Refection on an amazing 2 year journey!

“Every ending is really just a new beginning”- Anonymous

At the beginning of the course, I set some goals 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, by keeping the learning outcomes in mind.

  • Increased awareness of my own strengths and areas of growth:

Over the two years, I have been a risk taker, which allowed me to be aware of my own strengths and develop areas of growth. For instance, making the school Badminton team, which allowed me to learn a new sport, learn the fact that nothing is impossible if done with dedication, it 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. SAISA Badminton: hard work and determination pays off

Secondly, Gecko Factor Senior dance, which gave me the opportunity of choreographing a large portion of the dance. It was worth an experience as not only did I enjoy but also undertook the challenge of choreographing a dance, developed leadership and collaborative skills in the process and experienced growth as an individual performer. Gecko Factor dance: worth an experience!

 

  • Undertaken new challenges and developed new skills:

As  someone has said, a person can either be a spectator or a performer, I chose to be a performer. I have undertaken numerous challenges over the course of two years. For instance, step dancing, which allowed me to enhance my knowledge upon different dance styles. 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.Step Dancing: learning from step to step

Secondly, as Maya Angelou has said that “You can’t use up creativity, the more you use, the more you have”, hence, I chose to enhance my creativity by taking piano lessons. It is pretty hard as it takes a lot of concentration and hard work while playing the notes. But on the other hand, it made me a risk taker and enhanced my creativity  to a certain extent which is helping me in applying that creativity into other learning aspects in life. Adding up to creativity: piano classes…

  • Planned and Initiated Activities:

The one activity that made me an effective planner, was the CAS project. I planned and spearheaded an ‘OSC Environment Day’ at my school to demonstrate how the school community can contribute to reducing the ecological footprint by practicing the 3 R’s (reduce, reuse and recycle). This project also enhanced my creativity and collaborative skills as I collaborated with a number of other groups of individuals for the success of this  project.Making a change: OSC Environment Day!!

Secondly, I planned a CAS experience and joined body conditioning to add balance to my busy schedule. Body conditioning really helped me to build up my body stamina and physical fitness. Initially, I found it hard and tedious, but once I got used to it, it built up my stamina, energized, and freshen me up. I personally believe that physical fitness plays a crucial role in making one active and aid in the academic field as it freshens up the mind and increases the concentration level. Body conditioning: adding up the balance

  • Worked collaboratively with others:

The DP orientation trip served to be a great platform to work collaboratively with others. Over there, I got the golden opportunity to learn and experience new learning outcomes not only through water sports but also the challenges to overcome individual fears involved in it. It was a very challenging and amazing trip, where I gained through collaborative learning, team work and support, self motivational skills to achieve goals and also by engaging with issues of global significance. IB DP orientation trip: learning through experience!

Secondly, my service, it has given me so much and I have grown so much as an individual. Especially, the importance of collaboration and moreover, being a leader, I also gained some leadership qualities. Interestingly, one of the primary classes proposed to work collaboratively with us i.e. they are planning to create a group of young environmentalists who would carry forward our service initiatives in the primary. This way we can expand our scope beyond secondary. New service initiatives: spreading awareness around the campus…

  • Shown perseverance and commitment in their activities:

Whenever the words perseverance and commitment comes into place, SAISA Badminton is the only thing that comes into my mind. I still remember, the challenging part of the tournament was that our team B, being an inexperienced and new team 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!SAISA Badminton: hard work and determination pays off

  • Engaged with issues of global importance:

By taking part in OSC Recycling and sustainability, I got the opportunity to engage with issues of global importance throughout the two years. Moreover, the CAS project I did, dealt with the same area. As someone has rightly said, “Do what is right and not what is easy”, I feel the same towards the issue of protecting the environment. As humans, we have the tendency to put nature’s rights after human rights and have the mindset to put economic growth above the cost of the environment. I personally believe that we must learn from the various catastrophic events taking place around the world due to global warming and changes in weather patterns. Therefore, it is high time that we act towards preventing our environment from further degradation. In the long-run, it will become essential for us to survive, something we obviously don’t realize now. Making a change: OSC Environment Day!!

  • Considered the ethical implications of their actions:

I believe that one must always consider the ethical implications of one’s actions. For instance, during the WWW, we went to a 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. Week Without Walls: Jaffna trip

  • Final comments: 

It has indeed been an incredible two years at OSC with a wonderful group of classmates. CAS allowed me to have a balance in my academics and co-curricular activities through various learning outcomes. Moreover, I developed a new skill of maintaining a blog. Last but not the least, I will always cherish these experiences and memories and hopefully will continue in future.

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CLASS OF 2018!!

 

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Some last CAS hours :)

And we all were dancing again! For Sinhala and Tamil new year, the senior dance group decided to perform something for our last Avirudu assembly at OSC. One of our group member, Aamir choreographed our dance and following his choreography,we all prepared a Sri Lankan Baila for the assembly. The interesting part was that we all were able to learn this in about 10 minutes!! At this stressful time of the year, this dance refreshed all of us and deviated our minds from just studying. I will miss our group and our bonding.

Making training fun with ‘Badminton’

In order to continue with an activity that keeps my body and mind fit, I joined Fun Badminton this block. Fun badminton is an after school activity where alongside having fun playing the sport, we train the beginners how to play the sport. I got the opportunity to train the young kids and teach them important rules in Badminton. It was a life learning experience as I got the chance to be a coach, which taught me how to be patient and a leader. I didn’t coach alone but had three other people who had played Badminton at the  inter-school level. We trained the kids through organizing tournaments among them and then correcting them upon their mistakes.

Besides coaching, I also took out time to train myself by playing Badminton. Overall, it was a fun experience and I developed new skills in the process.

Gecko Factor dance: worth an experience!

Gecko Factor is an annual event held at our school for showcasing various talents of people of different age groups. This was my third year taking part in the talent show but this time, instead of performing a solo song or a dance, I performed with my classmates as a group. We were around 13 people in the dance and hence, it took a lot of dedication and practice into getting everyone in sync. Moreover, being in 12th grade, it was hard to take out time for the dance. But, we managed our time and brought the dance together into a somewhat master piece.

The senior dance composed of three songs from different genres: K-pop (Good boy), Hip- hop (Uptown Funk), and Bollywood (Desi girl). I am personally very fond of dancing and therefore, I got the opportunity of choreographing a large portion of the dance. We as a group added some creativity to our dance i.e. by wearing scarfs for the last song to distinguish it from the other two genres. It was worth an experience as not only did I enjoy but also undertook the challenge of choreographing a dance, developed leadership and collaborative skills in the process and experienced growth as an individual performer.

Interestingly, our sports coordinator asked us to perform for the SAISA opening ceremony. I am proud of our group!

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Ever ready to dance!

Making a change: OSC Environment Day!!

Why is it so hard for people to understand the need to protect the environment?

As someone has rightly said, “Do what is right and not what is easy”, I feel the same towards the issue of protecting the environment. As humans, we have the tendency to put nature’s rights after human rights and have the mindset to put economic growth above the cost of the environment. I personally believe that we must learn from the various catastrophic events taking place around the world due to global warming and changes in weather patterns. Therefore, it is high time that we act towards preventing our environment from further degradation. In the long-run, it will become essential for us to survive, something we obviously don’t realize now.

Initially, I was not aware of the issues regarding the environment but after I got myself into the habit of reading the newspaper, I became acquainted with these issues and was shocked to see how people still manage to avoid their responsibility towards the environment. I think that the lack of awareness among people must be addressed by schools who should provide environmental education to kids from a young age.

“The Greatest Threat to Our Planet is the belief that someone else will save it” – Robert Swan

Inspired from the above quote, I decided to plan my CAS project around this issue. Therefore, I planned and spearheaded an ‘OSC Environment Day’ at my school to demonstrate how the school community can contribute to reducing the ecological footprint by practicing the 3 R’s (reduce, reuse and recycle).
Environment Classroom Poster

About the event:

I began this project by collaborating with various other groups and individuals:

  1. Reef Keepers– they sold reusable plastic bags in lieu of promoting Eco-friendly consumption.
  2. SGA– they helped in advertising my project via newsletter, bulletin and by putting up the poster (designed by me) all around the school.
  3. Primary Environment club– they played a part in the skit written and directed by me. They also participated in the song performance that day.
  4. Mr. Lockwood– He was my supervisor and guided me through the whole project.
  5. Train to Sustain– they played a part in the skit performed that day.
  6. Canteen– they served some Vegetarian options that day in order to promote energy saving as vegetarian meals require less energy.
  7. Aisha and Rashmi– they performed the song ‘3 R’s by Jack Johnson’ with the aid of instruments provided by Mrs. Duncan.
  8. Theo Belmas– he photographed the whole event.
  9. School management team– they managed the microphone and sound system.

This day wouldn’t have been successful without all these individuals and groups. The Environment Day started with an introductory speech by me about the various events that would be taking place i.e. a skit on the importance of sorting out the waste into the right bin and of recycling paper instead of disposing it off, followed by an inspiring yet enjoyable song by Aisha, Rashmi and the primary environment club, followed by honoring the maintenance people with LKR 1000/- Keels super vouchers for their work. And finally, to sum it up, I had a concluding speech. The speech talked about the urgency with tackling environmental issues and today can be the start and now is the time for us to act and promote environmental sustainability. Some of the learning outcomes I covered include: undertaking challenges, initiating and planning a CAS experience, showing commitment to and perseverance in the CAS experience, and demonstrating engagement with issues of global significance.

Zumba lessons: 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.

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Our group

This semester, I decided to take part in Zumba in order to keep myself balanced during this busy time of the year. 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. Zumba has always been one of my favorite dance forms. It is so because it energizes me along with making my body flexible and fit.

Here is a small look at a performance on one of our favorite songs ‘Hair- by Little Mix’:

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New service initiatives: spreading awareness around the campus…

“The key to a greener planet is in our hands”

A quick update on what we do as  a service each week: we collect paper and cardboard from all over the school in groups led by the service leaders. After collecting the material, we separate them out into three bins and then, we transport and sell it to the nearby recycling center. We make about 200 LKR on an average each week. Moreover, we also collect clean plastic bottles in a container and send it to a plastic recycling center nearby. At the end of a hard working one hour, we reflect upon our work and things we learnt. But our service is not limited to just collecting and selling recycling material, it is something beyond. We aim at spreading awareness among people in order to make them self responsible for the amount of waste they produce and how to manage and reduce it.

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It has been a fresh and good start to service this academic year with an enthusiastic and committed group of people. This semester, our prime goal has been to spread awareness about the current issues on the degradation of environment in terms of waste disposal, around the OSC campus. Interestingly, one of the primary classes have proposed to work collaboratively with us i.e. they are planning to create a group of young environmentalists who would carry forward our service initiatives in the primary. This way we can expand our scope beyond secondary. We as a service have taken one step further by putting up newspaper articles on the waste disposal and other local environmental issues such as Meethotamulla disaster, onto the bulletin board. Our next step is to further our initiatives to communicate our goals with the OSC members.

Furthermore, we as a service have had the opportunity to meet three employees from MAS (a leading apparel industry in Sri Lanka). They informed us about a couple of initiatives they have taken towards a sustainable approach in their organisation such as: reducing solid waste by incinerating or reusing it, chemical management, using reusable material in their products and using of solar panels. Moreover, they are aiming to recover all the environment they have used/degraded in about 5 years.

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An inspiring and interesting talk with the people from MAS

Last but not the least, I as a leader also have a responsibility towards achieving our service goals. Therefore, one way in which I have decided to accomplish this, is by basing my CAS project on it: I am planning to make use of this opportunity to spread awareness around the campus by initiating a ‘Green and sustainable’ day, during which all the OSC members will be expected to cooperate with my project by reducing, reusing and recycling the consumption of both paper and electricity; with the support of SGA and school teachers who could encourage their students to give out a helping hand to the environment. Hence, demonstrating engagement with issues of global significance.

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Looking forward to another successful service year with a new group of people