CREATIVITY ACTIVITY SERVICECAS REFLECIONS
During this year my CAS activities had to be partly changed due to the limited time, concerning all the deadlines for IA as well as preparation for final exams. I tried to choose such activities that were somehow connected to school life or my education subjects. Such symbiosis of school and CAS allowed me to spend my time most efficiently and economically, which was also and important lesson to learn.
The activities that can be included in creativity part is surely Oxford debates, which I got to master this year winning the 1st prize at the Krakowski Turniej Debat. Together with my team, which consists of 4 people, we met firstly once a week, when starting in eliminations and then 2 or 3 times a week, when being in final phase, to create, discuss and practice our line of argumentation. In total we had around 10 debates, for each the preparation differed from 10-35 h, plus the debate itself lasted around 1,5 – 2h. It should be also noted that for each debate, we had to spend a couple of hours writing and re-editing our speeches.
Being an Oxford debater not only taught me how to nicely speak and persuade, but developed the strong sense of a validity of my own opinion, which is worth spreading. It also destroyed the inner fear that most of us have to speak openly, express your ideas and value yourself. I have to add that it also increased my self-esteem, which appeared to be very important in IB life, full of hard long-term tasks, which do frustrate a lot. The icing on the cake of the Oxford debates experience was an invitation for an interview in Radio Kraków, where the whole audition was about my debating team and Oxford debates itself. (around 130 h)
For the creativity part, I also continued to take photos and draw through out this year. These are my biggest hobbies, especially photography. I use to carry my camera in my backpack everyday, thanks to which I was able to take around 200 pictures during this school year. I mainly used Olympus Mju II, as it is the best small portable camera, which has a perfect flesh for polish cold and dark winters. Some of my works will be included in the appendix.
Unfortunatelly, I was not able to participate in any MUN Conference nor EYP Conference this year. However, I actively participated in my schools student union and student council, being the president and then co-president during this year. What can be included in the creativity part, is the fact that I conducted a full restructurization of student council, creating the divisons in to functional groups consisting of around 5 people, which tackled different problems and issues, from sport to voluntary service and innovation. Moreover, I established the policy of co-presidency, where the presidential power is evenly divided between two co-presidents of distinct sex. By this action I was aiming at promoting gender equality and encouraging the women to participate more in political life.
During this year I have also participated in the mathematical papers contest, in which I presented my Internal Assesment translated to Polish. In the finals, I had to prepare a lecture on my academic paper and present it to the auditorium. This activity required a huge self-discipline and determination, as the finals appeared to be in April just before the final exams. During this time, I had to manage my time incredibly well, and I can say that I tested my limits and overcome them. I have never though that I can be as efficient as I was during this time. This experience realize me how much you can do in a short time if there is such a need and a proper motivation.
This year I decided to change from fitness back to tennis, which I played for more than 7 years when I was a child. During the whole academic year, I had 2 h tennis training each Thursday, excluding holidays. This activity enabled me to develop my game skills, stronger muscles and increase my eye-hand coordination. Moreover, once or twice a month I also played with my boyfriend, who during this time was preparing to become a tennis instructor. I hope to also finish such preparation course and get tennis instructor certification after finishing my final exams in May. Tennis is one of my favorite sports as it reminds me of childhood and is the first sport that I had been training professionally. In my opinion, it is one of the sports that requires strength, incredible focus, and precision, but also openminded thinking, as the best players such as Roger Federer are not force-focused players but strategic thinkers. Therefore, tennis training surely mastered my quick strategic thinking skills, reaction response skills, which were not only helpful on the court but also in the argument battle at the Oxford debates.
During the winter I also continued to traine skiing as well as give skiing lessons, since I finished the skiing instructor last year. Moreover, in January I was able to get my first teaching experience on skiing camp from Lider Sport Wadowice in Rytro Zdrój, where for a week I trained a group of 10 kids from 9:00-13:00 and 13:30-16:00. After the training with the other members of stuff we provided games and fun activities for children, as well as, professional sport analysis of their skiing.
For service, in the first semester I continued to volunteer on weekends in University of Children Foundation in Kraków, as I did in 1DP. However, it was impossible to combine both volunteering with leading the student council and learning to school. Therefore, from January, I had to drop the volunteering in University of Children and I countinued my work for students council. Students Council had been fully restructurize as I mentioned before. The meetings were once a week or once a two weeks, depending on the period. The school gained new full governance system, co-presidency reform was implemented, segregation bins were introduced. The school continued the production and destribution of school hoodies. The students union constitution was rewritten including new amendments concernign restructuralization. During my presidency and co-presidency multiple volunteering actions took place in the school.
I have also participated in creating the first school oxford debate competition, for which I took the role of a judge and marshal couple of times. We have been helping the school teams in creating their lines of argumentation, developing retoric skills and getting self confidence, so important when standing on the lectern. The volunteer service for school and my coleges enabled me to appreciate the value of cooperation, team-work. It made me realise how easy and useful can be the pear-pear help. It showed me that we can learn from each other from our friends, and sometimes it can be much more efficient than learning long hours from books, as it is the practice than the others can teach us, not only the theory.
To conclude, CAS activities in my second year of DP programme were not as abudant as in the first year. I truely love the idea of having CAS in IB programme but I have to admit that managing it with studing in final year and having social life has been hard. However, it also teaches a good lesson of selfmanagment, selection of activities so that one can stick to the deadlines and go to the parties.