Oh hey, it’s the end January, so that means… mPOLs!!!!
If you don’t already know, mPOLs are our mid-year presentations of learning. Instead of the usual parent-teacher interviews, we as students demonstrate and reflect on our knowledge to our teachers and parents. This allows for the opportunity to look back on work and become better learnings. This being my ninth presentation of learning, I’ve grown accustomed to reflection and critiquing myself. Nonetheless, each year I face a new set of challenges and take my knowledge to the next level.
This year my mPOL will be focusing on my opportunities for improvement through the driving question:
What is my learning goal that I want to reach by the end of this school year, and how will I meet it?
Looking back on my last presentation of learning
Looking back on my last presentation of learning, on top of asking a question to my parents and teachers, I also set a summer goal for myself. This goal was in the hopes of leading myself on the right track to improving my reading and writing skills. Throughout the summer, I told myself I wanted to read at least 2 books and write at least 2 non-academic blog posts. I achieved this summer goal and wrote a blog post about my achievement and its impact here:
The Importance of Revision
During our first unit of the year, we dove into learning about what makes something a classic, whether that be literature, film or a play. Specifically looking at Shakespeare, play the Taming of the Shrew. One of our assignments was to write an essay on whether or not the taming of the shrew is a classic. In the planning stages of the essay, I found it especially challenging to come up with a solid point with evidence. Writing is difficult for me, especially when it’s arguing for a specific side (aka whether or not It was a classic).
I decided to say the Taming of the Shrew was a classic. Using the source ‘What Makes Literature a Classic’ as a reference point, I wrote the first draft of my essay. This first draft was not writing I was proud of. I generalized a didn’t focus on one specific point area of what makes The Taming of the Shrew a classic.
When we were given the chance to revise our essays I took this as the opportunity to take a step back and rethink my points of what makes the play a classic. Instead of immediately trying to write an essay down, I decided to focus on the planning stages of writing an essay. From reading a book on how to write a good essay I know that the steps to writing an essay are like a triangle meaning that if you spend more time planning you will spend less time writing and if you spend less time planning you will spend more time writing. Because it made it easier to write I decided to outline my entire essay before writing. Doing this made it so much easier to clearly outline my points and find evidence to back up the point I was trying to make. I based my essay on how Kate’s strive for independence resonates with women throughout history, focusing primarily on the ideas of relevance among generations. By focusing on one aspect of what makes The Taming of the Shrew a classic, I was able to give several examples from that one point that help solidify my opinion.
Through taking a step back and focusing on the preparation stages, I was able to be much more successful in the long run. This is something I will continue to keep in mind not only throughout the remainder of the school year but throughout my post-secondary experience.
The Importance of F.A.I.L.ing
The last unit we worked on was our horror unit, which was a complete learning experience, aka F.A.I.L. (first attempt in learning). The class project within our horror unit was to create a horror film. However, this project did not go as expected, and our final project wasn’t even close to a full-length horror movie. Although the movie didn’t work out as expected, what I learned during the creation process and reflection were far more beneficial than those that I would have gained if the movie was a success.
My role during the movie production was production designer. As a Production Designer, my job was to work one creating the vision that the critical, creative team had for each scene. I definitely didn’t pursue my role to its full potential, as I should have communicated more with the director as to what the scene should look like. Even though I did research about my part and what it entails I feel as though I should have been more thorough with what I did. As I didn’t know my role to its full extent at the time, I felt that my perspective wasn’t heard on specific aspects of the scenes. This was unquestionably a learning experience for me as I had to find a middle ground for my role where I was beneficially contributing to the project.
As mentioned before, our project didn’t really work out as expected. I think some of the main issues that we had were a lack of leadership and lack of communication. With 17 people in our class, communication was crucial; however, we lacked doing it. In a real movie projection, there are a large number of people who all work well alongside one another. Our class was a disjointed unit as each team within the production split off instead of working alongside one another. After reflecting on this project and where we went wrong, I think the lack of quality time we spend during pre-production was an initial gauge towards the end result of this movie.
From teamwork to movie production skills, there are many things I learned from this experience. Throughout this movie production, the most important skills I learned was the value of communication and pre-production. Although there were what I learned from our movie projection, they are skills I can apply to every assignment to become a more productive student and reach my academic goal towards exhibiting work that is extending under the proficiency scale.
The Importance of Hard Work
During this year, I’ve been trying to go up and beyond to reach the standards I’ve put in place for myself. To do so, this includes putting numerous hours into my work to exemplify the type of student I want to be. For our most recent project, the task was to show the significance of one of the things mentioned in the Billy Joel song “We Didn’t Start the Fire.”
I decided to choose birth control as my and to show the significance, I created a fifteen-minute interview-style podcast. Through my interview with 3 women ages 30, 48 and 76, I got their first-hand experience and multigenerational opinions of the pill’s significant over the past 60 years. This showed the profundity, quantity and durability of the pill in our society.
The hardest part of creating this podcast was the numerous hours of editing I spent trimmer the audio clips and choosing the best points from my interviewees to show the significance of birth control. The original length of the audio from all the interviews was over an hour-long, and I edited it down to just 15 mins. This editing probably took me an estimated 15+ hours of work plus on top of that time to create a presentation and practise presenting. Even though I struggled through the hours of work to create the podcast, it was worth it as I was able to improve my podcast and interview skills while building an artifact that genuinely shows the significance of birth control.
I decided to choose an interview-style podcast as I knew it would take me outside my comfort zone and challenge me to become a better learner. Although this project was challenging for me, it has been the project I am most proud of this year as it encompasses so many different aspects to create it.
Present and Future
This year has been tough to balance for me. With school, basketball, scholarship and university applications and trying to implement gluten-free options into the school. Through this past term and a half, I’ve felt overwhelmed as there is not enough time in the day to get everything done. As with our presentations of learning, we always have to pose a question to our parents and teachers. I thought that the best use of this question would be in regards to balancing my life in my years past high school.
My thoughtful question is:
Throughout these projects, I’ve learned the importance of communication, preparation and always working hard. What can I do within my PLP courses over the next 5 months to better prepare myself as a learner for my academic years in post-secondary?