Cas Reflection

Tell me about something that you were not very good at in the beginning of the CAS course. Be specific!

Let’s be real here, at the beginning of CAS I struggled with a lot of things. I was coping with the beginning of perhaps the most rigorous educational experience of my life, navigating new social circles and challenges, and obsessively counting down the days till Christmas Break. Of course none of those relate specifically to CAS, but I have a rather annoying habit of connecting things and simultaneously allowing myself to become overwhelmed by small details. Anyways, I would say I really struggled with speaking spanish at the beginning of my CAS experience, as I was very shy and extremely self conscious of my bizarre Floridian-Latino drawl (imagine Jimmy Buffet and Pitbull had a Spanglish speaking baby).

How have you practiced that through your CAS experience? Be specific!

I would say that the main way I’ve practiced Spanish throughout my CAS career is simply trying to be the best student I can in Spanish class (key word there is trying). I do my best to enunciate and speak to Miss Kenia and my friends solely in Spanish, and I’ve practiced a ton at restaurants, bars, and even in in the Atlanta airport. I would have to say that my favorite part of speaking spanish to all the people working in the Atlanta airport was the absolutely stunned, priceless look on their faces when the big white kid started speaking semi-fluent Spanish. Of course all that practice came in clutch when I found myself writing complex topic reports at 2:30 AM in the morning for the Spanish speaking committees, as well as when I had to announce the chairs and winners.

Tell me a story when there are glimmers of awesomeness! Be proud!!!!

I would say that one of my shining moments from this CAS experience, aside from the actual MUN conference as that was obviously the highlight, was on CAS night at the hotel in Tamarindo. It was the first time I got to truly detail how my career in MUN (and my love for politics) started, as nothing more than a random club to boost my college applications. I was extremely nervous and yet I managed to hold my voice steady and my head high, even though I was sweating so much I almost drove myself to the emergency room. It was truly enjoyable for me to detail MUN and share it with a wide audience, as I feel that it helps improve so many life skills it should be required in the common educational curriculum. Granted, I also had an captive audience and a microphone, so I’m sure you can imagine why that was enjoyable for me.

Tell me a story when you faltered. Don’t be shy.

No doubt one of the times I faltered was Christmas break. I had all the free time an IB student could ask for, my computer, and my sanity, and yet I chose to sit around, eat fruit leather, and watch the Office all day. While I’ve managed to memorize so many Office quotes that I can include them in practically every conversation I participate in (That’s what she said). Anyways it seriously put me behind in my progress, and it really demoralized me for about a month until I hit my stride again. The downside was that I suffered a serious dent in motivation, but the upside was that I just managed to fit “Thats what she said” into a journal entry, so check that off the bucket list!

Give me your plan to keep practicing.

Practicing Spanish this summer will certainly be difficult as I will be going back to Ponte Vedra, Florida where the only language spoken other than English is Country Clubian, or perhaps the dialect of Rich White English. But in all seriousness, I’ll be using my Spanish to confuse my friends, reading in spanish, and speaking with my family members to ensure that my fluency stays in tip top shape!

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