Alex’s Blog

Yee Haw

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Totally Tubular Totalitarianism

Ah yes, another year, another unit, another blog, welcome back to the first addition to my blog in 2019, the PLP cohort started this year off with a unit on the interwar years and how to make a perfect essay. More importantly we started this year off with a new driving question, “What Makes an Historical Event Significant” I answer a modified version of this question in my essay which, if you wish, you can read right here.

This unit started off quite rocky for me I went away for 9 days on the first week of school, and it kept me behind for the majority of this project. We started by researching our topic, mine being the rise of totalitarianism in japan, we were then tasked with writing annotated bibliographies which was my least favourite part of this project. After that we began writing our essays, we made a total of 3 drafts and I’m pretty happy with how mine turned out. Although I wish I could of handed in everything on time.

Learning about the Showa era, was cool because I got to learn more about how Japans culture has developed over the years, and if I ever get the chance to learn about the history after WWII I will be very excited. I’ve been interested in Japans history ever since I saw “The History Of Japan” on YouTube, which was a viral video that briefly explained Japans history, it barely mentioned the Showa era, so this unit gave me a chance to fill in some gaps of my understanding of Japans history. This unit also gave me a chance to see how much better life has become for most people around the world, the amount of war crimes Japan committed in the 1930’s are relatively unspoken about now and it really gave me some depth to my perspective on life as a whole.

Overall this unit was pretty 2 dimensional but it was really cool to be able to practice making a perfect essay and I know that will help me out a lot throughout the rest of my schooling, also learning about Japan’s history was also a lot of fun, the Japanese culture really interests me and this unit gave me a deeper understanding of Japan’s history.

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Tpol, am I ready for next year?

Ok so, an entire year in review I’m gonna be using the exact same formula as I did for my mpols, I sure do love creativity for my reflections, sarcasm aside, in short this wasn’t a good year but there are some things I’m proud of and looking back I know where I went wrong and how I can fix it.

Humanities:

William Lyon Mackenzie Animation:

I touched on this video at my mpol earlier this year, I was struggling with this video but I do think I came through with an OK video, art is not my strong suit at all, especially drawing so animating this video was quite a challenge but it was fun none the less, I fell that the content on this video is fairly strong but the visuals were “meh” to say the most.

WW1 Video:

Humanities has been a bit of a rollercoaster this year (well this entire year has been a roller coaster) but there is some work that I’m proud of, for example my ww1 video, despite how scuffed the final video turned out I think this was one of my more stronger projects behind the scenes, like I said in my blog I think this project had potential to be to be an A project but I did not use the video skills that we have we been practicing since the begging of the year and that was the downfall of the video, along with, of course, my poor time management skills, I know if I get the chance to re do this project I could make something I’m truly proud of.

Oh! I completely forgot to mention that I missed the presentation of our videos at cove cliff there is no excuse for that, and honestly probably my biggest regret looking back on this project.

Heritage Minute:

The heritage minute was a really unique video project, all the creative constraints were quite challenging, and I think our video came out quite nicely if I do say so myself I think I held my weight playing lord durham as well as being the editor this project, and I think we all had a lot of fun learning about lord durham, getting feedback from historical canada was also super cool and I hope we get to get feedback from professionals again in humanities next year.

Victoria Video:

This was one of my weakest videos all year but the victoria trip was amazingly fun and educational I struggled a lot with getting everything in on time with this video but like I said I learned a lot about the royal Canadian navy and the history of B.C as a whole while watching my peers’s videos.

Maker

DI:

(Read my D.I blogs for context)

D.I, was an… experience to say the least but it was a blast, most of the PLP students dread it but I don’t know why D.I went very smoothly with our group and we ended up getting 3rd place at regionals and 2nd at provincials. Our script was funny and our symptomatic was solid as well, our major problem at regionals was our stage blocking but we revised it for provincials and we improved our placement! Everyone in my group was great and I’m actually kinda bummed we won’t get do it again next year.

Blue Sky:

This is probably the project I’m most proud of this year, it was a lot of fun to make and I learned a lot about BC’s history and I’m proud to say that I think I could actually make a little difference with the website I created. For blue sky I created a website to raise awareness for the highway of tears you can visit the website here. Not a lot of people my age know about the highway of tears and thats why I made the website, disappearances are still happening to this day so I tried to make my website engaging so more teenagers know the dangers of hitchhiking on highway 16. My biggest problem with this project was the lack of work I put into the LAUNCH journal.

Scimatics:

The Phosphorus Cycle:

Similar to my blue sky project Jackson and I made a video to raise awareness for the phosphorus cycle and the problems that its having in the modern age. I think this project did a great job on incorporating the video skills we learned in humanities and it showed our understanding of the phosphorus cycle, sadly we didnt make our product that solved our problem but other than that large flaw I think we did an O.K job. Thats pretty much all I have to say on this project.

This is probably the only project I was satisfied with in scimatics this year, although I understand 90% of the concepts I did not do a lot of the work I’m going to be changing this next year, because quite honestly I don’t want to go to another remedial week next year.

Why Do I Feel That I am Ready to Advance to The Next Grade Level?

I feel this way because I think I have Identified all the problems I need to work on to be able to succeed next year those being; using the tools given to me in PGP, using the 7 habits, and keeping myself in check. The biggest problem I had this year wasn’t even procrastination the definition of procrastination is waiting til the last minute to complete a task but the thing is I didn’t even complete all my tasks this year, but when I did I usually did them well, and fast. There were a couple projects this year that I did complete everything on time, and I plan to make that the standard next year, there are also projects that I am proud of (the ones I mentioned here) not to mention, I have the entire summer to think about how I can make myself more efficient with my work ethic so I think I am ready.

So as always thanks for reading and have a great rest of your day / evening.

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Pogogo!

Greetings all welcome back to another blog post today I’m going to be talking about exponent unit in math, for this unit my partner Amelia B and I made a math game that incorporated the exponent laws this is how you play

Instructions:

There is a deck of 68 cards. Each card has a variable on it, with a power: for example, a common card could be A to the power of three. There are also cards that have no power and are simply a variable. There are also brackets cards with powers, and answer cards, with variables and powers. The answer cards are red. 

There are two players. Each player gets a template sheet with 3 mathematical equations on it. Each equation is composed of variables and powers. In order to play the game, you get dealt a deck of 5 cards. If any of the equations on the template have variables with powers that appear on your cards you can play them on the template and setting the used card in front of you so that you remember which cards you’ve discarded and which parts of the equations you’ve completed. For example, if I had an A to the power of three card in my deck, and one of the equations also uses A to the power of three, I would place my A to the power of three card beside my template to show that I’ve found that part of the equation. 

The objective of the game is to find every pair of variable + powers in your equation template in the deck by asking the opposing player if they have a variable and power card that matches your pairs of variables and powers. For example, if player one’s equations have a C to the power of two, player one will ask player two, “Do you have a C to the power of three?” If player two does have a C to the power of three in their deck, they will give it to player one, and player one can cross off C to the power of three on their equation template and discard the card. 

The equations on the template also require an answer, which is on a card in the deck somewhere. The answer cards are red. The equations are simple, so solving them will tell you what card you need to look for when playing the game. If you’ve crossed off all of the variable + power pairs in one equation, all you need in the answer card to complete that certain equation. The first person to complete all three equations on the equation templates wins. 

The brackets cards are for equations that have brackets. In order to complete this equation you need to play a brackets card. The brackets cards will have powers, and so will the brackets in the equations. You must play a brackets card that has a matching power to the brackets in your equation. 

In order to win the game, you must find the cards for all of the parts of your equation. If your equation has brackets and two variables + their powers, you have to acquire the two variable + power cards matching to the equation, a brackets card with a matching power, and the answer to the equation.

This wasn’t a good unit for me, for one I’m getting this Blog wayy too late and two other than helping with the rules Amelia did 60% or more of the work here, going into next year I wont this happen again.

Overall, I did learn a lot with this unit, despite doing exponents last year as well this unit was a nice refresher. So, as always thanks for reading and have a great rest of your day / evening.

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The Phosphorus Cycle

Hey everyone, welcome back to another blog post today I’m gonna be talking about the phosphorus cycle, for this unit in science we covered almost all of the matter cycles, I was partnered with Jackson and we were assigned the phosphorus cycle, we made an educational video about the current problems with the cycle and how we could fix it.

Making this video was a lot of fun partially because I was paired with a friend, but seriously I did learn a lot about matter cycles, the biggest problem with our video though was the lack of our product, originally we were going to make a device that would divert urine from a toilet so that it could be used as fertilizer rather than phosphorus based fertilizers, but we did not end up presenting a product and there’s not really any excuse for that. Other than that the point of our video was to raise awareness for the problems of the phosphorus and I think our video was engaging enough for a viewer to want to learn more, so thats pretty cool.

Overall, this unit was a success at least 65% of the time there’s definitely more Jackson and I could of done but I think the video showcases our understanding of the phosphorus cycle

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Blue Skys All Over Highway 16

Hello all, and welcome back to another slightly depressing blog post todays topic is blue sky 2k19, although this wasn’t my first exhibition this was my first Blue Sky, and honestly I really hope I get the chance to do another one, I have/had so many more ideas for possible projects but this exhibition I settled on making a website to raise awareness for the highway of tears, you can visit this website right here.

At the start of blue sky I originally wanted to do something about green energy but quickly realized that most of my project ideas had been done before or were too large of undertakings for a grade 9 student with an IPad and a couple months. The weekend after blue sky started me and my mom went up north to Terrace, BC and on the way back I started noticing all the missing peoples signs that were scattered along highway 16, I already knew about The Highway of Tears but seeing the signs made me remember that there family’s that are still looking for lost loved ones. So I decided to make my project about the highway of tears, I immediately knew that I wanted to make an interactive map (which you can see in my website) I debated between making an app within keynote or making a website with WordPress, eventually I decided to make a website because I thought I could make it look nicer and this way I could actually have anyone visit my project.

So I got my pitch approved and got to work, first I made a list of all the documented missing peoples cases that fall under the Highway of Tears area, next I started the website and here’s the thing I didn’t know much about making websites so I kindly asked my father who is web developer to show me the ropes, and surprisingly it wasn’t super duper hard, first we planned out what I wanted the website to look like, and I made a mock-up design on Adobe Illustrator. 

(Rough drafts on how the website would look)

After this my dad helped me pick out a salient theme (similar to the themes that you see on other students blogs but more cool and less free), then we copy and pasted our designs into the theme and put in another plug in to make the pop ups that you see on the map.

After this the website was pretty much ready so I started research on the history and a little tid bits of info about Highway 16 after putting that into the website and moving the titles around so everything fit I was done. The exhibition went really well, and I had a lot of fun, it was a great way to end the year (sort of) and I’m really proud of this website.

Overall, this project taught me a lot about BC’s untold history, and about making websites, this was one of my best looking projects all year and I’m excited for any future blue sky’s I might be able to partake in. So, as always thanks for reading and have great rest of your day/evening.

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Artillery Review

Greetings all welcome back to another blog today the topic of discussion is: the Great War, despite its ironic namesake, there are aspects of ww1 that were great including but not limited to the awesome weapon technology that were used in ww1 more specifically, artillery! In fact, I even made a slightly above mediocre video reviewing some of the coolest artillery guns used in the Great War you can watch it right here.

I learned a lot about the “Great War” this unit but quite frankly I’m fairly disappointed with the outcome of my video. Behind the scenes I think this video had the potential to be one of the best videos I made all year, I just think once I was in front of the camera I did not execute my vision well. Everything leading up to filming I think I did solidly, my screenplay was engaging and I think I had a fairly unique type of video because of how I rated the artillery guns, but I do think my video came out unenthusiastic, and the angle I chose to film with was not good as well. I also missed the presentation at cove cliff which was although unplanned, it still was unacceptable, to make up for it I showed my friend Ryan my video and subjugated him to the questions I wrote about my video.

Apologies for the head cutting in this video, my good friend Ryan doesn’t have as much practice behind the camera in comparison to other PLP students. So, this was the last humanities project for the year and I’m sad that this wasn’t my best work, but I am happy with the skills I learned on the journey.

Overall, I think I learned a lot this unit and this year in humanities it was a bit of rollercoaster ride but a good one none the less, I’m looking forward to humanities next year even if we don’t have Ms. Maxwell, so, as always thanks for reading and have a great rest of your day/evening.

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Lord Duran Duran… Wait no

Welcome back to another blog eh? Today I’m going to be talking about (typing, really) our heritage minute project, you can watch the finished version right here.

But wait, what is a Heritage Minute? You ask. Well a heritage minute is a minute long video that depicts an important part of Canadian history. These aired on TV in the early 2000’s but they now reside on YouTube, so, our class made our own. We were separated into groups of 4 and mine was Myself, Nik, Lucy, and Amelia B. Our heritage minute was on Lord Durham (As you could probably tell from the title of our video) this video was definitely the manifestation of the video skills that we’ve been learning all year, this video project was probably our most challenging yet, the most challenging part of it was arguably the fact that we couldn’t have anything modern in our video, we got through it though and our finished video was fairly good, but quite honestly I didn’t do a lot of work for this project I left a lot of the planning to the other group members and I really didn’t do much until the filming and editing phase, and I even misspelt upper canada in what was supposed to be the final draft of our video. (but I’d rather not talk about that)

We even got some feedback from Ryan Barnett and Joanne Archibaldu who both work for heritage minutes and are a part of almost all the heritage minutes on youtube! This what they had to say about ours.

With all that being said I did work hard when I finally started to work and help out my group, this was one of the only projects this year that I got everything handed in on time (except this blog post but lets not talk about that) so I’m fairly proud of that, but I do wish I helped more with script and storyboard, at least I won’t have anyone else to rely on for my ww1 video which you guys will be seeing very soon!

As always, thanks for reading and have a great rest of your day/night.

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D.I Provincials (Even More Cool)

Welcome back to another blog, its um certainly been a while since my last post but nevertheless today I’m talking about my experience at the D.I provincials, this was my first D.I provincials ever and quite honestly its a lot more fun than most of the PLP students give it credit for, anyways, after finishing 3rd at regionals The Medical Men of Mystery advanced to the provincials, you can view our performance for our challenge right here

Our challenge for D.I this year was to research/create some sort of medical mystery and then create a solution for said medical mystery by creating a symptomatic, which would display what the disease was/how it could possibly be cured (if you read my regional post you probably already knew this though), my group consisted of Jason, Caleb, Amelia R, and I.

Some things we changed from regionals included; minor changes to the script to compensate for the absence of Caleb, adding more detail to our symptomatic, and changing our stage blockers, we lost points on each of these at the regionals which is why we revised them.

Reflection:

One of the biggest challenges at the provincials was our backdrop, we made our backdrop completely from scratch and it was larger then most of the others, and it did not fit in any of our vehicles so we had to take it all apart into the smaller pieces and re construct it at Collingwood (which is where the provincials were held) this proved to be a lot harder than we thought it would be as some of our wood had cracked, we persevere and after attaching some heavy objects to keep the backdrop from falling over.

After we got our backdrop and costumes ready we performed and in my humble opinion I thought our performance went a lot smoother the second time around. Apparently the appraisers did too because at the end of the day we walked out with 2nd place ribbons which is an improvement from 3rd place at regionals.

Overall I think I contributed well during this project there was definitely more I could of done at the begging of D.I, but I think I did much better in the two weeks in between regionals and provincials, my group also did an amazing job and we worked well together, it definitely could of been a lot more stressful than it was so thats cool.

With all that being said, as always thanks for reading and have a great rest of your day/evening.

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D.I Was Pretty Cool I Guess

Ah Destination Imagination, dreaded by students, and mildly celebrated by teachers. This year is my first year in PLP and as you could imagine it was my first time participating in D.I as well, coming into into PLP I heard a lot of groaning whenever someone mentioned destination imagination. In my opinion it was a lot of fun, so I would assume last years D.I was just bit more hectic, or maybe the groups didn’t work well together, but I’m getting sidetracked, I haven’t even told you what D.I even is. Destination Imagination is a yearly event that is designed to challenge kids to get creative, there are different categories of challenges all with different creative constraints, my group (consisting of Jason, Caleb, Amelia R, and myself) were in the scientific group. This year the scientific challenge was to create and/or research a medical mystery which could be identified by a symptomatic, we then had to create a script/story with two team choice elements involved (unique things our group could do in our presentation) there are many more minor details/constraints/rules that were involved but I hope that you get the gist of it.

 

Reflection:

Unfortunately I was very sick for the first week of D.I so I couldn’t really help with the script and concept of our play but my group bailed me out on that one (thanks guys) I did a little bit of bounce back and I helped as much as I could with the backdrop and tweaking the script and other stuff, soon enough the day of regionals was just around the corner and we had to memorize our scripts, I think I did fairly decently performing, I got a few laughs which was really cool, in fact everyone in my group did amazing jobs performing and preparing, and quite honestly Sam and Jason stole the show they even made me chuckle while I was behind the backdrop (you can sort of hear it in our video).

Overall, knowing that 2/5 of our group members were doing D.I for the first time, I don’t think we did half bad, but there was definitely room to improve going into the provincials but you can read about that next time on my radical blog.

So, as always thanks for reading and have a great.rest of your day/night.

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PLP 9 Explores The Lower Mainland And Also Smithers

Earlier in February the PLP 9 class (which includes myself) went to victoria for the second field study of this school year. Every student in the class was assigned a place or person to study before the trip, we visited each place and/or gravesite of the person.

This was my first field study with PLP and I really hope it’s not the last because it was genuinely an interesting and fun way to go and learn. We visited a lot of places in the 3 days that we were there, the most notable being the naval museum in Esquimalt, I was assigned to make a video that could connect visitors of the victoria area to the history of B.C.

Here is mine

If you want to learn about the other places we visited, here is a list of the videos created by other classmates.

Smithers – Jackson

BC Legislature – Izzy

The Royal BC Museum (Museum) – Kyle

The Gold Rush in BC (Museum) – Nik

BC’s Industries (Museum) – Luciano

 Indigenous Culture / Governance (Museum) – Lucy

 Sir Matthew Baillie Begbie (Ross Bay) – Jordyn 

Amor de Cosmos (Ross Bay) – Gabby 

 Emily Carr (Ross Bay) – Amelia B

Frances Barnard (Ross Bay) – Amelia R 

China Town Tour – Emerson

China Town Tour – Jason

Ghostly Downtown Victoria Tour – Fraser

China town / Ross Bay Cemetery – Aedan

 Fisgard Light House – Sam

This video had a lot of challenges for me, one of the biggest things I struggled with was how I wanted to share information about the history of the navy without making it pointless for other visitors to go to the museum, you see, on one hand I could share little to no history of the navy, but it might appear as if I didn’t do any research but on the flip side, if I talked about too much history there would be no point in going to the museum because I would’ve already told you all about the history of the Canadian navy (So it wouldn’t be a good answer to the driving question). I tried to go for something in between these two extremes, I think I did an O.K job at it, and I hope it turned out well in the eyes of anyone else that watched my video.

The second biggest challenge was the on sight filming, although I did get a lot of b roll of all the rooms in the museum, every shot of me talking didn’t follow the rule of thirds, I guess I was in a rush to get as much shots of myself as possible that I forgot to clarify with my filming partner to follow the rule of thirds, I re filmed a couple of the shots but most of my video ended up being B-roll and voiceover, and if I hand in another draft I’d be likely to re film more even if it’s not at the actually museum. This is what I wish I could’ve done better on the most.

Overall the Wild West unit was very fun and I really enjoyed my first field study, I know that there are definitely some things I need to improve on for future video projects and field study’s, especially getting my assignments in on time, I definitely learned a lot about B.C and Canadas history as well as film making. So, as always have a great rest of your day/evening and thanks for reading.

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