SLCs the 1st

Student Lead Conferences, or SLCs, happen twice a year in PLP. This is my first SLC, so, yeah.

This is a reflection of the work I have done this, year, including some work I am proud of, and not so proud of.

The work I am most proud of this year is Destination Imagination. I have no idea how we ended up pulling it off, but we did, and I’m glad we did. It was a great experience, and can’t wait to get to provincials!


For an example of my learning, I chose to compare my learning in Scimathics from the beginning of the year to now. It was a struggle at first, not knowing. But I soon became used to it .


Finally, to show my growth mindset, I will pull upon our photo angles ‘trip’. We went out to the field, to take photos, using different photo angles. I choose this example because at the beginning of the year, I thought I was terrible at taking photos. But I have come a long way from then, and am now more confident in my photo taking.

Photo Angles

Now, I have created three goals that I intent to reach by the end of the year.

1. Not procrastinating in my work.
I hope to accomplish this by the end of the year. To do this, I will have to learn how to manage my time better. I have been attempting to schedule out my free time, so I have time for fun stuff, as well as homework.

2. Working in a group.
Throughout the past year, I have been trying to work on group work. We have to do a lot of it in PLP, so I want to excel in this. I improved greatly on it in the process of DI, but I have far to go.

3. Revising more
I have found that I don’t take constructive criticism very well. I will try and better myself at this by revising more, and taking into account my classmates and teachers advice.


Saturday was the DI regionals, but our journey is far from over. But let’s start from the beginning.

Six different challenges. Regionals, Provincials, Worlds. Creativity, teamwork, problem solving. This pretty much sums up DI, but to get here, well, that’s another story.

I was part of the fine arts challenge, Vanished. Our criteria was to tell a story about how the disappearance of a single colour changed the world. We had to have a vanishing act, a colourful character, and two team choice elements. Seems simple, right? Not at all.

First, there was deciding on the story. We had most of a story down, save the script, and then we changed the entire thing. Before it was about a grandma, who wrote this book about gems, and a little girl finds the gems and takes one. Our actual story ended up being about these rainbow gods who each had jobs, and when a gem is taken, well, check out the video at the end.

We definitely had some struggles, especially in the beginning. We were told to fill out all these planning sheets, and expected to have everything so organized. In the week before DI, there was so much stuff in the room, it looked like a pigsty. And every maker class, we had to do a different instant challenge.

An instant challenge is part of your score for DI. It is a spontaneous challenge, where you have an set time to meet different requirements. Then you get scored.

The things I learned in DI were time management, group work skills, goal setting, spontaneousness, quick thinking, and many more. I thoroughly enjoyed this project, and am appalled to think some of my fellow classmates aren’t more excited THAT WE’RE GOING TO PROVINCIALS AND WE CAME IN THIRD!!!

Scimathics Doop

In Scimathics 8, we do things a bit differently. Imagine coming into a class, with a kinda crazy in a good way teacher. You sit down at a table, and the teacher ‘throws up’ an equation you have no idea how to complete. Than she tells you to do it.

Of course, I start to worry. What else would you do. But in this class, you get used to the unknown. That’s how we learn. I doesn’t stress me out anymore. All thanks to the magnificent Ms. Klausen!

I have learned a lot in this class. We did a project on making our door bigger. First, our idea was to make it 7x bigger, but that would have taken up the whole hallway. So we did it 3x instead. What we did was created shapes, measured their surface area, and created a total, each group, of 7114.125m2. It was hard, but we did it.

We also did a unit on earthquake proofing through Minecraft, but I have something else on it.

Fractions. We did that too. I hated fractions before, now I hate them less.

And now we’re on the thing we’re doing now

Julius, or Markus? That’s the real question.

Have you ever thought about why Shakespeare called his play ‘Julius Caesar’ this, even though he dies in the middle of it? Caesar is portrayed as the tragic hero, I strongly believe that Brutus should have been. I think this because Brutus went through the most tragedy, the play went on after Caesar died, and it ended at Brutus’s death. I hope this will make you see my side.

My first point is that Caesar dies in Act 3, Scene 1. There are 5 Acts in the play. Caesar is only in half the play, because he is not needed for the rest. Acts 4&5, and the rest of Act 3, are impacted by his death, but they don’t stop and mourn him, no. They go on to try and get everyone else. So, Caesar doesn’t seem like the tragic hero.

My second point is that the play doesn’t end with Caesars death, no. It ends with Brutus’s death. At Brutus’s death, people stop fighting. They make peace. Nothing like that happens when Caesar dies. When your hero dies, everything stops.

Finally, let’s talk about the tragic part of this. So, Caesar dies, killed by his friend. That’s pretty dark. But Brutus? His wife, Portia, dies because she misses him. Cassius kills himself because he thinks Brutus is dead. Brutus kills himself, but what other choice does he have? His family all died for him. He died of heartbreak, and for Rome. So he was respected.

I think I have made a very strong argument for my case. Do you disagree? I don’t know how you could. Brutus is 100% the tragic hero, so, if this doesn’t persuade you, I’m not sure what to do. He died for Rome, to make it a better place. The only tragic thing about Caesar’s death was Brutus. I rest my case.

Oregon Trip 2016!

November isn’t a great time of year to go to the Oregon Coast. So, of course, that’s when we went. But it was an awesome trip!

Well, to get to Oregon, it’s a long drive. I can’t remember exactly how long it took, cause I napped most of the drive. On the way down, we took a few stops. A coffee shop, lunch at a Chinese buffet, but most importantly, Cabela’s.

Cabela’s was my advertising groups place for our business ad. When we went to get info and ask about making an ad, the person we talked to was super nice. She told us lots about the company, gave us a tour of the store, and we were even given a few ‘goodies’! It was awesome.

Then we drove. We drove and drove, and I slept a bit more. We went over a huge bridge, spanning the Columbia river. And still more driving. Our final stop of the day was at KOA Astoria, where we were staying the night. That was the start of the rain.

The cabins were pretty nice, two rooms. Two bunk beds, and a double bed in the back room. I stayed in the back. The first night, we didn’t realize there was a heater. So it was really cold. I slept well though.

Day two.
We started our day by breakfast in the campground. Pancakes! Then off we went for more driving. To Fort Stevens non-historic. It was so cool! The water was crazy awesome!

After Fort Stevens non-historic, we went to the historic part. We got a tour of the underground bunker. Good thing, cause it started to pour. While we we under there, I found out I was claustrophobic, so I didn’t get to many photos. Here are the ones I did take.

Then, more driving. We went up to the Astoria Column. I can officially say I climbed the tower. The view was spectacular. You could see everything from up there. It was a bit windy, but as long as I didn’t look down I was good!

But on the way down, it was terrible. I felt like I was going to fall all the way down. And at a certain point, someone bumped me. That was terrible. In the end, I made it down in one piece.

Next on our list was the hanthorn cannery. At the cannery, there were a whole bunch of old machines they used to use. It was super cool. There was also an exhibit about the tuna that they canned. At one point, the made an ad, and they asked the local children to do it. All they had to do was hold a tunafish sandwich in one hand and a rope holding the balloon in the other, while singing and dancing. Guess what they got for lunch? A tunafish sandwich!

That was pretty much it for the day. There was lunch, too, somewhere in there. Also a trip to Costco. We went to a Thai place for dinner, that was good. This was also the last night we stayed at the KOA Astoria, and there was a pool, so a bunch of us got suited up for swimming! The hot tub was broken, but they had beach balls! That night we found the heater.

Day 3.
In the morning, we packed. Breakfast was good, we didn’t eat out. I had half a muffin, an orange and hot chocolate. Yum!

Then we drove. We didn’t drive to far, just to the Columbia River Maritime Museum. While there, we had a short presentation on ‘the bar’. ‘The bar’ is where the saltwater of the pacific hits the freshwater of the Columbia, creating an estuary, but also ships graveyard. Massive 70 foot waves can overturn huge vessels. That’s where the coastguards come in.

We learned about their rigorous training and the harsh conditions. I could never do it. But to show how cold the water sometimes is, we did an experiment. What we did was place our hand in a bucket of ice water for 30 seconds, then attempted to take out 15 marbles from the bucket. I’ll let you see how that turned out. (I sped the video up quite a bit)

After that, we divided up into groups and went on a tour of the museum. It was spectacular. I can’t believe people actually cross the bar. There were exhibits on the bar, First Nations, different ships, it was unbelievable.

We hopped back on the bus and drove to Cannon Beach. This was the most spectacular thing we had seen so far. The beach looked as if it stretched for miles. If you ever go to Oregon, go to Cannon Beach. We spent a while just running around, taking pictures. Then, as always, we had to get back on the bus and drive.

Speaking of spectacular, if you go to Oregon and don’t go to the Tillamook Cheese Factory, well, your loss. More free cheese samples for me! When we got upstairs to where you can see them packing the cheese, we witnessed an event. One of the machines started smoking! They started taking the cheese off the conveyer belt, but the cheese kept piling up. They didn’t even stop operations do deal. The cheese just kept on coming. Eventually they sorted it out, but it was interesting to see that even huge corporations have hiccups.

But the best part of the Tillamook Cheese Factory was THE FREE CHEESE SAMPLES!!!!!!
There was so many different kinds to try. It was amazing. I LOVE CHEESE!!

After driving, eating, and more driving, we arrived at where we were staying the night, South Beach State Park Yurts. Yurts are really cool. Ours had a glass bubble at the top! But there weren’t enough beds so we shared.

Day 4.
Breakfast was good, I had pretty much the same as the day before. After breakfast we had a bit of time, so we went on a quest. We split into 4 groups, our ad groups. Us and 1 other group did it first. But the thing was, there were supposed to be all these clues, including a sign, but the sign wasn’t there, other things weren’t there. So we headed back to camp and told the teachers it was impossible.

When the other group got back, we got back on the bus. And drove. The drove took us to the Oregon Coast Aquarium, where we saw an otter feeding, puffins, octopi, sea lions, baby starfish, and so much more. Did you know that the whale who played willie in free willie stayed in that aquarium for a bit? Neither did I. It was awesome.

Next, we drove next door to the Hatfield Marine Science Centre. First thing we did while there was went to the estuary lab. We learned briefly about shrimp, then went outside and went shrimp slurping! It was really cool, but it was raining and it was cold. I also hated picking up the shrimp cause sometimes they pinched. That hurt!
After shrimp slurping, we went back inside with our bucket of shrimp. We talked about a parasite that feeds off the shrimp. Then we measured and tallied all the shrimp. It was strange, cause some of them wiggled around, so it was hard to measure them. I mostly did the paperwork.

Once we finished with the shrimp, we moved into another room down the hall. There, we learned a bit about the scientific process. Next, we came up with a variable, to race our crabs with. Our hypothesis was that female crabs with longer legs would be faster than females with shorter legs. We only had two females, so it didn’t work the greatest. While doting the males and the females, we found that our smaller female crab was pregnant. That didn’t really change anything, only that we had to be very careful with her. Once we had that sorted out, we measured the legs. That was quite difficult, because the bigger crab was very stubborn. Eventually we got it, and we started the race.

Big crab went first. Well, was supposed to go first. She didn’t move. We tried to move the platform, but she wouldn’t move. So we moved on to tiny. It took a bit of convincing, but she made it down in 12s. I’m trial 2, big moved (finally!). It took her 21s to make it. But tiny’s next try only took 4s! So our conclusion was that smaller females move faster.

Driving. Eating. Sleeping. The usual.

Day 5.

I hate driving. It wasn’t much driving, but it was still driving. Oh yeah, we had breakfast too. We drove back to the Marine Science Centre to do a few more things. First, we went to the room in which we had done the shrimp testing yesterday. There, we got into groups to make ROVs. We started planning, and one of our group members wasn’t super into the group work part of it. I’m pretty proud of what we did, but it definitely could have been better. So the object of the thing was to build an ROV that would pick up the most things using a magnet. The first thing I would have changed, which we ended up changing, was the placement of the magnet. Another thing I think we could have improved was the size. Some of the bigger ROVs took our things, or knocked them off, because of the size difference. But overall, we did pretty good. I also had my hands in the water for to long cause they turned blue and the teachers got, well, I wouldn’t say mad, but something close.☺️ I thought I was fine, cause they became completely numb.
Once we gently destroyed our ROVs, we took a look at the visitors area. It was awesome! They had a tsunami simulator, this weird sand thing, and NUDIBRANCHS!!!!!!! I had been looking for one of those for, like, the entire time we had been in Oregon.

After all that awesomeness, there was more awesomeness. Driving first, then we went to this awesome fish and chips place. It was one of the best fish and chips that I had ever had. Then, driving. Drive, drive, drive. When we finished driving, we were at Yaquina Head State Park. This was my ad place thingy, so I got lots of photos.

It was so cool down there. It was the true coast of the Pacific Ocean, with nothing for thousands of kilometres.
Once finishing down there, we went up to the visitors centre, where we learned about the history of the lighthouse. After a while, we all gathered up and divided into groups. We were about to try another one of the treasure things. So we went out. Our group wanted to be the first one to finish it. So we ran. Ran under the road, along a path, walked across the highway, to a dirt road. The first clue was there. Then we kept running, up a steep road. We found a few more clues, then we figured out it said ‘under sign’. So we ran all the way, still looking for clues. When we got to the top, there was a hole under the sign where the box should have been. And of course, it started to rain. So we headed back, and it turned out we were one of the the last groups back. So off we went, for more driving, eating, and sleeping.

Day 6.

Today was American Thanksgiving. American Thanksgiving is kinda the tipping point to Christmas. I never knew that before. But before all the yummy food and stuff, we had a few things to do.
We did none of these things. The reason for this is rain. Rain. Rain. Rain. We had to eat breakfast in our yurts. Our entire yurt group woke up at 3 o’clock in the morning because of the rain. There was like 2 inches of rain of the roads. I got soaked going from my yurt to the bus, which was like 10 meters away. It was crazy.

Then driving. Driving, driving, driving, driving, driving. All the way back up to Washington.

Because we couldn’t do anything outside, the teachers took us to a movie. But it wasn’t just a regular movie theatre, no. It was one of the theatres that you can order food and the seats were comfy chairs! It was awesome. We watched Trolls, which wasn’t half bad. I recommend watching it. Not gonna give much info on it, cause spoilers suck.

After the movie, more driving. Have I told you that I hate driving? I think I have. Driving, driving.

Finally, we got to the Great Wolf Lodge. Holy, that thing is HUGE. There were so many people there, and it was mid November! I was quite surprised. But the food was great, lots of selection. Just thinking about it makes me hungry. Ah!

Wait a minute. I’m pretty sure we went shopping today. I can’t remember where, and I don’t think I bought anything, just thought I’d mention it.


So, in the morning, we packed, but we also had to eat all the breakfast food up. I ate so many carrots. !

So, since it was Black Friday, we went shopping. I didn’t buy anything, cause I don’t believe in Black Friday. Stores put in sales, but they raise the prices on everything they sell anyway. And by having sales, people buy things they will never use just cause they’re on sale. I had never really looked at it this way until we had to write about it in our books. Oh, yeah, the book. My book isn’t exactly working right now, so I’ll ad the link ASAP.

Driving. Driving. Driving. I hate border security. You may think this is kinda random, but it’s not. We were on a bus, right? So everyone had to get off the bus, go through individually, and answer questions. And for some reason, it seemed as though they asked me way more questions than anyone else. Anyway, we were back in Canada!

Driving. Driving. And then we were home. It was so nice to sleep in my own bed.

I learned a lot on this trip. I had a lot of fun, and became so much closer with my peers!
P.S. Thank you so much teachers for taking us to Oregon and driving us around. I know we weren’t the best group, but we definitely had tons of fun. I know I did!

Book link: