We May Not Have the Cure For The Coronavirus, But We Do Have The Cure For Boredom

Salutations

In this turbulent era of time, with international quarantine, an oncoming pandemic, the stock market crash and a rescheduled release date of Stranger Things, I can understand why many people are under the impression that we are currently on the brink of a pandemonium. On Thursday, March 19, the school board of directors in British Columbia released news that K-12 education services would close indefinitely. Who do we have to thank for this genuine decency of the first degree? The Coronavirus! If you were unaware of this novel new virus, take the test below to determine why!

A) I find news of any sorts irksome and vexatious. For this reason, I have been self isolating from any human interaction.

Reason: For someone with no knowledge of the Coronavirus, you seem to have a prodigious understanding of how to self quarantine. Qualified individuals will tell you that this is because you are naturally introverted or ambiverted. Generation Z will tell you that this is because you are one of them. Zodiac enthusiasts will tell you that this is because you are an Aries. Fortunately for you, I am here to tell them that their assumptions are all incorrect. There are only two acceptable forms of constant self-isolators. Members of society who do not want to concern themselves with the current state of their country, and Dwight Schrute. If you do now fall into either of these categories, I would suggest that you find an alternative method to stay updated about the Coronavirus for the health of others.

B) My name is Patrick and I live under a rock.

Enough said.

C) My name is Donald Trump

This may not be a political platform, but I am allowed to express my many sentiments about this tête d’air.

As you rest, I advise you to stay safe and healthy, but don’t fret. The hundreds of female positivity posts circulating on Instagram are sure to make Corona retire soon. While you are waiting for that closure, here are 26 things to do in your spare time!

1. Sign up for Duolingo, and learn a new language

Learning new languages is a hobby of mine, and Duolingo makes it fast and easy to learn.

2. Finish any homework that was assigned to you over break

Perhaps writing this is a hypocritical statement, as I happen to be the queen of procrastination. My advise would be to check your calendar for a free day, and then use the Pomodoro method to get started. The Pomodoro method involves taking a 25 minute work period, and a 5 minute break. Maybe you don’t want to finish the whole project in one day, but beginning it the first step to finishing. Once you get started, it will become easier to continue.

3. Pick up a ball and practice the sport, or invent your own variation

Once you have finished, make the task even more fun by teaching the game to a sibling, friend or parent.

4. Start a blog

You have a whole repertoire of knowledge that could be shared with the world, and perhaps you could help another fellow kid who is suffering from boredom. Once you start blogging you become invested in a whole other community.

5. Refurnish or paint your room

Allow me to set the scene. It is March 22 on a Sunday, and I am sitting on my floor brainstorming pastimes for my siblings. I look at the unused tube of paint that has been sitting on my dresser since Christmas, and I come up with a somewhat destructive idea. Three hours and a whole tube of blue paint later, I have painted my door with a FR E SH A VOCA DO sign. Was it a doubtable outcome? Yes. Did I ever doubt the outcome? No. Hotel? Trivago.

6. Bake or cook something

I challenge you to bake or cook something using only the ingredients in your house. Bonus marks if it is actually edible.

7. Reorganize your phone

I would try to avoid spending your spring break on your phone, as the blue light that is eradicated can be toxic to your photoreceptor. Nonetheless, be creative with the wallpaper and organization of your apps. Perhaps you could add a live lock screen.

8. Work out

When you eventually go back to school, you want to appear even better than when you left. And yes, I know this is cheesy, but developing a stretch and workout routine will do wonders for your health.

10. Listen to a TED talk or Podcast

This is my go-to activity when I have nothing on my schedule. Listening to a Podcast is even more beneficial than watching a movie, as it allows your brain tp form new neural pathways. Surprise yourself with a new subject that you have no knowledge about.

11. Sign up for clubs or volunteer opportunities in the 2020-2021 year

12. Go for a hike, or take your pet for a walk

13. Try meditating

14. Enter an online contest

Are you a talented writer, aspiring movie director, have an astonishing idea or even just want to win an obscure online giveaway? This is your chance to impress both yourself and others by practicing something that you enjoy.

15. Update your resume

Clarification: Now may not be the time to find a job, but I can assure you that once Corona concern has died down and companies have been stabilized that you will want to find a source of income.

16. Research universities

Yet another one of my favourite pastimes, it is never too early to connect yourself to your dream school. This increases your chances of meeting all of their entrance qualifications, and forming ties with school administrators

17. Invent something useful for your daily life

My favourite pastimes last continues to grow. I enjoy doing mini projects that don’t require many materials. Put those Bluesky skills to work and make sure your put it in a non-discreet place.

18. FaceTime your friends

While the majority of the world is panicking, it would be smart to occupy yourself with friends. I am not going to elaborate on this subject, as I am sure that you have already done this. Let me leave you with these words of wisdom: be creative.

19. Solve an online puzzle or make your own

20. Call your family

I understand that we are not always in the mood to pick up a phone and talk to family that we barely see for a long period of time. Believe me, been there, done that, got the t-shirt. But in this time of trouble I am sure that your family would love to speak to you. Take this time to get closer, and remind your grandma that not going to Costco is part of social distancing.

21. Try origami

22. Watch the Netflix series Dark

This German Netflix-Original has been my saving grace. I will try not to turn this into a tangent, but it is really intellectually stimulating. The music is amazing, and the concept is pretty fascinating.

23. Try a difficult bike trail

This is more of a note to self, as I have always wanted to bike a mountain trail. Bring snacks in case of a fall, because eating is always the answer to your sorrows. Oh, you have mangled your Achilles’ tendon? Here is a granola bar. See what I mean?

24. Read a book

This may seem like a crazy concept for some people, but reading books comes with many benefits. Pick up something random, or set a reading goal for yourself

24. Research your birthday along with Florida man

The last option may not have clunked your cowbell, so here is an extra just in case. The rules of researching the Florida man are as follows:

– Avoid the deep web

– Stay within the first page of Google. After that, we are talking about some pretty weird things. For the sake of your innocence and sanity, only press articles on the first page of Google.

25. Try your own variation on the Pepsi challenge

Recreate a beverage in your home, and then compare it to it’s originator by making a sibling taste it. I tried doing this with my brother and a drink that I called a quarantini. Spoiler alert: it did not go well. Use this activity at your own risk.

26. Learn or practice an instrument

Teach yourself a new song, or improvise. Please, go ahead and play whatever strikes your fancy.

Looking for more resources? Here are a few highly qualified blogs who can go into more detail on these subjects.

”Good morning, and in case I don’t see ya, good afternoon, good evening and goodnight” – The Truman Show

May The Force Be With You (Maker)

Salutations

A long time ago, on a planet far far away I reflected on the Humanities portion of our “Story Strikes Back” project. The premise of this project was to study the hero’s journey, and to wrap up all of our knowledge in a bow by creating and executing a story of our own, set on a planet in the movie franchise ‘Star Wars’. You can visit this blog post by clicking the totally unassuming link here:

This project could be perceived as perplexing by someone who did not view each step of the process, yet by delving into the project one is able to come to the consensus that the task is not as daunting as it may seem. The driving question for this project was actually dictated by us individually, mine being “How might we illustrate the battle of Endor and it’s impact on Endorian technology?” As you may have been able to assume, the planet that I was assigned was Endor. I decided to build off of my strengths, which lie in the STEM area. In retrospect, this was a smart move because it made me more motivated to succeed. Our final product could come in any way shape or form, which is why I decided to construct a holigram, a model of R2-D2 and a vision board. This is the story of the fateful journey.

L

Look, Listen and Learn

The first section of our launch journal, the ‘L’ phase, helps us discover what sparks our curiosity by looking, listening and learning. This could mean anything observing the world around us to talking to different people. In this section of the journal, I recorded how I looked, listened, and learned about my product for my section of the hero’s journey. In short, I thought that I could have done more with this competency. To elaborate, I went into the project knowing what I wanted the final outcome to be, meaning that I did not get to experience the same level of interaction with my surroundings. Last time we did Blue Sky, I would have considered that this aspect of the process was a strength of mine. I still did interviews, yet they were with my parents and friends rather than strangers who would have not been susceptible to bias. The milestone that tested our skills was the ‘How Might We’ sheet. The idea behind this is to develop a deeper understanding of the subject at hand, by compressing all of your ideas into several “How might we” statements. The best statement that I wrote was a summary that encompassed the big idea: How might we use Star Wars technology to show the development of post-war Endorian technology. This question went through multiple phases, including critique from my teachers and peers. Eventually, it went from illegible to showcasing my entire final product in one sentence. I personally believe that I could have achieved more when it comes to looking, listening and learning. I set a goal for myself, that going into the A phase that I would remain open-minded.

A

Ask tons of questions

Luckily, that goal became a reality. I decided to dispose of my idea all together, which in the grand scheme of things does not seem like a smart move, yet in retrospect was one of the best decisions that I made. I developed an entirely new project idea overnight, using the same question. This forced me to use my creativity, which after many months of doing things in the exact same formulaic routine, was refreshing. I loved it. Would I do it again? No. The idea was reckless, and forced me to rush. Yet, it did teach me an important lesson, to switch things up once in a while. Recently, I have noticed a difference in my final products. Enough of that. I am going on a tangent. The second phase is A, in which we asked a ton of questions. I LOVED this part of the process. Since the very first moment that I learned of this project, a million questions have been racing through my head. Getting them on paper, and being given the time to think about each and every one was enthralling, giving me a new enjoyment for the work that I was doing. As for the milestone, our Product Pitch Form, all in all things went well. My performance in this milestone truly did reflect the fact that I asked the hard questions. I both identified criteria for success and constraints, while also identifying potential users and their requirements for a chosen a design opportunity. A good example of this was the timeline that I created. I used my knowledge of the constraints, and developed a personalized timeline that fully acknowledges my work habits, my demographic and my project outcome.

U

Understand

The third phase is U, which means to understand the process, while also being an innovative designer. The curricular competencies that we were assessed on were understanding the process, and our innovation. We presented these competencies in the third milestone, which happened to be an export of our journal. Let’s begin with the good news first. I thought that I took many creative risks, stepped out of my comfort zone and created a short Launch presentation that I am incredibly proud of. I spent a ton of time including visual, and audible reflections in a nice mannerism that not only shows the work that I put into this milestone, but the innovation in my presentation form. Unfortunately, not everything went this well. When it came to understanding the process or problem,  I did well at choosing an idea to pursue, and keeping other potentially viable ideas open. This can be seen through the extensive research that I did. This ties into the next competency, identifying and using sources of information. When it came to critically analyzing competing factors, I could have been stronger. Although I do have a good understanding of the competency, I failed to show it through my work, which is why I do not believe that I deserve a great mark for this competency.

N

Navigate ideas

It was mini-video time! I was very excited for this mini-video, because as you may know by now I love the chance to create a creative reflection. This milestone tested our abilities in the following competencies:

  • Generate potential ideas and add to other’s ideas
  • Screen ideas against criteria and constraints
  • Develop a step-by-step plan that identifies key stages and resources and carry it out, making changes as needed
  • Identify and use appropriate tools, technologies, and materials for production

What did I do well? I generated ideas quickly and efficiently, screened my ideas using online tools that show the process, and I developed a step-by-step plan as seen in my detailed timeline. I could have done a better job when it came to identifying and using the appropriate tools. Most of the work that I did was in my head, which is why I had trouble iterating my ideas physically. I could improve this by doing all of my brainstorming on paper, or on my iPad. This way, I would be able to import all of the thoughts easily throughout my journal, and beyond to other apps. As for my mini-video, procrastination was my worst enemy in this situation. Despite this, and two deleted as a result of a glitch projects later, I handed in a video that I really enjoyed.

C

Create

In this next phase, I created a prototype. In my case it was a digital outcome, as I made it using Sketches. My original plan was to also build a cohesive physical model, but I did not have enough time to execute it. The milestone for this project was our prototype revision grid form. The competencies that we were assessed on were computational thinking, and creating. When I say creating I mean to imply that we exercised this competency while building and reconstructing the product. This definitely came in handy while I was rebuilding the hologram. In the future, I would like to pay more attention to this competency as I believe that I did not dedicate myself as much as I should.

H

Highlight and fix

This was the competency that I may have had the most trouble with. While I did evidently identify sources of feedback, which can be seen through the milestone in the H phase, I conducted tests, collected and compiled data, evaluated data, and decide on changes and edited the design based off of feedback from critique, I put less effort into this milestone. At this point, everyone was exhausted and prepared to ruin their already deteriorating sleep schedules for a better outcome. This is why I made the somewhat questionable decision to take it easy. For this reason, not an ample amount of testing was done. For this design in particular, this almost came in handy as I had gotten time to regain my sanity before the exhibit. In the future, I need to continue to work on my stamina and inspiration for carrying this project through all the way through the process. In short, my performance in this phase is not worthy of congratulations, which is disappointing but can be changed in the near future.


This right here folks, as you see before is the epoch-defining ‘Launch Journal’. If this LAUNCH journal was a dish in Hell’s Kitchen, then at least in my opinion, it would be one of the few entrées that Gordon Ramsay would not make airborne throughout the competition, which in translation means that it is not half bad. I put a lot of effort into animating the step of each process, so that it would be comprehendible to everyone. This process helped me define clarity, and improve my understanding of the ideas themselves.

If I had the time to reiterate this assignment, then I think we would all know which course of action I would take first: STOP PROCRASTINATING! The final product itself was not impacted, but my emotional stability was, and the last bit of cordiality and respect the that I had for the exhibition evaporated faster than dihydrogen monoxide.


Curricular competencies

Innovative designer

Students use a variety of technologies within a design process to identify and solve problems by creating new, useful or imaginative solutions.

My idiosyncratic approach to this problem allowed me to make a final product that I am proud of. I fully believe that I mastered this competency, building off of my reflection from last year. The brainstorming pattern that I used was much clearer and more organized, allowing me to convey my ideas with efficiency. Last year, my throughout process was just about as clear to an onlooker as mud. This year, it was slightly watered down mud, yet clearer nonetheless. In the future, I would like to make this abundantly clear throughout the entire process so that others are able to acknowledge that as well. I could achieve this goal by becoming less sporadic in my work habits, and attacking each and every problem with the fervour of a 40 year old woman named Karen on Black Friday.

Computational thinker

Students develop and employ strategies for understanding and solving problems in ways that leverage the power of technological methods to develop and test solutions.

In order to solve the problems that I encountered while building both my hologram and the R2 – D2 model, I was forced to use technological methods that I did not even know that I had. It was confessing to these methods that I struggled with. If you had asked me to point to a hitch in the process that I solved using a technological method, then I would tell you that my hologram failed more times than I would like to admit, yet I overcame this predicament using cultivated research about mathematics and science, disregarding the best tool that I have at my disposal which is the iPad. Note to self: in the future, perhaps put the investment worth your entire piggy bank to use.

In summary, the moral of the story today is that I should continue to work hard on a project all the way through, rather than burning myself out at the very beginning. In this case, a more minimal amount of time spent refuting the hurdles was beneficial, but this may not be the case in the future. I developed a good set of skills along the way, and I am especially proud of my performance on the night of the exhibition. I articulated and conveyed my idea well along with a last minute stroke of genius that added to the final product. This R2-D2 model will be an everlasting cornerstone in my Blue sky career, cementing itself as the Rosetta stone of Star Wars models. Perhaps that is a bit of an exaggeration, but you get the point.

You can visit my peer’s blog posts here:

Rhiann, Kaia, Asha, Ryan, Liam and Ben

”Good morning, and in case I don’t see ya, good afternoon, good evening and goodnight” – The Truman Show