“Thank you for coming to my presentation of learning. I am an expert on my learning. I am also responsible and accountable for my 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.”
This past summer, people were still very excited about being vaccinated. The temperature was pleasant, and the mood was high. We were all coming off of the spring exhibition with our spirits high, where we achieved our goal fully. The first day came with a shock of normality, but that quickly faded. We didn’t know what was to come, adapting our learning alongside the events around us.
Conflict, obstacles, sense and emotion, suspense, creative thinking, and, if possible, a happy ending — it’s what makes a good story and allows you to connect to them. These past few years have been a story in the making (especially with Covid), and it is with this new year I have created some of my best and proudest work of all time. Making a video using new editing software and planned camera shots, a VR experience using Unity and in-depth analysis with a video alongside it. Saying this semester has been busy is an understatement.
September 20th. The election is transpiring, and parties are trying to get their last bit of advertising to influence the public, but we feel we can do a better job. We had to create a campaign and video to represent our values, which required personal awareness and responsibility.
Undoubtedly, the people around us influenced our choice, and I understand that my values shape my choices. It was the driving factor in each group’s different approaches and emphasized different points. Every group had primary issues that they tried to tackle, but I understood that solving everything was impossible. Not everyone will be happy, and when it comes to politics, “promise everything, deliver nothing” (Napoleon).
The video was the best video I have created, using many camera shots and editing the footage to tell a story. I took on the responsibility of setting up the shots and editing the whole video, but I feel I fell off during the blog post. I couldn’t demonstrate advocation for my choices and show insight on real-world connections, partly due to my Zettlekasten and the lack of creative connections. I need to stop robotically taking notes and deviate from conventional ideas to enhance my understanding. Doing the work early will always help, and it will allow you to share your opinion as you complete the project, allowing you to look back at your growth.
August 13th, 80 years ago, the Manhattan Project was founded as a research and development centre for the field of nuclear power. The result would be the use of 2 atomic weapons on Japan in 1945 and the surrender soon later. And during this project, we had to answer, “How did the development of the atomic bomb change the world?”
Using Unity (a new piece of software as usual), Angelo and I created a VR experience in a week to answer this question. Working together harmoniously, we learned about the current state of 3D design and XR development. Responsibilities were shared, and if one person had trouble, we would switch roles to have a new set of eyes. We were both eager and inspired to get this project done; we started early and stayed late to finish. Angelo and I synergize very well together, listening to each other, contributing ideas, and quickly deciding on the best direction for the project.
Not only was the VR innovative and very intriguing, but the concept of you choosing between the two options by the simple press of the button was also excellent. We combined every piece of knowledge gained in prior classes to express our idea with certainty and share it with the public. We thought about who the audience was and if they knew of the ethical dilemmas between the invasion versus the bomb. So to communicate confidence, we needed to understand the dilemma and how to word our concept to enhance the project. Clear and decisive. The idea behind it was more important than the VR itself. The VR itself was a communication tool for the audience to understand their choice in the first person.
However, the response journals were not up to the standards I have placed for myself. I needed more depth and a driving narrative unique to the common observation. Nevertheless, I was able to improve drastically over the three journals. By the final submission, I was able to find the balance between general takes and specific concepts that unveil after several layers of analysis. Still, I am developing a sophisticated understanding of portraying my thoughts through text.
Stories have been told for tens of thousands of years, and poetry, believe it or not, tells a story. You might not know what it means or how it connects to you, but you can tell what works and what doesn’t. Songs are another storytelling method, using the same literary devices found in poems. We had a total of 7 classes to complete five unique song analyses and present them to the class, giving a shot at redemption from our past projects. Involving creative and critical thinking challenged us to create connections between ourselves and the music, while identifying the literary devices.
The blog post was an excellent opportunity to try something new, so I decided to take a different approach to start a blog post. Using an anecdote may be tedious, but it comes with practice. Anecdotes provide a unique introduction that sets up the entire post by telling a short personal story. I use the terms to a greater extent now in my blog posts, everyday speech, and throughout this current text.
My second brain — the key to remembering and putting thoughts to words quickly, is essential for my next steps. For the remainder of the year, I hope to change my mindset from making zettlekasten just to make them, but to make it in mind of future work. Too often, I find myself with useless notes that provide no help to me, but I know it can do more for me if I change my approach. Using the zettlekasten for future writing pieces will allow me to write in a shorter time while using more in-depth ideas. I struggle with over-working, and I believe zettlekasten can be that fix.
I have a habit of overcomplicating little things that don’t need much work, which works both in my favour and against. Time can’t be returned, and the amount of time I spend conflicts with many other parts of my life. I will continue to use my Zettlekasten but with a new approach, and I will try to block out my time, so I don’t spend too much time on assignments. Focusing on the primary goals of the work is essential in creating better work in a shorter time.
I’m not perfect, but through these good habits and systems, I can produce the best version of myself. It’s about taking the little consistent steps. Not taking steps back or even taking giant steps and getting exhausted. An analogy I tell myself is that if you try to wake up at 6 am to workout from the start; you will burn out quickly. Easing in, however, with thought and care, will create a habit that will last and leave you better off.
This year has been a rollercoaster of events, but hopefully, we can end on a happy note soon. A storybook ending! But this is only the start of the sequel that is grade 12. And rather than being a politician where I promise everything and deliver nothing, I hope to show you my growth through the next semester and years to come.