SAISA Badminton Recap and Tournament!

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SAISA OSC A & B Squad 2017!

The first big surprise for me was being chosen for one of OSC’s badminton teams, OSC B, to participate in SAISA which was hosted here as well! I was extremely excited but also anxious because over the winter break, I wasn’t able to practice very much and not at all with the team, since I was abroad in Malaysia. The 2 weeks after the break and before the tournament, however, I made sure to show up to every single practice and really do my best to improve my skills and work with my doubles partners, Shreya and Jamaal. I also worked on my singles more and because the final team players were chosen, I was able to play more often and apply strategy and gameplay tips from other SAISA team players. 

It all began with the team matches, which were the highlights of the whole SAISA, because it really bred camaraderie between us as a team. During my singles matches I tended to get very nervous and make a lot of mistakes, but I think I really did try to play my best and improve my gameplay throughout. It was definitely disheartening whenever I I lost a match, but I knew to learn from those mistakes and felt more confident as I played more matches. Following the advice of Mr. Pradeep, if a strategy is working against them, keep using it; if your strategy isn’t working against them, change it. I was able to catch up in terms of points when I was playing against during the second half of the match most of the time, and I was proud of myself for that, even if ultimately I might’ve not won. I’m also very proud of the teamwork between my doubles partners, although Shreya and I ran into communication problems as we played more matches, we were able to mend that. I made so many mistakes when playing with Jamaal that we did encounter during practice, but I’m glad he was still supportive and we won a lot of games together through teamwork nonetheless! 

In the end, OSC B placed 5th in a total of 11 schools in SAISA, which was definitely impressive! I tried my best in the singles tournament and doubles tournament and the following consolidation matches that followed as well, although I wasn’t able to place very high. Overall, I couldn’t have done it without the help of my coaches, Mr. Pradeep, Andre and Ms. Tharu. This was the most unforgettable experience for me, and taught me how to persevere and enjoy in a competitive sport, both for myself and for a team!

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Badminton – Getting Started

This semester, badminton is offered again as a SAISA after school activity. I have been playing casually all my life (as expected of a Malaysian). However, I think it is time to shift that mindset and also work developing skills for competitive gameplay. As I’ve mentioned before, I’ve only been making small steps since I first joined badminton in Grade 10. In Grade 11,  my progress was interrupted by my commitment to scuba diving. This senior year, especially with other academic commitments, it’s important that I maintain some level of fitness. The best way to do so is by playing a sport I enjoy!

I have a lot of determination to become more of a competitive player in general and learn new skills, rather than simply to make it onto the SAISA badminton team – I think that is too ambitious of a goal at the moment. In short, my primary goal is to become a better player strategically and to stay fit.

So far, I have been able to make it to all of the sessions for badminton. Most lessons have a focus on learning a new skill, be it clearing or a high serve. Focusing on learning a new skill each session has been much more useful than simply playing matches against people.

Look forward to future posts detailing my progress in badminton with images!

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My inspiration! World’s #1! (credit)

 

SAISA – Art Festival @ ASB, Mumbai

From the 3-7 February 2016, 8 people from OSC were chosen to go to the American School of Bombay in Mumbai, India, for a visual arts workshop based upon the theme of justice. I decided to go because I love making art and experiencing art, and I hoped to experiment and enjoy the importance of creating art while sharing that experience with others. I wanted to be exposed to an environment where I would grow as an artist even without taking the Visual Arts IB course. 

  The guiding poem for our workshops in Mumbai was:

“later that night
I held an atlas in my lap
ran my fingers across the whole world
and whispered
where does it hurt?

it answered
everywhere
everywhere
everywhere.”

― Warsan Shire

The first day was the first time I saw Mumbai, we were brought to the school and took a bus and saw the many faces of Mumbai streets (3/02/16).

Gallery Visits (4/02/16)
The second day in Mumbai was dedicated to gallery visits. It was amazing to get to know Indian contemporary & modern artists located in Mumbai.

We went in our workshop groups, which helped because I found that many of the galleries had mixed media and different use of new media in some interactive way. We saw artists exploring media such as photography, cloths, traditional painting, sculpture, and video.

The first gallery, Where the Wind Blows by Prajakta Potnis, had used a rotating film that was projected onto the wall, persuading  you to stay and watch what was happening (see below). We even visited a gallery detailing the issues of sexual abuse in India and it was a full room where on all four walls, there were many screens depicting a wide array of text and images relating to the issue. That gallery especially had a huge impact by setting up this way, as if we could not look away from the consequences of it. The header of this post is part of Jitish Kallat’s Sightings series which was a depiction of different fruits through a microscope printed on lenticular paper, where from different angles you would see something different. I really wanted to explore this idea of multiple perspectives and a change, especially in the context of justice. 

SOME PIECES FROM THE MUSEUM WE WENT TO

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A mural outside a gallery near Rhythm House

Workshop (5-6/02/16)
My workshop for SAISA Art was New Media in Art, and we had many, many different new tools in order to make art. What was important because we had all the resources and tools at our disposal, we needed to come up with a concrete idea and the rest, we would be able to figure out and explore the possibilities. There were motors to make things move, different LEDs,a 3D pen, etc. These let us explore ways in which to make our artwork interactive for the viewer.

(PHOTOS © ASB PHOTOGRAPHERS)

I had a lot of difficulty to come up with an idea on the first day of the workshop. I think I was half overwhelmed by the amount of resources I had, and half overthinking the message. On the second day of the workshop, after around 5 scrapped ideas, all using motion sensors, laser cutting, LEDs… it was complicated but the message seemed to be lost. I managed to combine all my ideas into one concise one, based on my trip to Jaffna only a week earlier.

I used the laser printer in the school to do so. I’m grateful for Claire (another workshop member) & John (workshop leader) who helped me understand and work the laser printer! I hope our school can invest in a laser printer soon!

Although the machine failed at the last minute and engraved my drawing off center, it wasnt too noticeable. Overall I wanted my message for the piece to be about how justice works in terms of seeing only in terms of victimizer and victim. I used two acrylic sheets, one opaque red and the other slightly translucent dark red. Justice might be perceived differently in the case of Jaffna, after our visit I felt that there is a blurred sense of justice and people may have different views on how to ‘deliver’ justice to the area post-war. I created two faces of tigers to show two possible perspectives of many of the Tamil people in Jaffna. I tried to incorporate how the use of language when describing a situation or group of peoples can change perceptions greatly in the stripes of the tigers.

Exhibition (Stencil, Traditional Painting, New Media in Art)
It was great to see a variety of artworks produced on the same theme of justice.

(PHOTOS © ASB PHOTOGRAPHERS)

We spent the last day exploring Mumbai in the mall with the OSC Badminton team before finally departing (7/02/16).

Overall, I appreciate all the time I spent at SAISA Art because it was a rediscovery of what I love to do and the process of art. I think I always found art to be difficult but with this experience, I learned to accept that it is okay if it is complex and it takes time. Overcoming those hurdles in the last day was nothing compared to the supportive friends I made and the learning I gained (about myself and about different technology I can use to create art), who also shared a passion for art! I hope I have another opprotunity to experience this again.