And thats a wrap. Well, apart from, arguably, the largest step of all- taking the final exams.
The last two years have been filled with highs, as well as some (insignificant) lows… Not like there was a Global pandemic or anything that drastically impacted my school life…
Although there have been some challenges, I feel that I still have, in this extraordinary circumstance, been able to achieve my CAS goals. The graduating batch this year are far from conventional, and recording these times via this blog has not only been a joy, but also feels like it a historical timestamp.
L/O #1- strengths and areas of growth
COMUN and Debating
Taken by COMUN photographer of Practice Debate in COMUN 2018
MUN and debating have always been a vital part of my school life and I believe they will continue to be during university and maybe even my career. Therefore It feels somewhat premature to reflect on these skills now when I have a whole lifetime of debating (and fighting-haha) ahead of me. Public speaking is definitely a strength of mine, but- as I said- I plan on carrying this skill with me for pretty much the rest of my life. I would like to look back at my old speeches and debates in a few years laughing at how much of an amateur I am.
Logistically, I need to be much more researched- especially in MUN. Although a lot of success weighs on in-the-moment tactics, a maybe heavier portion relies on research. I need to be able to research and organise my ideas so I can truly excel in the debating realm. No matter how well you can speak in front of a crowd, it doesn’t matter if nothing you say has any substance.
L/O #2- Developing new skills
Taken by author of Kenji (classmate) playing badminton.
Over the last two years, I ventured into new territory: Badminton. It was a lot of fun to start something new, but also very tiresome. It felt like I just could not get there fast enough to take the shot no matter how fast I ran. However, with practice and time, suddenly the space between me and the shuttlecock began to reduce. And I could actually start returning serves. Albeit I still missed a few, and I do need much more practice- this small hurdle I was able to overcome felt astronomical. The best part about learning a new skill is that you can only go up, and the progress you make can seem miles long. For example a beginner swimmer can shed seconds off their record time with every practice, yet an advanced swimmer, even with months more of practice can struggle to beat their last timing.
I want to continue playing badminton with my friends for longer to come. It’s a lot of fun and I’d love to be able to play more.
My CAS project was teaching the younger student’s French which I have already made a post for here. It was really valuable because it taught me how to lead a class by myself, to take initiative and be independent. Furthermore, it context of this project in particular, I think being able to connect with these children was valuable since I am taking a gap year and I think I might want to pursue something both language and teaching based. This experience allowed me to broaden my horizons for the future.
L/O #4- Commitment and perseverance
Duke Of Edinburgh
I think all my activities allow me to show commitment and perseverance, however I’d like to focus on Duke of Edinburgh. To gain the award, it is mandatory to complete a certain amount of hours of service and creative activities. Therefore, it inherently requires commitment. It is not just a fun camping trip for a day or two, rather a series of activities that take months to complete.
Commitment and perseverance also come into play when on the hike itself. It can seem tiring and strenuous, but is important to keep a strong mentality and remember that the view at the top is always worth it!
L/O#5- Collaborative working
As a member of the Student Government Association, I was able to work collaboratively as well as show leadership skills in bettering the school atmosphere. Especially through the pandemic, our teamwork and due diligence was exercised to the maximum as we wanted to retain school spirit even through online school. We planned many events and spirit weeks, and I learnt how to work with other students and liase with the teachers in achieving a task. I really enjoyed being a part of the school in this way, and it really allowed me to feel part of the school community.
L/O#6- Global significance
As an inhabitant of a coastline city, there is an inherent responsibility to care for the beaches. Every week or two weeks, there are organised beach clean ups in Colombo, I did attend as much as possible The threat of climate change is becoming more and more tangible as time passes. In the presence of a common enemy, the global community of young people are wholesomely uniting, and I wish to stand with them. Inspired by Greta Thunberg, global warming activists are excessively students and children, who fear for their own futures, realising that caring for the planet is essentially caring for themselves.
Furthermore, some students and I did organise a school climate strike to show our solidarity with this cause.
L/O #7- Ethics and choices
Girls For Girls
Photo taken by author while serving ice cream to the girls from the Emerge center
Girls for girls is a service group exclusively for girls, axiomatically, in partnership with the Emerge centre, an association supplying relief for victims of sexual violence, an unfortunately common issue in Sri Lankan society. Every Thursday, the girls come to school, or we go to them, and we play games together. Although the experience seems so novel, I’m always weary of the trauma that these young women have undergone in their past. My interactions are natural but always carefully calculated. My Sinhala is very broken, however I am still able to communicate with the girls. I plan to improve my Sinhala greatly throughout the two years I will be in this service, so I can maximise my relationships with the girls. Service is very eye opening. I am able to interact with the community in places I wouldn’t normally be exposed to, especially as society has become so polarised.