LO4: Show commitment to and perseverance in your CAS experience.
Our second season of service has ended, and has brought with it large changes. Despite our best efforts in adapting our activities to better suit the clients of the elderly center, we have found our efforts less-than-fruitful in furthering our end-goal; that of interviewing both clients and those who care for them and cataloguing said interviews (hence, “Memoirs” of the pioneer generation). However, a significant setback in the path of our service has been how hesitant our clients have been to actually speak; we have been unable to create a close enough social bond to gather any information from them. Similarly, those who work at the center have been unwilling to provide us with any sort of interview. Hence, in view of this setback, our service has adopted a different strategy; that of splitting up and joining with other local services in school, and working with them to gain a different perspective on service as a whole, a perspective we will be able to bring back to the group and hopefully translate into a valuable insight into service. I, personally, have joined with YMCA Student Care Center, with which I hope that I will be able to gain a different perspective, and, hopefully, overcome this setback to our service.
LO3: Demonstrate how to initiate and plan a CAS experience.
LO5: Demonstrate the skills and recognise the benefits of working collaboratively.
With our first season of Service concluded, I find that Memoirs of the Pioneer generation has been a strong fit for me, despite some challenges and apprehension. Firstly, despite much planning and initiative for activities, with our service group entering the senior center with clear ideas on how we wanted to conduct our sessions, we rapidly found that our plans did not develop as we wanted them to. With many senior clients of the center having relatively short attention spans, many of our planned activities (board games, ball games, etc.) that did not provide immediate gratification and somewhat fast-paced fun soon fell apart. Though our first activities, as a simple get-to-know-you, were ball games where we learnt the names of the clients of the center, we somewhat rudimentary, as we were forced to improvise and abandon our initial plan, we soon overcame the challenge of planning and adapting our expectations of the activity to fit the clients. As we tailored our plans to better fit them, by prioritising activities more accessible to them and less likely to lose their interest, we found a greater degree of engagement with our clients (though, despite our best efforts, some of them remained quite distant and reluctant to socialise). Nonetheless, despite our difficulties with planning and the challenges that organising sessions presented, I feel that the first season of service has been a productive and personally enjoyable one.
Thus far, I am very happy with my selection of Memoirs of the Pioneer Generation, held on Thursdays from 3:00 to 4:30, as my Grade 11 service. I initially chose it because the idea interested me; while throughout grade 9 and grade 10 I had done Sun-Dac as my Service, and, there, had participated in a wide variety of activities with various differently abled clients, I was intrigued by the idea of collaborating with, interviewing, and eventually recording (and perhaps even publishing) the various experiences of this older generation, with them being the metaphorical “foundation” of modern Singapore (hence the name, “The Pioneer Generation”). I find it highly important to keep in touch with the past and to not forget the older generation, and am also very much impressed with our first visit to the actual facility; the staff are friendly and the clients there equally so. The process leading up to interviews is open-ended and also interests me. Overall, I look forwards to a year of new connections and a greater understanding not only of the older generation, but of the history of Singapore, and am happy to be an active member in the process of gathering information (via interviews) to later be published, either digitally or in a physical book.