Reading to Children: After

Although I planned to continue this activity further, I was not able to do so. The school’s schedule and my own never coincided – they could only allow me to go in the morning, but I myself have school at that time. This was quite disheartening for me, as I truly enjoyed reading to those children, but I wasn’t able to make it work out.

Still, I did manage to achieve the two learning outcomes I connected to this activity. I did “undertake new challenges”, as it was the first time I ever read to children. It was a completely new experience for me, and it was very enriching. I learned how to get the kids involved with the story, which was very fun to do and also a very useful skill to deal with children. I also achieved the learning outcome that requires me to “consider the ethical implication of my action”. I aknowledge how important reading is for the development of cognitive processes, especially in young children. I also realise that these children rarely have people read to them, which means it is unlikely for them to get hooked on reading. Therefore, my reading to them was possibly a rare and valuable happening in my life, and it hopefully inspired them to become independently interested in reading themselves. However, my intervention could have been more useful if I had been able to go to the school more times.

Hence, if I could repeat this activity all over again, I would certainly do it and, this time, I would like to visit the school many more times than just one.

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Pilates: After

Unfortunately, this activity has come to a bittersweet ending. I have not been able to achieve my goal or, in other words, to go to at least four pilates classes per month. While I was able to accomplish this in a more or less satisfactory way during my first year of IB and during the start of my second year, I completely lost track of the activity nearing Christmas 2016, and had to stop going due to personal reasons from January onwards. This failure has truly hit me, especially because I was eager and motivated to begin this activity once more after vacations. Cutting class never made me feel good and, during December, I was actually desperate to go outside and exercise. This is the main reason why I decided to start a new Activity activity (Winter Walking) so late into my CAS program: I wanted a replacement for my Pilates classes.

Despite this, I still feel that I have accomplished both learning outcomes I had attached to this activity. I certainly “undertook new challenges”: I had never tried pilates before and the introducing a weekly exercising activity to my routine was also new to me. I learned many relaxation poses that are still useful to me even now, as they are good to keep in mind to help manage stress. Pilates also proved to me that excercising can be very emotionally beneficial, and helped me see sports as something that I can truly enjoy.

My second learning outcome is more problematic in terms of me accomplishing it, as it involves “showing perseverance and commitment” in regards to this activity. While it is true that I couldn’t keep pilates up to the end of my CAS program, I did maintain this activity as a strong part of my routine for more than a year. In that way, I still showed commitment to it, even during times of academic stress, like during last year’s IB mock exams. Hence, I still believe I achieved this learning outcome, although not as well as I would have liked.

All in all, while this activity ended in a disappointing fashion, I am still very happy that I decided to try out pilates as part of my CAS program. It has certainly been an experience that I will remember for a long time and, if I had to do this program again, I would absolutely make pilates one of my main longitudinal activities if I could.

Note:

Unfortunatley, I could not get photographic proof for this activity. Instead, I have audio proof [link – click here to listen!]. It is in Spanish, but you can find a translation below:

“Hello everybody. I am Ainhoa’s mother, and I confirm that she has been going to Pilates from November 2015 to December 2017. I know this because we went to the activity together, and in this way we could both discover the world of Pilates. I am very grateful for the CAS program for allowing me to do this. Thank you.”

Singing Lessons: During #11 – Audition Time!

So much has happened since I last updated my blog!

In class, I have been practising many new songs, including “Out of Reach” by Gabrielle, “Don’t Speak” by No Doubt and, now, “Si tu no estás aquí” by Rosanna. Out of all of these, “Out of Reach” was definitely the hardest. It took me a while to figure out how I could hit all the right notes without sounding awful. However, I practised hard at home and ended up getting so much better at it that I was congratulated by the teacher! Meanwhile, “Don’t Speak” was very fun to sing, as it is upbeat and allows for a lot playing around with registers, something I found very interesting. I have only barely started practising, “Si tu no estás aquí”, but it is bound to be very fun to work through. My teacher has told me this song has the potential to sound very good on me due to my low voice, so now I just have to focus on practising it and giving the song a personal touch.

However, it was my recent audition (on February 16th) which has truly left a mark on me this term. My teacher decided to make us work on a cover of a song called “Tonight You Belong to Me” (link) to train us in singing harmonies. One of my classmates was given the main voice, or the melody, while another classmate and I had to sing the back-up voices, or harmonies. We all found carrying several voices at the same time very challenging, and we even had to simplify some aspects of the song to make it more managable. One of the most memorable parts of practising this song for the audition was our first (and only) practise with the person who played the ukelele for us during the show – he had no idea how the song went, which made us very confused when singing. This made us feel very stressed out, but luckily we helped him learn the song correctly before the show.

At the show venue, we were all very nervous at first, but then we just decided to forget about the nerves and just have fun – what’s the worse that could happen? Therefore, we all got on stage and sang, and we actually did pretty good. We made a few mistake during the song bridges, which were the hardest part, but overall we did a good job. My sister, who was in the crowd, even told me that she heard some ladies talking about how beautiful our voices were! It was especially interesting for me to consider how different this audition was from last year’s: we were all much more relaxed in the lead-up to it, and I think our performance was much better. Sadly, the video quality is not that good, but I am still very happy with our performance.

Winter Walking

Learning outcome: Show perseverance and commitment in my activities.

Goal: To go on walks at least once a week from now to the end of March.

Before

Lately, schoolwork and IB have been taking over my life. That is part of the reason why I am so happy about starting this activity: talking walks along the sea at least once a week. I have always loved walking, as it is an activity that truly relaxes me and gives me a break from my busy IB life. In addition, it is very likely I will have good company during my walks, as my mother will probably want to come with me at least a few times. This is great, as it will allow me to spend more time with her and talk.

While I am excited about this new activity, I am also afraid it will be deterred by factors that are not under my control, such as bad weather. This would be a real shame, but I am ready to face this issue: whenever I am unable to go walking due to bad weather, I will postpone it to another day when the weather is more suitable for walking. If worst comes to worst, I will just walk some extra distance the next time I go walking.

I am very motivated to begin this new activity!

During #1

The first 4 weeks of this activity have been very rewarding for me. Every week,  I walked at least 3km, which I am very happy about – it’s been a while since I walked such a long distance uninterrupted! At first, it was challenging to find the time and energy to go on these walks. However, by week 3, I was hooked! Now, I can hardly envision my weekly plans without leaving a space for my walks. I feel proud of myself for this, as it tends to be hard for me to make exercise a part of my routine. I hope things will continue to go well regarding this activity!

Week 1:

Week 2:

Week 3:

Week 4:

During #2

This month, it was slightly more difficult to keep up with this experience. We were very busy at school, as we were finishing courses and submitting our written tasks to the IB website. Hence, I did not have as much time as I would have liked to go out and walk. I did manage to do so every week, but some of the walks had to be shorter as a result. Next month should be more relaxed, so I am hoping I will be able to finish this experience off with a bang then!

Week 5:

Week 6:

Week 7:

Week 8:

During #3

This month of March has been insane! I have spent my days organizing my school’s final IB Visual Arts exhibition and, as such, I have barely had time for my CAS experiences. However, I have somehow been able to keep up my weekly walking sessions. I am very happy about this and, while I  have not walked as much as I would have wanted to, I am still glad I managed to do some exercise during these stressful times. If I could repeat this month all over again, I would certainly try to walk for longer distances, but I am proud of what I have achieved nonetheless, especially given the circumstances.

Week 1:

Week 2:

Week 3:

Week 4:

After

I am very happy to have taken part in this CAS experience. It was very hard to keep up with it, but I have been able to do so and, for that, I am proud. I think this experience has truly helped me to achieve my Learning Outcome: “Show perseverance and commitment in my activities.” By achieving my goal of going on walks at least once a week, I have been able to remain active during these past difficult months, something I am very thankful for. If I could do anything differently, I would have loved to go on longer walks more times each week. While this was impossible to do, I am happy with what I have achieved, and I may keep up with my weekly walks even after my CAS experience is over.