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CAS Reflection: Project Week – Reflection 1 (Planning)

CAS Reflection: Project Week

Project Week in Chiang Mai, Thailand

Reflection 1

Planning/Investigation

 

Learning Outcome(s):

  1. Demonstrate how to initiate and plan a CAS experience.

 

Project week is something I’m quite nervous for. I remember kids talking about it even back when I joined this school in Grade 5. For most people it’s something they’re looking forward to but for me it’s something I know is going to be extremely stressful. Planning activities and experiences isn’t all that new for me as it is something I feel I do in everyday life, however Project Week is a whole other story. We have to plan our itinerary and book flights, accommodation, and so forth, sort of by ourselves, but thankfully we’re in a group so it isn’t as intimidating as it could be.

My group and I have decided that we want to visit Chiang Mai as for 3 of them, they’ve never been. I have visited Chiang Mai for Grade 8 camp, but it was a place where I wanted to definitely return. Also, it’s somewhat close to Singapore and its a little safer than other countries. It was quite easy for us to make decisions together since I’m in a group with 3 of my friends so we knew each other well enough to make planning a lot easier. We all want to do service and activity during our trip because we have a mutual feeling that this will allow us to really experience something new, as creativity is something we can do in Singapore. After looking into providers, we had chosen to work with Children’s Shelter Foundation (CSF) and 8Adventures, however we got rejected for CSF in our proposal as many Chiang Mai groups wanted to work with them, so instead we chose to work with School For Life. In Grade 8 I actually visited CSF so I wasn’t too upset with this.

Assigning roles in the group was also easy as we all wanted to do different things. I’m the service organiser so I’ve been emailing School For Life about activities they would like us to do with the children as well as booking the accommodation there for two days. Choosing our hostel was also easy, but I think the biggest struggle in our planning process was flights. Only groups going to Chiang Mai weren’t allowed to be in the same place at the same time regardless of whether we knew the other group or not, so that made booking flights really stressful. Originally we were supposed to leave on the 26th of May, however the flights we were looking at were arriving too late as on this day we were supposed to be driven to service and we had to be there early. So, we had to request to leave a day earlier, but because of delays in communication, a lot of flights were getting taken out as well as prices rising so we had no choice but to book the same outbound flight as another Chiang Mai group. The actual booking was really bad for me though. I offered to book the flights but there were so many complications along the way. We had chosen an AirAsia flight, which allows passengers under 18 to fly alone, but when we were booking through other sites with cheaper prices, it wouldn’t allow me to book because it noticed that all of us were only 16-17 years old. So I had to book through the actual AirAsia website and prices had gone up, but when I went to pay, I had to pay through E-NETS and because of some ad settings I had on my browser, it didn’t work and from then on I wasn’t able to book flights at all. After two group members trying we finally managed to book the flights but it was so stressful.

Aside from that, so far planning has been pretty easy, though at times our activity provider did not respond to us it would get resolved quickly. I think making sure that we have a general idea of what our days are going to look like is helpful in preparing us for actually going on the trip.

CAS Reflection: Creativity (HS Arts Club) – Reflection 2

CAS Reflection: Creativity

HS Arts Club

Reflection 2

 

Learning Outcome(s):

  1. Demonstrate how to initiate and plan a CAS experience.

 

I spent several sessions all the way until before the December break completing the painting I was working on previously as well as working on several sketches which allowed me to improve on my own skills as an artist.

I had to finish all of this before the break because we had began to plan a group project that involved every member of the HS Arts Club. Before we broke up for the break, we were planning by brainstorming ideas and synthesising ideas from every member. We knew we wanted to do something that involved a representation of our school, however we couldn’t come to a consensus without everyone contributing their ideas and votes.

Of course our final plan kept undergoing changes because everybody had different ideas and I felt as though it was important that we did that, including myself, because at the end of it we do want to create a final piece that encapsulates our skills as well as represents our school. We decided finally on representing all of the UWCs around the world and their respective countries. We also wanted to incorporate a dragon and also key landmarks of those countries; so each of us was assigned a country and I took on Japan because it is a culture mildly foreign to me and the landmarks I chose would be a little tricky to draw so this way I could push myself.

From this planning experience, I definitely realised how important it was to really give your own input in group discussions. There were times when nobody said anything in the discussion and it would be difficult for the leaders of the HS Arts Club to gather everyone’s opinion on what we should do, which is why I tried to contribute as much as I could. Contributing sparked further discussion and also more group involvement which allowed us to come to a final plan and I think that’s pretty cool.