Halloween Party: After

I have met my personal goal, as that was to participate in the party and encourage Halloween festivity. There is no better way of promoting Halloween than to scare small children in a haunted house!

If I was to do all this again, I would organise the haunted house a bit better, preparing a script for people to follow, as my role, for example, was quite vague and made me have to improvise a lot. However, organising the haunted house was not really my job, and I actually think I did quite well if you take into account how much guidance I was given.

With this activity, I have learnt a lot about how to organise an activity for small children, We had to make sure that very small kids were not too scared of the haunted house, but also that older people were frightened enough by it to make it successful. To do this, we had to divide the people into different groups, which was a great lesson in management. Finally, we also learned how to decorate a school for a party, dividing our work and organising ourselves well.
I have also met my learning outcomes, as acting in and creating a haunted house was incredibly hard, and I definitely learned a lot about administration and drama by taking part in these activities. In addition to this, I have also worked collaboratively with others, as many of my classmates helped out in the haunted house and decorating the school. To make sure everything went smoothly, we had to divide our roles and work cooperatively, as things would get done much faster that way.


Halloween Party: During

Almost nothing went as I expected! We started working at about five and finished at eight, more or less. Although I did decorate the school on Saturday, I never got to move supplies around, as this had already been done by the parents working to prepare the party the day before. This was a surprise for me, but I recovered quickly and decided to help out where I was actually needed: in the lunchroom. I moved tables and chairs around, preparing the large room to accommodate partygoers. Afterwards, some of my classmates and I started hanging paper dolls from the ceiling in the halls and preparing the haunted house attraction.

(From left to right): Carmen Rita Gomeza, Ainhoa Santos (me), and Juan Andreu hanging spooky dolls from the ceiling.

The next day was intense and insane. I was not feeling too well, as my throat hurt and I felt a little sick, but I had to work at the party nevertheless. It turned out that some of my other classmates had taken care of the games for small children, so I had to work at the haunted house as a sort of narrator. My job was to tell the people who entered the haunted house that they were coming into an abandoned boarding school, and that their guide (another classmate at random) was to be their guide and take them though it. However, a lot of people didn’t listen to what I had to say, as they were either small children or too eager to get into the haunted house itself, which made my job quite frustrating. Still, I tried to do my job as best I could, and delivered my talk whenever possible.

(From left to right): Ainhoa Santos (me) and Nolan Young with our haunted house make-up on.
(From left to right): Ainhoa Santos (me) and Nolan Young with our haunted house make-up on.

When the party ended and the people left, my grade had to clean up the school, which was incredibly hard. I concentrated on getting paint, or “blood”, off of walls and mirrors, as it had been put there as decoration. However, some of the paint had dried, and it was very difficult to get it to come off. After that, I had to take out bags of trash and put all tables and chairs back to their original places in the lunchroom. At last, after being at school for basically a whole weekend, the Halloween party ended, and my classmates and I managed to get home by about seven thirty, after nearly three hours of entertaining children in the haunted house, and another three hours cleaning up the school.

Needless to say, I was exhausted.

Royal Russell Model United Nations: After

I have met my personal goal, which was to speak out and get over my shyness . This is because I managed to speak at my committee, and even tried to talk at the General Assembly. This was rather hard for me, as I am a generally silent and introverted person, put it felt great to finally be able to share my opinion on different topics in front of a large group of people.

If I was to do this MUN again, I would probably speak even more, asking more questions and being more aggressive in my debating, as I tend to be rather passive and, maybe, “too nice”. Asserting your ideas often and repeatedly is a good way to be taken seriously at MUN, as I discovered over my stay at Royal Russell School. I would also study the topic of state-sponsored paramilitary groups a bit more thoroughly, as it came up quite often and I could have participated  more in the debate if I had studied that topic better.

I have learnt a lot about different world issues, such as the problem of rape in warfare and the question of biological warfare. I have also met all of my learning outcomes, as I worked with three other people to create a very good resolution, and also sent notes and messages to other delegates to know their opinion about resolutions that were being debated. This means I achieved the learning outcome of “working collaboratively with others”. Beside this, the topics we debated were of international importance, and they made me become engaged with problems that are affecting the world right now. This means I achieved the learning outcome of becoming “engaged with issues of global importance”.
All in all, this activity was, quite frankly, a great success!

Royal Russell Model United Nations: During

This MUN Conference was incredibly fun, and I was quite successful in terms of getting over my shyness and speaking to others. The first day of the conference I had to merge my resolution, or combine ideas, with other people in my committee who had also tried to come up with ways to deal with the issue of rape in warfare. This went quite well, as I managed to join a group and ended up merging with three other people. Later on, I also had to give a speech at the General Assembly (GA), which means I had to speak in front of about 200 persons. I did an okay job at that, although I should have made more eye contact with my audience. However, I had had to get up at 6 in the morning that day, so I was extremely tired by that point, and I was lucky I didn’t fall asleep at the podium!

The Austian delegation (I am in the middle).

The next two days and a half involved debating within committees and, later on, within the GA about our resolutions, or our action plans to solve problems. The specific problems assigned to my committee, DISEC II, were the question of rape in warfare, the question of international recruitment by terrorist groups, the question of state-sponsored paramilitary groups, and the question of biological warfare. Debating these issues in my committee was quite fun, as some resolutions were funny and lighthearted, while others were serious and interesting. I managed to ask four questions, or points of information, and got to speak at the podium of my committee once, which was much more than what I expected of myself. I also wanted to speak at the GA, as the resolution I had worked on with three other students was supposed to be debated there, but it did not pass because of an administration error. I tried to make a few points of information instead, but was not chosen to speak.

At the GA (I am the one in white).

After the GA the last day, there was a closing ceremony in which different organisers gave a speech to thank everyone who came, and talked about their love for MUN. This got quite emotional, and it was a nice way to close the ceremony.

Hike: After

I have met my personal goal, as I both managed to stay active during the weekend and I got to learn more about both birds and other aspects of the fauna and flora of the Basque Country, such as what almond-bearing trees look like and the different habitats birds like. This was all extremely enriching and interesting for me, as it helped me learn about the environment in which I live in.

If I could do anything differently, I would probably make sure to arrive a bit sooner to the hike in order to get the full experience. I would also make sure to wear better shoes and perhaps a cap in order to shield myself from the sun.

I have learnt that birds hide when it is hot, that vultures use warm air currents to stay up in the air and not use up energy, and that the vulture population is aging steadily because of our better management of waste products, which they used to use for food. This last point made me reflect about how humans affect nature with nearly everything we do.

Finally, I am pleased to say that I have met my learning outcomes for this activity: increasing my awareness of my strengths and areas for growth and undertaken new challenges. I have realized that, although my resistance is quite good, I should still practice avoiding distractions, as those are usually the cause of my slipping on rocks. I have also undertaken new challenges because I went hiking in a completely new place where I did not know what to expect of the trail.

Hike: During

The hike was very fun and rather tiring, as expected. Unfortunately, my family and I arrived a little late to the trip, and therefore we had to join the group later on. Therefore, we did not participate in the whole hike, but we did take part in most of it.


We were part of a very noisy group filled with young children and, in addition to this, it was quite a hot day, so not a lot of birds showed up. Rather, our guide told us, they were hiding amidst the trees’ leaves, where it was cool and safe. The only birds we actually got to see were some vultures that were circling around in the sky. Still, our guide did tell us more about other birds in the area as the visit went on, even though we did not get to see them.

The trail itself was rather easy, although there were quite a lot of mossy rocks that made me slip a few times. However, that could have also been due to the quality of my shoes.

IMG-20151012-WA0020 (1)

All in all, it was a very fun hike, and I wish I could do it all over again someday to see more birds!

Halloween Party: Before

Learning Outcomes:

  • Undertaken new challenges.
  • Worked collaboratively with others.

Goal: To help out at my school and keep the Halloween spirit alive.

I am quite excited about preparing Halloween this year. I have gone to the school’s Halloween party all my life, and it’s rather thrilling to be preparing it myself. However, I am also quite nervous. I am not bad at decorating or the arts, but I am not the best person to be around small children. I always have the feeling that I am too cynical or boring for them. However, I will try my best to organise fun and active games for them to enjoy themselves.

I expect the party itself will be fun, but organising everything will probably be stressful, as we do not have much time to do so. However, if we, the 11th graders, manage to organise our time efficiently, this may not be a problem. Still, I highly doubt this will be the case.

I am sure that we will have to face many problems, such as the aforementioned limited time to organise the party. In addition to this, we, the people who will decorate the school, will probably have to improvise some decorations, as we might not have too many materials to work with. However, I hope the PTO will help us with that.

As difficult as it will be, I am excited to participate in this party nonetheless!

Royal Russell Model United Nations: Before

Learning Outcomes:

  • Worked collaboratively with others.
  • Engaged in issues of global importance.

Goal: To overcome my shyness and participate more in debates.

Model United Nations (MUN) always makes me feel nervous, but also eager to participate and, in a way, get it over with. i like debating, but it does put a lot of pressure on me: a normally reserved person when around people I do not know. However, I have already attended one other MUN conference in Dublin, so I know what to expect, which helps me calm down my nerves. Still, I am sure I will end up having fun, as I always do with the activities I am nervous about.

I expect the Royal Russell MUN conference to be similar to the Dublin conference I attended last year, although perhaps less serious. This is because the Royal Russell conference is seen by many as a conference for first-timers, so it will not be as demanding as Dublin, which was one of the largests in Europe. However, this does not mean that there will not be some very good debaters present, so I will try to do my best and speak out a few times during the debates.

My shyness and introverted personality will probably be my greatest problems, as I will have to overcome these aspects of my personality in order to contribute to the different debates that will take place. This will undoubtedly be very difficult for me, and I may not achieve this goal, but the important thing is that I tried hard and did my best.

Hike: Before

Learning Outcomes:

  • Increased their awareness of their own strengths and areas for growth.
  • Undertaken new challenges.

Goal: To stay active during the weekend by going outside and exploring nature.

Going hiking is extremely exciting for me, as I love walking but rarely get the chance to hike. Getting to watch birds during this time is just an added bonus. The Basque Country has an incredibly rich flora and fauna which I do not know as well as I would like to, and it is great that I will get to learn more about it by experiencing it firsthand.

I think the hike will be tiring, of course, but I’ve walked much longer trails in my life. Therefore, four kilometers will not be much to walk. Aside from this, I expect the walk to be beautiful and full of sights to see.

I do not really anticipate any problems except, perhaps, the weather. In the Basque Country, rain is quite common, and it is possible that we might have to deal with it during the hike. Still, this is only a remote possibility, and might not happen at all. Aside from these, no obvious problems come to mind.

Student Initiated Project: Introduction

Learning Outcomes:

  • Demonstrate engagement with issues of global significance.
  • Recognize and consider the ethics of choices and actions.

Goal: To create a video where we demonstrate why people should donate and vote for a charity of our choice

What is it?

This project consists in the creation of a video which promotes a charity. This video is between two and four minutes long, and will include us explaining what the charity does and why the audience should donate. This video is part of the “Project for Awesome,” a project organized by the Foundation to Decrease World Suck, Inc. The Project is run by John and Hank Green via a YouTube live stream which runs over the course of the 12th and 13th of December. When we have completed our video, we will upload it to the Project for Awesome website. Afterwards, John and Hank Green pick out different videos to be shown on the livestream. If we’re lucky, ours could be featured! The efforts of all the video creators will raise money, which will then be distributed to top charities.

How long will it take?

Our video must be uploaded to the Project for Awesome website during those 48 hours that the live stream runs. Therefore, we have about 2 months and a half to write the script, film the video and then edit it.

What two CAS components will it combine?

Creativity and service.

Who will be participating and what roles will each undertake?

We, Ainhoa Santos and Nolan Young, will collaborate to create this promotional video. Nolan will contact the charity Alboan and will arrange a meeting or some form of communication so we can get the best information possible to include in our video.  Both of us will work together to create the script for the video and we will both appear in the video itself. Ainhoa will work on post-production, editing the video and uploading it to the website in December. Therefore, we will each have our separate roles, but we will collaborate and work as a team to create the best video possible.

Why do we want to participate in this project?

We want to take part in this project because it combines two incredibly interesting concepts, video-making and creating publicity for a charity we love. Both of us already knew about the charity livestream set up by the Foundation to Decrease World Suck, and we loved the way they shone a light on charities that, otherwise, would not have much publicity to use. With this project, we wish to do just that: create free publicity for a charity, probably Alboan, in a creative and engaging way.

What is our goal for this project?

We hope to create a video where we demonstrate why people should donate and vote for the charity of our choice. Doing this, we will be drawing attention to a good cause, as well as creating free publicity for a charity and developing our filmmaking skills. We will know we were successful in doing this as soon as our video is posted on YouTube and gets some views. Hopefully, this will mean that the video and, therefore, the charity we choose will get noticed. This may lead to people voting for it during the Project For Awesome livestream, as well as donating money to the charity directly themselves.

What steps will we follow?

We will work on the project here in Bilbao from October through to the middle of December. Nolan will contact the charity, Alboan, by the end of October. This charity is a Jesuit organisation which is based in the Basque Country and Navarra. They concentrate on helping achieve quality education for everyone, contributing to sustainable development, providing humanitarian aid in crises and achieving democracy for minority groups. All of their work is based on their three key axes: spirituality as something important for human development, recognising the differences between women and men and working to achieve gender equality and getting the public to participate in social and political events.

We heard about the Student Initiated Project in September and we immediately thought that we could work together. Ainhoa came up with the idea of creating a video for Project for Awesome. We thought of local charities which we could contact easily, and Alboan was our first choice. We both knew about Project for Awesome prior to initiating this activity, so we understand how beneficial it is for society and how much money it raises for worthy causes. We are confident that this year even more money will be raised, and that our contribution can only help this project.

How will we manage our time?

We will be working on this project until around December 10th. Meetings and talks with the organization we will probably be promoting, Alboan, should take place as soon as possible, around the end of October or beginning of November at the latest. The video’s script should also be ready for around this time. Filming the video will probably take us a few hours, so this should take place as soon as the script is ready in order to leave enough time for the editing and uploading side of the project, which could take up to a week to complete. Ideally, we would have the project ready by the end of November or beginning of December in order to leave time to solve any inconveniences that could arise.

What resources will we need?

We do not need too many resources to complete this project. The only event that should take place before the project starts is us meeting or speaking to a representative from Alboan, as they will probably give us some sort of guideline as to what we should talk about in the video. Aside from that, we will only need a videocamera and a video editing program, which are already easily available to us.