Monsoon Musing has always been one of my favorite traditions in my school. I carry a profound love for literature and poetry and so this event was something very close to my heart. It did not even feel like a ‘burden’ organizing it because honestly I didn’t just do it for the sake of CAS but because of my interest in Open-mics in general. Even though the name Monsoon musings has been constant every year, this year however, we changed it to ‘Alfaaz’ just so that the Urdu word could give a very homely feeling since the event took place online because of lockdown.
LO 1: Identify their own strengths and develop areas for personal growth.
As an OC member, my responsibility was to organize the flow of the event, take necessary permissions, coordinate with the IT and language team and also stay in contact with each participant and help them prepare for the event. Moreover, I had to coordinate with members within the OC team, who luckily, were all my friends and so the planning process went quite smoothly from which I could identify several strengths and weaknesses of myself as an event organizer.
After a little self-reflection, I came to the conclusion that organizing and event planning requires a range of skills, some of which come naturally to me however others don’t. Skills like planning, managing, delegating tasks etc were easy for me personally but collaboration was something I lacked in. Being a strong headed person, I often neglect other’s opinions believing that my way is the best one. This did make it difficult for me to collaborate with my peers however we were able to overcome it by thoughtful communication and practicing empathy and open-mindedness consistently.
LO 2: Demonstrate that they have undertaken challenges, developing new skills in the process.
Since Monsoon Musing was online this year due to Covid it was quite difficult to find participation compared to when it used to happen offline. It also hampered the flow of the event which included a lot of activities which weren’t possible online and so we had to think of others that would work online and also be fun and interactive. This was quite difficult as a lot of things aren’t necessarily fun online, such as this event so it was a big challenge for my team and I to come up with games and interactive fillers that would keep the participants and the audience motivated. Even though we managed to plan the event, a more difficult task was to keep the participants punctual. Since it was online, we couldn’t personally go to them and remind them of the deadlines to submit pieces of work, we had to mail them which were mostly ignored by many people. Some never got back to us and the ones that did, took days and days to reply. Going through this experience, made me realize that even though you might be punctual and on time, it doesn’t mean everyone else will too. This made me more committed and persistent towards my tasks and understand the importance of punctuality.
LO 3: Demonstrate how to initiate and plan a CAS experience.
Since I was a part of the organizing committee, I had to do several things at once and there was a lot on my plate. We did everything from planning the flow of the event, coordinating with IT teams and teachers, making sure all pieces from the participants were school appropriate, giving comments to them and quite some more. Even though this seems like a lot, because I was emotionally driven this didn’t seem much. This project helped me develop leadership and communication skills which will act as a great experience for all the future events that I might plan in school and even in university. I’m honestly glad I took up this responsibility and organized this event from scratch because it was such a success in the end, people really enjoyed it and moreover, it was an evening dedicated to our love for words and so it was truly mesmerising.
LO 4: Show commitment and perseverance in their CAS experience.
The event was completely led by the OC team, teachers were just there to supervise us, and so we were bound to be nothing but committed and persistent with each task that we did. Since the event was done in a short notice, we had to meet several deadlines quite quickly so we had to planning and organizing our complete attention for a few weeks to have a successful event in the end.
LO 5: Demonstrate the skills and recognize the benefits of working collaboratively.
Since I mentioned earlier, even though the committee were all friends with each other, I did lack in working collaboratively. Our viewpoints did not match in most cases and so I had to learn to compromise and accept everyone’s opinion by giving it equal credit as mine. Even though that was difficult at first since I want things to be a certain way, I eventually had to learn to work with unity and give everyone an equal chance at presenting their ideas.
Through this experience, I learned to be more open minded since I had to learn to work collaboratively and be open to everyone’s ideas and not just mine. I also strive to be an active communicator as I had to coordinate with several teams as well as the participants.
Lastly, Alfaaz was a great experience. I had so much fun organizing it while also gaining some very crucial life skills like leadership, communication, marketing ect.