Growing Hope 🌻


I personally loved this project. Considering how long it took me to complete (sorry teachers) you’d think I’d be sick of it. On the contrary this was one of my favourite projects because I really liked the concept of stories of Hope and exploring what that meant to different people. The driving question;

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

was such a broad topic that I could basically go into anything. I found that I had a really hard time trying to narrow down my focus because there’s too many things I want to focus on, but I was able to hone in on 2 stories in particular. I had a lot of trouble trying to come up with footage for this project especially because I didn’t get to go on the trip that a lot of my classmates went on. In order to both solve the footage problem and make my video a little bit better I decide to go around my neighbourhood and film flowers and plants because I think that it’s a good way of making my thesis stronger. My thesis being;

Stories of hope are guidebooks that’s we look to when facing adversity.

Making the connection that hope is like flowers gave me the ability to divide my video to tell a more coherent story and connect to people more emotionally.

Throughout working on this project I was able to get a deeper understanding of the words; Resilience, Adversity, Survival and Hope, which I defined in my first post on this project. While the meaning is subject for interpretation I have come to understand that these words are what make us who we are. They give us the ability to overcome challenges and grow as people. Working on this project, I learned so much about the human spirit and how powerful hope can be. The stories I researched and shared showed me that even in the darkest of times, there is always a glimmer of light. It reminded me that we are all capable of overcoming adversity and that our struggles do not define us but rather shape us into stronger individuals.

One thing that really struck me was how many of the stories of hope had a ripple effect on others around them. Whether it was a community coming together after a tragedy or an individual inspiring others with their resilience, hope had the power to spread and make a significant impact. This reaffirmed my belief that no matter how we may struggle, anyone can turn their setbacks into strength and lean on support systems to come out the other side.

If you take anything from this post, I think it’s important to remember to hold onto hope and know that we have the strength and resilience within us to overcome whatever challenges come our way. The stories of hope I explored showed me that even when things seem impossible, there is always a way forward. So let’s hold onto hope, stay strong, and keep pushing forward.

Hope, the thing that inspires us all


Let’s talk about hope and how it is able to inspire us. What is it about stories of hardship, overcoming and survival that are so inspirational to us? In order to talk about hope though, we must also talk about resilience, adversity and survival as they all go hand in hand.

Resilience is the ability to bounce back and continue on with strength and purpose. It’s the mindset that no matter what happens, you won’t be defeated. Resilience develops through a combination of personal characteristics, supportive relationships, and environmental factors. Resilience isn’t something that you’re born with, but rather something that you develop over time. It’s a skill that can be learned, and you can strengthen it through practice and perseverance. It’s important to remember that resilience isn’t about being invincible, but rather being able to bounce back when things get tough. It’s about having the courage to keep going even when the road ahead is uncertain.

 

Survival is also a crucial component of hope. It is an instinctual drive to continue living, even in the face of overwhelming adversity. Humans have been known to survive incredible circumstances, from losing an arm in a shark attack to surviving extreme conditions in a war zone. The will to survive can be strengthened by developing skills such as self-defense, first aid, and wilderness survival. Additionally, having a strong support system can also increase one’s chances of survival. This is shown especially through Bethany Hamilton, a surfer who lost her arm in a shark attack. Using her love for surfing, her support network and her incredible perseverance, she not only survived the shark attack but went on to become a pro surfer.

 

Finally adversity is the challenges and hardships that we face in life. They are the situations that create an environment to cultivate skills like resilience and survival and to give us hope to push through the difficult moments in life.

Stories of hope and survival are like guidebooks to us. They are inspirational and teach us that we are capable of overcoming adversity and turning any circumstance into a strength. When we are facing hard times they provide a comfort to know that we are not alone.

Improvement is a journey

Driving question:

“what do I need to know to move forward with lifelong learning and active citizenship.”

Self improvement is a journey. That is something that I have always been told and while it is true I don’t like it. Life would be much easier if you could have a check list of all the things that you should do to be a great person and be done with it. To have a continued journey rather than a destination means that there will be ups and downs and places where you fall short. And, unfortunately, with self improvement there is really no right answer as to how to do things because every person is different and unique. Many people have, however, made guides to try and make this process easier. Aka; Self improvement books.

It’s interesting that we were asked to read self improvement books for this project because if you had asked me to read one 2 or 3 years ago I would have shut it down very quickly. I had a very biased view of self improvement books because they always sounded very performative to me and that made me uncomfortable. You never feel inclined to listen to someone who sounds like they’re talking down to you, so I never gave them a chance.  And then with the pandemic and Covid my viewpoint shifted. Self improvement books didn’t come into my line of thought until this course however looking back on these past few years I was much more conscious of my mental health and had recently been making strides in order to improve it. The book that I ended up reading was Start With Why by Simon Sinek. He proposed the idea that how you communicate changes how you are perceived and how you connect with people. 

The goal of this project was to take something from our books that resonated with us and create an artifact that we could showcase to the other students in our grade. I ended up looking into the start with why method and how it connects to the Neo cortex and Limbic brain. Personally, I was really fascinated in the way the brain works and dictates how you communicate with others. The artifact that I made was used to show the diagram and to train the different aspects of the brain. The end product was a makeshift arcade game that people really enjoyed playing. Unfortunately, because of the way that I made my artifact, most of the people who came to talk to me at the exhibition didn’t listen to what I had to say and just wanted to play my game.

 

One regret that I had from this project is the book I chose. Simon Sinek wrote many books and one I ended up reading happened to be the introduction to the Start with WHY method. The entire book was advocating for why you should find your “WHY” and how you can use it once you find it. However no where in the book does it talk about how you can find your WHY in the first place. That guidebook comes in the form of a second book, “Find your WHY”.

My answer to the driving question of this project is to, rather than implementing an entirely new system into my life, simply take some improvements to the ones I had. Ive been working on not apologizing for things if it’s not necessary which makes you appear more confident and trustworthy. Time blocking using calendar allows me to remember dates and follow through on things relating to time management. These small improvements and practices are what build up and create the habits that support the you who you want to be.

To end this post off I’d like to leave you all with a quote from Simon Sinek;

People don’t buy what you do, they buy why you do it. And what you do simply proves what you believe.”

No pressure, no DIAMONDS

Driving question:

How can I push myself to make meaningful connections in order to become a better version of myself?

Learning intent:

“This year I would like to be an extending level student. I would like to be a student who can advocate for my learning, make positive contributions in class and make connections with the real world. I will do this by communicating with teachers to further my understanding of topics, apply skills I’ve learned to a non-school situation, and be a reliable community member. I would like to take advantage of the zettlecasten much more by using my notes to share unique perspectives on what we are learning.”

Projects:

How does dystopian literature act as social commentary?
Why is horror an effective way to reflect and comment on our society?
What do I need to know to move forward with lifelong learning and active citizenship?
How do we encourage children to support woman’s rights?

 

 

Celebrations

Completing a movie! And acting as one of the main characters in the movie. I had a lot of fun with the death scene.

I was really proud of the work that I put in to utilizing craft. It has really helped me with organizing my thoughts and connecting my research in an organized way. One of the notes that I feel showcases this is the Author Bio of Simon Sinek. Another thing that has helped with organization is having different “spaces” for each of my classes.

Personally I feel as though I have shown the best work in my PGP class because it was already something I was working towards so I felt like I was building on things that I already knew rather than starting a new system.

Skills

Communicating! A personal favourite that I bring up in every Mpol and TPols I’ve done. This one is always a 50/50 where I am great at using in some scenarios and in others I have a lot of work to do. My children’s book is a good example of how I have been working on communicating this year.

Reflecting is a skill I have been perfecting for the last 12 years of my life. It’s a big part of my identity as a learner and gives me the ability to improve myself. This is probably the biggest skill in terms of my personal project.

Time blocking is a skill that I have been focusing on especially this year. I can be very forgetful and lazy is I don’t write something down or dedicate some time for that thing.

Really there are a lot of skills I have been working on but those are the 3 that I stood out to me. All of the skills that I have work together and connect and grow through each other on each project that I do.

Mpol skills diagram

Growth Points

As always I would like to work on asking for help and coming in to tutor time much more. Usually when I go in to tutor time it’s just to work on my own but I think just showing my face there shows initiative and I can ask for help if need be. I personally really liked the goal I set for myself of checking in with the teachers once every project because it helps give me peace of mind knowing that I am on the same page as them.

 

 

“Cancelled” modern day horror from the eyes of a grade 12 class

Horror is a tool to peal away the layers of ourselves that we use to hide, the masks that we put up for formality and to get by in modern society. When faced with our deepest fears though, pleasantries and masks are the last thing you’re worried about. Horror gives an insight into who we, as humans, at the very core of our beings, are. Horror is a commentary on society because it reveals our human nature and how we act when faced with our deepest fears. 



Driving question; “why is horror an effective way to reflect and comment on our society?”


For this project our goal was to do this; make a horror movies that comments on an aspect of our society. Sounds easy enough, well news flash: it’s not. Coming up with a commentary on society was the easy part. In the end we decided to focus on cancel culture and how damaging social media and influencers can be. The hard part? Making a film that can portray our message clearly to our audience. We started off great with thanks to our incredibly organized producer Alex and our driven director Ciara. As a class we naturally fell into what we were good at; sound, camera, design, art, and story. I ended up as head of the script department and after much talk with Ciara and the rest of our crew, was left with a clear vision of what to write. However, it could never be that easy. With a time limit of one day to write the script I was given a team of 6 people to write the script with; Grace, Rhiann, Lavinia, Frenchesca, Ally, and Erika. I divided up the script into 3 acts and sent 2 of them to work on 1 Act together and send me the finished Act by the next day. That’s when things began to go downhill. Looking back on it now, I realize how many people were actually working on the script. Because I had sent them home to work on it, everyone wrote separately and when I was given the pieces the next day, they didn’t fit together, making no sense. What I should have done was have 3 people max writing the script and the other 3 become the editors the next day to proof read and give feedback for a second draft. Due to this our message became muddled and progress for the rest of the filming process became incredibly difficult.
Act 1 script
Act 2 script
Act 3 script

Thanks to our design team (Rhiann, Holly, Grace) we were able to create characters and plot lines that allowed the audience to visually distinguish the personalities of the characters that didn’t come through in the dialogue. 

Going back to horror as a tool to unveil the masks we put up, that is what I wanted to convey through our horror movie. As influencers, your job is to put up an appearance to make people like you, and watch your content. People who enjoy watching this becomes your following and the number of people you influence increases. The more influence you have the more it matters what you put out into the world. This is where cancel culture comes in and the act you display to the world must be perfected to avoid public isolation. In our horror movie we show the dark consequences of cancel culture and why it can be so dangerous. Not only that but cancel culture can be like a roulette wheel where someone gets cancelled for something dumb while others can do much worse and get away with it. We filmed our movie to follow a group of popular influencers who were very extreme with their beliefs. In the final moments of their death there were moments where the masks they put up slipped and we got to see a side of their true selves. When faced with our deepest fears appearances really don’t matter.

The Final girl in modern day films

The Final girl. The one who lives to tell the tale or dies in a blaze of glory after a last stand against the killer. The one who has the most plot armour and uses either their wit or luck to survive. From Laurie in “Halloween” to Chris in “The Last Slumber Party” there have been many final girls over the years. A necessity to horror films you might say. But are they really?  Are they a thing of the past? A relic of the 1900’s thrillers? 

To properly discuss the importance of the final girl why don’t we go back to their origin. The final girl first came about in the 1970s with Halloween and the Texas Chainsaw Massacres. Laurie and Sally are seen as the iconic and memorable first final girls. They are protected by their purity, smarts, or luck and survive the horror that happens to them. The final girl is a character that the audience cheers for and supports, that embody traits that society likes. Many horror critics have looked to final girls as a way to understand what is going on in society. In the 1970s there was importance of purity, being straight laced, school orientated and staying away from alcohol. The person who first used the term, “the final girl” suggested that the character was used as a way for male audiences to be feminine. 

In modern films the final girl has evolved in order to adapt to fit society’s values. Final girls no longer have to be pure. Or female. In the last decade we have seen a rise in Final guys featuring films such as Get Out and the Ritual. 

TPols -how did I do?

Welcome teachers and parents! Grade 11 is officially over and isn’t that a weird thing to think about? Once again June has come and that means we are moving on to the next grade. So I’d like to take this moment to recap what I’ve accomplished this year and what I still need to improve on.

What am I proud of this year?

Our exhibition for Crazy people went really well. I was personally really happy with the way the night went because I was able to talk to a lot of people who knew what I was talking about. I felt that because we were talking to the locals it was much more of a two-way conversation rather than the one-way information dump it usually is. This made me realize that next year I would like to create more connections with how my topic can relate to or help the audience in order to prompt a conversation. I think it also helped that I chose a topic that I could both relate to and knew very well. Honestly, I was a little surprised as I was presenting because I hadn’t realized I was so passionate about acting. it wasn’t until the night of the exhibition when I started talking with people that I realized how much that personal connection bit had helped me. Talking with someone who is passionate about something is always very infectious and I could tell how people were also getting excited about my topic especially some kids who were interested in acting. 

What I think really helped me this year was the scholarship that I had won. It added a weight to what I was saying at the exhibition because I had proof that Chris Stanley really does inspire people because, well look at where it got me. It was also a confidence booster for the end of the year because it felt like I was finishing strong. It also helped that in our last project we were making a short film and so it was good timing for it. I also just added this in here but i was really proud of it and I wanted to brag a little. 

Both last year and at MPols I talked about how I wanted to improve my communication with my teachers. This would help both sides understand where I am at in my learning, what I could do more work on and so forth. I do feel like there were moments when I did this by checking in to see where my grade is, asking what I can do to do more, communicating when I needed extensions for things ahead of time. Being able to do this has definitely helped my work flow and allowed me to really think about my learning. This is definitely a skill that I will continue to use in life so I was very happy that this year there seemed to be a lot of improvement with it. I will continue to check in with teachers next year to have talks about where my grade is at and what I can do to Improve. This will be especially useful next year as grade 12 is when we are looking into post secondary and grades will impact where I go.

What can I improve on?

I feel like communication for me is one of those skills that I can both do really well on or not use at all. However improvement isn’t always a smooth climb so let’s break down why I could use some work in this.  As mentioned before I would like to continue my check-ins with teachers and have those talks about how I’m doing. I would also like to work on my communication with people outside of the school. Next year I am challenging myself to reach out farther than Deep Cove and try and contact a stranger who can help me with my project.

What do I think teachers and parents can do to help?

Like always, I ask for your continued support throughout my learning journey. Engaging in conversations about my learning will help me make connections and get a deeper understanding of what I am studying. You all have been incredible so far and I’d like to take this moment to acknowledge that and say thank you for all that you have done. 

Persuasion✨

Hi guys, welcome back to the Asian invasion. We are back with yet another project today, all about persuasion. The main focus of this project was to choose a topic that we are passionate about and write about it in order to convince your audience of your perspective. In order to do this we were driven by the question; 


How can I use my voice to effect change?


So what exactly did I write about? Well I decided that I wanted to focus on taking breaks in schools and keeping a healthy body to enhance learning. I felt closely with this topic because I have noticed that since Covid it has become harder for both teachers and students. People spiral towards burnout or unhealthy habits a lot quicker. An effective solution for this would be to take longer breaks or to have multiple throughout the day. In order to learn more about the topic I needed to consult with some experts in the field. I ended up interviewing both my grandfather, a principal and teacher, as well as the vice principal at my school. These interviews were used in order to understand what would be persuading to people and what information was relevant. What was surprising to learn was that the teachers are the ones who decide how long our breaks are. In order to have longer breaks it would take away from the teachers lunch break. This would take away time from important meetings or clubs at lunch. From this I turned this information into my draft where I focussed(change word) on the pros of taking breaks and how to avoid burnout. I wanted to convince the audience that both teachers and students will benefit from breaks. 

My audience ended up being my vice principal. I found that it was easier to convince her because we had similar thinking in terms of the benefits of breaks as well as how stressful the pandemic has been. 

What we did to elevate our writing more was learn about the 6+1 traits(link to craft). These are basically guidelines and rules that as writers we can follow in order to effectively convince the reader.

This project wasn’t learning new skills but I did a lot of skill building. From my last post(link) you would know that I have been focussing a lot on my writing this year. Being able to construct persuasive writing in an organized manner allows me to convey my thoughts to the reader. What I honed in on this time was cutting out unnecessary words and putting the 6+1 traits. 

If you found my writing interesting or want to learn more about writing persuasively check out Graces(link) blog to see who she was convincing and whether or not she was successful.

Macbeth 2.0

By now your guys know the drill. Welcome back to my blog, I’m here today with another project! This project was centred around answering the driving question: 

How can we craft a compelling vision of Macbeth set in the 1950? 

Basically we did a whole bunch of research on Macbeth, the 1950s, the Cold War, and then made a film out of it. Have fun reading!

Something that I was really proud of for this project was my ability to analyze text from the Macbeth play. I found that I really like breaking down words and connecting them to things in the plot, character and theme. I think this is also the skill that I had the most fun practising. When I started writing my analysis on the quote it was like a light bulb went off in my head. It made sense to me how one text can portray different parts of a character or shadow what was to come and all of a sudden I was making all of these different connections that my hands weren’t able to type fast enough. I was really happy with the way my analysis turned out and I didn’t realize how easy it was to make connections like that until I knew what it was I was looking for. The hardest part about writing for me was not going off on a tangent about something completely unrelated because I find that is something that I often do. So, when I was writing about one thing I’d think about something else and go “ ohh this would be a cool connection too” but then read my piece and realize that it wouldn’t make since. Another thing was the number of mistakes that were in my analysis originally, because I was typing so fast. What I found was a really cool tactic was to highlight everything and make my device read out loud what I wrote. The device would read everything and I’d realize how weirdly something was worded or how long a sentence was. This really helped me narrow down my writing into something that was actually understandable to the reader. 

Of course there’s also the final product that I can’t not talk about. The end product for this project was a film that was set in the 50s and was a rendition of the original Macbeth. As a member of the production team I was the props manager. I basically either made or found all of the props and was there to set up and take down the set in between scenes. 

What I really wanted to highlight, now that we are at the end of the project, was the individual skills that brought it together. I was really impressed by some of my classmates this project and thought I’d write about what they did that I found amazing. Our director Kaia (link) for one had a whole Pinterest board going before we even begun writing scripts. I can see why she was chosen for the role considering how strong of a vision she had…

Overall did I like this project? Yah for sure. There were definitely a lot of highlights. What would I do differently? Well maybe get more involved? I felt like I wasn’t doing a lot towards the end because there wasn’t a lot that we can do. I’ve been on movie sets before as a background and I can see how much work goes into a single scene but I also know that there is a lot of waiting around too. Sometimes a scene will take 4-5 hours and your just waiting in the sidelines for your part in the machine that is film making. But alas, I think that I did what I could with what I got and over all? I’m proud of what I did. So I’ll take that as a win.

A letter of learning

Dear teachers and parental figures,

MPols is back! It’s that time again, where I take you through my journey as a learner, a student and a person. As always I am going to tell you what I’ve been proud of, where I need improvement and what you can do to help. 

What skills am I proud of?

I have been proud about the amount of effort that I have put into the projects this past year. I can see that I am much more engaged in the projects themselves and I am working more on showing that. For me it’s the little things that build up to that effort that I would like to take a second to appreciate. I show up to class early, I’m there everyday, I put in the effort to pay attention and am willing to try. I know that this is the bare minimum but I’ve found that I don’t appreciate the time I take to do things as often anymore. When I take these few seconds to feel proud of myself for showing up, I find that I am much more willing to learn and have a brighter attitude to the subjects that we are discussing. This little ritual I have made for myself was especially effective during the conceptual art unit. For me conceptual art was not what I had in mind when I first learned we would be a doing an art piece and it took me some convincing to think that it was a valid form of art. However I stuck to it and by the end of it I had a product that I think was one of my best works. 

 

I have always been big on reflection as a skill and it is one of the reasons that I’m in PLP. Thanks to the fact that my elementary school was a IB school, reflecting on my work has always been a big part of my education. As such it is a skill that I have gotten fairly good at. Looking back at projects I am able to say “oh ya, I did really good on this but I could have also done this differently” or “that didn’t really work out but this one thing that I did was really cool”. That’s what I like so much about this blog is that I can read my older posts and go “oh ya, that went really badly, but look what I learned”. The last project that I did with Ms. Willemse on the government got me thinking about this as well. I had a post a couple years ago about the Doukhobors, the government and ethical judgment and I realized that I could have talked about it in my post to show my growth as a learner and to see whether or not my opinion has changed. 

 

What skills do I want to work on?

I tend to set the bar low even with goal setting like in the grading contracts. I found that last year when talking about grade contracts I gave myself a grade that was easy to get to and because it was easy I didn’t put in as much effort or time or energy into my work. This showed and I struggled with actually getting there. This year I’m setting the bar high. I’ve decided to try for a 95. My thought is that by setting a higher goal then I usually would I’ve committed myself to doing the extra 5 or 10 minutes of thinking that allows me to make deeper connections. 
Having those quick conversations with myself and the teachers to check in and see if I am on track. Opportunities like MPols gives me a chance to self reflect and talk with you guys about my learning. But having that conversation shouldn’t be because it’s required and I would like to take those chances to have quick conversations about where I’m at and how I’m doing in the project. My hope is that these conversations will allow me to know if I’m doing what I’ve said I will and for you to know where I think I’m at.
Finally I find that I still tend to step back during group projects and not take advantage of the social setting enough. I have been getting better at this and a way to show that is through group reading. I have been trying to raise my hand more and have been volunteering to read for Macbeth or answer questions. Things like being more active as a participant in class is a way for me to show that I am understanding and following along and I would like to increase those moments. 

 

What can you do?

I would like the teachers to be there for those quick grade conferences to help me know if I’m on track, if Im where I want to be and if I’m not, where it is I’m not demonstrating that understanding. To my parents I’d like to thank you for the workspace at home that lets me concentrate.  I’d also appreciate it if you would continue to engage in those conversations about learning that you have already been doing. It might not be the same type of conversation but when you ask questions about topics or bring up your own experience it allows me to make connections that can deepen my learning.

Thank you again for all the work that you’ve put into helping me as a learner. See you at TPols!

Sincerely,

Meg