It’s been a long and memorable journey since the beginning of the DP program. Looking back at the goals I made in the beginning of the program I think I can say that I have done what I hoped to do in my two years. In terms of the aspects of CAS, I feel that I have expanded my domains on what I thought I could do and so I’m proud that I was able to do the things that I did. With the help from the school community especially my peers and teachers I wouldn’t have been able to go through the rigorous IB course with relative ease whilst balancing and enjoying my social and active life. I’ve learned so much about myself in the years as well as the people around me and I can say that the OSC community is a caring place that has been by my side every step of the way. So thank you. I would have never thought that school would finish without taking the IB exams or even missing prank day due to the COVID-19 pandemic however, that’s what happened. However, despite the future’s uncertainty, I’m hopeful that we will be back at campus soon even if it’s for a visit or for graduation, nevertheless, I’ve been more than pleased in the way we have dealt with the adversity and kept resilient. To be honest at the beginning of DP1 I didn’t understand the point of blogging for CAS and found it rather annoying but, throughout the years I’ve come to realise the power and importance that memories and experiences can bring when kept as it can remind me of my past and what will prepared me for the future. This will become especially important since I will be undertaking a new next chapter in life in university or for a gap year. These memories that I have kept will remind me of the people I’ve met and the things that I’ve done which makes me proud to realise the journey I have gone through, the achievements, successes, and experiences that has shaped the individual I’am today. CAS has allowed me to grow as an individual and develop as a student that is willing to try new things, learn without any boundaries, and reflect meaningful experiences.
LO#1: Identify own strengths and develop areas for growth
The past two years has been filled with many realisations of strengths in areas where I wouldn’t think so. As one of the service leaders of H&H I got the chance to develop my leadership skills by organising events such as the Home Run which required a lot of planning as well as building teamwork skills and relationships in the workshop. I have definitely grown in confidence since the beginning of the DP program and have taken much of what I learned into the classroom or field. This was especially evident in our annual Week Without Walls trip to the Janoda foundation where we showed amazing teamwork in every activity we did and all the leaders were able to organise the groups effectively. I have faith that the service group will continue to carry the progress even with new leaders next year.
LO#2: Demonstrate that challenges have been undertaken, developing new skills in the process
In terms of sports I have a record of having injuries especially during the football season and also this year for track & field. It was real challenge for me to accept that I was not able to enjoy the season as I planned too however, I was able to pick up new skills in a new sport at the same time. I had the chance to explore and develop my basketball skills in game with the team which wasn’t excepted at all. Even in track I was learning so much in terms of the importance of stretching and warming and cooling down properly. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, I was able to develop my music skills during the DLP which is something I always wanted to do. I tried to develop my garageband skills by making beats and songs for biology and music class. During quarantine I was also able to improve my cooking skills in the kitchen which was something I planned to do at one point in preparation for university of for a gap year.
LO#3: Demonstrate how to initiate and plan a CAS experience
For my CAS project my friend Nehe and I joined together to make t-shirts for our service group H&H. Our plan was to design and print a t-shirt for our service group Housing and Habitat (H&H) and to sell them to the school community. I had the job to make possible designs to print while Nehe did the advertisement and promoting part through posters that would be put up around the school. During the making process multiple meeting were conducted between the H&H service leaders (Emily Nehe and I), H&H service supervisor and CAS coordinator to finalise thoughts and ideas before sending the final design. After the t-shirts had been finalised and agreed upon with the respective representatives, Nehe and I went to Rajiv Madurawe who would be able to help order the t-shirts from a t-shirt making company. We thought of first selling the t-shirts for a 1,000 Rs, however since the higher expected price we also had debates on 1,250 Rs but came to the conclusion that if it were too expensive no one would buy the t-shirt hence, 1,000 Rs was decided. Unfortunately, we were unable to sell them during lunch times however, we were successful as people supported our project and bought shirts after the Home Run.
LO#4: Show commitment to and perseverance in CAS experiences
As a DP music student I was involved in each Spring Gala and Winter Gala either by performing in groups singers (Boys Voice or Middle School Voice) or with the guitar ensemble. I was also committed in my extra guitar lessons on Wednesday’s after school as well guitar ensemble practice every Friday lunch. Even though I felt that work would built up in the the final year with most of our IA’s due and important assignments I was able to manage my time and continue playing music as I really enjoyed it nevertheless. Unfortunately, this year’s spring gala did not take place yet it was well prepared and it would have been a great night of music and performances. My music teacher, Mrs. Duncan was the one that allowed me to explore myself musically as I improved in confidence with every performance. I even had the chance to be part of the pit band in our Musical, Oliver! which was great experience.
LO#5: Demonstrate the skills and recognise the benefits of working collaboratively
On the field or court I was able to work collaboratively with my teammates whilst improving my technical skills in football, track & field, basketball, or volleyball. I learned how to be a better communicator and listener which I think are the ingredients of a successful collaboration. As a service leader I was able to work collaboratively and lead a group of people to a common goal which was evident when we went to the Janoda Foundation during my Week Without Walls trip. To organise and plan for an event such as the H&H’s annual Home Run, working collaboratively was essential. It allowed us to get things done faster and more efficient especially if you have a short time frame to get things done.
LO#6: Demonstrate engagement with issues of global significance
On the 27th of November, the students of the Overseas School of Colombo carried a climate strike. We decided that we were going to educate and inform the school community of the vital issue of climate change through a video of Greta Thunberg, a group activity, and explain a pledge created for OSC regarding ways to be more sustainable. Many people both students and teachers came to support and listened to what we had to say. During the process, I learned that anything is achievable with teamwork and a bit of planning especially if everyone is fighting for something together. In addition, I participated in a plastic patrol and brand audit around the OSC neighbourhood. Irresponsible disposal of plastic and other material is a problem around the OSC neighbourhood as we collected a lot of waste. The overconsumption of products and the amount of unnecessary packaging is causing environmental degradation and mass disposal sites. By the end of the event we managed to send back companies their packaging in the hope that they reconsider their packaging methods. I was really glad to have participated and contributed in this event as it was both enlightening and enjoyable.
LO#7: Recognise and consider the ethics of choices and actions
For my Week Without Walls trip in DP1 I traveled to Hambantota with my H&H service group. During our week stay we had planned lessons with the kindergarten they had there in the Janoda Foundation. It was eye opening to see the kids learning and enjoying themselves with the most basic school equipment. I knew that many of these kids were a lot less fortunate than me especially the kids that lived in the orphanage that we visited. Spending time with them and helping out with projects that benefitted the community was a great experience. I definitely came out of that trip more appreciative and proud.