❓mPOL 2020❓

   Hello ladies and gentlepeople and welcome to this years very first presentation of learning. This is only my third time taking part of mPOL’s and I’m much more comfortable with the situation compared to last year. I think that I have a certain boost of confidence this time around having done it twice in the past. Anyway, let’s jump right in!

   This year has been kind of a rollercoaster in each subject and in all honesty, I got dizzy there for a while. We’ve been introduced to many, many topics in each subject and we’ve even revisited some from last year. This especially comes into play with PGP. In the first month or so of school we didn’t really visit the idea of PGP more than a couple of times. This surprised me considering that it’s what I’d think of as one of our staple PLP subjects. That being said we eventually got into our first PGP project. You can read my first PGP portfolio post of the year here. Our first challenge was to reflect on our time spent in Alberta. This didn’t seem like much of a difficult task to begin with but we were asked to closely look at how we balanced our impulsivity throughout the trip. When I began to look back upon how I balanced my work and simultaneously had fun I found it difficult to decide where I needed most growth. I eventually came to the conclusion that there is still a part of me that needs to recognize the importance of managing my impulses, especially in school.

   When we moved on from our first reflection we had our first meeting of the year. At this time we were introduced or shall I say re-introduced to the idea of goal settling. Last year we worked with goal settling in term two and read the book, “What Do You Really Want.” This year we started out with goal ladders and looking closely at the habits of mind that go hand in hand with our personal goals. Looking at the various different habits of mind, I can confidently say that I can improve in each and every area throughout the rest of grade 9. That being said, starting off with one simple goals and sticking with it with the help of a few habits of mind was probably a good start. In my goal ladder I focused in on something that I desperately want to achieve and figured out how I could get there in the next few years. Observing my goal ladder as the weeks have gone by has proved to me that I can stick with a goal and start working towards it as soon as I kickstart my motivation. By the time tPOL’s come around I’d really like to see myself striving for accuracy, especially in school. Habit 6 is a great example of something that can be overlooked. Thinking that striving for accuracy simply means getting to where I want to be can be flawed. I believe that Habit 6 represents what I want my mindset to look like. I want to see myself commit to putting in the effort for everything even if I find it difficult to get myself into the rhythm at first. 

   Speaking of getting into the rhythm of things, lets jump way back to September. We kickstarted the year with our absolutely amazing trip through the Rockies and Alberta. Along the way we had to ask ourselves specific questions concerning identity and the impact it has upon different groups in society. Read all about my project and driving question in my post on the project here. I found that this project was the perfect way to let me gain insight and knowledge on what identity is and how different impacts can change someone, someplace, or something’s identity drastically over long or short periods of time. Moving on into our next unit we took a closer look at the concept of ideas driving change. We began reading Jennifer Donelly’s, “Revolution,” which I thoroughly enjoyed due to the historic mood it provided. We studied different revolutions through the ages and make informative videos explaining how the driving question could be answered with each example. Read my full post on the project here! In the end, I decided that this project really helped me with my video making skills, perhaps more than any other this year.

   Moving on lets dive into some of the other project we’ve done this year. On the flip side of things, there have been multiple occasions this year where I messed up. I’m not afraid to say it and it’s honestly affected me in some good ways as well as bad. To be more in depth on this topic lets start with this years very first big maker project, Running a Remake. The challenge for this project was to recreate our own copies of the short film, “Run.” My post on this project can be found here! Recreating “Run,” was honestly a very difficult task and I found that it really did help me develop my skills in video making. This project is a beyond perfect example of where a better sense of teamwork and interpersonal thinking would’ve been key. I found that with my group, I struggled with that and it might’ve been the reason our final product wasn’t as great as it could’ve been. 

   My next example of a fantastic FAIL was this year’s Student Blogging Challenge. I actually never completed the challenge and in hindsight I really could have done better. I tend to find that when I’m not interested in the topic at hand I lose focus and often forget about certain tasks that go with. I didn’t struggle with this much last year but I’m finding that I can recognize when it’s happening. For the next time I participate in the student blogging challenge, I am determined to keep an open mind and not let my judgemental side take control. Aside from that factor there is also my massive issues with organization. I’ve struggled with keeping organized throughout my entire life and I’ve tried many things to help improve. Since the beginning of grade 8, there has been so much growth in that area. As I go on I sometimes get lazy and put things that I should be paying attention to on the back burner. Working towards becoming a confidently organized individual is a huge goal of mine and I plan to closely consider the habits of mind that can help me get there along the way.

   Star Wars. Where do I even begin. The Story Strikes Back has probably been the biggest project I have completed individually all year and I must say it was no easy task. Let’s begin by saying that there was a lot to unpack with this project so yes I did write an entire two blog posts on it and no I am not proud of my of incapability to write and reflect concisely. You can read all about the project here! We had an amazing task with this exhibition. At first I kept asking myself how the heck I was going to transform my everyday classroom into a planet and yet we still came out the other side with a success. That being said, the journey to that success was rough and very bumpy. I can confidently day that my LAUNCH Journal this time around was a FAIL. I’m striving to achieve more with my next LAUNCH experience because I really didn’t try enough with this one. All in all the FAIL has given me insight that I can’t simply expect to get away with minimal work even if my final product matches standards. Not only does it let my teachers down but I end up hurting myself more than anyone. By not trying my best I brought down my personal standard and that isn’t something I ever want to let happen. 

   Finally let’s talk science! My absolute favourite project in scimatics this year was our chemical bonding animations. You can read my post on it here. Chemistry is not my strong suit but I still enjoyed making my own animations and understanding chemical bonds. I definitely struggled a little bit in the beginning but I began to get a hold on things after a few weeks. This is my best example of keeping my eye on the prize because of my commitment to trying my best to comprehend the science behind it. I’m typically an English and socials kid so some fields of science and math really get me down. I’ve always had a hard time learning based on my personal styles and I find it easier to connect and engage in a humanities classroom verses a that of science and math. With our chemistry video’s things were hands on and had a very creative and imaginative side which I really enjoyed. My definite goal for scimatics the rest of the year is to try and engage myself in each lesson more and more as we go.

   And that’s about it. Congratulations you’ve made it to the end of my third presentation of learning. Now we seem to be forgetting one thing. My question to the teachers. As I mentioned previously, I tend to struggle keeping my thoughts contained or to a minimum. When I write reflections and portfolio posts they almost always exceed 1,000 words which is probably torture for those reading them. My goal for the rest of the year is to write my reflections more concisely and to try and get my point across with fewer words. This doesn’t mean I have to cut the word count in half, it just means that I want to be able to express myself more clearly without going overboard. My question to you is how can I do that? 

Thanks for coming to my TED Talk ✌️

   

   

🛸The Return of This Reflection🛸

 

  Hello ladies and gentlepeople and welcome back to the late night show with me. No, I’m not anywhere as cool as Stephen Colbert but I’m trying so please, cut me some slack. We are now continuing from where I left off in my last post so if you haven’t read that already, I recommend you go and do so now! 

   To briefly refresh your memory, as a class we were split into 4 groups. Each of these groups were assigned a planet and story to write. Along with those components we also had to create an artifact that represents our part of The Hero’s Journey. As I was the conclusion this was a difficult task for me seeing as our character dies at the climax of the story. You might be confused as to how that even worked and trust me I was too but we eventually figured it out. Anyway, back to my artifact!  Our story evolves around a character called Pudge. At the climax of the story, Pudge is sacrificed in order to save the life of Luke Skywalker himself. In my part of the story, part 7, our protagonist takes the form of a force ghost, a figure commonly seen in the Star Wars universe. Usually force ghosts only appear when Luke, Anakin, Rey, or even Ben Solo are in need of guidance of someone, typically a Jedi master or an influential figure from their past. Since force ghosts are usually only Jedi or main characters, my artifact idea was a little risky. I wrote in the sense that Pudge had moved on to a spiritual form and followed alongside Luke in his training to become a powerful Jedi master. In order to represent this through my maker project, I built a hologram.

   Holograms are very, very common in the Star Wars universe and yet we don’t see many of them hanging around these days. Who am I kidding, Elon Musk probably has a few lying around and simultaneously hidden from the public eye. Back to my hologram. With projects like these, our teachers have us follow what is known as, the LAUNCH Cycle. Last year’s spring exhibition was my very first time using the LAUNCH Cycle for a project and this was only my second time around. That being said, I’m not going to lie to myself in saying that on both these occasions I was very good at keeping up to date and actually following the journal’s steps to success. In recognizing that I don’t do particularly well with keeping up to date on regular repeating assignments, such as literacy circles, I can identify that this LAUNCH process is not one of my strong suits. I undeniably stumbled and went off that tracks for a while during this project but I certainly let myself down in not being able to move forward. All that aside, I’ve made it a goal for my next time using the LAUNCH Cycle, to try even harder and really show the effort in keeping up to date of everything. A great example of an opportunity to do so in Term 2 is Destination Imagination 2020, trust me you’ll be hearing a lot about that soon enough.

   As the night of the exhibition approached at a rapid pace I got closer and closer to finishing my hologram and lets be honest it was really stressing me out. Eventually, after I had completed multiple drafts and worked with different spectrums and images I finished off with a bang and created something that I’m genuinely proud of. Looking at my hologram now and reflecting on the exhibition as a whole I can see where things could’ve used some editing, but nonetheless I’m still very proud. 

The curricular competency for the maker component is “take creative risks.” As I have just reflected upon my LAUNCH Journal and my performance with it this year I would like to jump into the competency side of things. Taking creative risks simply poses us with the question, “how can we use technology to create in new ways?” I feel that with the LAUNCH cycle I didn’t take creative risks in the best way I could have. I was very keen on creating a holographic image but I know that I could have challenged myself more when it came down to it. For instance I could have animated my hologram more or made a recording allowing for the illusion to speak. I recognize that while I did succeed in the end, it was on low standards. Having blue sky again at the next exhibition provides me with a chance to improve and succeed with the LAUNCH cycle and take creative risks more so than this time!

My holographic image (Pudge the Tauntaun)

   Alongside every PLP exhibition project comes the set up and preparation for the big night. I had the responsibility of being my team’s DRI, also known as the “Directly Responsible Individual.” This simply meant that I was in charge of making everything happen smoothly. At least that’s how I determined it this time around. While taking charge in my PLP 9 team was difficult, I like to think that I did well in the position. Add six grade 8’s to the mix and things tend to go awry. Yes, you read that right. Our teachers assigned us six grade 8’s to have in our planet rooms during the exhibition and all it did was leave me another six people to keep on the same page. That’s a bit of a blunt way to put it but nonetheless, I was more stressed handling 13 people, including myself in set up. Setting up took us hours and hours, days actually. We mapped out the room and presentation areas and make plans for decoration that would evidently lead to the recreation of the planet Hoth. Another simply delightful challenge we faced was turning our classroom into a literal ice desert using paper, sheets, lights, and ice. We drove the temperature of the room down by opening all the windows and used LED white lights to bring the room to life. I kid you not this set up took hours and was a serous commitment. In the end our room was surprisingly fantastic and it really looked and felt like you were stuck in the eye of a storm. A cold and wet storm but still. 

  • Hoth Exhibit Set Up

   When it comes down to it, I believe that I did well and I can recognize that with my performance in the curricular competency side of things. We were challenged to answer the driving question, “How might we build an interactive exhibit which explains the hero’s journey?” I am able to identify literary elements and use the proper vocabulary to provide evidence of my understanding’. I am able to create and extend a shared understanding and build upon shared ideas to reach goals. And finally I believe that through the entire process leading up to this exhibition I was able to strongly express and support my opinions using credible evidence. Providing examples of my accomplishments comes in these posts in the form of a reflection. Going ack to my launch process again, I was able to recognize the steps that had to be taken, even in the situations where I fell behind. I have goals for the next exhibition and surprisingly enough I’m not hating the idea of doing another one in a short 5 months. We answered the driving question confidently and took the exhibition by storm. Our exhibit clearly allowed for our guests to understand the hero’s journey and our story, Pudge’s story. 

Here is my LAUNCH Journal in which I kept track of my progress going toward the exhibition!

 With that , I am concluding this long, terrible TED Talk ✌️

   

   

🪐The Story Struck Me Hard🪐

   Good Morning, good afternoon, good evening! Wherever you are, whenever you are reading this, I feel it is my sole duty to represent the intensity of this portfolio post in just the opening sentences. Now before I get into the nitty gritty, I would like to pleasure you with a clever pun. Enjoy…

What is the internal temperature of a Tauntaun?

Lukewarm 

   Diving into the details of this years Winter Exhibition we shall begin with our project launch and building of knowledge that lead us to an amazing final product! When we initially launched the subject of story telling and literature analysis I honestly didn’t expect for there to be an entire story writing, Star Wars extravaganza awaiting us on the other side. All expectations aside, we dove right in. Starting out with our first milestone, a simple opinion piece, the topic of which, “why is Star Wars still relevant in modern pop culture?” Our task was simply to identify an answer and support our reasoning and logic behind it. As this was our very first milestone, it was important to set the bar for myself and try my best as from there, I could only improve. I think that I did myself a solid in setting a standard that I needed to meet for each of the following steps and I feel that my works speaks for itself in this case.

   Advancing in our understanding of opinion and the importance and overall influence that Star Wars has over modern film and media, we stepped into the basics of story analysis. We began to spend classes discussing the ideas of literature and comprehending the terms used to describe different short stories we were assigned to read. In doing so, I found some of the fiction very interesting, especially that of Ray Bradbury’s, “The Veldt.” All of the stories we read were helpful components in identifying literary terms that would go into our short story charts. Eventually, the building knowledge lead to our final test on literacy analysis. This entire process was one of two vital steps in the completion of our short stories. 

   “The Hero’s Journey,” is a phenomenon in the world of storytelling that was proven and developed by a man named Joseph Campbell. Our example of The Hero’s Journey was the Star Wars saga and the trilogies within. The concept itself explains that all stories follow the same outline. Not exactly an unfamiliar idea but undeniably more complex than a simple beginning, middle, and end. The Hero’s Journey explains the story alongside the main characters development. Using Luke Skywalker as an example, the story begins with a call to adventure. Luke receives a message from Leia through R2-D2 and the story begins. When he complains that he is “late for supper,” he is simply refusing the call, which happens to be the second steppingstone in this storytelling chart. We worked with different examples of The Hero’s Journey over a couple of weeks and eventually were tasked with creating our very own story using it. 

   Our stories, what a subject! In order to not give every single student in my class a heart attack, we were divided into groups. The best part about this particular grouping was that each of the teams were assigned a planet. The Death Star, Endor, Tatooine, or Hoth. Each of these Star Wars planets are filled with seemingly unimportant characters and that gave us so much opportunity. Our initial task was to select an “unimportant,” character from our planet and tell their story. My group decided Hoth was our best fit and we started to brainstorm ideas for a character. When we researched all the scenes on Hoth from the Star Wars movies, we found one very important character that doesn’t get nearly enough credit for the role he played in the overall success of the Resistance against the Empire. This is a character like no other, a vital role in the survival of Luke Skywalker himself, Pudge the Tauntaun. No his name isn’t actually Pudge but this is our story so we named him what we felt was right. Now at this point in my seemingly never ending rambling session you may be confused as to what Pudge did to deserve so much credit. Well, do you remember that scene on Hoth in the Empire Strikes Back? The one where Luke is help captive by a giant abominable snowman, also known as a Wampa. Well if that doesn’t ring any bells  maybe the part where Han Solo slices opened a giant snow lizard horse thingy and stuffs a nearly frozen Luke inside for warmth will. Yeah that things that Han slices open, that’s Pudge. 

   Not to spoil anything, but my group, Meg, Felix, Julia, Angelo, Brenton, Kaden, and I all did an amazing job at creating a story, Pudge’s story and using The Hero’s Journey to do so. On a more reflective side of things, there are undeniably parts of our humanities portion that I could have done better at. Earlier I talked about setting a standard for myself with our first humanities milestone. I’d really like to say that I met that standard with everything but lets face it, I’d be lying to myself. I can confidently say that I worked on this story whole heartedly and it took time to build something that I was proud of, especially being the representer of the stories conclusion. With each group member writing one part of The Hero’s Journey being last was difficult considering that our main character literally dies at the climax. Okay, that’s enough spoilers! I’ll be explaining a lot more in the post linked below!

   Thanks for coming to tonight’s comedy special and we hope to see you again soon ✌️ 

   Click here for part 2! (I’m so sorry for how long these are, concise writing isn’t my strong suit)