Journal 1 – 15/01/2016
Today my friends, classmates and I of the IB year 1 batch, had our first CAS session. Being new to the IB syllabus, I was excited and a bit curious to find out what we were going to do on that day. After a few moments, our head coach disclosed to us that we would be performing for India’s Republic Day event held in our school. Most of us were left puzzled, as we were yet to know what exactly we were going to perform in front of the school. My mind was racing with thoughts, as I was thinking maybe we were going to perform foot drills or march around the school.
First, in the school’s outdoor basketball court, we boys were made to line up in one row, from the shortest to the tallest. Then, we were split into four rows, with double-arm spacing between each other, and in the same increasing height order. Being one of the tallest among our batch, I stood in the last row. This same procedure was carried out by the girls, and they stood behind us.
Once we were all standing in our designated places as a cohort, we were told that we would be performing four sets of simple hand exercises during the event.
We gradually began to learn the exercises, one by one. In order to get all of our hand movements coordinated, we followed the drum beat given by our coach. Soon after we had learnt all the exercises, we practiced one after the other continuously, following the timing of the drum beat. For the 2 hours or so that we spent learning and perfecting the exercises together, I thoroughly enjoyed my time having fun and bonding with my friends and classmates. As a reward for our dedication and hard work in our first practice session, we were allowed to play football for the last half an hour!
Journal 2 – 21/01/2016
Today was our second session of CAS in school. For the first 1 hour, we refreshed our memory on our hand exercises which we had practiced during the previous session. To be frank, during our first attempt, there was a comedy of errors as a handful of us had forgotten a few of the hand exercises. However after a few more practices, our performance was even better than our previous rehearsal.
After the hand exercises, a few students from our batch volunteered to do some yoga exercises (yogasanas) for the Republic Day event. It was incredible to see my friend practicing a headstand! One of my classmates even had her leg placed on top of her neck! Meanwhile, the rest of us stood behind them, watching them practice their yoga exercises.
At last, we were made to line up in increasing height order again. Following that, we were asked to do something bizarre, a collapsing human pyramid! Well, our human pyramid was very simple, consisting of just two layers. However our pyramid was long, with about 10 of us in the base layer, and the rest in the second layer. Moreover, I was at the middle of the base layer, hence I had to endure the dreadful weight of 2 of my friends.
This entire procedure was also coordinated by drum beats, but with exactly five beats. On the first beat, the boys who were supposed to be in the base layer, had to kneel down in our positions. On the second beat, the boys of the second layer would walk towards us, getting ready to climb on top of our backs. On the third beat, they would kneel on top of our backs, with their hands resting on our shoulders. On the fourth beat we would all tilt our heads up to face the gallery. On the final beat, all the boys in the base layer would collapse at once, causing those on top of us to topple down on us too.
In total, all of this had taken up of about 3 hours of practice.
Although on the 25th of January we had a rehearsal session with all the school students assembled, it was mainly to emphasize us to sing our national anthem loud and proud, and we did not practice our performance that day in order to keep it as a surprise during the celebrations. Hence, our second session was also our final rehearsal of what we were going to perform for the school’s Republic Day event.
Journal 3 – 27/01/2016
Finally, the day had arrived. It is the 27th of January, the day after the actual Republic Day, and today we performed as a part of our school’s national day celebrations. In the beginning, all the school students from PYP to IB-DP had assembled and had seated in the gallery. The celebration started with all of us singing India’s national anthem (Jana Gana) with utmost pride and respect. The two toppers of the IGCSE exams from my batch were the ones who had carried out the flag hoisting, after the national anthem.
Once the flag hoisting and salute was over, the IB-DP year 2 batch marched around the school track, with a marching band from another school too. Well I wouldn’t say that our seniors’ marching was spectacular, but it was not too bad. I personally felt that the marching band from the other school did a great job, as they really seemed to be moving together as one unit.
After that, we continued to remain seated for about an hour, as we enjoyed the performances of the PYP and the MYP students. A few PYP kids were representing each state of India, and gave a short speech in the official language of their state. During their speech, a small platoon of PYP kids walked together, with one of them showing the name of the state each speaker was representing by a hand held sign.
Then, there was a dance performance by a few MYP students, and they carried a huge Indian flag across the field. At last, it was showtime, and the drum rolls signaled us to move into our positions. We did our hand exercises as how we had practiced them for the past two weeks, and I think our performance was up to the mark. I was elated to hear claps of appraisals at the end of our hand exercise.
Following that, the yoga group moved in front of us, and the rest of us stood behind them in one line. The yoga performance of my friends was absolutely splendid, and a roar of applause followed for each of their yoga posture.
It was over within a few minutes, and then we were all getting ready to perform the final event: The Collapsing Pyramid.
We executed each step of the pyramid as per the drum beat given, just as how we had rehearsed. Some of the girls were also performing a human pyramid beside us, but we boys were part of the main one. As we collapsed on the final beat, like a crumbling deck of cards, a thunderous applause from the gallery followed.
We were all felicitated by our coaches after the end of the celebrations, and personally I also felt that we had put up a solid performance. The entire celebration was about 2 to 3 hours long, and then our normal IB classes resumed. It was a day which I still fondly remember, whenever I come across the phrase “Republic Day”.