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Final Interview: CAS

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Categories: Creativity, Action, Service (CAS), Reflections

Back at 30th of January 2018, I did my final CAS meeting with my CAS mentor. In this meeting, my CAS mentor asked questions mainly to allow me to focus on reflecting my CAS journey throughout the IB course. Here is the summary of what I’ve discussed with my mentor:

Service

For the service part of CAS, I felt that I’ve contributed more for Feline Cross compared to Project Hope. Feline Cross is a fresh group with a fresh start, and being able to build a cat sanctuary within one year felt like an achievement. We’ve also brought in four cats into the sanctuary, as well as providing furniture inside the sanctuary (scratch wall, shelves for climbing). I’ve engaged and helped with most of the artistic part for this CAS, such as making the group logo and a couple of sign designs. However, I’ve also helped with building the scratch wall, shelves, and buy the food for the cats. Now that we’ve achieved our initial goal, which is building the sanctuary and having cats in it, we are happy to pass this CAS project for the year 12s to take over. We’ve used technology such as giving out e-mails and forms to help raise awareness for this project, but we felt that the year 12s could improve the promotion area of this project using technology.

Creativity

Creativity is a really engaging aspect for me, as I try to incorporate art and design in most of my CAS. I’ve created posters for Project hope, created Feline Cross logo, designed signs, etc. I’ve learnt that communication is the most important factor in designing, as I need to communicate and gain feedback with the team to achieve a qualified design.

Activity 

Throughout the two year IB course, I’ve joined various activities such as Wushu martial arts, tennis, basketball, tennis, ping-pong, badminton, and trampolining. Personally, this activity experience in CAS allows me to engage more seriously in sports compared to my previous years. By joining afterschool activity, it also helped me build my persistence and determined to attend every session, slowly working and achieving my SMART goals. I’ve learned various skills in each of the different activities I did, and I think that this is a satisfying personal growth/development.

Overall, CAS has been a wonderful experience that provides balance between my studies. I’ve also enjoyed and had fun by committing to these activities/service projects together with my friends.

Useful links: Second CAS Interview

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Creativity: Feline Cross “Sign”

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Categories: Creativity, Action, Service (CAS), Reflections

Around mid 2017, the cat sanctuary was fully built and ready to use. The process of gathering, vaccinating, and cleaning the stray cats around the school took quite some time, but on November 2017, the sanctuary is finally open for public. We’ve officially requested and obtained our own e-mail address (feline_cross@bsj.sch.id), and sent out an official announcement of our grand opening.

Although most of the students learned about the cat sanctuary through our sent e-mails, some of them discovered it physically by walking past the sanctuary. I thought that it would be a great idea to create a sign or a banner to be placed somewhere in the sanctuary; to give a general idea of what Feline Cross is. This sign/banner will also serve the purpose to remind unauthorised visitors that visits are supposed to be supervised.

                  

 

Since this is an official and formal sign, I’ve decided to make it as BSJ-influenced as possible. Above shows the two simple designs of the base sign, and as the final design, I chose to use the right design, because the left one feels out of place with the ‘incomplete’ blue rectangle.

I debated to myself about whether I should include the rules in the sign, but I thought it wouldn’t be necessary if a Feline Cross member will be there to explain the rules anyway. So I decided to put a basic information about what Feline Cross is, a welcome message, and a small reminder (that visits are supposed to be supervised).

        

The two design above clearly shows that the second one (right) is way better, but minor edits such as grammatical fix and the blue rectangle edit needs to be implemented. With the help of several other Feline Cross member (feedbacks and suggestions), here is the final sign:

Although this sign has made the sanctuary looked like a monument, this basic information may be useful in the future as well. I’ve uploaded the photoshop file of this sign to the shared folder, so that the Year 12s who are taking over the project will have the ability to edit and modify it accordingly.

Learning outcomes achieved:

  • LO #5 : I demonstrate collaborative skills, I recognise the benefits of collaboration
    • By collaborating with other Feline Cross members, I was able to achieve a greater design as I asked for feedbacks.
  • LO #7 : I recognise ethical issues, I act ethically
    • By creating this sign, I act ethically. If students are unaware that their visits are unauthorised, some of them may venture inside the sanctuary and interact with the cats unsupervised. This will cause multiple issues and this sign will help prevent that from happening.

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Activity: Badminton@FinalCP

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Categories: Creativity, Action, Service (CAS), Reflections

This is the final checkpoint of my activity. Going back to my SMART goal:

“By the end of term one, I should be able to carry out at least 5 smash in one game”

I’ve already practiced every Monday for one hour, gave some tries in doing push-ups, and practiced only performing smashes.

It is true that the coach cannot play with me every time (because he plays with other students as well), and the coach will be going easy against me anyway. So the game I played to achieve my goal will be against my friend. When playing, I always look for an opportunity to perform the smash. Although sometimes I failed the smash and that leads to the shuttle hitting the net instead, I’m still able to perform six smashes in one game! Signing up for this activity has been a lot of fun, I enjoyed playing badminton, learn new skills from the coach, and made a couple of friends from outside of my year level.

Final image taken during the final session of term 1 (one of my smashes caught on camera!)

Time achieved: November-December 2017

Learning outcomes:

  • LO #1 : I identify my strengths, I identify areas for growth
    • Since I have experience in playing badminton (with my dad and brother during my younger years), I consider myself decent in badminton. I already know how to rally (just need a little bit of warm up to get me back into badminton), I know the different skills in badminton, I know how to surf the shuttle, etc. With these set of skills that I already know and able to do, I move forward to learn and achieve the things that I couldn’t such as the smash and the dropshots.
  • LO #2 : I undertake challenges, I develop new skills
    • Although badminton is not a new sport for me, that doesn’t mean that I cannot learn anything new. I developed a set of new skills (smash and dropshot), and undertook challenges to achieve them (improving stamina and practicing push-ups)
  • LO #4 : I show commitment, I preserve
    •  I attended every single badminton sessions and make sure that I use my time wisely, practice, and commit to my SMART goal for badminton.

 

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Activity: Badminton@CPIII

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Categories: Creativity, Action, Service (CAS), Reflections

From my previous checkpoint, I’ve greatly improved my stamina and learned a simple ability (dropshot). Some time around this checkpoint, I told the coach that I wish to learn how to perform the smash. He told me an analogy of the smash movement, which is to imagine that I’m throwing a rock. The hand movement will be roughly the same when performing the smash. When playing against him, the coach set up each of his movements accordingly so that I have the opportunity to perform smash ability a lot of times and practice (by hitting the shuttle high and slow). I don’t understand why I couldn’t perform such a skill. When one smashes, we can clearly hear the sound of the batt slicing through the air, and we know that it is a powerful strike. But when I tried to perform the smash, not a single sound was heard. My arms just isn’t powerful enough.

I told the coach about my problems and he gave me a simple advice. Doing push-ups will greatly increase my arm strength, and it will surely help me to perform smashes. Although I’m really weak at push-ups, I gave a few tries outside of the session time to practice and prepare.

Here’s a simple video of me and my partner playing (practicing) against the coach:

Time achieved: October 2017

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Activity: Badminton@CPII

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Categories: Creativity, Action, Service (CAS), Reflections

From my previous checkpoint, I’ve warmed myself up every week and get used to playing badminton again. Since I don’t spend much time exercising, I have difficulties to keep up with full stamina for the whole 1 hour of badminton session. Now that I commit and attend every session, my body starts to adapt.

I practiced by playing against the coach a lot of times. Even though he is going easy on me, sometimes I have difficulties to rally the shuttle back to him. This is because he always returns the shuttle with full force so it always fly really high and far away. Not to mention that I have to give enough force back for the shuttle to pass the net. After every long shots, the coach would reduce the force drastically so the shuttle barely passes the net, therefore I had to run across the court for most of the time. This is the main cause of why I always felt tired really quickly during the session, but by doing this every week, I’ve adapted to the coach’s style and improved my stamina.

Side note though, although I really dislike the very weak drop shots (because I miss most of the time!) I’ve picked that ability and used it against my fellow opponents. I’ve earned experience on when and where to perform this ability, and this in return greatly helps me predict when my opponent will use it against me.

Time achieved: September-October 2017

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Activity: Badminton@CPI

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Categories: Creativity, Action, Service (CAS), Reflections

For the first term in year 13, I signed up for badminton activity every Monday after school. This activity is different compared to the other two that I did last year, because I have plenty of experience. I used to play badminton with my brother and father every weekends, so the SMART goal for this activity will be focusing on something that I am not able to do until today: perform the smash.

SMART goal: “By the end of term one, I should be able to carry out at least 5 smash in one game”


(This image is taken during the final session of term 1 badminton, not the earliest photo)

On this checkpoint, I’ve:

  • Played with the coach to let him know about my “level”
  • Practiced a lot of rallying together with other students

Time achieved: ~early September 2017

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Activity: Tennis@Final CP

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Categories: Creativity, Action, Service (CAS), Reflections

This is the final checkpoint for my tennis activity! Going back to my SMART goal for this activity: “By the end of year 12, I should be able to rally the tennis ball at least 15 times against my opponent”

This means that the ball must not go out of the court, hit the net, bounce more than once, and I shall not miss to hit the ball. From my previous checkpoints, I’ve came to the after school activity every week to learn new skills, receive tips, as well as casually practicing against each other with the standard rule applied. At the beginning of the activity, I do play at the ‘easiest’ court where the inexperienced players are, but as I learn and grow, I was moved to a more experienced court and get to play with better opponents. 

On my last week of year 12, and last day for my tennis activity, we play against each other casually. But this day is really important for me because I succeeded to rally the tennis ball at least 15 times!

Here is a final picture of me playing in the end of year 12 🙂

Time achieved : mid June 2017
And, this is the final checkpoint for my tennis activity! I am glad that I am able to learn a new sport and develop new skills in 1 term.

Learning outcomes achieved:

  • LO #1 : I identify my strengths, I identify areas for growth
    • I used my experience in badminton and apply them to tennis. Even though some things doesn’t work (e.g. the way to hold the racket, and the angle or the force applied when hitting the ball), the basics is still there and I am able to use that knowledge to improve throughout the activity.
  • LO #2 : I undertake challenges, I develop new skills
    • Tennis is new for me, therefore I am able to challenge myself and learn new skills.
  • LO #4 : I show commitment, I preserve
    •  I attended almost all of my tennis after school activity sessions and make sure that I use my time wisely, practice, and commit to my SMART goal for tennis.

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Activity: Tennis@CPIII

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Categories: Creativity, Action, Service (CAS), Reflections

From my previous checkpoint, I’ve received a very important tip to get better at tennis: stand further behind from the net. I’m still practicing my skills to hit the ball back (not too hard like badminton and not at a wrong angle to hit the net/hit out of the court), but now that I further understood the mechanics of tennis, the coach now asks all of us to find a partner and try and play doubles against another partner. This time, we also keep track of the scores obtained so that later we can swap opponents (the winner vs. another winner from another court, etc). We also play singles with each other to further practice our rallying skills (and sometimes do keep track of the scores too).

Now that we experienced to play against each other, the ball is no longer allowed to bounce more than once, because the standard rules are now applied. Hitting the ball to the net/out of the court also grants a point to the opponent. It is a good progress so far to be able to play with the standard rules applied.

Here’s a VERY short video of me hitting the ball once, because my phone was running out of space and I couldn’t capture as much. 🙁

Time achieved : End-May ~ Beginning June 2017

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Activity: Tennis@CPII

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Categories: Creativity, Action, Service (CAS), Reflections

From my previous checkpoint, I learned the effective way of holding a racket as well as the correct way of swinging the racket. Now that the basics are learned, the coach focuses to train us how to rally the ball properly. Since this is still very very basic, the ball is allowed to bounce against the floor more than once. Usually, when the ball bounces more than once, the point automatically goes to the opponent. But since I just started to practice on rallying, the coach allows multiple bounces so that it will be less time consuming (to pick up the ball and surf again).

My badminton skills still appear when playing tennis; sometimes I hit the racket too hard so the ball goes out of the court, or the angle of my racket when hitting the ball is a little bit off so the ball hits the net instead of passing over it. I am also still not used to the bouncing mechanics of this sport; sometimes I tried to hit the ball even before the ball hits the ground for the first time, resulting in a really bad rally and even failing to hit the ball back.

The coach gave me a tip that I should stand far back from the net to allow the ball to bounce off as well as giving me time to predict where the ball will go and how will I hit the ball back. Standing too close to the net will only make me step further back only to wait for the ball to bounce once (and possibly missing the ball), so it is better for me to stand further. I do find this tip useful and this is a new skill I’ve learned.

Time achieved : Early May 2017

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Activity: Tennis@CPI

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Categories: Creativity, Action, Service (CAS), Reflections

During term 3 on Year 12 (April-June 2017), I followed tennis after school activity. I played tennis ONCE before and it was back when I was in year 7 at my previous school, so I thought that I want to seriously learn how to play a new sport and add new skills for myself.

Since I told the coach that I’ve never played tennis before, I was placed at the “lowest” court, where inexperienced players play. I also noticed that I was the oldest member in this activity. Some people might think that it may not be a very good learning place to play without challenge, but then again, I didn’t even know how to hold the tennis racket properly; I thought it works exactly like badminton! Also, not everyone is too young, there are some members who are around year 10 or 11.

 Playing with ~Year 4s and 3s

The SMART goal for my tennis activity is: “By the end of year 12, I should be able to rally the tennis ball at least 15 times against my opponent”

On this checkpoint, I learnt basic rules of tennis:

  • The efficient way to hold a racket (two hands holding and positioned in front of our body)
  • The correct way of swinging the racket (not too hard like badminton, angle and positioning too)

Time achieved : mid-April 2017

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