IFP Training Day 2

We had our second training day on Saturday. It was held at UWCSEA East and lasted till 4pm. I found it very interesting and I liked that it built upon our training from the previous training session. It became more evident that our trainers are preparing us for how to host a conference and interact and lead groups through peaceful discussions. We are gifted with so much knowledge sometimes it feels that I should be taking notes. A constant theme was being put into different small groups and being able to hold conversations, be sociable, jovial and in this way put everyone at ease. There was a lot of brainstorming that had to be done which means that it is unequivocal to be comfortable to speak in your groups. Another common thread for each activity we were put in before lunch was that there was always a seemingly irrelevant opener or icebreaker. It is not until this reflection process that I realize that they should be mandatory in that they allow groups of people who probably have very little in common and do not know each other to have something to talk or laugh about.

Lunch was not an explicit training session but in some ways, it felt like one. Me and my friend, who would usually just sit with people we knew and were comfortable, saw someone that we just met in the previous activities and sat with them instead. People seemed to follow us and soon this long table was filled with people from an eclectic array of backgrounds who barely knew each other peoples names, chatting and laughing and agreeing together. The topics that we quickly leaped upon were of such a higher standard than anything that could have come with just me and my friend in months. We discussed issues of race, income inequality, corruption in influential institutions, and plans for the future. The connection that happens in a blink with people once they choose to be friendly and open is rare and I, as well as everyone, savored it.

After that, we had lectures by Cathy Jones and Mr. Watersomething. I found Mrs. Jones really interesting as it was a skill that otherwise I would have looked over. It was unprecedently challenging as it was suppressing the urge to talk.

Lastly, we got into our final groups and discussed activity plans.

It was a fruitful day and it was hard to leave school that day as it was also leaving that wonderful community! I was looking forward to coming back on Tuesday.

Choosing Activities Reflection

It is the fourth week of school and activities and services have officially started. Choosing activities this year was difficult for me as there were so many options to choose from. Here is my rationale to all the activities I wanted to join and why my reasoning behind joining or not joining.

MUN

  • After two years of fruitful debate, I decided to not sign up for MUN in my final IB years.

Coding for Good

  • Easy one. I had been a part of this the year before, enjoyed it greatly, and so wanted to continue.

IFP

  • Looked really interesting. I love peace and am a sucker for social entrepreneurship.

Investment Society

  • Been a part of it since Grade 9. Committed to it and do have a “side” interest for investing; find it an interesting and exciting way to earn money, analyzing markets and currencies.

Pre-Season Badminton

  • Even though I have been playing soccer since I was little, I think it was time to try a new sport. I have been playing outside of school for some time now and have enjoyed it.

Alumni Club

  • I also am a sucker for organizing! This seemed like a fun way to meet people and take a leadership role in hosting and planning large events which I enjoy.

Kolkata GC

  • Again, have been part of since Grade 9. Also have been part of its counter-part “I-India” since middle school. Deeply passionate about the cause and highly involved.

TEDx

  • After doing my first (ever!) public speech, I wanted to continue the journey. This year I signed up to help host and lead TEDx instead of being a speaker. Wanted to try an be on the other side of the fence.

Graphics Club

  • Love graphics. I miss doing an art – as I am going completely “art-less” for these two years, I wanted to keep my hobby and passion for it going. Even if it is one hour a week, at least I wont forget everything I have been so naturally passionate about and regret it later.