CREATIVITY ACTIVITY SERVICE
During this year my CAS activities varied, however some of them were unchanged through all the year. To achive as much skills as possible, especially in activity area, I was doing some short and long run activities, which will be described in the other paragraphs. The creativity area includes some of my personal projects as well as formal and semiformal events such as EYP or MUNs. All of my CAS activities will be presented below and my reflections on them will be described.
The first activities that can be included in the creativity part is my engagement in oxford debates, MUN and EYP conferences. I am a member of school debates team as well as member of EYP Poland.
In September 2015, I participate in National Selection Conference of EYP Poland in Wrocław (3-7th September). During this 5 days, I was working in FEMM Committee on changing the policies on women rights within European Union. The special focus was on the under-representation of women in the scientific disciplines and careers. I got to know that women represent just 33% of European researchers, which was a huge shock for me. Furthermore, I gain a lot of knowledge in the area of women rights, and their discrimination in different spheres, especially work. I didn’t know that women with the same qualifications as men, earn statisticlaly 25 % less than men on the same position. In my everyday life I do not experience discrimination because of my sex, so I was totally not aware of the problem. I knew about the discrimination of women in Islamic states, but I though in Europe there is no problem of gender unequality. This conference surely changed my perspective on women issues and developed my knowledge in this area. (5 x 8 hours = 40 hours)
From 12-14th November I participated in VISMUN Conference, as a delegate. I was representing Japan in United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime. Our issue was „The sex trade in the Far East with a focus on slavery and human trafficking”. As same as with EYP Conference, I was just incredibly shocked. It is impossible how not aware of real life we are, and it should be school teaching us about this kind of issues. I had no idea of human trafficking and slavery being such a problem in MDC’s such as Japan. We all know that LDCs have problems with this kind of issues, but Japan, country with GDP and HDI higher than Poland. Event such as MUN when you really research some problem from the perspective of some country teach us so incredibly much. You develope your personal knowledge on the issue, but in the same way you gain two perspective, your own one, as well as the perspective of country you represent. You start to understand why sometimes it is so hard to reach agreement in UN, when each of the countries needs to compromise its need with other countries and anticipate possible consequences. I see this event as really openminding experience that totally changed my view on every day life and world. Our committe work finished with resultion paper that I include in the appendix. (3 x 8 hours = 24 hours)
In October I had also participate in sewing workshops in Slow Fashion Cafe on Kazimierz District in Cracow, which lasted one weekend, two days, each day 6 hours of sewing. This were workshops for beginners, however the skills I gained I used when sewing a meditation pillow for my friends 18th birthday. It is incredible how much calm and concetration you need to practice sewing. It seems such an easy activity, however it really demands a lot of self-mobilazation and patience. I include photos of my sewing exercises, the skirt and the pillow I sewed. (2 x 6 = 12 hours)
My hobby is photography and drawing, so in the spare time, I take photos and draw. I am more interested in analog photography than digital one. I take pictures with Diana Mini from Lomography and Russian LOMO LC-A. This year I started to experiment with pinhole camers, as I got Diana Multi Pinhole Operator for my birthday in January. By pictures I mainly document some events or situations, it is an incredible way in which you can maintain some moment or its memory forever. This is the thing I like the most in photography, this amazing abillity to catch a moment and stand up against merciless time. In appendix I include some of the series of pictures I took during this school year. Drawing is also my passion, last year I was attending drawing lessons, however in IB I do not have any time left for it. I draw just for myself, it is a method of relaxation for me and I just like to do it. This year I finished just 2 bigger pieces of work, which are pencil drawing in format A3, the rest of my drawings are in my sketch book. Scans of my work as well as some pages from sketch book will be included in appendix. Both photography and drawing are for me a way out from difficulties in life. When burden of life overwhelms me I just sit and draw, or I go for a walk to search for situations worth photographing. I like to photograph action, that is why I am really into street photography, my authority is Bruce Gilden, however, I do street just with diginal camera, as it is much easier. My pictures and drawings are just an expression of myself, my needs and problems. This two hobbies help me deal with everything that boders me, and enable me, to use this flustration and other negative energy to actually create some piece of art.
My sport acitivities during this school year changed a lot. In September, I was playing volleyball in my team that I played more than 6 years for. However, it appeared that our club is not going to open a new junior section for the older part of my team, that I was in. Therefore, I had to stop training volleyball and I changed for fitness. Through all the year, I have attended Infinity Fitness, at least once a week for 1,5 hour. In spring, I decided to start personal trainings which I have till now. My trainer is Grzegorz Błoch, who is a Polish Campion WPF 2016, but most importantly a great man. With Grzegorz and my friend Hania, we train 1,5 hour, 3 times a week. During the winter time, so from December to March, I have done SITN skiing instructor course, which consist of 3 levels. There are two exams on the club level from both theory and practice. After passing them I also had to gain 8/10 points on Regional Skiing Competition, and then past the official SITN practical exam. All the path I went through is documented in my SITN index, which scans will be also included in appendix. From 11-13 March, I have also attended yoga and Body Mind Centering workshops with Malwina Rzonca and Iwona Olszowska. After this workshops, I came back to yoga practice in Mayura Yoga School, I was attending practice at least two times a week for about 2 months, then I started my personal trainings at Infinity Fitness, and because of lack of time, I had move to individual practice of yoga at home. During December and January I was also playing tennis once a week, but I stopped for no bigger reason. I came back to tennis in May, as I can practice it outside. Right now I play with my friend, who is preparing for tennis instructor course. Sport for me is the biggest must in life. No matter if there is a lot of learning or homework to do, physical activity is something our body as well as mind needs. I saw it on myself, when I stopped playing volleyball and it took me about a month to start fitness. After this month of totally no activity, I saw how much good physical activity brings us. The first thing, different from just strengh of muscles and body, is the concentration. Sport obligates us to focus on the pain and deal with it. We are training not only our bodies but our minds, and breaking our own imaginary limitations. The great thing sports teach us is also achieving goals. In makes us more patient and goal focused. The goals are coming slowly but for fitness, small change can be seen after every training. This gives the sense of happiness and motivates to continue the fight with yourself and laziness. As your body is getting in better shape, because of sport practice, you start to have more energy for daily activities. You are just becoming more positive, full of joy and energy for living, this can be also related to the happiness hormones that are secrete when practicing sport. I love sport, there is no other activity that gives me more happiness and makes my feel better. However, I have to admit that as a fun of group sports, I did not liked fitness at first. Fitness requires much more self concentration, which was at the beginning mentally tiring for me. Right now, I see my adventure with fitness as a great experience, that shaped by body right, but most importantly taugh me how to concentrate on yourself, on the pain, how to be tough and not give up easily. ( skiing course 2 weeks x 7 days x 8 hours each = 112 hours) (yoga workshops 3 days x 7 hours = 21 hours) (fitness and yoga 7 months x 4 weeks in month x at least 3 hours a week = around 84 hours)
My voluntary service for CAS I took at organisation named Uniwersytet Dzieci. I decided to chose this voluntary organisation because I like to work with people, in this case kids, and because I always wanted to have younger siblings, unfortunately I have just older sister. This organisation provides children with free lessons in form of workshops on many different topics. It was established as an alternative form of eduation, in opposition to the traditional system, that schools follow. In this kind of lessons are much more interactive, students are ment to develope their creativity rather than follow exercise schemes. The goal of the lectures of the University of Children is not to deliver the knowledge, but to make the students understand it fully. Kids are also treated differently, more seriously, as partners to talk rather than pupils. As a volunteer in this organisation, I am helping in preparing of this workshops. I take care of organisation of the place, checking the attendence list, mainly, I take care of the aspects connected with organising and carring on the workshops and well as students. Sometimes, if there is a need, I help lecture in some activities. All the time, I need to be with the students, as I take responsibility of them and their behaviour. This voluntary service tought me a lot. There is so much that I gained from this experience. The first thing is all the knowledge from different areas, as I was also partly a student during all these workshops. The second thing is the responsibility, I learned how hard it is. Taking care of 6 years old group of 20 kids is a challenge. Moreover, organisation and ability to fluently communicate with total strangers. At first, I was really hard for me to easily talk with all these kids and their parents, you need to be really open for others, and this is the next thing I learned – openness. I also found out that working with people was really enegry exchanging process. Especially with children, everytime I finished my service, sometimes really tired but I was always happy. There is really no other satistaction better than the once gained from helping others. When talking with my little students, I have established new friendships, and learned many interesting things. Interesingly, it was also really shocking when during the workshops, lecture asked about some abstract fact that I had no idea about, and a part of the students knew the answer. It was incredible how inteligent some of these children were. This gave me also a feeking of the inner warmth. I felt really proud for this kids, even though I didn’t really know them. I thing I have seen them as this kind of bright light, glimmer of hope, even though it may sound funny, for the future world. The experience of working in this organisation gave me a lot of positive power to belive that there is a great generation of people to came about, which can and will change the world for better. All of these kids were so openminded, so true and so pure, without any pragmacy or forgery. Their hearts were just full of good, cleanest good, and this was beautiful. ( 10 workshops x around 4/5 hours = around 45 hours)
Summing up, I have to admit that CAS activities had a huge impact on my personality and changed my view on the different aspects of life. Some of them convicted me of the brutality of our world, some of them opened my eyes on problems I did not had idea of. Other gave a lot of hope and positive energy for better future. All of the activities I have done, taught me a lot, I gain knowledge in many areas, as well as, advanced my concentation, organisation, speaking skills and many other. I think that CAS is a great opportunity for us to progress and develope. It provides us with important features, such as self improvement on both physical and mental level. We gain new abilities, impossible to be taught at school.