Welcome back to another weekly reflection. This week, I think I got the gist of what these are supposed to be. But of course, there has to be a draw back. This week’s is that, due to a series of unfortunate events, I was only at school for one day. But, we learned lots in that one day. The thing that stood out to me most is our study of ‘feminist’ songs, specifically Man, I Feel Like a Woman by Shania Twain.
We were looking at the song, analyzing it, to see if it was a female empowerment song. And when we first started it, I thought it was. I remember being a little kid at sleepovers singing karaoke versions of it. But taking a closer look, its debatable. Of course, I can’t make a decision for anyone, but there are a couple key reasons I learned about it that made me take a second look.
The first was a preconception I had coming to the song. I thought that it was Shania Twain who wrote the song. And that’s true, to a certain extent. She co-wrote the song with her then-husband, Robert John “Mutt” Lange. He is a big time music producer, working with artists like AC/DC and Lady Gaga. So, was it really Twain who wanted to write the song, or was it mostly Lange, using Twain’s image to say these things?
The music video plays on the Lange/Twain idea as well. As the song progresses, Twain takes off more and more clothing. It could be seen as empowering to women, if it was Twain’s idea, or that she was totally on board with the idea. On the other hand, it could just be Lange trying to make more money by putting a scantily-clad woman in a music video.
The other thing about the music video is that it parodies a music video from the 80’s, Robert Palmer’s Addicted to Love. That video shows expressionless female models ‘playing’ instruments in the back. In Twain’s version, they puts blank-eyed male models in tight clothing in the back. It begs the question, for women to become equal do they have to do to men what men do to women?
I honestly don’t know what to think about the song. Its definitely something. But, learning about the subtext in songs makes me pay more attention to what I listen to.
Morning folks, and welcome to my final year of blog posts. It is indeed my last year of high school, and truly an end of an era. So cherish it while it lasts, but boy will you have a lot to cherish. This year, one thing that we’ve been ‘asked’ to do is write a weekly reflection blog post. There are many factors making this year odd, (cough covid cough), but this one is sure to be something to be remembered. So let’s start of the year right and talk about sluts!
Context. Okay, so in this project, not that we’ve actually been given lots of information, we’ve been focusing on two topics, which I’ll talk about in this post, the first being the changing role of women, I think. Not super clear but let’s go with it.
We started off by watching a couple videos from different time periods where they used the word slut. We were supposed to be understanding how the word has changed overtime, though in the videos the word was used in different ways. We had an assignment were we looked at the videos which can explain them more.
In the first example the word slut is used, though in a comical way, as a sort of attack against the women in the argument, as well as the person of who pm they were talking about. ‘Jane you ignorant slut’ is an attack, not a joke. It is also said by a man on public television, which has definitely changed. In the Golden Girls episode, several years after the SNL skit, the word slut is used in a more comical light, and is recognized as such by all the characters. The characters kind of laugh at it, like a joke between friends. The key difference in the golden girls scene, though, is that it is said by a woman. This kind of changes the connotation. Still, in both the first and second examples, it is said as a joke and recognized by the audience as such. The third clip from Sex and the City takes a more philosophical look at the word. Carrie looks at it from a serious standpoint, like is she actually a slut. In the context that she seemed to take it, she looked at the word from a negative standpoint. Today, posing that word in any sort of context on TV would be a much more serious thing. It would really only be used if a woman was taking back the word, or if the character was already looked at in a negative light. The point is, overtime the word and is use has changed quite a bit, and it’s definitely not looked at as it once was.
In all honesty, I am not a fan of that word. At all. I know some people are trying to reclaim it, similar to the way the LGBTQ+ community retook the word queer. It just seems so judgemental. It places an assumption upon women that creates a double standard between female identifying people and male identifying people. Men are expected to have many partners, while when women do it they are called derogatory terms like slut. Times may have changed, but this idea still exists.
Another thing we talked about in the discussion was how it was different when a woman called another woman a slut. Sure it’s different, but it still stings. In the show Grand Army, based on a play called Slut: The Play, girls still call each other sluts, in a bad way. They act a certain way, so they must be sluts. It really sucks that we still think this way.
On a lighter note, the second thing we were focusing on this week was vocabulary. Yay.
Remember those spelling packages you would get in elementary school, where you would study a bunch of words, do activities with them, and then have a spelling test on them? Well, this was basically that, sans the test. We were learning some, not new, but very interesting words. Words like imperious, and fervent.
I fully thought these were random words. Turns out, sometimes things have rhyme and reason. These words were then used in a passage we had to thematically analyze. Just gonna say solidly that that was a weird passage. Would you have your lover eaten by a tiger or marry another woman?
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?
Good morning. It’s not the morning when I’m writing this, but that’s not the point. Anyways, yes, right, the post. Over the past few months, starting in January I think, we’ve been reading Shakespeare’s Macbeth. It is a very interesting play within itself, and has many interesting themes. The one we studied was the idea of appearance vs. reality. This, through some unknown channel, was connected to our social studies timeline, and so we were basically studying the 1950’s, as well as a Scottish play from the 17th century.
This may seem like an odd connection, but there really are quite a few connections you could draw. That was one of our assignments, actually. We had to write blog posts connecting Macbeth and the 1950’s. It was definitely hard to start, but by the end of these posts, I think I had really done some good work.
Another big part of the unit were what we called ‘Act Quests’. Basically, while reading the play, we would have these test-like things where we would be given quotes from Macbeth, and have to: recount the events that took place before, during and after the quote, identify who said it and why it was important to the character and those it was said to, and how it relates to theme. These were definitely not easy. In PLP, we don’t have a lot of tests, which is why sometimes things like this can catch us off guard. We did do something similar to this in the LOTF project, but to a much lesser degree. Its definitely important to do things like this, to prepare for university and stuff, but it’s still not my favourite. I guess my biggest issue was putting too much information down, which makes sense, because I do tend to do info dumps. But overall, I think it was a really good practice in an area we sometimes don’t spend tons of time in.
Now, you might be thinking, well, these are only small parts of the project, they can’t be the final product. And believe me buddy, you’d be right. Also, if you’re familiar with past PLP Macbeth projects, you’ll know that there have been attempts at a class film adaptation of Macbeth. Notice how I say attempt. This has never worked. So of course we had to do exactly that. But it’s never that simple. We also had to set the movie in the 1950’s, and change it so it fits in that year. Goodie.
One of the things we stated with was trying to figure out a story outline. Everyone would try and come up with an idea on how we could set it in the 50’s. At first, we had grandiose ideas, like having it set in a mayors office, or during a presidential race. But we had to rethink, because we were going to be the ones acting, and we are children. I mean the in the nicest way possible, but nonetheless it’s true. We’re also not that great actors, but thats another issue altogether. We ended up going with a private school with a secret society.
Now came the really difficult part: deciding roles. This can either be a very big deal, or a very small deal. To us, it was big. I wasn’t sure what I should do, because although the whole class was working together, a group called the key creatives were mostly in charge of the movie. The key creatives were the people who everyone reported to, and were responsible more or less for the success. all the roles were similar to what would be on an actual movie set. The key creatives were the producer, who was head of everything, the director, who had the vision for the film, and the screenwriter, who, with a team, would write the film. We did add a fourth key creative, production manager, which was similar to producer, but in more of a day to day sense. I decided to apply for the producer, because though it is a lot of responsibility, I thought I could do a good job leading our class to success. Also, I had a vision on what the film could look like, and as a key creative I thought I could help with that part.
Applying for the positions was pretty stressful. First, we had to go home and write a pitch for what roles we wanted. After that, everyone who had applied to be a key creative had to, in class, write out their vision for what the film would look like. And… I got it! I was chosen to be the producer. But that’s not the be all and end all. Off the bat, I was told that I could be fired at anytime. I knew this beforehand, but that really put the pressure on. Not that I thought I’d do a bad job, but its kinda scary. The rest of the team was Giorgia as director, Jesse as screenwriter, and Luca J as production manager. A pretty solid team.
The next part was not fun. Being a key creative was difficult, but way more than I thought it would be. We had a very tight schedule as well, because we were supposed to have it done before spring break and we got our roles like, 2 and a half weeks before then. We had to cast, get costumes, props, write the script, and film in that small window. There were some fun parts, though. We had to find 50’s lingo for the script, which was fun, and reading around the tables was cool. There was a bit of drama around casting, and key creatives spent a lot of time outside of school trying to figure things out, but once we had the prep out of the way, we were more or less set to film.
That’s when things started to fall apart a bit. The teachers left for Vietnam with the grade 12s, so we were left completely on our own. But it was fine. We had a solid film schedule, and we were going to be fine. Everything was blocked in, and the first filming day went smoothly, mostly. I did end up having to be in the movie and sprained my ankle in the process, but we were adapting as things were thrown at us. Even when our Macbeth had to reschedule a shoot because he wasn’t feeling well, it was fine. We adjusted, and filmed everything we could without him. Except, he was still sick the next day. And when we thought he was getting better, and had everything set, he was sick again and wasn’t sure wether or not to come. The key creatives discussed, and said we needed to keep everyone safe and so we cancelled. This was a difficult decision, but it was for the best. We had got all we could without our main character, and everyone had worked so hard.
Then spring break hit, and we were working with what we had. The post production crew did a great job with what they had, and we planned to film the rest after the break. But, as you might have guessed, the break never ended. Well, it did, but you know what I mean. School was cancelled, and we were forced to accept what we had. It was really though to face. Being the head of a big project like this was a really amazing learning experience for me, and to see all that work not pan out was really sucky. Everyone tried their hardest, and though there were some hiccups, if it hadn’t been for the sickness of Macbeth, I think we would have pulled it off. Its dissapeointng, but I know how hard everyone worked, and the experience within itself was pretty cool.
I do have a theory on why it didn’t work, though. A dumb, superstitious theory, but still. So, when actors are putting on the play of Macbeth, they call it the Scottish Play. There are documented cases of when people didn’t do this, and then actors got sick or hurt. I just find it kinda fishy how it was Macbeth who got sick, and no one else. But that’s just the raving of some student. Who really knows?
We are living in an incredibly odd world right now. While staying in our houses, we are forced to look at how we spend our time now, wether it be productive or not. In PGP, we’ve been developing the skills to do this, and with help from James Clear, author of Atomic Habits, I hope to help myself, and others, take a look at how we spend the hours in the day.
This article was basically about Dwight Eisenhower, 34th president of the United States, and how he used a powerful decision making tool called the ‘Eisenhower Box’ to help him make decisions on what needed to get done.
In the first box, you have the urgent and important tasks, the ones that you will do immediately. In the second box, you have the important, but not urgent, tasks. These are the tasks you will schedule to do later. The third box is urgent, but not important. These are tasks that you can delegate to others. I’m not sure if this box would be super useful in the day to day life of a high schooler, but who knows. In the fourth box, you have the not important or urgent tasks. These are the things that you would eliminate, the ones that have no purpose.
The article talks about the difference between urgent and important, and how using this framework, you can make those decisions time and time again. He also talks about mindless productivity, that I think can be summed up in this quote from Tim Ferriss.
“Being busy is a form of laziness – lazy thinking and indiscriminate action.”
I found this to be a really powerful article today, because now we are faced with these tough decisions of how to spend our time, now that all we have is it. The framework of this ‘Eisenhower Box’ is one that is so simple, and yet so powerful. As Mr. Clear said,
‘The great thing about this matrix is that it can be used for broad productivity plans (“How should I spend my time each week?”) and for smaller, daily plans (“What should I do today?”).’
Having school online is great and all, but sometimes I find it difficult to actually get up and do the work. Our routines are broken, and in trying to piece them back together, I hope to use this strategy that has helped others. So I decided to make one for myself, for today. It was harder than it seems. You have to make decisions about what is urgent and important, and the opposite.
In this assignment we were also asked to take a look at our competencies, Connect: How do I communicate and collaborate to build understanding? and Reflect: How do I reflect to build knowledge? The latter was a bit easier than the first. In reading this article, I had to reflect on some of my habits, and the things I do to stay ‘busy’. And they aren’t always good things. I tend to scramble for things to do sometimes just to keep myself busy, but I know now that that isn’t good. By using this tool, I can stay busy, but doing something that actually needs to get done.
The connect competency was a bit more difficult. Luckily, though, I wasn’t the only one who thought so. Good old Emily, she reached out to me with an idea about how we could collaborate. We each read each other’s article from James Clear’s website, and wrote a short little review about it.
⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️- I really like how this article approaches productivity. It gives a specific example from a historical figure, and how he used it to create an amazingly productive life. Also, James Clear shows how he uses this tool in everyday life. Productivity for the sake of productivity is useless, and this article really drives that home. -Alivia
⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ – Excellent article. I think it helps simplify complex task management systems into something comprehensive and can be applied to pretty much any lifestyle. It’s like a task management / decision making tool built into one! -Emily
⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ – Excellent article. Explains something so simple yet counterintuitive that you’d never think of it, and yet it is such a key part of success. If you want to improve your decision making and critical thinking skills, I would highly recommend this. -Emily
⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️- Good article. I thought it explained the idea of inversion with multitudes of examples and facets of everyday life that this concept is used. I can think of several projects I could have used this on. It really makes you think about success and failure in a different way. -Alivia
I thought it was really cool getting another person’s input on the article that I chose, and also seeing what interests other people. It’s interesting to see just what draws everyone’s attention, and how it reflects back on them.
Overall, I had a lot of fun with this assignment. I’ve been blogging in a new space at home, so that’s been fun. This odd time is the perfect time to take a look at this stuff, and I’m super glad we got to do it, and that Emily and I have found a way to connect our project even though we haven’t seen each other in over a month!
Grade 11 is a huge year. Not only is it academically challenging, a huge step up from grade 10, but also a year where everything matters. The courses we take, the grades we get, habits we develop, they all contribute to our future, shaping the way. So far, grade 11 has had some ups and downs, but only I can speak to my work, and that’s what I’ll be speaking to today.
How did you “fail” this year? What did you learn from this experience?
One of the biggest things I have taken away from PLP is leadership, and learning to work with others. While being a leader is good in some respects, sometimes I feel as though other people want to lead. I don’t try to vie for leadership, I step up only when no one else will. Leading a class like ours is sometimes difficult, as we try not to get on each other’s bad sides. When we were tasked with creating our own groups for the Lord of the Flies project, I feel I let down our class. There were many ways in which our groups could have been formed, but I lead it with counsel from others and decided it would be random. Groups were in the end successful, but I feel some groups had their disadvantages.
What skills did you use and what skills do you need to continue to develop?
On the Albuquerque trip this year, I decided to pull an Emily and collect as much information as possible. I conducted interviews all over the place, recording audio of our tours and much more. Getting out of my comfort zone was difficult, but in the end it payed off. I got a lot of information, but not all of it was relevant. This year, I would hope to develop the skill of interviewing people better. Sometimes I have a hard time communicating what I mean, which impacts the relevance of my interviews. Working on this skill will help me not only in interviews, but also any other time I will be working with others, or public speaking in general.
Did all the work you completed this year meet your standards?
The project that I really struggled with this on was the Manhattan Project Project. With my book, before the trip, I had worked extremely hard on gathering the information for it. I literally spent hours every day before the trip doing research and putting together the pieces. I had the information for the book, I just hated how it looked. I tried to model it after another book, but it fully made me want to die. Using the skills of peer critique, I bugged my friends for hours at the airport, trying to come up with a solution, a better format. It was really hard, as it was fully up to us, and I couldn’t come up with anything. Finally, I came up with my current theme, but having this struggle was very hard. It’s difficult in PLP, when the standards for our work are so high. But those standards aren’t wrong. We can do the work, and because of that my standard has been raised.
I know I still have a long way to go as a learner. Without PLP, I know I wouldn’t be the same person I am today. I have to keep moving, though, even if it’s slow. Two steps forward, one step back, still moves forward. Now I have a question for you.
Where do you think I grown the most since grade 8? How can I continue this progress?
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.
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!
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.
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!
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.
The end of June marks the end of another era in PLP, Grade 10. This was a remarkable year, with ups and downs, triumphs and tribulations, but we made it to the other side, mostly unscathed. So, let us reflect on what we have done, and look forward to our next great adventure.
Of your work completed this year, what are you most proud of? Why?
The project that I am probably most proud of is the WW2 podcast. I had a lot of fun with this project, which makes everything 100x better. This was one of the first podcasts we had done, so it was opening a new chapter for us. This year I’ve had a lot of fun doing podcasts, and this one was no different. The experience of going and meeting with these people was really cool, because instead of just learning about something in a textbook, we got to meet people with first hand experience. I also learned a lot when I talked to Abigail Foulds and my Grandpa, Frank Ward. I am proud of the work I have done for this project.
What piece of work done this year would you share with a class visitor? Why?
A project that I would want to show to a visitor is definitely the generator project. Not necessarily the video that went along with it, but the generator itself. In science, and especially in this project, I fell as though the product is the bigger thing, and the video secondary. This doesn’t really make sense in practical terms, since we are mostly graded on the videos, but I’m usually pro under of what we have actually created. In this project, we took a current issue, and created a project that has actual meaning in the real world. This is why I wanted to do PLP in the first place, and that’s what I would want to show visitors.
How do these projects connect to the adult world outside the classroom?
Math is kind of a constant. Sometimes it can be hard to relate math concepts to the real world. This project did a really good job of that, though. For this project, we were looking at real data that scientists and governments had collected, and we had to graph it. Taking these arbitrary numbers, and creating graphs was cool, but to actually see the impact that this could have was even cooler. Emily and I checked the levels where the water rise would start to impact us, and added this to the graphs. It really puts into perspective what is happening in our world, and brings it to us.
What problems did you encounter? How did you solves them?
Finally, we have Destination Imagination. Every year, talk about Destination Imagination, and how I am working to be a better teammate, but his year I actually did it. Within our group, we had some pretty strong personalities, and with that, some disagreements. There was one pretty bad disagreement, and instead of getting mad or whatever, I took the time to talk to both sides of the argument, and helped them sort it out. It was sometimes frustrating, but in the end it worked out. I’m really proud of how I handled it, and am looking forward to continuing my learning!
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.
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!
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, 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 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.
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!
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.
Begin with the End in Mind
Put First Things First
Seek First to Understand, Then to be Understood
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!