CAS Essay

Over these two years, CAS has been a component in IB that has developed me as a person and has contributed a lot to my personal growth. The journey of CAS has been an amazing experience and has given me a bag full of achievements and memories. I have learned many new things and well, have become a pro at it ūüėõ and that would have been impossible to do without CAS.

At the start, it seemed like an additional burden with all my academic requirements. However, later on, it was one of the things that brought excitement in my life and allowed me to know who I am. Creativity, activity, and service, these components have allowed me to go out of my comfort zone and helped me identify my strengths and weakness, develop new skills, initiate events, work collaboratively with people, stay determined towards my commitment, see ethical aspects as well as do something for global significance. It has changed my life to an extent where I have started to do things that I thought I could never do in my entire life.

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The most memorable, exciting and I-could-never-do-this activity was my group project- Garba Fest. I can say that this was my first ever event where I showcased my leadership and delegation skills, which I never knew I had. The fact that I even tried to taken an initiative by myself (with a friend) is surprising, looking at my not-such-a-leader personality. This activity brought out my inner skills into execution and helped me know myself better.

Through various activities, some known and some unknown to my life, I have been a risk-taker, inquirer, principled and have tried to execute activities that morally correct. There was a time where I had to behave in the way that doesn’t harm the feelings of the underprivileged or orphaned children, which required patience and caring nature, to a great extent I had it.
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By taking part in the activities that I fear the most, I faced my biggest challenge. I had a commitment to myself that this year I would try to do things that I feared and I did. Activities, like anchoring at Kalakriti and conducting Hindi Assembly, have helped me overcome my Stage fear. This has taught me that only I can help myself to overcome my fears, which was a surprising thing to know. Throughout my life, I never aimed to try these activities just because of the lack of confidence in myself. However, now I realized that I can do whatever I want! And this was the major change in me.

Overall, CAS has been an amazing experience and I would like to take a part in these activities even after I have completed my CAS.

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CAS Personal Profile :)

Hi, my name is Swani and2016-05-05_20-53-43-1 I truly and strongly believe in this three concepts- Curiosity, Humanity and Karma. I love my country India because of its diversity in food, cultures, languages, festivals and rituals. My nationality plays an imperative role in shaping me.

I aim to do is stay positive and make others happy.  I do not like to see anyone sad, regardless of them being a stranger. Things that are important to my soul are the people I care about, family and friends. Yes, I believe in souls.

One can call me an Ambivert because the way I behave is situational. Sometimes I am quiet, especially with the people I don’t know. In contrast, I love to make new friends and know about different people from varied (especially lower) strata of the society. I am a sensitive, playful and caring person. My personality is such that I tend to empathise with people easily; it is a boon and a bane as well.

My life goal is to learn new things every day. Art is my passion and I even love to dance, listen to music and play basketball. Cute stuff like babies, puppies and little object fascinates me a lot! To Travel is what I want to do solely; knowing about distinct cultures, their life, struggles and their ideologies. I even want to try adventurous activities that require risk taking, and want to seize that small and amazing moments. That is my LIFE GOAL! Teaching is what I have started liking, and I have been taking every opportunity to pass my knowledge.

From the various issues that touch me, I feel most passionate about the labels and stereotypes that hold back our society. I wish to make a difference, small or big, which changes societal paradigms. One has to start with small steps to do something big and I actually hope that someday, I will be the reason to break a stereotype.

Being in the spotlight has always feared me. I turn down every opportunity I get to speak on stage. However, I intend to amplify my confidence through various chances that I get. Procrastination is the thing that I am working on by motivating myself and prioritising my work. I believe that change is constant, and one can positively change themselves the way they want to.

From various characteristics that define me, these are some things that make me who I am.

CAS Plan-Swani Shah

Activities Components (C/A/S) Duration with start date and end date Learning Outcomes
GROUP PROJECT- Garba Fest Creativity, Activity, Service One and half month- 15/8/15 to 10/10/2015 LO 1: Strengths and develop areas for growthLO 2: Challenges

LO 3: Initiate

LO 4: Commitment

LO 5: Working collaboratively

LO 6: Issues of global significance

LO 7:Ethicality of choices and actions

Hindi Assembly (Hindi Divas Celebration) Creativity 9/23/2015 LO 1: Strengths and develop areas for growthLO 2: Challenges

LO 4: Commitment

LO 5: Working collaboratively

LO 7:Ethicality of choices and actions”

OC- FHS Basketball 3/3 Tournament Creativity, Activity Two Days- 9/ 23/2015 to 9/25/2015 LO 1: Strengths and develop areas for growthLO 2: Challenges

LO 4: Commitment

LO 5: Working collaboratively

Creative Mela Creativity 10/17/2015 LO 1: Strengths and develop areas for growthLO 2: Challenges

LO 3: Initiate

LO 5: Working collaboratively

LO 7:Ethicality of choices and actions”

Plantation- KVP School Activity, Service 7/3/2016 LO 2: Challenges LO 4: Commitment

LO 6: Issues of global significance

LO 7:Ethicality of choices and actions”

Learning Garba Activity Three Months- 7/5/2015 to 10/5/2015 LO 1: Strengths and develop areas for growthLO 2: Challenges

LO 4: Commitment

Teaching Orphans Creativity, Activity, Service 9/19/2015 LO 2: Challenges LO 4: Commitment

LO 5: Working collaboratively

LO 6: Issues of global significance

LO 7:Ethicality of choices and actions

Anchor at Kalakriti Creativity 9/26/2016 LO 1: Strengths and develop areas for growthLO 2: Challenges

LO 3: Initiate

LO 4: Commitment

LO 5: Working collaboratively

ASTH (A step towards Humanity)- Flashmob Creativity, Activity/Service In parts- 8/30/2015 to 9/5/2015 LO 2: Challenges LO 4: Commitment

LO 5: Working collaboratively

LO 6: Issues of global significance

LO 7:Ethicality of choices and actions

FHS Basketball 3/3 Tournament Activity 9/25/2015 LO 1: Strengths and develop areas for growthLO 2: Challenges

LO 5: Working collaboratively

Planting a tree= Planting a life

‚ÄėPlant a tree, Save the Earth‚Äô was an initiation taken by Nature Club Surat and our school asked if we wanted to do something for our mother Earth. I participated as I was eager to know the process of a plantation and I also wanted to return something to nature.

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The benefits of afforestation have been drilled in my mind since three years because of taking Environmental Sciences. I learnt how human activities and urbanization has caused many environmental problems globally. And knowing that tree plantation is one of the major solutions to many problems, I really wanted to take a part in this activity. One day before the activity, I was really excited.

However, on the day of the plantation it was raining extremely heavily and we had to wake up very early in the morning as well. For once,  I was having second thoughts about should I go or not as I had to walk to the location (because of some reasons) But then, I was determined and committed to go the school where we were suppose to plant the trees. It was a laborious task to walk in heavy rains and then rigorously using your physical strength to plant.

We were informed how to plant them and where. There was a particular technique which we had to learn. Our ethical values comes into picture here, either we could be lazy and not work hard to plant each tree perfectly, or we could try to learn the perfect technique which would be best for the trees. I gave my best to learn from the experts as to what to do in each stage of plantation.

As said Big changes start with small steps. Therefore, no matter how many plants I might have planted, I still felt that I contributed to something on a larger scale.

 

Group Project- Garba Fest :D

Garba Fest was an event whose idea was an instant spark that turned into fire. I was really excited and nervous because I had never-ever organised an event in my entire life. My companion and I organised this fest in the school which was open for everyone. The motive of this fest was to raise funds for the people who need the money to fulfill their basic needs and to create awareness about women empowerment.

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No matter how much cliché it sounds, but I feel that I cannot put this feeling of success into words.


Planning

We started to plan before a month and a half. First, we thought that we should take sponsors, then we thought let’s try without external help. Being an organiser is not an easy task. We were supposed to look from all the perspectives and think what will be best for the people and what will fulfil our aims. We divided our work into different departments and kept heads and volunteer who were responsible for each department because we thought that this event needs multiple great minds to come into action.  We had to take interviews and decide the volunteer. Here the ethical part comes into the picture, we had to decide the volunteer based on their skills and special talents, rather than giving my friends an upper hand. We had to communicate and collaborate with all the heads about the venue, or the transportation or the menu of the food which we will be providing and even the decorations.

We also thought that an event like this should have a motive like it was a fundraising event. But we felt that people should go home by taking a message in their mind. Therefore, we decided to have a special performance by an organisation called ASTH, who would do a flash mob on something that has a global significance. As a result, we chose the theme Women Empowerment which is a very common theme across the world, especially in India. And while planning it out, we inferred that a speech on the regular stereotypical paradigms of society about women would leave a great impact on the audience.

Personally, one problem that I faced was in delegating the responsibilities to the volunteers. I am not usually a person, who takes leadership to do something; I usually like to decide things by myself. However, I tried to overcome that problem by myself and agreed to other’s suggestions as well. Overall, I felt that the planning required a lot of hard work but I got to know many people’s talent and also that sometimes people can surprise you.

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Execution

On the day, we had to take care of a LOT of things; from decorations to food, to every small thing. Due to this, we were running all over the school like mad people. I was amused by my stamina, though, because even after working and arranging things for the whole day, I danced in almost the whole fest (which was like 2-3 hours long). * Shoulder tap*

Well, there were many people who thought that the event would not be so great. However, after looking at our decorations and arrangements, we had a list of people who wanted to buy the passes on the spot, which clearly made me more content.

Many sudden and unexpected crises occurred on that day, one of them was the problem with mosquitoes. Although we tried our best to not kill any mosquito or not make the people feel uncomfortable, due to the limitation of the venue, we were not able to do too much about it.

At the end, I looked at the lights and felt the atmosphere around me- which was full of smiles and liveliness and enjoyment.

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Wake up with DETERMINATION, go to bed with SATISFACTION and HAPPINESS.


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Feedbacks.

This quote truly describes my emotions after the event was over. Though there was a scope for improvement and the event would have been organised much better than it was, to a great extent I was satisfied.

Overall, I had fun and it was good to know that I also have some leadership skills in myself. And the money that was collected through the fest will further be used for a good cause. Two places we already used the money were- donation to ASTH and giving food to Bhikshuk Bhojan ( A place where poor people are provided food)

 

Representation of the views by few people who attended the Fest.

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Creative Mela_Creativity

fotorcreatedCreative Mela is an event that happens once in a year. I usually do not participate in it, but this time, I took a challenge to teach grade three and four, something that was new to me too, mask making. As the event manager told me that I had to organise mask making, I had mixed feelings- excitement plus blankness.

I am an artistic person but I had to collaborate with someone who had less or no idea about art at all. My partner and I researched about various possible masks that grade three or four children would like. We took an initiative to plan the whole activity in a way that would interest all the students, even the ones who are least interested in artistic stuff. Before the activity, we added superheroes to the sample mask list and in our school meal breaks, we made sample mask to make them understand what they could do. It was extremely important that we plan and execute because if we try to be spontaneously creative and learn mask making on the day of the event, then there are high chances that the crisis would occur.

The execution was much difficult than I thought. Children were pouncing on us, especially me because they had high demands of distinct types of masks and were not willing to draw by their own. Each of them was like ‚ÄėCan you please draw this for me? Please‚Äô. Here comes the ethical part, if I drew for one child, then the other student would be disappointed. Personally, I thought that it would be morally incorrect to do that, especially to ones who want to learn from me. Therefore, what we did was that I showed them how to line-draw on the board and told them that you could copy. To a great extent, this simple idea solved this problem which made me feel satisfied.

As I have never tried mask making, I learnt that while preparing and teaching. I thought that I was not good at crafty things, but I realised that it is a natural thing to me. It was really important for me to realise this because I gained some self- confidence that I can do this too.

Due to the limited resource as well as time, we divided children into two groups- drawing and sticking. My partner and my cooperation were an important thing as it was like only two of us for thirty children. There was a moment where we both got pissed due to the constant mischievous nature of the kids, so we both decided that we will play the music of their choice. Surprisingly, this made the students happy and later on they worked how we instructed them to. This made the activity looked much more organised than before.

At the end of the day, I was both mentally and physically tired but I had a feeling of accomplishment which I thought was worth it.

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Anchoring at Kalakriti- _26-09-15_Creativity

‚ÄúThe struggle you’re in today is developing the strength you need for tomorrow‚ÄĚ Robert Tew

I have NEVER in my life imagined myself anchoring at a q4567890stage or any place at all. But there I was anchoring in Dance Sector in the Art Fest, where around fifty schools from all the cities around Surat participated in classical, folk, fusion and international dance styles.

One day, one of our teachers asked me if I can anchor for an event. And surprisingly I said yes, thinking that it’s time to try something out of my comfort zone and learn how to be good at it as well. The event was on an early morning plus on the weekend. After having a tiresome week with loads of work, I was having a second thought on my decision but eventually I was persistent to keep my word and attain the event.

At the start, we were not given a script in particular. We were informed that this is the dance sector and you have to anchor for it. I was blank. I did not have any experience in anchoring and here I was speaking without even having a blueprint of what I was supposed to do. Eventually, my companion and I collaborated and spoke spontaneously about various dance styles and the participants. As it was not planned, there were many instances where we both started speaking together and then both stopped, leaving us in awkward moments in front of more than two hundred people. Therefore we decided to speak alternatively which cleared our ways out.

After some time, there was crisis going on because new participants were coming so we had to add them as well. We were extremely confused due to the constant change in the schedule. I am not usually good at handling spontaneous problems, however, my friend and I took the initiative to help the teacher plan, organise and change things while doing our original task which was to anchor. It was a demanding job for us to handle the situations, both on and off the stage.

At the end, the event turned out to be successful, better than the outcome I expected and surprisingly perfect; on time, all the participants seemed happy and the teachers appreciated us on our contribution and helpful nature.

It gave me a lesson for future that you should be ever ready for a sudden crisis and take an initiative to try to solve or help them even if it’s not the part of your work.

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Harness your passion- Dance (Garba) _5-7-15 to 5-10-15_Activity

 


One thing which I am always ready to do is to dance. One thing that I will never stop loving is dance.


Learning a new style has always been my area of interest. As one the Indian Festival (Navratri) was coming, I got an opportunity to learn Garba- an energetic folk dance of Gujarat.

I have always seen people doing Garba and also tried itdsc_0056 myself. Therefore, I knew some basics of it.The moment I started learning, I started loving it more. We learnt different numbers of Garba, 32 which has thirty- two steps and 12 which have twelve. As I knew some basics, at the start it became for me to learn but later on as the steps became longer, it became difficult to mesmerize them with perfection. After learning the majors, we started to dance on fast beats which were challenging at the start but eventually I accepted and adapted the course.

I actually developed the technique to flow with the flow, like the lachak (suppleness) which was not an easy part for me. I learned that by practising the dance style on a daily basis. I was enjoying every moment but then diminishing marginal utility happened. And I was losing interest in the latter weeks. Although I made sure that I learned variations in hand moments which kept my interest; helping me to stay committed to attaining practices daily.

The after effect of learning Garba was the one that was like a cherry on the cake. We organized a Garba Fest in which I could implement my new learning and it helped me to cherish every moment to the fullest.

ASTH- Practicing Humanity_30-08-15 to 10-10-15_Creativity/Activity/Service

‚ÄúDance to express, not to impress‚ÄĚ

ASTH (A step towards Humanity) is an organization that was started by some of my companions, havin12106937_865988956854842_6637523729630105771_ng the aim to create awareness about current problems of the society/world in a creative manner.

I have always participated in activities that have dance in it, though for the first time I danced for a cause. I relished the times that we spend for practicing and performing.

5th September 2015– Our first flash mob was on teacher‚Äôs day and its theme was ‚ÄėEducation for all‚Äô. We had to dance with the under-privileged children from DISHA NGO (which is the major cause of this event). I was dedicated to the practices that we had. However, the timings were hectic and I learned how to manage while completing all my academics work as well as stay committed in all the practices.img_1534

Before the last week of our performance, we had regular practice after school which was demanding and laborious, yet I attained each one of them. Simultaneously, with practicing we made many posters so the intensity of the impact on the people increases when words are added.

After this performance, we asked people in the mall if they could give money to a charity to educate the children of DISHA NGO. I was surprised by the responses that people gave; they were ready to give as much as they could.

The idea of this theme was strong and was of global significance.

As we asked the children to dance with us, therefore we had to make sure that we do not make them feel out of the place in front of the audience.

One of the problems that we faced was that the sound system of the mall was not good enough to grab everyone’s attention which decreased the intensity of the impact that could have been created. Although we tried our best to pass on the message to as many people as we could.

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At the start my plan was to take part only in one flash mob, however, as the first flash mob was amazing,  I participated in the second flash mob whose theme had a soft corner in my heart and I felt strongly about it.


 

10th October¬†2015- In an event called Garba Fest and our theme was¬†‚ÄėWomen Empowerment‚Äô. 12122842_865971273523277_6182398611891158077_nThe best part about this event was the suddenness in which our performance started. We chose the songs based on the theme of the event, which was India‚Äôs folk dance Garba. One funny thing was that people started dancing with us normally. From our previous experience with the speakers and music, we improved the speaker quality to get louder which certainly caught more attention and created a stronger impact.

At the end of the performance, we gave a small speech about empowering women of India as a small change will lead to a big one. One thing that we knew from the audience’s lively response, was that somewhere they understood our message fulfilling our purpose.

 

 

Hindi Divas- Celebrating India’s Official Language _23-09-15_Creativity

Picture5Hindi is a language that I study on my daily basis¬†but for the first time we celebrated a day for it. Hindi Divas was a fun event as we had to organize the activities which we played on daily basis. Out of three activities, Naomi and I were the head of ‘Arre Bhai Kehna Kya Chahte Ho?’ which had two rounds: First was Dumb Charades (Songs) and second was Taboo (Movies). We conducted the whole game, made rules, and decided the movies and songs. There will be two teams- Grade 11 and grade 12.

My companion and I worked together to decide the rules, movies and songs. We had few meetings with the event coordinators in which we had to show our plan and progression. 

Though sometimes the meeting were boring but I attended most of them, which portrays my dedication towards the activity.Picture2

I got frustrated when the seniors claimed that we have given easier movies/songs to the other grade by which they doubted our integrity. However, we informed them that we were honest with them and before the game started we made the team pick their own ‚Äėteam letter‚Äô. By this, they agreed and in a way I felt confident.

Due to the tight schedule and limited time, we did not justify the game and participants had less chance to play. It felt like when the players were getting the hang of it, the activity got over. Yet, we managed to make it as enjoyable as possible.

It was a challenge for me because I have never conducted any activity where the spotlight is on me. At start I was nervous, however, when I saw the participants who were extremely enthusiastic about the activity, the level of my nervousness reduced. I am that kind of a person who cannot speak in public, yet, it changed me in a way that it made me more confident about myself. The activity was small, but its effect was much big for me.

I wished we could get more time to organize the activity. Even so, I enjoyed a lot as we go an opportunity to organize one sector and also participate in other activities.

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