Hasmik Mkrtchyan

How am I growing in my own awareness of my strengths and weaknesses?


Through volleyball I have grown spiritually and physically. Being a full IB diploma candidate and being involved in a varsity sport requires a lot of time and effort. It took many long nights and weeks to get through. Not everyone can handle being a scholar athlete and I am very proud of myself for finishing strong and completing one chapter in my life. During this process I again realized that procrastination is my weakness. Coming home tired from a game or practice seemed like a justifiable excuse to put an assignment aside for a while but when it actually came time to do that assignment the regret was on a different level. As a result of that I realized that keeping faith is one of my strengths since I never gave up and kept moving forward.

What challenges have I been through?

In what ways have I started new challenges?

Black Belt

I have not really started a new challenge, rather I am close to finishing one. I have been a brown belt for a couple of years now and it is almost time for me to test for my black belt. This summer upon the arrival of the head sensei from Japan I will be testing for my black belt. It has taken a lot of time and practice and with practice comes not only technique perfection but also perfection from within. Karate is not all about punching and kicking, there is an internal aspect that goes along with it. Karate consists of being mentally prepared and finding that power within.

In what ways have I developed new skills?

In what ways have I shown perseverance and commitment to my activities?


It is bittersweet to say that this is my fifth year of karate and will most likely be my last fully dedicated year in which I participate since I will be going off to college next year. Being involved in karate for the amount of time I have been in makes me realize that time really does go by fast. I remember my mom signing me up for it and me thinking that I was going to absolutely hate it but as time progressed I began to like it. Although there are continuous weeks where I do not show up due to homework I always come back and always find myself enjoying the time I spend with the people there.

Not Giving Up

I have shown perseverance by not giving up even at the times where I just wanted to quit. Instead I took this as a challenge and as a learning experience. I stayed committed to volleyball by attending all games and practices except for when there was TOK.

In what ways have I worked collaboratively?

In what ways have I been engaged in issues with global importance?

What are the ethical or moral implications of what I’m doing and learning?


Every Wednesday nights I go and practice karate at the East San Gabriel Valley Japanese Community Center in West Covina. We usually practice for three hours. Our practices consist of the basic punching, blocking, kicking, and sometimes sparring. Karate has taught me discipline and has prepared me to be physically and mentally strong in certain situations. My next test will determine if I become a black belt which would be such an honor. Every year the community center hosts a Cherry Blossom festival in the spring where there is a lot of food and entertainment. My dojo usually performs a demonstration to show the audience what our class consists of. This time we did a skit of a real life situation (I played the good guy). It’s pretty cool to show off my abilities and strength being a girl. Before and after the demonstration, my dojo had a booth for children. It was a hex bug nano race where each child basically bet on a toy bug to see if it would be first place in the obstacle course. It was quite funny to see little kids acting like gamblers. On April 24, me, my mom, and brother participated in a walk and demonstration for the Armenian Genocide. Being half Armenian, it is important for me to represent my culture and be proud of it. We went to the Martyrs monument in Montebello where there were several guest speakers. After we walked around the town wearing our memorial shirts and waving the Armenian flag. I felt proud of who I am and it is always an honor to educate people more about my culture. On the Sunday before Mother’s day, my karate dojo held a tea and lunch for all mothers. I asked some of my friends to help out as well. In the kitchen we helped out by making some cucumber sandwiches. When guests started arriving, me and my friends were in charge of making the tea. By the end of the day the room was very hot but smelled really good. There was an English black tea, Japanese green tea.


“For them to play but they still could not contain all of their energy. I decided to put on a movie and after that they seemed to settle down. Taking care of children helps you prepare for your future when you become a parent.
The Saturday before thanksgiving I volunteered at CCV in preparing thanksgiving dinners for families. This was actually my first time doing something like this. I enjoyed the thought that families would appreciate their meals and I liked giving back to the community. It made me feel better about myself knowing that I helped families in need. Not everyone is as fortunate but I am blessed with everything that I have and I am truly thankful for that. ”

Creative 1/22/2013

Saturday January 19-20 I participated in the Asian American expo with my karate class. It was a nice experience of the variety of the Asian cultures. For our demonstration we showed what we practice on Wednesday nights such as basics and khatas. Being able to participate was a great experience which also shows my openness to other cultures.

Action 1/22/2013

“The total 35 hours were from my volleyball season. Even though we did not win as many games this season has taught me a lot. Sportsmanship and teamwork are necessary in a sport especially like volleyball. Also you must be able to trust your teammates such as when the ball is coming over the net and someone’s calls it you must be ready that they get the ball. We spent many hours together especially at the tournaments which were sometimes as long as a regular school day. All of our ups and downs brought us together in a sense that we knew we had each other’s backs.
The Friday before Halloween I volunteered to watch children at the daycare at Holy Cross Armenian Apostolic Church. That night there was a benefit dinner for adults so all of their children stayed with me and some other chaperones. At first the kids were really loud and excited. There were some games “

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