Thursday, March 6, 2014

Is this the end?

CAS Final Reflection

Dear CAS,

We're approaching the end of a journey. A journey that almost lasted two years, IB. The 18 months of CAS are ending now. I've come a long way since the beginning of DP1, but the road doesn't end here. I've reached another road that would take me through a new adventure.

The last 18 months of CAS were definitely the most tiring yet the most rewarding. Rewarding, not in terms of winning a prize but rather self-rewarding. Through achieving each of the eight learning outcomes I've gained both knowledge and many experiences I didn't think I would gain if it wasn't for CAS.

First, I'll start off with my long-term projects, which were volunteering at Little Light Children's Center and organizing the Prom for our senior students. Both activities lasted more than two terms and were very challenging each in its own way. Taking on the role of the teacher was never something I was overly enthusiastic about, and it's not because I'm not social, it's because I  don't have the patience to give lengthy explanations. So surely, I've had to overcome that, if I wanted to get along with the students. At the end, managing my impatience was easier than I anticipated. I might have grown to understand that I cannot expect my students to know and comprehend something that they don't know or struggle with right away, especially because they don't have the privilege of quality education. On the other hand, Prom was probably one of the most nerve racking activities I ever got to experience. Being able to meet deadlines, arranging meetings, fundraising money for venue, food, and decoration, advertising, distributing tickets and collecting money. All of this under time pressure. Here I learned a very valuable lesson - do what you can do today rather then pushing it to tomorrow.

Apart from my long-term projects, I also did a few activities that usually lasted for one school term. I've learned East African Dance, how to play guitar (well just the basics), cooking, volleyball, zumba, how to solve world problems in MUN and how to paint ceilings (refer back to Wobulenzi trip). I also increased my own strengths in both art and long distance running and I got involved in a school drama production and made props for a play for the first time. The service activities I've done allowed me to be more concerned about my community and the global issues it's currently facing. I've been very dedicated to all my activities and I've tried a variety of them and balance them out.

I believe many students fear facing new challenges and learning new skills as it requires them to go away from their comfort zone. I've been the complete opposite. I knew learning guitar would be hard and to be honest I'm still not good at it but I kept trying. Even though I auditioned for a speaking role for a school play I got a non-speaking role and ended up learning East African dance. When initiating the zumba lesson to our class, nothing went smoothly in the beginning but we ended up enjoying it. From here I can conclude that every failure, every rejection is frustrating but it can also be a door to a new opportunity. I'm sure that the skills I've learned through CAS will come in handy in the future.

I've grown into a more mature individual not because I'm two years older than when I started but because I became aware of some of the opportunities I'm not exploiting and of my local community, of my local world.

Thank you CAS, you're truly more than just three letters.
Sincerely, Arina

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