120 Hours In The Desert

It has now been almost three weeks since me and the rest of the PLP 11 family returned home from New Mexico, and I’m still coming down off of it. It was an amazing trip, and it made me realize that from here on out it’s pretty much impossible to rank the PLP trips we’ve been fortunate enough to go on in the last 4 years. They’re all so uniquely incredible with their own unforgettable experiences, and let me tell you, New Mexico was certainly no exception.

The 5 days we spent out in the desert were likely the busiest and most jam-packed of my life. Getting back to the hotel at 11 o’clock and waking up as early as 3 in the morning was a great time in my opinion. I know that I will never get to experience the same things again in my life, so I looked at everything on our itinerary with a positive mindset. That’s one of the many beauties of PLP, and I’ll always be grateful for these once in a lifetime experiences.

Credits to Adlih for this sick shot.

In between the running around and all driving was a legitimate task at hand; our Manhattan Project books. Assigned the job of researching, designing, writing, and putting together an interactive e-book of our own, everyone was constantly on the prowl for the best content and unique ideas. With our driving question: “How did the development of the atomic bomb change the world in a historically significant way”, as always, us students got to decide how we interpreted our assignment. This is one of my favourite aspects to PLP because I love being able to really think about how I want to articulate my findings.

Because our time on the ground in New Mexico was to be so busy, we did most of our work prior to leaving Vancouver, and this made for a much easier and less stressful workflow. Knowing what we needed to capture, whilst also keeping a little room for spontaneous opportunities is definitely the way to go on these field schools. This trip really showed me why the teachers always nag us to do as much as possible before we depart on our trips.

Personally, one of the most important things for me to keep a positive headspace while on these field schools is to also attach myself to a personal project or endeavour. This almost always comes in the form of photography, but for this trip I took myself out of my comfort zone a bit and decided I wanted to create a video. I think this was a super good decision because it worked well with our itinerary. By this I mean that I could keep my camera out at all times and be capturing everything I wanted for my video, while also keeping notes and filtering through the content and experiences that I would be implementing in to my book. I ended up working on my video the entire trip back home and spent another week editing it once we were back. All in all I’m really happy with it and frankly quite impressed with myself for finally achieving my videography aspirations.

This trip was a total success, and I’m super glad that I entered with a positive mindset and left with an even more positive mindset, all because I kept myself flexible and creatively engaged. Thank you to the teachers for once again coordinating another life changing experience, my classmates and I really do appreciate it.

danielw • October 25, 2019

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