On April 27th, the PLP family and I left on a journey to somewhere I would never think I could say I’ve been, but that’s what I love about PLP, and I will forever be thankful for the unique, once in a lifetime experiences that I’m lucky enough to have. The idea of stories of hope brought us down to Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansas, and Missouri, with our sole focus being how individuals and communities overcoming adversities can teach us lessons about ourselves.Β 

Prior to leaving on our trip, work was to be done. Our driving question for this project was what lessons and inspiration can we draw from the stories of individuals and communities that have faced tragedy and overcome adversity? However, it is a massive ask for us to have an answer to that right away, so breaking it down and actually understanding what makes up this question was our first step. Defining a story of hope is something I’ve never really thought about, but when I did, I realized that it’s much more than I imagined. A story of hope is one that is made up of many components; it is about what people do afterwards, where that hope leads you, and finding yourself in a spot where you can thrive and accept your losses and turn them into positive.

The Power of Hope

I started this project off really strong and in a spot where I felt that I could make the most of the upcoming trip, but as the days came closer and found myself in a standstill, no progress was being made, and now reflecting I think that’s because of my lack of desire to find what I want. I’m a person who likes to have an idea, and make that idea happen, but the problem this time was I didn’t have that idea in the first place because I didn’t put the work in, I was waiting for other people to give me the answer when I know that is never going to come. So at 6:00 in the morning at YVR, I was in the same spot as I was in weeks before knowing that in order to create the best video possible, I would need to have nearly everything done and just fill in the gaps along the trip. But of course that didn’t happen, and as much as I hate that I’ve made my teachers ask me where my work is on numerous occasions, there was a positive to take. My whole mPOL was about the journey being the reward but during this trip I think I took that too far. I really enjoyed the trip but the main reason we were there wasn’t in my mind anywhere near enough, obviously these trips are meant to be fun but at the end of the day, learning is the priority and I feel I didn’t do enough of that.

Knowing that I’m making a video based on our trip, there were three events that I knew I wanted to focus on prior to seeing the places in person. The Oklahoma City Bombing, the Holocaust, and the Waco Siege and Branch Davidians. I was so set on what I thought these places would look like, when I got there and it was completely different to what I imagined, I was shocked, my original idea wasn’t going to be able to happen, and to be honest, that pissed me off. Looking back this is something I need to change, I can’t go into things with a set idea and not allow for that idea to change. Not knowing what I wanted to do know resulted in me just filming this just to film it, without an idea of how that shot can help tell the story, and this proved to be a problem.Β 

Coming home from the trip I had a lot of work to do, and at this point I would have to do it just for the sake of doing it, and that’s the biggest place I feel I went wrong. I’m a strong believer that you have to be passionate about what you’re doing, so when I knew that there wasn’t really any purpose of what I was doing because of my lack of effort, I really struggled to actually get anything done. However, eventually I managed to pull something together because I’m not going to let that get the better of me, but the truth is, I didn’t want to let my teachers down. I know they have big expectations for me and I appreciate that greatly, so I needed to show why they have those expectations in the first place. Despite the expectations other people have for me, the greatest comes from myself. I’m someone who sets high standards so when I just had to let those standards drop a bit in order to get something handed in, was really tough. However, when I accepted the fact that not everything is going to go my way, progress was being made, and to my surprise, it was better than I imagined. I did get a video in, although being over a month late, but that video wasn’t all bad, I had to rethink how I was going to tell my story but by the end I think it came together. I gave an answer to our driving question, and met the criteria, but that was it, but as of now, I’m fine with that.Β 

As much as I realized that this project was a fail on my end, I’m grateful for that. This second half of the year I have felt like a lot has being going my way, so this brought me back down to earth. I’m not going to say I regret my decisions because it’s all part of the journey, and a very needed part. This whole experience is one I can’t thank my teachers enough for, the organization of where we will be going, the reasoning behind each place, and most importantly, their patience.