Final CAS Reflection

Nearing the end of my time as a DP2 IB student, its time to recap my CAS experiences and prove that I have gone beyond the requirements.

At the beginning of each year (DP1 and DP2), I wrote down my objectives for Creativity Actions and Service, and its interesting to see how I’ve met these goals, and sometimes veered off in a different direction, and fulfilled goals I couldn’t even think of at the start of the year.

Creativity

Looking back on my goals for creativity, it’s encouraging to see that I have achieved my goals, and exceeded my initial expectations. Having reflected on the blog regarding my progress as a piano player, I am satisfied with my success at live performances, and my improvement in pianistic techniques. However, while I am glad that I undertook the challenge of becoming a better pianist and playing for live audiences, it has also led me to identify areas for growth in my learning. Now that I have experience playing live, and have a better understanding of how to cope with mistakes during the heat of the moment, I aim to take a more central and frequent role in these performances next year, as a DP2 musician.

-DP 1 Final Reflection

After trying many new things musically last year, I’m happy to see that I have maintained my commitment to these skills, and kept them up, as I believe a major part of CAS is follow through on the new activities you may try.

While maintaining my commitment to playing the piano, I am also really grateful
that I got the opportunity to expand my knowledge of music, by developing new skills as a violinist. As this was a CAS goal made at the beginning of the year, however, I am a little disappointed at how long it took me to organize a teacher and start my lessons, as it left me no time for reflection on the blog.

-DP 1 Final Reflection

Despite a rocky start to my goal of learning to play the violin, I made much more progress during DP2. It took some planning and initiative to organize the lessons, and play the kind of music I wanted, but I’m glad I continued and tried to fulfill my objectives,as it helped me develop new skills as a musician.

A large part of my creativity hours, however, came about due to activities and events that I did not plan to be a part of, but felt a personal desire to try. MUN and Bugsy Malone (backstage crew) are two main events that became a spontaneous addition to my CAS blog. With MUN, I demonstrated my perseverance and commitment to an activity that had overwhelmed me the year before.

-DP 1 Final Reflection

Continuing this tradition of trying new and completely different activities, this year, I became a part of a DP2 dance group. Despite IAs and rapidly approaching exams, a group of us seniors banded together and set out to win our school talent show. This resulted in many lunch time and after school practices, learning and developing a skill I only really exercised at our school dance. My favorite memory of this experience is collaborating and coming up with ideas for new moves, and all the team spirit we had that led us to our third place victory.

Another new and different skill I developed this year is working on InDesign and Photoshop for Yearbook. I joined Yearbook so that I could help design and create all the memories we will later remember about high school, and ended up creating some new memories as well. Aside from this, I really enjoyed collaborating with the other members when we cape up with a theme and overall design – it really gave me the sense that the Yearbook would belong to us.

Action

At the beginning of the year, I was eager to try a different form of action – dance. While I was very enthusiastic to learn, however, I did not find a class to my liking.

-DP 1 Final Reflection

At the beginning of DP1, I was determined to start dance, but never got the opportunity to pursue this objective. This year, however, as I talked about above, I joined a dance group that our senior class formed and discovered that it was even more fulfilling than taking dance classes by myself, because of our group spirit and collaboration and communication.

Yoga taught me the importance of having a calm mindset and exercising your muscles to remain healthy. It was a very different area of action compared to badminton, the sport that I have been committed to for the past few years.

-DP 1 Final Reflection

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HFK: Rations Drive

The Sri Lankan New Year, which falls on the 14th of April, is all about getting together with your family, receiving presents, and eating good food. In the spirit of this holiday, Hope For Kids held its annual rations drive at school, so that we could celebrate the new year at the hospital with deserving families. This was a great way to end my time as a leader of the service, as it let me really see the impact of my work over the past two years.

In order to get the rations drive under way, we started planning for it at the beginning of March, assigning a particular good to each grade. We decided on these items depending on necessity and the average diet of a Sri Lankan family. In order to motivate our classmates, we promised a pizza party to the grade that brought in the most rations, although we also stressed the importance and joy of helping others in our community.

After collecting these rations for a month, it was time to go from classroom to classroom, gathering and counting the food that was brought in. There was some heavy lifting involved, with some members of the service carrying 25 Kg of rice down two flights of stairs, but this just meant that our school had come through – we had enough and more rations to give out.

Our last service day before our half term break, we loaded all the rations into an extra van, along with a shopping cart that some people speculated was borrowed rom a local grocery store. At the hospital, we each took turns knocking on the rooms doors, and giving each family a bag of rations, and wishing them a happy Sri Lankan New Year. The best part for me was having rations left over, and being able to give these to the guards and cleaning staff we see around the hospital each time we visit.

This was a great way to directly experience the impact we make in our community and realize we are doing something worthwhile, so it was a great note to end service on for me.