When I woke up I was extremely sore, especially on my legs & back! It hurt so bad when I walked, and sitting down, oh boy, that was bad. I started off with some light leg stretches, which thankfully, provided some relief. He greeted us with a smooth, “Your legs are paining, right?” Our steps were a series of punching and leg movements. Then we found out that it was the instructor’s birthday and we sang for him. Then we split up into our groups and he asked up to perform again. I think that yesterday was just a brief evaluation of us and today was the actual evaluation! He split us up even further, into 3 groups, and then he selected groups from those for extra steps. We continued to practice our steps and refine them as we went on. It’s a really nice feeling to feel yourself get stronger despite the pain by being able to adapt to the it. I could feel my legs becoming stronger as I practiced the sequence and i was able to hold the squats for longer and in the correct way. I was essentially practicing my steps from yesterday because he only told my group our steps at the end of the day. Overall, it was fun and I enjoyed it a lot and it’s a such a nice experience!
On day 11, I did Yakshagana and Yoga for CL. Yakshagana is the traditional theater with music, dancing, makeup, and acting. There were two people who thought us the Yakshagana. We first practiced the pronunciation and the way we say the lines in this drama and dancing. Ms showed the step of the dancing and I saw people struggling with it. After we got the step in dancing, Sir gave us the example of how to speak and talk in drama and he kind of shouted out the word. It was so loud and the voice was kind of shaking and it was really strange. We tried to say like that and some people like Vithal did good I guess. Based on it, people got the role of the story that we performing and the paper to remember the line. If I summarize the story, the villain’s father got killed and he decided to revenge. Sir gave an example again to how to act and it was so funny!
Few parts didn’t make sense for me but it was interesting........ Then we practiced some dancing. It was moving and making the circle using only knees, some steps and we spun. And that was the end of Yakshagana yesterday.
We had a break and I did the Yoga. We did kind of same thing what we did on CL day one. It was relaxing and comfortable.
The most enjoyable part of today was watching people acting out something. Some people acted good so it was enjoyable.
The least enjoyable part was when we danced. All of the activity was fun but LEAST enjoyable part was dancing because it was tiring.
The most important thing I leaned was that we can show and express our feeling on the movement, and the voice.
I could have spent more time on drama to remember my line fully.
I will grade myself as the 2 out of 5in Yakshagana because I should have more participate and listened at things that teachers explain.
Most enjoyable part was doing Yoga (of course)
Least enjoyable part was when we are bringing the yoga mat
I could have spent more time on doing yoga because it was good for me.
I will grade myself as the 4 out of 5. Because I think I participate on it and listened at the instruction or what to do.
For CL day 10, my group and I were making a fish tank for the library. Mr. Scott helped us with this because he knows a lot about fish and fish tanks. Yesterday we collected rocks and cleaned them of the dirt and mud that was on them. We started off the day by meeting in the Band room and talking about what to do.
We first talked about our to-do list and not making disasters. Disasters meaning like what happened yesterday because someone cracked the aquarium because they left it on its side and the pressure cracked the bottom. Because of this Mr. Scott had to buy a new one. I was gloomy and sad at the first part of the day because the Cavaliers lost against the Warriors and I was really sad because of this.
We talked about how much water we had to put in the tank and here comes the best part that cheered me up, Mr. Scott told us we had to put enough water so it fills up half of the tank and then he said “do you guys know why? Then Akanksh who is sitting beside me, told me “so the fish won’t drown” as a joke. Then Aman thought that he was serious and raised his hand and told Mr. Scott and everyone what Akanksh said thinking that was the right answer and everyone bursts out laughing.
After this happened, we talked about the paint job and how Ms. Madalasa and Mr. Scott will guide us through out the day. Then we moved the items from the band room to the library because of the fish tank, when it’s finished will be located in the library.
When I entered the library I was stopped by Aashish because he needed help to find the pocket knife, so I went back to the band room. When I came back Mr. Scott was explaining about how much paint we had to put on the back of the aquarium. He told us that we have to put thin layers of paint and then we can add more layers. We all had a chance to put the paint in and I covered most of the back when it was my turn. Then Mr. Scott assigned us to trios (my group has four people) to research about the fish we were going to put in the tank. They were African Cichlids.
Our group had one iPad so we assigned roles, one person was researching, one person was reading a book about fish and the other two were taking notes. I couldn’t find a book about fishes so I found a book about babies. It wasn’t related to the topic, but I wanted to read it anyway.
I was still listening to the researcher who was reading his findings out loud. After this, it was break and I was hungry so I ate. When I came back, I took a break because I really needed it.
Ms. Madalasa told me to bring rocks that were in a bucket and she told me to bring an extra person because it was heavy. I brought Rohan with me. I went to the band room and carried a bucket filled with pebbles and it was really heavy. Rohan and I switched the bucket so we had a chance to rest.
When we entered the atrium, Ms. Tamara spotted us and she asked “How many times have you carried this back and forth?” I replied saying “once”. This was the wrong answer as when we saw Mr. Scott dumping out the paint, he told us that it was the wring bucket and we had to bring the rocks that we had left out yesterday. So we went back, kept the bucket of pebbles and then filled a new bucket that was drying outside and came back to the library. This was super tiring and I really needed a break. But I couldn’t take one because next, we had to fill the tank with water.
This wasn’t tiring as the water buckets weren’t that heavy. After this we could finally out the fish in. I used the net and took out two fishes by accident. After this I could finally take a break! Then we had to journal.
This CL activity lasted 2 days. We used preservatives for this activity. On the first day, we made hot and sour mango pickle. Unfortunately, I wasn’t there for the first hour so I don’t know what happened or how it happened. When I entered the room, there were plates filled with tiny pieces of raw mangoes and there was also one container filled with mango pickle. Once all the raw mango pieces were covered with the sour and hot sauce, we weighed them. We saw the cost of all the items and decided to make a profit of 30%, which was 50 grams for ₹30. It was a fun experience as we rarely do similar activities. It also helped me get to know more students better as we worked in groups. After all the cooking and cutting was done, we cleaned everything and left.
The next day, we made Papaya pickle. We were divided into 5 groups and all of them had to do the work given to them which was peeling the papaya’s skin and removing the seeds in it using a spoon. After that, it had to be grated into thin and tiny pieces. We also had to cut up a few garlics, carrots, onions and gingers. They had to be cut up into very tiny pieces. All the ingredients except the garlic and the ginger were put in a big bowl and mixed together. The other two ingredients were mixed together in a separate bowl. Next, we prepared the sauce for the papaya pickle. The sauce contained one and a half cups of sugar, two cups of vinegar, one teaspoon of salt and a pinch of pepper. We let the mixture rest for a bit. In the meanwhile, we put the papaya pickle in a few containers. After that, we poured the syrup in the containers. We then decided on the selling price which was ₹100 per jar. The intoxicating smell coming from it was really strong and taste was acidic and delicious.
I really enjoyed the cutting and grading part because it is really rare that a teacher gives a kid a knife and I wanted to enjoy it to the fullest. I also really enjoyed mixing all the ingredients together and getting the final result.
There was nothing that I didn’t like about this activity as it kept me occupied throughout the whole activity and i really love doing work and being busy.
The teachers did their best to make the activity safe for us. They also tried their best to make it entertaining for us. Hence, I don’t think that they could have changed it in anyway to make it better.
I learnt that we should be careful when handling sharp weapons as it could harm you or others around you.
I think that I spent my time perfectly as we finished on time and didn’t have any problems relevant to time.
I think that I did my best during the cutting and grating part because I grated all the carrots, along with 3/5 of the papaya. If anyone grated before, then they would have known that grating isn’t that easy.
Altogether, it was a challenging and enjoyable activity and I really liked it.
So yesterday we went to Workbench projects and we all thought it was really fun. When we got there, we sat where we wanted. After we settled in we were made into 3 groups of six, with an exception of one which had 5 students, we were then introduced to the leader of the maker space, his name is Richard. We were then told what we were going to do, it was a harmonogram, it’s basically a designer machine that graphs equations on harmonograph paper, that was the BORING part of the day. I Don’t really like knowing what the thing does, I mean I just want the teachers to tell what we’re doing and not tell what it does,The three groups had to choose what part of the gram we had to do, there were three categories: Laser cutting, carpentry and metallics. In laser cutting we made the base with acrylic plastic with laser tech, in carpentry, we make the physical structure of the harmonogram with wood, and the metallics have to make sure that all metal pieces and screws are in place with the process of welding and drilling. I was put into the metallics group and it was very fun, it was cool to decide what metal goes where and deciding what screws go where, that was easily the BEST part of the day. The one thing I learned was That Fanta is disgusting! When I drink it I felt like I was going to vomit, the whole day, I felt sick because of it, we had a time constrain and had to leave, I just wish we spent more time in the workshop than in the room where we were in the intro room. I think I did my best work on the drilling because it was super easy. We got our memory and the stuff we made in the workshop and are going to make in school. Overall, I’m sure that everyone enjoyed it even though we couldn’t get it done.
Today, the group I was in did sewing. We could make either pillowcase, apron, or a dress. I decided to make a pillowcase.
First, we designed the product we wanted to make on a sheet of paper. The people who wanted to make a apron or a dress had to cut the newspaper into the actual size of it. Then, by the help of the newspaper, they cut out the fabric, following the outline of the newspaper. People who wanted to make pillowcase had to measure and cut the fabric without the newspaper.
On the second day, there were sewing machines on the table, and we used them to sew our products. Some of us used the sewing machine before, but most of us did not so we learnt how to use them by the teachers. We had to be careful not to put our fingers near the needle because it might sew our fingers as well.
While we were using the sewing machine, the thread got mixed up inside the machine so we had to wait. However, we fixed the problem and started doing our work again.
It was my first time using the sewing machine, and it was fun. I think most of us enjoyed the project. I would like to do it again.
On CL day 9 there were three groups for morning and afternoon. In the morning, all three groups went for a field trip and in the afternoon all three groups stayed on campus. The three groups for morning were Tharangini, Workbench projects and Alliance Francaise. I was in Tharangini for the morning. The three groups for afternoon were Cooking, Sewing or Fish tank. We started off the morning by talking random stuff. At 8:30, Tharangini group and Workbench group went to the atrium. Both groups got together and went to the buses. Tharangini group went in bus number 18 and Workbench group went in bus number 5. In the bus, I gamed.
When we reached Tharangini, we got off the bus and walked on a cross road to Tharangini. There, a lady told us about Tharangini and she told us how block printing started. She also told us to plan the design we want to do before we block print. After a few seconds, we all took out our old shirts or aprons, wore them on top of our uniform and went into a circular room with two tables opposite each other. There, a man showed us a demo of how to block print and we chose the pairs that we wanted to work with. I asked Ms. Lakshmi if I wanted to work alone and she said yes. A few minutes later, I started my design without planning it. I did random designs such as flowers, leaves, fishes, butterflies, hearts etc. I used different colours for everything.
After I finished my first design, I wanted to do one more so I went into the main studio and a man gave me an empty cloth and I started my design. I wanted to make my design neater and I did it again without planning it and in the end it came out good and I felt my second design was better than the first design because my second design looked neater and was not scattered around.
After I finished my second design, I went back to the circular room and I saw my first design was not on the table anymore so I asked the man where it is and Rohan said it must be hung somewhere outside. I went outside and for a moment I could not find it and a few seconds later I found it. After I saw my design hung, I went to wash my hands and after I came back out of the bathroom, I saw my second design hung and when I looked at it, I felt happy about both designs. I touched my first design to see whether it was dried but it was not. A bit of red paint was in my hands so I went to the bathroom again but there was a queue. Since Rishi Urs and Sanaa were taking so long to wash their hands, I decided to peel the paint from my hands and it worked.
A few minutes later, I went back to my chair to keep my old shirt back in my bag and I walked back to the bus, got in and sat in my seat. In the bus, we all ate lunch and gamed.
CL day 8: Nandi hills hike:
Focus of the day: positive attitude, never give up.
Today we took the bus to Nandi hills mountain. When we arrived we like 5 minutes to go to a rock. On the rock the guide talked about we will do and he talked about himself and his group. Then we started to walk up hill. When we got on the top everyone ate their lunch and everyone was a bit tired. When we finished with our lunches we took a group picture. After that we get down hill to the bus. To get down hill it was easier than to get up hill. Also we had to pick trash on the mountain to recycle after.
About my self: I enjoyed hiking even if it was my second time. And I felt happy. On this trip I learn picking up trash was a litle bit dirty but it is making the environment cleaner and cleaner.
We started our day in homeroom. We had to drive for half an hour to Hebbal Park and we expected the weather to be really hot and it surely was. As soon as we entered the Hebbal Park we met Mr. Avishek. He was also there when we went to Lalbagh Park on Monday (28/05/2018). We were then divided into 3 groups. The groups were called Buzz, Mango and Rainbow. I was in the Rainbow group. The groups had 3 competitions.
In the first challenge, the 3 groups had to take pictures that people don’t usually see in a Park. The images had to be unique, something out of the ordinary, We had almost half and hour to do this job as a group. Each group also had a leader for each task. After each group took some pictures, it was time for Mr. Avishek to judge them. He paid a lot of concentration and took his time, then the result was there, and team Buzz won the challenge.
Our second challenge was to take pictures that had frame in frame and field of depth. Frame in frame pictures are pictures that have a subject framed by environmental framing, structural framing or framing with light or lack of light framing. Framing a pictures gives it a more aesthetic look. Depth of field is when you take pictures that is measured as the distance from the nearest object plane in focus to the farthest object plane that is simultaneously in focus or when you focus on a single object and blur rest of the things out. As usual we took some pictures and then it was time for the decision. This time it was a tie between The Rainbow and the Mango group.
Our last challenge was to create a story based on a specific topic. The Rainbow group decided to make a story based on water but then we had to change our topic because the Mango group was doing it. The Rainbow group then decided to make a story based on the topic The Habit of the Hebbal Park. The Buzz group made a story based on the trees and flowers in the Park. Each group had to take pictures based that related to that topic and then they had to explain how it is related to the topic. The Rainbow group took Panoramas that captured the trees, the lake, flowers and insects. The group also used pictures they took before of just the trees, flowers, insects and swans. Each group then presented their pictures and explained them. We were being judged by Ms. Colleen, Ms. Lakshmi, Ms. Jen and Ms. Cindy. We were supposed to know the results but then Ms. Colleen said that she is going to tell us our results later. We then thanked Mr. Avishek and climbed the bus. Ms. Colleen announced the results in the bus. The winning group was the Mango group, followed by a tie between the Rainbow and Buzz group.
Overall, there were many techniques that I learned in this field trip, and it was really fun. I definitely recommend visiting this park for a leisurely stroll, taking pictures or just to observe the natural beauty of Hebbal Park.
On CL Day 7 we had three groups. Graffiti, Photography and Comics. I was in the Comics group and in my group there were the same people who came to Churches and Markets for the field trip. We started off the day by catching up on work we did not do.
At 9:00, I left to room 1120 where the comics were taking place. I could see some of the people in my comics group had already reached. I saw a man who had a hairstyle like a woman and he was busy drawing stuff and his name was Mr. Dinesh. A few seconds later, we all stood around him and he drew some of our faces. After that, we all sat down and listened to Mr. Dinesh. Ms. Manjula, the other teacher was giving each of us paper and Mr. Dinesh said to draw the basic shapes on the paper and make characters out of them. He told us to hold the pencil far away from the tip and lift up our palms and draw. I tried that and my paper was messed up and did not expect it to be like this. I kept on drawing characters on top of the shapes and whenever I did that, my paper got even more messed up. I then decided to use the back of the paper but I did not. I got a new paper and started fresh again. When I finished, my paper was looking neater.
Mr. Dinesh came around to look at everyone’s paper and when he came to me he asked me whether I found some characters on the internet. I said no and Mr. Dinesh told me to name some characters. I said Darth Vader and he said good and he also said to look for a clip art on Darth Vader. I started searching for a clip art on Darth Vader and when I showed him, he said awesome and he said to do it. I started doing it slowly because I wanted to make it sane like the clip art on the internet. When I finished, I went to show Mr. Dinesh and he said it was awesome. He also said to darken it. When I was done, I showed Mr. Dinesh again and he again said it was awesome and he also said to darken the outline. I listened to him and started to darken it. After this, I wanted to do one more clip art. I decided to do it on Tony Stark and I told Mr. Dinesh I wanted to do it and he said to do it. This time. Mr. Dinesh helped me draw it and I did the outlining. When I showed him the outlining, he said awesome.
After this I heard Mr. Dinesh talking to the other boys about planning a story. Immediately after I heard that, I went to Mr. Dinesh and told him I don’t know what story to do. He told me to start thinking so I put my thinking cap on immediately and started thinking. I wanted to do a story where the location was in a market. A few minutes later, I told Mr. Dinesh the plan of my story and he said he will come to me later and after about 6 minutes I went back to Mr. Dinesh and I told him to come to my table and he did. My story was about me walking in the market and there were bikes surrounding me and not letting me go and I escape somehow. I thought of the title and it was, ‘THE ARGUMENT AT THE MARKETPLACE.’ Mr. Dinesh wrote the title, drew the comics, drew the people and objects and wrote the dialogues while I was giving some ideas about the dialogues and I came up with the moral of the story which was, ‘Be Smart. Be Safe.’ After he did everything, I started outlining. First I outlined the title and as I was outlining it, the lunch bell rang so I ran outside and headed for lunch.
After lunch, I continued to outline the rest of the things and apply the finishing touches. After I did that, I showed it to Mr. Dinesh and he said it was awesome. After this Mr. Scott and Ms. Muthu came to see out comic strips. After the teachers saw it, I was doing random stuff and Igor saw mine and he said we needed to write what we learnt from the trip. I said no and we had a small argument and I asked Mr. Dinesh whether we needed to write what we learnt from the trip and he said yes and 1 second later he told me if he could draw me doing a thumbs up. I accepted the idea and he drew it and I did the outlining again. A few minutes later, Ms. Muthu came to see my comic again and she walked away about 2 seconds later. At 2:00 the bell rang and it was time for break.
After the break we all went to homerooms and started journaling or blogging.
Today was a very eye-opening day. We visited Ulsoor Market, and rode the Namma Metro. We started our day by loading the bus, and then it was off we go. We hit traffic after about 20 minutes. I wasn’t the least bit surprised. After about an hour in total, we pulled up to MG1 mall. Of course, there were jokes about going shopping, “I have money miss!”
We climbed off the bus and met our guides, and were divided into groups of 5. Shortly after, we started our walk to the market. On the street, It was oddly calm. There was the occasional horn if scooter, however I wasn’t scarred at all. I was surprised because usually I get blank stares from people passing on the streets. We reached the market, and that was where I felt completely out of place. Everyone gathered around us, or just stared from their doors. I felt like I was an animal at the zoo. We made our way to the market, and all the boys started asking questions to the vendor in Hindi. I, of course, was lost and pretty clueless. I just listened to our guide as I wandered around. It was really cool because a lot of the people had been doing their jobs for many years, and it was a family job. A few had been doing it for 40+ years.
After that, we saw a temple, and observed the temple pond. After that we went to the metro station. I have to say, I was very impressed. I thought that it would be dirty and busy, however it was kept very clean. Although the trains were packed, it was air conditioned. It really reminded me of taking the tram in France, except a lot more crowded. One group didn’t get off at the right stop, however, they had an adult with them, so we continued walking, knowing that they would meet us back at the studio. We got to the studio, finished our activities, gave a bit of feedback, and left. We got on the late bus and headed back to school. Overall, I enjoyed the day very much. I learned that there are a lot of problems in Bangalore regarding the pollution, We need to be part of the solution. A lot of people see the problems but are not willing to help. If we keep putting it aside, then the problem will be much bigger than we can handle.
Today the group I am in did graffiti. Graffiti is a type of art which you spray paint the wall or a surface. We had to trace the photo we took at the Tipu Sultan Summer Palace on paper and cut it with a special knife to make a stencil.
We first taped the paper on our iPads, so we can easily trace the photo. It was hard to trace because the iPad recognized our hands and kept on moving. We then cut the paper with a knife so when we spray paint on it, it would show the image clearly. I think this was the hardest to do, because we could not easily control the movements of the knife. After this, we put on the masks and the gloves and went to the art room to spray paint it. We had to be careful of the spray, because if it goes inside someone's eye, it would take lot of time to get it out at the hospital.
After finishing the graffiti about Tipu Sultan, we could do a graffiti of what we wanted to do. People in our group chose to do graffiti on their favorite band's logo, patterns, and other things. I put more effort on my second one, because I ruined the first one. Some of us layered the paint by putting objects while spraying. All the graffiti on the canvases looked great, and it was really fun.
This was my first time doing graffiti, and it was very interesting to do. It was fun. I think doing graffiti helped us increase our focus and concentration. I enjoyed doing it, and I hope we get to do it again some time later.
Today we went to Tipu Sultan’s Summer Palace. Our bus was half-filled, with only 14 students from grade 7 and 4 teachers. The bus ride was long and hot, as the AC wasn’t working properly. When we finally reached the palace, most of us were already exhausted from the heat. As we got down from the bus, our tour guide greeted us and got us through the gates of this palace. We took shade from the sun while Mansoor Ali, our tour guide, explained how Bangalore was started and how the city grew. It was new and valuable information, but didn’t directly link to Tipu Sultan at first. Bangalore was a small city, that had many lakes, lots of vegetation, but was bought and constructed on many times before it grew into today’s polluted concrete jungle. The Summer Palace was the king’s summer vacation palace, because Bangalore wasn't as hot as Mysore and its surroundings.
We learnt about how Bangalore was sold and controlled by different people until it became independent. The Wadayyas bought Bangalore, then sold it to Tipu Sultan. We learnt about the importance of Tipu Sultan as he defeated the British, created deadly rockets, and greatly influenced the way Bangalore grew. Tipu had elected the boundaries of his city, where the fort and palace would be. Inside the boundaries that were created by Tipu Sultan, lay an important part of modern Bangalore.
Many valuable items, such as the Tiger Head Throne and Tipu’s Tiger Organ are held as artifacts in British museums. The British were the only reason why Tipu’s Summer Palace isn’t very popular. All the important artifacts and parts of buildings were either destroyed or taken by the British. This palace has a mix of different cultures from Tipu’s people as well as the British. Islamic arches and pillars, Hindu temples and figures, and Christian buttresses. Tipu had 2 meeting courts, one (called diwane kas) where he met his ministers, and one (called diwane aam) where he met his public audience. Tipu sat on a balcony on a higher floor while he communicated with people. This palace was surrounded by gardens and greenery, which could be seen for miles from the balcony.
Tipu made 2 forts, one for his family and one for the people. In Tipu’s fort, made of rammed earth and stones for protection, there were cannons, dungeons, and accommodation. There were 2 gates, one pointing north to Delhi, and one pointing south to Mysore. Mansoor Ali taught us how the wars between Tipu and the British occurred around this fort.
We enjoyed this trip, but it would have been better if there was a better bus and better shade. There were too many dates and names to remember which confused us. The most interesting part in my opinion was the way rockets were created and used.
Today we had a lot to do. Our grade 7 was split into two groups. One of the groups went for a field trip the the hydroponics farm. Over there they learned a new way of farming that saves 90% of water. Then they made pizza with the organic tomatoes the farm grew. They also made salad. This is a great way for saving water and saving the environment. I hope more people use this way of farming. In this way of farming you could also save lots of space as you can stack one plant over another.
The other group did fence yarn art. In fence yarn art we first found out about the founder of fence yarn art. He was a man named Eric. People called him Hottea. After learning a lot about Hottea we chose which fence we wanted to work on. My group chose the fence next to the buses and the parking lot. We then had to choose the design we wanted to do on our fence. My group and I chose a rainbow. At the beginning we thought it was going to be really easy but it was actually really hard. We kept messing up or we made a wrong move or we got tired. The worst part was that it was so hot. The sun was right above us and it felt like we will never finish, but we kept going. It got really frustrating when we did a wrong move because we had to redo it again and then the yarn kept getting tangled. By the end of it I think all the groups did well. We all had something different and unique. Although it was hard, I had lots of fun.
For CL day 4, we had two possible things to do; make your own musical instrument, or go to a hydroponic farm.
I went to the hydroponic farm.
Hydroponic farming doesn’t use soil, and just uses water to grow crops. The water is then recycled, which makes it very eco friendly. Instead of soil, the seeds are put into tiny holes in a tray with dust collected from coconuts. Fun fact: the coconut dust is capable of soaking up more water than soil. Instead of watering the plants everyday, you can just water it once a week, and voilà- you’ve singlehandedly saved water and time.
After I learnt all of this, I felt incredibly intellectual. I was also quite proud of myself because I’d soaked up all of this information like the coconut dust.
Then, after we were explained all of this, and the fact that this was the first hydroponic project in India, we were going to start seeding. They were two kinds of seeds we could plant: basil or spinach. Two of the five groups decided to plant basil. This took immense amounts of concentration, as it was one seed per hole, and the seeds were minuscule. My group planted spinach. The seeds were a tad bit bigger which made it easy.
After that step we had to pair up to put the seeds inside the poly house. We gently had to tug out an already grown batch of spinach plants from the trays, suspend it above a tiny pot, and fill it with rocks in a way that the plants had its head up in pride. We then had to gently place it in a single row.
We were then allowed to look around. For the record, they also grow lettuce and mint. We were also permitted to smell the previously grown basil and mint. The mint smelled immensely fresh, and there was a collective gasp from my peers as they inhaled the minty freshness. Everyone eagerly tried getting the minty-ness (is that a word?) on their finger. I, on the other hand, was gulping in the heavenly fragrance to the point where I exhausted myself. Some people were busy eating the leaves. The sin. The audacity. Those monsters.
We, then finally, made it to their other farm where they also cook using their organic produce. We were making pizza, and salad. We once again split into our groups, and began to cook. By then, I was fantasising about tossing the pizza dough high up repeatedly to the point where it got stuck on the ceiling. But, we were just going to put the toppings on, and the dough would be rolled out by their chef because time didn’t favour us. Also, trusting a bunch of starving kids with pizza dough probably isn’t safe. The salad was cooked by two of the groups members, and pizza was by three members. My groups pizza included tomato sauce, cheese, corn, cheese, tomatoes, cheese, onions, and cheese. The end result was interesting. We all had cheese dripping off our chins.
We ended the day by thanking the entire Farm to Table organisation. When they asked us if we were going to do it again, everyone energetically screamed; “Yes!”. No one heard me saying; “As long as we get to eat.”
In this project we were supposed to build a musical instrument to sell and fundraise to provide a meal for underprivileged children in our neighborhood. We built drums. Mr. Boniface also did this last year and he said that the poor kids enjoyed the activity and left with a smile on their faces.
We put the wrapping around the drum that the grade 4 and 5’s had started by making this skin. At first I thought that wrapping the paper around the drum would be hard, but it turned out to be pretty easy. We were supposed to put the wrapping flat on the table, then roll the drum halfway. When we had finished that we had to tape the beginning part of the wrapping to the drum ( it was the hardest part), and then unroll the wrap. When we were finished with that we had to roll the wrap again as tight as possible this time to make it as smooth as possible.
The last step was to tape the wrap on more time and also do it on the inside of the drum. Nicolas and I finished 2 by the end of the hour. The project is still not done as the third graders have to put the skin on the top of the drums to make it beautiful.
Today was the second day of Contextual Learning on campus. It turned out to be more than what i expected! The 7th grade first had to go to the Elementary school basketball court for the VANS campaign. We had to design a shoe. During the VANS campaign, the best part was the announcement about a small competition. It was announced that the winning design would get a trip to hong kong and if you won there your design would become an actual shoe and the winner would receive $2000. The entire class was excited and looked up at the VANS announcers open-mouthed! We had about 2 hours to complete the shoe, and some of us even managed to make two shoes. I think this campaign was a pretty good way to show off your artistic abilities. I think everyone enjoyed the campaign.
Late morning, my group had to go for Break-In in 60 minutes. The theme for Break-In was Minecraft, we had to try and help Steve escape from the world. We finished just few minutes before time! After break, we had to create a Break-In for the other group and they had to create one for us! I was chosen to be the leader and realised that the other group found our challenge very easy. When we were doing the Minecraft theme Break-In, we had to read between the lines and make assumptions to find the answer. I felt like I was actually trapped in a room. It was an effective activity to make us work in a group. I think all of us or at least most of us had fun today.
Crime Scene Investigation
Today was another great day. We started off setting the day with Mr. Costa in room 1113. We had three activities to choose from which were
- Chenda Melam Drums
I was in the martial arts group which was Kalaripayattu. We got to know that this is a martial arts which the mother for all the others. It was really important to follow all the instructions we were told by our guru as otherwise we might not be respecting the religion.
I think we showed a good amount of respect and had tried our best Of our ability most of the time. I would also say that after taking that class we were great risk takers and most of us learned something new which before we were scared off. I think that these skills are really important in our daily life fore reasons like safety and keeping this form of art alive. The act of discipline is another important thing to be respectful and having a better performance at the end.
I really enjoyed the fact that I can dance and be strong at the same time. This also looks really good when we perform it thanks to the teachers because he was the one who made us perfect.
Next we went to the pool were we learned one act of design. Unfortunately Mithali and I could not participate as we were not that great swimmers. Though our coach told us we could participate tomorrow. Other than that we thought that the pool looked really pretty with all those amazing swimmers.
It was day-2 of Kalaripayattu and I woke up with aching legs from the day before! We obviously worked muscles that had been lying dormant for more than just a while! Still, I was looking forward to it because I really enjoyed the first day!
Our session began with a repeat of the steps we learnt yesterday. Sir thought we had improved a lot, so that made us feel proud. Then we practiced our individual steps with music. We were given a specific time in which we would enter and do our steps. Some of us were sore from yesterday and at times couldn't keep up with the beat of the music. If we didn't do the steps well enough, we would practice some more and then do the whole song as a group.We adjusted the length of our steps and even got rid of somelike the forward role for me and Raeesa (phew!)
Towards the end of the performance, five of us had to lie on our stomachs and push our self up and down in a wave like motion. Once Mr.Pradeep was satisfied, he gave us a challenge- we had to sit on our hands and try to walk. That was really hard and I had to do it a few times to actually get it!
Finally, it was time for swimming. The girls did the synchronized swimming while the boys played touch rugby. Although I didn't swim today, both the activities looked really fun and I am sure both girls and boys enjoyed it a lot. Overall this was a really fun day and I look forward to the final few CL days as well as our performances!
Students from 7th grade on-campus were split into three groups to do different activities.
Kalari (a form of martial arts mixed with dance), is the activity my group did. The students were given three days to learn their routines which would be performed on Friday for parents, teachers and students. The students at first weren't very respectful as they often laughed at the routines sir taught us.
Students started getting more interested the next day but faced muscle pains and cramps from the previous day. On the third day we rehearsed on the stage with music and lights. The students were excited and amazed by how the show has come together and were proud that they managed this within three days. Everyone did their finishing touches and perfected their dances.
While the students finished off their last bits that needed to be worked on, the teachers got out their costumes. The students weren't as excited as the pants were really big and it wasn't easy at first to put the top on but they got the hang of it. They practiced once with costumes and then went for lunch.
The overall practice today was much better than the previous days as we knew almost all our steps perfectly and listened to the teachers. Students loved this routine as it was new and different from most things they've done before.
The day started of by Journaling and Newsela, after that we had our practice then lunch then again practice and last we had swimming.
Today we continued our practice for 'YAKSHAGANA' preparing for a performance on Friday. We weren't able to co ordinate with each other and were getting confused with the steps, but Miss made us practice again and again, so that we dance with coordination. Even though dancing was repetitive, at the end of the day we were dancing in harmony.
Then came to the practice of dialogues. We weren't loud enough to be heard in the Odeum, so we did some vocal exercises. We also had a full run through of our play. It will be a 14 min performance!
Today we started of with our last project of CL - Chenda Melam drums. Chenda Melam means cylindrical percussion. It is played during occasions in Kerala. When we went to the Odeum, two guides were there who guided us in playing the instrument. One of the guide said that the basic rhythm for any type of religious song is tha-ki-ta.
We learned that if we know the basic rhythm, we can play any type of religious song at any festival in Kerala. He also explained that it takes at least 1 year to learn to play the drums, and a lot more years for learning advanced skills. Most of us learnt simple rhythms, which we are going to perform on Friday.
We all were surprised to see one of the guide playing the Chenda really fast. He obviously had learnt it for many years. He said that if we want to learn the skill of playing fast, we will need a lot training. It is not easy to perform unless you know the basics and get trained . And also, he explained to us that it isn't easy to perform because you will have to be standing in the sun at the temple, or a place where they would perform for about seven hours a day. When he was telling us about playing the Chenda Melam, I learnt a lot about the instrument and also realised that "PRACTICE MAKES A MAN PERFECT".
On the beat was my goal (mantra) .
Today we practiced 'Chenda Melam'. We were hitting the drums and most importantly rocking out. We practiced our whole routine and it went well. We only practiced few times since the drums were so loud that our ears would explode and our head hurt but we did a good job.
The easiest part was playing the whole song properly and the hardest part was playing as one group of 9. For me the hardest thing was speeding up and going the maximum speed in a beat.
The interesting thing is we learnt something new and that Chenda is mainly played in Hindu temple festivals and is a religious art form of Kerala.
My overall experience was fun and new and I am really happy for learning the culture. I am looking forward to playing the piece and finding out what people think about it.
At the end of the day we played rugby in the pool and some students did synchronized swimming. Overall it was a rhythmic and synchronized day.
The sunny sky with glazing glasses made our day walk. We were made to walk in narrow roads which led us to many historic places I never visited before. All those places were part of a pettah, which means a village inside a fort. The pettah was occupied by people of different trades, one of which was and still is silk weaving.
The journey of our tour began with the walk to the Dargah. It looked like a mosque, but it wasn't. the guide told us the difference between a Dargah and a mosque. I was interested in it because there was a sufi saint buried there. We learnt that buried sufi's head always faces Mecca. The guide also told us more about Islam and sufism. "Terrorism has no religion" - said our tour guide. I will always remember that.
Then we walked to the temple. It was based on the story of Mahabharata. It was a story of some Pandavas who fought against 100 people and they won. So the temple was spiritual and meaningful. We also saw a basil plant also called tulsi. People eat that when they cannot have kids. So they go and pray there and eat it. Then the fertilization begins. I was surprised that a small leaf could make a difference. It was an amazing experience to be there.
The last place we walked to was to see silk weavers. We saw how people make silk and give it colour. The health consequence for this it that it's so loud, so people may get deaf. Then we went to the place where they dye silk. They dip it in the benzidine-based dyes. They don't use gloves, or masks, or coats to prevent injuries and health problems.
I enjoyed this day as I learned a lot of new things and experienced them, instead of just reading about it.