👏tPOL 2020👏

   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. 

Tumisu / Pixabay

   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!



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.

mohamed_hassan / Pixabay

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.



Goal #2.

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.

terimakasih0 / Pixabay

   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 

– Ciara 

🩺🩸The CSICU || A Day in The Life🩸🩺

DarkoStojanovic / Pixabay

Hey guys! Welcome back for another PGP related post! Yes this is in fact the highly anticipated post all about take your kid to work day. I was so excited for this entire experience and the project that went along with the activities was entirely enjoyable. I know that probably sounded rather sarcastic depending on how you read it but in all honesty I enjoyed the whole process. So what exactly is take your kid to work day? Every year since 1994 take your kid to work day has been a huge part of career education in secondary schools across Canada. The day, this year on November 6th, entails students going to their parents or family members workplace and shadowing them in a days work. I was lucky enough to accompany my aunt for the day at the Royal Columbia Hospital where she works as a CSICU nurse. My real challenge was to create a video and write an outstanding post about my expertise all the while answering some very important questions that we’ll get to soon enough.

    My day stared off way to early. I identify as a night owl and definitely not an early bird. Getting up before 6am did not appeal to me but as I was challenging myself to really try to live like a hospital employee for the day, I had to suck it up and somehow stay awake for the entire day. Arriving at the hospital was really fun because I got to put on a set of scrubs and walk into the CSICU for the first time. Incase you were wondering, CSICU stands for cardio surgery intensive care unit and it’s basically where all cardio surgery patients go to recover before being transferred to the general ward. At first being there was a little overwhelming but after I started to feel comfortable I turned right back into myself and began asking many, many questions. Next up was a hospital tour in which I saw some of the bigger departments that make the hospital run as smoothly as it does. In doing so I started to think about how the way people represent themselves within the workplace affects the way the hospital runs altogether. When we went through Respiratory Therapy, our RT presenter talked about how she thought RT’s were represented in the hospital. She mentioned that employees from other wards sometimes think of them as the firefighters of the hospital. They are there to monitor the breathing of each patient and they swoop in whenever goes wrong and evidently save the day. I started to wonder how the other parts of the hospital saw themselves and how the defined the contribution they made to the wellbeing of their patients. 

   Later on I asked my aunt about the rules revolving around confidentiality and liability and due to the strict rules I was not allowed to get any recordings of an any employees. This threw one heck of a wrench into my plans, especially considering that I needed to get an interview for my video. But coming prepared was an important piece of this project so I ran an alternative interview with a cardio surgeon from my aunts department.

In the interview I posed th question, “how do you think the different roles throughout the hospital impact the needs of the patients and the community?” His response was certainly a great way of representing his thoughts on the subject. “I believe that a hospital, like this one runs like a machine. Without all its parts and bits and pieces it can’t operate smoothly. If we didn’t have the lab, we couldn’t identify the problem. Without the doctors and nurses in their respective specialities we can’t fix those problems. And without the nurses, like your aunt, we couldn’t help our patients recover in full. For the impact on the community part, I guess you could say that the patients, the people that we treat are a part of our community and the impacts we have on their lives, have a kind of ripple effect.” My next question was referring to his decision to continue on the path of becoming a cardiovascular surgeon. I asked, “did you come into this specific field of medicine due to personal passion or another driving force?” He once again, had a strong response. “Well, in the beginning it was all a personal decision but once I reached the end of my residency I’d stared a family and I think that played a role in my choice to continue in surgery. Going into cardio was more or less based on  what I was good at and how much I enjoyed it.”

sasint / Pixabay

Shadowing my aunt was one thing, and it was really interesting to see what a day in the CSICU looks like but the real outcome of the experience was the insight on the working parts of any workplace. I learned from seeing the behind the scenes parts of the hospital that each and every department plays a role in every single patients care and wellbeing. I learned a lot from my interview with the cardio surgeon, who I was honoured to call Dr. Bob. (Yes that is what his co-workers call him). Later on while I was beginning to structure my video I came to the conclusion that it is the roles that every employee within a workplace plays that go towards the overall success of the business, company, or facility. A hospital could not run without the lab pathologists, OR nurses, or first responders and just like any other workplace it’s the way that those who do each job see themselves that makes an even larger impact.

Thanks for coming to my TED Talk

✌️Ciara

❓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 ✌️