May 2016 Reflections by Anna Kłeczek

MAY 2016

Anna Kłeczek

CAS activities:

CREATIVITY: My lifetime goal to speak at least five languages fluently cannot be achieved in such a short notice but certainly I have made a huge step forward  this semester,
by regularly attending classes for (2,5-4,5 h every Saturday) and I am about to have completed  another course, which pushed my abilities forward.

ACTION: I have attended a course, which was crowned by obtaining the second level
of advancement, according to SITS, which is far more than I have been hoping for. This success can be attributed to the hours I spent snowboarding and practicing all season.

SERVICE: Weekly visits at the home of care for the elderly has been surprisingly more than just service for the residents. It made me realize how fragile our lives are and became a push factor in many of my decisions.


Outcome 1: I have identified what my weaknesses are and what needs further development in both my snowboarding and language skills. The difficulty is to how act upon those discoveries.

Outcome 2: I have stepped out of my comfort and safety zone to find out whether I have the potential to become a snowboarding instructor.

Outcome 5: I have identified my weaknesses when it comes to Spanish grammar and have taken action to overcome this limitation this semester. Furthermore I have accepted the responsibility that comes with ambition. Having chosen four Higher Level subjects I feared that I would get discouraged but I have for the time being been able to find motivation to from carrying on down this path.

Outcome 7: I have been slowly realizing that our actions have great influence on the environment and people around us. Being a vegetarian I consider it my responsibility to spread the best of habits with both those who will listen and those who are not yet ready to accept that they are not necessarily being sensible. I find it extremely satisfying that the total of three people have already reevaluated their priorities with my assistance to join me as vegetarians. Moreover, I have learned that we have to put more faith in our ancestors and draw conclusions from their decisions and mistakes.

Outcome 5, 8: During the snowboarding course I have learnt things that I had not previously attempted. With the help of the instructors I have learnt that even if things are hard one has to keep going despite the fear and eventually new skills are developed. For me basic freestyle was a struggle but one with many benefits and a path to satisfaction.

In the recent years I have not been willing to set goals, which I wasn’t certain I could achieve successfully but lately I have made it my challenge not to be intimidated by uncertainty and doubt. It has certainly paid off and I realized that success isn’t always measured by achievements but the benefits the process provides us with. This conclusion came from my experience with the English competition I have taken part in in February. I have been promoted to the semifinals, but haven’t found myself in the strict elite. Nevertheless, I have learned that I am capable of staying calm in a stressful situation and keeping a cool head under pressure. Moreover, I have discovered a few interesting authors, whose literature
I would like to get to know better.

What built up my confidence by a great deal was another challenge I choose not to back out from. It was also a huge step out of my comfort zone. I decided to take an exam approved by SITS, which evaluated my snowboarding skills. Having practiced all season I was aiming to obtain the confirmation on the first of the three levels of advancement. Nevertheless I have certainly pushed myself to the limit, eventually surpassing the requirements for the first level and developing those for the second one, on which I have been evaluated. Now I am challenging myself to move forward on my path to an instructor’s license and am those two steps closer already. On the other hand, I have identified what I have to put more emphasis on in my further development. Freestyle with all of its complex evolutions didn’t turn out to be my strong suit. I look forward to the satisfaction that comes with overcoming my fear step by step, trick by trick. This area most certainly leaves me with the greatest room for improvement.

The one thing that surprised me enormously was how much one can gain from giving. Since my first visit at the home for elderly people I have started to appreciate my life with all of its possibilities.
I didn’t realize before that such small things as assistance in solving crosswords and a little company can give so much joy to anyone, let alone improve their wellbeing. Conversing with people who have in their life been through more than I could ever imagine made me realize how much they have sacrificed so that we can live our convenient lives. I have discovered that we owe them is far more than respect, coming with age. I have found that human relationships are an investment and the residents, who I have met, have certainly risked all. It is up to us, the new generations, whether their investment will turn out to be a successful one. I have learned that a small deed, such as solving crosswords, have great value for both sides. Not only have I made their time a bit more pleasant but also improved my memory and learned many interesting facts. What had and still has the greatest impact on me is that the people in the home have already made most of the important choices in their lives and they have the experience that can help us make ours. We still have all of those ahead of us and our possibilities are much greater than they were years ago. It’s time we appreciate that.


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