Service: Creative Fundraising

For the second semester of Hope For Kids, we had some creative ideas for fund raising that really met our target of challenging ourselves while helping our community. With our school talent show, Gecko Factor, soon approaching, we set to work making tie-dye bandanas to sell to the willing members of the audience.

Having tried tie-dye last year, we knew that using acrylic paint and hanging them up to dry sometimes resulted in faded colors, and the dye dripping down the cloth. This time, we came prepared, and used batik paint instead. Figuring out new ways to fold the cloth to get designs was my favorite part, and the reveal, in my opinion, deserved a drum roll. Of course, all of us soon forgot about the gloves we were supposed to wear and walked out with our hand stained purple and orange, but we also had 20 bandanas ready to be sold in a few weeks!

Despite a large part of the funds we use coming from our saving from the previous years, I also think it’s really important to challenge ourselves to raise money in innovative ways that add to our school community while also raising awareness to our cause. Hopefully, we are well on our way to achieving this!

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The Final Product

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Yearbook 101

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As the year goes on and I have more and more Yearbook pages to work on, I’m realizing the sheer amount of effort and skills that go into making a page. If I were to advise someone now on how to make a great yearbook page, this is what I would say:

1. Borders and Spacing

When you’re making a great Yearbook page, this may be the last thing you want to think about, but I have realized how important it is. You should always use the alignment tools to get the spacing right, which is something I’m working on with all my pages

2. Print out a sample page

It’s really important to make sure you are working with CMYK colors and not RGB colors, and this is something you can make sure of by printing a draft page. It’s better to realize the red you used actually shows up as brown on paper while you’re still working things out, as opposed to when you’re getting your page signed.

Picture size is also something you might change your mind about when you see how big or small it actually is on paper, so its a good idea to get a feel for how big pictures are on the paper versus the screen.

3. Layout the pages as it would be on the Yearbook

After designing great pages, the last thing you want to discover is that the pages that go next to each other don’t mesh at all. So when designing single pages, its always better to design the left and right pages together in one document.

4. Show it to more experienced Yearbook members

For me, this really helped because they usually spotted a lot of technical aspects (like the spacing) that I hadn’t thought of. Also, whenever you can’t get a picture exactly the right size, or in exactly the right position, they are always there to tell you you’ll get the hang of it!

Gala Concert 2016

The Gala Concert 2016 was undoubtedly the best way to end the first semester of school.

Having participated in the Gala Concert last year, I was excited to try something new this year. As I mentioned in my previous post about the gala, this year I was practicing to play the glockenspiel in our concert band. Looking back at the concert, I know all those practises were worth it.

Thinking back on concert band rehearsals, all I remember are the good times we had, joking, learning from each other and getting excited when we finally perfected a piece, but I know there were some frustrating moments as well. The band dynamic was still fairly new to me, and it was a little different from playing in an ensemble last year – I really had to stay focused so that I didn’t miss my cue or stray off tempo. Also, while the glockenspiel was an easy instrument to get adjusted to, I was still the most comfortable at a piano. These were both reasons that made me love the pieces we were performing – once they were stuck in my head, my timing and tempo were much easier to get right. In the end, these challenges helped me feel more confident in my role as a musician.

The Gala Concert was one of those events that truly made me feel like an IB music student.

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How You Should Celebrate Christmas

Although our inexperience may show, we were a very enthusiastic group of Christmas carolers last Thursday, during our visit to the children’s ward.

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img_6625When our bus left OSC, on the way to the Maharagama hospital, it was filled with christmas spirit, complete with a tree, santa costume, green and red balloons, and a plethora of shiny presents. While our Christmas caroling at the ward was rather spontaneous, all the other details were planned meticulously in advance, right down to the color coded gifts according to age. We wanted to make this celebration as meaningful as possible, and that meant maximizing our time and resources.In fact, this year, Santa visited the children, as well as the parents at the ward – after all, they deserve to feel appreciated as well. A Christmas celebration with the children is something our service does every year, but that doesn’t mean we don’t put new thought and effort into the plans.

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Next to cake and chasing their balloons around the room, decorating the Christmas tree was the most popular activity of the evening. The tree was constantly surrounded by small feet, and tugged at my multiple hands – it was exactly what Christmas should be like.

Dancers of 2017

Having recently started my own CAS Project, it’s really exciting to hear about what my friends are doing, and how they’ve approached it.

A project that a majority of our senior class is excited about being involved in is a Bollywood dance routine, organized by Amit and Ariana, for our school talent show, ‘Gecko Factor’. As our whole class has fond memories of dancing to hindi songs, I think this will be a great way to celebrate our senior class while engaging in a CAS Activity.

Piano and Violin

One of my CAS goals, since the early days of DP1, has been to learn to play the violin. Finally, I’m glad that I have something to show for this objective!

Learning the violin was a musically educational experience for me – as a musician, I had no idea how different the approach to playing a string instrument would be. I also really liked the rich timbre of the instrument and how romantic it can sound. It’s so different from the piano, and a great way to express a different type of music, and musical ideas.

Technique, technique, technique!

As a piano player, learning to play a string instrument posed many challenges, most of them that I did not see coming!

  • The violin needs to be tuned almost daily, unlike the piano
  • I needed to apply rosin to my bow to give it better grip and ‘catching’ ability.
  • I had to endure Fridays with aching arms and collar bones after class until I got used to playing the violin.
  • Unlike in the piano, I had to practice until I knew which finger position correspond with which note.

Changing it up…

After playing mostly classical and western songs on the piano, I thought it would be a good idea to also learn sinhala songs, which was something my mom was very excited about! I think it was a good way to take CAS to the next level and express my creativity in my own culture. Below is video of me playing the sinhala song ‘Ganga Addara’ by Vijaya Kumaratunga, which I have been working on:

My main goals for my violin lessons are…

(a) Correctly learning the fingering for the higher octave notes, and being able to switch quickly from a lower position to a higher position.

(b) Being able to play quavers and semi quavers smoothly.

Piano Progress

While my violin lessons progress, I am still maintaining my piano and music theory exams. At the moment, I am preparing for my Grade 7 music theory exam, which I talked about in a previous post. However, I am also making sure that I still have time to practice the piano and learn new songs:

My main goal for my piano lessons is…

(a) To keep learning and practicing new songs, despite my increased focus on theory in preparation for my exam.

Yearbook 2016-2017

Having reached my final year of high school, I realize the importance of the many memories and experiences I have collected throughout the last few years, and really want to be a part of how all my friends, as well as myself, will remember them. Yearbook is a great way to go about this, and, when I look through it years later, will mean that much more to me as I would have been a part of creating the final product.

Additionally, I’ve always been interested in photoshop, graphics and the huge amount of creativity needed to make the yearbook. having gone to only three meeting so far, the sheer number of ideas we have already brainstormed has made me really excited for the final product, and our classmates’ reactions to it.

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My Mood Board

 

 

Although we haven’t started making the pages yet, we thought it would be a good idea to create a mood board, expressing our main creative ideas of the yearbook this year. Showing each other our ideas this way, instead of through words, worked really well in inspiring us and helping us come up with a theme.

My main goal for Yearbook is…

(a) To maintain my commitment and make sure I do my best to make our visions for this year a reality.