Tuesday, September 25, 2012

CAS Initial Self-Review

1. What is your greatest accomplishment so far? How has this affected your life? What did you learn from it? Moving to Uganda which is very different from my home country, Israel. And why do I consider this as my greatest accomplishment yet? As I had to leave everything that was familiar to me and undertake the challenge of going to a completely new environment and study in a language which was taught to me as a second language. Still, I don't regret a thing! During the past 2 years I've been spending in Uganda I met new friends from all different countries, improved my English rapidly and even manage to learn French! At my previous school there were about 200 students in our year and 40 in my class and so I didn't experience the same closeness I have now with my peers and teachers. I learned how to swim, play football and basketball and even got a chance to study art. What I have experienced in Uganda changed my perspective of different cultures and me as a person. 
2. What are you really good at? Art - whether it's drawing, painting or just going crazy with your piece.
3. Name one skill you have always wanted to develop in your life but that you haven't yet. Play an instrument.
4. Name one activity that you would like to try but that you haven't yet. Why would you like to try this? I would like to learn Japanese because I am a huge fanatic of Japanese animations and comics.
5. Name a person you admire right now. What qualities does this person have that you don't? I admire the current Israeli president Shimon Peres. I admire him since he is inspiring and has won the Noble Peace Prize in 1994 with Yitzhak Rabin and Yasser Arafat for the peace talks between them. I think it takes great courage to participate as the topic of peace is very delicate. I would like to not fear taking risks and stand for what I believe in order to achieve my goals. "I was learning, as I did in the Ministry of Defense. I never knew, but I always learned."
6. What's different about you now compared to what you were like when you were 10 years old? I am wiser and more focused.
7. Describe the kind of person you think you will be post IB. I'll keep my cheerful and playful personality but I'll know when to be serious and work hard. I'll become even wiser thanks to learning my chosen subjects in depth and experiencing CAS in IB. I'll be open-minded and a risk taker in order to gain more knowledge.

And here's a song to make the reading more enjoyable! :)

Friday, September 14, 2012

The IB1's Trip to Wobulenzi Town Academy

The IB1 class went for a 5 day trip to Wobulenzi Town Academy in Uganda. About 3 weeks before the trip we planned a workshop which we would carry out for 3 afternoons at the school. My partner and I wanted to create a mural regarding animal conservation. The Saturday before our trip, we went to shop for all the necessary equipment and worked on the lettering. On our mural it was written "An animal's eyes have the power to speak a great language" by Martin Buber and this quote was related to our theme of animal conservation. We have created another mural which allowed the students to draw or write whatever they wanted, and they particularly liked to do hand prints. However, we didn't begin with the mural right away. We brought along a poster and a couple of fun facts in order to bring out the issues. When it was time to start drawing we asked the students to think about our quote and express their feelings, thoughts and opinions on the mural.
We had 3 year groups; S1 was our first group and they were polite and quiet, and the challenge with them was that they were too shy to participate. Towards the end of our activity we played a game which actually brought us together. So we learned our lesson and decided that the workshop with S2 will start with a game, and then discuss the issue of animal conservation. Although, the S2 were more confident and more social they found the game more fun than the actual activity. S3 were the oldest of the three and were the most engaged as well. This time we used a different ice breaker, and instead of a game we danced the "chicken dance". It helped us warm up and prepare for the activity. 

Apart from the workshop, our class has done activities to help the school such as, painting a new building, cataloging books, digging and planting.
We were separated into 3 different groups and on the mornings of the 2nd to the 4th day we were working extremely hard. My group was the first one to catalog books. We were very excited of going through the book piles and manage to do a lot in only one morning! Our next mission was to paint the ceiling of the new building and it was a tough job with paint splashing on our faces and sore hands. The last but not least was digging and planting, where we had to even the ground near the poles for planting to create a hedge. I found this to be the most challenging since I had never dug before and there was some areas where the ground was as hard as concrete. 

On the 4th day I was lucky enough to try and play netball with the school's girls team. It was fun, although I think that we were pretty useless players but it's the participation that matters. The event which concluded this whole trip was the assembly on the 5th day. We had to create an assembly for the whole school in which we reflected on our stay at WTA. Standing in front of 500 people made me nervous and I was scared I wouldn't be able to say a word. In the end it went well and we even danced the "chicken dance" again!  
Overall, this trip was a wonderful way of starting CAS. Through this trip we met all the 8 outcomes, experienced and learned many things, for example, that teaching is not easy as it appears and a lot of hard work does pay off in the end.