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!

Cleaning the Beach: Summer Edition

This activity counts for Activity and Service.

Learning Outcome: Consider the ethical implications of my actions.

Goal: Attempt to clean every beach I visit this summer.

Before

Come this summer, I will no doubt be going to the beach quite a bit. During my time there, I will aim to pick up all the trash I am able to see. In this way, I will be taking care of the environment.

The only set back I can imagine regarding this activity is that I will not be able to pick up larger pieces of trash. Unlike my pervious experiences beach cleaning, I will not be in a large group, but most likely with my family. Not only that, but I will also need to be keeping an eye on my younger cousins, previnting me from dedicating my time fully to cleaning.

Still, I am excited to start this activity, as it will help the environment at least a little bit.

During #1

Lately, I have been going to the Deba beach quite a lot. I am pleased to say that it is quite clean! However, I did find some plastic bags here and there, which I managed to take care of. I am glad the beach was clean, but it’s a shame that I could not help much! I hope to be more useful to the environment throughout the summer although, at the same time, I also wish the beaches were clean enough so I would not have to be useful to them.

DSC_0586

During #2

Yesterday I visited Arrigunaga beach. There, I found a plastic container which I disposed of. I could not really look around the beach all that much because I was there with my younger cousins and I needed to take care of them, but I hope that even this small action has saved some sea creature from trouble.

thing

During #3

This past week, I have been going to a relatively isolated beach near the village of L’Ampollá, in Catalonia. There, I have been able to find many pieces of plastic and other trash floating in the water. Although small, these toxic materials could have harmed the sea animals that living in waters nearby. (In fact, this region of Catalonia is commonly visited by scuba divers!)  One day, I was even able to find a large piece of cardboard lying around, although that particular piece of trash had probably been blown into the beach from a bar nearby.

Although the trash I picked up there might not seem significant, I like to think that every bit counts. It is also scary how even remote beaches have been polluted by the human race.

l'ampolla

cardboard and crap

During #4

Today I have visited Arrigunaga beach and found an incredible amount of trash! This time, I think the pictures will speak for themselves:

arrigunaga

That is the total amount of trash I was able to find (with some help from my aunt, who came with me). In order to recover some of this trash, I had to walk a little ways into the sea, which was unpleasant because of the cold, yet worth it in the end, as I recovered some large pieces of plastic as shown:

IMG-20160826-WA0009.jpg

It is horrible to see how humans are ruining the planet’s oceans, and it is sad to think about all the wildlife that we are losing because of it. Hopefully, the trash I picked up today helped out, even if in a small way.

After

This activity has helped me realise just how much humans are endangering the health and beauty of our planet. It was especially shocking because I had been to some of these beaches before, but I had never really noticed much that was wrong with them. This summer, I discovered that, if you search for it, you will most likely find human pollution at any beach you visit, no matter where it is located or how many people visit it.

If I could repeat this activity all over again, I would definitely try to visit more beaches. However, this was difficult to do this time around, as I had a very busy summer full of traveling and family. Therefore, I did not have much free time to go to the beach and productively look for trash.

However, this experience was eye-opening, and I think I will keep up picking up trash at the beach whenever I see it even after my IB times are over.

 

2016 Graduation Ceremony

This activity counts for both Creativity and Service

Learning Outcome: Planned and initiated activities.

Goal: Create a graduation video for the grade 12 class, as well as helping out during the graduation ceremony itself.

Before

I feel extremely excited about this new CAS activity. I love video editing, and I am constantly looking for excuses to spend my time practising this hobby! However, this time of the year might not be the best for creating complex film projects, as our mock IB finals are coming up soon. Hence, I am aiming for a short, simple video that the graduating students will remember. Still, if I organise my time wisely, I am sure I will be able to make it work.

Nevertheless, I am quite nervous about being appointed the leader of this video project, as I am not really used to having others working for me.  I am also quite a shy person, so having to talk to others to coordinate video filming will probably be hard for me. Still, I am not one to shy away from a challenge! I will do my best to direct my classmates, and I am sure they will end up making this project a lot easier to complete.

During #1

This week, we started filming different teachers to include in the graduation video. They will be giving the students inspiring messages that range from inside jokes to life advice. From what we have filmed up until now, this video will be touching, fun, and inspiring for the students, something I am happy about. I have also received a folder full of pictures of the graduating grade 12s, which I will have to sort out and use in the video.

As of now, I have been doing a good job as a leader of this project. Normally, I am rather shy and quiet. However, lately I have stepped out of my comfort zone, asking many teachers for permission to film them whenever I could. My friends and I even contacted some other teachers that left our school in recent years so that they would appear in the video as well! I also talked to a couple grade 12s myself in order to get a feeling of what they expect from the video, which was very helpful in deciding what to include and what to avoid. As for my worries about leading my classmates: I had nothing to worry about! They have all worked wonderfully by helping me film the teachers I could not get around to filming myself. Their help has been invaluable!

Although I am busy with mock exams right now, I will make sure to start editing next week as of late; the graduation is just a little over a week away as well!

During #2

All the necessary teachers have been filmed and the video editing process is almost done! The hardest part of this project by far has been editing the images in the video, as it was difficult to control how much time each picture should appear on screen. Still, I do enjoy how the rest of the video turned out. While my classmates have not been able to help me too much at this stage (after all, I was the one in charge of editing the video), they have still been wonderfully supportive of me. They have also given me a lot of advice on how to improve older versions of the video, which has been very helpful.

I am sure the video will do well in the graduation ceremony!

After

Graduation video:

The graduation ceremony was a complete adventure! My friend and I went there expecting to help out with minor roles such as decoration, but instead we were appointed to help out with the technological side of the ceremony: lights, powepoint slides, and audio. This was a problem, as neither of us knew how to operate any of these properly: we didn’t know where the light switches were, we had never seen the powerpoint slides we were in charge of, and we had no idea how to adjust the volume of the audio. I am clueless as to why we were appointed to do this instead of somebody more qualified. Due to our inexperience, the technological aspect of the ceremony turned out a little wonky from time to time, but we did quite well given the circumstances.

The graduation video, however, was a success! The grade 12s seemed moved by it, and a couple of teachers complimented me on the editing of the video. One of my friends, who had helped me in the video editing process, told me that a couple other people also stopped her to congratulate us on the video. Hence, I am very proud of it, especially due to the fact that I was so busy with mock exams during the time of editing.

All in all, I am very happy with how this graduation turned out. I felt comfortable in my new leadership role, and I found myself stepping out of my comfort zone many times without much trouble. If I could do anything differently, I would probably just make sure to study up the school audio system beforehand!

graduation
My friends and I (second from the left) on the day of the graduation.

Cleaning the Beach

This activity counts for Activity and Service

Learning Outcome: Considered the ethical implications of their actions.

Goal: Pick up as much garbage as I can.

clean the beach
Me carrying trash at the beach.

This Wednesday, my classmates and I went to clean the Arrigunaga beach. We were divided into two groups to cover more space, and I was assigned to a group that was tasked to pick up garbage from a rocky region of the beach. This meant a lot of climbing and jumping from rock to rock, which was rather tricky for me.

Nevertheless, we managed to find a lot of trash stuck between the rocks, allowing me to accomplish my goal. The trash I am carrying in the picture above is only a small portion of the total trash we found.

clean the beach 2
Us and all the trash we picked up.

It is also important to realise that, if we had not found this garbage, it would have remained there, polluting the environment. Therefore, although we only spent a short amount of time at the beach, we managed to make a lasting impact on the environment. After all, all the trash we picked up is trash that will not be poisoning innocent sea animals.

Hence, this activity was enjoyable and prompted me to think about the outcomes of my actions. It was tiresome, but I would not mind doing it again!

Eco-Maintenance with Lurgaia

This activity counts for Activity and Service.

Learning Outcome: Worked collaboratively with others.

Goal: Eliminate at least ten invasive plants from the Azkorri area.

Last weekend, on Saturday the 21st, some of my classmates and I participated in an eco-maintenance activity with an environmental organization called Lurgaia. In this trip, we took a walk through a forest area near a beach in Azkorri. We were told by the people in the organization that these types of habitats are very rare in the world and that they should be taken care of properly.

Eventually, we arrived at an area with many invasive plants that prevented regional plants from growing. The organization’s staff provided us with gloves and told us to take out as many as we could. Together, my classmates and I pulled out many of these invasive plants and, just as I had proposed for my goal, I managed to pull out exactly ten of them!

Imagen de Ainhoa Santos (1)
Me pulling out a plant.

However, I did not do this alone. Many of the plants were extremely hard to pull out, as they were deeply rooted in the ground. Therefore, it sometimes took up to two or three people to pull out a single plant. Many times, we also had to take on different roles to pull them out: some would dig around their roots to weaken the plant’s grip while others pulled. This really goes to show how important teamwork is when it comes to taking care of the environment.

All in all, this was a very enjoyable experience that I would not mind participating in again!

Art Exhibition Help

Learning Outcomes:

  • Demonstrate the skills and recognize the benefits of working collaboratively.

Goal: To help our school with their Visual Arts exhibition.

This activity counts for Creativity and Service.

This April, my classmates and I took on a collaborative task. Our goal was to help out in our school’s Visual Arts exhibition. Together, we were asked to create backgrounds for the exhibition’s signs. As all three of us were already IB Visual Arts students, our teacher trusted us to come up with original designs ourselves. Therefore, we all worked together to make decisions about the paper, paints, and colours we would use. It was a fun activity, and I would love to repeat it!

WP_20160411_002
Me (in black) and one of my classmates working on a background
WP_20160411_001
One of our finished backgrounds.

Model United Nations Workshop in Ayalde

This activity counts for the components of Service and Creativity.

Learning Outcomes:

  • Demonstrate the skills and recognize the benefits of working collaboratively
  • Demonstrate engagement with issues of global significance

Goal: To hone my debating and critical thinking skills and help the Ayalde students with their MUN work.

This Saturday I, along with some of my classmates and friends, attended the first Model United Nations Workshop in Ayalde, a school nearby, participating as a delegate from the country of Afghanistan. The goal of this workshop was to build up our debating  and critical thinking skills, and it was directed especially at new MUN delegates that did not know how these types of conferences work. The people who had attended previous MUN events, including myself, were asked to attend as to set an example for the rest of the delegates.

ayalde_mun_1
The ASB MUN Ayalde team (I am the third from the right in the last row).

In order to prepare for this conference, one of my classmates and I had to research the issue of terrorism from the perspective of Afghanistan. Meanwhile, our counterparts in Ayalde had to research the subject of hydraulic fracking. My classmate and I then wrote a resolution, which detailed how Afghanistan would act in order to stop terrorist groups. We both agreed that it would be difficult to defend at the conference, as almost none of the countries attending were our allies.

However, the conference itself proved to be much more fun than what we had first imagined. We began by creating a collaborative resolution, made up entirely of clauses the different delegations had to propose and defend. After that, we debated the resolutions as a whole with some parents and teachers present. Fortunately, both my classmate and I got to talk quite a bit on the podium, and we were even able to become one main submitters of the resolution on terrorism, as we had submitted two clauses to it (although only one was finally accepted). It was very entertaining to debate this issue in the name of Afghanistan, as it gave us a unique, middle-eastern perspective of this issue, which was very unlike the opinions we usually hear on the news and on debates, and it was fun to get into little, lighthearted fights with those representing western powers that opposed our views.

ayalde_mun_2
The entire MUN Ayalde group.

All in all, it was a truly enjoyable experience, and it made me realize just how much I have changed since I started participating in MUN conferences a year ago. Although I used to be extremely quiet and shy, I have discovered that it is now much easier for me to express my opinions and ideas, even if it’s in a language that I don’t speak much outside of school. In addition to this, this work encouraged me to look at current issues of international importance from different points of view, which enhanced my understanding of these complex problems and trained me in empathy and critical thinking.

I truly would not mind doing something like this again!

Forest Maintenance: After

Unfortunately, I could not go to the Forest Maintenance activity for personal reasons. Therefore, I do not have much to write about. The main problem with this activity was that we didn’t really get all that much information about what it would entail and how we had to prepare for it, making it unpredictable and uncertain. In addition to this, the weather on the day of the activity was also not ideal. I am rather sad and disappointed that I could not take part in this activity, but I am determined to help out the environment some other time!

Forest Maintenance: Before

Learning Outcomes:

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

Goal: To help out in taking care of my local environment.

This weekend, I will be going on a trip to Bermeo to clean up a forest! I look forward to participating place this activity, as I really enjoy being surrounded by nature. In addition to this, it will allow me to take care of the environment, which is something that I consider to be very important in this day and age.

I imagine this activity will involve picking up sticks and garbage from the forest floor, as well as pulling out weeds and other plants that may be harmful for the environment. However, I am still not sure of what the activity will entail exactly, as we have not been informed all that much about it.

There are a few problems that may arise from this activity. Bad weather could ruin it for everyone, for example, as it would not enable us to work properly, especially if it rains a lot. Another problem that could be harmful for my preformance in this activity is that it takes place rather early in the morning, and I am not a morning person. Therefore, I might be too tired to help much (although I will try my best to work hard!)

Aside from these problems, I expect this activity to be fun and helpful for the environment, and I am quite excited about it.