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.

DP 2 Objectives

With school beginning one last time for me, I am excited to form new CAS goals and maintain my commitment to those from last year.

I aim to…

  • Explore and improve upon my creativity skills and talents by:

(a) Maintaining my commitment to playing the piano, by continuing my lessons, and sitting for the ABRSM Grade 4 Piano Practical exam. Additionally, I will look at identifying my strengths and areas for growth, in order to improve as a pianist.

(b) Developing new musical skills by playing the glockenspiel as part of the concert band for the upcoming gala concert.

(c) Undertaking new challenges by taking violin lessons and learning to play an instrument that is very different from the piano.

(d) Exploring new areas of creativity, such as photoshop and digital editing, in Yearbook.

(e) Reflecting on my creative efforts by analyzing my skills and progress and determining how to get better.

  • Show significant development in my activities by:

(a) Showing commitment and perseverance by participating in badminton and yoga again.

(b) Working collaboratively with fellow athletes in badminton, in order to maintain my strengths in the sport and develop in areas for growth.

  • Prove my dedication to service in the community and determine how to increase the quality of my efforts by:

(a) Maintaining my commitment to the service ‘Hope for Kids’.

(b) Working collaboratively with the members of my service to spread awareness of global issues, such as cancer, and the ways in which it is affecting our own community in Sri Lanka.

(c) Apply my leadership skills as a leader of my service in order to plan and initiate activities that will benefit the patients at the cancer hospital, and aid in bringing funds to help the hospital with their worthy cause.

  • Fulfill my CAS requirements by:

(a) Planning and carrying out a CAS project

Looking back at my goals in DP1, I have aimed to make my goals more specific and achievable, in order to have a more successful CAS experience during my last year of high school.

End of Year CAS Reflection

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As the end of this academic year nears, looking back at my initial CAS goals, and the eight learning outcomes for CAS, makes me realize how much I have grown and accomplished this year, as well as the ways in which my aspirations changed and veered in new directions.
FullSizeRender-2Looking 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.

While maintaining my commitment to playing the piano, I am also really grateful 1that 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. For next year, I plan to take more initiative when pursuing any CAS activity, so that I have time to blog in detail about it, over the course of the semesters.

Screen Shot 2016-02-15 at 8.25.23 PMA 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. Deciding to participate a second time allowed me to experience the activity in a new light, made more enjoyable by my prior knowledge and new friends. Volunteering for the backstage crew in our school musical, however, was an entirely new challenge for me, one that turned out to be very rewarding. Aside from teaching me new skills, this event showed me what it is like to be part of OSC, and revel in the school spirit.

Looking back on my goals for action, it is apparent that this is the are where myScreen Shot 2016-02-17 at 8.19.56 PM plans for the year changed significantly, taking me in new athletic directions that I had never thought of before. 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. Determined to develop new skills athletically, however, I joined yoga with my friends during the second semester. Rather different from dance, yoga taught me the importance of having a cal 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. Badminton allowed me to improve my strengths in technical aspects, such as succeeding in a smash shot, and enabled me to compete with friends in an activity I really enjoyed. Despite my athletic achievements, however, I wish I had been able to play sports more competitively, like in SAISA, something I am planning on working towards for next year.

HFKLooking back on my goals for service, I am glad to report that I have committed to “Hope for Kids” the entire year, a feat made very easy by the wonderful kids and dedicated group members. In the presence of my peers, who are so familiar with this cause, and determined to improve it, as well as my supervisors, who care about us as much as the kids at the hospital, it is impossible to see my service as a mere CAS requirement. Hope for Kids has definitely made me want to contribute to other service projects during my own time, which I think would be a good way to develop as a person, outside of CAS requirements.

For next year, I I plan to use all my ideas from the end of this year, as well as any new ideas I may have over the summer, to figure out new CAS goals.

Yoga -The End

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The DP1 Yoga students

Taking part in yoga was a totally new experience for me as all of my previous activities involved a lot of fast movement and quick reflexes – when I played badminton, it was all about being ready to move across the court in a matter of seconds. In yoga, i was challenged as much as I was in any other sport, however, these challenges were presented in very different ways.

Yoga tested my endurance and flexibility – by holding different yoga poses for the recommended amount of time, I improved my muscle strength while also working on my physical and mental tolerance. Another very unique aspect of yoga is its focus on healthy living and a serene mind. To help with this, we learnt different breathing techniques and meditation methods. After an exhaustive hour of stretching and exercises, it was a great way to relax and clear our minds.

Yoga proved to be a very relaxing activity not only because of all the knowledge we gained, but also because of our group atmosphere. The yoga activity this semester was made up of all DP1 students, meaning that we all knew each other very well, and were unafraid to try out new things around each other, and express our feelings.

I am really glad I tried yoga out, as it is a unique experience of an activity. The core values of yoga, such as having a peaceful conscience, and living healthy, are important life lessons that I can take away, and use, in many other aspects of my life.

Bugsy Malone – Curtain Call

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After months of hard work, Bugsy Malone was finally presented to a live audience on the 10th, 11th and 12th of March. As a backstage member (stage left), I wasn’t anticipating on any last minute nerves or butterflies in my stomach, but after all our dedication and commitment, I found it hard not be as invested in the play as the actors.

IMG_5760Through all the nerves and excitement, however, I managed to really enjoy every single performance – by the third performance, everyone backstage knew the words to the songs, and we had fun mouthing the words to all our favorites. By the third performance, I was also beginning to feel confident in the world of theatre and my role as a backstage crew member. To end the musical with flair, the final night had added musical performances and a different stage set up – while I may have felt out of my depth navigating new backstage orders at the start of the play, I now knew the stage and the props, as well as the actors and the directors, well enough, to manage my job easily.

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After the third performance, we celebrated all our hard work with cupcakes, laughter and congratulations. Although theatre is not a passion of mine, getting to know how it works, and getting to share in the joy of my friends, made it an invaluable experience.

 

 

 

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I never would have appreciated this musical the way I do if I hadn’t watched it come together from backstage – being involved in theatre will truly change my experience as an audience member from now on.

 

Yoga

With the badminton season ending in January, I found myself in need of another activity. This semester, deciding to do something new, I signed up for yoga. Having never really done yoga, or an activity similar to it, I was interested to see how I would perform.

After attending two sessions, I now have a clear understanding of what yoga entails and the skills it is allowing me to strengthen. Unlike badminton, yoga focuses more on improving the function of my body as a whole in order to live a healthier life. Our instructor often gives us tips on correct breathing patterns and sleeping position in order to improve the function of our body, something important to which I had not given much thought. In addition to these types of exercises, we have also been doing activities to help improve muscle strength, such as many different types of stretches.

Screen Shot 2016-02-17 at 8.19.56 PMAnother prominent facet of yoga is meditation. These past few weeks, we have been learning the correct pose for meditation, which involves the thumb and index fingers of your hand being connected. As explained by our instructor, this is to bring the nerve endings at the tips of our fingers closer together and improve the effectiveness of meditation. Meditation is a nice way to end our yoga sessions as it helps relax both your mind and your body.

As has been demonstrated in the past few weeks, yoga is proving to be an educational and enlightening activity. It is a very interesting activity to be involved in after badminton, as it pushes my body in a way that is very different to the aforementioned sport.

My main objectives for yoga are:

(a) to improve my breathing technique

(b) to practice more muscle-related exercises in order to develop my enduuarance

Bugsy Malone: Backstage Crew

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This year, The Overseas School of Colombo is putting together the musical Bugsy Malone. Since the beginning of the year, I have seen many of my friends auditioning for the school musical and enthusiastically attending rehearsals twice a week in preparation for the opening in March. At the beginning of February, I finally joined in on the excitement as part of the backstage crew.

It has been really fun to look in on the rehearsals and get sneak peaks of the show that so much work has been going into since the beginning of the year. As entertaining as it to simply watch the acting however, my work backstage is also very interesting.

Not being very experienced in the field of theatre, learning about the work that goes into a musical in such a hands on manner has been very enlightening. The theater teacher, Miss Jackson, has been giving the backstage crew directions concerning the cues to bring in and take out props throughout the show, and has showed us how to manage props efficiently in the small space available backstage. Furthermore, I now understand the coordination and practice needed to pull of a musical, as the backstage crew has to be fully aware of the props to be kept at the wings of stage left and stage right, as well as exactly when they are needed.

With the 10th of March rapidly approaching, everyone involved is working together with renewed dedication in order to make the show enjoyable for the cast and crew as well as the audience.

Week Without Walls

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Dehigala – View from the Treehouse

On the 25th of January, the students of OSC set out to explore several diverse corners of the country on their Week Without Walls trip. As one of theses students, I felt extremely lucky to be able to actively discover new things about my country as part of my education.

The Cultural Triangle trip, with its cornucopia of ancient architecture and abundance of rich cultural sites, focuses on the creative aspect of CAS and allowed me to apply my creativity in a whole new way.This was due in large part to our Week Without Walls project. Before embarking on the trip, a lot of planning and forethought was put into the process in weekly meetings at school.At this point, the groups were split into groups of four and briefed on making mini travelogues for each location we would be visiting. To make the project as efficient and educational as possible, we were all assigned the rotating roles of director, narrator, interviewer and videographer and given planning place to lay out the pre-shoot and post shoot.While I was very excited to be working on a movie, I was at first apprehensive about my group as it was a mix of Grade 10s and Grade 11s.As I got to know them over the course of the trip however, I realized that I had made new friends with whom I shared unique experiences.

One of my favorite things about the trip was the number of places we visited in the five days – between Anuradhapura, Ritigala, Polonaruwa and Dambulla, the trip felt more like WEEKS Without Walls. This was especially gratifying for a DP1 student like me, as we were enjoying our last Week Without Walls this year.
As we shuttled from historical city to ancient landmark, everyone appreciated the natural beauty and serenity of the locations. It was well worth it to brave the heat of the scorching sun in order to get a closer look at these natural habitats and indigenous species.In an amusing twist of events, everyone ended up with ablest 20% of their photo gallery containing pictures of the undeniably abundant monkeys that could be seen all over Anuradhapura.

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Treehouse

Other than the monkeys, I also enjoyed the natural beauty evident in the places we stayed. My favorite was the resort where we spent the 3rd and 4th nights – a treehouse. It constantly reminded me of the wonder of the nature in the area and offered a beautiful view from the top of the tree.The accommodations also made me closer with the rest of the girls on the trip as we all shared one treehouse; sharing hairbrushes and chasing away spiders for each other made us bond quickly.

During our visits to ancient Buddhist temples and burnt ruins of castles, we made sure to keep a a sharp eye out for good photo video opportunities. As a group we tried to include as much of our learning in our daily video as possible, focusing on the relationship between history and art and its representation of Sri Lankan culture and religion.

Our learning was re-inforced during the evening in group reflection sessions.During these times we discussed the exploration we did in the morning and share our learning and personal insights about the art and architecture. The teachers also encouraged us to focus on reflection questions, such as ‘How has art changed over time?’, in order to answer some of the questions that come up in our interdisciplinary unit. As a native of Sri Lanka, I already had quite a good background knowledge of Sri Lanka and had visited several of the locations seen in the trip previously. Therefore, the little details I discovered during this trip, as well as the new ways of viewing my culture, took me by surprise and really helped me gain a holistic understanding of our culture and traditions.

One thing I had never accounted for in traditional Buddhist architecture was the meticulous planning and logic behind it. In several of the religious sites visited during the trip, monasteries were built with dining pavilions and drainage systems to keep the monks clean and well fed. These features portray the careful forethought put into such buildings and demonstrates between religion, culture and science. These sorts of interdisciplinary units discussed throughout the unit helped me to make connections between certain subjects, as well as with the real world.

Screen Shot 2016-02-15 at 8.28.47 PMApart from the learning, we also had time to relax and splash about in a refreshing pond near the treehouse. Th water was fresh and soothing after being out in the scorching sun and I loved dipping my toes in. The only thing that stopped me from staying in there too long were the tiny, very friendly fish who liked to nibble on our feet. It was still fun, however, to swim around the pond trying to avoid the fish and laughing at the friend who screamed when one swam nearby.

The Week Without Walls trip this year was an endless source of fun, educational and unique experiences. I loved collaborating and making new friends and strengthening my knowledge of the country. It was also interesting to look at art, history and the sciences outside the classroom and connect it to the local culture. This was definitely an adventure packed trip that I can look back on and recall a new and exciting experience each time.

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My WWW Group

Here is the video of our second day on the trip, which I directed and edited:

After our Week Without Walls trip, we all gathered in the auditorium to set up displays of IMG_5676everything we had done that week. For the cultural Triangle booth, we displayed four of our best movies and the many pictures we took throughout.

I really liked visiting the other WWW displays and seeing how different, yet equally entertaining, the other trips were. It made me really glad to live in such a diverse and beautiful country and go to a school that encouraged us to IMG_5673explore it.

 

It was also really fun to look after our display and talk to others about all the really cool things we saw and experienced. The WWW presentation was a great way to finish off my last Week Without Walls trip.

 

 

 

Gala Concert 2015

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earlier Today, on the 10th of December, the Winter Gala concert took place. I performed in two of the items, once accompanying on piano for the string ensemble for ‘Eleanor Rigby’ and once accompanying on the marimba for the song ‘Somebody That I Used To Know’ by Gotye. The whole night was an exhilarating experience for me as all the practice everyone involved had put in had finally come to fruition in front of a full house.
I had been preparing for this concert for two months, and made a previous post about my goals for the event on this blog. Taking part in this concert was a significant experience for me as, as it gave me the opportunity to play new instruments, such as the marimba, and play as an ensemble with other musicians, something I had never done before.

FullSizeRender-2At the beginning of practice, one of my main weaknesses was staying in time with the other musicians and focusing on the pice as a whole, instead of just my part in it.After many hours of practice, I was confident about both performances going in and felt that I kept in time throughout. This is due in part to the support of my music teacher, Miss Duncan, who organized the whole evening and performed with me on both my pieces.

For this reason, I feel like I have grown as a musician due to this event as it allowed me to develop skills such as staying in tempo and playing as part of an ensemble and gave me invaluable experiences in performing on stage.

One aspect of the show that I really enjoyed was getting ready for my performances backstage, where all the other performers were really encouraging and helpful for my nerves. this is definitely an experience I came out of with new friends and closer relationships.

At the end of the night I was invigorated by the high of performing, as well as by the memories of all the hard work I put in along with all the other participants, for the last two months.

Goals For The Gala Concert 2015

On the 09th of December 2015 OSC is hosting it’s annual winter gala. As a new student this year, I’ve come to learn that the winter gala is a fun and creative way for students to celebrate the season and showcase their talents.

As an IB DP music student, and as someone who loves to play the piano, I am looking forward to taking part in the gala concert. I am accompanying on the piano for two instrumental pieces ‘Eleanor Rigby’ and  ‘Viva La Vida’, for the string ensemble, consisting of two violins and a cello.

In preparation for this performance, I have been rehearsing with the ensemble for the past two weeks. Since this is my first experience playing as an ensemble, the practices are proving to be challenging and educational; I am developing new skills as a music student, such as learning to play strictly on tempo in order to stay in tune with the rest of the instruments, and collaborating with other musicians.

This performance will be my first step towards achieving my CAS goals for creativity, and an experience from which I hope to gain new skills, collaborate with others and undertake new challenges that allow me to develop as a musician.