CAS E8: TIPS Soccer Challenge Reflection

  • Category: Creativity, Activity, Service

  • Total Duration: 30 hours

Organising the football tournament held in our school – TIPS NACE Soccer Challenge – was much harder than what I had expected, even with the help of the school’s sport faculty. We were assigned our roles and tasks the day before the competition, but during the event most of us ended up doing a part of everyone’s jobs. I am glad that through this experience, I was able to show my interest and passion in the sport, as being an avid football fan, I was very enthusiastic while giving running commentary for the important matches.

I believe that my communication skills have improved through this event, as I had to go around and ask the participants to line up in an orderly manner, and bring them for lunch. In addition to that, we also had to work together as a unit (although we were divided into teams) and had to communicate with each other to keep the tournament running efficiently. Furthermore, my confidence level of giving a speech has raised significantly, as I was able to pull off a sudden and impromptu speech to thank the referees who ran the show on-field for the past 3 days.

Not only that, I also never expected myself to be giving a dance performance for the closing ceremony. Somehow, by hook or by crook, I was able to perform the dance steps in the eve of the final day along with some of my friends. In the end, the tournament turned out to be a delightful surprise for all of our school students, as we were able to successfully organise the district – level competition, and moreover, our school had also won the competition in both the U-10 and U-12 categories.

Although we were exhausted after each day of the tournament, I believe most of us had shown perseverance and resilience to continue carrying out our duties and tasks, till the last moments of the event. Overall, this soccer challenge has brought the DP-Year 1 students together, and has helped us to bond with one another as one cohort. Personally, it has enhanced my ability of delivering a speech confidently, and I also feel that my sense of responsibility has slightly increased, after involving in a few major tasks of organising the event.

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CAS E8: TIPS NACE Soccer Challenge

Journal 1 – 28/07/2016

A week ago, our CAS Coordinator Mr. Rolf gave us (IB-DP Year 1 students) the mammoth task of organizing this district-level football tournament, which was held for Under-10 and Under – 12 football teams from several schools in Coimbatore. Yesterday, all DP-1 students had a meeting with Mr. Rolf, to briefly discuss on our roles and tasks for the event. I was part of the arrangements team, and I volunteered to give live commentary during important matches of the tournament.

Today was the first day of TIPS NACE Soccer Challenge. We had our breakfast, and we were issued our CAS T-shirts the first thing in the morning. The participating teams for the day arrived at about 10:30 – 11 am, and the reception team started their job of bringing them to the gallery. Meanwhile, during that time I helped out in setting up the score board across the field, pinning up pictures of famous football stars on the board.

Although there was no opening ceremony, a few my friends were part of a small football play to kick off the tournament, where they passed the ball to each other and tried to score a goal. The play would have almost been disastrous, as one of my friends who took the shot missed the goal, and very luckily the ball deflected off the woodwork. Somehow after the deflection, another guy tapped in the ball into the net, and finished off the dramatic play. After the play, the first soccer match had begun, and all of us went around carrying out our responsibilities.

One of my tasks for the day was to inform the coaches of the participating teams in the gallery that it was time for lunch. I had to get the kids to line up in two rows, and bring them to the lunch hall. I had to give them instructions to stay seated in the lunch hall until everyone had finished eating, so that I could bring them to the gallery again. In fact, I myself sat down with those kids and had lunch with them, to make sure that they don’t go off by themselves.

After lunch, I mostly helped out with the score board team, where I had to keep track of and write down the number of corners, fouls, goal-kicks and goals scored for each team in every match. It was a tedious task, but with keen observation and friends to help me out whenever I missed a foul or a corner, I was able to quite accurately tally up all the statistics for about 3 – 4 matches. Although my task was only to make arrangements for the teams, it was fun and engaging to take up different tasks of others for a while.

Journal 2 – 29/07/2016

Once we had arrived to school and had breakfast, the first task in the morning was to pick up stones from the football field, and throwing them away. The white powder used to draw the penalty box, half line and out lines had many white lumps or stones in them. To prevent the inconvenience of the participants during the match, we were told to pick up the stones and to throw them away. Once the matches had started, we had to carry out our duties similar to yesterday. From today, some of my classmates were running a food stall, and I helped them out by squeezing a packet full of lemons, to prepare the lemonade puree.

After lunch, my friend and I were giving running commentary for a few matches, but we had to stop in a short while, as the school coaches informed us that running commentary was only to be done for the Under 10 and Under 12 finals tomorrow. After that, I did the score board duty again, updating it every now and then, and changing the school names for different matches, and announcing the names of the teams at the beginning of each match. I got bored after some time, hence I gave my duty to someone else and decided to go up to the audio control area. I added a few music tracks to the laptop, which was played during half time and after the match. The area was also where the sound for the microphones used were controlled, hence it was an important part of the event.

Just an hour or two before going home, I joined some of my friends to learn a few dance moves with our dance teachers, which we would have to perform for the closing ceremony tomorrow! Initially, the dance teachers were in the process of choreographing the moves, and we were trying out many different steps. But later on, some of the steps were removed and some were refined. It took us about an hour and a half to finalize all the steps, according to the timing of the music. Although it wasn’t very coordinated and we kept forgetting some of the moves, we still have time to rehearse tomorrow.

Journal 3 – 30/07/2016

Today was the final day of the soccer tournament, and for most of us, the workload we had today was greater than the workload of the previous two days both combined. We had to carry out various tasks from 9 in the morning till 9 at night.

Right from the morning, all the matches were the most crucial ones of the entire tournament, as the day began with the quarter final matches for U-10 boys. I took up the role of announcing the teams participating in each match, and informing the teams to get them prepared for the upcoming match, according to the schedule planned by school management. Moreover, once each match had finished, I also had the responsibility of striking out the team which had lost, and writing the team which had won, and hence qualifying for the next match. My friends and I also brought refreshments (juice cartons) for the referees toiling hard throughout the day, and for the coaches who were screaming their lungs out to motivate the kids during the match.

Moreover, later on in the afternoon, we had our final dance rehearsal for today’s closing ceremony. It was then I found out that we were actually part of a larger dance performance, and we had to join in a few minutes after the 6th and 7th grade students’ start off the performance. Even though I initially thought that I would have definitely forgotten most of the steps, as we practiced again and again, I was able to cope up with the tempo of the music, as well as perform the steps to some extent. The dance coaches guided us whenever we struggled to do some of the steps during the practice, and they were pleased with our final practice. After that, the dance teachers gave us a few words of encouragement, and we were back to our duties in the evening.

The tournament had reached the last semi-finals by then, and my friend and I were getting ready to give running commentary for the finals! We were really amped up just before the finals, because both of us had waited for the past 2 days to give running commentary, and we were finally allowed to do so. Before the finals, we had to announce the names of the sponsors of the event, who had just arrived to watch the finals. Moreover, I was also asked advertise the menu of items which were selling in the food stall, to further boost their sales before the audience had settled down for the finals.

“3, 2, 1.. and let the finals begin!” we started off the match excitedly, and the kick off whistle was blown. The U-10 finals was truly a nail-biting match. The teams which had made it to the finals were TIPS Erode, and our own school team – TIPS Coimbatore. Our school boys were down 1-0 against TIPS Erode during the first half. And in the dying minutes of the second half, our school team finally managed to find the back of the net, and kept our school’s hopes alive for winning the trophy. Just when we thought the match was heading into extra time, our school team had scored a second goal in a quick succession, and that was the winning goal! The ecstatic kids and coaches were already celebrating soon after the goal, and the final whistle confirmed our school’s victory for U-10 finals. It was absolutely splendid to give live commentary for this match, especially during the final moments, as we were able to add on to the intensity and excitement of the game.

Soon after, the U-12 finals had begun, and the finalists were our school team again – TIPS Coimbatore, and KSIRS. We gave the countdown again, and the match had begun. However, there was not much competition, as it was very clear that our school boys were easily dominating the match. By half time, our school team was already leading 3 – 0, and the final score after full time was 6 – 0. Our school boys easily won the trophy, and there wasn’t much to give commentary, as the match was so one-sided. It was a fantastic achievement that in such a huge competition, with so many schools participating, our school were the winners for both the U-10 and U-12 category.

Once the finals were over, the closing ceremony began, starting with our dance performance! The other (6th and 7th grade) students started off the performance, and we joined in when it was time for us to perform the moves we learnt. The entire performance was about 4 minutes long, where we danced during the last 2 minutes. I felt that all of us had performed well, and the hours of practice and rehearsals had finally paid off.

After our dance performance, we had the presentation of awards to winning teams. I helped out by holding the certificates on a tray, as the chief guests and sponsors presented the certificates and trophies to each team member. In the end, I was called by Mr. Rolf to give an impromptu closing address, to thank the district level referees who organised the event on-field, and to present them with a token of appreciation from the sponsors. I was glad that I was able to pull it off in the last minute, reading off the names of the referees from a piece of paper, which I had written down quickly as Mr. Rolf listed the names. Although today was a long and tiring day, we enjoyed working together as one CAS team, to successfully finish organizing this football tournament.

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CAS E7: IIMUN Coimbatore Reflection

  • Category: Activity

  • Total Duration: 36 hours

    IIMUN was a new and an enjoyable experience, being my first MUN event, and it was not like a usual debate competition which I had expected before. Even though we had numerous practice sessions in school before the event, I still was not able to understand the ROP (Rules of Procedure) and how the argument was going to be put forth, until I had actually experienced it myself in the first committee session. In the very first session, I realized the importance of carrying out extensive research on the agenda as well as on the country given as our delegation. With no prior research or information on the topic, it is almost impossible to provide valid points or answer other delegates’ questions during the moderated caucus.

    I was having the preconceived notion that the competition would be fairly easy, and to be honest I think I was a bit over-confident. Only when I went there I realized I was competing with other delegates who had 5 – 6 MUN experiences before, and moreover I was in one of the toughest committees in the competition, with a very powerful country – USA. I did not like the agenda set to be discussed in the committee, as it was too long and there wasn’t enough information to be discussed on, and moreover even our chair had agreed with us in the first session that the agenda was a poor topic for HRC.

    In my point of view, the experience that I had gained through this MUN was invaluable. I would know exactly what to expect the next time I participate in a MUN competition, with no doubts or whatsoever I had initially before this IIMUN. Moreover, another salient skill that I developed from this MUN is lobbying around – talking to other delegates and convincing them to join our bloc, which is also crucial to become a successful delegate. Gaining the support of the majority of the delegates is vital for a bloc to pass its resolution, and I learnt this skill quickly from other delegates who tried to convince me to join their blocs!

    This IIMUN has been a fresh and a delightful experience, and it has already provoked interest within me to participate in other MUN competitions. I have a strong feeling that I will participate in another MUN conference sooner or later… Only time will tell.

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CAS E7: IIMUN Coimbatore

Journal 1 – 22/07/2016

Today was the first day of the Indian International Model United Nations – Coimbatore, and there were about 70 people from our school in grades 8, 9 and 11 (DP Year – 1) , taking part in this MUN conference. I was given the delegation of the United States of America in the Human Rights Council (HRC), which was one of the most prestigious committees in the event. The competition was held in CS Academy, and today, the opening ceremony of the event was held in the venue. I was so glad that there were no committee sessions on the first day, because it was my first MUN, and honestly I did not prepare much for the event, being the delegate of a major P5 country – USA.

Before going off to CS Academy, we had to change from our school uniform to the formal attire (a suit with tie) prescribed for the conference, in our school hostel. We all looked quite classy in our formal look, and we were engrossed in taking group photos in our fancy look. By the time we knew it, we were already off to CS Academy in our school bus.

The opening ceremony was scheduled to begin at 5:00 pm, and after registration we had some time to wander around the campus, grab a few snacks and click a few pictures. When we entered the event hall, there were hundreds of chairs neatly arranged in rows, occupied by competitors like us from different schools. As we took our seats in the hall, a few students from CS Academy had just begun the opening speech. There was a beautiful lamp placed on the stage, and it was lit by Loraine, the director of IIMUN – Coimbatore. After the official inauguration of the event, a list of opening speeches were given by the director, the secretary general, and a few other leading personnel of the event. We then enjoyed a couple of dance (Indian classical) and musical performances put up by the school students, and the opening ceremony soon came to an end.

Journal 2 – 23/07/2016

Our first committee session had begun today. In fact, we had a total of 3 committee sessions, and today was quite exhaustive. The dress code for the day was Indian traditional, and I wore a dhoti! In the first session, our chair briefly explained to us the Rules of Procedure (ROP), and generally discussed about the committee’s agenda. Firstly, before starting the debate, the chair initiated a roll call to note each delegate’s presence in the committee, where we had to raise our pluck card when our country was called.

The agenda of the committee was Implementation of Social Media with access to Information and Technology as a basic human right. It is such a long agenda, and there are so many aspects of it to be discussed in the committee session. As I felt quite unprepared yesterday, I spent a few hours researching on the topic last night, and prepared my opening speech on the agenda for the GSL. After the ROP was explained and the instructions were made clear, the formal debate began. In the 1st and 2nd committee session we had the general speakers list (GSL), where every delegate had to speak regarding the agenda, with relation to their country’s policies for about 1 minute. The GSL was in a random order, and I was one of the first countries to be called. I walked up to the front of the classroom, and with a deep breath, I started off my speech with a loud and asserting voice. In my speech I voiced out that the government of the US was in support of the agenda, so that other delegates with similar stances could collaborate together with me, and form a bloc to draft a resolution for the agenda together. In the end, I felt that I delivered my speech with clarity and confidence.

In the third session, we had a few moderated caucuses, which is an informal way of debate, where a delegate recognized by the chair would propose a sub-topic under the main agenda which he/she would like to discuss in the committee. This would be followed by an informal vote by a show of placards, and a 51% or more majority is required for the motion to pass. If the motion fails, the chair would move on to recognize other delegates, until one of the motions passes. But alas, to my luck, I was unable to get recognized by the chair to propose a moderated caucus during the session. However, I was able to get involved in a moderated caucus proposed by another delegate. There was a heated debate between those for (including me) and those against the agenda. Although the delegates of China and Australia were against the agenda (and hence against us), they were able to come up with good points, and presented their arguments very well. After the moderated caucuses, we had to write down our working papers by the end of the session, where each delegate had to write down their viewpoints and stances

After three tiring committee sessions, we finally had some time to enjoy ourselves and have dinner during the social event – DJ Night. We changed into casual clothes from dhoti before going for the event. Music and songs were played through huge woofers, and colored lights were flashed across the dark hall. Although only some of my friends were able to take part in the event, we had great fun watching others dance, and throwing in a few moves ourselves!

Journal 3 – 24/07/2016

It’s finally over, and we (TIPS) had won the overall best school delegation award! Today was the final day of IIMUN, and our committee had proposed 3 resolutions in the 2 sessions that we had for the day. Today’s debate and discussion seemed much more interesting than yesterday, as we had more interaction with other delegates to form a bloc, and to draft a resolution together.

In the first session, before forming blocs and drafting resolutions, the committee re-initiated GSL so that the delegates who did not speak yesterday were given a chance to speak today. After that, we had a few more moderated caucuses on the agenda, and I could see that today many delegates were willing to participate in the session. There were more placards raised today than yesterday, and getting recognized to speak during the debate became much harder.

By the end of the first session, we had 20 minutes of un-moderated caucus to form blocs and to create our draft resolution. The committee was split into 3 blocs, where 2 blocs were against the agenda and 1 bloc was for. I was part of the bloc which was for, and although there were 2 blocs against us, we had the most number of signatories for our resolution, and we were the largest bloc in the committee. The delegate of Mexico and I, were the main authors of the resolution formed by our bloc. I am content that in my very first MUN experience, I was a main author of our bloc’s resolution, and that I was able to make a significant contribution to the resolution.

After lunch, we had the last committee session of IIMUN, where we only discussed one draft resolution proposed by the other bloc (which was against). The key members of the bloc came in front of the class, projected their resolution on the screen, and started reading and explaining every point that was present in their resolution. Unfortunately, two blocs, including our own, did not have enough time to present their proposed resolutions. We were very disappointed that we couldn’t present our resolution, however we knew that our resolution still had a good chance of being passed in the committee, by the rule of simple majority, as our resolution had the most number of signatories compared to the others.

The last committee session was coming to an end. The voting procedure for drafting one resolution out of three proposed ones had begun. The resolution with the least number of votes was eliminated first, and there were two resolutions left, our bloc’s (for the agenda) and the main rival bloc’s (against the agenda). It was a really close contest of votes between us and them, but I was quite confident that we had the edge of winning. The number of placards raised also seemed to be more for our resolution, when compared to theirs. But to everyone’s utter dismal, the chair declared that the rival bloc had won with 2 votes more than us. The announcement was quickly followed by a lot of jeering from the delegates, because we were so sure that our resolution would be passed. It was really a shock for us, and we were left with no words. After the drafting of the resolution, the committee adjourned debate, with all of us having no choice but to accept the rival bloc’s resolution. Nevertheless, I went forth and congratulated my rivals (Delegate of China and Australia) for their astonishing win, and we proceeded to the main hall again for the closing ceremony.

We had the award presentation ceremony, and a few classmates of mine had won best delegation in their respective commitees! It was such a proud moment to cheer for them, as they walked up to the stage to collect their awards. Although I did not individually get any awards, I was personally content that i had spoken well for my very first MUN experience. After the individual awards, all of us jumped in joy and ran up the stage (all 70 of us!) when our school was proclaimed as the overall best delegation of IIMUN – Coimbatore! Our CAS supervisor Mr. Rolf received the trophy from the IIMUN director Loraine, and it was an ecstatic moment for all of us, when our school had won the best delegation amidst so many schools which had competed in the event.

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CAS E6: Adoption for Abortion Rally

Journal & Reflection

  • Category: Activity

  • Total Duration: 3.5 hours

Today, grade 9 students, my batch mates (DP Year 1) and I went on a Rally where we walked along the side of the road for an hour or so, shouting together in chorus “Save the Girl Child” and “Adoption for Abortion”, as the public looked at us with awe and dismay. The main aim of the rally was to create awareness that abortion of babies are on the rise. We were informed of this last Friday, and some of my classmates and grade 9 students had prepared posters to support the cause. Micheal Job Matriculation Secondary School also joined the rally along with us. Our energy level was high, and all of us were enthusiastic as we walked during the rally. One of us took the initiative to shout a slogan, and the rest of us supported him by repeating after him. All our shouting and chanting caught the attention of the public, and we had our banners and posters held high so that people know the purpose of our rally. It wasn’t a big or long rally (as there were only 2 schools participating), but it was a meaningful one.

After walking for half a kilometre and screaming at the top of our voices, we were provided with a few snacks and drinks by the organizers. We took group photos with friends and also with the other school after the rally. You can view these pictures below.

A mother deciding to abort her baby has always been an arguable and a controversial debate, as people have different view points. My personal view is that unless the abortion of the baby is absolutely necessary, it should not be an option. For instance, when the fetus is detrimental to its mother, or in cases where the fetus is born with severe health problems or conditions, abortion can be a solution. However in the modern world, most of the abortion cases are because of contraceptive failure, where the mother does not wish to have a baby. I strongly feel that this is not a valid reason for abortion, and in these situations it is definitely immoral to go for abortion, where these babies could be given a chance to live through adoption. I also think that pregnancies of rape victims should not be aborted, as it’s not fair to end the life of a baby which did nothing wrong to its mother. Leaving the babies for Adoption is the moral and best solution in these cases.


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CAS E5: News of the Day

Journal & Reflection

  • Category: Activity
  • Total Duration: 1.5 hours

Today just as I woke up, my friend had called me and reminded that I had to present the news of the day during assembly in school! If not for him, I would have never prepared to present the news that morning. I rushed off to read that day’s newspaper, and hurriedly noted down the International News and headlines on a piece of paper. But there wasn’t enough time, as my school bus had arrived.

I took my newspaper along, and before my breakfast I managed to write down a few more interesting information from the newspaper. Moreover, my friends also informed that Cleveland Cavaliers had just won NBA 2016 Finals against GSW, just before the morning assembly. When I was called to present the news of the day, my legs were trembling while standing in front of my batch mates and seniors. But, as I started reading the news out aloud, I felt better and became more confident. There was complete silence, except for the sound of my voice reverberating in the hall.

I became even more confident, because it meant that everyone were listening to my news. I enjoyed informing my friends of that day’s current affairs. I felt that they relished the news from Sports and Entertainment section the most. Once I had finished reading the news, I was content to hear my teachers and students giving a round of applause. Later on, my friends came to me and commended my loud and clear voice of presenting the news. Although it was a short experience, it boosted my confidence of presenting in front of a large audience.

Page 1 of my News preparation:

News of The Day

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CAS E4: ECL 5km Run

Journal & Reflection

  • Category: Activity, Service
  • Total Duration: 4 hours

During our Summer Vacation, my friend Hrithish and I decided to participate in “End Child Labour (ECL) Marathon” by running 5 km, to support the noble cause. This marathon was organised by National Child Labour Project (NCLP) – Coimbatore, to raise awareness on the global issue of child labour. There were two categories, one 10 km and the other 5 km. Both of us took part in the 5 km run. We personally wanted to support this event because when we heard about it, we realized how lucky and grateful we are. While we are fortunate enough to receive an all-rounded international education, it was truly saddening to know that children younger than us are forced to go for hard labour. This emotion was our driving motivation to take part in the event and support the social cause.

On that day, I had woken up at about 4:30 am early morning, and reached the venue at the scheduled time 5:30 am. Initially, I thought it would be a small event, but there were roughly about 500 participants taking part in the run. Music was blasted through huge speakers placed near the stage. After Hrithish and I found each other at the venue, we pinned our BIB numbers on our shirts. At around 6 am, there were a few MCs on the stage, calling participants to come forward to the stage. After most of us had gathered around the stage, the event began with a Zumba dance to warm – up before the run. We actively involved in the warm up, giggling to ourselves, following the steps of the Zumba dance.

After the warm up session, participants for the 10 km run were called to get ready. A horde of runners stood behind the starting line, anticipating for the sound of the horn. The run was flagged off by Coimbatore District collector Archana Patnik, and off they ran!! About 20 minutes later at 7:30, after another warm up session for 5 km participants, we were finally called to get ready too. As we stood behind the line, I could feel my heart throbbing faster. The anxiety and nervous feeling just before the run was indelible. The countdown then echoed in my ears: 5, 4, 3, 2, 1… And here we go!! The sound of the horn and the flag off marked the start of our 5 km run.

In the beginning, I was casually running at a fast pace, not realising that 5 km was such a long distance. Although I had run 3 km before, I underestimated the endurance needed to complete 5 km. After just about 1 km, I started breathing from my mouth, panting for breath. My legs could feel the burn (fatigue) as I pushed myself to run. Hrithish could not keep up to my pace, so he was trailing behind. To my surprise, I could see children aged about 8 – 10 years running confidently ahead of me!! At the half way mark, we were given water bottles to replenish ourselves as we were running. By that time, I was so tired that even holding the water bottle was a burden.

Resilience and Endurance were imperative for anyone and everyone participating in the event. While running, many times I thought of stopping and resting for a while. But, enduring the pain, and showing resilience were the driving factors which allowed me to successfully complete the run. Especially during the last stretch of 200m, I had to overcome my exhaustion in order to speed up, as I could see many participants giving it their all during the final dash. When I finally reached the finish line, I felt like throwing up! (though I didn’t). I knew I had given my best, and I had completed 5 km within 22 minutes. The sense of satisfaction after completing the run is still unforgettable.

After the run, I was completely drained out: Exhaustion level was 100%. Luckily there were a few chairs for us to sit down and rest for a while. However, though the run had finished, the event wasn’t over yet. There were prizes distributed to those who had completed in the top 10, in both categories. After that, we enjoyed a spectacular gymnastic performance by a girl aged about 12. The MCs told us that she had won medals in Gymnastics across the world! Claps of appraisal followed after her performance. Then, we were utterly surprised when an octogenarian came up on stage, and shared his experience of running 10 km! It was mind – boggling to see a real life inspiration, who showed us that age is really just a number.

At 9 am, a few popular Radio Jockeys from Radio City – 91.1 FM (Coimbatore) came up the stage, introduced themselves and spoke about the event. It was a rare chance to see them in real life, as we only hear their voices through their radio broadcasts. Finally, there was a dance performance, and the event ended at around 9:30 am. Not only did I develop personal attributes such as perseverance and tenacity by running 5 km, I was also part of the social cause to raise awareness and to prevent child labour through this event.

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CAS E3: Kabbadi and Kho-Kho

Journal & Reflection

  • Category: Activity
  • Total Duration: 2 hours

Today during our 2 periods of CAS, we enjoyed our time playing a few traditional games of India, Kabbadi and Kho-Kho. I was very enthusiastic of playing these games, as I have deep interest and passion in my Indian culture, especially in Tamil. Both are tag games which are very popular in India. Most of us knew how to play Kabbadi as it is quite famous, in Tamil Nadu, and even in Asia. However, playing Kho-Kho was a different experience altogether.

We first played Kabbadi, and the sports coaches drew the lines for the playing arena. The arena is divided into two halves by the center line, and each team of 7 players are on each side. The players are not allowed to cross the outer boundary. A raider from one of the teams would set off to tag the members of the opposing team by crossing the center line, while chanting “Kabbadi” so that the raider does not inhale air. There would be a bonus line at each side of the arena, which would give the raider a bonus point when touched. Basically, the main aim of the game is for the raider to tag as many people of the opposing team without getting caught, while repetitively chanting “Kabbadi”.

All these basic rules and tips were instructed by our Sports Coordinator. Then, the respective coaches took over and explained the game in detail. First, we boys played while the girls sat down and watched. It was an exhilarating experience playing Kabbadi, as it required a great deal of physical strength, aggressiveness, reflexes and competitiveness. It also induced team bonding while defending and catching the raider together as a team, as we had to grab each other’s hands. As the game progresses, we developed mental strategies to deceive the opponents in order to tag them easily. The sheer thrill and joy of playing Kabbadi still remains embedded in my mind.

Afterwards, we sat down and saw how the girls played kabbadi. It was quite amusing to see them play as they lacked the aggressiveness and they were not passionate to the game as we were. The way they played seemed quite odd and was in fact quite comical. We all had a good laugh, and moved on to the next game: Kho-Kho. In this game, we played with a few players kneeling down in the middle of the arena, in a row, with adjacent members facing opposite directions. There are 2 runners from the team kneeling down, and the main goal is for them to tag all the players in the field, while the catcher (from the opposing team) chases them. The restriction for the catcher is that he cannot run between the opponents kneeling down, and he has to go around them and touch the pole at the end to catch them.

This game was also quite interesting, but at the same the rules of the game seemed a bit confusing, and we were not able to understand the game completely. It involved a lot of running, tagging and kneeling. The girls seemed to enjoy this game more than Kabbadi. However, my personal favourite was Kabbadi, because of the intensity and valour of the game. Most of the boys also preferred playing Kabaddi rather than Kho-Kho. By actually playing and taking part in these games (especially Kabbadi), I realised the value of Tamil and Indian culture, and I will always be proud to be part of it.

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CAS E2: Food Stall Reflection

  • Category: Creativity, Activity, Service
  • Total Duration: 17 hours

After discussing various ideas to raise money (which would be used for future CAS projects), we chose this idea of setting up a food stall, as we thought it would be an easy way to make profit, owing to the experienced staff and equipment present in school. Only on the actual day I realized how much hard work we have to put in, even to run a paltry business like a food stall. We toiled for many hours selling food to customers, and it was an arduous day.

This experience has developed a few practical skills and values within me, which are very much needed for day to day life. Communication was one of the critical aspects that I have learnt, as we had to communicate amongst ourselves and communicate with the customers. One of the challenges we faced is that during peak times, the commotion of people gathering around the stall was worse than that of a fish market. Only with teamwork and communication, we were able to pick up the pace and clear off customers. For instance, at night when the food items were running out, those in the service department would tell us in the accounting department that a particular item has completely sold out, and then we would cancel it off the menu so that the customers are aware of it. Everyone had to play their part to keep the business running efficiently.

As I was in the accounting sector, receiving orders and collecting money, I was able to calculate the change to be given, as well as to give customers their tokens faster. The ability to tackle stress was vital during those times. I had to stay cool, calm and collected so that I do not succumb to pressure and to avoid making mistakes, as it is crucial that I don’t give people wrong tokens or extra change! Perseverance is another trait which all of us had shown together throughout the day, as we worked for about 6 hours straight, and as time passed by I could see that we were all getting exhausted. However, every time a wave of customers swarmed our stall, we were able to boost our energy levels and get back to business.

I am glad that all of us, including our DP-2 seniors, were immensely involved in the operation of the food stall, and it was our collaborative effort that allowed us to reap a colossal amount of profit – A total profit of about 30,000 Rupees! This CAS project has imparted cardinal skills and values in me, along with indelible memories of my friends in TIPS.

YouTube link to the after-movie (more details in CAS E2: Food Stall Journal 3): Click Here

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CAS E2: Food Stall

Journal 1 – 18/03/2016

A few days ago, I had volunteered to join a group of my friends to run our own food stall in school, on a weekend (which turns out to be tomorrow!) and during a school event. Today, a meeting was arranged in a classroom by our CAS coordinator to decide what system we are going to implement to manage our food stall, to finalize the list of food items we are going to sell, and to negotiate the roles and tasks each one of us have to carry out tomorrow.

Firstly, we listed out all the food items we were going to sell tomorrow, and the people in charge of bringing them. Some of the food items, such as coffee, tea, French fries, popcorn, puffs, chips, ice cream, soft drinks and cutlets are going to be provided by our school tomorrow, for which we will have to pay (obviously, duh.) after we get our revenue. The rest of the items such as brownies, lemonade, cookies, sandwiches, candy, nachos and condiments are going to be brought by some of us who are going to invest their own money for buying or making them.

Then, we wanted to decide how we are going to run our business tomorrow. At first we thought we could set up the money and food distribution counter as one, to take the customers’ orders and to give them their food at the same counter, just like in fast food restaurants such as McDonalds. However after a heated argument and long discussion between ourselves, we decided that it would be an inefficient system as people would not stand in queues and would crowd around the counters, hence it will take more time to clear the customers.

At last, we decided to have a token system, where there would be two counters taking down customers’ orders, collecting the money and giving them their tokens, and one counter where the customers give their tokens in order to receive their food. The prices of the food items would match with the colour of the tokens, for e.g. a customer ordering a lemonade sold at Rs.20 would be given a blue token at the token counter, and then the customer would have to give his token back at the food counter in order to receive his lemonade. As a few other items would also be sold at Rs.20, the customer would have to tell the server while giving the blue token the item they want for Rs.20. Though the system may sound complex, it is probably a more efficient method to run the food stall as it will help disperse the crowd during rush hours more easily.

After that, all that was left was to decide on our each of our roles tomorrow. As I didn’t contribute any food item for the stall, I took up the responsibility of doing our stall’s menu, so that we can stick them up around the school and attract more customers. Other than that, I also volunteered to be the supervisor of the stall tomorrow! A few of us volunteered to make the lemonade fresh tomorrow in the morning, and the others were split into their respective counters, serving food and in charge of handling the money and tokens. Some of my seniors from IB-DP Year 2 batch were included as they have previously done a food stall in school, and they volunteered to help us.

Now once everything was put into place, we had a bit of time left to go down and stick up a banner we had made as the name of our stall: DA HOOD. All this had taken up almost half the day, and now I still have to do the menu for the stall. For all our hard work and investment put into this stall, I hope it turns out to be good tomorrow…

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Journal 2 – 19/03/2016

To my surprise, today the stall turned out to be much better than I had expected! A colossal crowd of customers thronged our stall during peak times, and we managed to sell almost all the food that we had, only a box of puffs provided by the school was leftover. We toiled from morning till night serving customers and taking down orders, and we were all entirely occupied with our own tasks and jobs to do.

I arrived to school at about 8:30 am, and had my breakfast. By around 9:00 pm, all of us had arrived, and we were setting up our stall. Soft drinks were being stacked into the refrigerator, the menus were being stuck on the walls, and tokens were sorted according to their colour. The rest of the food items were also being placed on the tables, and by 9:30, the stall was open for sale. We didn’t expect many customers to come in the morning, hence we only had a few food items for sale, and we were right. Initially, it was a stroll in the park for us to handle the customers, so some of us decided to go to the school’s kitchen and start preparing lemonade for the afternoon/evening stall.

I was in charge of counting the tokens every 30 minutes, and mainly I was working in the token counter, giving the customers their change. Meanwhile, our photographer Hari went around taking pictures of us carrying out our duties. As we had a bit of time to relax, we bought our own food and drinks whenever possible. Time passed by rather quickly, and before I knew it, it was already 12:30 pm and we closed the stall to break for lunch.

A revenue of about Rs 13 k was made till then, which was a decent amount considering the fact that there were not many customers in the morning. We had scrumptious sandwiches ordered for lunch from a food retailer outside, and it was the same retailer who supplied us sandwiches for sale for our evening stall. After having lunch, we took some time off chilling out with friends, before getting back to work.

At about 3:15 or 3:30 am, most of the food items to be sold had arrived, and we were organizing them as we had a longer menu list in the evening. The popcorn machine was set up, the soft drinks and chips were restocked, and many other food items such as nachos, ice cream, candies, cookies, brownies were being brought into the stall. By about 3:45 pm, we were ready to reopen our stall for the evening session.

As the school sports fest (cricket) was about to start, a flock of customers started coming to buy food before the match starts. As the supervisor, I had to check whether all the counters were running efficiently, and I had to count all the 500 Rs and 1000 Rs notes every one hour, before reporting the exact amount and handing over the money to our CAS coordinator. However, later on as the stall got even busier, in order to clear off the customers faster I joined the token counter once more with the DP Year 2 seniors, and my role was to give the customers their change and tokens.

At around 5:00 pm to 6:00 pm, the stall was in a frenzy mode. Customers arrived in successive waves of every 15 minutes or so. We felt the heat, as things started to get serious, and most of us in the accounting sector became quite tensed. Those in the serving sector were able to cope up with the pace quickly, but it was more difficult for us to handle the customers. We had to record down each order, receive the customers’ money, give them their change, and also not forgetting to give them their respective tokens for the food they had bought.

But as minutes ticked by, I could feel myself carrying out calculations faster, and handling the money more efficiently. Whenever we finished serving a batch of customers, I sorted out all the notes in the money box according to their value, so that it becomes easier and faster to give out the change for the next batch. To further increase our sales, we quickly came up with an idea that a few of us should go to the viewing gallery, where the parents were watching their children participate in the sports fest, to sell cookies and soft drinks. The idea worked out pretty well, and they returned in a few minutes after selling all the food items they had taken with them.

Back at the token counter of the food stall, we had to communicate with the serving section often, as slowly the food items started to run out and we had to strike them off the menu. Moreover, we also had to communicate with them whenever our counter was running out of tokens, so that they can give us back the tokens collected at the serving counter. Even the photographer (Hari) had stopped taking pictures to give us an extra hand in order to serve the customers. All this work made me completely exhausted and after the rush hours, I asked one of my friends to replace me for a while.

At about 9:30 pm, the final wave of customers had left. Almost all of the food items were taken off the menu by then, with only chips and puffs left. Even then, a few customers came and had bought the last few packets of chips. At about 10:00 pm, we finally closed down our stall, and it was time for us to go home. Today, I feel proud that all of us worked together as a team without any disputes among us, even during the most difficult times, and I’m delighted that our food stall was such a success!

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Journal 3 – 28/03/2016

Today, my friend Hari and I presented a video of our “Da Hood” food stall which we had done a week ago, in school during DP assembly. A few days back, we decided to make an “after movie” using the photographs that were taken as we were running the food stall. We wanted to create this video to show our batch mates and seniors how we organised the food stall, and the food we had available for sale. So, it took us about 3 hours to finish creating the video using Windows Movie Maker, although the entire video was only 5 minutes!  A few challenges that we faced were to find good BGM (background music), to create the intro and ending credits, and to edit the duration of the pictures to suit the BGM.

Here is the YouTube link to the after-movie: Click Here

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