Learning done outside the classroom is important to me and I’m able to achieve this through the Creativity, Action, and Service (CAS) program. At the beginning of DP1, I set some goals for myself with regards to the three different areas. As this school year comes to an end, it’s time to look over those goals and evaluate how I’ve performed.
Skip to the bottom to see reflection based on the learning outcomes.
Let’s begin with Creativity. This year, my main creativity highlights were Colombo Model United Nations (COMUN), debating competitions, Circuitry 101, a touch in Community Film, DP Orientation, and Week Without Walls.
COMUN, I can confidently say, was a success for me as I was able to accomplish my goals to a wide extent. These goals included moving out of my comfort zone, becoming more actively engaged in committee through speaking and paperwork, and finally, motivating other novices and delegates in OSC’s delegation. During conference and practice debates, I really stirred myself to stand up and make my voice heard. Although at first I felt uncomfortable, my nervousness gradually drowned out as I was able to raise my placard more and more. I was also able to contribute significant and important points to the final resolutions, which I believe is a big achievement. Furthermore, by encouraging fellow MUNers, I noticed that everyone spoke at least once with some even being a step ahead and actively contributing. This was especially inspiring for the progress of our delegation since it was the largest to date. I was also able to see some of the activities that go on inside the executive committee, something I hope to join next year.
This year I also hoped to participate in more local debating competitions. However, I was only able to attend one. Yet, I learnt many new things including a new style of debating, British Parliamentary, which seemed different and much harder than MUN. It pushed my public-speaking skills to the limit.
My service, Community Film (CF), requires a great deal of innovation and imagination, two big elements of creativity. This is reflected in the production of the videos for other services, where the quality can be seen. I must say I have spent a significant amount of time in the creativity aspect of CF as each video requires countless hours of dedication. It truly shapes me to be focused and devoted to work I am passionate about.
In Circuitry 101, I pursued creativity by experimenting with a brand new skill. As the name states, I worked with creating circuit boards out of miniature parts. It was an enjoyable process, allowing my creative juices to flow.
My Week Without Walls–Jaffna Narratives and DP Orientation permitted me to look at creativity from whole new perspectives. Primarily in Jaffna, I was able to explore the culture and heritage of the local people, the differences between northern and southern Sri Lanka, and how the people had been affected by the infamous civil war. The visits to different temples, SOS village, etc. shaped an unforgettable experience.
Badminton ran in season 2 this year, from December to February. My goals were to get selected for the SAISA team through practicing and improving my performance. Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to reach that level as the top 4 players, and wasn’t selected for the SAISA team. However, I can strongly say that the hours I spent practicing paid off. I am a much better player now and am optimistic for next year. Apart from playing during the season, I also regularly practiced in and out of school when the season was over. This helped me stay in shape as well as refine my skills.
I also got involved in some cricket recently. This is a passion sport I like to play, but rarely get a chance. Again, through the few sessions, I was able to analyze my fitness and skills in a wide range of areas. If this action activity were to continue, my aim would be to practice until I can call myself a respectable player.
Finally to Service…where I accomplished great feats in Community Film.
Community Film was the pinnacle of CAS for me this year. A service that I led and cofounded with the purpose of raising awareness for the other service organizations and other events. It wasn’t an easy job, which is why we set some goals for ourselves. We desired to make at least 1 video per 2 months and turn our focus onto other service organizations in the second semester. We also hoped to add more members to our service by the second semester. We were able to fulfill our first goal since our video output was consistent and quality-driven. We also were able to make a social media presence following the mission of our service. However, we could not add more people during the second semester because we thought our service was still in its early stages and more careful planning would be needed before others could join.
Below, I address each learning outcome specifically:
- Identify own strengths and develop areas for growth.
I am a person with a diverse range of abilities and skills, some of which are more developed than others. MUN and badminton this year were activities in which I improved my skills significantly allowing me to reach even higher goals. Other activities like Circuitry 101 required more thinking and posed more of a challenge.
- Demonstrate that challenges have been undertaken, developing new skills in the process
New challenges were experienced through founding a new service and engaging more in MUN. I also involved myself in unfamiliar situations during DP Orientation and Week Without Walls when I was faced with jumping off cliffs, white-water rafting, abseiling down a waterfall; and interacting with people in Jaffna and learning about new history and culture.
- Demonstrate how to initiate and plan a CAS experience
Community Film was based around the idea of “initiating and planning a CAS experience”. I, along with co-founder Mohamed Akbarally, worked through the different stages from conceiving an idea to executing a plan to successfully develop a service organization. We launched our service on a new idea of intertwining service and awareness more effectively through the medium of film. We had the knowledge and experience to launch Community Film productively.
- Show commitment to and perseverance in CAS experiences
I can confidently say I was actively engaged in all aspects of CAS consistently throughout each week. Whether it be COMUN each Monday, Community Film each Thursday, or any other activity any other day, I was involving myself in each area consistently. I demonstrated commitment and perseverance by attending my activities regularly and fulfilling my goals thoughtfully.
- Demonstrate the skills and recognize the benefits of working collaboratively
This year, I truly identified the strengths and limitations of working collaboratively. Collaboration was done through all of my CAS experiences, and this is what makes it vital for my overall learning. Working with others can mostly be beneficial as a wide range of ideas come from different people to form a strong and inventive approach to a target. This can be seen primarily in MUN through the strategies of debating, in Community Film through ideas for videos, and in sports such as badminton and cricket, where teamwork is essential. However, collaboration can sometimes be an obstacle when differing notions are not able to cooperate. I experienced this from time to time in Community Film when my partner and I had conflicting perspectives for a video.
- Demonstrate engagement with issues of global significance
As an international school student, I believe that involving myself in issues of global significance is done naturally, however that does not underestimate its importance. This year, COMUN was the main area where I was able to connect and provide viewpoints on different global matters. This increased my international awareness and helped me further my understanding on making responsible decisions. I involved myself in global issues locally by visiting other services as part of Community Film. This way I got to learn more about the difficulties disabled or underprivileged people had to face.
- Recognize and consider the ethics of choices and actions
One must always be aware of the consequences of their decision and actions in terms of ethics. I carried this out in Community Film by always seeking permission before filming someone as some may not feel comfortable being on camera. In MUN, I had to always be conscious of what I was saying so that other delegates could not rebut my arguments in a negative manner.