CAS Project: Nursery

Two of my friends and I decided to work on a CAS project together due to our similar thoughts and opinions. At the beginning, it was difficult to narrow down our ideas however there was one thing which remained the same that we wanted to do something to benefit our society or something which could help us take a step towards sustaining our environment and the beauty of nature. It was then decided that we would build a small nursery in our school and also plant some education related plants. This idea was something which, no one had ever done in the school, therefore, we thought it might be good to start with something like this.

As we were three of us, it was easy to divide work in the planning part. We collaborated with one of Nature Club’s member who helped and guided us along. At, the beginning it was difficult to figure out things but I actually believed that the plan will work. However, as we kept on planning, we realized that the mystery is solving and the project might turn out to be a success. As it was a plantation activity is all under the category of Activity and Service.

The planning stage was the most difficult part of the whole CAS project experiences. We had to sit and brainstorm about the perfect place, the suitable plants to grow, the soil that needed to be orders, the bags, how will manage to get more volunteers and after we leave the school, who will take care of the nursery. So, what we did has we distributed the work and did come early to school, which was quite challenging considering the ongoing submission that we had. The work of coordinating with the nature club guy, selection the seeds, finding the proper place, sending out the form and informing people about the project was all distributed amongst the three of us, which made our life easy. There were instances where there was a lot of miscommunication however, it got sorted after a while.

After making a foolproof plan, was when the actual problems started. It was informed to us that the soil needed will not be available for a long time, some of the plant seeds that needed to be planted were not available and many such things were just not falling into place. All the three of us got worked up and the project had actually stopped for 2 months. After this span of time, we realized that the weather conditions might not be appropriate and thus, decided to start working on the project again.

The place that was initially decided was changed to a different place, there was less soil available, and only limited seeds were there. Also, due to the shift in the project work many volunteers denied to be there and we were left with just 4 to 5 volunteers. It was hard to manage with 4-5 volunteers and therefore, we had to come early to school daily to complete our work. There were times where we felt like leaving the project and do something else, however, our aim to do something valuable kept us going and we did complete the project.

The project didn’t turn out to be as expected however, we gave our best with the resources that were available to us. Also, we made sure not to harm any other living organisms (plants, etc.) while planting and also, used resources appropriately. There were in fact no or just a little waste accumulated. As there are places that are deforested, it felt good to actually plant some plants and contribute some positive factor to the society. This was a small scale project (only in the school), however, later in my life, I would like to continue doing good work like this.

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A Day Well Spent…!!

Isn’t it true  that we humans are never happy with what we have?  We always want more and are never satisfied with  what we actually have. Let me give you an example. We children, keep cribbing about how irritating,nagging or controlling our parents are and may not recognize the important of them in our life sometimes. However, we forget that we are so lucky to have them. To live a life with them and to live it to the fullest. There are so many kids around the world, who are not as luck as us. Some children are abandoned, some are lost or some who just  lose their parents in some accidents.

We now have many schools and orphanages to take care of children like them. Though, there is no harm if we help and make a difference in the lives of these kids too. We are capable  of helping those kids and we should. I believe  that, there is no better thing in the world than seeing a smile on a person’s face, and specially when you know you are the reason behind it.

There are many organizations and schools, who take charge of taking care of orphans and give them a better life. My teachers and my classmates decided to put in our share and spend a day with those kids and make it worth it  for them. We could not call kids from different areas, however some of the kids from one of the schools in Surat were invited to our school. This was our way to help some of the many kids who live like them. We knew, that making a difference for a huge population  was not in our hand. Thus,  I believed why not take baby steps and start with a small group and if it goes smoothly, we could gradually take bigger steps.

There were many kids that came to our school, and it was not easy for just one or two people to handle them and carry out all the planned activities. We are approximately 15 to 20 people who planned and executed all the activities as decided. There were various activities, the ones who were good at handling kids and making them participate and play game were responsible for those activities, few of them were responsible to make thank you gifts for them, few were responsible to get them to dace, few were responsible to click their photographs. Distributing duties made the process very simple and smooth. There were no major issues we faced, and all the activities went according  to the plan.

In the beginning it was difficult to get the kids to talk and build up a bond so that they could share things with with. Also, my personality is such that I can not easily open up with people and get them talking. I tried smiling and showing some kind gestures, because of which I saw a positive response.  Soon, I started sharing things and Saw that they shared things with me too. Also, due to the difficulty in talking to them I felt like i should back out and tell someone else to take charger. However, I had to overcome this, and I did it. The most difficult part was when I had to handle one of the kids who was very naughty and did not listen to things. Though, I realised that the more calmly I handle him and not shout or force the kid he will try and listen to what I have to say and make him participate in activities.

I had to be carefully, and tal in a subtle and polite manner with all the kids who had come to our school. Even, though sometimes it was difficult to get them to talk, I had to be patient instead of forcing them or making them uncomfortable. Also, I did take care of the questions i asked them and the way I talked them, as I had to be thoughtful about their feelings and emotions.

Some  thoughts that cross my mind are:  this event was scheduled only for a day and there were limited amout of kids. What about the other kids like them? Who does take responsibility for them? Does organizing these activities mean that we were able t make a difference? Did the way we talk to the kids not hurt them? Were we successful enough?

It was really mind-altering to spend a day with these kids. We may feel very sympathetic towards them and feel sorry for the. We may also think that, they are lack of opportunities and thus can not achieve what they want to. After spending a day with these kids, I think not only me but they made a difference in my life to.  They taught me that how  hope, courage, aim and the desire are the strongest elements of life and are not merely some words.

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To sum up everything, I believe and I always will believe that, “When you help other people, you help yourself.It’s impossible to not feel great when you do good to other people”. This may just be the saying, but when a person begins to helps other is when they truly understand the meanining of this saying.

Arts Special…

I have always liked to listen to songs, and more than that I have liked to sing along. I always hoped that I would learn singing and be able to perform some day. I was in grade 6 when  by chance I got selected for the inter house singing competition along with one of my friend and came 3rd. It was quite surprising…however there were just 4 participating entries and so the results did not seemed impossible. In grade 11, I suddenly decided to take up singing as my arts special and at least perform one song in front of an audience.

I was very excited  to learn and understand the concepts of singing. My  strengths were the interest and the curiosity I had for learning and practising singing (as singing amazingly, could not be considered as one of my strengths for obvious reasons). Moreover, gradually I realised that my voice was not as bad as I thought it was and that little bit of dedication and hard work would help me achieve what I wanted to. Additional, one of my important strengths were that I grasped things quickly. Therefore, I decided to attain as much knowledge and feedback as possible and learn wholesome amount of skills that I could in the available span of time.

I took up signing willingly and was confident I will be able to do my best. However, after attending few classes I started to loose my confidence. There were people who really sung brilliantly and I almost left like an outsider who knew nothing. Sir, who teched us signing did motivate all of us and never compared us with one another. Still, I was not able to again my confidence back. Later after some practice and the day when sir, said “Well done Jigyasha” was when I regained the faith in me. To add on, singing in front of the class and signing alone was quite embarrassing and difficult for me at first. Though, when I got used to it and noticed that all the people in my class never judged each other and instead motivated each other, was when I sang freely.

There were times when it was tedious to practise the same rhythm/song again and again and I found it useless to continue these classes. Also, there was academic pressure (all the deadlines, exams and everything was due soon) which drifted away my interest and dedication for singing. Luckily, I realised time management and polishing one skill at a time was an answer. I gave suitable amount of time for my academics and for signing and realised that it wasn’t such a great problems at all Additionally, I also accepted the fact that learning the same skilled again and again actually took me one step closer to being better at that skill and a better singer. These realizations kept be going and prevented me from not opting out form my singing classes.

After few classes it was announced that, in the AS Performance event we had to perform/ showcase all that we had learned during the AS classes (vocals). I was performing with two other girls from my grade. Both the girls were much better, in fact trained singer and I was just a beginner. This fact always kept me nervous and my confidence at level zero. I had difficulties matching with their pace, and it got difficult to sing  collaboratively.though, as a result of practising together and distributing selected line to each person our song came out beautifully, and all the three of us shined in our own different way. Even after many difficulties, on the day of our performance though i was very nervous our performance was quite impressive. It is very true that working together has its own benefits. We could cover up if one of us forget a part of the song, each of us got to sing and show our talents equally and our voices together created a magnificent impact.

All in all, it was a wonderful experience and if possible in future I would like to learn more. I do believe that music is one of the greater stress relievers. I often find myself singing songs when I am sad and that really cheers me up. Listening to songs and singing songs always makes me happy and songs always convey things that help you understand and relate to your life is a better way.


Hindi Divas

Every Year Hindi Divas is celebrated in our school, with a lot of enthusiasm . This event is celebrated throughout all the grades. It used to be a one week celebration and consisted of various activities. We were exposed to hindi by all the possible fun activities. However, this year the celebration was quite different. It was in a form of a friendly game session between grade 12 and 11 for about one and a half hour.  Some students from grade 11 had planned all the activities/games for the session and two of the students were the main coordinator. Aarsh and I had to plan one of the activity named “Yeh kaunsa Dialogue hai”. The game had three rounds and in two of the rounds, the participants had to guess the dialogues and in the third one they had to act the given dialogue. Three teachers were chosen as the judges for this game. Planning the game was easy, however optimal usage of hindi was an issue. Therefore, planning the game was not a tough job, but making sure that we include everything in hindi was a problem. As, a result I shortlisted many hindi dialogues and consulted my teachers and then finalized the dialogues.

I have never planned an activity for a class or took over any leadership authorities. Planning the activity was one thing, but executing was my bigger challenge. I already have stage fear and facing four grade together and making sure that I handle the game properly was my concern. However, another challenge for me was to make the game as enjoyable as possible. It as strictly instructed by the teachers that everything needs to be in hindi, therefore while shortlisting the dialogues I had to cancel a lot of my options. Still, I managed to plan a fun game with the maximum usage of hindi. Integrating bollywood was the best possible way to make this game fun and also inculcate the language. I thought that I might not be able to handle the two teams (grade 11 and 12), but it was not that hard. I went up on the stage and very calmly  started the activity. I learned that if I decided to do something then I can even face my fears. This was a very small scale activity, but it did build my confidence.

Working together is always beneficial. It gives scope for improvements, better ideas , more perspectives and a stronger planning. Aarsh and I were working together. This helped us finalizing things quickly, it saved our time and we could share both our opinions and then later conclude which one would work the best. I could not have handled everything on my own, therefore having somebody to help was very supportive. Working together limits the mistakes and the things that could have been forgotten. When I forgot something, Aarsh would cover up and when he did , I did the same. Working together gave rise to more ideas, and as a result we did plan a very interesting topic.

I took the responsibility to plan the activity, so I had to be committed towards it and not take anything for granted. I had to make sure that  I communicate with the coordinators of the event and my hindi teachers to know about their expectations regarding this assembly. While giving ideas, I made sure I did not suppress anyone’s perspective and also listened to different point of view. As Aarsh and I were working together, I also had to respect his opinion and work with tranquility. I  made sure that no dialogue is offense and the way we addressed each question is not not hurtful to any of the participant’s. Also , we were fair with both the teams, as the chit system decided which team would go first. However, during the game was going on I did say something hurtful to Aarsh and later when I realised my mistake I apologized to him in front of the class.

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Garba Fest

Garba fest was an initiative taken by two of my classmates, and was basically a school event. It was done for a social cause. I was the part of the Organizing committee. Two members were given the duty to manage the finance for the event , one of them was me.The finance department not only had to do the money work , but also had to coordinate with the other departments. Being a part of the organizing committee, made me realize the benefits of working together and the need to collaborate. It was a big event, therefore prior planning was essential. There was a lot of work to do before the day of the actual event. I had to make sure that I am doing justice to my duty and was committed towards it. In the beginning when things did not work like the way I want them too; it got really difficult to manage further. A lot of times I did not feel like  putting in my best and just agree with what the others were planning for the event. When, I realised that things were not going accordingly, I decided to work with Integrity. I checked the progress of the other departments. I saw the finance sheet and the budget needed for the event. I was also convincing people to come for the event. Doing all of this work made me realised my commitment towards the event. I checked the budget sheet daily to assure, everything is on a right track. I communicated with  people from other  departments and checked every single detail.   

Planning for an event, is where teamwork is at its best. The finance department would not work  if there were no other departments. All the people of different departments had to work together to make sure that  the event is  a success. When we used to discuss what all things have been done and what are the pending things, we found out that there were other departments that needed help. So, I did not mind doing things apart from the duty assigned to me. This is one of the benefit of working in a team, when in need there is always plenty of help. I also received help for the duty that I was assigned for.  This made our work easier, and we could assess our own work and make the necessary changes before the event Just few days before the event, some of the organizing committee members and I went to our school teachers to make sure that, everything is going smoothly. When we discussed everything and critically analysed every aspect, we soon realised that some of the  things could been done is a better manner We started taking the responsibility, and made some changes in the menu for the food and added items for snacks. I also made sure that there are enough materials such as glasses for the drinks to be served. Hetvi and I then  made changes in the finance sheet accordingly.Slitting in teams made our jobs easier, as to which part we need to focus on. However, our duties  were not limited to the department we were assigned to. Everybody made sure they helped the other departments so that the planning and execution of the event is accomplished.

This was an event done for charity purposes. Though, it is vital to consider the fact that this event was just organized for one time. So, what about the rest of the time? Who will be helping the ones in need after this event was over?  Also, there were many helpers to manage the  work on the day of the event. I made sure that I communicated with them with respect . During the planning stage,(as it was a group effort)  I had to respect all the viewpoints and also ensure that I voice my opinion with respect. During the budgeting stage I ensured that budget was divided between departments in a way that good quality products could be bought at cheaper rates, without compromising on the quality.

All in all, being the part of the organizing committee made me learn how to budget for an event. I did put in my efforts for budgeting but also helped the other departments such as food, therefore, I realised that I could multi task and also work at my best potential in a team.  The event was a great success.
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Creative Mela – Puppet making workshop

Creative Mela is a yearly event, where all the kids from the school, select the workshops of their interest and attend them. This year I had volunteered for organizing  one workshop for the Creative Mela. I was selected for talking workshops for grade 3 and 4. Before the the event I had to go to some of the classes and collect data as to which workshop as prefered by each and every kid. It was a very tedious job and I had to miss my free slot, but I managed to fulfill that duty. This process was really time consuming and explaining kids about the whole event and the activities available was repetitive as I went in almost 5 to 6 classes.  I was assigned to take the puppet making workshop. This was quite new for me, as I have never really shown interest in puppet making. So before teaching the kids about puppet making, I had to go through some tutorials and learn in myself first.

There were few meeting before the event, which I did regularly attend and due to some reason I had to take the workshop alone. Now that was a challenging task. At first the idea of handling those kids alone seemed very difficult to me. Additional, I did not actually try puppet making before and was not good at it, so I had to make sure I learn something worthy and can pass on the same to the kids. I was baffled at the beginning as to what will I teach and how will I manage, I thought of asking for help , but didn’t. Then I planned what all materials will I be needing and how will I be taking the workshop. This made my task easier.

When I entered the class on the day of the event, I saw there was a lot of material present over there. I checked everything and made sure that  all the materials are present and segregated them according. The moment the kids entered, I got confused, as to how should I begin. I took a deep breath and welcomed them first. They settled quickly and then I began the workshop. The kids were quiet and focusing on what I was telling them. It was not as difficult as I imagined. Gradually it became easy to handle the kids. I divided them into two groups and material accordingly, this way everything was in a smooth flow. However, it was hard to manage the doubts of each and every child, but I did manage that to some extend. It was a two hour workshop , I felt tiring at times but when I saw the kids so captivated in what they were doing it boosted me too.

There were about 10 to 15 kids. I had to be fair with everyone, so I divided the time of the workshop accordingly. I listened to what the kids wanted to do and gave them the resources accordingly. Each kid was given the same amount of material and time. I was catering to all the doubts chance by chance and keeping an eye on all the kids. I did taught them appropriately. At time I felt like screaming or just take away the materials and make the puppets for them myself, but I controlled my feeling and projected an appropriate behaviour.  This was a really nice experience, there was a lot that I learned from the kids. It felt good to teach them and help the kids. I felt proud of myself at the end of the session. According to me, I managed the kids very well and all the kids did a very productive job. We all made sure we did not waste any resources and so we collected all the waste and the remaining resources and kept it at their respective places. In fact, we were done with out session 10 minutes early and had time to review on all the puppets that the kids made. I was a very exciting and a fun session with them.

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Athletics Competition

I have been doing athletics since Grade 6, however due to some reasons I left practising it from Grade 9. I have always liked athletics and was inclined towards it and have attended many competitions. CAS gave me another opportunity to start athletics again. At first it seemed very difficult to restart and achieve the level that I used to be at. I faced many difficulties, due to which I felt like giving up always. However, My coach suggested me to find my strengths and weakness and then move ahead with my practices. I followed his advice. The events that I participated in Athletics are short distance running (100m and 200m) and jumping (long jump). I made a list of things that I lacked at and the exercises that needs to be done and finally make them my strengths.

On the other hand I made sure all my strengths are being polished simultaneously.  Listing down my strengths and weakness helped me evaluate my performance better and also help to enhance my performance. I realised that I could run fast, but I lacked in stamina required for it. I knew my strides were in coordinations, however, my fists were always closed. These small details that I encountered, assisted me to analyse my performance and to make it better. It was a tough challenge for me to retain the skills that I had and at the same time also develop new skill. This analysis done by me, helped me to focus on specific areas of trainings that I had to undertake. It was difficult for me to workout, exercise as I had lost the habit of doing so.

I soon realised that I should not be giving up on this. It took time for me  to adjust to this training schedule. At first it was very difficult, however slowly and gradually I got used to it. I would sense the change myself, and felt cheerful when I was able to achieve my targets My bigger aim was to win the competition, therefore I was committed to my practice sessions. Not only the practising but I made sure, I eat accordingly and also take rest so that my muscles are relaxed and I do not face any injuries. I made sure I attend practice sessions and followed the instructions given by my coach. The drills were quite difficult for me, however the exercises were easy. When I performed the drills, I sensed  that I am not at the same level that I was at earlier. It was very troublesome to complete 5 sets of drills in each practise session. Running 3 sets of 100m made me realised that my speed was slower than before, therefore I any how  needed to speed up my running.

As a result of vigorous training I was able to decrease the timing by two second. I knew that winning the competition, that too in all the three events was not at all easy for me, but I tried to prove myself. I believed in myself, though there was always a part of me which was nervous. At the day of my competition, I knew that I had done enough practice, but acquiring first position in all the three events felt quite challenging. However, I stood first in 200m and long jump and attained second position in 100m.

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Making posters for the Literary fest

Literary and Humanities Fest was something that did not happen before until this year. This year this concept of having an event related to literary and humanities was introduced to the students from grade 7 to 12. This event was a student-led event and consisted of varied activities. All the student were told to select to activities from individual and group activities each. The idea of participating in the events was just not competing, but there were many fun events too. I was very excited to attend this fest and have a new experience. Literature and Humanities Fest was not something that was always done to celebrate something related to language. This fest was a step towards it, and everyone had their doubts and excitement ready for this event that was going to be held. Like, everyone, I was looking forward to this event, and all of a sudden, the event coordinator approached me and requested if I could make some posters to advertise the literary and humanities fest. Considering my art skills, I accepted the challenge of designs the posters and made the poster informative and attractive so that the students have an idea about the details of the event and do attend the event. Making a handmade poster and displaying the same things at various places was not a practical idea for me; therefore, I opted for something that I never had tried before. I decided to make online posters and get them printed so that I don’t have to make the same copies of posters on my own and display them. It was sure that I was good at arts, but now the challenge was designing the poster on the computer, I was not good with the IT skills. So, first I  searched for some good websites where I could create the posters. I finally found one and started designing it. At first it was uncomfortable to create the poster as I wished it to, due to lack of IT skills, still I manage to learn them and made some drafts of the posters. While I got it checked by Mam, she gave her feedback and suggested some changes. The tricky part was to include all the details, manage the font size and Putting the school logo on the poster. Even after all this difficulties I designed a poster with the a little bit help from one of my friends, in understanding the editing process. I never gave up in the process of designing the poster and completed my task. It was overall a good learning experience for me to enhance my skills through IT.


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