CAS final reflection:reflecting on the learning and experience so far

“If you want something you’ve never had, then you’ve got to do something you’ve never done”- Anonymous

Hence, inspired from that quote, I set some goals at the beginning of the course so that I could accomplish them and am now reflecting upon the learning and experience I gained during that adventurous journey.

So to begin with, my foremost goal was be to be balanced throughout my DP journey and to meet this goal I participated actively in both academic and creative, sportive and service field to keep myself physically and mentally fit.

  • Creativity- For creativity, I decided to learn piano as an instrument so that my creativity would be on a continuity basis and in addition to this, I will be able to work upon my creative skills as well as develop areas for growth by identifying my own strengths by undertaking challenges and hence, developing new skills in the whole process.
    • Learning Piano enhanced my creativity and concentration power as it is a hard instrument which requires patience. I can now apply to other knowledge and learning areas and experiences. Adding up to creativity: piano classes…
  • Activity- For activity, I did not necessarily aim for one but rather more. One of them being badminton which I have been working towards since last year. Initially, my aim was to get selected in the school tram. Secondly, I will be looking forward to participate in other activities too.
    • So, the activities I participated in include body conditioning, Badminton, step dancing and Zumba. All these activities made me stay consistent in physical work out and training in order to keep balance between academics and activity.
    • From body conditioning to Badminton; this journey from body conditioning to Badminton involved planning ahead by participating in body conditioning in order to train myself for badminton. Secondly, Badminton taught me to be committed and undertake challenges by being a risk taker. Hence, helping me develop area for personal growth and develop new skills in the process SAISA Badminton: hard work and determination pays off. Being in a team requires to have a team spirit and collaborative work. Hence, Badminton taught me the benefits of working as a team and not only as an individual.
    • Next comes Step Dancing: learning from step to step and Zumba: making fitness an enjoyment. Both the activities were planned (initiating and planning a CAS experience) by me in order to helped myself in being fit.
  • Service- For service, I set my aim to make a change in the school community and make people aware about the growing concerns about wastage of resources on and around the OSC campus. I am a part of the Recycling and Sustainability service and as a leader my prime duty is to stay committed towards my responsibility and to continue awaring and informing people about the issues being raised. Recycling and sustainability: train to sustain!
    • This year was fairly challenging yet successful in terms of the progress we have made; the introduction of new terms and conditions in the canteen i.e. replacing the paper boxes and disposable cutlery with reusable plastic plates and cutlery respectively; then the replacement of the old bins with new, well labeled bins (Plastic/etc., food, paper) all around the school campus. Service goals coming into action: making a change!
    • Last but not the least, comes up the issue of saving electricity by closing the doors before exiting the canteen or any other classroom, in order to save electricity and reduce carbon emissions. Therefore, me being the leader of the service came up with an idea to print a notice that reads “KINDLY CLOSE THE DOORS” and stick it to the canteen doors.’ Spreading awareness around the school: new challenge!
    • Hence, demonstrating engagement and commitment with issues of global significance.

Zumba: making fitness an enjoyment

Zumba is a Latin-American cardio- dance fitness which involves music and choreographed steps. It was initially created by Colombian dancer and choreographer Alberto “Beto” Perez during the 1990s. Zumba Fitness

Approaching towards the end of the year, propelled me to participate in this one last activity that would keep me fit. Zumba has always been one of my favorite dance forms. It is so because of its form which energizes me along with making my body flexible and fit. Moreover, because in the Diploma course, we don’t have a class for sports anymore, Zumba offered me the opportunity to have a consistent means of workout.

Spreading awareness around the school: new challenge!

This semester, after accomplishing semester one goals, the new challenge is to spread awareness around the school community and influence them to travel on the same boat as us onto the journey of a sustainable environment and community. So, we as a service and me being the leader of the service came up with several ideas as to how can we ensure that people follow with the new changes and commit to their responsibility as a part of the school community.

So, firstly comes up the issue of saving electricity by closing the doors before exiting the canteen or any other classroom, in order to save electricity and reduce carbon emissions. Therefore, I came up with an idea to print a notice that reads “KINDLY CLOSE THE DOORS”.

Another major problem that needs to be addressed is that of taking and realizing the responsibility as a consumer and as a member of the community i.e. returning the cutlery and the plates to the canteen back and not replacing it or throwing it off into the bins. Therefore, we as a service sat down and had a long discussion on how to raise the awareness among the school community. On the big note, we will be using the next school assembly to raise the issue and initiate our plan.

Step Dancing: learning from step to step

“Why walk when you can step up and dance”- Ellen Van Dam

This ASA season, I decided to enhance my knowledge upon different dance styles. Therefore, I joined an after school dance activity where Ms. Nelson taught African traditional dance to a group of people. It was very interesting and different from other dance styles. It is known as stepping or step dancing; it originates from (Step Dancing and Stepping). It is a rising art form in which body is used as an instrument to intricate rhythms and sounds through a combination of footsteps, claps and the spoken word. The stepping tradition started in United States by the African miners/fraternities who used movements, words and sound to communicate allegiance to a group.

 Though it was very challenging in the beginning, but once I committed towards learning it, I could successfully learn and gain from African culture. Besides learning, it was much fun collaborating with new friends around. This activity could hence, add to my activity part this season and helped me in undertaking challenges and learning new skills in the process.

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Step dancing

Gecko factor: singing on the rhythm of Bollywood

As someone has rightly said that “The game of life has two participants, spectators and players. Pick one”.

Therefore, I picked to be a player and volunteered to participate in the Gecko factor as a singer. Gecko factor is our School’s annual talent show where people get the open opportunity to perform and out show their talents. Though it was hard initially to perform in front of a lot of people, it served to be a great opportunity for me to engage with the audience and hence, improve my stage skills. In my opinion, having improved stage skills and public speaking aids life long and helps in building up the confidence. Moreover, as I sang a Bollywood song, I was much more comfortable while performing in my own language than I could have been otherwise.

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Singing on the rhythm of Bollywood

 

In addition to this, one more skill that I was able to gain was that of performing with full enthusiasm and confidence which enabled me to identify my own strengths and develop areas of growth thereafter.

SAISA Badminton: hard work and determination pays off

As Tim Notke has rightly said that “Hard work beats talent when talent doesn’t work hard”

Coincidently, this is the same quote I relate to when I think of Saisa Badminton!- SAISA (South Asia Inter school association) is a interschool sports competition among the South Asian IB schools who travel every season to a different host school for sports such as Badminton, Volleyball, Football, Swimming, Basketball and Track & field. It has existed for quite a long time now and is recognized to be a competitive and spirited sports event.

SAISA Badminton: what an amazing and unforgettable experience. I never imagined that in first place, I will ever be able to make the team and consequently cherish from the golden opportunity I got to perform and out show myself during the tournament. But above all, one thing that took me to my goal being my key to success was determination.

This is evident to the fact that I pre planned the training for badminton by joining body conditioning to make myself ready.

Ideally, a SAISA Badminton team constitutes eight members; four girls and four boys. But as our schools was the host school this season, we got a chance to have two teams; team A and Team B. As the ranking suggests, Team A was more experienced and better than the other team but on the other hand, what mattered at that time was full commitment and performance. Therefore, it being my first SAISA, I got the opportunity to be in the Team B.

The challenging part of the tournament was that our team B being an unexperienced and new tam had to anyway compete with other Team A’s from other schools. Though it was hard, but our team stayed committed towards every game we played and faced all the difficulties and success together. We as a team stood fifth out of eleven schools which makes me proud of my team’s perseverance and outstanding performance through out the tournament; couldn’t have asked for a better team!

Along with the games, SAISA also provides us with the opportunity to bond together with other people on board and not only compete amongst ourselves but also create friendly bonds among each other.

Next coming to the accomplishments made as a player and a learner. On the last day of the tournament, we had both Singles and Doubles rounds. Though I couldn’t go far with the singles, I could reach the Finals for Doubles consolation with the aid of my partner Sanjana. Unfortunately due to my partner’s arm injury, we couldn’t win the finals, but we gave our best and as per our coach, as compared to what we were at the beginning to what were then was commendable and that he was proud of us.

Secondly, being in a team requires to have a team spirit and collaborative work. Hence, Badminton taught me the benefits of working as a team and not only as an individual. As a result of which, I got awarded for the most spirited player of the season alongside a silver medal which I won for the Doubles. It was a great moment whereby I couldn’t express anything but tears of joy.

Last but not the least, I learnt the importance of not giving up at any stage of the life and always stay committed and focused towards achieving the goal unless you have it. Moreover, though we won as a school, as a team and as an individual sportsperson, we as a school still have to win the gold soon.

Week Without Walls: Jaffna trip

Last month we as a group of 14 students went to explore the rich architecture and culture of the northern narratives in post war Jaffna. It was a beautiful and thought-provoking experience. I got the golden opportunity to learn through different perspectives by observing architecture and interviewing different professions. So to start with, we arrived at Jaffna and visited a lot of temples and observed the fascinating temple carvings. Interestingly, I observed some differences between the architecture in Northern India and Northern Sri Lanka. In Jaffna, the carvings on walls were more of patterns and designs with some whereas in Northern India, the carvings are mainly focused on deities, statues of gods and even patterns at times. In addition to this, we also visited the Nialavari well which is known to be bottomless and is unique to people in Jaffna (religious purposes). This observation made me think that how faith changes the way you think, which in turn relates to one of the learning outcomes: recognizing and considering the ethics of choice and actions.

Following the temples, we visited the SOS village. There I felt an unusual feeling of joy and happiness which I learnt from the children living there. It was so fascinating to see how we despite having the privilege to have parents and with them fulfilling our needs, we complain on small things and desires. Whereas, the kids at SOS village who don’t have parents, were satisfied with whatever they had, their smiling faces were evidence of their satisfaction. #I learnt a lesson while smiling. This experience at the SOS village, made me develop new skills and think over it as a learning outcome I can learn from.

Next came the role of passion, determination and talent, no matter how small it is when it comes to earning a livelihood and money for oneself and family. During our trip, we met Mr. Kuru, a temple carver. His talent and passion not only satisfied him as an individual but also gave him enough money to feed his family. This incident made me think on the learning outcome highlighting the ethics and choices of action.

Last but not the least, comes the importance of understanding different perspectives and being satisfied from what one has instead of fighting on the expense of innocent lives. Why fight and not live peacefully. This statement links to the war that took place few years back and caused catastrophic loss to life and property. Therefore, education is very important in one’s lifetime. It is so because, it teaches people to respect different perspectives. Hence, preventing wars and other innocent lives. We visited some War memorials which signify and represent the bravery of the soldiers and their sacrifice for their nation to restore peace. Therefore, I was able to engage with issues of global significance.

In conclusion, Jaffna was a successful and an interesting trip where I got the opportunity to learn different perspectives i.e. SOS kids, the temple carver, Jaffna narratives and my own thoughts and reflection.

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Learning through perspectives!