scoff at othersâ€™ lowly TI-83s while you caress your TI-93+ with pride.
192. You debate about physics during lunch â€¦ and usually win.
193. You know the chemical composition of the ugly brown stains on the ceiling tiles.
194. Your calculators are an extension of your body.
195. You feel guilty if you go more than a week without homework or some form of schooling.
196. You're sad, because you can only take four HL tests.
197. You hack the schoolâ€™s network and duplicate your records so that you can take another three HLs, then merge the records together after you take your senior IB exams.
198. You actually think you have a shot at passing the physics HL exam.
199. You make a date to do homework together and you actually do.
200. You derive formulas for fun. From first principles.
201. You write your "What is Truth?" ToK paper entirely in Newspeak.
202. You celebrate pi day (3/14), mole day (10/23), and pi approximation day (22/7 (d/m), as 22/7 is very close to pi).
203. You haven't studied for American History all year, and the week before semester finals you think "Why should I start now?"
204. It rains and you place the umbrella over your bookbag instead of yourself.
205. You know how to spell "Baccalaureate".
206. You crash your calculator.
207. You skip school to do homework.
208. The word "ponder" induces hyperventilation.
209. You're American and you write everything using British spelling.
210. You focus you WHOLE LIFE around the Group 4 project.
211. You accidently type "LOOL" instead of "LOL" in an IM conversation and explain it as "Laugh out ostentatiously loud".
212. Someone tells you to relax and you go into spasms - "Relax? RELAX?!?"
213. "It's a beautiful day outside to do that science experiment."
214. You are so accustomed to being stressed, that when you aren't, you have a panic attack.
215. You sleep with your eyes half open because you don't have the energy to close them all the way.
216. You rush to the IB workroom immediately when 2nd block ends, type up your whole 500-word essay (that you wrote on paper by hand in 1st block), print it out, and make it to 3rd block before the next bell rings.
217. The cure to your depression is concentrating on homework.
218. You start working on your presentation for History of the Americas 3 minutes after you have already started presenting.
219. You persuade your History teacher that everything you have said in that half hour of presenting makes sense and has a point, even though you don't know what that point is.
220. When people ask you if your community service is for a crime and you reply with, "no ... it's just school."
221. The school administrators stop everyone around you for being late, but you breeze right past.
222. You spend more time on college applications than on homework.
223. You keep your candidate number more secure than your social security number.
224. You begin to form verbs using book titles, and use them often in everyday conversation.
Welcome back to our step-by-step guide to the Extended Essay! So far in this series we’ve covered how to choose your topic and get on with your research. Here in Part 3 I want to talk all about how to make sure you have the perfect question.
I know. I’ve mentioned the question before. Some of you might have had a version of a question before you even started the research phase. But I want to go into more depth now because I think the research question is something that a lot of IB students underestimate.
It’s tempting to get excited at this point and to dive straight from the high, high ladder of research and into the pool of planning the essay. But how do you know you’re going to hit the water smoothly? How do you know you won’t end up like this:
So let’s take this opportunity to pause, reassess, and make sure you’re absolutely, ABSOLUTELY certain your question will help you to sail all the way through to Extended Essay success.
1. To start: draft your question
“The title should provide a clear indication of the focus of the essay. It should be precise and not necessarily phrased in the form of a question” – Extended Essay Guide
The only way to work out if your question is good enough is to have a question to begin with. So if you haven’t yet tried to formulate your topic into a research question, do this now. Don’t worry about writing the perfect question down yet. Just think of it as a draft.
If you aren’t sure what a research question should look like, use the Guide and past examples of titles to help you. We can see from the way that the EE Guide defines the question that the important things to consider are:
Examples of essay titles include:
How are the distribution and growth of lichens affected by sulfur dioxide and ozone levels in the atmosphere?
Will the recent policy of cutting bakery prices lead to increased revenue for the Safeway supermarket in Ryde, Sydney?
Themes and stylistic devices from Dante in T.S. Eliot’s The Waste Land and Four Quartets.
All of these are very specific, very detailed and very concise. In other words, clear and precise.
Exercise 1: draft three different versions of your question. If there are different angles you could take in the question and different words you could use to express it, write each option down. Keep these three options to hand throughout the rest of the process, but for now just pick the one which you think is clearest and the most precise.
2. What is your question actually about?
“A good research question is one that asks something worth asking” – Extended Essay Guide
It can be easy, after digging through mountains of research and writing an elegantly worded question, to forget what the original point of your topic was. It’s also easy to let the research and information take you far away from your original intention. This is absolutely fine, and even to be expected; often in-depth research and thinking takes us to a more interesting place than we ever could have reached originally. Except that it’s important to take a step back from all of that work and really question whether the place you have ended up is what you want to be writing about.
The first step is to know what your question is really about, beneath the fancy words and clever ideas.
The second step is to ask yourself if your question is truly interesting. Does it present a possibility that intrigues you?
If you either can’t pin down the point of your question, or you admit to yourself that actually that point is rather boring, it’s time to reassess. A good way to refine your question in a way that will solve this, without throwing away all the work that you have done, is to start picking the question apart. Work out the different elements being addressed in the question so that you will be able to dig as deeply as you can into the situation being examined. If this feels like effort, the thing to remember is that a good question will make it a lot easier to score points when you are answering the question in your essay.
Exercise 2: take your draft question and pick out the keywords. Combined, do they make a good summary of your topic? More importantly, do they point towards just one topic? The keywords of your question should encompass all the main things you will address in your essay, so keep these to-hand throughout the writing process and use them as a guide for what you should and shouldn’t include in your plan.
3. Is your question specific enough?
“The Extended Essay is an in-depth study of a focused topic” – Extended Essay Guide
Your question should define its own limits. In other words it should be specific enough that you can answer it in 4,000 words. And any IB graduate will tell you that 4,000 words is not a lot. It’s okay if some aspects of your question need further explanation, and in fact the Guide itself recommends that you analyse your title during the essay. However the key is to choose which variables you leave open. There is no point wasting time explaining a phrase or word in your essay when a simple change of word would solve everything. And if every word could mean two different things, this means there are two different essays you could be writing and the essay will feel unfocused as a result.
Different types of words that create ambiguities include:
Subjective words such as: success, failure, influence, significant
Words that could refer to multiple things such as: novels, lichens, lower-middle class
Words that you’ll need to define such as: themes, soul, tradition
A good Extended Essay question should contain just a few of these ambiguities.
Exercise 3: Identify all the possible variables in your question, and write down all of the possible things that it could mean. Then, write down ways that you could eliminate some of the variables. For example, an analysis of reduced prices in a supermarket can be narrowed down to the reduced prices of bakery items only.
4. Can you answer your question?
“Structure a reasoned argument in response to the research question on the basis of the material gathered” – Extended Essay Guide
When writing the essay you’ll need to make sure that every idea you include links back to the question. You’ll need to show over and over again how each paragraph digs that little bit deeper into the question you laid out at the beginning. With that in mind, it’s a good idea, now you’ve done your research, to really make sure that the material, ideas and information you will be using is still answering the question that you set out to answer.
For example, imagine that you’d originally wanted to compare the pH levels of rainwater in London and in Spain. Perhaps during your background research phase you realised that there is very little second-hand information that could help you answer this question, but there is a ten year-old study about the pH levels of rainwater in London compared with Scotland. A possible option could be that you change your investigation to look at whether the pH levels of rainwater throughout the UK has changed in the past ten years. Alternatively, maybe you have already begun your first-hand research, but couldn’t collect any rainwater during your trip to Spain. In this scenario a ‘plan B’ might be to compare the pH levels of rainwater in different parts of London.
Exercise 4: Write down a super rough plan for what you will cover in your answer to the question. This isn’t the outline (I’ll go into way more depth on this in a later post) but just a way to make sure you know how the question will work. Write one sentence, or better yet one word, for every paragraph in your essay. Don’t worry about the order of the paragraphs yet, but do make sure that you have enough to talk about that relates directly to the question.
5. Will the IB examiner approve?
Your question can score up to 2 marks out of the total 36 points. This might sound like a lot, but consider that this is over 5% of your total score which you can earn before you write a single word of your essay. With this in mind it’s important to go back to the Extended Essay Guide to check that your question is doing everything that they want it to.
Exercise 5: Double-check that your question is fulfilling every criteria that it can. And to make this as easy as it can possibly be for you, we’ve made a handy checklist right here:
- Is it specific?
- Can you answer it?
- Can you address any variables?
- Can you justify any assumptions that it makes?
- Do you have enough research to back up your investigation?
- Is it interesting?
Once you’ve made certain your question is as brilliant as it can be, the next step is to start planning the essay itself! Watch this space for our next post in the series all about creating the perfect plan and structure.
Read Part 4: Structure and Planning