School, What Is It Good For?

How can we transform schools to create more engaged and informed citizens? It is our driving question for our last project of the year and one that we share our learning through the spring exhibition. In this blog post, I will share and reflect on my learning in the “School, what is it good for” project.

My Answer to the Driving Question

“Education is about both head and heart,” said Cecil Race, an elementary principal in Alberta for 20 years. Similarly, I believe the foundation of education is not about memorizing knowledge or facts but rather inspiring and developing positive minds. My focus in this project is to create a program that combines experiential learning with ethical education to bring students substantial impacts on their worldviews. You will learn more about homelessness by talking with someone experiencing it than in a classroom with all the statistics. With the same logic, you will learn more about morals and virtues in a real-world situation than with papers and pens. After reflecting on my experiences in Taiwan and Canada, I realized that ethical education is often skipped over or avoided. News reporters, especially those in Taiwan, often criticize individuals for not making moral decisions; however, they seldom question the issue’s root causes. At the end of the day, how can we expect one to make the best, most ethical decisions without explicitly teaching them what’s right and wrong? My idea was fully solidified after I investigated programs and studies worldwide. Unsurprisingly, I wasn’t the first to come up with the belief, nor am I the only one supporting it.

Reflection on My Learning Journey

People climbing books. isolated on white background. Vector illustration. Eps 10

I am generally proud of the interactive elements I have at my station. Especially the digital display of examples, which brought me a lot of trouble as I had no clue how to make it at the beginning. As a side product of spending hours problem-solving and having headaches, I now know exactly how to make sophisticated interactive charts to share my message. At the same time, I can confidently say that I pushed my comfort zone in this project by investigating topics I never explored before. Most importantly, I can say to myself, in the end, that I put in a surplus amount of effort as I am probably the only one that stayed at school till six and worked on PLP till 1 AM.

Looking back, I should improve my time management skills for greater efficiency. Although the effort is important, what matters more is efficiency, where you use your time and energy. One of my biggest mistakes was that I overestimated my capabilities to create a model, resulting in poor time allocation. Although I eventually constructed a model, I believe I can refine and modify the details and the appearance better with better time management. In other words, I think the execution stage is where I can grow and improve the most, as the final product is only about 70% perfection in my mind.

Impact on My Personality

Recently, I had to do a presentation on learning with my parents and teachers, which allowed me to dive deeper into thinking about how each project contributes to a more mature dynamic worldview. In other words, I questioned how this project, even in a small way, made me a better person. Ultimately, this project allowed me to develop a stronger sense of justice and responsibility toward our society. At the core, I can reflect on my identity and worldview and have the chance to reevaluate them. Through constructing a course myself, I have a deeper understanding of the purposes of schools and a greater appreciation for all the teachers designing and executing their systems for our excellent sake. Instead of complaining, I can “seek first to understand” the reasons and rationales behind each decision. Essentially, this unit brings me a different view on schoolwork and assignment with the realization that their goal is to make us better people. Because of this new perspective, I can now enjoy school more. So thank you, teachers, for all the hard work to help us become more informed and engaged citizens.

Thank you for your time 

TPOL 2023



“Thank you for coming to my presentation on learning. I am an expert in my own learning. I am responsible and accountable for my learning. You can expect me to give honest and precise evaluation of my progress. We will discuss my strengths and opportunities for growth. Thank you in advance for listening and for offering feedback that I can use to improve as a learner.”

At the start of the year, I set my goal of 97% in PLP. Yes, it was a very high, ambitious, and perhaps ridiculous goal. At the start of the year, my desire to achieve the seemingly impossible drives me to set a lofty goal for myself. Looking back, the drive from my dream was a notable contributing factor to my success; however, it wasn’t enough to bring me to 97%. In this blog post, I will share my growth/ failure throughout this year to summarize my learning in Grade 11.

My Goals and Intentions

To me, a goal is a challenging, complex objective for individuals to achieve. Many people believe setting 97% as a goal is setting yourself up for failure, and they may be partially correct. I know my overall strengths are in the schematic fields, and setting a ridiculously high goal in your unfamiliar, weak subject areas may not be realistic. I have such lofty goals and expectations of myself because I want to say my Grade 11 year is fulfilling confidently. I would rather fail high than succeed low.

How have I grown?

How have experiences in PLP 11 made me a better person?

First and most importantly, how do I know I have become a better person than last year’s me? Throughout the year, many of my core beliefs are different than before. For example, in the Manhattan project^2, I questioned one’s responsibilities to its society; in Macbeth, I asked what true virtues are; in the Hope project, I started to examine how we can strengthen ourselves with resiliency. I have developed a more mature, dynamic worldview through those curiosity-inspired thoughts and investigations. It is those curiosities behind each learning journey that nurtures my development in the core competencies, such as critical thinking.

How can I develop my full potential for Grade 12?

Have I worked and lived the best version of myself in Grade 11?





Take a look at the screenshots from the Coldest War project. I don’t specialize in art in any way, nor do I consider myself to be an artistic person. But there I was, trying to make every stroke of the comic perfect. It may not mean that my comic has the most content or historical accuracy, but it represents my effort to reach my goal. Similarly, I try to refine cuts to the seconds when making the Hope project video.


Setting grades aside, I could’ve done more and refined more for many PLP projects. Throughout my PLP year, I put in around 80-90% of my effort, which I believe can be improved. Not until I reflected on my progress this year I realized that every project has a trend: the final product, whether a presentation, model, or comic, is always about 60-70% compared to perfection in my mind. Often, it is my execution that lets the plan down. I either underestimate the tasks, since constructing in my mind is so easy, or procrastinate and be indecisive. Looking back, I am often overwhelmed and terrified by the final product and ignore the steps to achieve success.

Knowing that I didn’t reach my goal, something must change next year for me to match 97%. To develop my full potential, I must divide and conquer individual tasks and set a clear timeline for each stage. Specifically, setting the alarm or having the timer beside me will increase efficiency. Although it may seem like no significant changes, I believe it is within the minor improvements, one after another, that will eventually bring considerable changes.

Thank You

After all, I want to note that my peers and mentors have given me a tremendous amount of support, and the reason why I stayed in PLP wasn’t just because of the challenging, exciting projects but also because of the overall friendly and supportive environment

Hope Project

Who do you admire the most? Often, the individuals we respect are the ones with resilience who can see the light through despair and perhaps benefit from adversity. Recently in the project of hope, we studied resilient and admirable individuals and sought to learn from their stories. In this blog post, I will summarize my learning journey in this blog post

Answer to the Driving Question

“What lessons and inspiration can we draw from the stories of individuals and communities that have faced tragedy and overcome adversity?”

(Picture Sources)

As I dive deeper into the project, I am amazed at how resilience allows us to shine in the darkest time. Victor Frankl‘s quote inspired my answer to the driving question: “Everything can be taken from a man but one thing: the last of the human freedoms—to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one’s own way.” My biggest takeaway from this project is that poor backgrounds, physical disabilities, and harsh environments don’t limit your possibilities. Despite all the tragic events we encounter, we can still make our life meaningful and inspiring with our positive growth mindsets. Throughout the individuals I studied, it is common that they all have the determination to endure all the obstacles for the better future they have in their minds.

The Final Product

Self-Evaluation and Spaces for Improvement

(Picture Source)

Overall, I have a stronger desire and curiosity toward this unit as I see the lasting effects that may come with hard work. While it is one of the most meaningful projects, I find it interesting. Because I value this project, I have put more thought into this project than ever. Other than my research skills, my decision-making skills are another highlight during the process. But after all, I am afraid that my final product failed to show how impactful their stories are to me. Although it may be a complete story, I know it is not a creative nor a stunning video. The video lacks original films. Looking back, the execution part of this project is where I struggled the most. I may have had a great concept and understanding of the purpose behind this project; however, I could have executed it better. In the future, I hope to improve my creative skills, like filming, storyboarding, and video editing, to create a more impactful final product. Also, It will be critical for me to seek feedback to get an outsider’s perspective as I may have blindspots with the editor’s lenses.

Personal impact

(Picture Source)

From my perspective, this unit not only passes down the best spirits to the younger generations but also helps us see the bigger picture and overcome our challenges. At the same time, this project empowers me to move forward as I understand how small my “adversity” really is. In the process, I have developed my social awareness as I realize how different life can be on Earth from other places and times. Seeing and studying the individuals helped me to have more appreciation for my daily life. I never thought living a casual day in 2023 could be a privilege until I saw what happened to Victor Frankl in the concentration camps. Furthermore, this project has also taught me the importance of having a positive mindset. Seeing how the individuals I studied were able to overcome unthinkable challenges has profoundly impacted my attitude and the way I think. One day, they can tell all their unique life stories to the younger generations and how all the past adversity has become a nutrient and improved their lives. Most importantly, this unit forces me to redefine success and the purpose of life. I used to think that achievements and wealth ultimately determine success; however, I cannot say to any individuals I studied that they are unsuccessful. They may be more successful than the millionaires since they may not endure the pain and unfortunates they have been through.


After all, this unit, studying and learning from admirable individuals, had been an inspiring journey. It taught me that we can still succeed despite all the adversity. It taught me that we can construct our future regardless of conditions. It taught me that we can always find hope, even in the darkest times. It reshapes my perspective and inspires me to question the purpose of life. Even though the project officially ended last week, it has been a lifelong journey for me.

Thank you for your time 

Hope at Its Core

(Image Sources)

Why do some people suffer real hardships and not falter? How could hope last through the darkest times, like cancer attacks or concentration camps? Recently in this project, Stories of Hope, we are learning the concept of adversity, survivorship, resilience, hope and their relations with each other. In this post, I will answer the most fundamental questions of the entire project: what is a story of hope?

Key Terms — Oversimplified


  • Difficulties and misfortune, often times greater and more severe, or even life threatening


  • State or fact continuing to live and exist, often after a life threatening adversity or trauma. Survival itself may or may not require resilience as luck plays a role as well.


  • Resilience is a reflex, a way of facing and understanding the world, that is deeply etched into a person’s mind and soul. Resilience can be seen through one’s interactions with the environment, especially under harsh conditions.


  • An optimistic feeling that the best has yet to come. It is an open sense of possibility and willingness to work things out while seeing / facing the reality.

Summarizing from Stories and Experiences

(Austrian neurologist and psychiatrist Dr Viktor Frankl (1905 – 1997) attends the 6th International Congress of Psychotherapy in London, UK, August 1964. (Photo by Evening Standard/Hulton Archive/Getty Images)

Reading through different stories, I found Victor Frankl’s life fascinating. Although he’s best known as a survivor of the concert camps, that couldn’t define his life or character. Coming out of the centers, he published “Man’s Search of Meaning,” which stunned the field of psychology and impacted plenty of people. His writings are evidence of his resilience at work, withstanding and overcoming such severe adversities and growing and benefiting from them. He suffered terrible losses from WWII, losing almost all family members and friends; however, it is without a doubt that the struggles and painful experiences forced him to grow and become a better person

Another example that comes to mind is Terry Fox, a Canadian athlete diagnosed with bone cancer at 18. Despite having his leg amputated, he continued to train and ultimately embarked on a cross-country run to raise awareness and funds for cancer research. His legacy lives on in the annual Terry Fox Run and his foundation, which has raised over $750 million for cancer research. His unwavering hope and determination in the face of adversity have inspired countless people worldwide, and his story serves as a powerful reminder of the resilience of the human spirit.

(Image Source)


In both cases, it isn’t abnormal for someone to surrender to adversity and admit fate as a default result. It is, without a doubt, much easier to ignore hardships and difficulties than to face reality at its core. One with hope and resilience, on the other hand, embrace and face the pain up close for them to take action and bounce back (the word resilience initially came from the idea of bounce back)

So, what is a story of hope? Beyond luck and survivorship, a story of hope is resilience and perseverance in the face of adversity. This narrative shows how individuals can overcome seemingly impossible challenges and emerge more robust and determined. These stories inspire us to hold onto hope even in the darkest times and remind us of the incredible power of the human spirit. They serve as a beacon of light in a world that often feels dark and overwhelming and give us the courage to keep moving forward, no matter what obstacles come our way.


A Bigger Picture 

As mentioned, this is only the start of our journey of learning and sharing the stories of hope. This keystone of the project, the first and perhaps most essential, laid the foundation and helped us define and clarify abstract ideas like hope and resilience. Before answering the driving question, what can we learn from hopeful stories? We must first understand what a hopeful story is, and that’s the purpose of Keystone 1.

Thank you for your time 

The Coldest War

For over half a century, humans were at risk of extinction. However, the end of another world war did not clear the tension between nations. Despite an estimated 7 million deaths in total, this period is what we call the Cold War. In the blog today, we will be talking about my learning journey studying the Cold War era. 

Project Overview

In this project, the Coldest War, we each investigated an event from the Cold War and shared it through our graphic novel creation. At the same time, we learned to analyze character developments and view perspectives that contributed to the final product. 

Topic: Why the Civil War?

I chose to focus on the Chinese civil war for this project. Coming from Taiwan, I have seen many debates on how Taiwan should manage its relationship with China. I have a personal experience of how people from China treated me differently, not necessarily in a good way, when they realized I was from Taiwan. They tried to force me to agree that Taiwan is part of China, even though it doesn’t change anything. The root of this conflict came from the civil war that occurred in the Cold War. Since we have the same ancestry, I questioned why the tension existed in the first place. I started to doubt which side was telling the truth, the nationalist, the socialists or neither. I wondered why the estrangement and “gap” exists. Because of all the questions, wonders, and curiosity, I decided to do this controversial topic on the Chinese Civil War.

(Here’s the link to the Final Product)

Answer to DQ 

“How can I support my understanding of a significant event from the Cold War?”

The theme throughout the comic is that nobody wanted the war from the start. Knowing that China suffered economic depression and countless warfare for around a century, it is evident that another deadly civil war, which killed around 3 million and 30 million people indirectly, was not beneficial. This idea echoes the WW1 movie “all quiet on the western front” as both suffered unnecessary casualties. To illustrate and support the picture, I incorporated a variety of angles and shots as well as two characters that symbolized different ideologies. 

Project Reflection

1. Start: What should I start doing? 

Especially when doing projects like this, setting a timeframe for myself would be helpful. One of my most extensive critiques is that I often waste my time on unnecessary details in the story, leading to a systematic failure of my sleep time. Looking back, I didn’t see the full scope of the story when I was executing my plan. I didn’t realize which parts should be enhanced and which pages were unnecessary. 

2. Stop: What should I stop doing?

Something that bothered me the most was self-doubt. The world was discoloured when I heard the final product was a graphic novel. My fear took control, as I believed I couldn’t draw out an entire graphic novel. Conquering that thought took me lots of time and energy. After all, that fear and self-doubt generated more anxiety and pressure than the task itself. At the same time, it also leads to procrastination and negative attitudes. 

3. Continue: What should I keep doing?

Overall, the knowledge and perspectives I got from interviewing experts helped shape my understanding. During the project, I had the opportunity to interview a history professor in Taiwan and other elders. My conversation with them allowed me to have a deeper and closer experience of the civil war through their point of view. Through the process, I was able to enhance and renew my worldview. 

Impact of the Project

The most significant impact this project brought to me is the realization that the world is often biased. I didn’t recognize how corrupt the nationalist was until studying this project. Coming from Taiwan, I could quickly identify the wrong things that CCP had done in the past, like the cultural revolution. Often, those incidents are more spoken of and obvious to point out. However, that was because I lived in a biased system that hid all the past wrongs and atrocities the nationalist committed. For example, my parents have never heard of the yellow river flood that directly killed at least 90,000 people, with minimal impact on the war effort. Those mistakes were never spoken, and perhaps never will under such a system. I aimed to discover the truth when I started this project; however, the deeper I investigated, the more I knew that neither side was clean nor innocent. Relating to modern days, I began to question if the environment or the dictators control my worldview. Do I think the way others want me to think? This project’s social awareness triggered more questions to the extent that I wondered if I was a conspiracist….

Thank you for your time

mPol 2023

As the first semester ended, the time has come to review and reflect on our growth. Today, I will reflect on my growth and success throughout the first semester.

Defining Success

Before judging if my first semester is successful, I want to define what success means. Success means that my work represents not who I am now but who I want to be in future. In other words, I want my work to align with my goal and be at the level of the ones I admire. Under this condition, the sense of failure can occur often. At the start of this school year, I set my goal to 97%; therefore, to claim a project was successful, it must at least reach my goal.

Projects Overview

The Manhattan Project

Self Evaluation: A- ~ A
Impact: Communication & Critical Thinking

In general, I was interested in the scientific, economic and political impact of the Manhattan Project. Because I was curious, I did lots of research and thinking, which gave me more knowledge and broader perspectives on the topic. Specifically, for the writing itself, I think it was around an A. As I had a very different viewpoint than the mainstream, I needed to deliver my message well; however, that did not go well.

Like most people, I had more confidence in my writing than in speaking and presenting. I believed that my writing would be better than my speaking. The results confirmed my hypothesis in a very terrible way. Because I spent much more time phrasing my script than rehearsing the presentation, my presentation did not align with my goal. Shamefully, I chose the more simple, not more important, path, which was script writing. Overall, I think my writing was close to aligning with my goal, but the speech was not.

Shakespeares’s Macbeth

Self Evaluation: B+
Impact: Communication, Personal & Social Awareness & Critical Thinking

This project challenged me to question the fundamental beliefs I had. Shakespeare’s play often contains many philosophical questions and themes. Surprisingly, it changed my perspective on things within two months. It taught me that the world is not black and white, with clear answers to all questions. This project was memorable because of its impact on my personality.

The project in itself, however, was challenging for me. I struggled to understand Shakespeare in grade 10 when we were doing Romeo and Juliet; it was the same this year. Despite getting lots of support from friends and teachers, the performance did not go well, and it was entirely my fault. Not only should the play be rehearsed more, but I have also messed up my introduction. Fortunately, I was aware of the round stage and reminded myself to turn and face every side of the stage.


Goal vs Reality

Why didn’t I reach my goal

I remember at the first conference in PLP, and I asked: what is the formula of success? I never got an answer, though. I started to search for patterns and similarities in subjects I did well. Funny enough, I found the answer in a different topic called special relativity. Albert Einstein’s famous law: E=mc^2, gave me the ultimate answer to improve my learning. I have made some changes accordingly to the equation, as you can see below. What’s interesting about this equation is that it indicates the importance of thinking. A point one difference in thinking, positive or negative, would significantly change the final results. In other words, laziness in thinking and planning poses the greatest threat to success. Last year, I focused on the effort part, which drove me nuts with limited results. Although it may be effective in the short run, my body could not sustain staying late in the long term. With the realization of how crucial my thinking pattern is, I want to focus on the thinking aspect of my learning


Looking back, I have always procrastinated the assignments and tasks. Often, I can be distracted by external conditions. 80% of the time, I am not productive; therefore, I rely heavily on the burst generated in the rest 20% of the time. Procrastination has always been one of my most significant weaknesses, and it comes from the lack of desire for work. I have always been a nerdy and weird kid in physics 11 as I always wondered about different aspects of science; however, I become totally another person in arts when I am not interested. The desire to learn would reflect on my grade. Therefore, to be productive, I should keep my curiosity alive, as it motivates me to go above and beyond.

My growth

I realize that my goals and expectations for myself are often ridiculously high and challenging to achieve. Shamefully, I didn’t reach my goal last year. However, because of this ridiculously high goal and the high pressure it gave me, I could catch up, more or less, with other PLP learners who were wiser and experienced. And because of the crazy goal this year, I have notable improvements compared to last year.


In the first project of PLP, I struggled to get 80%. In other words, I work to reach an accomplished level. It took me an entire night to handle one keystone blog post. I didn’t understand the task; therefore, I failed. I remember doing three different blog posts on the same keystone simply because I did not know what to write. Fortunately, I no longer need to spend one night on each keystone we have. Although my work this semester didn’t quite accomplish my goal, it had significantly improved from last year.


Thank you for your time

Macbeth, Madoff & Winter Exhibition

On December 15, the Winter Exhibition was held. We, the PLP 11 cohort, each directed and performed our modern adaptation of Shakespeare’s Macbeth during the winter exhibition. Without a doubt, it was difficult and painful. This blog post today will be talking about my learning journey throughout this project and how it changed me personally.

Project Overview

Scene & Modern Adaptation

As we each took only one scene of the play, I was assigned Act 5 Scene 8, the last scene of Macbeth. Originally in Shakespeare’s Macbeth, audiences would witness the death of Macbeth and the end of his tyranny. Immediately, I brainstormed all the possible events and characters that may fit this scene; however, I was not decisive. While spending plenty of time deciding what topic to do, it turned out that all the ideas I had in mind were unsuitable for this project. Looking back, all my themes are at least 100 years away today, which may not be considered a modern adaptation. Eventually, I connected it to the 2008 Ponzi scheme, the largest Ponzi scheme in history. It was interesting how Bernie Madoff deceived almost everyone, even the SEC. Even though it wasn’t mandatory, I watched the movie “The Wizard of Lies”, hoping to understand him better. Although he was gifted, his intelligence benefited no one. Although he had great intentions, his actions took the hope of many; Although he could be another Rockefeller, he chose to be a lair. Nevertheless, we should learn from him so that past wrongs never repeat themselves. Studying Bernie Madoff, the main character of my play proved to be significant to the final product.


Final Product — A Play


Our final product of this project was a play to present live to the audience at the winter exhibition. Not only did we get one take only, but audiences were also sitting around the stage, putting even more pressure on us. I could not possibly get more overwhelmed. Despite having trouble understanding Shakespeare’s language, I struggled with pronunciation. I never felt ready for the exhibition. As time passed by, I panicked more and more. Because of how nervous I was, I messed up my introduction. But with the help of my friends, I eventually regained momentum. Looking back, what helped me the most in this project was the feedback I got from peers and teachers.

Here’s the video

(I want to thank Randy, Dries, Jordan, Keenan, Josh and Nathan for their kind support that made this play possible.)

Click here to learn more about the project


Answers to the Driving Question

What do the timeless themes “Macbeth” reveal about our society today?

Although the languages Shakespeare used were outdated, the concepts were not. Through literature, Shakespeare inspired countless philosophical debates and wonders. After 400 years, we still cannot have a definite answer to any of them. To put it in other words, humanity improved very slowly spiritually despite significant technological advancement. Specifically, in Macbeth, Shakespeare included timeless themes like the predetermination of fate, the existence of natural justice, the necessary violence for change, etc… One of my favourite themes in Macbeth is appearance vs reality. At the first glance, Macbeth and lady Macbeth are the tyrants, the villains. But I soon realized that they were not purely evil. On the other hand, Malcolm and Macduff seem like the heroes who ended the tyranny; however, we never know what terms and agreements they had with the British to gain their support. It took me a while to realize what Malcolm did could be considered treason, betraying your country.

One simple modern connection between the theme of appearance vs reality could be fake news. I encounter misinformation from time to time. Shamefully, often I cannot identify misinformation. The tendency to believe what you see or believe in, also known as confirmation bias, can be deceitful as they ignore reality. Honestly, I seldom question the source of information on websites I visit. Looking back, it is distressing how much fake news is out there on the internet.

(More About Fake News)

Reflection — Start, Stop & Continue

1. Start: What should I start doing?

Looking back, I lacked creativity throughout this unit. Although it would be easier to create a fictional story, my critical thinking often eliminate my creativity. I realized afterwards that all my ideas were based on historic events, and most were off the beaten track. I admire Randy’s final play as he creatively connected Shakespeare’s play with Kim Jung-un. While keeping the original language and message, he managed to keep the tone interesting and modern. Going forward, I will seek to learn from my peers and aim to develop my creativity.


2. Stop: What should I stop doing?

In general, procrastination was the cause of imperfections. As mentioned earlier, I procrastinated a significant amount of time on deciding themes and topics. At the same time, I was indecisive about selecting the props I needed. I thought tasks would be easier to handle with a longer timeframe; however, I was wrong. In brief, I relied on tomorrow rather than today. Considering the opportunity cost, I would’ve been more prepared if I never wasted my time. The time could be devoted to refining props, solidifying stage movements, rehearsing dialogues, etc…, which would help me perform better.


3. Continue: What should I keep doing?

If anything, curiosity was the largest motivating factor in this project. I was curious why Bernie Madoff committed such a terrible crime, even when he was both rich and famous. At the same time, curiosity drove me to learn about the philosophical debates around Macbeth. Furthermore, it enabled me to find the similarities between Macbeth and Romeo and Juliet. Not only does curiosity push me to learn in-depth, but it also inspires me to study diverse subjects.

Change in Personality

Lastly, I would like to highlight the shift in my personality because of this project. What I enjoy the most about this unit is the moral and philosophical debates embedded in Macbeth. After studying Manhattan Project, I was interested in all the philosophical debates as they challenged me to understand that there may not be a perfect answer to all questions. As you can see below, there are twelve well-known debates around Macbeth.

As there are no correct answers, everyone holds their unique perspective. Looking back, my answers before and after this project are notably different. Specifically, let us focus on the debate “Ambition is a virtue” as it changed the most throughout this project. Before learning Macbeth, I agreed with that statement. When we were doing a debate in class, I was the one believing this statement to the fullest. I was falling off of the extreme. People may wonder: Was Hitler’s ambition still a virtue? At the time, I immediately said yes. I thought what caused the problem was never the ambition, but rather the perspectives, ideologies, and core values. But after this project, I wondered if the statement, ambition is a virtue, is true. Virtue should be the evidence that you may go to heaven; therefore, I no longer consider ambition as a virtue. With that said, I still believe ambition, the desire to achieve greatness, is still essential in life. Knowing how stubborn I was before, it is surprising how one project changed my core perspective entirely within two months.

Thank you for your time!

Would you pull the lever?

(Picture Source)

Would you pull the lever?

Is that the right thing to do?

This was the question that Truman had to answer in 1945. To this date, the usage of atomic bombs is controversial; however, there’s no doubt that it changed the world forever. From September to October, we have been studying the Manhattan project and its significance. But not only was it influential back in 1945, but it also have profound impacts on modern societies. 

Project Overview 

(Just so you know what we are doing in this project)


Now, let’s go back to the trolley problem. Whether you would pull the lever or not, is a hard decision to make. Either way, you are right, and neither was the right answer. Quoting Ms. Madsen, our teacher for this project: “the beauty about philosophy is the process of thinking”

If you do pull the lever…

  • What right do you have to kill the innocent people
  • What right do we have to compare lives to make this judgment 
  • How can you prove your intention was not to commit a murder
  • Can results justify the process 
  • How do you know if the five people want people to sacrifice for them 

If you don’t pull the lever

  • How innocent are you to stand and watch five people die 
  • Why should we maximize the harm of the atrocities 
  • Is it reasonable to watch people die because you don’t want to carry any responsibility
  • Would the person you saved appreciate your decision 
  • If we have a choice, can we still blame it on the train

As you may realize already, the Manhattan Project and the trolley question are very similar. The bombing in itself killed hundreds of thousands of people; however, you can argue that it did save us all from millions of unnecessary casualties. Ideally, we don’t want wars; ideally, we don’t want to make the decision; ideally, we don’t want anyone to die. But under a worldwide, total war conflict, it was impossible to avoid deaths. The Manhattan project, in this case, would be the other railway to take. It led to the brighter world that we currently live in. In the end, the Manhattan project did prove to be a more effective way to end the war; but furthermore, it was also a turning point in science, military and medical fields.


  • It prepared for Nuclear fusion
  • It laid the foundation for universe exploration
  • It enabled Nuclear power plants 


  • It determined how the Cold War would be fought
  • It enhanced missilery and Air Force technologies
  • It prevented direct military combats


  • It intensified medical research on the human body
  • It produces gamma rays to detect tumours and cancers
  • It inspired Nuclear medicine to fight against cancer 

Most importantly, the devastations of atomic bombs did show all of us how brutal, tragic and destructive wars can be. That awareness to this date forced nations to have peace with each other and prevent wars from happening. Today, none of us have to live in air raid shelters; none of us today have to live under the fear of being bombed or invaded, none of us today have to live under a worldwide, total war conflict. All of the statements above proved how the Manhattan Project relevant is.

After all, we can debate whether the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki could be justified or not; however, the significance of the Manhattan project is

Aftermath Reflection 

After all, I think writing is significantly better than speaking. Not only was writing an easier task for me, but I also devoted more time to phrasing and rewriting. The fear of public speaking is often compared with the fear of death. Looking back, I lacked speaking practice. Although I read out my script, it was a different story to present in front of the class. As it turned out, my result prediction was very different from the actual result. With that said, I still appreciate the opportunity to learn it in grade 11. It was challengingand stressful, but it also allow me to grow. 

Thank you for your time!

Rewind 2022 — tPol

In the first PLP year, I have had many meaningful, remarkable projects that shape me into a better person. At the same time, I met mature friends along the learning journey. As the school year is ending, it is time to reflect on my progress this school year. In this blog post, we will be talking about my growth as a learner, and spaces for improvement.

Did I reach my goal?

The intention of getting 96% was to get a higher GPA for the year, which will be easier when applying to universities. As you can see from the graph, my academic grades have increased rapidly after mPol. However, that may not fill up the gap to 96%.


Spaces for Improvements: Efficiency

After all, my biggest problem is being inefficient. For humanities, half of my works weren’t handed in on time, while 75% of Maker’s works were overdue. Some assignments are fast-paced, but most of them we have enough time to do. As Ms. Maxwell had pointed out, I have spent too much energy in the wrong spot. For example, the Chinese discrimination blog post could’ve caused more chaos as it was unnecessary. I am not saying putting more effort in is a bad thing, but I am saying that being effective is more important.

How might I improve?

  • Stay on topic
  • Set time-bound
  • Use tools to manage the schedule


What have I learned from PLP

is it worth joining in the first place?


Hands-on experience

Experiences like Destination Imagination challenge us to turn ideas into reality. Often, we face disappointment and frustration; however, the process of problem-solving taught us what determination and responsibility are.


Loon Lake trip was like an adventure. We were completely away from our comfort zone, moving to a new place. There, we took risks to discover new things and new perspectives. Meanwhile, I overcame fear when rock climbing and high roping.

Influential environmental

In PLP, I have classmates as my role model who is always optimistic and problem-solving. At the same time, they take risks and challenge themselves to go beyond their comfort zone. But what is the most important is that they all have the strong desire to achieve success.

Cray Cray Yay Yay

In the last month of this school year, we studied impact makers, specifically the crazy ones, unveiling the secret of greatness. We have each created a portrait and shared it with others through the spring exhibition. Moreover, we had the honour to have some of our local impact makers with us during the exhibition night. But how do we define an impact maker in the first place? What makes someone an impact maker? In this blog post, we will talk about our last project: Cray Cray Yay Yay

Before we talk about what makes someone an impact maker, I would like to highlight the slight difference between an impact maker and a crazy one. A crazy one, originally from Apple’s ad, means someone who challenges the status quo to push the human race forward. In other words, Einstein may be a crazy one as he challenged Newton’s theory which was the foundation of science. But for this project, we focused on individuals that influence us daily. A crazy one doesn’t have to be as influential as Einstein, but the one who is determined to make impacts and changes. What is special about the impact makers and the crazy ones is that they take action on their desire to make the world better despite the situation.

(Picture Source)

For the impact maker, I studied Don McPherson, the founder of the Grouse grind. Today, the Grouse grind is one of the most popular places in North Vancouver; however, it wasn’t anything like that in the 1980s. It was difficult to climb, and beginners could never experience its nature and environment. Interestingly enough, no one wanted him to build it, not the expert who didn’t require assistance or the land owner himself. But yet he decided to do so, spending all his free time on the trail. It was for himself and the community, and the legacy of his effort will continue to benefit us.

(Picture Source)

But the hardest part for me can be showing our understanding by making a portrait. I was unsure how my product would stand out during the presentation. As I am familiar with picture editing, I thought it’s better for me to photoshop. However, my friend Jakub inspired me to do something different, lenticular photos. It brings the effect that you see unique things from different locations. (Here’s the online version)

But even though that was a much more interesting idea, it was also chaotic. Sadly, DIY videos may turn out very differently from actual products. The idea was to cut the two images into pieces of the same size and rotate placing them. As my hands weren’t good at cutting, I took another approach. I realized that it’s best to cut it digitally because it’s more accurate and precise. After I have the picture ready, I built support in the back so that it can stand on its own.

Unfortunately, I couldn’t attend the spring exhibition. Surely, I could’ve done a lot better in the art aspect. I didn’t focus on face and symbols which can be improved next time. Despite that, I should’ve included more elements in the picture. But without any doubt, this is one of my favourite projects of the year. Not only was it fun to experiment with different designs, but it was also meaningful and delightful to study the ones who change our life

Thank you for your time!

Skip to toolbar