Essay -“One day your life will flash before your eyes. Make sure it’s worth watching” ― Gerard Way
The CAS component has given me an abundance of opportunities to learn, grow/develop, explore, but most importantly, it has given me doors that I would have never stepped in earlier. Creativity, Activity and Service were a stress-buster with sincerity. It has not only motivated me to take various roles that I always wanted to do, but has also made me a better person with essential skills required in life. The compulsory component of CAS was spread over the course of two years, I tired to be fair (ethical), put in my sincere efforts and give qualitative work (perseverance and commitment) throughout the time period.
I have tried to put in my heart and soul in all the activities done throughout, however, FSMUN 2.0 is an activity that reflects my learning and enjoyment of the CAS process. Attending a MUN for the first time, feeling like a newcomer, and still having major responsibilities. My role in the FSMUN organization committee was that of the head of the logistics and the finance department. FSMUN experience was something different, it is special because of my personal engagement with the whole project. It was the most impressive activity because it tested my physical and mental strength both. The amount of hard-work put in by everyone was immense. The activity judged the patience that I had built. However, through all the downs, appreciating the ups, neglecting the flaws, and loving the recognition of winning the best OC award. As Mother Teresa says “There is more hunger for love and appreciation in this world than for bread”.
“The aim of the IB programme is to develop internationally minded people who, recognizing their common humanity and guardianship of the planet, help to create a better and more peaceful world.” As IB learners we strive to implement various learner profiles in the CAS activities performed. Mostly all the learner profiles were implemented in different activities. The four major ones were thinkers, communicators, reflective and balanced. Using critical and creative thinking skills to analyze and take responsible action on complex problems is what thinkers are expected to do. During Garba fest, there were some issues regarding the payment and the malpractice regarding the passes had took place, as soon as I got to know, being the head of the finance department, I had to take a decision. I went to the higher authority and then solved the case internally, as being fair to others was also important. Being a leader or taking up a role requires a effective communication. During Bal Mela using the local language to communicate with underprivileged children or during the meetings for events to communicate effectively, seek perspectives and honest feedbacks, habit 5 of mutual understanding had to be put in practice ‘seek first to understand and then to be understood’. In collaboration with the learner profile ‘Reflective’, the habit of mutual benefit ‘think win-win’ played a role. During the flashmob event we thoughtfully considered the world issues and our own creative ideas and experience to perform it. We ‘synergized’ (the habit of creative cooperation) to work and understand our strengths and weaknesses, so that we have mutual respect and trust towards each other, We reflected our past learning on the issue of education, in order to support our mission as well as for personal development. Following the habit of integrity and execution, habit 3 ‘put first things first’, the learner profile balanced was implemented. Considering the importance and not the urgentness of different aspects, I planned my scheduled (‘begin with the end in mind’, the habit 2 of vision), deadlines were kept, and priorities were identified. Issue of time management with balancing the social life, family/friends time, school work and CAS-work had always occurred, but then the interdependence of our work with others was also something to be kept in mind. Valuing the IB learner profiles has helped me to become responsible and work effectively.
No individual can work alone in isolation for a long period of time. We need support and help to make a difference. Through work in groups and various people, being an introvert I have opened a little bit because I had to approach various people and for that I also had to learn to communicate effectively. I had learn to be patient and calm to make calculated decision as it was vital. About others I learnt that it is a human tendency to be selfish, show power and apply authority where not needed, take actions and decision in hurry which are against our ethics and values and later regret them, etc. But most important thing about relations that I understood during the CAS process was, mixing of leadership and management roles with that of our personal relations. We have been hearing about how to keep our professional and personal lives separate, but when it comes to our friends and family we always have our biases that played a role during many of the events, which raised various issues too. However, to overcome all the difficulties I had the school authority to approach, in personal cases I had my family (especially parents) and friends to help me get through it. Nothing is waste, I have always learned something or the other from all the activities, it has benefitted us in mental/physical ways. Combining the whole experience, all the IB attitudes like appreciation (being grateful), independence (not relying on others), commitment (not giving up and completing the activities), cooperation (synergizing), integrity (doing ethical work and being honest), tolerance (accepting others), and respect I have developed through the time period.
Out of all the learning outcomes, learning outcome 3 “Initiate and plan a CAS experience” required the greatest amount of work/efforts and time. It is because we were required to do from scratch, starting from having ideas to its execution. Bal-Mela being my CAS project work came under this learning outcome. This the process for Balmela form tis planning to execution lasted for seven months. It was successful event. However, before the few days of execution I fell ill, therefore, the load of work fell on my other partners. Other difficulties regarding management and materials occurred, however, due to a wide span of time and with a large working team, we were able to control the things happening. All of us were committed as we used to come early to complete the work. I also believe that the process of effective communication helped as we were able to update each other about the process and the good understanding between the three of us lead to smooth process with no fights. Though we did not give up, I felt that Investing so much time on one activity and balancing the other work becomes difficult. Hence, it was challenging for me to achieve this learning outcome more than once.
As Ralph Waldo Emerson says “Nothing great was ever achieved without enthusiasm”, I was really enthusiastic about this component of IB and now after completing this, I believe that I have achieved a lot. I would love to take this forward in life, by sharing, using and adding to my learning and experiences. Taking opportunities to help others and put in efforts to make the world a better place, I aim to do parts CAS all my life.
CAS apart from being the fun part of the diploma programme is a process of developing life skills, growing as a human being, and most importantly it is about learning. CAS has also strengthened the bond between us friends by building our trust. Remembering all the activities done throughout the process is like walking down the memory lane. CAS has given me a lot of things, but most importantly, it has given me memories in form of treasure to hold to myself.