On Wednesday November 9, I had my first CAS Mentor Interview with my mentor, Mr Fitzpatrick. We discussed my current progress and plans for CAS, which helped me gain a better idea of what I need to improve on and think about in order to be successful. These are the following things that I discussed with my mentor.
So far for Creativity, I’ve completed one collaborative project for the Performing Arts department, Moving Parts Collective, on designing their logo. For a few weeks now, I’ve also been designing the poster, banner, tickets, and programme for the school play, A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Both of these were very graphic-design and illustration heavy, which I loved. I would definitely say that my Creativity experience has been a great one so far. I’ve learned so much about collaborating with other people and following the other person’s criteria. Everything I did was based on what Ms Fisher, the Head of Performing Arts, wanted. I also had to work at a fast pace because the play is only in a few weeks time. I am also working on a Learning Profile project with three other people and Ms Crossland in Primary to teach primary kids the BSJ learning profile. I’ve just started this project, and Ms Crossland wanted us to find books that reflected the Learning Profile. I might also be able to do more graphic design things because she also wanted a logo to be designed for each Learning Profile. As for my other Creativity plans in the future, I am planning to teach underprivileged children art over the winter holiday. I think it would be really good to combine both the Creativity and Service aspect of CAS as it would be benefiting me and the community both. I am also planning on partaking in Mr Gleeson’s ‘Horizons’ project, where I’ll be submitting some artwork. However, I’m not entirely sure if this will count as a project, because although creating artwork takes a long time, there’s no specific progress or outcome I can strive towards. My mentor advised me to not let CAS overtake my life so much, because the two Creativity projects I have so far are quite time-consuming. So far in my Creativity engagements, I feel like I have addressed the following Learning Outcomes:
1. LO3 – I plan and initiate: The ‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream’ project required the most planning. I sketched out several initial ideas and then made my favourite one on Adobe Illustrator, and even after sketching the design out, I still made changes while making it on the computer. I spent a lot of time messing around with the layouts, typefaces (I had to find a good balance between a decorative font for the title and a simpler easy-to-read font for the information), and decorative aspects of the design. After I finished the poster, although the rest of the designs sort of followed the theme of the poster, I still had to plan (even if it’s in my head) what I wanted it to look like. As for the logo, I did not sketch out and brainstorm, but I still did some planning by creating four initial ideas on Adobe Illustrator.
2. LO5 – I demonstrate collaborative skills, I recognise the benefits of collaboration: For both the MPC logo and ‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream’ projects, I had to collaborate with Ms Fisher, the Head of Performing Arts. I went through so many drafts (especially for AMND), attempting to get the design into what Ms Fisher would deem as ‘perfect’. If she thought something wasn’t right, even if it’s something really small, it would still be a change I had to make. This was also the case with the MPC logo, although I went through a few less drafts because of the simpler and more straightforward design. Collaborating with Ms Fisher has been such a great and new experience for me, because I have never worked with someone in this manner before, in which I have to listen to their demands. I learned a lot of skills on Illustrator that I didn’t know how to do before, because if there’s something she wanted done that I didn’t know how to do, I pushed myself to say ‘Yes, that is possible’ and then googled how to do it. I think this would be really beneficial for me in the future, since I might be interested in being a graphic designer.
My Activity experiences have been very tiring to say the least. I am currently doing Nike Fitness every week in PE and starting Pilates again next week (my instructor has been away for training). For Nike Fitness, I’ve measured my resting heart rate (82 beats per minute) and after exercise. My mentor advised me to consult with one of the PE teachers about different ways of measuring progress. Because I’d like to improve my cardiovascular fitness, I feel like measuring my heart rate would be the best option. I could even measure how long it takes for my heart rate to go back to normal after exercise. As for activities in the future, my mentor and I also talked about possibly joining in a more competitive sport for my Activity. Since I am not very athletic, I think this will pose as a challenge for me. I am also terrified of balls, so I would have to join sports such as badminton. So far, I feel like I’ve addressed the following Learning Outcomes:
1. LO2 – I undertake challenges, I develop new skills: Nike Fitness has been very challenging for me. By the end of each session, I’m always sweating a lot, out of breath, and having sore muscles the next day. Hopefully as the weeks go by, I am able to improve my physical fitness so my muscles are more accustomed to the intense exercise.
2. LO4 – I show commitment, I persevere: By coming to the sessions with my full PE kit, I am already showing some form of commitment. However, the true commitment lies in the difficult exercises I have to do. I stay committed to trying my best and I persevere through the tiredness and pain.
Service has been the most complicated one for me. My Girl Effect students did not want to come and learn anymore (they were students from last year’s Year 13 CAS), so I’ve had to search for new CAS projects. I’ve joined the Bamboo Project, although we haven’t had a meeting yet. I’m not sure how this project will be like – I still know quite little about it. I’m thinking that I can design the furniture and help fundraise, although my mentor pointed out that I really needed to survey the kampung that I’m helping (do they even want furniture?) and also the bamboo constructor (is he trustworthy?). Recently, I’ve started another service project outside of school. I’ve joined an organisation called Tri Kusuma Bangsa where volunteers teach groups of underprivileged street children different subjects. I’ve volunteered to teach them English every week on Sunday and since the location is close to my house, it will be quite convenient for me. I’ve had one session so far and I’ve found it to be more difficult than I expected. The kids were of different capabilities and some were very lazy, so my mentor advised me to think of some fun interactive games as a teaching tool. As for my future service projects, I will be teaching underprivileged children art in a different organisation (as I mentioned before) and I’m also planning on perhaps going to rural areas like Papua during the holidays with my dad to also teach there. This still needs more planning. So far, I think I have addressed the following Learning Outcomes:
1. LO3 – I plan and initiate: Every lesson, previously with Girl Effect and now with the Tri Kusuma Bangsa, has required planning. For the first session, I was just getting an idea of the skill level of the children, so I planned simple things like the alphabet, numbers, and colours. However, now that I know some of them already learned these things, I have to plan my lessons that will benefit both the beginners and the ones who already know basics (introducing oneself, greetings, etc). I’ve also had to contact different organisations to get an idea of which one would be the best choice, the safest choice, the most efficient choice, and the like.
2. LO6 – I engage with issues of global significance: Poverty is a serious global issue, and I’ve acted to help a small group of poor Indonesian children so that they might have a better future. For the Bamboo Project, the issue is also concerning poverty, and this project will act to help families have better and easier lives with proper furniture in their homes.
In these initial stages of CAS, I have learned that I love graphic design more than I thought I did (and I’m now considering it as a minor or a possible major) and that I actually really like staring at a screen for hours frying my brain with changing typefaces, changing typeface sizes, colours, layouts, and creating outlines of illustrations. I’ve also learned that I’m quite capable of exercise, which I rarely even do, and that it’s not as bad as I dreaded it to be. With the catchy music during sessions and the unity of doing it with my friends, Nike Fitness sessions can be kind of fun. Lastly, I’ve learned that I can be a lot more patient than I thought myself capable of. My service teaching projects have required so much patience with little children who can barely focus, and I’ve gotten frustrated so many times, but I’ve managed to stay patient and ‘keep my cool’. I’m not a naturally gifted teacher, so I think I surprised myself that I’m even capable of teaching children, especially in Indonesian, which is a language I struggle with. In the next stage of CAS, I’m really excited for more Creativity possibilities, since that’s my favourite area. I’m also looking forward to learning more things, not just about myself, but also different skills that I might need to acquire along the way. I think they’ll help me a lot in my future.