As an MYP student Monsoon musing was one of those events that I looked forward to organizing once I was in DP because I saw the effort and grace that went into it by my seniors and the beautiful output that was created. Such an amazing platform for writers and amateurs who wish to explore this world. It symbolized a new beginning for me and that was the spark that motivated me to jump at the opportunity of becoming a part of the OC team of this event.
LO 1: Identify their own strengths and develop areas for personal growth.
As an OC member, it is my job to be the lubricant amount of leadership and help out wherever needed. The leadership team fortunately we’re all good friends of mine so the concern of collaboration went straight out the window and the kinks in the road decreased by a great deal, not completely though.
This opportunity helped me explore my creative and open minded self because when checking through the pieces of the applicant to proofread their work, you can not restrict your imagination to only your limited knowledge, that restriction would immediately affect the output of the entire event as the whole point is to let the participants creatively explore themselves by any means and language possible. So even though there were times I didn’t quite understand certain pieces, I read them again, had conversations with the authors to gage their point of view and broadening my context of receiving, This was really invigorating as hearing from people of all ages about topics that they felt needed to be communicated made me as an OC member feel very grateful to have the opportunity to have been a tiny part of making all of it possible even the face of this horrific pandemic.
LO 2: Demonstrate that they have undertaken challenges, developing new skills in the process.
The online format of this year’s virtual monsoon musings was definitely one of the biggest creative and communication barriers. Even though mails and messages sent the message across, the severity of the deadline was usually ignored by the participants as they were taking it leisurely and thus it became hectic for us to again and again hammer them into submitting their work. And some of the participants were teachers so we had to make sure we weren’t too disrespectful and sympathetic to their workload. But this gave me an important insight into something I have been hearing for a better part of my life that everyone will not do things your way every time, but it’s your reaction to their lack of productivity that counts and helps you grow and cooperate. It made me realize the significance of adhering to deadlines and why teachers are so ruthless with it as their workload also depends on our punctuality.
Experiencing that from their perspective gave me a new look at assignments and deadlines which will definitely help me improve my organizational skills and punctuality in the future. So we came up with stricter ways to get things done which was not allowing them to participate if we didn’t submit the draft before the deadline, they wouldn;t be able to participate in not only this edition but the coming 3 Monsoon musings editions to come. After such measures, we got a good number of responses which we sorted through and divided amongst the whole oc team giving each member about 9-13 drafts each. The draft proof reading was a lot of fun as I felt like I had the backstage pass to an exclusive event getting to read the pieces before they were spoken.
Our task was simple, just going through the content and making sure it follows the school’s language policy and general decency. We didn;t make suggestions in the word choice, structure or any other literary aspect of their work as the event was a platform to express oneself in their own unique manner and us restricting or changing that form would go against the very essence of the event.
LO 3: Demonstrate how to initiate and plan a CAS experience.
Even though I was just appointed as an organization committee aide, we all decided that there was no such hierarchy and all our workload and credit should be equal which was fair enough. So thus my task expanded to organizing as well. From communicating with the participants to designing posters to marketing and understanding IT components and much more, as the onus was shared, all of us divided the tasks for faster completion. I was tasked with proofreading and writing and designing invites for parents and senior school teachers of the school. And once all of the tasks started getting kicked off our to-do list an the event day approached, our responsibilities and pressure multi folded as this was a student led event organized by just the 5 of us and under the guidance of our supervisors but the full responsibility of the failure or success of the event fell on our shoulders which is not an easy pill to swallow.
But this initiative helped me develop so many leadership and interpersonal communication skills which will definitely make it easier for me to work on or lead group projects in the future. Thus, learning how to initiate activities is an integral practical lesson in school which will help give your opinions voice and weightage in real life and also gives you a taste of how working on something you want with a team can look like. Even with your differences, healthy communication is the key to resolving any bumps in the road.
LO 4: Show commitment and perseverance in their CAS experience.
As the event was completely student led, it required a lot of planning and hard work on our end. Also because the idea of organizing ushc event was still very fresh to most of us, it became that much more difficult to work without any specific prior experience. But thankfully, there were teacher supervisors who had the experience we lacked and their guidance became essential for success. So with no experience and all tasks left to be completed by us, the project was very time consuming and required a lot of commitment to the project and its success. We all were prepared to do the work and were ready to face the adversities we knew awaited us. The lack of response, online format not being as comfortable for all, participants not adhering to deadlines, etc were just a few examples of the factors which made our work more difficult to complete. But again on the bright side, it taught me patience to not expect everyone to do everything as I wish and perseverance to not easily give up after facing a few setbacks, but to in fact take it as a learning opportunity and learn a lesson out of it.
LO 5: Demonstrate the skills and recognize the benefits of working collaboratively.
Collaboration was never an area of concern for me, I was always good with people. In this particular project, communication is not only restricted to the core team but also extended to the participants for sharing details of the event, answering their questions, ect. Luckily, everyone in the OC were good friends of one another so it was easier and more comfortable to communicate and put forth ideas openly. I was very proud of how well my team worked with one another from being able to remove any hierarchy of any sort to managing the workload with school assignments closing by too. Fortunately, all of us completed our assigned tasks on time with quality and in fact helped each other out where needed and were always open to suggestions like I had them on meet when I was done designing the poster to take their inputs and make changes accordingly. Overall, working in a team helps you develop a lot of important skills like communication, patience, being a good listener, punctuality, responsibility and many more which definitely come into use in the later parts of your life because you can’t expect to not work with anyone else for the rest of your life. You need to admit you can not do all the tasks, at least not with the same quality and time span as a team would, so accepting that doesn’t make you small, it makes your considerate and practical which are again two very important life virtues.