Welcome back to another weekly reflection. This week, I think I got the gist of what these are supposed to be. But of course, there has to be a draw back. This week’s is that, due to a series of unfortunate events, I was only at school for one day. But, we learned lots in that one day. The thing that stood out to me most is our study of ‘feminist’ songs, specifically Man, I Feel Like a Woman by Shania Twain.
We were looking at the song, analyzing it, to see if it was a female empowerment song. And when we first started it, I thought it was. I remember being a little kid at sleepovers singing karaoke versions of it. But taking a closer look, its debatable. Of course, I can’t make a decision for anyone, but there are a couple key reasons I learned about it that made me take a second look.
The first was a preconception I had coming to the song. I thought that it was Shania Twain who wrote the song. And that’s true, to a certain extent. She co-wrote the song with her then-husband, Robert John “Mutt” Lange. He is a big time music producer, working with artists like AC/DC and Lady Gaga. So, was it really Twain who wanted to write the song, or was it mostly Lange, using Twain’s image to say these things?
The music video plays on the Lange/Twain idea as well. As the song progresses, Twain takes off more and more clothing. It could be seen as empowering to women, if it was Twain’s idea, or that she was totally on board with the idea. On the other hand, it could just be Lange trying to make more money by putting a scantily-clad woman in a music video.
The other thing about the music video is that it parodies a music video from the 80’s, Robert Palmer’s Addicted to Love. That video shows expressionless female models ‘playing’ instruments in the back. In Twain’s version, they puts blank-eyed male models in tight clothing in the back. It begs the question, for women to become equal do they have to do to men what men do to women?
I honestly don’t know what to think about the song. Its definitely something. But, learning about the subtext in songs makes me pay more attention to what I listen to.
I’d like to preface this post with the fact that I’m still not 100% sure what the teachers want from these posts. Unclear if that’s just me being less than smart, or something else. Regardless, I came up with this idea for my weekly reflection and so were going with it.
One thing that I’ve noticed, that we’ve touched on a wee bit, is the amount of adaptations of The Taming of the Shrew. By adaptations, I mean movies, television shows, plays of course, all that jazz. Believe you me, there are more than enough. The thing is, I guess the themes are timeless or whatever, so people keep making them.
I was curious. So, as one does, I went investigating. Like I mentioned before, there are quite a few adaptations that I could choose from. I decided to look into two of them, and kinda give the low down on them in this post. The ones I’ve chosen are all movies, to be clear, but interesting enough in their own rights.
Just a note, I haven’t actually seen these movies, or not the entire thing.
The first movie version that we’ll be talking about is the 1929 version of the film, directed by Sam Taylor. This version was in fact talkie*, and the first talkie of The Taming of the Shrew. It starred Mary Pickford as Kate, and her husband, Douglas Fairbanks as Petruchio.
The film is most notable for how Pickford delivered Kate’s last speech of the movie. When Kate goes through the reasons that a wife should obey her husband, she makes a subtle communication with Bianca, which Petruchio does not notice, that shows that Kate has not actually been tamed. This opposes the idea in the original Shakespeare version, where in the end Kate is tamed. In Taylor’s version, Kate knows what’s going on, and responds accordingly.
The next version is the 1967 adaptation, which I have seen parts of as it is the version we are watching in class. This one, directed by Franco Zeffirelli, is probably the most famous version. Something that is an interesting connection between both this version and the previous version is that in both, Kate and Petruchio are played by real life couples. Zeffirelli’s version starred Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton.
In this version, there does seem to be a bit more of the idea that Kate and Petruchio actually fall in love. It is also noted that Kate tends to cast longing glances at Petruchio, as we’ve discussed in class a few times.
The biggest difference in Taylor’s performance then Pickford’s comes again to Kate’s last speech. Taylor chose to deliver the speech with seniority, much to the dismay of Burton and Zeffirelli. However, she continues to undermine Petruchio’s authority by leaving the banquet without him.
I wanted to compare these two because of the different ideals of women in the time period, and how both Pickford and Taylor play the character of Katherina. I think its interesting how in both versions, the decision was made to show that Kate was never actually tamed. That speaks a lot to the idea of the perfect wife, and something to consider when watching these.
*talkie: a movie with a soundtrack, as opposed to a silent film
PLP 11. Wow, I’m old. Since coming to this program in grade 8, I’ve learned so much about thinking flexibly, and on the recent Albuquerque, New Mexico trip, I did just that. It was 6 days of waking up ridiculously early, learning about bombs of all things, and collecting evidence.
For the Albuquerque trip instead of, as many of our field schools are, just collecting everything you can on the trip without knowing what the final product was, we did actually know what we needed. It was still a race to get information, but we knew specifically what we needed. See, for this project, we were making a book. I talk more about it in the Albuquerque trip post, but basically we had to use this book to prove that the atomic bomb was a kind of turning point for the world, that there was a time before the bomb was dropped, and a time after. Which it really is. The world has never been the same. But more on that in the other post.
For the trip, I knew a moderately vague outline of what I needed for my project. I had what goes where, all that, but I wanted to collect as much as possible so I would have it when making the book. The first thing I decided was to ask Emily if I could use her mic. PLP has lapel mic’s, but Emily’s you can just hook up to your phone, and record holding it. At first when I asked, she said she wouldn’t have room, but I said I could pack it. And I am so glad I brought it. It didn’t only help me, either. We did a lot of media sharing on this trip, between classmates. I think that decision was a huge help in all of our projects. Maybe if you didn’t get exactly what you needed, someone else did, and you could share.
Another thing that I think was a bit of a risk was talking to strangers. When we were actually at the Trinity Site, Jesse and I went around to people who had come to the site and ask them why they came. It was a risk because we didn’t know exactly how those interviews would work out. Originally, I was going to ask people about their opinions on nuclear power, but some people might not have answers. I had to adapt my book to what happened, and boy, did it pan out. I got some amazing interviews with people who came to the site. Most people wanted to come here because it changed the world, and that’s exactly what our books are about. How this one event changed the world forever.
Another thing that I did on the trip was to take advantage of time. The first draft of my book had the content I wanted, but the theme looked like literal garbage. I knew that due to the early mornings, I wouldn’t have tons of time at night to edit, because we needed as much sleep as we could get. So while driving, and even on the plane, I edited. I used the extra time, so I wouldn’t have as much work to do on the trip. Also, but constantly adding things to my book and editing it, I knew what I still needed to collect from the sites.
Overall, this was an amazing experience. Talking to so many people, it was amazing to hear how this still impacts people today. I learned so much, so much of it that I wouldn’t have been able to learn in a classroom.
Energy, the magical commodity that is destroying our world. Well, not anymore! In science class, we created generators powered by the environment to charge an iPhone!
This project was really cool because we were building something that could actually be used. Like, you could legit take it into the woods, find a stream, and power stuff! I had a lot of fun building it, and then seeing how awesome it actually was by measuring the energy production!
Now, it’s time for curricular competencies!
Contribute to finding solutions to problems at a local and/or global level through inquiry.
For this project, we were focusing on using energy from nature to power our generators. This is really important now, because of all the issues our world is having with global warming. Learning about this, and how to build a generator that uses clean energy, can help us in the future. Also, all the materials we used were reused from previous science projects!
Make observations aimed at identifying their own questions, including increasingly complex ones, about the natural world.
When we were first pitched this task, we had to figure how exactly we were going to capture energy from nature. We had to look at our natural environment, and see what we could create. Seeing as Vancouver is very rainy, and there are many streams nearby, my partner and I decided to create a water powered generator. Water is a very strong force, and our generator worked very well.
Demonstrate a sustained intellectual curiosity about a scientific topic or problem of personal interest.
Global warming is all around us, making our summers warmer, decreasing our snowpacks, and so much more. The little things we do in class, like reusing materials, can help our world. We had to research what types of generators would use natural energy. Although there are many types of renewable energy sources, our world uses a lot of fossil fuels. Having our project relate to what is actually going on in the world makes the projects seem less far fetched. Knowing how energy is produced can help us in the future.
Construct, analyze, and interpret graphs (including interpolation and extrapolation), models, and/or diagrams.
For this project, we had to graph the energy production of our generators against a solar panel. With our past projects we have done this type of graphing quite a bit, so those skills really transferred over. Seeing how our generator measured up against the solar panel was really cool. The cost saving was less cool. Although it is always cool to see how what we do in class measures up to the real world, energy doesn’t seem to be that expensive, at least to charge your phone. It’d take about 72,000 days for our generator to be the same price as regular energy, but at least it’s something!
This year was the launch for the new PLP course PGP, or personal growth plan. In this course, we learned strategies to help us with our other classes, and over all. This was a very interesting project, and I am taking a lot away from it.
In the course, we had three main topics, though all are very linked. They were as follows.
So, as most of my posts do, I’ll explain each area and what I took away from it. But first, I want to talk to the reader specifically. Our final project for this was the time machine project, where we were to create an artifact that if we sent to ourselves at the beginning of this year, we would have been more successful. I made a puppet show!
I decided to make a puppet show because I like seeing, and I thought it would be a fun way to represent my learning! This was a bit difficult, making all the little props and things. It definitely took a while to sew all the puppets, make all the props, and set up the scene.
I think this final project was really cool. It made you take a look at everything we’ve learned over the last year, and choose what really helped you. I know I’ve always had a hard time organizing my time, and having these visual things really helped me this year. We also had a lot of creative freedom when deciding what to have as our artifact, which was really nice. Sometimes having to much creative freedom in a project is bad, but I think this was a project it worked really well for. I’m excited to see what other people are doing for theirs!
If I were to do this project again, or any other project involving puppets, I would create a more interesting set. I also did have a bit of a hard time filming the puppets while moving them with both my hands and not having them come into frame. I do believe you can see my hand at one point. Overall, I am pretty proud of this!
In the video, I touched on each of the three sections, but I only represented some of each of them. Remember the three titles? Well, now I’m going to walk you through all of them!
This was the topic most represented in my time machine project. Productivity is really important for high schoolers, because we have so much going on. There were kinda two main points about productivity that we learned about.
Time blocking, which I kinda explained in my time machine project, has really helped me this year. Time blocking is a really cool feature of pretty much any calendar app. You can make events for anything, really. I have all my classes time blocked, my sports games, any homework I have to do, work, holidays, it’s really everything. I even time blocked time to do this blog Post! I really find it helpful to find time to work on projects. If I have something due in two weeks, I can look ahead in my time blocked calendar to see when I’ll have time to do it. Time blocking is one of my favourite things to do now, because now time isn’t just this concept in my head. It’s an actual, semi physical thing that I can add things to. Speaking of things…
Things is an app. It is an amazing app. It’s kinda like reminders, but way better. You make to do’s, about projects or whatever. You can even have project folders that can organize all the work for one project in one place. I have all my subjects as folders, and if there is a humanities project we’re working on, I can make a section in the folder about that project.
The app works very well in tandem with time blocking. If you have something that you want to complete during a time blocked section, you can set it as a task in things, or vice versa! Say you set a reminder that in two days you need to finish an assignment. When setting up your time blocking, you can check things to see what you have to do and by when. Using Things and Calendars together has really helped me stay on top of everything!
Oh, I almost forgot about the other part of productivity, the Weekly Review.
The weekly review is something you do, well every week. First, you clear out all of your inboxes. You make sure you have checked off the tasks you’ve completed in things, check your email, that kind of thing. Then, you look back. In things, you can see everything that you have completed. You can also look back at your time blocking to see what you did. This also involves keeping a journal type of thing, where you document all of this. Next, you look ahead. Check your things, time block for next week, and see what you are looking forwards to.
I didn’t really find the weekly review that helpful. I understand the purpose, and I did try it for a while, but I always found myself dreading it. I kinda just time blocked when I was bored, or finished my work. I also kept time blocking the weekly review for Sunday’s, and I work Sunday’s, so it never worked out that great.
The next two sections went along with books, which was interesting. I have never really read self help books before, and I don’t think it’s something I would want to do again. They really made me look at myself with a new perspective, but two is enough.
The book we read was called What Do You Really Want? How to Set a Goal and Go for It! by Beverly K. Bachel. In the book, we learned about ourselves, and like it says, what we really want. Each part of the book would teach you about something, and then it would have a worksheet thing for you to fill out. I thought this was cool, because you had to really think about what you had read, and yourself, to fill out the worksheets well. It wasn’t only worksheets though.
The coolest part of the book was when we had to create the dream board. The dream board shows you, your goals, your passions, all that stuff. It was really cool to see this physical manifestation of myself. I had to actually think about myself, my passions, and my future. It was a fun time.
The goal setting skills really fit in with the productivity part of PGP, specifically Things. There are sections of Things where your can put to do’s in Someday. This can help you organize your goals, and having these in Things can encourage you to work towards them. If the first step of your goal is to read a book, then put it in Things. You can even time block time to work towards the goal!
Goal setting is really cool, I think. All these tips I learned in the book can make me reflect on my goals, and make sure they are achievable. One of my goals is to go to Post Secondary, and I can start working towards that now. Knowing my goals can help me make sure I do everything to achieve my goal. For this specific goal, I know I will have to research what courses I need to get into university, and plan my courses accordingly. I will also have to get good grades, which I can work towards everyday. Goals are very important if you want to be productive. Hey, they really are connected!
The other book we read was 7 Habits of Highly Effective Teens by Sean Covey. This was a very interesting book. I don’t know what else to say about it. Again, you had to look very inward, but I thought it was a bit strange. It was formatted strange, switching between stories about people, the knowledge part, quotes, and other stuff. I may just think this because the book ended up being weird in Books, but it was very, interesting.
The seven habits were very helpful, though. The were as follows.
Begin with the End in Mind
Put First Things First
Seek First to Understand, Then to be Understood
Sharpen the Saw
A lot of these intertwined with the other things we had learned. An example of this was Begin with the End in Mind. This kinda followed up on what we had talked about with regards to goal setting. When you start something, you should know where it’s going. Having the end in mind can help you make sure you stay on track, rather than derailing to something completely different. I have a it of problem with this. Sometimes I have an idea of the end, then my train of thought veers onto another track, gets blocked and has to turn around to find another route, or falls off a cliff to a fiery death.
Another thing that connects these habits to the other parts of PGP is Habit 1, Be Proactive. If you handed in a project late, it’s not because the teacher didn’t give you enough time. You can’t blame other people. There are 24 hours in a day, you just didn’t prioritize the project. The time quadrants from Habit 3 fit into this also. If you spend all your time in quadrant 3, quadrant 4, or even quadrant 2, you obviously aren’t going do fantastically. You do have to find a balance, like it says in Sharpen the Saw. Everything in life is about balance. Time block some relaxation, to make sure you can decompress. Add it to Things. It never good to overwork yourself.
Overall, this PGP course was really helpful. With all of these tools in my toolkit, I’ve been able to really stay on top of everything this year. Staying on top of everything has really helped my mental health this year. Last year at this time, I was not doing great. Now, I know how to cope with tons of work! If I were to go back and do this again, I think I would’ve made more notes within the books for me to reflect back on. I know the gist of each of the books, but having the overviews in note form within the book would’ve helped me understand what I was learning a bit more. Also, having these would be helpful if I wanted to remember the main ideas without rereading the book!
Crazy people change the world by bringing the future to societal norms. There are many examples of this in Seattle, which we have gone to. One of these futuristic groups is B8ta, a technology store in University Village. At B8ta, they demonstrate IOT, which is internet of things, and take customer service to the next level. All their technology takes everyday objects, and merges them with technology. There are water bottles that tell you how much water to drink, electronic wallets, and so much more. Each of their products the consumer can test out. This encourages people to try new things, and see not what they need, but what they want. When you test out this technology, you can see how far our world has come within the sphere of technology, and yet we keep moving. As we add technology to more and more things, you can understand why we need it. Another crazy thing in is Microsoft’s Hackathon. This is an event where employees of Microsoft get together to form new ideas for whatever they want. Through this, employees are encouraged to workshop ideas, and create them. They can come up with these amazing, futuristic concepts, and bring them to life. The Hackathon is definitely something out of the ordinary. By giving people this opportunity to get their ideas out, they have more space to think of more ideas, and help innovate the world, taking us farther down the path of the future. Creative minds help bring ideas to us. One final example of crazy is at Amazon. They operate as if everyday is Day 1. Everyday they try new things, work with new ideas, and move forward. This scares some people, because routine can be important, even a ritual for some people. But by having this mindset, they can move forward, developing new concepts and technology. The Day 1 idea helps Amazon take their failures and successes, and improve. This reflection creates new technology that’s way better than the first draft. Try, try again, and develop the technology of the future. These extraordinary people have created amazing things, that greatly impact our lives. The future is scary, controversial, and different, but helps our world move forward. Without these forward thinkers, society would be mightily behind what is is today.
As is a part of PLP, we always go on an interesting Field School. I also find a theme to connect the trips, such as The JourneyEast. This year, we follow the same trend, though I guess it’ll be a bit more circley. Anyways, this is South.
This post is also part of the Cray Cray unit and series of three posts! The other posts explain the introduction into our unit, and the end result.
I would just like to start by saying that Seattle is the American version of Vancouver.
So, if you’ve read the other Cray Cray posts, you probably know the gist of this unit, and our focuses and such. But if not, let me explain. We’ve been working with the idea of Crazy, and why it takes a crazy person to change the world. We have studied several people, and ideas based in Seattle, who demonstrate this idea of crazy.
The first thing we did (that I haven’t already explained in other posts) was an essay based around this question. We chose different Seattle based people, and explained what made them crazy. I chose Stan Lee, Paul Allen and the Wright Brothers. It was very interesting, as it was not an in-class essay. We also had to learn how to do MLA formatting. This is SO annoying, but it is good to know.
With all this prior knowledge, we set off at 5 O’CLOCK IN THE MORNING to Seattle. I didn’t like that part. But the rest of the trip was amazing, and what this post is about. Don’t let my rambling fool you, that is where this is going.
The PROJECT part of the trip was a video. We were put in groups based on our essay people and had to film on location while in Seattle. My part in this was writing the script, and the screenplay. This was a bit difficult, seeing as we weren’t exactly sure what was at each place. I am pretty proud of the script, and I didn’t need to do tons of revision. One thing I would do next time is have a clearer outline of the interviews. We did get some, and a few were very good, but I feel as though the questions could’ve been more structured.
K. Seattle. Learning. I did learn a lot on this trip, but wether or not it was the stuff the teachers wanted us to learn is another story. We went to a ton of places, and I don’t really want this post to go on forever. So, I am going to explain a few of my favourite places, and places I learned a lot.
Microsoft Garage Microsoft was the first place we went in Seattle. We first went on a tour, and as much fun as that was, this is not the section called ‘Microsoft Tour’. This is the Microsoft Garage section, which probably doesn’t make sense unless you went with us. The Microsoft Garage is a place in Microsoft where they come up with new ideas, and have the resources to make them! It was amazing, and we got a super cool tour from Dude Who’s Name I Can’t Remember. He talked about the things they do there, and the process in which they make things. What was really cool was that a lot of the ideas that he talked we use in PLP. It’s nice to see that the things we do in PLP aren’t totally mental.
Also with Dude Who’s Name I Can’t Remember we talked about ideas, and passion. You have to be passionate, involved with your idea, for it to come to fruition. He said how the best things come from a diverse team. This idea really makes you think. Maybe it’s why our teachers always make us work with different people. We’ll never know.
The Living Computers lab was super cool, like legit amazing. They had technology from decades ago, showing the beginning of computers, the highs and lows of the industry. It’s crazy to think how technology that once too up entire rooms, and entire buildings, can now fit in our pockets.
There were arcade games, and remote control robots, it was amazing. But the thing was, because there was lots of old technology, there was a really high pitch sound resonating from said technology. It hurt my head, and mildly negatively impacted my time there. It was still amazing though.
Chihuly Garden and Glass Dale Chihuly is a very controversial figure. I talk about him a bit in my PechaKucha, and that’s probably enough. Just watching that would be enough. Anyways. We went to the Chihuly Garden and Glass. It was crazy. The art sculptures on display was fantastically inspiring. It’s amazing.
During the trip, I think I had a hard time living in the moment, as I was always thinking about what we needed to film for the video. If I were to go back, I think I would focus on the present, and having fun rather that all work. Good thing my friend is making me go back to Seattle during spring break!
Also while in Seattle, we were ‘locked in a room forced’ to write a paragraph about crazy ideas. It took many, many drafts, so it will be shared to the world. And yes, I copied it from the original because you deserve to be able to read it without going to another page. It is at the top in the HotBox accordion.
In Scimathics throughout the month of December, and a little bit of January, we’ve been looking at expanding and factoring algebra. To do this, we’ve used algebra tiles, which are shapes that represent the equations. For example, (x + 3)(3x + 2) would translate to
After learning about all this, we had to create a game. This game would use algebra tiles to expand and factor different algebraic equations. We created Tower Ball. The goal of the game is to protect your tower from your opponent. We made a video explaining the rules.
I learned a lot from this video. But instead of doing my usual reflection, we’ve been asked by our teacher to choose different curricular competencies that we worked on during this project and explain how we used them. So that’s exactly what I’m doing!
Connect mathematical concepts with each other, other areas, and personal interests.
For this project, and most projects, it makes it more interesting when you add your personal interests. When you do this, it pushes you to do better. For this project, I made the game have a medival theme. The tower is based off of a tower that I used to drive past often. I feel as though this theme really added to the game, and made it more fun to play!
Think creatively and with curiosity and wonder when exploring problems.
When given the task of creating a game that uses algebra tiles to expand and factor algebraic equations, a lot of us had to really think of what to do. It was hard to come up with an idea, let alone one that would be fun. Me and my partner Tamara looked down several pathways, trying to find a viable idea. Then finally, after many ideas, we came up with tower ball. It would be fun, as including not only math, but also construction and destruction. What more could you want?
Visualize to explore and illustrate mathematical concepts and relationships.
Algebra tiles played a huge part in this project, and their main purpose is to help people visualize algebraic equations, in an actual, physical form. Using the algebra tiles while learning about these concepts was hugely beneficial. When I had these physical things, it really helped me fully comprehend what we were learning. In the video, I think we demonstrate this well. We show how a number, the values on the cards, can be used to solve these equations.
Represent mathematical ideas in concrete, pictorial, and symbolic forms.
Again, this was mostly shown by the algebra tiles. These small pieces of plastic, or in the case of our video, abstract shapes, give physical form to mythical numbers. It demonstrates the intricacies of algebra, while being simple enough that a 5 year old could use them. The tiles show how the math works as well. You can see what’s multiplied together, and come to understand this complicated medium.
It’s beginning to look a lot like the holidays! It is soon the time for Christmas, Hanukkah and many others. My mom’s favourite holiday is solstice, on December 21st, but we still celebrate Christmas. For this week’s challenge, I decided to find a holiday game and write a review for it. The first game was Santa Map Dive on Google Santa Tracker!
This was a really fun game. The objective was clear, and it was very holiday based. It was cool having control of Santa, who resides over this holiday. What was really annoying was that the controls weren’t great, so moving Santa was extremely difficult. My friend tried it and Santa ended up spinning in a circle. Great game though. Good for older kids. Try it an tell me in the comments what you thought of it!
So for this week’s task, it was kinda interesting. We had either a week to catch, up or a free choice. I decided to do free choice because I’ve finished all the other ones. And I also decided to make an animation!
This is a story about Gerald and Norbert. Gerald and Norbert are in love, and, well, anyways, just watch the video.
I made this using a super simple tool called FlipaClip. It’s very user friendly, and you get to make awesome little animations. For the music I used Splice, and voila. Now you can make your own animations!
This project was all about genetics. DNA, RNA, all the fun stuff that makes up who you are. And this month, we’re talking about a really fun topic: Twins! More specifically, can cousins be twins?
The scenario that we were posed with for this project was a bit complicated. Pretty much, two sets of identical twins married each other. Sounds incestuous, I know. Anyways. Due to both sets of parents having the same DNA, we had to see if their kids could be identical. And that would require several little bits of information, which I will now explain.
Pedigree charts are kinda like a family tree. They show generations, but they’re more focused on traits. Specifically, which traits are passed down to whom and how.
Punnet squares help calculate the likely hood of a child of a couple having certain traits. You take the genotypes from each parent and mash ‘em up till you have 4 outcomes.
The video explains this better than I do here.
For this project, I worked with the wonderful Luca J. I would say that we worked well together, and will our different skills, we did a pretty good job. I did the scientific animations, using Keynote and Magic Move. It’s pretty simple but easy to understand.
This project was really cool. I love learning about how things work, and pretty much everything in science, so it was great! Next time, I would spend a bit more time on my animations, because the magic move wasn’t working in some place. Also, I would add more information about how due to meiosis, it would be very unlikely for cousins to be twins. But overall, I’m pretty proud.