FINAL REFLECTIONS + JUNE 2017
CREATIVITY: I have continued attending drawing classes all throughout the schoolyear.
ACTION: I have continued my diet and exercise regimen.
SERVICE: I have begun cooperating with Alma Spei, a hospice with terminally ill children. Our group has also completed a goods collection for puppies.
LEARNING OUTCOMES ACHIEVED:
Outcome 3: During my first conversation with the volunteer coordinator for Alma Spei heard of how once a child was taken on a motorcycle ride soon before he passed away. I realized that it was within my abilities to organize an aviation picnic, where the children and their siblings could fly a small passenger plane at the local airport. Having consulted it with the Hospice, I took responsibility for all the arrangements. I am also helping with a Christmas sale of some handmade goods, which is to be a fundraiser for the Hospice.
Outcome 4: I have found an S.O.S. call on social media, which announced that the shelter in the city requires assistance in collecting goods for newborn puppies. Upon this news we decided to form a group and organize such an event in our school.
Outcome 8: Comparing my sketches from the beginning of this schoolyear and recent ones,
is extremely satisfactory for I have developed a new confidence in my drawing skills.
REFLECTIONS JUNE 2017:
Completing my CAS course was not easy with the pressure of approaching exams. As it was the final stretch of the race I was trying to maintain my efficiency without jeopardizing the activities I have taken up. Continuing the art classes, the diet and exercise regimen was especially difficult due to them being time consuming. Having managed that, I have gained
a new certainty that my time organization skills have vastly improved.
At the beginning of January I have also become a volunteer at Alma Spei. It has been a very eventful cooperation, which has taught me a lot about the needs of other people. Having met multiple families from the hospice, I realized that they can in fact be happy as any other people and they have found a way to cherish every moment in the presence of their child.
I have found it inspiring to see that I can in many ways help them to make the best of the time they have together. In that intention I have organized an aviation picnic for three such families. I have also been a chaperone at a field trip to the local zoo, which is organized every year by the Hospice for all of its families. During the time I have already spent working with the Hospice I have learnt much from the experiences with the families but also from the other volunteers. They helped me how making the most of my abilities can help work well with the families. This experience made me realize how things aren’t always what they seem. When
I first joined the Hospice I thought that it would be my job to assist the children in any way necessary, but I soon realized that it was up to me to help the families assist their sick child and make sure that their lives are not taken over by the unfortunate situation.
The CAS experience is an integral and important part of the International Baccalaureate Programme. My attitude to this part of my schoolwork has changed over time. At the beginning it was a way to explore my interests in many different fields but as the years progressed and the amount of leisure time reduced, CAS fell into alignment with my future goals. It has become a way to care for my future competences, possibly enabling me to pursue a doctor’s career. I was, on the other hand, compelled to put less pressure on some other activities or abandon them entirely.
Looking back at the goals I have set for myself, or the challenges I was faced with, I must admit that overall the CAS journey has had a great impact on my personal development. I was no more than two years ago that I wasn’t sure in what direction I want my life to move in. Having taken the snowboarding exams and completing multiple language courses made me realize where I stand and only then I could decide that steps I intend to take next. I realized that some things are of greater importance to me than others and I slowly begun taking my future more seriously. I prioritized the activities that would one day open doors to the world of medical education. I focused in my service on human oriented activities.
Not only has this process built up my confidence by testing my abilities but also shifted my view of the world. I used to think that through all the actions we take, we should strive for
a grand purpose, which should have a global impact. All of my Service activities, including volunteering at the Home and the Hospice as well as my CAS Project have made me realize that one should rather do well by the people around them. This realization is close to the views of Phillip Zimbardo, whom I hadn’t been able to understand before. He claims that evil can be overcome by local heroism. I have recently realized that evil can be understood as any unfortunate circumstance such as old age, or a child’s sickness. It is important that one focuses on what they can do locally that will improve the quality of the lives of people around them. When the trend of habitual kindness spreads across the world, we might find ourselves living in a different place entirely.
Another thing that has come to me during my work at the Hospice is that cooperation can lead to beautiful outcomes. Looking back at our CAS Project, I realize that if there were as many people in our group as there were volunteers at the zoo with Alma Spei, the result would be much better. I have realized that it is important to become involved in actions of those, whose ideas we support. We should be able to lean on others for support in achieving our goals.
Due to the CAS experience, my extracurricular activities became a more pronounced part of my life, I hope that I will have the will power to remain as involved with the surrounding world for years to come.