mPOL time!

“Thank you for coming to my presentation of learning. I am the expert on my own learning. I am also responsible and accountable for my own learning. You can expect me to give an honest evaluation of my progress. We will discuss my strengths and opportunities for growth. Thank you in advance for listening and for offering feedback that I can use to improve as a learner.”

My 9th grade so far has been filled with many new, fun, challenging, frustrating learning experiences. 

There have been so many ups, but so many downs (so much growth 🙌). I can already say, this is the hardest school year I have had. I have seen new versions of myself through different situations, and how I handle them. At the start of the year, I wanted to have a very strong academic year (which I still do), but as projects passed, new priorities arose. 

Everyday I learn, which I can wait to tell you more about.

Let’s get right into it and start strong with my “Thrill-Us” marker project! (Which was a ‘horror’ to make!)

Thrill Us!

Maker, unsurprisingly, was the title holder for “worst project”! This is a very negative way to start, but on a positive note, I feel reflects so much of my growth, learning, and areas for improvement. This project I am reflecting on is the Thrill Us film project, which my friends and I got to create. Immediately, I had to learn how to straight up create short film (which in itself is filled with so many aspects), but I also I had to this while working this many creative differences. I like to think of myself as a strong collaborator, which I still do see myself as, but I have never needed to work so closely which a group on such a creative project. 

We ended up with a very unique concept that could have been such an amazing short film. The important detail we forgot as we created storyboards, characters, and plot summaries. Our plan involved unheated water…. In the winter. Sadly, we also were terrible at scheduling ourselves enough filming and editing time. So on the Tuesday night, we filmed our movie. On the Wednesday, we realized almost all of our footage was terribly shot, and unusable. This project was due the Thursday night.  So that Wednesday, we realized we essentially failed. After creating such an intricate, unique, creative concept, our execution could not create a project anyone was proud of. 

Now, after such a hard fail, we had to quickly bounce back. And we BOUNCED. We were given an extension to Saturday, and within that time we had to alter/revise our idea, film, and edit. Together, after learning how to work with eachother, we created a new story(which did not involve water!). Even in the few days we had, we made sure we started filming right away, giving us more time. 

This project was an eye opening shockwave to the importance of time management, and balancing creativity with what’s realistic. I have now noticed myself reflecting to this project when I start new ones as a reminder of how much more challenging a project become when I don’t plan well enough. But, I do still create very challenging projects for myself, sometimes on a tight timeline. When looking at a recent humanities project “Rise of the Frankenstuffies”, I planned a very complicated and time consuming animation to make. I did end up completing it very close to the deadline, but still a little late because of the crazy-making-process.

Now that I can recognize this within my projects near the end, I need to become able to understand faster, and come up with solutions for when I do discover my project idea is too bold. I need to improve my learning plan, so I can meet the deadlines to my projects, while still having work that I am proud of.

I also would like to add how proud I am of the project, in the sense of how my team recovered, and created an insane short film (a piece of film media I will forever be proud of).

Louis Riel!

The next project I want to talk about was a RIEL hit! My Louis Riel project led me to creating a multi-paragraph response to the driving question: How has the portrayal of Louis Riel changed over time? When I first went into this project, I remembered thinking “this is going to be super easy!”. Turns outs, I struggled. Like, a lot. 

We spent lots of time learning about Riel, which I felt did really well with. I became quite engaged in my work, and even enthusiastic. Then, when we actually had to start writing, I couldn’t do it. I don’t remember exactly what happened, but during that class on Monday I stared at my iPad as my peers around me seemed to know exactly what to do. Right after that class, I had a mini panic attack, which led me to finally asking for help. But within the time my humanities class started and when I was crying in the counsellors office, I could have asked for help. I also could have worked on not letting myself get to that point. Experiences like this have been happening my whole life, largely due to my perfectionism. I believe the reason I could not start writing my paragraph in class was because I wanted to get it right on the first try, but I knew I couldn’t, because I didn’t understand fully what to do. And because I wanted to be able to get it right my very first copy, a part of me believed I shouldn’t “need” to ask for help. 

Before this project, I thought I had a very improved control over my reactions to situations likes this. In my learning plan, “improving coping strategies”, was a very big goal for me. It is something that effects me a lot. This project made me realize how much I still have to develop, while also leading me to very helpful strategies! Because I became hyper aware of my emotions in this time, I actually turned to social media looking for ways other people keep themselves calm. The two strategies I now use as much as I can are 1. Box breathing  2. Asking myself “will this matter in 5 years?” . Now these strategies might seem strange, but have really helped me in following situations, such as moments in the “Rise of the Frankstuffie” project, and Di. 

Even though I wish every project could go smoothly, I know most won’t. But, by the end of this year, I want to have done at least 1 project where I am not so strongly upset, panicked, and overwhelmed. I want to have a strong method for me to use during project so that I can let myself have help, and not be so freaked out that my learning experience is ruined. I have already come up with some strategies, but I now will also be asking for suggestions and HELP from my teachers and peers to be able to complete this goal.

Thank you for reading to my mPOL. This reflective experience has actually been very helpful, in reminding myself what is important, what my goals are, the crazy year I’ve had, and how much I have learned. 

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