Service: Update Term 2

How are you feeling, what are you seeing when you do the service

It’s incredibly heartwarming to witness the strengthening of the bond between me and my partner Shaban. I have worked with him consecutively since the beginning of the year and still enjoy the conversations we have before and after our sessions begin. It is clear by the sense of guilt I feel when I am unable to attend a session that on my behalf, there is a great level of responsibility and fulfillment I receive from the time spent with Shaban.

What are you learning so far?

So far I have learnt to techniques that help me overcome times when Shaban has trouble understanding a certain task or skill. Often I will ask him to pause, observe how I do the skill and then carry it out himself. It is in these moments I recognize the importance of adapting to an individual’s pace. Many people have the misconception that individuals with ID are unable to activities independently and require constant support, when in actuality they are well capable of accomplishing most tasks, but simple register and process the steps at a slower pace. In bustling nation like Singapore, it is easy to get caught up in the whirlwind and pace of life, a pace some may find difficult to understand. When interacting with individuals with ID we must consciously make the empathic decision to increase our patience. I also have learned critical elements of running a successful service. As I am the head of communication I have been to meetings about podcasting and means of documenting our service progression, and have also become more comfortable carrying out a through SWOT analysis.

What impact are your actions having?

There is a definitive impact of the friendship we have created, as if i miss a session Shaban will be sure to tell me off the next session. I also notice SHaban opening up more regarding the topics we discussed – initially talking about what he does at MINDS centre and we now discuss topics such as his plans for holidays, his favourite things about his families and the little details that make him uniquely himself (like the love his ‘supreme’ shirt).

What knowledge, skill or understanding might you develop & how might you know?

The skill of developing meaningful relationships despite the possible language or communication obstacle. This is an incredibly important skill especially given the global network of people I am working with and will work with in the future. Inherently the shared platform of yoga acts as vessel allowing us to build a deeper layer of comfort and openness then a regular face to face conversation.

Are your initial goals still meaningful?

My initial goal to expand conversation with Shaban has clearly been reached in my opinion, but there is definitive area for further growth and comfort. Furthermore I’ve realised the most beneficial thing I can do to extend Shaban’s interest and level of yoga is to integrate a sense of challenge. Shaban is genuinely passionate about yoga and is incredibly immersed and devoted to each of the yoga skills we practice during our sessions, showing an incredible level of flexibility and concentration.

What evidence do you have?

The most clear evidence presented is the clients themselves. Shaban has shown great measures of improvement: He can stand and bend to touch the floor with his legs fully straight, independently isolate areas of his body to tense and relax and remembers to maintain proper breathing. All of these things he was not fully polished in before.

Are there any other forms of evidence you could use?

Apart from the observational evidence, there isn’t much that can support and verify my claims (eg photographs and pictures)

LO7 – Recognize and consider the ethics of choices and actions.

This Yoga service with clients from tampines minds raises certain ethical questions. One large one being society’s responsibility in bettering the wellbeing and livelihood of those challenged with intellectual and physical disability. I believe I am actively contributing to improving Shaban’s social skills through our weekly catch up and conversations. Furthermore I believe the sense of empowerment he gains is greatly beneficial towards confidence in social situations. Although this service stands primarily as a brief outlet and opportunity to get strengthen physical and mental health and wellbeing, it also functions as a point of enhancing their sense of belonging and satisfaction of life. I do believe as a member of a national, and global community I have a vital responsibility to create a more socially inclusive society for those who hold a primary disadvantage and often are treated unfairly.

ACTIVITY: Volleyball U19A End of Season

Volleyball has so much mental complexity, it is so much more than physical activity, Playing volleyball teaches you a number of lessons that are applicable to life both on and off the court.Over the course of the two years I have been playing it has taught me the most valuable lesson.  The lesson on stopping negative self talk, even when you keep messing up.

Things I’ve learnt:

  1. Communicating in a Helpful Way – Negative energy can manifest and spread insanely fast in volleyball as it’s often easy to pick up the feelings of your other teammates. Spiralling into frustration is an issue that is easy to give into, and is why keeping positive and encouraging your teammates is so crucial.

Things I improved on:

  1. Playing When You’re Down Volleyball teaches determination and tenacity, and has embedded in me the idea of never losing face, and never accepting defeat even if the chances of winning seem almost impossible. There has been multiple occasions in a game when it had felt like winning would be a miraculous event. As points are won very quickly in volleyball, a score gap is can common to occur. In some instances the team may be 15 points down, with the opponents reaching close to winning the set. But how we remain optimistic, energetic and determined to fight back is what demonstrates the importance of tenacity, and in some circumstances our boisterous cheer, energy and skill allowed us to close the gap. The difference between giving up and fighting through adversity is very noticeable in volleyball. Spirit is such an important aspect in volleyball, and closely relates to the GRIT a team possesses. Grit is defined as the sustained and continued effort over long period of time and is the skill that I believe makes an individual or a team ‘successful’. It is a skill that transcends outside of the court and into every aspect of my life; academic, social and personal.
  1. Accepting and Owning Your Mistakes: Volleyball has enhanced my collaborative an empathic skills. Playing in a team often comes with a lot of pressure to perform, as you’re not only letting yourself down but others down as well. This season I believe Ive strengthened my ability to learn and move on from my mistakes, as well as being more understanding when others make on. Not allowing oneself to dwell on past mistakes makes one strike to perform better and to reach their potential. It is another mentality that transcends many other areas of my academic, social and personal life. (LO2) Many of the challenges I faced this season were mental roadblocks that often led me quickly to frustration. During practice I would find myself hitting especially well, but come time to apply those skills in the game, I would time and time again mess up, or avert to the same mistakes I used to make. My inability to hit powerfully and remain calm on court when under pressure was incredibly frustrating to me as I wanted to prove to myself, teammates and coaches that I was a good player. I understand now I often seek for immediate results and success, and forget the journey before I reach my goal.

(LO7)There were moments through out the whole trip – on bus rides, waiting between games or just before bed – where I would feel a tug of uncertainty and unease. Knowing by flying into Myanmar, by staying in it’s hotels, I was contributing towards the countries economy. A country which was currently committing ethnic cleansing and mass genocide of over 727000 Rohingya Muslims. Although I agree it is unfair to punish and exclude a school which has no connection or ties to the crisis apart from their location, another part of me believed that hosting SEASAC in another location would have been a more viable option, and should have been discussed earlier on. I am uncomfortable with how quickly the commotion and the urgency for change has diminished. I am uncomfortable with the fact that during the whole trip, not one word was mentioned to acknowledge the crisis or what the school was doing to raise attention and support change for the crisis. I am uncomfortable with the fact that the whole trip I knew I should’ve said something, but was too afraid of the consequences and implications it would bring upon me, the staff and the school I represent. For most of my childhood, and life as a teen, I have been constantly told if I seek to change something in the world, I must take the initiate to ignite that change. By chance I was born into such a privileged position, by chance nearly 3000 km away another girl is fleeing her home and fleeing death. I am still confused as to where the line between sensibility and bravery should stand. A part of me feels ashamed, as a muslim girl, I felt a sense of responsibility. Although I believe silence is nothing but acceptance for the issue, I understand that the flights, hotels and accommodations had been booked, and as I was sitting in my bed in Yangon I understood that more could be accomplished through aid, donation and service when I reached back home then causing commotion during the trip.

Creativity: Culturama 2018

This was my first year participating in Culturama and it was an incredibly rewarding and exhilarating experience. (LO1) I knew I wasn’t the most coordinated dancer, but felt if I practiced long enough I would be able to pull off the audition. (LO2) When it came down to the dress rehearsals leading up to the performance date, the pressure to eradicate mistakes grew larger. During our first dress rehearsal I had forgotten a bit of the dance and had also shown up late, coming from a volleyball game and having to perform in my jersey. When on stage, I felt a constant stream of anxiety of messing up, the dance required precise synchronization therefore even the smallest mistakes were prominently seen. Initially I would laugh as part of me felt embarrassed and stupid, then to be told my laughing was unprofessional and obvious. Being in this highly tense dancing environment was a new climate to me, and took me a while to understand the importance of focus and the idea that the frustrations the choreographer were experiencing was not directed at me and my character, but my focus and synchronisation, which were skills I could easily improve on. (LO5) The final shows were smooth and incredibly fun as once I understood the dance more, I was able to relax and enjoy the moment.

Activity : Volleyball U19A

Volleyball season has always been a peak point of my school year, the warm sense of family you receive from team sports is often hard to replicate elsewhere. Entering this years team, it is quite obscure to see so many new faces as more than half of our previous members have recently graduated. Nonetheless I am incredibly excited. Personally I believe volleyball is an incredibly complex sport, and is much more than just physical activity. It has engrained a myriad of lessons that have proved greatly beneficial to my character on and off the court: Communication, Quick and strategic thinking, tenacity and commitment being a few of them.

(LO1) This year I hope to help shape a team that is constantly energetic and motivated. Personally, the importance of  team spirit cannot be stressed enough. Although one team may be more skilled than another, I believe spirit is the driving force of a groups success. It is that flare and determination within each player on the team that pushes them to strive for success, and sets them apart from other teams. This idea closely relates to the theory of GRIT. Grit is defined as the sustained and continued effort over long period of time and is the skill that I believe makes an individual or a team ‘successful’. It is a skill that volleyball has helped me refine, and benefits me greatly as it transcends outside of the court and into every aspect of my life; academic, social and personal. Regarding my personal goals for this season, I will push to improve on my hitting and defensive skills on court. Furthermore I would like to develop and continue to refine my leadership skills. I could do this through subtle advances of taking initiative to lead warmup, or simple remembering to support and encourage other team mates.

Our first game against Dover: Entering this game there was a unified sense of dread, with glimpses of optimism. UWC Dover have always been our biggest rivals, in most sports I believe the competition runs deep. Last year we had won most of our games except for games against dover, beating dover has always been the last tier on the ladder that we haven’t reached. Last year in Dragons Invitational we had beaten them. It was a glorious moment with the whole bleachers crowded in East supporters cheering triumphantly with every win. This year Dover was the second game we’d play as a new team and although we had won our first game, as team members we wear still settling into the flow of our team. During the game I felt an incredible sense of responsibility, I felt driven to prove that our team could put up a fight. We won the first set, lost the next two sets, won the fourth set and battled vigorously to win the fifth set 17-15. So many moments in the game we were dead tied, or the score would fluctuate between loss and win. Winning the game was incredibly redeeming and motivating, especially since our seasac endeavours led to relegation. It proved to us that even though we have a new team, we have incredible spirit and potential.

 

Activity – Initiative for Peace

IFP: Beginning of Grade 11

With every member’s identity poster sprawled across the floor, we spent one whole session simply reading them. It was an incredible hour and a half as I was amazed by the stories, memories and characters this relatively small group held. It was incredibly eye opening as it showed me how easily I had overlooked the sheer uniqueness of each individual, and how I had began to stop trying to make new friends, and meet new people as I’d grown comfortable in my bubble of familiarity and safety. It is incredibly easy for one to drown under the rigorous IB workload and the noise and bustle of such large school. Even though I’ve only attended IFP for a few sessions, I believe the value in it is already greatly evident. (LO4) IFP requires quite a lot of commitment, as its scheduled at 4:30-6 on a tuesday afternoon, it’s often easy to fall into the habit of skipping sessions in order to complete the mounds of work we receive. (LO2) And though I found it extremely challenging to be transparent and open when discussing issues of personal conflict and struggle, the outcome is much more rewarding once I did, as I’d often find commonalities with others which in turn made the experience of sharing a vulnerable aspect of oneself much easier.

 

PSE Unit 1 Reflection: I Be

Personality in Working Groups 

As a group worker I am often very involved and motivated, taking on that “Acting” personality trait which defines and individual who likes to plunge immediately into a task. I believe this aspect of my personality is what encapsulates my passion, determination and my tendency towards leadership roles; once I put my mind to something I am a rigorous worker. Though as this also means I have quite a competitive nature, my tunnel like vision may cause me to lose track of my surrounding and how my actions begin to affect those around me. Over the years as I’ve matured, Ive developed a more aspects of the “caring” personality trait. Although I am still a fast, efficient worker I am a more holistic group worker as I’ve learnt especially as a leader is hugely important to account for every members voice and ideas, that in the process of accomplishing our goal, we do not sacrifice kindness and empathy.

Emotional intelligence 

The ability to understand and manage ones emotions greatly increases our chances of success, but also allows us to develop stronger relationships with others and within ourself. Understanding why we think or hold the preferences we do is a very powerful advantage. Personally I believe my levels of Self and social awareness, my ability to recognise emotions (and their impact) in ourselves and in others, is very high. I understand what my strengths and weaknesses are but do not let that define, as both can be continuously shifting and improved upon. Sensitivity has been second nature to me, but I have developed the ability to not allow myself to become emotionally sabotaged.

curious,

knowing how to say no 

disconnect from technology 

getting enough sleep 

stopping negative self talk

Grit

Grit is defined as the sustained and continued effort over long period of time. It is the skill that I believe makes a human ‘successful’. We often hold assumptions that goals like losing a certain amount of weight are too hard, but in actuality it is not the physical aspect that is challenging, it is the skill of self control that evokes the most struggle. As for now I am still balancing my abilities of self control, understanding which methods of restriction or modification in my work ethic will benefit me. The concept of self control has always been terribly hard for me to grasp. As a child I only understood instant gratification – if I wanted something, I would try my best to get it then. However as I’ve matured I’ve understood that large projects or long term goals often provide one with delayed gratification. Shifting my mentality has been quite challenging.

how will you apply your knowledge of identity, personality types, eq and grit to your IB journey

Service: Yoga Therapy with Tampines Minds

Initial Thoughts

(LO1)The first session began with us discussing our experience with yoga, and why we joined this service in particular. I have had a year or two of Yoga experience, often doing Hot Yoga with my mum.  Therefore I believe my past knowledge and interest in Yoga, especially the importance of breathing and focus, can help the group. My main focus with this service was to aim to decrease the stigmatization of individuals with physical and intellectual disabilities (ID). Being enrolled in UWC for nearly 8 years, I have had a lot of exposure and experience in service, especially working with individuals with intellectual disability. Previously I had worked with the organisation: Christian Outreach to the Handicapped. Though compared to the other members in my team I felt quite confident and relaxed about the working with individuals with ID, I was still new and nervous with the physicality of the one on one yoga session, afraid and unaware of the level of physical interaction I could carry out.

Research Process

As a team we researched and brainstormed possible questions but also got familiar with some of the conditions our clients are faced with. This was we have a solid foundation of knowledge by collecting secondary and primary data through the internet and first hand interview with the representatives of Tampines Minds. https://docs.google.com/document/d/1OLe1BgnDeFsxsovR5Icado8dZ9_lhXcScKOLTTxnykI/edit

(LO6) After the meeting with the two representatives of MINDS Tampines, it became clear to me that this service is much more than yoga or the chance for our clients to enhance their physical wellbeing. Although that is a large focus, I now understood that this service is an opportunity for our clients to interact more with other people to encourage social inclusion by bettering their social skills and practice what is accepted in everyday society. Little shifts in habit, like opting for a handshake instead of a hug, can make their integration into society a smoother process.

Brainstorming potential questions for the interview with MINDS

The first hand interview with our client at MINDS proved extremely useful as we were taught key information we we missed out on in the initial research step we did the session before. We were introduced to one major mindset we should avoid: the encouragement of Learned helplessness. Learned helplessness is a mental state in which an individual will belief that one is incapable of accomplishing the task at hand. In the context of Yoga with MINDS, learned helplessness can arise if us students help too much. E.g lifting their arms for them instead of allowing them to take the time to carry out the task on their own. Overtime the individual will learn to not try. To avoid this we follow these steps when carrying out the Yoga session.

  1. Demonstrate
  2. Observe reaction
  3. Take appropriate measure of support for example guide their hands
  4. Slowly lesson support to encourage independence

(LO2) A large obstacle for me was figuring out how to communicate with and support individuals who are Non-verbal. I then found that those individuals still like to be supported by verbal communication even though they do not respond and that because they may not adequately communicate it verbally we can gage their comfort level or thoughts by reading their facial and gestural expressions.

Often I wonder to what extent are we held responsible for caring for and making progress towards the integration of people with ID. This highlights the ethical implications (LO7) of working with individuals with ID as one must be well trained an informed to not provoke negative impacts. Therefore we underwent 2 sessions of yoga training specific towards supporting people with ID to create the best possible environment for our clients.

The Team

Emotional Intelligence Goal Setting

Emotional Intelligence – my musings around goal setting

Characteristics I Admire and Dislike

Admire Dislike
  • Casual and easygoing
  • Dependable
  • Giving
  • Able to talk to everyone
  • Keep long term relationships
  • Takes Initiative
  • Organised
  • Well rounded
  • Outgoing
  • Strong and not easily offended
  • Disloyal
  • Immature
  • Overly dependant / easily attached
  • Materialistic
  • Hypocrite
  • Unable to open up
  • Overly Sensitive
Skill I want to develop and why Skill I want to avoid and why
  • Thinking before I speak as sometimes I dont realise that things I say might impact or offend others
  • Beginning to acknowledge the other person’s perspective within an argument
  • My organisation skills have always been sub-par, therefore this year it is my focus point
  • Being too invested in others lives and gossip as it distracts myself from my own goals and deadlines

Wednesday 5 September

This year, I would like to especially develop two qualities in particular: being organised, and being able to disconnect and spend time to myself. As I enter a new phase in my academic life, it becomes increasingly more important to make sure I am constantly up to date, and not falling behind on small or large projects. Often times little tasks would build up, eventually toppling over on me, leaving me in a panicked and chaotic state. My organisation skills have never been the greatest and there have been copious amounts of times where I found myself up in the early morning hours vigorously studying or finishing an essay. This cycle is incredibly unhealthy and depleted my well being rather quickly, therefore this year, having organisation as the centre of my goal will hopefully help me develop a routine, and will reduce stress and improve my overall mental health. Developing my ability to disconnect from electronics, friends and other distraction will further relax me especially in the peak moments of stress. This time will help me recharge and allow me to perform better as I will not be as worn out. In previous years I would easily let stress overcome my emotions, often lashing out at family and friends. I hope as I focus on bettering my organisation skills and other qualities, I will eradicate my irrational outbursts and become a more level headed and calm individual.

I have already made small steps to improving my organisation skills by asking for support from my Mom (who is an avid planner) and investing in a personal planner so I can keep track of upcoming events conveniently.