Aloha and welcome to my tPOL! As the summer approaches all I can think about is how much I want to be in the beautiful Hawaiian sun or basking in the Southern California heat. Unfortunately those dreams won’t come true for a while due to the massive pandemic currently striking humanity hard. On the brighter side of things, summer vacation is still summer vacation, even without the wonderful Kaanapali waves, the smell of Splash Mountain’s waters, and the most delicious thing in the world, the Dole Whip. Now that I’ve gotten that out of my system, its time to get into what we’re all really here for. I’m here to explain why am I ready to transition to grade 10 and I am going to do it in a whole new format. In the past I’ve gone subject specific, project specific, and even habit specific. Now due to my having all the time in the world to reflect, I am doing this on a goal basis.
Going into grade 10 is a milestone in my eyes. It marks the halfway point in high school, as well as marking when things start to get difficult and perseverance, resilience, and determination are all key. As a kid, and into my early teen years I prided myself on how easily things came to me. I was always so proud of that fact that I was always breezing through school unproblematically. The number one thing that grade 9 has taught me was how wrong I was all those years. It took a hefty amount of failure and not meeting my self made standards to realize that I have a lot of problems to work out. My 2 goals going into the next grade apply to all subjects and my personal life. Up first is goal 1!
Find ways to effectively work with/around my executive functioning issues.
(Specifically organization, concentration, and prioritizing)
In the past year we’ve done god knows how many projects, some of which I felt I succeed in above others. On the other hand, there were multiple projects which I failed to complete or meet my personal standards. In writing this I took a microscopic look at each of the reasons that I failed to meet standards. I came out the other end recognizing for the first time in my life that I have some issues when it comes to executive functioning. I’ve always been disorganized and often have trouble prioritizing and balancing the academic and social aspects of school. 99% of the time the lack of organization and prioritize skills lead to my inability to concentrate for an extended period of time. Even in writing this I’ve gotten distracted a million times. Other examples could include our Confederation Commercial project in February. I got carried away trying to come out on top of every other group for personal reasons and failed to prioritize the project. It lead to a loss of focus and an overall lacking contribution to my group. I honestly believe that my contribution or lack thereof in Confederation Commercial lead to my B on my Term 2 report card.
Another example of this is this year’s Destination Imagination. DI was absolutely hectic this year. I found that I was 10x more unorganized than usual and compared to my performance in DI last year, DIWhy Bridges was a flop. After our improvised online tournament in April, I reflected on how unfocused I was during the entire project. I was admittedly very petty and not really helpful with DI and obviously that was a huge problem. In my post I reflected that the reason for that was due to the challenge being so far outside my comfort zone that I felt very useless. This leads me into my second goal.
Be more open minded/less rock brain when things don’t come easily. Move past the barriers when it comes to asking for and accepting help.
I’ve heard from reliable sources that grade 10 is when high school starts to become more challenging. I’m always up for a good challenge but I have a feeling that next year will wear me down. In order to stop that I need to start asking for help instead of shutting down and giving up when things get hard and I can’t understand. I am a kinesthetic learner and that has been very challenging for me since I was little, especially in math and science. Math is the one subject that has more power over me than I have over it. I have always struggled and cracked under the pressure of not understanding mathematics as quickly or easily as my peers do. This year has been a great example of that. For every project that we did the minute that I didn’t understand something I would get stressed out and fall behind instead of getting help. While this didn’t happen during every project, it did when I was uncomfortable with the people I was with or expected to understand something that I was really confused over. Not understanding and not doing anything to fix that often lead to sidetracking and loss of focus. This is where I would start to be more social rather than concentrated in Scimatics, which is clearly an issue that needs fixing. Whether it’s a tutor I need, or just more confidence it’s my goal to have a flexible mindset going into grade 10.
Now that we have my goals, I need to dive into how I’ll actually achieve them. In the past couple months we’ve been focusing on the 7 Habits and how we can apply them to our daily lives. Each and every habit has it’s place in my life but there are some that trump the others when it comes to my 2 big goals. Habits 1, 2, 3, and 7 are the first batch of habits that will help me get to where I need to be. Starting with myself, or have a private victory, is what I need in the beginning of grade 10 so that I can sustain it through my remaining years of school. In PGP I often deny that I need any of the information being given to me, but thankfully in the past few months I’ve begun to recognize that I was wrong. I need to be proactive and have a plan for where I want to be, as well as prioritize some things over others in order to bring myself to that level.
Over the course of grade 9 I have had triumphs and failures. Each taught me a lesson that was necessarily planned. Once the COVID-19 pandemic begun and we were all quarantined I had to step it up and work hard to improve my executive functioning skills or I wouldn’t have been able to get any work done. Remote learning has had its silver lining in forcing me to take initiative and get a handle of my own learning. I know for a fact that in term 3 alone my performance has improved so much compared to the rest of the year. I am determined to get to where I want to be so I can only better myself from there on out. My final words for this tPOL are a simple question. In the coming school year, I’m striving to do my part in overcoming all the challenges I just expressed, including my inability to ask for help. Next year what kind of support can I expect from you?
Thank you for coming to my Ted Talk