Thursday, March 31, 2011

Final Reflection

It's getting closer and closer to the IB May exams, and so I now I have to say goodbye to my CAS temporarily. However, over the two years here at OSC, I believe that I managed to achieve all eight of the CAS criteria.

1) Increased their awareness of their strengths and areas for growth

2) Undertaken new challenges

3) Planned and initiated activities

4) Worked collaboratively with others

5) Shown perseverance and commitment in their activities

6) Engaged with issues of global improtance

7) Considered the ethical implication of their actions

8) Developed new skills

At the beginning of the IB CAS program, I chose Recycling as my service. Now, two years later I leave as the old leader welcoming the new ones to take my place. I've tried to attend every session possible and have physically participated in the drop off of the recycable materials ( 5. Shown perseverance and commitment in their activities). I chose this as my service mainly because I believe that helping our world takes one step at a time. Right now, my first step is with Recycling (6. Engaged with issues of global improtance).

I've also demonstrated this criteria with my soccer. It was one of my methods of getting excersize and I even particpated in the SAISA team for my school, twice!

I regularly attented practices and games that occured during and before the season. In fact, while playing a match before the second season began, I learnt a lot of what I needed to improve on (1. Increased their awareness of their strengths and areas for growth). Mainly it boiled down to my stamina and so I planned a workout where I would utilize my weights, punching bag, and treadmill at my house. I didn't manage to use the treadmill as much as I wanted, but I used my weights and punching bag on a regular basis ( 3. Planned and initiated activities).

However, after the first season, a majority of the team left since they were seniors and so in my second season of soccer, I was among a number of new teamates. However, we worked as a team and accomplished a lot during our tournament. In fact, due to our strong teamwork and lack of a full team, we were dubbed as the "Iron Men" in the SAISA tournament in Dhaka (4. Worked collaboratively with others).

When it came to taking new activites, it was a little more difficult to accomplish. However, I soon set my sights on the Yearbook activity and the play "The Crucible". In my life, I have never used Adobe photoshop as a serious tool to create something for everyone to see. The Yearbook activity gave me the chance to hone my skills and develop new ones while performing a community service (8. Developed new skills). Also, "The Crucible" was a new activity for me since I'm sort of shy guy. However, I performed the play to the best of my ability and I was pleased with my performance (2. Undertaken new challenges).

I also helped my American community by volunteering at the Haunted House. It was a new, but fun activity which I enjoyed doing so much that I did it for both years that I was here. It also gave me the chance to work collabritively with people from my Embassy since we had to discuss plans on how we were going to really scare some kids/adults. In the end that "/" sort of blurred.

The last criteria that I had to cover was the ethical implications of my actions. Honestly, the only service where this could apply was with my Recycling. As a leader of the group, I had to set an example to the members and so I couldn't slack off or anything. It would have sent a wrong message and wouldn't have been ethically correct for me to sit around and order the kids around. I believe that this showed since we always worked efficiently at each meeting (7. Considered the ethical implication of their actions).

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Recycling: Passing The Torch

After two years of assisting the Recylcing service in the school, it's time for some new leaders to take over. At this point, Shin and I have chosen two 11th graders; Alex and Constanze. Now we have to show them the ways of the game, so to speak. First, we have explained to them that Recycling is more than gathering recycable items and taking them to the center. It is also thinking of creative ways to increase awareness of Recycling or by planning projects. Since Recycling is a global issue, we believe that one step to help this planet is to spread the awareness.

Last year, Shin and I created a presentation on Recycling and then presented it to the school. This was just one form of increasing awareness and this is what we explained to the new leaders. Another plan that we had, but were never able to initiate it was to have a meeting with the schools staff. We've explained this plan to Alex & Constanze and hope that they will be able to initiate the plan.

With these new leaders, the Recylcing project should do just fine. Below is a table showing the money that Shin and I earned when we took over the project. We started to lead in 2010 and hopefully, the new leaders will be able to match or even surpass our results.

Soccer Season Over

Well, its finally over. The soccer season this year was shorter than the last time that I had participated in it, but was just as fun and educational. This years team consisted of many new people who I had never worked with before. However, I quickly overcame this and we soon became a strong team.

We left to Dhaka on Februray 11 with only 12 players when we really should have had 16 players. Despite this disadvantage, the teams at Dhaka soon nicknamed us Iron Men for our strong will to win. In fact, on the first day we won both our games. Next day we faced the American Embassy School, who have been the reigning champion of SAISA for numerous years. This fact didn't stop us from giving it our all and we actually tied with them. Unfourtently, the lack of subs quckily caught up with us and we only managed to get 8th place out of 10. However, as a team we did a superb job in the tournament with only 12 players.

After my time with soccer, I managed to increase my skills in the sport. I can now juggle the ball almost 50 times before it drops to the ground. I can also perform the ' Over the Rainbow' trick. This is a new and exciting skill that I managed to develop due to the extensive amount of time that I spent practicing it.

Monday, December 13, 2010

End of Semester: Soccer, Recycling, and EXCERSIZE

Well its the end of the first semester. I think that throughout this time, I managed to complete a majority of the goals that I set out for myself and even more.

With my Recycling service, I felt as if we've done a good job this year. Each session has been productive and helpful to our environment. Instead of just throwing out paper, cardboard, and plastic in the garbage, we take it to a local recycler who pays us money for the amount of goods that we give him. Each time we go to him, we bring with us all of the school's recycling which is a testament to our efficiency. We are also looking for new leaders to take over the service. Next year we are going to look in more detail for people who possess leader qualities.

When it came to my excersize program, I wasn't able to use the treadmill that often as I had hoped. However, I was able to excersize every week by using my weights. I used them 3-4 times a week. Then I would go outside and excersize with my body bag. It was also my first time ever using weights like these and a body bag. I believe I used them to their full potential. So, despite not having a program with the treadmill, I still managed to do some excersize at my house with the equipment that was available.

SAISA Soccer has also started now, and I have had practices last Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday, Saturday. We are going to continue with this training schedule for the rest of the season. Today, we even have our first game despite our small amount of practice time. Hopefully, after today's game I will learn what I need to improve on and if I need to learn new skills in order to be competitive. Also, the trainings give me an opportunity to excersize. However, with the December break approaching, I have to create some sort of program where I can excersize during the break in order to ensure that I don't get fat over the holiday.

Halloween Events

This holiday season, I once again served my American community by volunteering for the Haunted House. The one who was in charge was different then the one in the previous year, so things were different this time around. The setting of the Haunted House was changed and I had to play as a vampire and psycho. These were different roles then I had last year, so it was intresting to see how I acted as them. I also had to work with a variety of people who had little or no experience in a Haunted House. I found the experience both fun and profitable as it gave me a sense that I was donating something to my community.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Progress on my Goals

So far, I have managed to use the weights that I have in my house and have been recording my use of them on my calender. I still need to form some sort of schedule for the treadmill due to the amount of work I have from school. I have gone to each of the Friday after-school soccer matches, which has helped develop my skills in soccer. Luckily, my coach for Varsity Soccer managed to set up a game against the Colombo Lions last Saturday. The match really put things in perspective for me. It showed me that I greatly had to improve my stamina since I had the skills to play against the Colombo Lions, but lacked the stamina to keep up with them. This has fueled my drive to finish a schedule for the treadmill so I can improve my stamina before the SAISA Soccer season starts. Recycling has been going well this year. We have a larger group than before, so it can get a little chaotic. However, Mr. Lockwood, Shin, and I developed an idea to create a workshop for the school staff to understand what recycling does.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

New Goals For The Senior Year

My goals for my CAS for my final year at OSC have slightly changed since my last reflections at the end of my 11th grade. At the end of the year I had failed to accomplish my goal of going to the gym on a weekly basis due to my lack of time management. However, for this year I have decided to make up for that by using my agenda a lot more. This way, I'll be able to keep track of the amount of work that I have to do, which will enable me to manage my time better. I've also decided that instead of going to the gym, I would just use the facilities that I have in my house which I fail to take advantage of. There is a treadmill, some weights, and a punching bag and I'll keep track of the amount of time that I use it via the calender. I'm still continuing with Recycling as my service with Shin as my co-leader. I've found out who is part of the Recycling group and I'm looking forward to working with them to help our world in any way possible. Unfourtently, I have chosen not to continue with Yearbook due to the new system that was develped of offering it as an after-school activity. On the other hand, I have chosen to play soccer on Friday after-school in order to keep in shape. So far in school I have been playing soccer during lunch with my friends which I wasn't able to do last year. As a result, I'm developing my soccer skills through multiple ways before SAISA soccer season starts. During the summer I visited different Universities and I met with Professors of the Major that I was interested in. After discussing with them, and with the help of my Mom, I discovered a computer class that was being offered in Sri Lanka. I'm planning on taking these classes after the October SAT's in order to develop some new programming skills which will help me in the Major that I'm going to pursue in University. So for this year I'll learn new skills through my undertaking of the programming classes that I will take after the October SATs, I'm contributing effectively through my commitement to the Recycling project, and I'm keeping in shape by refining my soccer skills and using the excersize equipment available at my house.