Stories of Hope (In the Southern US)

We recently got back from a truly unique field study experience. I went to places, and experienced a culture I never thought I would. Over 10 days we visited 4 states in the “Southern US”. I put quotes around that as whether or not we were in the southern US was a major subject of debate during the trip.

A stunning view of the cascade mountains on our flight out

The trip started off not so bright, yet early at YVR. We all met at a time I don’t want to see my teachers and classmates, and they probably dont want to see me. By about 4pm we had finally arrived in the lone star state. Immediately I was shocked by how green everything was (I thought Texas was a dry and dusty place). I also was also kind of shocked by the lone star symbol found on every single bridge pillar across the Interstate. 

A nighttime view of downtown Austin

Throughout our days in Texas we headed north visiting presidential libraries, delicious bbq’s, borderline cult compounds, and the foreign land of Buc’ees. Now you may be wondering, what could PLP possibly be doing visiting giant gas stations (or cult compounds) in Texas? Honestly at times I was asking myself the same question but it was all somehow connected into our theme of stories of hope. In my last blog post I discussed what these are here. 

A church standing on the former site of the branch Davidian compound

As our trip continued north we reached the vibrant, and extremely flat place called Oklahoma City. Tragically in 1995 this city was struck with tragedy. A disgruntled army veteran named Timothee McVeigh set off a 2 ton fertilizer bomb in the back of a red ryder truck. The explosion caused huge damages on a US government owned building, and ultimately led to the deaths of 168. This story touched me as we saw the resilience and strength the people of Oklahoma found in community. 

The trip continued north east from OKC where we visited Tulsa. After Tulsa, we left the 8 lane interstate highways, and headed for an area better described as the “backwoods” of the US. Arkansas & Missouri were quite different from anything I had seen before. Now I understand Texas and Oklahoma a little bit, as they reminded me of Alberta. However as we left the prairies and headed into the Ozarks, and Eastern Woodlands, the culture began to shift a bit. It was more what you’d expect when you told someone you were in the southern US. We saw a 67ft statue of Jesus, and the “White Christian, Las Vegas”, Branson Missouri. 

Giant Jesus himself

Despite being an area which gets frequently described as “redneck”, “hillbilly” or “Christian nationalist” we did discover some stories of hope, and shockingly incredible art. I made the connection between the ability for art to build a community up here, and how it worked to shape the resilience of the OKC community at the national memorial site. 

On another note, we did get to have a brief stay in California and say hello to Paula deen while heading home.

All of these experiences helped me refine my thesis for my final video. This isn’t my best work I have created in PLP yet. I think there is many things I would of done differently (handing this in, in may would’ve been a good start). After discussing with my classmates and teachers, it is clear that many of us feel this way. I think this FAIL will help me maximize my learning in the field school next year. As well as giving me some ideas for my current exhibition project (which you should check out if your in North Vancouver on June 15th).

What is a Story of Hope?

In recent years we have all heard the words, hope, resilience, adversity, survival. Whether it was related to the COVID 19 Pandemic, one of the many human rights issues which have been fought over, or the war in Ukraine. These words seem to be thrown at everyone experiencing these hardships. But what do they really mean?

Recently our class has been discussing all of these terms, how they relate, what they mean, and what are some examples of them.

Survival is defined by Oxford Dictionary as “the state or fact of continuing to live or exist, typically in spite of an accident, ordeal, or difficult circumstances.” Surviving is just continuing to live. Being a survivor doesn’t mean you did anything impressive, it just means you got lucky. If you can overcome and grow after an adverse situation that is resilience. One individual which demonstrated this resilience is professional surfer Bethany Hamilton. She’s a pretty famous figure so I won’t get to deep into her story, but here’s a quick summary. At 13 years old Bethany Hamilton suffered an attack from a tiger shark. While she survived the attack the lost her left arm. Despite this life altering injury Bethany became a professional surfer at just 17. Since then she has won many competitions, and wrote several books about hope. 

Throughout Bethanys life surviving the shark attack isn’t the most important thing she did. That was largely luck. Her resilience after the traumatic event, and how she used it to grow is what is notable about her life. She experienced what Psychologists call post traumatic growth. This is when a traumatic event causes the victim to experience a shift in perspective. This leads to a greater sense of purpose and content about life. 

Bethany catching a sick wave

What fuels people like Bethany to keep going at there lowest. It is hope, Bethany’s hope of one day becoming a professional surfer helped her get back in the water. She went from being one of the most talented youth surfers, to riding longboards on whitewater, she still hoped that one day she could get back to where she was. Her story, like many others is a story of hope. 

So what is a story of hope? A story of hope can be any story where an individual or community survived adversity, and used resilience to strengthen themselves after.

After looking at all of these themes I realize how closely linked they are. Each word just apart of a story of hope.

MPOL 2023

Wow the school year is halfway done, I’m in disbelief. I feel like we just started the first semester. Since we are halfway done our semester we have a classic PLP event, the MPOL (Mid Year Presentation of Learning). Since this is my seventh or eighth POL (presentation of learning), Im not going to explain it, but you can go read one of my previous posts where I explain it in depth here.

Intro: Why are we so destructive. From the time we can walk, we our knocking toys down, and p over. Throughout history people have spent huge amounts of resources in order to destroy each other’s villages, towns, and cities. As our societies evolved so did our ability to destroy. Fire became gunpowder, then dynamite, then firebombs. Finally we came up with the ultimate destructive power, the atomic bomb. While it destroyed ended the lives of tens of thousands of people, and flattened cities, why should we care? Intro Alt: Destruction, it created the world we live in today. Rich forests, cut down to build our towns and cities. Lush meadows plowed to create farmland to feed us. Wild rivers, dammed to power and irrigate our cities. Every amenity we take for granted today required something to be destroyed to make it. But at what point does this destruction become to much. I think we can all agree we need to cut some forests down to build our houses, or convert some of our coast into ports and industrial zones. But how about when we have to destroy these same amenities of others, even cause them suffering. How about when it requires killing them. How about 150,000. This was the price we paid to end the Second World War. The destruction of two entire cities, full of innocent people. There were children Body: Evidence 1: The explosions of the atomic bomb were not the only important part. The invention and construction of these bombs were incredibly taxing economically, environmentally, and socially. The extraction of uranium is incredibly destructive both to our health and the environment. Uranium is both radioactive as well as chemically toxic. Mining it often leads to contaminated water sources which can ruin ecosystems as well as our health. So why do we use such a powerful resource, which can take such a toll on the environment to extract, just to destroy each other? Evidence 2: There is no better example of our destructive capabilities as humans then the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. These bombings are incredibly significant in our history. They killed well over 100,000 people, Brought and end to WWII, and changed the future of warfare. These bombings were more complicated then being good or bad. Did the positives outweigh the Negatives? What even are the positives and negatives? These are all questions we must ask ourselves when were considering the implications of Nuclear Weapons in warfare. Evidence 3: Nuclear Weapons undoubtedly changed warfare forever. In the last 75 years there has not been a single large scale conflict between major powers. While this seems like a good thing, we need to consider why is this? Could the destruction of an eventual conflict between these two powers destroy our whole planet? Conclusion: So why is the manhattan project important. I think it is because it is the perfect representation of our destructive nature and capabilities. It was. a project with the sole intent of developing a bomb capable of killing millions. Is the potential destruction of us as a species worth the peace we’ve had in recent years? This is why we need to care, so we can answer questions like these, and hopefully use the positive technologies developed by the manhattan project, and leave the destructive ones in the past.

This has been a strange year, at least in terms of PLP. This is the least amount of PLP courses I have ever taken. When I look back at the year I feel like we haven’t done that much yet, even though we have done quite a bit. I think its because of PLP’s slower progression compared to my other academic courses. Even thought there is a logical reason as to why there has been slow progression in this course, I still feel like I FAILed. Also going through my assignments I don’t have very much media I can include in this post. Most of our projects were in person presentations, these styles of assignments don’t leave me much evidence of my work.

Now I didn’t truly fail at people however I don’t think I worked up to my full potential either. Ive missed a bunch of my last two projects to factors I have no control over. I dont think my Macbeth project was anywhere near as good as it should have been. I think I need to prove my strengths in our current Cold War project but at the moment I’m a bit behind in that project as well. Over the next 5 weeks of this term I need to pull together this Cold War Project into something I’m truly proud of, something which showcases my strengths and potential as a learner.

My greatest accomplishments since the last POL weren’t in PLP courses. Many of my other accomplishments, helped me develop skills which I can use in this course. 

My first accomplishment was my completion and high mark (at least for me) in chemistry and precalc.

I spent a lot of time working on these two courses in the last semester. They were two of the most challenging, and complicated courses I have ever taken. While they taught me how to calculate the zero of a parabola, or analyze the bond structure of an organic molecule, the most valuable thing they taught me were study habits. During the busiest weeks, I was spending around 4 hours a night on just those two courses. Spending all this time studying really helped me figure out some study routines, and methods which work for me. This semester I’m going to try to use them while working on PLP assignments. 

I have begun to realize that many commonly suggested methods of study don’t work well for me. I’ve heard so many people suggest that you should take frequent breaks while studying. This doesn’t work for me. In order to effectively complete work I need to get on a roll, in general that means a 1-2 hour period with no breaks and then an extended break. This gets a lot easier If I’m interested in the subject. Sometimes I can work for 3-4 hours straight on subjects Im super interested in them. I also need to work while its quiet. I can’t effectively compete work while theres people coming and going from my house, or talking even in another room. My least efficient work times are at school though. I can’t focus on most assignments at school, particularly assignments which require a lot of thinking. One other little study method for me is to work in cold environments. Kind of random but it actually helps me a lot. 

In order to apply these methods to PLP, I am going to have to adapt them. The most important factors are focusing on making my topics interesting, making sure I can work in a flow state while doing my work, and starting my work after exercising and eating. Over the next semester I will be dedicating 1-2 hours later in the evening to just PLP work a few times a week. The best times to do this work will either be in the evenings when my brother is at volleyball, or later in the night (after 9pm). At both of these times the house is very quiet and I can easily get homework done without interruption.

Another one of my accomplishments was my drastic improvements and dedication to my wildlife photography. If you’ve been following this blog you know I’m super into wildlife photography, last spring I did a podcast on it for a project (go check out the post here). Since then I would say I have improved a ton. I’ve spent hours talking to pros, and other amateurs about all sorts of topics. I have learned so much, and have been able to utilize that learning to improve my work in so many ways. The dedication, learning, and perseverance I have learned in the last few months could really benefit me in PLP. 

  • A bald eagle looking for fish from its perch
  • A wood duck enjoying an evening nap

Above you can see my images from spring last year, and below our my images from this winter. You can see the technical and compositional improvement between the two sliders.


Now obviously I’m not going to be mentally capable of treating school the same way I treat wildlife photography. The only reason I can spend so long, in brutal weather conditions shooting animals (with my camera), is because I’m truly passionate about it. I wont be able to spark the same passion for PLP. I do think I can trick myself into being passionate about certain projects by incorporating these topics I am passionate about, such as conservation, ecology, and animal behaviour into my projects in some way or another. I am currently doing that in my coldest war project. It’s not sparking my passion the same way the podcast did though. My podcast was the work I was most proud of, and that’s because I actually cared about. Now obviously I care about all my schoolwork, but I don’t necessarily care about the content, I just care about completing it to a certain standard. With the podcast I actually wanted people to hear it, Ive even considered continuing it for a second season, or revamping it. I need to find that passion in more projects this year.

Another goal for the last half of the year is to improve my blog. I want to make this a place I can use as a portfolio when applying for university. In order to improve this I will need to work on the main format of my page, as well as going back and recategorizing old posts. I will try and record more media when

My main goal for the next semester is to be more invested in my work. I want to be creating assignments I am proud of, assignments I want to share with the world. This will require me to be more efficient with my time and find ways to keep myself involved in my work even when I’m not super interested.


Would you kill someone, if you knew it would save 10 people? How about if you had to press a button which would kill 100,000, but save a million? This was the key question I asked my classmates to convince them that the Manhattan Project is extremely historically significant. 

Hi everyone, and welcome back to my blog. we just completed our first project of grade 11. As you now know we studied the Manhattan Project (if you don’t know what that is refer to the link here). So for this project we had to write a speech. Now if you know me, you would know I’m not a quiet or shy person. I have no problem discussing topics in front of large groups of people, or presenting projects to my class. However I’ve never written or presented a true speech, and this meant I had a lot to learn. 

Writing a speech is not the same as writing a presentation or essay. It’s almost like a whole other form of writing. I’ve began to think of it as similar to poetry. You have to consider the weight of your language, how your speech will flow, and how your words will effect your tone. Considering all these elements really pushed me to become a better writer. The first big challenge I came across was my introduction. I needed a hook which could be tied into the conclusion, and invoked emotion in the audience. I would say I spent almost half the time on my speech just on my introduction. I knew it was the most important part. If I didn’t have a good introduction my whole speech was doomed for failure. 

I had to overcome another major obstacle during this project. I needed to slow down. Typically I speak very fast. Like a lot of people can’t keep up fast. Like a YouTube video played at 2x speed fast. This is terrible for a speech. If you speak this fast during a speech the audience wont be able to take anything in. Your words will hold no weight. While the recommended word count for our speech was 400 words for our 4 minute speech. I knew I would have to write more. Even if I slowed down my speaking as much as I could, I wouldn’t even come close to that time. So I decided I would speak as slow as I could and keep my speech to about 500 words. After refining my speech, I practiced, and practiced, and practiced. After an agonizing amount of slowing my speech down I got up to the 4 minute mark. It hurt my head to speak that slow, but I knew my speech was long enough. Until it was time to present. 

The final time for my speech was something like 3 minutes and 10 seconds. While its still not crazy far off the target time, it was way to fast. I failed on the time objective. But that’s fine. We all need a First Attempt In Learning. This was only my first real speech, and I know I can get better over time. In fact I want to get better. I know public speaking can be a huge asset in future careers and in general life. In our next project I will make sure to work even more on speaking at that mind numbingly slow rate. The most important thing I took away from this project wasn’t that the manhattan project is historically significant. But that I can and must continue to develop all my forms of communication. 


TPOL 2022

Hi everyone,

The year is almost over and summer is about to start. Before the year ends I have one key assignment. TPOL (Transitional Presentation Of Learning) this is similar to my MPOL (Mid year Presentation Of Learning) However TPOL’s are more focused on recapping the whole year and discussing how I can achieve growth in the next school year. 

This school year was are third year in a row of adjusting to a new schedule, rules, and challenges. We finally moved past COVID which is so exciting! We also were once again allowed to compete against other schools in sports. One of my favourite experiences this year was being apart of the Seycove Junior Boys Basketball Team. We had a tough season but there was a few great games in there and I got a lot better. Another great thing about COVID restrictions lifting was the reinstatement of field schools. We had the opportunity to go to Loon Lake Lodge. Even though we barely left Vancouver Loon Lake was an amazing experience. I cant wait for more field schools next year (New Mexico 2022)! 

Loon Lake was incredibly beautiful

One of my biggest goals this year was Consistency. I often get extremely focused and invested in certain assignments and completely neglect others. This became quite a problem early on in grade 10 and caused my average quality of work to go down. I have got better at this throughout the year however I still need to keep working on this into next year. One thing I need to focus on is making sure I deliver consistent high quality work throughout a project. This was evident in project Podcast. I would say episode 1 and 2 were my best episodes and episode 3 was my worst. I dont think the quality suffered to much but I definitely could have improved episode 3 and 4. Below you can check out episode 1 (top) and episode 4 (bottom) to see the difference. Next year I will focus on continually delivering consistent work throughout a project. 

One goal which I achieved in the last semester is growth. This is evident in both my school work and extra curricular. My best work from this semester, podcast, zine and Portrait, is much better then my best work from the last semester, political party project, Romeo and Juliet and our memorial proposal. One place I really saw growth was the difference between my work for the winter exhibition and the spring exhibition (will be linked once posted). My presentations were more clear, my product was better, and our area was decorated better. All in all, I am quite proud of the growth I have achieved this semester.  

My portrait from the spring exhibition

Along with growth balance was another one of my major goals. This meant giving myself an adequate amount of time to practice my other hobbies. I got better at that this semester and it really helped me focus on my photography. I got a lot better at shooting wildlife, and started learning about studio photography. This balance actually helped my school work. Notably being able to include my photos in my zine, as well as use my knowledge of photography for my podcast. Even though I got better at balancing my school and extra curricular this semester. I have a long way to go if I am to achieve the grades I want next year.

This school year has been a strange year and I feel like both everything has changed and nothing has changed. I did well this year but I want to do much better next year as grade 11 is very important for your future. See you in September!

I have a podcast!

Hi everyone,

I just wanted to give everyone a quick update letting you know that I have a podcast! It is all about Wildlife Photography and Conservation. I have 2 episodes up right now and there will be at least 3 more coming in the next few weeks. The episodes include guest interviews with many experts in the field.

Episode 1: This episode is all about connecting with wildlife. There is a guest interview with Yellowstone based Wildlife Photographer Evan Watts. He has great insights on how wildlife photography can help change your perspective on wildlife and nature. Evan also runs a youtube channel all about wildlife photography and you can find it below.

Episode 2: This episode focuses on how wildlife photography can impact conservation. I interview award winning Wildlife and Bird Photographer Liron Gertsman. He gives his insights on how he likes to tell stories through his photos promoting conservation stories.

If you want to check out my photos look at the slide show below and check out my instagram @quinns_photoz

  • A black bear in a dandelion field

  • A Bighorn Sheep emerging from the forest

  • A Great Blue Heron fishing at sunset

  • A Cinnamon Bear playing in a forest clearing

  • A wood duck enjoying an evening nap

  • A bald eagle looking for fish from its perch



View this post on Instagram


A post shared by Quinn 🇨🇦 (@quinns_photoz)

Hope you check out my podcast as well and my work as well as Liron and Evans Work! Enjoy 🙂

Believe in Good

Hi everyone,

We just completed a project which we have had on the run since February. It was definetly a project which we did more in the background. But I took away a few key lessons.

We studied the 7 habits of highly effective people. One habit which really stood out to me was think win win. I found it interesting that the best way to get something for yourself, was to give something to others. Even though think win win stood out to me all the habits helped me be more effective as a learner.

Over the project we had to do assessment choice boards. These were little assignments which helped us summarize what we learned in the previous section of the book. Below are my assessment choice boards.

Each of threes animals represents a different element of private victory. The eagle represents beginning with the end in mind. It has one thing in mind when it’s sitting there, food. It is already thinking about how it will catch that fish. The owl represents putting first things first. When it wakes up it immediately gets ready to look for food instead of waiting around until it’s to late. The ravens represent being proactive. This mating pair paired up in February Far before most pair up. They are being proactive to make sure they’re ready for spring.

After completing our first two assessment choice boards we created final assement choice boards to summarize our understanding of the project. I created two, check them out below.

With the recent release of the 7 habits of highly effective people products you may be wondering if you should buy it, and while buying all 7 habits would be great it is simply out of the price range of many people. So which habits should you buy? Keep reading to find out. I ended up purchasing the whole 7 habits package deal and tried out every habit in order to tell you which one to buy. I had two favourites. Habit 1: Be Proactive and Habit 4: Think Win Win. Now why should you buy these two. Habit 1: will help you stay on track and take control of your own actions. I noticed a massive boost in productivity using this habit as well as less stress. It also helps you balance your life better. Habit 4: Think win win will help your relationships. You will notice everyone being more willing to work with you and help you out. It will force you to think out of the box to find solutions helpful to everyone. Hopefully this short review help you figure out if the 7 habits, especially habits 1 and 4 are the right product for you.

All in all his project showed me some habits I need to implement in my own life to become a more effective person. I have been working on implementing a few of the habits into my own life. I will see how they affect my last month of school this year and if I should stick to them next year.

Just How Important Are Canada’s National Parks

Hi everyone,

When you think of Canada what comes to mind? Probably Maple Syrup, Poutine, Snow, and Hockey. But most people also think of the beautiful wilderness filled with iconic animals, from the ridiculously oversized moose, to the psychopathic murder duck aka the Canada Goose, or maybe our national animals the important and hard working beaver, you definitely have heard of some of our animals. All these animals can be found in our beautiful and iconic National Parks. Now you probably realize that these parks are important to the animals, and ecosystems which they protect, but what if I told you they’re important to Canada’s history, economy, and culture. Well that was the topic of a zine article I just wrote for MONOVA.

(Zine embedded)

So for this project we had to find a topic which had significance in the history of the North Shore in the 1950s and 60s. My topic was the provincial parks, then we had to find a topic significant to the development of Canada in that same time period. Mine was, the rise of our national parks and eco tourism. Then connect it to a topic of global significance, mine was the importance of nature reserves to conservation. After researching our topic and formulating a thesis we had to write a 5 paragraph essay about them. After that we had to format our essay into a magazine format and add photos. Then we submittted them and they were sent to MONOVA (Museum Of North Vancouver).

Throughout this project I have learned a lot. From how small events in the history of North Vancouver, can be connected to major developments in Canada’s history as a whole. I also learned about how hard formatting a magazine article is. I spent at least 3 hours re-formatting and editing my zine article to make sure it filled the page. I also realized the impact a well placed photo can have on an article.

Loon Lake Advance 2022

Hi everyone,

Two weeks ago we just returned from an iconic PLP experience which we lacked for the past 2 years. Can you guess what I’m talking about? Of course I’m talking about an overnight field study. These are a core part of the PLP experience. If you have been around my blog for awhile, and when I say awhile I mean since October 2019 when I was just 5 foot 4 and COVID didn’t repeatedly torture us all, you would know we went to Oregon on a 7 day field study. This was definitely the most fun I’ve ever had learning in “school”. Anyways we went to loon lake retreat. It is located near golden ears park and Mapleridge. 

Location of Loon Lake

So before I get onto the learning which unless you’re my teachers won’t be the most interesting part of this blog post. I want to give you a recap of the highlights of the trip. 

The view from 1 minute outside of our lodge

04/04/22 around 11am we loaded onto the bus and departed Seycove Secondary. However we weren’t heading straight to loon lake. We were going to Popeyes for lunch. The food was great but it still didn’t compare to what we did next. We stopped at Raptors Ridge Birds of Prey. This was the highlight of the day and possibly my favourite activity on the trip. I love raptors and spend a lot of time observing and photographing them, especially Bald Eagles and Barred Owls. At this stop we got to see many different Raptor Species including a white morph Gyrfalcon. An extremely rare bird from the icy north of Canada and Greenland. We also got to see a Harris Hawk, the wolf of the sky. We learned many interesting things about Raptor Conservation and why they keep these birds on there property. Overall extremely interesting 10/10 would recommend if you like birds and are in Vancouver. Then we arrived at the lake got settled in, ate and did some learning. I also watched the March Madness Finals, extremely exciting but how did UNC lose. I was so disappointed. Caleb Love was truly awful. Please leave a comment below about March Madness or NBA playoffs. I would love to discuss those. 

A Peregrine Falcon at Raptors Ridge Birds of Prey Centre

04/05/22 This was our first of two full days at the retreat (but in PLP we don’t retreat we advance.) This day included 6 hours of outdoor activities. After Breakfast we met up and got split up into our activity groups. My first activity was canoeing. It was my favourite activity of the day and was very peaceful. We learned strokes such as the Forward, Pry, Draw, and J strokes. These are all used to effectively steer a canoe. Something I didn’t realize was difficult or complicated until then. I really loved sitting out in the lake in the cool spring morning as the sun peaked through the clouds. After that we did Archery, it was cool but I already do it quite often while camping. Then after lunch we did high ropes. This was interesting and a great opportunity to push my comfort zone. Finally we wrapped up the day with climbing which was a great workout. Then we set our goals for the rest of the advance. Something I will touch on later. 


The Canoes on the dock


04/06/22 This was a day of learning and working towards our goals. My goal which by the way was not a SMART goal (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Timely), my goal lacked all but relevant. It’s hard to put into words but it was about reflecting on my growth as a learner in order to stay on track towards growing as well as holding myself accountable for other goals. I had some opportunities this day to work towards it. However it was hard to make serious progress to a goal this long term in a day. I think setting a more achievable and timely goal would definitely have made it easier to grow on this advance.

The reflective lake was very reflective

04/07/22 Our final day. We spent the morning learning and packing up. Then we had lunch and drove to the extreme airpark. It was super fun and a great workout. After that we returned home sleep deprived and hungry. 

A photo from a little photo walk we did. It was supposed to be a challenge but I would have won to easily so we didn’t vote.

So as previously hinted this trip was about advancing (cause in PLP we never retreat only advance) and you know what I advanced. Not in the way I originally planned to but it was remarkable progress. The two biggest ways I advanced was in my mindfulness and note taking. These might seem remarkably different but they both came as by products of my not so great goal. How you might be wondering? While I asked myself the same thing. But I’ve come to the conclusion it came from me starting to develop my goal while canoeing. Out on the water we practiced mindfulness and it really set the tone for the rest of the day. Then that night I began using our note taking app, craft to reflect on our experiences in the day. While doing this I came to the conclusion that being more mindful led to me having better reflections and notes. Those last two achievements lend to me feeling like I made a ton of progress growing as a learner that day. Now you might be able to see how my goal was linked to these two but I probably should have focused on taking better notes during lessons instead of other goal. 

Just enjoy my incredible photography

Loon Lake was definitely a great experience and acted a bit of a teaser for our bigger trip in grade 11 (New Mexico?) It also taught me so much more then I expected and truly helped me grow as a learner.

-Loon Lake was a blast 

Improvising a Project?!?

Hi everyone,

Since November I have been preparing for a big contest. It’s an event called Destination Imagination or DI. This actually wasn’t my first time competing in the challenge. In grade 8 I competed as well (read post here). However this year my category was completely different and really pushed my comfort zone. My challenge was called Festival Frenzy. Also I would highly recommend checking out my group members posts. Annie, Ethan, Jakub, Logan

Video of our performance

So if you don’t know much about DI you can visit the organization’s official website here. But the quick rundown is, its a challenge where teams compete in various categories. These challenges are centred around teaching youth the skills needed to grow as a learner. Our class competed in 4 categories, Technical, Scientific, Improv, and Fine Arts. I was apart of the improv challenge which is something far outside my comfort zone. 

Taking risks is important for learning

I am not typically comfortable with acting and presenting creative work. The strange thing is I am quite comftorable public speaking but not very comfortable acting. It seems kind of strange to me. I am fully okay with talking about a project I made however, the second I have to act I freak out. Anyways getting back on topic. This challenge gave me a great opportunity to grow and become better at acting. It also taught me other skills such as teamwork, leadership, and Flexibility. These are all skills which I am always trying to improve. Overall I found that I grew a lot during this challenge. 

Our team photo

One of the biggest points of contention throughout our team was practice. This included both how it should be execute and how often it should be done. Some group members thought we should only practice the actual challenge. Others thought we should try various improv games. This was tough to settle and often ended up in various group members not practicing for weeks on end. Practice was definitely the biggest part of our teams execution of this challenge I would change. Our group should have been more open to trying new things and should have tried more styles of practice. We also really should have practiced more often. 

All in all DI was a great learning experience. I improved a lot of important skills and learned a lot of lessons. I think my team should have done some things differently but there’s nothing I can do now except reflect.