Singing Lessons: After

It has been a long time since I started my Singing Lessons, and I cannot believe how far I have come. When I first started this activity, I had not sung in my life and I had no techniques to rely on. Now, I have participated in two singing auditions, have recorded several songs, and I am much more aware of my breathing and projection techniques. In other words, I have certainly “Developed new skills,” which was one of my Learning Outcomes.

In addition, I believe I have also shown a great amount of perseverance in this CAS experience. Keeping up with my singing lessons has not always been easy, and some of the songs I’ve had to sing were quite complicated and required me to practise them many times over. However, I overcame these difficulties through hard work and dedication, and I am happy to say that I have missed very few classes over these last two years. For this, I am very proud of myself. Therefore, I have achieved my other learning outcome: “Show commitment to, and perseverance in, CAS experiences.”

There are very few things I would have liked to change about my singing experience. The most significant one is possibly not being able to ever sing a solo song in an audition, but I am probably still not ready for one. Still, as a closing for this experience, I would like to share my latest singing recording. It is a Spanish song called “Si Tu No Estás Aquí” by singer Rosana, and I am very proud of how it turned out. I think it perfectly represents how long I have come ever since I started my lessons, as I would not have been able to sing like that a year ago. You can listen to the song here (when available).

All in all, I am very happy about this CAS experience, and it is one of those pastimes I will make sure to keep working on even after my IB years are over.

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Journal Club: After

My involvement with the Journal Club has been long and required a lot of hard work. However, I think it is one of the best CAS experiences I have ever had.

First of all, working in the Journal Club has certainly taught me how beneficial it is to work with others to achieve a common goal. When I was only a writer, I had to work with the Journal Club heads at the time to ensure my articles were published every term. However, it was after I began working as a Journal Club manager that I truly understood how important teamwork is. If I had not worked as a team with my fellow Journal Club heads, we would not have been able to achieve half of what we have achieved now. Through the division of labour and good communication skills, we have managed to redesign the ASB Newsletter’s layout, get our student-run publication online, and publish three complete term newsletters in addition to a Special Edition magazine filled with creative pieces. Together, with passion and dedication, we have accomplished much more than what anybody expected, something I feel very proud of. Hence, I have “Demonstrated the skills and recognized the benefits of working collaboratively” throughout my Journal Club experience.

Furthermore, I have dedicated long hours to working for the Journal Club. Whether it was selecting interesting topics for articles or hunting down lazy writers, I have given a lot of time and thought to my Journal Club experience. Even when times got difficult, I never settled for less articles than a minimum of about four per section, and I never complained about having to edit and translate articles while also studying for tests and exams. I truly believe I have been a persevering member of the Journal Club, and that I have always been dedicated to the cause. In this way, I have “Shown commitment to, and perseverance in,” my Journal Club CAS experience.

All in all, there are very few things I would do differently if I had to repeat my Journal Club experience. If anything, my fellow Journal Club managers and I would have liked to create a Journal Club logo or a Journal Club twitter account, but we had no time to do so with all our IB work. Still, it’s always good to leave something to be done by those next in line for the Journal Club!

Journal Club: During #6

My last term as one of the Journal Club heads has been a very exciting one!

To being with, my fellow Journal Club managers and I held several talks with the school’s principal, as well as the IT  department, to get the Journal Club online! Thanks to our joined efforts, the school will now be able to show the student’s once-a-term publication on their own webpage.  This is very exciting for us, as I am sure it will make many more people aware of what happens around the school. In addition, it shows the student’s writing talents to anyone who wants to read what we write.

Also, this Term, us Journal Club leaders have chosen those who will substitute us next term while we prepare for exams. It was a long process, as a lot of considerations had to be made but, in the end, we chose students who we think will do a great job at keeping the Journal Club up and running. Throughout this term, we integrated them into our team, teaching them how to choose articles, assign writers, and deal with the stresses of late submissions. I am very happy with how the new Journal Club members are behaving, and I am sure they will do a fantastic job at keeping the ASB Newsletter engaging and informative.

Finally, our final Journal Club publication this year is turning out to be a complete success. We have organised our time very well and, while as of writing this reflection the ASB Newsletter is not complete, I already have the Lower School section ready, and the IB section (which is also my responsibility) is almost done as well. I also have to write an article about the IB Final Visual Arts exhibition, but that will be done in a couple of weeks, after the exhibition has passed. Finally, the Journal Club manager in charge of the Newsletter’s format has also been working very hard and preparing a brand new color-scheme for our last publication. This will no doubt be a special edition of the ASB Newsletter, and we hope, it will be the best yet!

Painting the Gym

Goal: To paint my school’s indoor gym in time for this year’s Visual Arts Exhibition.

Learning Outcome: To recognise the benefits of working collaboratively.

Before

I am eager for this experience to take place. I have always enjoyed painting, and this seems like a pretty big-scale project, not to mention it being very important! The grade of the Visual Arts’s student’s exhibition depends, partially, on us painting the gym well.

However, I can think of a few problems that could set us back in our artistic endeavour. For example, it has been very hard to get this experience approved by the school. We had to talk to several teachers and even the principal to get permission for this project to take place, and we were not given possible painting dates until very recently. Many obstacles could appear from now until then. However, let’s hope that everything turns out okay!

During

This experience turned out to go better than planned!

We painted the gym in three days, although I could sadly not be there for one of them. However, it surprised me how fast we got things done. With just a couple of hours of work, we were able to completely paint the gym, leaving it as good as new! This only goes to show the benefits of working as a team. The other painters and I were very organised. For example, when we realised too many people were working on the same wall, some of the uswould then begin working on another wall or covering the floor with newspapers, hence optimising the workforce!

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Us painting. I am the one looking up at the wall.

The only aspect of this experience that was quite annoying was that we could not paint as much as we could have in one day. This is because the school’s gym was occupied from after school finished on Tuesdays. This in and of itself isn’t too bad, but what makes it annoying is that nobody had told us! If we had known, we would have probably organised our time better.

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Us painting the walls. I am in the middle of the group of three people in white.

After

All in all, this experience turned out surprisingly well! We finished painting sooner than we thought we would, which shows that we all worked well as a team in a very organised manner. I am very happy of having taken part in this CAS experience, as it has shown me once again that, when people work together, there is no challenge too big for them.

Caritas

Goal: To spend one afternoon in Caritas taking care of children.

Learning Outcome: Recognise and consider the ethics of my choices and actions.

Before

Currently, I am feeling very nervous about this activity. My task is to go to Caritas, a daycare center for children whose family have economic problems, and spend my afternoon there feeding, playing, and helping the children with their homework. While this does not sound like a very hard task, I have never been too good with children, so I am worried that I will not be very useful to the people working at Caritas. However, I will make sure to give it my all while I’m there. Let’s hope everything goes well!

During

My Caritas experience was much better than what I had anticipated! When I got there, I had to help set up a table and feed the children as they came. After that, I was assigned a child and had to spend the rest of my afternoon with her. She was a 6th grader and, throughout the first half of the afternoon, I helped her with her maths homework. This was possibly the most challenging part of my experience, as she was studying things I was not entirely familiar with due to me never having gone to a spanish school. Because of this, I made some mistakes when teaching her how to solve problems, but I ended up correcting them and everything turned out well in the end.

After that, the girl and I played chess together, and she even made up some games of her own! She was a very imaginative child, and it was very fun to spend the afternoon with her.

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The girl and I playing chess.

After

All in all, this CAS experience turned out much better than expected. It led me to truly consider the impact my presence had on the children I met and their afternoon. These young people have not had the opportunities I’ve had but, thankfully, the presence of institutions like Caritas, with the help of volunteers like myself, are there to help them succeed in life. If it hadn’t been for my actions, this girl might have not been able to complete her maths homework, for example, and I wouldn’t have been able to face a new challenge and find out more about the lives of children who I may have never met otherwise. While it was not the ideal Service experience for me (I prefer getting involved with environmental matters), my afternoon in Caritas was still very personally useful and enriching, and I am glad to have participated in it.