🏞Alberta 2019, a Portfolio Post🏞

Hello ladies and gents and welcome to this years first PGP portfolio post extravaganza. You are one heck of a lucky reader as you will be her as I dive into the details of my overall experience whilst in Alberta with my class in September. As this is a PGP post I’m really talking about how I worked and learned on he trip and how my habits of mind came into play throughout the trip. So what are habits of mind? Last year we covered all things to do with our growth mindset and how we can further build them upwards by using our mental skills and trying better to understand what we need to improve on. Every grade really focuses on one or two habits of mind. As a ninth grader, we are working on our basic impulsivity especially in class. In order to get an idea of where we really are with this we were assigned a reflection in which we would analyze our work ethic and habits in Alberta. So why would we choose our trip, wouldn’t we be more distracted when travelling than in class? I think not. When we are taken on these trips it is our number one goal to learn as much as we can despite our specific projects or groups. Our challenge is to always be listening, always be curious, and always be intuitive in every location. That’s basically all I need to look at. How impulsive was I during our trip? How did I manage learning in a multitude of different locations daily, going from one to the other at fast paces? How can this been seen and proven by looking at my work ethic and portfolio from the trip?

   Our itinerary for this trip was insanity. We somehow managed to get though every stop enjoyably and the entire experience was amazing. As you may have already read from my earlier post for our main project we did whilst in Alberta, we were split into seven groups for our videos. I was part of the wildlife group and had ample opportunities to gather information surrounding my driving question most of which involved being outdoors or in environments with a higher population of wildlife unlike downtown Calgary, an ideal place for groups such as tourism, students, or business people. I am someone who absorbs information a little differently than what would be considered normal. I tend to take a lot of photos that remind me or are specific to what I learned. While most of my peers take notes, or draw out their findings I only take photos, video, and recordings. That is one of the reasons I think interviewing strangers is one of my strengths. When branching from one topic to another I can instinctively come up with more questions on the spot. I have loads of proof of this method and how well it works for me. I think that the defining reason for this working so well with my learning style involves my listening skills and awareness of my surroundings. Here are a few examples of how I managed to gather a bunch of information at all kinds of locations, some of which weren’t even assigned to my group.

   Aside form our humanities video project, we made another two videos both for maker. One of which we started to plan for a week in advance by writing up a storyboard and call sheet for our groups. My group mates, Kaden, Noah, Kaia, and Grace, and I decided to go with a horror movie theme for our movie. With the location where we did the filming being a heritage ghost town we had plenty of ideas for a plot. Of course being immature 14 year olds we went with the classic satanic cult/purge storyline. We planned out our scenes and our locations for each. Having never seen the ghost town in person we didn’t really know what it was going to look like until we arrived. With the set up and amount of opportunities we had with each space we had to revise our ideas and change things up to adapt to the vibe of the town and the unfortunate weather. With this project I was excited from the start. When we first came up with our idea for a plot I was so pumped for the filming and I really put a lot of effort into the video. When we got to the ghost town I was already very exhausted and I find it hardest to concentrate and really put myself into activities with a focused mind when I’m feeling that way. I honestly don’t know why I was so tired I mean I’d had almost 2 solid hours of sleep while we were travelling in the morning. Nonetheless I persevered and found that for the first time I was really determined to give the project my all despite my exhaustion. Here’s our final product, something I’m very proud of especially for the first real video we’d done.

   Next up we have more humanities talk! Sorry to be enthusiastic but my absolute favourite stops on this entire trip were humanities based and were places in which I gathered a lot of data going towards my final video. the best days of the trip in my personal opinion spanned from the 17-21st of September. Honestly, I just looked at our itinerary for reference and I can’t even express how awesome this trip was. Obviously the previously mentioned days were my favourite but I still loved the rest. And yes, for whichever of my teachers is reading this right now that does include the morning you made us get up super early and go to Moraine Lake. That lake was insanely gorgeous so thank you. Anyways, I simply wanted to talk about how I managed to constantly be ready to learn whenever possible as well as enjoy the scenery and vibe of the trip at the same time. My best examples come from Beakerhead, Studio Bell, and Heritage Park. Being your resident music student, visiting studio bell was amazing. I really just loved this stop because of the museums instrument displays where I got to go play and listen to music, specifically Canadian music while doing a a scavenger hunt. Second to Studio Bell is Heritage Park. I absolutely loved this day because we spent a solid few hours in Calgarys heritage park which was almost like a method acting version of the ghost town. I say this because there we people within the park that made it seem like we had really ben transported back in time to the late 19th- early 20th century. There was everything from horse drawn carriages, boats, and trains, to a fully operating amusement park. Not even kidding I’m talking ferris wheel, carousel, bumper car amusement park. Aside from the insane amount of fun I had in heritage park we also learned about the building of what is now Calgary. I used a lot of the information I gathered here in my video and I found all of it really interesting. Finally, Beakerhead. In Calgary, there is an annually held arts and science festival in which artists from all over Alberta and some other provinces showcase some of the most extravagant art and performances I’ve ever seen. On the first night we walked around Calgary’s public library enjoying some live displays of light based art, something I found very cool. There was a lot of method and culture that went into the pieces especially using the spaces in the park and library  with an extremely creative view. The second night of Beakerhead loved so much. There was fashion shows, fires shows, mechanical sharks, fire breathing dragons, and insane 20ft tall sculptures. Surprisingly enough, I once again managed to find some piece of information that went into my final video and let me remind you, I was in the wildlife group. The only wildlife we actually saw was a stray cat, some crows, and a rabbit. 

   Finally I have to mention the one project that I didn’t really put as much effort into and I’ve figured out why. When we visited the Royal Tyrell Museum we were assigned a short informational video based on the data we gather from one exhibit. Being at the museum was really exciting and brought out a lot of my rather unfocused traits. My overall excitably can be the downfall to some of my work and this surely happened at the museum. We went from hiking through the badlands to exploring the massive museum in what seemed like no time at all and I realize looking back upon my effort for the video that I was a little distracted. Nonetheless I still completed the project meeting all the criteria it’s simply that I knew I could’ve done better if I’d had a better handle on my impulsivity and overall mindset that particular day.

Last year in Oregon I was much different. I looked back upon all of my portfolio posts from last year when reorganizing my blog and I have really picked up on the amount of growth I’ve had since last year. Yes, I do regularly lose focus or get caught up in something else instead of what’s going on in class. That is something I really hope to work towards improving on this year. When we talk about the habits of mind we typically refer to them by grade but I personally think of them as a way of individually looking at ourselves and recognizing what needs work. By the time my m-POL rolls around this year I want to be able to show my improvement from the goals I’m setting because of this post. PGP forces me to reflect on everything I do and it will continue to do so until I do it instinctively. I can easily say that in Alberta I had an amazing time even though we had to be at school at 6:15 on a Sunday. I like to think that between 70-80% of the time I was attentive as to what was going on school wise while also being able to enjoy myself alongside my peers. I recognize that there were definitely times where I could’ve done more or worked harder but I can’t go back and fix that now, I can only move forward and strive to be better.

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