Anargi’s CAS Journey

Journey of an IB student

“Swimming’s for the Summer and the Sanctimonious Kind”

Over the summer, the stress filled pressure of my mid-IB life began to bore me in early July as the mechanical structure of my day; waking at noon, lounging around the house, stressing about EE and looming exams, began to constrict me. However, in actuality, spending a fraction of the allocated time completing my work coupled with my occasional splurge on society’s pinnacle stress resolver; an app that delivers food to the comfort of your home was the hard truth. When the time of day hurried by, the vibrant colors and mouth-watering pictures ( a cheap ploy to trap vulnerable food addicts like myself) glittering the screen with ‘what -ifs’ and numerous possibilities, consuming my being and transforming me into a barbaric obscene animal, ironically a product of society’s wonderful but exaggerated advertising. I soon realized that this staccato routine and the occasional splurge was incredibly unhealthy for both my physical and mental being and thus needed to change in order to better channel my energy and effort into something useful and of course I turned to my one and true passion; swimming. This pragmatic thinking processes is a reflection of identifying my strengths and a need to develop areas for personal growth. Coupled with restrictions implicated due to the pandemic and also due to the prior commitments for COMUN, I had washed my hands-off swimming and absolved my commitment to the sport. However, over summer I decided to create a middle ground to appease facets of both sport and a sense of service, that I felt was lacking as my interactions with RCCI were placed on a temporary hiatus. Thus, an experience that I created to include activity and service was being a swimming instructor at the Otter’s Aquatic Academy, the swimming school where my initial passion for swimming was realized. Reconnecting with my first ever coach, Nirupa Mendis, I organized lessons every Saturday and Sunday form 4 – 5:30, for the entirety of summer, thus showing evidence of initiating and planning a CAS experience.

Practicing freestyle pull with Sahansa Photo Credits: Nirupa

I walked in to my first lesson coaching; goggles and hat on with a kickboard ready in one hand. As I meekly dipped myself into the water, that surprisingly only rose to my waist, I felt as if I was washed in a new dose of memories as my experiences of ten years ago in this very same institution resurfaced and splashed around me. The turquoise blue and thick strips of black drowned me in fragments of my first memories; first learning to float, learning breastroke and first-time diving. Disoriented and reeking of the familiar perfume of chlorine, I grabbed the kickboard and swam towards the other end of the pool where my students were impatiently waiting for me. Kicking and screaming from the get go, I found it difficult to calm them as I eventually realized that they were only mocking my increasingly agitated and irritated behavior. Their irresponsibility in the water and overall tomfoolery sank me deeper into the depths of my memories, and thrust a pang of gratefulness towards Ms. Nirupa who was laughing at my poor communication skills from a distance. I then realized that there was simply no point in trying to oppose them but in fact help them channel their chaotic energy into something meaningful, much like I did with mine two days prior, thereby showing how challenges have been undertaken and developing new skills in the process. I did so when encouraging them after their every lap, thus acknowledging their effort and energy. This encouragement was further supplemented with ‘fun activities’ after every lesson and the loosening of the rigid conformity in which I planned their learning in. In my second week, the students began to not only heed my instruction and better their listening skills but respect my teachings and knowledge on the sport, reflecting my perseverance and commitment to a CAS experience. I could sense an active participation and enthusiasm exuding from each of my five students, and was better reflected in their progress and betterment of freestyle and breastroke skills.

Increasing the fluidity and speed of Akmal’s flutter kick. Photo Credits; Nirupa

By teaching students swimming, I expounded on my passions and strengths while trying to cultivate and harvest their interest and skill in the sport. This also served a subliminal experience that allowed me to better my patience and communication skills in an empirical manner.  Complementing my actions of service as seen in the previous blog, the only output that I hoped to gain from this experience was personal satisfaction and improvement regarding my students’ skills. Nearing the end of summer, I realized that I had become too attached to both the students and the activity as a whole to discontinue this practice and agreed to teach from 4- 5 every Sunday, both appeasing my students and my own call for personal growth.

Video of Bhindi practicing the freestyle kick:


ajayakody2 • October 29, 2020

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