This year, U19 Basketball has been a challenge for the entire team as the team is comprised of mostly IB students and due to the busy academic schedule, it was difficult to dedicate practice time towards the sport. However, towards the SEASAC tournament school organized weekly practice sessions and the team benefitted from this. Outside of school some of the members of the team including me got together and played around in order to strengthen our game, mentality and prepare with a tournament mindset to ensure the best results from us during practice. Upon arrival at the SEASAC tournament, the team was mentally prepared for all the conditions that would arise in the coming days. The next day, there was a practice round hosted which gave the players an insight on how the basketball court was. Due to the monsoon season arriving at UWC Dover, the court showed signs of wear and the conditions which made it difficult for the players. The first official round kicked off the next day and it was a struggle for the East players with clutch wins. However, after vigorous practice after the round, the team seemed stronger and more prepared to play the next day. Overall it was a successful SEASAC, despite us arriving at 2nd place, and next year I may hold the responsibility of being captain and my objective next year would be to prepare the team in advance of SEASAC and not just before the tournament like this year. Hopefully next year we will win the championship, and this will help me advance in my college recruitment career.
For the third season of our service project, we introduced to the clients of AMK Minds to physical activities. After talking and communicating through email to the director of the organization, we felt that physical activities were important to implement. We noticed that clients were excitable and often restless during previous activities, and hence, we decided to change to more physical activities for them to burn off the energy from sitting inside all day. We saw a huge increase in success as we played basketball, bowled and worked on hand-eye coordination with them. We allowed them to express themselves physically and noticed an increase in overall positivity and enjoyment of the clients.
Yet again, we opened our doors to more students, allowing a greater amount of students to join our organization. As we were planning physical activities, we wanted to have more supervision to ensure a safer environment
For the second season of our service project, we introduced new clients to our Service from AMK Minds. We focused, this time, on building their creative minds, which yet again proved to be a difficult challenge. We had to find the perfect balance of enjoyment and educational benefits for the clients, and at times, we found them getting, perhaps, bored with the activities, like last time. We did arts and crafts, made stories and allowed them to express themselves, as they felt, teaching them colors, shapes at the same time. We saw great success with the clients, as the new freedom to explore their passions was more successful than the activity in Season 1, which focused on developing their motor skills.
For the second season, we decided to allow a greater base of students to come and join our service and opened our doors to students of all grades to come and join us and help the clients. This proved to be emotionally difficult, as some of the students were not accustomed to working with special needs clients. Over time, they became more used to the clients and we found that we helped build important relationships.
In the future, we hope to incorporate physical activities and games which would perhaps, create a more inclusive atmosphere.
Marking the beginning of my service project, working with a group ‘AMK Minds’, has been a remarkable challenge. Most importantly, it was the first time I had ever worked with people that have some form of disadvantage, and I had to adapt and learn their behaviors, mannerisms, and patterns in order to form relationships with them.
We focused on building their motor skills, which yet again proved to be a difficult challenge. We had to find the perfect balance of enjoyment and educational benefits for the clients, and at times, we found them getting, perhaps, bored with the activities. Thanks to our group leader, and our efforts to think ‘outside the box’ we developed new games and activities for them to partake in and found a great success rate. We noticed that their motor skills became more refined and meticulous. Despite initial issues, we managed to overcome difficulties and formed bonds with the clients.
In the future, we hope to incorporate activities that allow them to explore creative aspects, in order to bring a more personalized approach to our service project.
• One major aspect of the EE that I have learned about today – especially for the English A EE – is the importance of finding the ‘so what’ in our research question. The ‘so what’ adds an element of importance and significance whether it be conducting research, writing or editing. More so, it helps guide your research question in order to be more specific and attainable. I have also been informed of the importance of maintaining citations and references in order to refer back to them later in the research process. For example, my ‘so what’ will outline how Huxley’s understandings can be applied to the 21st Century, as, perhaps, an analysis of our society, human nature, technology, and the morality behind it.
• I am proud of the fact that I have completed: an outline of my EE sub-headings, the introduction (contextual setting), the division of my body paragraphs and the research I have conducted. Although only writing 250 words, I have managed to set a foundation for what I will write.
• My next step is to continue doing my first body paragraph on the Literary Influences upon Huxley and to progress to my second body paragraph on the Portrayal of Idyllicism in Brave New World.
Currently, my research has included the reading, annotating, note-taking and summarization of primary and secondary sources. My primary source ‘Brave New World’, has allowed me to form basic ideas and sub-headings for my research question. My research concerning the academic analysis of the piece has allowed me to support and further examine my ideas. The problems that I faced we primarily structural and organizational. At the start of the reading of my primary source, I had a vast base of ideas that I wanted to examine; however, through meetings with my advisor and further analysis, I managed to narrow down my ideas and form an early structure for my EE. My approach to the EE is strongly research-based. I have begun collecting a database of information concerning each of my sub-headings: literary influences, the presentation of utopia, etc. So far, my research process has been progressing well, and I hope to start forming my arguments in the following week.
Over the course of my service commitment with AMK Minds, I worked with a client that took care and helped develop the skills of those mentally impaired. There were certain group members that were able to communicate, others, however, could not and made certain aspects of the service quite difficult. Although our service was focused on developing the motor skills of the clients – through various arts and crafts activities – we tried to help improve their communication skills as well in order to lay a foundation for future projects with AMK Minds. Although quite difficult at the start, once our group became accustomed to the regular clients and began to learn their habits the service became easy in terms of understanding the wants and needs of each client. Furthermore, the manager of AMK Minds was very understanding and often helped with the organization of activities.
Ultimately, the collective work with our group, our in-school supervisor and the external AMK manager resulted in the smooth running of the service. Without effective communication and collaboration, I strongly doubt we would have had as much success connecting with the clients as we did. In the future, I believe I need to take a more proactive role in the planning stages of the service and try to find effective alternatives to the regular activities we have.
Taking part, and being a ‘rookie’ in the Men’s League Basketball team, has proved to be one of the most difficult challenged I have faced throughout the beginning of the year. Every Wednesday night, our U19 team faces various other teams in league games, against players a lot older than us (thus, also more experienced and stronger than us). Dealing with the physicality, injuries, failures, and defeats has definitely tested my resilient nature.
I showed perseverance throughout, by working through my disappointments, continuously working on improving my athletic abilities regardless of the tough defeats I faced. This meant hour upon hours of work within the weight room, working on getting stronger and more mobile. I continued, as well, to practice and review the mistakes I made in previous games, during my own training times outside of our regular practices. Most importantly, I demonstrated resilience by keeping a positive attitude on the court with my teammates, encouraging them regardless of my personal frustrations, and helped to keep tensions low between each other. I believe this is vital for our long-term success as a team.
Nevertheless, one of the biggest challenged included maintaining my levels of motivation. Many times, it felt easy to give up, or not show up to games, blaming my knee issues for my absence. However, I kept reminding myself that the only way to end up playing Division-1 Basketball at University level would be to persevere through these challenges. This idea continued to drive me and proved to be my strongest source of motivation during tough games.
However, I also have my fantastic teammates to thank for keeping me motivated, especially the Seniors in the team. Sharing this defeat collectively helped lighten the burden on my shoulders and brought us closer together as a team.
Basketball, although being a team sport, is strongly influenced by individual performance as well. I truly believe that during games where I came more motivated and persevered through in-game challenges (such as turnovers, blocks, missed shots, etc), our team did better as a unit, and perhaps drew scores closer together.
Various issues did arise, however, affecting my commitment level. My recurring knee pain was a constant challenge, requiring a lot of attention and care. Perhaps this sometimes stirred me away from my goals, focusing on keeping myself healthy for our regular U19 A Season rather than the Men’s League games themselves.
Overall, I hope that over the next few weeks I can bring the same energy to the basketball court, and be increasingly positive and motivated not only for myself but for the success of my team.
UWCSEA’s perhaps most popular Global Concern is known as Blue Dragon. Blue Dragon Children’s Foundation NGO focuses on providing street children with education, nutrition, health care, counseling, physical and creative activities, rescue, legal advocacy and a safe shelter. Their work is led by a team of social workers, psychologists, teachers, and lawyers. Blue Dragon GC works to raise awareness of Blue Dragon’s success stories. They read monthly newsletters and communicate regularly with the NGO. The GC group run community building sports events and collaborate with Blue Dragon children on photography projects, which are exhibited at the College and beyond.
If we take Sachs’ criteria into consideration, there is a well-balanced mix of stewardship, social inclusion, and self-actualization. As the GC is mainly student run, there is a lot of self-actualization that takes place, where every single member has the chance to fulfill one’s talents and potentialities. There is a great deal of stewardship within this GC, as they personally visit the clients, and care for something, such as their organization or property. This is demonstrated through the clear concern and management that the GC’s provide at each session towards the street children. In terms of social inclusion, I believe it occurs more ‘naturally’ than something the GC is forcefully doing. It occurs when people from UWC actually meet the street children, and this social inclusion occurs.
To conclude, the GC’s are doing a very stable job at having a well-balanced mix of stewardship, social inclusion, and self-actualization; and their actions will, surely, provide for the future.