To conclude the first term, PLP 11 began a mixed bag unit full with Star Wars and poetry. During this unit we competed milestones and stepping stones, all tied to the driving question: How can we use poetry to reflect our perspectives on people, places, issues and beliefs? The primary topic in this project under the scope was the Beat Generation, a undeniably influential period in poetry. Very soon, we would be creating similar poetry and displaying it during our Winter Exhibition.
At the beginning of this project we began free-writing religiously every class. This was a good time and helped my peers and I develop a keen learning and admiration for the work. From, Ms. Maxwell’s unforgettable poetry slam about cats, to our free writing about dirty feet; there were many iconic moments. Alas, it was not just fun and laughs, during these sessions we would progress in many aspects of writing (Speed, Flow, and Poetic Themes).
After, familiarizing ourselves with writing once again, we would begin to venture further into the culture and importance of poetry’s most memorable generation, The Beat Gen. This group of cultural crusaders would define a generation of progressive poets who’s legacy would be engraved forever. To learn more about this amazing group we would begin a Milestone of our own, The Bio Of The Beats. In this assignment, the class had a choice of a poet/writer from the Beat Generation. Once we picked a character we would research them, before creating either a video, podcast, or essay highlighting their life and cultural impact. I chose the bad boy of the Beat Generation, Neal Cassady. Once I had picked him, I knew immediately how I wanted to project it… by podcast.
For this milestone I created a podcast, which is a media that takes multiple stages and fazes. Whether it be, postproduction, script, or voice recording, podcast are always a great option to sharpen your skills. After the completion of this podcast I found my skills to be advancing, day by day. One difficulty I had with this project was my character. Neal Cassady, was a dare devil, who certainly had an influence to the group. Yet, he was missing a key piece of the project, published poems. Because of the absence of personal poetry in his life it made it a daunting and research heavy task to debate his importance.
PLP has many stereotypes, one being NO tests, unfortunately for me this is not entirely true. In the next faze of this unit, we tested and sharpened our knowledge of poetic devices. In general I felt keen and excited to display my learning over the past few weeks. I studied a little before and did a brief overview of the devices to give myself a boost of confidence. For this particular test we had a majority of the class to complete the test. Sadly, this test did not go as well as I planned. I have a bad habit of slow and tedious writing (free-writing helped a lot), because of this I did not complete all of the necessary assignments. This was very demoralizing because there was nothing I could do with such a slow pace. Since than, I have practiced writing fast and swift and planning out my work, even during this blog I have tried to work on writing flow.
From this point forward we began focusing directly on the development of the winter exhibition. The task for this exhibition was simple, produce poems, and then present them. At this point in time, a majority of my peers and I had a sizeable amount of poems created through free-writing, home, and other assignments. For the exhibition we would only present 2-5 poems, yet for our collection we were only required to display 7-15 different poems. My difficulty for this project was not creating the necessary amount of poems but having poems that I could be proud of displaying. In my poems I often spoke about ideas about society, culture, and nature. One correction I could make to the poems would be to make them longer and more formulated. Surprisingly, the vast majority of my poems were not created on one or two days, but multiple weeks. This goes to show how much fun and inspiration I found in this project.
Poems were obviously important, but that was just half the battle. For this winter exhibition and countless before it, it centres around Star Wars! Winter Exhibition is a night to display and exhibit the work we have done as learners, and it would not be as fun if we didn’t dress up, decorate, and go all in. Because we are performing pets and the theme was Star Wars we had no other choice but to perform in the famous Cantina scene. To pull this off Ms. Maxwell split up the class into contribution groups. Groups ranging from decor, music, lighting, and food. I was fortunate to pick early and chose the Decor group. This was a blessing because I was very interested in that and was very keen on helping a lot this year. For the decor group I brought lots of materials, decorations, props, and costumes. I would say that I most definitely contributed the most out of all the years.
When performance night came I was excited to display the poems I had written and cared so much for. PLP 11 really banded together to renovate the cardio room (full of weights) into a cantina straight out of Tatooine. I worked hard beside Daniel and Marshall, tirelessly helping with anything and everything. In the end, I believe the design and aura of the room really came together. Once decorated, the gates were open and we began to perform our poems. One revision I have thought lots about was my demeanour up stage. I worked very hard on my poems and did not properly project them. When presenting I nervously presented, than embarrassed scurried to the back of the room. Next time, I will try to work on my confidence and presence, watching Emily and some of my other peers really highlighted how amazing confidence can really be!
Overall, I enjoyed this unit throughly and found a source of inspiration and hobby in poetry. Although I am not very good, I have certainly progressed and learnt more about the world, culture, and beauty of poetry. During the project I felt myself understanding our core competencies like Historical Perspectives a lot more. To conclude, whether it be the podcast, reading Jack Kerouac’s books, taking tests, writing poetry, decorating, and lastly presenting, I sure learned an astonishing amount this unit.