This was the first plantation activity that I have participated in, and it has helped me know nature in a new way. I always enjoyed spending time close to nature, but never liked to get dirty. This activity has taught me to step out of my comfort zone, for a cause bigger than myself.
One of the challenges that I faced was being consistent. Since this activity was planned before school hours I would have to wake up early in the morning. Although I had second thoughts about getting out of bed, I realised that it is necessary participate in activities that do not benefit me directly, but helps a greater cause.
Working collaboratively with my fellow classmates helped us work in a much orderly fashion that made the activity more fun. The ethical considerations that we had to consider were to not use fertilizers or pesticides that would harm the ecosystem that the plants were a part of, and let them grow naturally.
Playing basketball requires a lot of stamina which I lack. The nature of the sport is such that it requires a player to sprint up and down the court continuously. To overcome the flaw in my performance I needed to improve my stamina. In order to this, I picked up cycling as an activity. For it to be effective I had to be consistent. This activity taught me to make time for important things despite the long school hours, and be persistent.
Another reason that I picked up cycling as an activity was because it was eco-friendly as compared to working out at an air conditioned gym. Another thing that I had to consider was to ride responsibly to prevent accidents which would harm not only me but other people.
Music has always been a significant part of my life. And guitar was the instrument that would interest me the most. I could play while practising alone; but playing music in front of an audience was something that I thought I just couldn’t do. The idea of a stage and so many people staring at you would send shiver down my spine. But I only thought that I couldn’t do it.
When I started to learn how to play the guitar, my intentions were never to play in front of an audience. I was intimidated by the idea of it. But then I thought of it as a challenge and an opportunity for personal growth. Extinguishing the fear of performing in front of an audience for once and for all. After the division of groups the next big issue was to select a song. It was really hard to select a song because every member in the group had different choices and different opinions. All most all the initial practices would be wasted in zeroing down on the song. There was obvious lack of cooperation and coordination in our band. So we all took a final call and decided upon a song that would be challenging for us and help us develop our playing skills. This way we avoided wasting further practice sessions and develop everyone’s skills at the same time. What I realized was that I was the least experienced player on the band and after some practices my eyes were opened to the fact that I was lacking the skills to catch up to the other band members. I practiced every day to catch up to the pace at which the other band members were going. After 3 weeks of daily practice, I could play along with the other band members. We could coordinate the beats, the vocals and the guitar part and the over all pace.
Overall this was a great experience for me as I overcame a major fear that could have potentially held me back from seizing opportunities in the future. Other than that while practicing daily, the instrument became an even more significant part of my life and a newly found, productive stress buster. Learning how to play guitar even enabled me to break down the different layers of music and appreciate different kinds of music.
It is human nature to fear the unknown. Participating in tournaments that are held in your city gives you an advantage because all the teams have players you’re familiar with and know their game, but participating in a tournament held in another city, is like sailing on unknown tides. This was one of the biggest challenges that I faced in this tournament.
To expect any sort of results out of anything, it is mandatory to put in efforts. Although my team and I had very little time to practice for the tournament as the tournament was right after the school reopened after the Diwali break, my team and I made it a point to practice as often as we could in whatever time we had left.
Michael Jordan once said, “Talent wins games, but teamwork and intelligence win championships”. I knew that if we wanted to perform well in this tournament, we had to work together as a team. Being the PG of our team, it was my responsibility to make sure that the whole team was well coordinated and collaborated.
One of the skills that I learned through this tournament is how to think on your feet, by which I mean how to spontaneously come up with defensive strategies after reading your opponent’s offense. This taught my team and me how to communicate on the court to set up an effective defensive formation.
It is important to always keep a good sportsman spirit irrespective what your opponents do. During our second match, our opponent team was not as spirited as one would expect them to be. Unethical behavior was displayed such as sledding in the middle of the game and intentional fouls. Though it was hard to keep our spirit during the game, we realized that it would be unethical to behave as our opponents to get back at them. Instead, we kept our calm, and we won the game with our performance.
Going to Basketball tournaments was usual. But winning one, was rare. Khel Mahakumbh was a government held tournament that took place annually for every sport. Khel Mahakhumbh is one of the toughest tournaments as people are more motivated by the cash price.
This was the first time that we were participating in an open category tournament which was quite a challenge. We knew that there would be players from senior team who would be much more experienced than us. So we took an initiative of attending maximum practices for at least 3 weeks before the tournament.
Basketball is a team game and requires coordination no matter what. One man can win a game but as a team you can win a title. Playing strategically and with my team is what I learnt from this tournament.
Shooting three-pointers is what I always feared. Very recently I developed the arm strength required for shooting three-pointers and had not yet mastered my aim. So I hesitated to shoot three pointers in the beginning, fearing getting disapproval from my teammates. But when I tried and fail once or twice, my teammates were quite supportive of it and I did the same in return. In later matches I did score a couple of threes. I learnt to play collaboratively and overcame one of the major challenges that I faced.
We won the first match with quite a point difference. The opponent team objected saying that we were not eligible to play in the tournament. Their actions delayed the tournament by quite some time and due to their appeal and the tournament was reset. In the later knockout stages we had to play against them. We could either to play unethically or play with spirit. Though their body language was quite negative, they were cursing and trying to injure our players. But our coach encouraged us to hold back our anger and play with ethics and spirit.
The outcome was better than expected. Our practices had payed off. What we took back home that day was more than medals, trophy or certificate. We took home a live example that through commitment and perseverance we and achieve anything. We also learnt that no matter what we should play with spirit. We should work in silence and let our success speak.
FS3/3 was a Basketball event that I organised in collaboration with my friends. As I was always fond of the sport, I was inclined towards organising a basketball event. But it goes without saying that no event is without challenges and no event is a success without overcoming those challenges. What I couldn’t realise was when and how did the event become reality from just an idea.
The planning stage was the toughest as we had to figure out a lot of the things. We needed permissions and confirmations from different ends to make it happen. We faced the real challenge when we had to come up with ideas to make the tournament unique. Thinking of something that would set our tournament apart from the other tournaments. Since the 3 on 3 formats was not popular in the city, we thought the 3 on 3 formats would just do the trick.
Coordinating with the sponsors was another challenge. We had to achieve different people to sponsor us not knowing whether they would agree to help our cause or not. We literally had to go every day to different sponsors and sometimes more than thrice for a single sponsor. I always knew that being an 11th-grade student, convincing the sponsors was not going ti be easy and would require running around after them from the day we had started to plan this event till the day the event had ended. I knew it required to be dedicated and committed. We ended up with Uber Cabs, My FM, My Mobile, Dairy Corner and Mini Meals as our sponsors.
While planning the tournament, we decided that we would only spread the word and expect the player from Surat. Because it was the first time that the tournament was taking place and it had no reputation, good or bad. But we took up the challenge and invited teams from other cities such as teams from Ahmedabad which showed up.
I took up the responsibility of designing the logo. The reason why I took it up was because graphics was my weak point and this was an opportunity to work on my weakness. There were some ethical issues that had come up later with my design as I had manipulated the school logo to create our logo, which was approved by our HOS at first, but later the logo was questioned. It was still unclear as to whose fault it was, or was it just a communication problem but the issue was sorted out later.
It was not an event that I had organised alone. I had two other people who had organised it with me. Initially, we tried ti keep our organising team as small as possible as the credit for the success would be divided only amongst the three of us. But as it turns out an event can be successful when more people work at it and the work is divided. Then we appointed the volunteers for managing different departments of the event such as photography, registration, food etc. Becuase we worked collaboratively the event was successful enough.
One other ethical consideration was that out court is located just beside an orchard. The trees were home to a lot of birds. But with that came a lot of bird droppings on the court. So we had small but loud explosions to scare away the birds from their homes.
The execution was the toughest part. A lot of things had ti go our way. The weather, for example, was not in our control. It could rain anytime as the even was on 25th of September. Managing the event as it progresses and making decisions on your feet is an entirely different experience. Also with managing the event, I also took part in the event. So it was very important that I be fair and play according to the rules. Not being biassed towards my own team and accept whatever the outcome was.
What I learnt from this event was working hard and planning ahead helps. There were some obvious flaws that we as tournament directors will improve upon. This event taught me that you something that you want to achieve is never achieved instantly. You have to work for it over a period of time. Another skill that I learnt was taking sound decisions on my feet and being fair.
The world Culture festival 2016 was a celebration of the Art of Living’s 35 years of service, humanity, spirituality and human values. It took place on March 11-13, 2016 in New Delhi, India. The festival celebrated the diversity in cultures from across the world while simultaneously highlighting its unity as a human family.
“We are inspired to continue with more enthusiasm and greater speed to realize the dream, where life becomes a celebration and the world will become one family. The World Culture Festival is a celebration of achievements and a vision to do better” says Gurudev Sri Sri Ravi Shankar. Ravi Shankar sermonises on controlling one’s feelings and emotions in addition to being a staunch supporter of inter-religious harmony.
I participated in this remarkable fest. The experience was incredible as I got to perform on such a grand platform. This opportunity not only helped me overcome my stage fear, but also helped me develop my confidence. I developed new dance skills while preparing for this event. To prevent any mistakes, the rehearsals for this fest began quite a few time ago, since November 2015.
The garba classes that I participated in helped me develop new skills very quickly. Managing school with these rehearsals was challenging, but I learnt to adapt it to in sometime. I realises commitment towards these rehearsals was very important, as I had to perform my best on the stage in front of millions of people.
The most incredible moment was it rained heavily, and people from different countries, from various cultures came together and danced as one unit. It was an unbelievable moment for all the participants. The happiness and positive vibes created during that time made me feel impeccable. I realised that at the end of the day, all of us were humans who enjoyed thoroughly without letting different race, culture changing their minds.
Countries such as Mexico, Rome, Spain, Namibia, Czech Republic, Sri Lanka, Russia, Brazil, Lithuania, Belarus, Philippines, China, Hungary, Argentina and many more participated in the event and portrayed different dance cultures of their countries. It was a beautiful sight to learn about difference dances, even Indian dances, such as Bharatnatyam, Odissi, Assamese Bihu, Punjabi Bhangra and such like.
It was one of the most breathtaking journeys I’ve experienced till now. It was a moment of sheer joy and merriment.
Below is one of the practice videos that happened in Ahmedabad, Gujarat. I’m in the first column, 3rd row, wearing a Pink and Yellow Kurti.
My name is Khushi Shah and I study in 12th standard. I have been in Fountainhead since 4th standard, so one can easily imagine the number of memories and experiences I have with this block of building that I now call my second home. Unlike many students, I love coming to school. Not just for friends, but I also enjoy the study (though only at times).
My biggest talent that my friends and family have helped me identify is my ability to balance sports and studies. I am a regularly play soccer and I am known as a sportsperson by everyone. When I go for tournaments, I miss a lot of days at school and IB is tough if you miss a single class. Hence, coping with studies, attending practice sessions and managing social life – all very imperative – was difficult but fun in its own way. Because, by the end of the day I was felt satisfied with the productivity as no time had been wasted.
There are a lot of things that I enjoy doing. I love reading, listening to people, spending time with friends and family, eating favorite food, meeting old friends, making new friends, exploring new places and many other small things that help make the bigger picture.
The concept of delayed gratification was something I was very good at maintaining. However, now I do what I like first and not what is necessary. I need to work on that which will help me as I save the pleasure for later and get the work done before with good quality.
I want to be involved in a local NGO that helps underprivileged children or does something for the environment regularly. Perhaps, also a random act of kindness. I have done all of these and I would continue doing them in the future, with more involvement.
My outlook on life? Well, I would say just be happy. Don’t complicate stuff and do what makes you happy. I am still working on that myself, I have trouble enjoying the present all the time. I have realised recently that I am a more happier person than I was and that’s an achievement.
There’s something that I really bothers me and would love to do something about that. The generation gap. I know that it’s inevitable but there are so many repercussions to those difference of thoughts. Families fall apart, divorces take place, fights, suicides and many other things. All of these because everyone wants to hold on to what they think is right and not even listen to what other person has to say. I make sure that there is minimal issues because of difference in views. We usually come to a consensus that both agree upon.
There are so many things that I wish to do but haven’t done yet. Go on hikes on uncharted routes, adventures such as skydiving, learn new sports(surfing) and travel alone at least once. All in all, I make sure that happiness is not a destination, it is a way of life.
The entire CAS journey has been riveting. The most striking one is obviously my project work which is organizing the entire Surat Ultimate Open(SUO) 2015. The catch was that we wanted to do something completely different, which means more work to get the desired effect.
Another activity that comes into my is Football. Throughout these 2 years of IB, i’ve attended various competitions and have been practicing weekly at last. Football, I have realized is one thing that keeps me sane. With all the deadlines and submissions, some sort of physical exercise keeps me energetic.
I could so easily connect IB learner profiles to the learning from CAS activities, which has helped me in recognizing my strengths and weaknesses, such as:
Risk-taker – when I had to play basketball with an entirely new team and a completely new sport.
Communication – communicating with the team members is important (FS 3/3)
Balance – As I give equal importance to sports and education, it becomes vital that I set a balance in time required for both of them.
One thing I have instilled within me is that you shouldn’t leave a single opportunity to appreciate anyone. What my project work basically taught me that complain about someone person to person, but when you have to appreciate them, do it in front of everyone. This really creates a good impression plus is makes me feel good.
I realize I have become more patient with everything. I was known to be very impatient. But not so anymore. I believe that is because of all the activities that I have done so far.
I faced a lot of difficulties through these activities, however, whenever I needed help with anything there always was someone to guide me the right way. When I was stuck with deciding volunteers for SUO, I had lot of internal problems. I needed someone to help me sort me off.
I found Learning Outcome 6 was the most difficult to achieve which is demonstrate engagement with issues of global significance. However, i was able to achieve that in some of the cases such as when I went to play Subroto cup, Literature fest, Naggar trip, Karma kitchen and VA.
All in all, I’m CAS was there as it gave me an opportunity to explore my potential in various aspects.