👏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 

☎️DI Why…Online?☎️

   Hello ladies and germs! And of course I can’t forget about all the gentlemen out there. But really this is a lovely welcome to the newest edition in my life and the lives of billions of others, germs! Except these aren’t regular germs. There are the kind that carry a bad virus that caused a global pandemic resulting in the closing of schools and what feels like an eternal life of loneliness due to social distancing! This is me trying so very hard to be optimistic but as you can see I am struggling. One of the things that is getting me through this period of social distancing is online school. That may seem very weird as most students hate this new format, but as a proud member of PLP I’m kinda used to it. We do everything through iPads and technology so the learning itself hasn’t changed much. The weird part is not entering my classroom everyday and not seeing our teachers and learning from them in person. This entire situation has really made me think about how much I took getting up at 7am every morning for granted. It’s almost like when you get a cold and are stuffed up and you start to regret taking clear sinuses for granted. Anyways enough about my lonely existence and on to more important topics!

sumanley / Pixabay

   On April 4th 2020 Gabe, Thomas, Felix, Brenton, and myself were set to present our revised version of our DI skit. But due to COVID-19 the provincial tournament was cancelled. When the news of school being closed all together came around we thought that we had put in all the hard work for nothing. Out of seemingly nowhere, our teachers decided to improvise! Although it wasn’t perfect, and we couldn’t show all of our work on the most important elements of the challenge, my team, and all the others, presented our skits over a Zoom call to an improvised panel of judges including one of our own, Zoe Wooles.



   Before I dive into how this Zoom presentation went, I’d like to cover all of the improvement my team made after the regional tournament. At regionals, my team may have come first, but all in all, we didn’t really deserve the win and we definitely wouldn’t have gotten that far if we were in a different category. After our presentation, we immediately decided we needed to step things up to a whole new level. In class a few days later we had a discussion recalling all the things that went poorly and needed to be fixed. We made plans for a new and improved backdrop, designed possible improvements for our bridge, and edited our script to fit our missing group member, Felix.

  • Script page

   When we were hit with a brand new challenge, my mindset was already in a delicate state. Not being able to socialize, go out, have fun, or learn in familiar and enjoyable environments was a difficult adaptation to make. Adding to that with a Zoom DI presentation, ouch. After we’d heard that school was cancelled, my team kind of gave up and stopped communicating overall. Obviously that was a mistake that we later made up for in what I thought to be a pretty good presentation, especially under the circumstances. As we couldn’t show the bridge, backdrop, or props that would’ve aided our skit, we depended heavily on the story, which I wrote. When preparing for regionals I felt that I should put my strengths to good use and write a creative story that was still realistic and met standards. In doing so I felt like I didn’t really help the team enough with the bigger elements. With the improvised skit, my hard work and “creative genius,” as I like to call it, came in handy and made for a fun and successful presentation! We also put together new backgrounds and utilized Zoom’s virtual background feature to set the scene. 

   At the end of the day we were forced to drop everything and improvise. I personally think we were successful and to be honest, the online tournament was a fun kickstart to our new online schooling! After all my entire team was able to understand the new process, navigate the changes, and make adaptations in a time crunch, which I count as a win, especially with the competency we’re being assessed on.

Thanks for coming to my TED Talk…and please, rember to stay home and wash your hands!

– Ciara

🇨🇦This project was Rielly Interesting🇨🇦

Métis Flag

   Welcome back to another humanities portfolio post! Before COVID-19 took over the world, my humanities class focused in on a story that would lead us to further understand ethical judgement. Louis Riel was one of many Canadians to shape our country in one way or another and studying him gave us insight on how Manitoba was established. Our driving question was, “how can we present past actions and decisions through images to help us make decisions of what is fair or unjust?” In order to answer said question, we researched different ethically questionable events in Canadian history with a a partner and decided whether the outcomes were fair or unjust.

Clayoquot Sound Protests

Milestone 1:

The first activity we did was a basic current event. It was a seemingly simple task that ended up giving me a boost of curiosity towards the rest of the project. Our task was to research an event similar to that of the Wet’suwet’en protests in BC. I choose to focus on the protests at the Clayoquot Sound and learned that these protests were some of the largest in Canadian history. To finish off the assignment, we had to share our thoughts. This is where I got my first taste of deciding whether the outcome was fair or not. I ended up having a very mixed opinion about the ordeal which was challenging but very good practice for what was coming up later in the project.



Milestone’s 2-4:

Alongside studying Louis Riel, we were assigned a partner to research another topic with. Ryan and I chose to do the Chinese Head Tax. We started out doing some initial research and eventually started making drafts of our images that would later end up on our class’ instagram page dedicated to the project. This part of the project allowed for me to really get into my element and dig deep into the subject. I learned tons about the Head Tax and the severity of the discrimination. Knowing all that I do now about the ordeal, I can confidently say it deserves way more recognition. After compiling our research and making our images, my partner and I had to decide if the matter was fair or unjust and it really goes without saying that everything that went down with the Head Tax was horrific. As I said before, it deserves more recognition for how utterly unjust it was. 

Louis Riel:

The title of this project is, “Let’s Get Riel,” and it fits. (Shoutout to Ms. Maxwell for the name!) throughout the entirety of the project we read a comic book entitled, The Louis Riel Comic Strip. The book tells the story of a Métis rights activist named Louis Riel. His story is really exciting and interesting and grabbed my attention as a reader. Considering this is a portfolio post, I probably shouldn’t get carried away and retell the entire story so instead I’ll just recommend reading the comic. Spoiler alert, Louis Riel dies. Riel spent his life fighting for the Métis and the Red River Settlement (which is now part of Manitoba.) He constantly challenged the Canadian government and tools risks that made fellow politicians weary. He fought long and hard and made some very, very ethically questionable decisions along the way. At one point he was emitted to a mental asylum due to him being convinced that he was the next prophet. At the end, he was charged with execution and was hung for his crimes. 

Louis Riel

   My class held a debate on the subject of whether his death was unjust or fair. We were randomly separated into the two teams and had one of our classmates, Ben moderate the debate. I was arguing that his death was unjust and offered a rebuttal that I was quite proud of. In the end the our closing statement was a bit weaker than that of the opposing side and it lead us to defeat. The debate really helped me in our final milestone. We had an in class writing assign,ent in which we had to deliver our personal opinion on Riel’s death. I came to the conclusion that he was neither a hero nor a villain. Some of his actions seemed more heroic, but as time went on he seemed to grow simultaneously tired and restless. His actions became more irrational but his motive was still clear.

   In conclusion, this project taught me a lot. I learned to analyze past events and judge controversy in ways I can document and understand. I really enjoyed this project as it allowed for me to get into my element and really brought out the best in my researching abilities. I am now able to recognize and comprehend ethical dimensions like never before and I can connect my opinions to that of others. Finally, I have to end this post on the following note because once again Ms. Maxwell amazed me in the seemingly weirdest way possible. Enjoy the exit video and see you in the next post!



Louis Riel For Dinner (from The Criterion Collection “My Winnipeg” DVD) from Drew Christie on Vimeo.

 

Thanks for coming to my Ted Talk.

Ciara ✌️

♠️♥️♣️DI, Why Bridges?♣️♥️♠️

Welcome back ladies and germs. I usually have a more creative intro but I think it’s necessary to welcome every single organism out there, including coved-19. All coronavirus  jokes aside, welcome to yet another DI portfolio post. Destination Imagination has been quite the rollercoaster this year. As the process has had me up and down for months I haven’t had much time to reflect, so here we are!  To read all about DI and my experience with it last year click here! Anyway, as I previously said, DI has been all over the place this year and if I’m being 100% honest, it has been nothing even remotely comparable to my challenge solution last year. That being said, I’m going to take this post in an abnormal direction, one that is more subjective to my experience this time around!

When my group was first brought together, I will admit I was anything but excited. Obviously I had a bit of a rock brain going in and as soon as I recognized that, I changed my views and tried to connect and collaborate with my teammates. As we’ve gone on I soon recognized the assets that each of us brought to the table. Skipping ahead a few weeks and there is still some conflict between team members but we have come a long way, especially considering our group dynamics. Being the only girl in my group of five did admittedly feel intimidating at first, which is very abnormal for me. But I realized that I was put in a situation that was going to be challenging because of that group dynamic and even more so due to the challenge we selected. Engineering involves math and science more than anything else. That alone made me uncomfortable because I’m not someone who can easily understand challenge requirements that are all about measurements, weights and efficiency ratio’s. The recognize portion of this project wasn’t just about learning the challenge requirements, or understanding the scoring this. Instead it was a mix of both understanding the challenge in full, finding ways to work peacefully with my group, and most of all step outside my comfort zone. Now almost two months after we started, I can see that I achieved in understanding my challenge and collaborating with my team. It was the fact that I failed to take risks that weighed me down.

Thinking in the most creative ways possible is what allows for success in DI. That along with a strong sense of teamwork, intuition, and leadership are what make for a great DI solution. In our initial team com react, we out each of those thing down and committed to achieving each of them. Overall our challenge solution is strong in some areas, just not the ones that will put us on top. As a group we completely failed in communicating and appointing a leader. All of the work would pile onto one person at a time and left us very divided. Leading up to provincials I’m striving for a first place trophy that we deserve. Whether that is for our challenges overall success or the success of our team really matters to me this time. I want to take risks and step outside of my comfort zone and into the topics and concepts that I’m not as strong with. While I did contribute to the solution in writing our story and working with the set, I didn’t do enough with our bridge and load. Provincials is only a few weeks away and I am determined to not let anything, whether that be my teammates, time management, or my own thoughts get in my way. We have come together as a group and discussed all that needs to be done in order to succeed. We need to allow for everyone’s voices to be heard and I cannot express enough how much we need to practice and prepare. Improvised acting and superstitions aren’t going to get us to where we want to be. Practice makes perfect and we were nowhere near perfect at regionals. For provincials I honestly think that we should edit our contract. We need to practice better communication between DRI’s. We need to practice better teamwork with preferably much less conflict. And finally we need to have every team member put in the same amount of effort in order to succeed. 

Over the past week or so, and into spring break and the return to school after, I plan to work hard on the parts of our solution that need help. Our set piece is going to be flawless and our bridge will be much more reliable than the last. I’m going to be able to put the bridge together even if it’s not my part in the actual performance. My determination is there this time around and I’m fired up for the next tournament!

Thanks again for coming to my TED Talk: Quarantine Edition!

✌️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

🇨🇦Confeder-what?🇨🇦

Confederation!

melissamahon / Pixabay

   Gooooooood morning, Vietnam! Just kidding its more like good morning Canada, well I guess 1867 Canada. What kind of intro was that? Valid question considering it came from basically nowhere. Well allow me to guide you through the years 1865, 1866 and 1867, the glory days of Canada’s confederation. This was an awesome project and as per usual, I’m a history nut so it was a blast. In the past few weeks we’ve been studying the Canadian confederation and the events that significantly impacted the final decision. As is with most of our projects, we were divided into groups with our peers. These groups were built to represent a specific colony that took part in each of the confederation conferences. Our overall challenge was to of course take away as much as we could from the projects and lessons, but to also come to confederation in our classes simulated version of Canada’s. We would end up representing our understanding and evidence thorough a green screen based commercial advertising our colony’s final demands. All of this went towards our answer to the driving question, “how and why did Canada develop into a nation.”

   The first milestone that instantly sparked a greater sense of curiosity on the topic was “why confederation?” Our project’s first milestone challenged us to recognize evidence as to why confederation was a good idea in it’s time. As I previously mentioned this sparked my interest in some of the factors of confederation, especially those that could both make and break the colonies altogether, something we looked closer at with milestone two, our group’s initial research. Both these tasks are the ones that stand out to me in the sense that I can see how I achieved recognizing and representing evidence and presenting it, even if it was in simple paragraph and point form.

   The other milestones that was super great for me and my overall takeaway was our preliminary and final proposals. This was a fantastic example of how I could represent and justify the many examples we had for each proposal. We created keynotes that would visually aid our first proposals and of course our commercial was there to represent our last. This was the best way that I could show my ability to create representation of the evidence we proposed to the other colonies. Not  only that, but it was also so much fun to be able to negotiate the terms of confederation as though our decisions were real and had huge impacts.

   All in all, this project definitely benefitted me, especially content wise. My video skills have been building for quite some time now and this was actually my first time using a green screen. I would really like to learn more and build upon my skills using a green screen for the future. That being said our commercial was undeniably lacking some key components. The editing and filming was rough and our sound quality wasn’t up to snuff. The content, as previously said, was the biggest takeaway. As we’ve began on our next project I can see that this was a base project for lots more to come. It wasn’t perfect by any standards, and no, we did not reach confederation as a class, but nonetheless I learned a lot and enjoyed myself while doing it.

Once again, 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 ✌️

   

   

🛸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)

🧪There is No Chemistry Between Me and This Project🧪

 

Hydrogen iodine electron vanadium erbium yttrium oxygen neon! Or shall I say, hi everyone! Welcome back to another scimatics portfolio post. This time around, we’re putting a bit of a spin on things as we dive into everyone’s favourite field of science, chemistry. I say that with a bit of an edge in my voice only because, chemistry is confusing for the most part. But like always, I’m up for a challenge and believe me, this project was amazing race worthy!

   Project Plan & Milestones:

   The first component in completing this project was gaining an understanding of not only our task, but also the basics of chemistry as a base for our learning. We started out like anyone would, with Kahoots! Believe me when I say that these definitely helped me. I’m not typically someone who can read a text and automatically have an understanding of the topic, especially in science and math. With the Kahoots I could pick up on patterns, concepts, and vocabulary used in chemistry. To further our understanding we did some readings and practiced identifying elements, polyatomic ions, multivalent metals, formulas, and both ionic and covalent bonds. Soon enough we began practicing our animation skills, and for most it was simply building upon hat we had already learned. As we got into making our final animations, we began to properly demonstrate ionic and covalent bonds through characterizing polyatomic ions, multivalent metals, and covalent bonds and clear and concise voice overs.

   Big Idea:

   The big idea for this project comes as; The electron arrangement of atoms impacts their chemical nature. With our driving question asking us, “how to atoms and ions act like characters,” we answered this in an animated video. My understanding of the bid idea is that atoms bond and act differently depending on the amount of electrons they brain and which shell they are situated on.

   Communicating:

   The first competency we focused on was communication. “Formulate physical or mental theoretical models to describe a phenomenon.” I believe I demonstrated and improved with this skill in creating the physical Bohr models to represent atoms, ions, and bonds. Seeing as though I think I’ve improved with this, I know that the source of said improvement is in the vocabulary that I gained. 

   Processing & Analyzing:

   The second competency we worked with was processing and analyzing. “Construct, analyze, and interpret models and/or diagrams.” I did so in each of the milestones. Starting with the creation of of my storyboard that I constructed from the information I had already interpreted over the first couple of weeks. Physically creating and animating Bohr modes allowed for me to interpret information and analyze my work in the multiple drafts completed. On our final test, I demonstrated my ability to do each of these things with my knowledge of chemistry. Finally, in watching my classmates animations, I had to once again interpret their message and analyze how the were choosing to represent it.

   Questioning & Predicting:

The final competency was questioning and predicting. “Demonstrate a sustained intellectual curiosity about a scientific topic or problem of personal interest.” I think the best example of this is my use of cases time. While it’s something I can undeniably improve at I think that in comparison to my other projects this year, I did a decent job. Not to down myself, only to admit to having some room for improvement. This is something of. A goal for the next project we do in this class and I’m setting out to do my best next time around. Other than class time, my final video is another example of this competency. I’m rather proud of the final product and I believe it’s a good, if not the best way of showing my full understanding now, in comparison to the beginning of this project.

 

   Overall this project has been a point of interest and while I found some aspects of it difficult, I know now that I can understand and demonstrate my learning and knowledge of chemistry!

Ciara✌️