It’s been a very long time since I wrote one of these posts, but I have some time now, so I thought I’d give an update on what I’ve been up to this past semester.
As you probably know I recently moved away from Seycove to a different school so I could more intensely pursue dance. I miss PLP and my friends a ton, but I’m also having lots of fun at my dance program! Usually in my blog posts I’d go through each keystone and reflect on it, but since I don’t have keystones now, I’m just going to go through each subject. I hope you enjoy! (buckle up it’s going to be a long one)
Subject 1 – New Media (English)
We began this course by reading some short stories from Inside Stories 2 by Glen Kirkland and Richard Davies.
I’d recommend reading some of these because they were really interesting. My favorite was Lenses by Leah Silverman because I enjoy dystopian settings which tended to appear in this story.
The big project for this part of the term was our composition assignment. This assignment included; rewritten and expanded upon journals about specific topics, an essay about our progress in high school, an essay about our high story, and a guessing activity called FUN. This assignment was very useful for me because it reminded me how to write an essay, which will be a very important skill as I continue with school in the future.
Now that we’re into the second part of this semester my English class started to read To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
I’ll admit that this wasn’t my favourite book to read due to the language, plot, and the fact that I’m more of a fantasy reader, but I can appreciate the message that the book is trying to send to the audience. Something I found difficult while reading the book was how the timeline was laid out. If you’ve ever read the book, then you know that certain moments take place in different parts of the MC’s life and the time of those moments isn’t very clear from the reader’s perspective. Something that I enjoyed was how the book pushed me out of my comfort zone and challenged my thinking as someone who’s very privileged in this society. The book made me challenge my bias while reading and that’s a very valuable skill for me to have going forward.
While we were reading To Kill a Mockingbird, my class was also studying poetry which was a very hard thing to do since poetry is a very personal thing to interpret. That leads me to our final project, which was a second composition assignment, like the first but with slightly different topics.
The topics for the second composition assignment were; a personal essay about an ethical question, paragraphs on different “if you were” questions, a formal essay on the legends of Vancouver, and finally a couple of poetry writing assignments. We weren’t asked to do a FUN activity for this composition assignment. Just like the first composition assignment, I got to expand on my essay writing skills, but I also got to experiment with writing poetry which was a fun experience.
With that, my English year was done! I got a lot of homework from this class, so I was excited for that to be over, but English was also the only class I had with my friend, so I was also sad that it was ending.
Subject 2 – Socials
Out of all my first semester classes, socials was definitely my favourite because I really liked my teacher, and I really enjoyed the subject content. There were a few big subjects that we covered in this course. The first was governments, then we moved on to World War One, then finally we covered the Cold War. That might not seem like a lot of subjects, but those subjects were really long and had a ton of information in them.
The government unit was not my favourite subject but one thing that I remember sticking out to me was how much senators get paid, they’re pretty much set for life so, I think if nursing doesn’t work out for me, I should make some connections with the prime minister and become a senator.
During our World War One unit, we talked a lot about propaganda, and I made a mock propaganda poster about animal testing.
I really liked that I could be creative when doing this assignment and it was also a fun challenge to try to create my own propaganda poster about something non-war related.
The last subject we covered was the Cold War which lasted for a long time and at the end of the unit for our final project we were asked to create our own presentation about a war or conflict, so I decided to do mine on the current Israel vs Palestine War.
This project taught me about researching thoroughly and finding reputable sources for my work, it also taught me to try and ignore my bias which, I’ll admit is something I’m still trying to work on.
That concludes my socials for the semester, it was a fun class, but it was hard to focus sometimes due to the loud environment the class became sometimes.
Subject 3 – Careers
This course really had its ups and downs, on one hand, I made some good friends but on the other hand, a lot of instructions were unclear, and I was really confused even after trying to ask clarifying questions. We also used a program called My Blueprint which was pretty confusing to use most of the time and that made doing work hard to do.
The subjects for CLE10 were split up into six units in this post I’m just going to go through the big/most important project in each one.
CLE1: The most important project in this unit was the “all about me” PowerPoint which is as the title suggests a bunch of information about yourself.
CLE2: This unit was all about mental health and the biggest project we did was a PowerPoint about a chosen mental health issue, I chose to do a disorder called DID (check out the PowerPoint to learn more!)
CLE3: This unit was about career exploration and the biggest assignment was an interview that I did with my mom about working in health care. Here’s a picture of my mom and I after the interview.
CLE4: This was about setting good habits and my favourite assignment was a life hack that I found.
When buying an article of clothing think about at least three outfits from your closet that you could wear with it. If you can think of three then get it but if you can’t think of three, put it back!
Using this hack will help you create less clothing waste and it will save you money!
CLE5: This unit was about budgeting and finance the biggest project was that we all had to create a budget and plan a theoretical spring break trip to somewhere cool, I chose Japan for mine.
CLE6: This unit was about networking, which is a very important skill. We didn’t really have a super big assignment for this unit because it was very short.
Final Assignment: Our final assignment was to do a sneak preview of who we’ll be in 2026 (my graduating year) this was considered to be like our final test for this course, so it was a very large project. I had to revise my presentation to include some stuff I forgot so there will be two PowerPoints attached below.
This course was admittedly not my favourite course of the semester, the unclear instruction was very stressful, but I persevered and did my best even when I was confused and I’m very proud of the work I produced.
Subject 4 – Dance
I figured I should include a little blurb about dance since it’s been such a big part of my life at the moment. Some of you reading this might be a little confused as to what I’m talking about, I’m in a program called Peak Performance through my school and my dance calls the Half Day program which allows me to give up my last period elective blocks in favour of going to a sport (in my case dance) this means that I leave school at lunch. I’ve gotten to experience some amazing opportunities at dance and I’m very lucky to have the opportunity to do this. As I mentioned in the intro this program was the reason, I left PLP which was an incredibly hard decision to make but so far, I’m happy with my decision.
If you want to know more about peak performance, check out this link
I’ll start by talking about the performances I’ve done so far this year. I started off with the Nutcracker but with a twist, instead of doing ballet I was a rat who does a hip-hop number instead of ballet it was super fun to be onstage again, and I can’t wait to do it again next year. The next performance I was a part of was Collaboration which is where a bunch of dance studios come together to perform for each other. This was my first Collab and it was an amazing experience.
Now I’ll talk about some of the upcoming performances I’ll be doing, first on the roster is Snowmotion which is my dance studio’s competition group’s showcase, during Snowmotion there’s also the showcase for solos/duos/trios called Extravadanza which I also get to be a part of this year because I’m doing a duo with my friend Brianna. The next big performance is competitions, this year I’m doing 5 competition pieces Jazz, Group Lyrical, HipHop, Broadway, and My Duo. This is my first year doing a duo so I’m a little nervous, but I also can’t wait!
The last big thing I want to talk about is this year I’m going to be taking my first ballet exam! I’m at the RAD Intermediate Foundation level and it’s been stressful preparing but I’m very proud of the progress I’ve made in my ballet technique and skills. I also got to go on pointe for the first time this year which has been painful for my toes, but it’s also been very fun.
I’ve made so much progress in my dancing this year by doing the Half Day program and I’ve also made lots of friends through it if you want to learn more about my studio here’s the link to their website, you can also check out the NSAD Instagram which has video of the Friday workshops (which I tend to appear in on occasion) and the Instagram also has promotion videos of the studio’s different events (which I also appear in sometimes!)
Subject 5 – Lights Up
The last subject I want to talk about is lights up because it’s my last year doing the program, I’ll save most of it for the next post (if I do one) but I’ll talk about 1st term and a little bit of second term. For the first term, we focused on displaying specific skills instead of performing professionally written a show, but for our acting portion, we did do a couple of scenes from a show called “Check Please” by Jonathan Rand which was fun. I got to play the role of Guy in Check Please along with my friend Bailey who also played the role. For our singing piece, we did a song called “Found/Tonight” which is a mashup of the songs “You Will Be Found” From Dear Evan Hansen and “The Story of Tonight” from Hamilton. For dancing, we did the song “Friend Like Me” from Aladdin which I enjoyed because it was upbeat and even though it wasn’t super technical, I had fun dancing with my friends.
This is a picture of my friends, my teachers, and I after the performance!
For the second term (which is what I’m currently doing) we’re doing a medley (a mashup of songs) from James and the Giant Peach; the musical, originally by Roald Dahl and transposed for the stage by Timothy Allen McDonald. A fun thing about this term so far is that since a medley focuses more on singing and dancing than it does acting, our acting teacher has been asking us to prepare a monologue and do mock auditions each week. This audition practice has been very helpful because it helps prepare us for the real world.
I’ll go into more detail about how the second term went in the next post!
This first semester has been stressful but, I’ve enjoyed the challenge of it. One of the hardest things for me has been adjusting to how my new schedule works, but I’m enjoying it right now so hopefully that continues!
Thanks For Reading -Sydney (: