SLC’s the Eighth: tPOLs

It’s that time of the year again, where we reflect on all that has transpired, and prepare to move into the next year. PLP is a program focused on growth, and this year I have strived to go further than I have before. From leaving my comfort zone on Field schools, to running a class project, everything this year has pushed me farther along the path to success. For this tPOL, I’m going to draw from three different projects that really stretched my thinking, and reflect on how they have prepared me for the future.

What skills did you use and what skills do you want to continue to develop?

One thing that has definitely been a challenge over the past few months is learning online. It has not been easy, even for PLP. PLP was definitely quicker to adapt than some of my other courses, but having no contact, really, with a lot of the teachers has been extremely difficult. Being in PLP, though, has definitely been an advantage. I was able to use skills that I developed in this program, that made the switch a lot easier. From being comfortable on a device, to just straight up having applications on our devices, made online work seem more accessible. Even with all that, it’s still a struggle to motivate yourself to get things done. I’ve had a very hard time with exactly that, motivation. With school, and work, it is hard to get everything done. So I’ve had to use a lot of skills from our PGP course to help. Making to-do lists, tracking habits, it’s all really helped. The ideas that we’ve learned from that over the past two years have been incredible beneficial in this crazy time.

Did your goals for your work change as you worked on it?

Speaking of habits and PGP, I want to talk about our most recent PGP project, and how my ideas, and goals, changed as I worked on it. So, basically, as a summary of the project we were reflecting on all that we had learned from the book Atomic Habits by James Clear. Now, I started out wanting to make a little, like, vague habit tracking book, where you could have a physical place to mark off what you have done. But the I took another look back at atomic habits, and looked at the laws, and saw how I could incorporate more of those ideas into my journal. And once I had done all of that, I was pretty proud of myself. I took a flimsy little idea, and turned it into something I am really proud of. It became something that anyone, whether or not you had read the book, could use to help them with their goals.

What problems did you encounter? How did you solve them?

The final example that I’d like to bring up is the Macbeth project. This was probably one of the most difficult projects that I’ve ever done, and not even because of the subject matter. That was confusing an a whole other level. The difficult part was being the producer. I’ve always struggled with group work, because I find people weird and confusing, but this took it a step higher. As producer, I had to work with everyone, and not act superior, but also be their superior. We have some strong people in the class, and so already when roles were chosen there was a bit of strife. Add to that the fact that we basically had two and a half weeks to write, prepare and film the movie, well, I started stress baking. It was difficult to try and work with others who were very set in their ways. Our key creative team, though, did pretty well under the circumstances, though. We tried to solve disagreements in a calm manner, and spent a lot of time working through tough patches. We were pretty adaptable, and when everything started to fall apart I tried my darnedest to keep it together. Overall, I learned a lot about myself, and the other people in the class.

And that concludes my tPOL. Thank you for listening to me, and I would just like to leave you with a question: How have I demonstrated teamwork in the past, and how have I progressed since then?

Think and Create: Essay time

These think and create posts are harder than you’d think. We cover a lot of content, but it’s not always easy to find, or rather, come up with a feasible connection. I came up with this idea, actually, after talking to my grandpa about school when he was a kid in Vancouver, around the 50s. Drawing from his experience, the book Dear Martin, and our discussions in class, I have written an essay on segregation within unsegregated schools. It’s an interesting topic, one that I have found interesting opinions on.


Essay: Self Segregation 

       Throughout history, people have been judged by the colour of their skin. When you picture a racist, though, you can’t fully have an idea of what they look like. It’s not always white men with pitchforks in KKK get up. It can be parents, people drilling into their young child this idea of segregation. Sometimes it’s not even on purpose. Hate is easy, jointing a mob mentality can bring you closer with your peers. When people get to high school, in unsegregated schools, they sometimes segregate themselves, on purpose or not. It can be hard to notice, but from the 50’s, till today, it’s still there. 

In Dear Martin by Nic Stone, the main character is pushed in this direction of ‘self segregation’. He has internal struggles when he wants to date a white girl, for example. His mother, growing up in a time when it was very frowned upon for an African American man to be with a white woman, drills this idea into his head, until he makes decisions to push this girl away for his mother’s sake. Also, when his best friend is shot, he seeks comfort in his old, bad neighbourhood, wanting to be around people he thinks will understand. He separates himself from his best friends white friends, for other people like him who are bad influences. In both scenarios, he does understand the risk, but the racial pressures set upon him urge him towards a stereotype that will do him no good. He tries to do better, but this separate idea always comes to his mind. 

Although in the 1950’s in Vancouver schools were not segregated, people still divided according to race and ethnicity. In one example from Frank Ward, who went to a mainly white school with some people of East Indian descent, there was a very large culture barrier. The white boys and East Indian boys formed tight cliches, avoiding each other, but often getting into brawls. While this was surely discouraged by the teachers, the brawling part, it helped maintain the divide of culture, and this idea that a non-white man couldn’t, or shouldn’t, be with a white woman. Whether drilled into them by their parents, or the media, this idea would have shaped not only the boys in the cliches, but the younger students and siblings. It can be hard to change a behaviour you’ve never been told is wrong. 

After the Brown vs the Board of Education case was settled, and the United States declared that ‘separate but equal’ was not fair, integration of African American students into white schools began. Or it sort of did. There was nothing to say how soon this desegregation was to be done, and so it was up to the schools and communities to sort it out. One school that did integrate, though painfully, was in Little Rock, Arkansas. Nine African American students were enrolled to go to the school, but of course this was absolutely appalling to the white folk. There were riots and death threats as the children tried to enter the school, and the POTUS ended up having to send down the 101st Airborne Division to help them enter the school, but once they were in the school, they had no further help. The 9 students endured terrible abuse at the school, forcing upon them that they were not welcome to attend a school which the law said they could attend. They suffered for years because of this idea of segregation that had been drilled into the white children’s heads, that African American people were not people, and they had no respect for them.

This idea of segregation has done terrible damage to the world and its people, but it doesn’t seem to ever end. The stereotypes that were introduced then still impact our world today, shaping the minds of young children who know no better. Though having a rallying point is strong core of many communities, one so deep in hate should not be allowed. It can be hard to undo the past generations hate, but it is every generations job to learn about what happened before, and make sure it never happens again.


It is very hard to write an essay after being away from school for months, not to mention being in a room that smells like paint (long story). Essays are sometimes hard to do, but I felt is was a medium I could express these ideas on well. This is a very interesting project we are working towards, and each day teaches us more about the mistakes people have made and how we have to learn from them.

Think and Create: Statistics

When your teachers give you a project with basically no criteria, it can be difficult. It can be even more difficult when you are stuck at home and haven’t seen your friends or teachers in over a month. But we soldier on, and keep doing blog posts!

We’ve just started a new project about civil rights in America, and African American and Canadian people in their battle for this. So to start it off, we’ve been assigned something similar to the this week I learned posts from our last project, except we have basically no criteria.

For this week’s Think and Create post, I was interested in, well, statistics. We mentioned a few times in class how there isn’t as huge an African Canadian population in Vancouver as some other places, but I was interested in the specifics. I made some infographics to help inform us of those specific stats using data from Statistics Canada, which had data only from 2016. Hope you learn something!

In the Middle of the Desert at 5am

One thing I don’t think people talk about enough is the fact that there is a huge cultural difference between the different parts of the United States of America. It’s not that surprising, but actually experiencing it is a whole other thing. Before this trip, I had only been to the west coast of the United States, which is similar enough with culture to Canada’s west coast. This trip was something truly different.

First of all, I had no idea where New Mexico is. No idea. I knew it was kinda south, but I definitely couldn’t have pointed it out on a map.

 

The trip was the destination for this project, but before we went, we had to learn about where we were going. I can honestly tell you this is the most informed I’ve ever been on a trip.

This project kicked off in the middle of summer vacation, I kid you not. We were assigned summer readings. Our class had one book to read, and I quickly made the connection between the book and the New Mexico Field School. Knowing this, I was enticed to read the book, to get a head start on the new school year. It was difficult at times, because the book, Age of Radiance by Craig Nelson, had some very scientific knowledge that I did not have. At times it was hard to follow, but making notes helped a lot.

Reading the book, though confusing at times, was hugely helpful in understanding what we were going to be doing on the trip, and in the learning before hand. I had that insiders knowledge, and I think that made the trip, and the project, the success that it was. If I were to go back and do it again, I think I would try and do more research while I was reading the book, and have a better understanding of each thing they talked about.

The next ‘milestone’-ey thing that I thought was really helpful, or interesting, was the Manhattan Project Character Card. This is something that the teachers had very strict guidelines for. They were also not present while we were doing this milestone, which made things, well, interesting.

Us, as a class, had to pick the 16 most significant people to the Manhattan project, and each person in the class was assigned one of these people to make a ‘character card’. Except it wasn’t make, it was fill in a very restrictive template. Some people fought this more than others. I thought having a template pre-made would make things easier, but it didn’t. The template had a very small area for us to explain who the person was, what they did, and why they were significant. It’s that word again. Significant. This is what the entire project was on.

How did the development of the atomic bomb change the world in a historically significant way?

This milestone helped us have a better understanding of the driving question, stated above. Why were these people significant, and why were they more significant than someone else. My person, Klaus Fuchs, had a very interesting story, which you can read all about on the card!

Now, we come to the final product for the trip, our books. In grade 8, and grade 9, for field schools, our teachers made book templates in book creator for us to fill out during the trip. They had photos, videos, audio clips and text. Our job was to make a book that answers the driving question, using the trip to gather evidence.

At first, I thought I had a good idea. I was going to follow a theme inspired by —. It seemed like a good plan, and was commended by the teachers. Once I did it though, I was not pleased. I had all the content I wanted, the information was, I thought, pretty solid. I just HATED how it looked. It was awful.

It took me a while, but with help from my friends, I scrapped that entire theme and started again. I kept the content, which took a while to collect and I was very proud of, but I changed everything else. Also remember, this was during the trip, at the airport. I have a post all about how I used efficiently, but that’s not the point. I realized that I could do another theme, which I am very pleased with.

I’m very happy with my book. If I were to go back, I would definitely have done the newspaper theme the first go around, but it worked out just the same. I think the time I put into it really shows. Something about this really sparked my interest, so I wanted to do a good job. There were maybe more opportunities for long and well edited videos, but I did my best to capture everything I needed, and was flexible with my ideas.

And now, drumroll please,

This was probably the coolest field school I’ve ever been on. We had long days, jam packed with learning and other things, but it was amazing. I also got a lot of patches, which is some good I collect and am really happy about!

As I said, this trip was packed full of crazy stuff. So I’m just going to talk about a couple places we went to, the ones that I think best describe our trip.

Los Alamos Historic Sites Walking Tour

This was the first stop on our trip. And honestly? It really was a great first introduction to New Mexico, and The Manhattan Project. Our guide, Aimee Slaughter, was amazingly knowledgeable about, not just the Manhattan Project, but of the history of the area. She told us about the Pueblo people, the First Nations who lived in Los Alamos before the Manhattan project, and how they all tied together. She told us a really cool story about someone who lived on the land before, worked in the town, and has relatives there today. That story is in my book.

National Museum of Nuclear Science and History

One thing about learning about radiation is that it’s kinda scary. It’s this awesome power that can blow up cities, but it’s also everywhere. We did an amazing workshop with David Gibson about radioactivity. We got to use geiger counters and everything. I thought it was cool to know that radiation is everywhere, because atoms are constantly decaying and letting off radiation, but that doesn’t hurt you. It’s called background radiation!

Meow Wolf

There are no words for this. It’s like a trip of hallucinogenic drugs, but you are definitely not on drugs. There are secret passageways, slides through washing machines, portals with doors that open with hand prints, like honestly, you kinda have to go there. You could spend hours exploring that place.

Trinity

On July 16th, 1945, the first ever atomic bomb was dropped in the middle of the New Mexico desert. This one event completely changed the world, ushering in a new age of science, technology, warfare, and so much more. We got to go there. Where it all happened. It was so cool. Jesse and I spent a while conducting interviews of people, just regular people, to see why they were there. Everyone had their own reasons, but the core message was the same. This is where it happened. This is where the course of the war changed. This is where the world changed.

This was an amazing trip. We’re not that far away, and yet, there are so many differences between our culture, and the New Mexico culture. Though we have different food, and different ideas, there’s one thing we can all agree on. There was a time before the bomb was dropped, and a time after.

Improvise. Adapt. Overcome.

PLP 11. Wow, I’m old. Since coming to this program in grade 8, I’ve learned so much about thinking flexibly, and on the recent Albuquerque, New Mexico trip, I did just that. It was 6 days of waking up ridiculously early, learning about bombs of all things, and collecting evidence.

For the Albuquerque trip instead of, as many of our field schools are, just collecting everything you can on the trip without knowing what the final product was, we did actually know what we needed. It was still a race to get information, but we knew specifically what we needed. See, for this project, we were making a book. I talk more about it in the Albuquerque trip post, but basically we had to use this book to prove that the atomic bomb was a kind of turning point for the world, that there was a time before the bomb was dropped, and a time after. Which it really is. The world has never been the same. But more on that in the other post.

For the trip, I knew a moderately vague outline of what I needed for my project. I had what goes where, all that, but I wanted to collect as much as possible so I would have it when making the book. The first thing I decided was to ask Emily if I could use her mic. PLP has lapel mic’s, but Emily’s you can just hook up to your phone, and record holding it. At first when I asked, she said she wouldn’t have room, but I said I could pack it. And I am so glad I brought it. It didn’t only help me, either. We did a lot of media sharing on this trip, between classmates. I think that decision was a huge help in all of our projects. Maybe if you didn’t get exactly what you needed, someone else did, and you could share.

Another thing that I think was a bit of a risk was talking to strangers. When we were actually at the Trinity Site, Jesse and I went around to people who had come to the site and ask them why they came. It was a risk because we didn’t know exactly how those interviews would work out. Originally, I was going to ask people about their opinions on nuclear power, but some people might not have answers. I had to adapt my book to what happened, and boy, did it pan out. I got some amazing interviews with people who came to the site. Most people wanted to come here because it changed the world, and that’s exactly what our books are about. How this one event changed the world forever.

Another thing that I did on the trip was to take advantage of time. The first draft of my book had the content I wanted, but the theme looked like literal garbage. I knew that due to the early mornings, I wouldn’t have tons of time at night to edit, because we needed as much sleep as we could get. So while driving, and even on the plane, I edited. I used the extra time, so I wouldn’t have as much work to do on the trip. Also, but constantly adding things to my book and editing it, I knew what I still needed to collect from the sites.

Overall, this was an amazing experience. Talking to so many people, it was amazing to hear how this still impacts people today. I learned so much, so much of it that I wouldn’t have been able to learn in a classroom.

What a Wild Ride

Grade 10. What a year. I’ve learned so much. The biggest highlight of the year was probably the Circle BC trip. 

Circle BC was a 12 day road trip to some of the coolest places BC has to offer. From Vancouver, up to Prince George, over to Prince Rupert, with a 22 hour ferry ride back down the coast. This trip was also the inspiration for our Exhibition this year. As such, this post will talk about it all.

Circle BC

This trip was definitely the best PLP trip I’ve done so far. It was amazing to explore our province, and to see what it has to offer. As this was a 12 day trip, I’m only going to be talking about the highlights for me, but check out some of the other PLP 10 circle bc posts to learn some more!

Learning

The place that I learned the most at was Barkerville. We spent 2 full days exploring the heritage site, full with costumes and interpreters. We did a bunch of cool school-group things, like a court room session where Kai was on trial, and a school house lesson where all the girls had to wear bonnets! It was interesting to see BC’s past in this way. I was most interested in the gender roles, and how their were so many rules for women and what they had to wear. Learning by experiencing was why I wanted to join PLP, and this stop was full of that!

Reflected on Canada

This was a big one. There were many places that made me do a lot of this, including many of the First Nations focused stops. The biggest one, though, was probably the Port of Prince Rupert Interpretive Centre. It was there I realized just how much Canada’s exports mean to BC, and how many jobs this market creates. It also made me think about what we are doing to protect the environment with this, or really how little. Some of the technologies that you think would be so much more advanced, like devices to record sound pollution, are only just being installed now. The stuff that the ports are doing, while benefiting Canada and many Canadians, could be really screwing up our environment.

Place I’d Go Back To

Onto a happier note, the place is like to go back to is probably the Nass Valley. I learned so much up there, and there is still more to experience! One thing I definitely want to go back and do is the 3 km hike to see the crater. We didn’t do it in the trip due to time restrictions, but I think it would be so cool. After the hike, I’d want to go back to the Aiyansh Hot Springs, a natural hot springs. I’ve always really liked natural hot springs, so this was super cool. 

Most Fun

The most fun I had on the trip was definitely on the Khutzeymateen Grizzly Bear Tour. First of all, it was on my birthday, so that was pretty great. Also, I learned I really like boats. It was a seven hour tour, where the boat took us to near the edge of the Khutzeymateen Grizzly Bear sanctuary, where grizzly bears live completely untouched by humans. On the boat we were near, but not right at the reserve. We saw like 9 Grizzly bears, it was amazing! I’m really glad we were on the boat, though. Grizzly bears are huge. I had such a cool time hanging out with friends on the outside deck and looking for wildlife. 

On the way back to Prince Rupert, we saw 2 whales! It was awesome! We also saw seals, sea lions, and a whole bunch of eagles. That is a 16th birthday I will never forget! Oh, also, the teachers bought me a cake, so that was pretty cool too!

Exhibition

Now that I’ve rambled along about the trip, it’s time to get to the Exhibition. But first, here’s a podcast to introduce you to the idea. 

This podcast was done during the actual Circle BC trip. The first draft was actually due on the ferry from Nanaimo to Vancouver. So a lot of us, me included, did the editing and everything on the 22 hour ferry ride. Due to this, on our first drafts the audio quality kinda sucked. Luckily, though, I had been recording tons of audio from the trip, and was able to work that into the first draft. That made it better, in my opinion. This podcast was definitely something, man.

For the actual exhibition, as you may know, we have to have an artifact. So I had this idea, about First Nations Oral Traditions, but I didn’t know how to present this. I spent many hours trying to come up with ideas, and then finally, it hit me. 

I couldn’t tell the stories myself, because I don’t know the stories, and I didn’t want to mess something up, or have them be culturally appropriated. So instead, I decided to create something where people can find out where to learn about First Nations oral traditions. It’s actually on this very blog! 

I created a separate page, called First Nations Oral Histories Resources. On this page, which you can visit yourself, holds as much knowledge as I can find. Each nation has a labeled image, and when you click on it, it takes you to a post where you can find books and websites with First Nations traditional stories. 

Some of these were very hard to find. I did find at least one thing for each nation, but it was very difficult. I think this is because most First Nations stories are told orally, and many are specific to families. Because of this, many aren’t written down. 

I’m really happy with how this project turned out. Not only did I learn so much about First Nations oral histories, I mad something that people can visit and learn about them. I feel like this made an impact, no matter how small, and I really hope this will help people in the future.

The night of the exhibition went really well. Our groups theme was education, so we didn’t really have to do tons. I’m really proud of a couple things I did for our room, though. First, we wanted to have some sort of intro at the beginning. I wrote that, with some help from Ms. Maxwell, and it went at the entrance. How many people actually read it, I don’t know. 

The other thing I’m pretty proud of is my pencils. We were the education theme, so I wanted to give people something that was kinda educational. So we got pencils, and I got a bunch of places that we went to, and made them like little flags on the pencils, so people could get a pencil and learn about some of the places we went! Again, not a lot of people took pencils, but they made me happy!

If I were to go back and do this project again, with all the time in the world, I think I would have liked to contact each of the nations, and asked them if they had oral traditions they wanted to share, or if they knew of more places to find them. Maybe also putting these contacts in the post, so people could learn about the stories right from the people. 

Dear Past Me…

This year was the launch for the new PLP course PGP, or personal growth plan. In this course, we learned strategies to help us with our other classes, and over all. This was a very interesting project, and I am taking a lot away from it. 

In the course, we had three main topics, though all are very linked. They were as follows.

PRODUCTIVITY

GOAL SETTING

7 HABITS

So, as most of my posts do, I’ll explain each area and what I took away from it. But first, I want to talk to the reader specifically. Our final project for this was the time machine project, where we were to create an artifact that if we sent to ourselves at the beginning of this year, we would have been more successful. I made a puppet show!

I decided to make a puppet show because I like seeing, and I thought it would be a fun way to represent my learning! This was a bit difficult, making all the little props and things. It definitely took a while to sew all the puppets, make all the props, and set up the scene.

I think this final project was really cool. It made you take a look at everything we’ve learned over the last year, and choose what really helped you. I know I’ve always had a hard time organizing my time, and having these visual things really helped me this year. We also had a lot of creative freedom when deciding what to have as our artifact, which was really nice. Sometimes having to much creative freedom in a project is bad, but I think this was a project it worked really well for. I’m excited to see what other people are doing for theirs!

 If I were to do this project again, or any other project involving puppets, I would create a more interesting set. I also did have a bit of a hard time filming the puppets while moving them with both my hands and not having them come into frame. I do believe you can see my hand at one point. Overall, I am pretty proud of this!

In the video, I touched on each of the three sections, but I only represented some of each of them. Remember the three titles? Well, now I’m going to walk you through all of them!

PRODUCTIVITY

This was the topic most represented in my time machine project. Productivity is really important for high schoolers, because we have so much going on. There were kinda two main points about productivity that we learned about. 

Time Blocking 

Time blocking, which I kinda explained in my time machine project, has really helped me this year. Time blocking is a really cool feature of pretty much any calendar app. You can make events for anything, really. I have all my classes time blocked, my sports games, any homework I have to do, work, holidays, it’s really everything. I even time blocked time to do this blog Post! I really find it helpful to find time to work on projects. If I have something due in two weeks, I can look ahead in my time blocked calendar to see when I’ll have time to do it. Time blocking is one of my favourite things to do now, because now time isn’t just this concept in my head. It’s an actual, semi physical thing that I can add things to. Speaking of things…

Things 

Things is an app. It is an amazing app. It’s kinda like reminders, but way better. You make to do’s, about projects or whatever. You can even have project folders that can organize all the work for one project in one place. I have all my subjects as folders, and if there is a humanities project we’re working on, I can make a section in the folder about that project. 

The app works very well in tandem with time blocking. If you have something that you want to complete during a time blocked section, you can set it as a task in things, or vice versa! Say you set a reminder that in two days you need to finish an assignment. When setting up your time blocking, you can check things to see what you have to do and by when. Using Things and Calendars together has really helped me stay on top of everything!

Oh, I almost forgot about the other part of productivity, the Weekly Review.

The weekly review is something you do, well every week. First, you clear out all of your inboxes. You make sure you have checked off the tasks you’ve completed in things, check your email, that kind of thing. Then, you look back. In things, you can see everything that you have completed. You can also look back at your time blocking to see what you did. This also involves keeping a journal type of thing, where you document all of this. Next, you look ahead. Check your things, time block for next week, and see what you are looking forwards to.

I didn’t really find the weekly review that helpful. I understand the purpose, and I did try it for a while, but I always found myself dreading it. I kinda just time blocked when I was bored, or finished my work. I also kept time blocking the weekly review for Sunday’s, and I work Sunday’s, so it never worked out that great.

The next two sections went along with books, which was interesting. I have never really read self help books before, and I don’t think it’s something I would want to do again. They really made me look at myself with a new perspective, but two is enough.

GOAL SETTING

The book we read was called What Do You Really Want? How to Set a Goal and Go for It! by Beverly K. Bachel. In the book, we learned about ourselves, and like it says, what we really want. Each part of the book would teach you about something, and then it would have a worksheet thing for you to fill out. I thought this was cool, because you had to really think about what you had read, and yourself, to fill out the worksheets well. It wasn’t only worksheets though. 

The coolest part of the book was when we had to create the dream board. The dream board shows you, your goals, your passions, all that stuff. It was really cool to see this physical manifestation of myself. I had to actually think about myself, my passions, and my future. It was a fun time.

The goal setting skills really fit in with the productivity part of PGP, specifically Things. There are sections of Things where your can put to do’s in Someday. This can help you organize your goals, and having these in Things can encourage you to work towards them. If the first step of your goal is to read a book, then put it in Things. You can even time block time to work towards the goal!

Goal setting is really cool, I think. All these tips I learned in the book can make me reflect on my goals, and make sure they are achievable. One of my goals is to go to Post Secondary, and I can start working towards that now. Knowing my goals can help me make sure I do everything to achieve my goal. For this specific goal, I know I will have to research what courses I need to get into university, and plan my courses accordingly. I will also have to get good grades, which I can work towards everyday. Goals are very important if you want to be productive. Hey, they really are connected!

7 HABITS

The other book we read was 7 Habits of Highly Effective Teens by Sean Covey. This was a very interesting book. I don’t know what else to say about it. Again, you had to look very inward, but I thought it was a bit strange. It was formatted strange, switching between stories about people, the knowledge part, quotes, and other stuff. I may just think this because the book ended up being weird in Books, but it was very, interesting.

The seven habits were very helpful, though. The were as follows.

  1. Be Proactive
  2. Begin with the End in Mind
  3. Put First Things First
  4. Think Win-Win
  5. Seek First to Understand, Then to be Understood
  6. Synergize 
  7. Sharpen the Saw

A lot of these intertwined with the other things we had learned. An example of this was Begin with the End in Mind. This kinda followed up on what we had talked about with regards to goal setting. When you start something, you should know where it’s going. Having the end in mind can help you make sure you stay on track, rather than derailing to something completely different. I have a it of problem with this. Sometimes I have an idea of the end, then my train of thought veers onto another track, gets blocked and has to turn around to find another route, or falls off a cliff to a fiery death. 

Another thing that connects these habits to the other parts of PGP is Habit 1, Be Proactive. If you handed in a project late, it’s not because the teacher didn’t give you enough time. You can’t blame other people. There are 24 hours in a day, you just didn’t prioritize the project. The time quadrants from Habit 3 fit into this also. If you spend all your time in quadrant 3, quadrant 4, or even quadrant 2, you obviously aren’t going do fantastically. You do have to find a balance, like it says in Sharpen the Saw. Everything in life is about balance. Time block some relaxation, to make sure you can decompress. Add it to Things. It never good to overwork yourself.

Overall, this PGP course was really helpful. With all of these tools in my toolkit, I’ve been able to really stay on top of everything this year. Staying on top of everything has really helped my mental health this year. Last year at this time, I was not doing great. Now, I know how to cope with tons of work! If I were to go back and do this again, I think I would’ve made more notes within the books for me to reflect back on. I know the gist of each of the books, but having the overviews in note form within the book would’ve helped me understand what I was learning a bit more. Also, having these would be helpful if I wanted to remember the main ideas without rereading the book!

The Canadian Experience

Canada. The wonderful, magical cold land of maple syrup and nice people. The thing is, stereo types aren’t very accurate. Although Canada is diverse, throughout history, and to this day, we haven’t always been very accepting of minority groups. In this project, we learned all about different minority groups, focusing on the Chinese minority in Canada in class, and separate minorities for our project. I’ll get to the main project later. First, we’ll talk about Chinese people in Canada, and specifically in Vancouver.

In the late 1800’s and early 1900’s, there were a lot of Chinese immigrants. The thing was, they didn’t want Chinese immigrants. So they enforced the head tax, where Chinese immigrants had to pay $50, to $100, to finally $500 to come into Canada. Once here, they were limited in location. In Vancouver, the Chinese could only live in Chinatown. It’s horrible to think about how hard these people worked to get to Canada, only to be forced to live in certain areas, experiencing Canada completely differently than any white person would’ve.

To deepen our knowledge of Chinese history, and Chinatown, we started reading a book called Jade Peony by Wayson Choy. The book focused around a Chinese family living in Vancouver’s Chinatown. There were three parts to the story, each told from one of the children’s perspectives. It was a very interesting book, and it was interesting to see the different perspective of someone, even though born in Canada, who was living a completely different life than, well, my grandpa. He grew up in Vancouver around the same time. The lifestyle differences were really crazy, and yet, childhood was still similar. Children playing soldiers, reading comics, the idealized childhood experience. 

Since we were learning all about Chinatown, our teachers thought it would be a great idea to take us to Chinatown. While there, we took a tour with the amazing Judy Lam Maxwell. We got to go into a bunch of really cool historical building, learn about Chinatown’s history, and talk to someone who grew up in Chinatown. While there, we made a podcast. Take a listen!

This podcast was different from others we have done in the past. The goal was to record sounds while on location. I found this very difficult. It was hard to know when to record, and when to be looking around, experiencing Chinatown. Overall, I learned a lot from this experience. The biggest this was probably to record as much as possible. Then, when it comes time to edit, you have a lot more to work with. 

Throughout this project, we’d been focusing on perspectives. To finalize the perspective piece, we had to write a positionality paper. It was basically an in-class essay where we explored how our positions impact our experiences with literature. 

I thought it was a really cool topic, and I had a good time writing it. Probably the most challenging part about it was the tone. It was a formal essay, but because it was kinda personal, we were also writing in the first person, using I. We’ve never done it before, so that was probably my biggest challenge. 

Now, finally, we can get to the project of the unit. As we do in PLP 10, it was a podcast. In groups of three or four, we had to research a minority group in Canada to see how they experienced Canada differently. Our minority group was the LGBTQ+ community. Since that is very broad, we decided to focus on three identities within the LGBTQ+ community, those being Pansexual, Bisexual, and Asexual. We wanted to focus on these groups because along with discrimination outside the LGGBTQ+ community, there is also a lot of discrimination towards these groups inside of the LGBTQ+ community. 

For our podcast, we had the pleasure of interviewing Yvette Narlock, an openly queer person at Seycove. It was an amazing experience, and I learned so much. Our podcast is so much better because of her.

This was a really cool experience. Along with learning a bunch about the LGBTQ+ community, the Chinese community, and minorities in Canada, I also got to work on my podcasting skills. I’m still not amazing at podcasting, and this was far from perfect, but I think it went really well. For the future, I will be really aware of audio levels. Other than that, I’m really proud of our work!

Hepatoerythopoetic Porphyria with Dr. A Ward At Provincials!

Provincials. A time of excitement, anxiety, joy. The finally, of sorts. Anyone can go to regionals, or provincials. Globals is the dream for any aspiring team. Of course, PLP wins most of the stuff, and we don’t go to globals. But for the other teams, provincials is the gateway.

 

Most of provincials, for us, is the improvement aspect. From regionals, we had one big thing we wanted to work on: the Symptomatic. If you saw our regionals performance, or the video in my regionals post, you would know that it didn’t go all to smoothly. Fun times with chemicals. Anyways. That was where we focused most of our energies. That, and memorizing our lines. 

We worked really hard on improving, and I think our provincials score shows that. Our performance, although we had a couple bumps, went super well. We changed hour e order of a few things, just tons of little tweaks. I think we did fantastic!

Our Instant Challenge was another story. It was probably the worst one we’ve ever done. The teamwork was there, but communication and the actual completion of the instructions was, well, trash. If I could go back, I would yell at our team “PLAN. BE PREPARED. READ THE INSTRUCTIONS. DO IT AGAIN!”.

Overall, DI this year was a huge success. Coming first in both the regionals and the provincials was amazing. I am very proud of our team, and how we worked together. Extra props to Morgan as this was her first Destination Imagination ever! It was such a fun time, and I learned so much.

Destination Imagination is always a special time, and even more so at provincials. We’ve had all this time to prepare, and then critique, updates, and bam! Another performance. As it is not plausible for PLP to go to globals, this was our last DI tournament for this year, and probably ever, which is sad, but also fantastic. I’ve learned so much over these three years of DI, including communication skills, time management, and teamwork. I am grateful to have been able to do this amazing tournament, as these skills are a huge part of the workforce I intend to enter. Thanks Destination Imagination, it’s been one heck of a ride!

Hepatoerythropoetic Porphyria with Dr. A. Ward

Destination Imagination, as much as we complain about it, is a huge stepping stone for us. The skills we have learned, and continue to learn, will be extremely beneficial in the long run. Group management, problem solving, and communication are just some of the skills we explore on this journey. So why not add Dora!

Our group was working on the scientific challenge, Medical Mystery. Basically, one or more person had to have a medical condition, and we had to diagnose it. We also had a bunch of other super specific criteria, which was really hard to work in. But eventually, we came up with the idea for a parody of Dora the Explorer, instead it being Flora the Physician (played by Maggie) with her trusty sidekick Socks (played by Tamara) who was suffering from Hepatoerythropoietic Porphyria (definition in presentation video). It was a long and arduous journey, which we are not yet finished. 

My roles in this were creating one of the team choice elements, and making the double vision. The double vision thing was basically that we had to show two or more different perspectives of the presentation at one time. We decided to make a map to demonstrate this. Then, with a pointer on the map (played by Morgan), Flora would be able to show where they were going. It was a bit difficult to figure this out. We had to paint the map, which went well, but then the paint started chipping and flaking. It took a lot of changing plans, and flexibility to fix this problem. Finally, on the day of the regional tournament, we decided to put clear tape over the whole thing, to make sure the paint stayed. And it worked! We used a lot of tape, but the appraisers loved it. I’m really proud of our troubleshooting abilities, and how we worked till the very last minute. 

My other role, as I mentioned before, was a team choice element. For this, we decided that we wanted ‘homemade looking’ medical badges, as Flora thinks she is a medical professional, but is not. So, seeing as I knew kind of how to hand embroider, that was up to me. They took a long time to make, hours actually, but I made three badges that I am very proud of. It really goes to show how the strange hobbies we all have can add to our solutions!

Although we went through some difficulties as a team, we came out on the other end. I worked with some people I’ve never worked with before, and it was interesting to see how each of us were so different. If I were to do this project again, I think I wouldn’t underestimate some people like I did this time. We also needed to make sure we were all on the same page, as that bit us in the end. But overall, we faired very well, and came in first place. I can’t wait for the provincial tournament!