Gears shift pretty fast in PLP, especially when exhibition time rolls around. Just when we were getting the hang of Zettelkasten, we learned it was time to put our note-taking careers on hiatus and launch full-force into the spring exhibition. This point in the year has always been a little crazy for me as I really enjoy creating our exhibitions and often get carried away. I can become a bit demanding of my classmates and typically take on too much work for myself. If you have been with me for a while, you probably know that teamwork is one of the things I have worked the hardest at. From my first D.I. to our Macbeth movie attempt I have slowly been improving my skill of working with a group and I feel in this last week I have reached a new level of competency in it. This is because I have realized that you don’t always need to come into projects with a vision.
Beginning exhibition design work
What led me to realize this wasn’t intentional. As soon as we finished our Zettelkasten Final (more on that later), we entered a full-speed sprint toward the exhibition. This year’s experience is focused on showing points of pride throughout Canadian history by creating a outdoor walk-through experience for our guests. To begin creating this, we took a tour of our school with while imagining vignette and set piece exhibits we would create and were then divided into groups. All of this happened so fast that I didn’t have time to create my typical hyper-developed vision for this event, but this ended up being a good thing.
Without any warning, we were divided into groups and thrown into the brainstorming phase. I immediately made a decision to take on some of the organization and leadership, but because I was not locked into a set vision it was much easier to collaborate rather than take over. By doing this, we were able to problem solve in ways I didn’t think of and catch issues that I would have completely overlooked. I also found that I had to fight my group less to explain my ideas because when we communicated together we were all on the same page. When people are on the same page it also helps everyone feel confident in taking leadership over parts of the project which leads to a balanced workload for everyone. Our group so far has been extremely productive, supportive of each other and working in a low-stress environment simply because we are collaborating so well.
A productive class making signs
I was shocked at how well coming in with an open mind worked here. I have talked about this concept before but something I understand now is that an open mind does not mean foregoing leadership or planning opportunities; it just means have a plan without the end product being fully known yet. It’s similar to if you wanted to go exploring in nature. You still do all the preparations needed for a successful hike such as packing water and food, but you may not know your final destination. If you notice your friends going down a dangerous path it’s okay to pull them in a different direction, just don’t be set on that path until they have a say in the matter. I plan to keep this in mind as I explore new group project opportunities in my university education.
The Zettelkasten Final
As I mentioned earlier, we finished our in-class Zettelkasten journey last week. Why I say in-class is because I think it is a genius method of note taking and want to continue to use it in university. To conclude this unit, I brought many of my best zettels together to create a song protesting society’s use of the media to rally against common enemies instead of working to solve the problems in their lives. I started off with my typical criteria-driven approach in creating this, but, considering what I discussed with my teachers at my last grading meeting, later decided to focus more on the deeper learning and bringing out my creative flare. This ended up being an excellent decision because I still created a great end product but it was something I could be more proud of.