Green umbrella

I had decided along with my friend Akshat that we will be going to our GC for project week. We had collaborated with the rest of our GC every Tuesday to figure out what projects we will help out with when we go there. We had a few things planned out: understanding the plastic wastage there and how we can recycle it, the energy usage in the village so that we can help implement solar power and initiate the leadership workshops to help students take initiative and nudge them to help their community as well. Going to the school itself was a completely different experience, it’s nothing at all what I imagined it to be. I felt that the system there was so much more efficient than what I presumed it would be and the kids there were so motivated and engaged in classes. I also underestimated the energy requirements in the community because they had access to ample energy for daily usage. Switching to solar would just be a hassle for them. The person in charge, Sokrath, was very happy with our work there at the end. I learnt a lot about connecting with a new community and how being physically present is much different to seeing a situation from far away. We had to be extra careful of how we interact with the children there because we don’t want to hurt them in any way, so we had to be culturally and socially aware of what were doing there so that we did our duties and helped them at the same time.

First Kahaani ever

I enjoyed dancing and I never realized that I would actually have so much fun being a part of a dance show. Every part of it was so enjoyable, the photos, spending time with my friends, playing basketball in between the shows and best of all when the audience went wild after our performance! It was exhilarating! I learned a lot about what I can do when dancing. It was especially encouraging when I heard from all my friends that I was really good. Just hearing these compliments and praise I became much more confident. I want to dance more. I’ve decided that I will dance in more shows simply because its something I love doing. I have learned so much I didn’t know about myself – I always thought I wasn’t the kind of person who would be good at arts. Doing this has shown me that I’ve become more aware of my skills other than academics, and surprisingly enough it’s within the field of dance. I never would’ve thought that a dance show like this would be helping a larger community and raise awareness for issues through storytelling, which was done through dance. I’m looking forward to exploring this fun activity more in other opportunities I get.

Starting Kahaani

I wanted to try a dancing activity without any pressure of auditions and all my friends were going for this one and encouraging me to do it with them as well. I feel like this opportunity would be a nice way to enter the dancing community and learn my strengths and weaknesses at being a dancer. Fortunately, it was Indian themed, which made it easier to connect with. I also came to learn that this event is about raising awareness for a GC, which is just extra motivation to take part. I’ve always enjoyed listening to music and even danced to it, but only when I’m alone so I’m curious to see how stepping out into the light as a performer will be for me. I only hope right now that I don’t make a fool out of myself in the final performance.

My experience in Green Umbrella GC for the past 2 seasons

As this service went on and I kept developing ideas for our plastic press with my peers in Green Umbrella, I came to realise that I have started to enjoy not only working with my friends to work towards an effective and efficient solution, but also the feeling that I know these ideas will either directly be implemented in the school at Cambodia or at least help the future of the GC to further develop the ideas. I get inspired everyday to help those at Green Umbrella because as a part of the GC it is my duty to help them.  I aim to work as hard as I can to aid them so they can get the education they deserve. I believe that the right to education is a basic human need and I want to try my best to help bring that right into the lives of those who may not get as many opportunities as I do. By helping the school out in the areas that they have requested us to, I believe that I am helping them in the ways that I can from so far away.

Since I will be going to the GC for project week, I have decided that I will step up and help more for the GC now. As I plan ahead with the teachers, other students in the GC and the Green Umbrella school as well, I aim to get a list of things, apart from the plastic press that I have been working on, that we can help with when we reach the school for project week. By getting a head start on what we need to do, we can make a plan accordingly and fully utilise our trip for helping the people at the GC.

End of 2 seasons of STEM club

I have enjoyed the past 2 seasons of STEM club, with all the debating and discussing that we do I have explored the applications of these fields in our lives. It’s interesting to observe how what we learn in class regarding STEM can be applied to many different fields such as economics and can also play parts in geography and politics as well. We used examples of scientific theories or advancements in technology and science and discussed how we believe they will impact the world we see around us.

These conversations are really engaging and fun to have because I can see various fields of my own studies come together. For instance I observe how we think about the economic affects of some technological advances and possible solutions to issues that are prevalent in today’s society. I remember we had once touched upon the topic of global warming while we were talking about the future of transport and we had discussed how transport will play a role in solving global warming by reducing pollution. However, sometimes I feel like these topics are forced at times and don’t feel genuine enough to be productive or learn anything new. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy seeing my favourite fields of study, namely science and engineering, being observed from different aspects and I have learnt how to look at an issue from various perspectives. But I believe that we should have these conversations more naturally and shouldn’t be as augmented as they are in this club. I still enjoy these conversations nonetheless and hope for more conversations like these in the future, just in a more naturally created environment.

Thoughts about student voice at the end of 2 seasons

As I kept going to meetings and collaborating with my friends to work on some of the issues we have around school, I realised that I am helping the community with what I have to offer at these meetings. I enjoyed discussing different issues and how to solve them. Even when we found some inconvenience with the solutions, we ensured that we tackled those and were able to find a better, more feasible solution. I think this activity particularly strengthened my collaboration skills as well as raised my awareness to things around me that are issues for my peers. In a way this activity was very similar to MUN. Instead of representing countries, we represent our respective mentor groups and we discuss what issues we are having and how we can solve them. The only difference is that it is on a smaller scale but I can see the effects of my participation on my school community and I can see that people are recognising our efforts to improve the school life. The issues we talk about are much more relevant to us as students and much more directly applicable to our lives.

In this activity I believe that  I am helping the school community using my skills of collaboration and communication. I think that I have used and further developed these skills in myself through student voice. Understanding the other person’s point of view and trying to help their situation is also something that I am developing on through student voice because the issues we talk about are more personal. Often it can be hard trying to understand what the other person is going through and during stressful times such as those in IB it is important that we as students are there for each other to make our school lives easier. This is why whenever we make any decision we need to discuss it at length, analysing all of its possible affects on our community and what we can do to refine our choices that help those in our school. I look forward to doing student voice and further extending my reach to help my peers next season as well.

2 MUN conferences in 2 seasons

As I have been saying from the start, I have always been dedicated and have fully enjoyed all my MUN experiences and these two conferences have added to my list. For UWCMUN I was in the IMF committee and for MUNOFS I was in JCC. As I am told, both these committees are for more experienced delegates who are more adapted to the formal environment of a MUN conference. Both these committees were fun to take part in because each of them were unique and had their ow

n differences to a typical MUN committee. The IMF committee is the only committee which has the duty to openly speak of expenses and the delegates take form of “directors”. Although this is a slight difference, it changes the premise of the committee and is a unique experience of it’s own. Unfortunately, I had the SAT on the same day so I missed nearly half of the debate. However, despite this absence I was able to grasp the pace of the committee and I was able to develop my communication skills because I had to be more mindful because this committee was much more focused than any other committee I have been in before. We had talked about issues regarding the Chinese debt crisis all the way to cryptocurrencies. All these topics help me expand my base of knowledge regarding issues that are prevalent in our society.

MUNOFS was particularly fun because I had the opportunity to be in this specialised committee where we work in a team of 4. JCC is an exclusive committee where the procedure is nothing at all like nay other MUN committee because there is rarely any formal debate, it is much more informal and the topic of discussion was very interesting – “the nuclear threat posed by the DPRK”. Since we were representing the DPRK, there was a lot of pressure on us

beause the entire committee was focused on us and since it was informal, we felt the pressure. JCC is a very hyper-realistic committee where many different things can happen and I applaud the chairs for making various interesting events occur over the course of our conference. It was really fun because we all came up with creative solutions to issues or sometimes even propagate some other issues if they favoured our stance. This was a really fun committee to be in and I hope that I get the opportunity to be a part of this committee again in the future because I have learnt that in order to be proficient in this committee, I must be a more proactive member and be much more quicker than a normal MUN committee demands. I would also like to extend my MUN experience by being a chair once so that I can understand what that feels like too apart from being just a delegate.

Pre-season Softball

Sports have never been a strength of mine but I still enjoy playing them regardless. I have always enjoyed softball even though I might not be the best at the sport. Even though I wasn’t fruitful in becoming part of the B team (mainly because the training session timings had collided with my service) I think that I have picked up a few skills that have helped me understand what is important in sports. Dedication is one of these qualities. I had to wake up at 5 every Tuesday and Thursday but I had fun in softball practice which made up for it. I had the motivation to get up and start playing everyday. Although I probably won’t be able to use the skills I developed in the process because they were so specific to softball, I aim to remember that proud feeling I had when I knew that I woke up early and worked hard. I think that I can use that to motivate myself to workout and exercise in general for my own health and make time for it. I realise that it helps to do any activity with friends because it provides the push you need to go that extra mile.

Even though I unfortunately wasn’t chosen for the team, I believe that on the bright side, at least I learnt the value of giving that extra effort and I have gotten a newfound appreciation for doing activities with friends. I am about to start my own fitness club next season and I would like to remember these thoughts when I pursue it so that I can pass the same motivational spirit to those in the activity. I hope that this activity will also give me the motivation to do some exercise myself too.

2 seasons into music therapy with apex

Even tough our sessions are only once a week and we get just an hour with the people we help, I can see that we all are making a connection with the people diagnosed with dementia. They might not even remember us from the last time that we came, but I can sense that our presence, just entering the room brightens up their spirits and engages them. I am aware of the hardships that come with this service because we can’t expect them to be 100% engaged with us but I can observe a difference in their behaviour when we listen to music together. After just 2 seasons I have gotten adept to the environment and realised how we have to make an effort from our own side to be extra happy yet cautious at the same time because it is important that they see a happy environment. We have to remain respectful as well and always keep in mind that we must be patient with them. We had to learn the skills we need to interact with the people there which helped me understand how to be more kind to them by doing basic things such as giving them acknowledgement when they do anything, for instance if they tell me something I should react with enthusiasm and keep talking to them and applaud them for anything that they do. This helps them feel more welcome and creates a connection between us two. That bond is very important because it is very likely that they don’t remember us the next week so at we must be ready and familiar with he patients so that we don’t start from square one every time. Becoming very personal with them is really important and I look forward to helping them out in the future.

Here is a video we made as a group answering questions specific to our service: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1MO0owR8vdTsJ02Ckz3KeXifKxSgqa6JC/view?usp=sharing

Music Therapy with APEX – My experience so far

I initially joined this club for 2 reasons. Firstly, because I play the guitar and I was hoping that I could use this skill to help the elderly. Which brings me to my second reason, I want to help the elderly people who are suffering from dementia or Alzheimer’s in whichever way I can. At our first session I realised that it would be unlikely for me to incorporate the guitar into this service. We were also made aware of the fact that it is likely for the therapy to yield no results, so we mustn’t be disappointed if that were the case.

However, despite these setbacks and challenges, I am still eager to help these people because I can’t stand back and just watch it happen when we know that a possible solution is out there. Even if it doesn’t have any effect at the end, at least I would know that I tried my best and that if that weren’t enough, then there’s isn’t much more that I could do to help.

I am going into this service with the fact in mind that I have never directly helped elderly people except for running errands for my grandparents and helping them when they need it. Neither have I seen people with dementia or Alzheimer’s myself, much less help them. Undeterred by these facts, I am hopeful about this service and I hope that this experience will help me develop new skills and give me further insight on how my actions affect those around me.

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