👏tPOL 2020👏

   Aloha and welcome to my tPOL! As the summer approaches all I can think about is how much I want to be in the beautiful Hawaiian sun or basking in the Southern California heat. Unfortunately those dreams won’t come true for a while due to the massive pandemic currently striking humanity hard. On the brighter side of things, summer vacation is still summer vacation, even without the wonderful Kaanapali waves, the smell of Splash Mountain’s waters, and the most delicious thing in the world, the Dole Whip. Now that I’ve gotten that out of my system, its time to get into what we’re all really here for. I’m here to explain why am I ready to transition to grade 10 and I am going to do it in a whole new format. In the past I’ve gone subject specific, project specific, and even habit specific. Now due to my having all the time in the world to reflect, I am doing this on a goal basis. 

Tumisu / Pixabay

   Going into grade 10 is a milestone in my eyes. It marks the halfway point in high school, as well as marking when things start to get difficult and perseverance, resilience, and determination are all key. As a kid, and into my early teen years I prided myself on how easily things came to me. I was always so proud of that fact that I was always breezing through school unproblematically. The number one thing that grade 9 has taught me was how wrong I was all those years. It took a hefty amount of failure and not meeting my self made standards to realize that I have a lot of problems to work out. My 2 goals going into the next grade apply to all subjects and my personal life. Up first is goal 1!

Goal #1.

Find ways to effectively work with/around my executive functioning issues.

(Specifically organization, concentration, and prioritizing)

   In the past year we’ve done god knows how many projects, some of which I felt I succeed in above others. On the other hand, there were multiple projects which I failed to complete or meet my personal standards. In writing this I took a microscopic look at each of the reasons that I failed to meet standards. I came out the other end recognizing for the first time in my life that I have some issues when it comes to executive functioning. I’ve always been disorganized and often have trouble prioritizing and balancing the academic and social aspects of school. 99% of the time the lack of organization and prioritize skills lead to my inability to concentrate for an extended period of time. Even in writing this I’ve gotten distracted a million times. Other examples could include our Confederation Commercial project in February. I got carried away trying to come out on top of every other group for personal reasons and failed to prioritize the project. It lead to a loss of focus and an overall lacking contribution to my group. I honestly believe that my contribution or lack thereof in Confederation Commercial lead to my B on my Term 2 report card.

mohamed_hassan / Pixabay

Another example of this is this year’s Destination Imagination. DI was absolutely hectic this year. I found that I was 10x more unorganized than usual and compared to my performance in DI last year, DIWhy Bridges was a flop. After our improvised online tournament in April, I reflected on how unfocused I was during the entire project. I was admittedly very petty and not really helpful with DI and obviously that was a huge problem. In my post I reflected that the reason for that was due to the challenge being so far outside my comfort zone that I felt very useless. This leads me into my second goal.

Goal #2.

Be more open minded/less rock brain when things don’t come easily. Move past the barriers when it comes to asking for and accepting help.

   I’ve heard from reliable sources that grade 10 is when high school starts to become more challenging. I’m always up for a good challenge but I have a feeling that next year will wear me down. In order to stop that I need to start asking for help instead of shutting down and giving up when things get hard and I can’t understand. I am a kinesthetic learner and that has been very challenging for me since I was little, especially in math and science. Math is the one subject that has more power over me than I have over it. I have always struggled and cracked under the pressure of not understanding mathematics as quickly or easily as my peers do. This year has been a great example of that. For every project that we did the minute that I didn’t understand something I would get stressed out and fall behind instead of getting help. While this didn’t happen during every project, it did when I was uncomfortable with the people I was with or expected to understand something that I was really confused over. Not understanding and not doing anything to fix that often lead to sidetracking and loss of focus. This is where I would start to be more social rather than concentrated in Scimatics, which is clearly an issue that needs fixing. Whether it’s a tutor I need, or just more confidence it’s my goal to have a flexible mindset going into grade 10.

terimakasih0 / Pixabay

   Now that we have my goals, I need to dive into how I’ll actually achieve them. In the past couple months we’ve been focusing on the 7 Habits and how we can apply them to our daily lives. Each and every habit has it’s place in my life but there are some that trump the others when it comes to my 2 big goals. Habits 1, 2, 3, and 7 are the first batch of habits that will help me get to where I need to be. Starting with myself, or have a private victory, is what I need in the beginning of grade 10 so that I can sustain it through my remaining years of school. In PGP I often deny that I need any of the information being given to me, but thankfully in the past few months I’ve begun to recognize that I was wrong. I need to be proactive and have a plan for where I want to be, as well as prioritize some things over others in order to bring myself to that level. 

  Over the course of grade 9 I have had triumphs and failures. Each taught me a lesson that was necessarily planned. Once the COVID-19 pandemic begun and we were all quarantined I had to step it up and work hard to improve my executive functioning skills or I wouldn’t have been able to get any work done. Remote learning has had its silver lining in forcing me to take initiative and get a handle of my own learning. I know for a fact that in term 3 alone my performance has improved so much compared to the rest of the year. I am determined to get to where I want to be so I can only better myself from there on out. My final words for this tPOL are a simple question. In the coming school year, I’m striving to do my part in overcoming all the challenges I just expressed, including my inability to ask for help. Next year what kind of support can I expect from you?

Thank you for coming to my Ted Talk 

– Ciara 

🇨🇦This project was Rielly Interesting🇨🇦

Métis Flag

   Welcome back to another humanities portfolio post! Before COVID-19 took over the world, my humanities class focused in on a story that would lead us to further understand ethical judgement. Louis Riel was one of many Canadians to shape our country in one way or another and studying him gave us insight on how Manitoba was established. Our driving question was, “how can we present past actions and decisions through images to help us make decisions of what is fair or unjust?” In order to answer said question, we researched different ethically questionable events in Canadian history with a a partner and decided whether the outcomes were fair or unjust.

Clayoquot Sound Protests

Milestone 1:

The first activity we did was a basic current event. It was a seemingly simple task that ended up giving me a boost of curiosity towards the rest of the project. Our task was to research an event similar to that of the Wet’suwet’en protests in BC. I choose to focus on the protests at the Clayoquot Sound and learned that these protests were some of the largest in Canadian history. To finish off the assignment, we had to share our thoughts. This is where I got my first taste of deciding whether the outcome was fair or not. I ended up having a very mixed opinion about the ordeal which was challenging but very good practice for what was coming up later in the project.

Milestone’s 2-4:

Alongside studying Louis Riel, we were assigned a partner to research another topic with. Ryan and I chose to do the Chinese Head Tax. We started out doing some initial research and eventually started making drafts of our images that would later end up on our class’ instagram page dedicated to the project. This part of the project allowed for me to really get into my element and dig deep into the subject. I learned tons about the Head Tax and the severity of the discrimination. Knowing all that I do now about the ordeal, I can confidently say it deserves way more recognition. After compiling our research and making our images, my partner and I had to decide if the matter was fair or unjust and it really goes without saying that everything that went down with the Head Tax was horrific. As I said before, it deserves more recognition for how utterly unjust it was. 

Louis Riel:

The title of this project is, “Let’s Get Riel,” and it fits. (Shoutout to Ms. Maxwell for the name!) throughout the entirety of the project we read a comic book entitled, The Louis Riel Comic Strip. The book tells the story of a Métis rights activist named Louis Riel. His story is really exciting and interesting and grabbed my attention as a reader. Considering this is a portfolio post, I probably shouldn’t get carried away and retell the entire story so instead I’ll just recommend reading the comic. Spoiler alert, Louis Riel dies. Riel spent his life fighting for the Métis and the Red River Settlement (which is now part of Manitoba.) He constantly challenged the Canadian government and tools risks that made fellow politicians weary. He fought long and hard and made some very, very ethically questionable decisions along the way. At one point he was emitted to a mental asylum due to him being convinced that he was the next prophet. At the end, he was charged with execution and was hung for his crimes. 

Louis Riel

   My class held a debate on the subject of whether his death was unjust or fair. We were randomly separated into the two teams and had one of our classmates, Ben moderate the debate. I was arguing that his death was unjust and offered a rebuttal that I was quite proud of. In the end the our closing statement was a bit weaker than that of the opposing side and it lead us to defeat. The debate really helped me in our final milestone. We had an in class writing assign,ent in which we had to deliver our personal opinion on Riel’s death. I came to the conclusion that he was neither a hero nor a villain. Some of his actions seemed more heroic, but as time went on he seemed to grow simultaneously tired and restless. His actions became more irrational but his motive was still clear.

   In conclusion, this project taught me a lot. I learned to analyze past events and judge controversy in ways I can document and understand. I really enjoyed this project as it allowed for me to get into my element and really brought out the best in my researching abilities. I am now able to recognize and comprehend ethical dimensions like never before and I can connect my opinions to that of others. Finally, I have to end this post on the following note because once again Ms. Maxwell amazed me in the seemingly weirdest way possible. Enjoy the exit video and see you in the next post!

Louis Riel For Dinner (from The Criterion Collection “My Winnipeg” DVD) from Drew Christie on Vimeo.


Thanks for coming to my Ted Talk.

Ciara ✌️



melissamahon / Pixabay

   Gooooooood morning, Vietnam! Just kidding its more like good morning Canada, well I guess 1867 Canada. What kind of intro was that? Valid question considering it came from basically nowhere. Well allow me to guide you through the years 1865, 1866 and 1867, the glory days of Canada’s confederation. This was an awesome project and as per usual, I’m a history nut so it was a blast. In the past few weeks we’ve been studying the Canadian confederation and the events that significantly impacted the final decision. As is with most of our projects, we were divided into groups with our peers. These groups were built to represent a specific colony that took part in each of the confederation conferences. Our overall challenge was to of course take away as much as we could from the projects and lessons, but to also come to confederation in our classes simulated version of Canada’s. We would end up representing our understanding and evidence thorough a green screen based commercial advertising our colony’s final demands. All of this went towards our answer to the driving question, “how and why did Canada develop into a nation.”

   The first milestone that instantly sparked a greater sense of curiosity on the topic was “why confederation?” Our project’s first milestone challenged us to recognize evidence as to why confederation was a good idea in it’s time. As I previously mentioned this sparked my interest in some of the factors of confederation, especially those that could both make and break the colonies altogether, something we looked closer at with milestone two, our group’s initial research. Both these tasks are the ones that stand out to me in the sense that I can see how I achieved recognizing and representing evidence and presenting it, even if it was in simple paragraph and point form.

   The other milestones that was super great for me and my overall takeaway was our preliminary and final proposals. This was a fantastic example of how I could represent and justify the many examples we had for each proposal. We created keynotes that would visually aid our first proposals and of course our commercial was there to represent our last. This was the best way that I could show my ability to create representation of the evidence we proposed to the other colonies. Not  only that, but it was also so much fun to be able to negotiate the terms of confederation as though our decisions were real and had huge impacts.

   All in all, this project definitely benefitted me, especially content wise. My video skills have been building for quite some time now and this was actually my first time using a green screen. I would really like to learn more and build upon my skills using a green screen for the future. That being said our commercial was undeniably lacking some key components. The editing and filming was rough and our sound quality wasn’t up to snuff. The content, as previously said, was the biggest takeaway. As we’ve began on our next project I can see that this was a base project for lots more to come. It wasn’t perfect by any standards, and no, we did not reach confederation as a class, but nonetheless I learned a lot and enjoyed myself while doing it.

Once again, Thanks for coming to my TED Talk


❓mPOL 2020❓

   Hello ladies and gentlepeople and welcome to this years very first presentation of learning. This is only my third time taking part of mPOL’s and I’m much more comfortable with the situation compared to last year. I think that I have a certain boost of confidence this time around having done it twice in the past. Anyway, let’s jump right in!

   This year has been kind of a rollercoaster in each subject and in all honesty, I got dizzy there for a while. We’ve been introduced to many, many topics in each subject and we’ve even revisited some from last year. This especially comes into play with PGP. In the first month or so of school we didn’t really visit the idea of PGP more than a couple of times. This surprised me considering that it’s what I’d think of as one of our staple PLP subjects. That being said we eventually got into our first PGP project. You can read my first PGP portfolio post of the year here. Our first challenge was to reflect on our time spent in Alberta. This didn’t seem like much of a difficult task to begin with but we were asked to closely look at how we balanced our impulsivity throughout the trip. When I began to look back upon how I balanced my work and simultaneously had fun I found it difficult to decide where I needed most growth. I eventually came to the conclusion that there is still a part of me that needs to recognize the importance of managing my impulses, especially in school.

   When we moved on from our first reflection we had our first meeting of the year. At this time we were introduced or shall I say re-introduced to the idea of goal settling. Last year we worked with goal settling in term two and read the book, “What Do You Really Want.” This year we started out with goal ladders and looking closely at the habits of mind that go hand in hand with our personal goals. Looking at the various different habits of mind, I can confidently say that I can improve in each and every area throughout the rest of grade 9. That being said, starting off with one simple goals and sticking with it with the help of a few habits of mind was probably a good start. In my goal ladder I focused in on something that I desperately want to achieve and figured out how I could get there in the next few years. Observing my goal ladder as the weeks have gone by has proved to me that I can stick with a goal and start working towards it as soon as I kickstart my motivation. By the time tPOL’s come around I’d really like to see myself striving for accuracy, especially in school. Habit 6 is a great example of something that can be overlooked. Thinking that striving for accuracy simply means getting to where I want to be can be flawed. I believe that Habit 6 represents what I want my mindset to look like. I want to see myself commit to putting in the effort for everything even if I find it difficult to get myself into the rhythm at first. 

   Speaking of getting into the rhythm of things, lets jump way back to September. We kickstarted the year with our absolutely amazing trip through the Rockies and Alberta. Along the way we had to ask ourselves specific questions concerning identity and the impact it has upon different groups in society. Read all about my project and driving question in my post on the project here. I found that this project was the perfect way to let me gain insight and knowledge on what identity is and how different impacts can change someone, someplace, or something’s identity drastically over long or short periods of time. Moving on into our next unit we took a closer look at the concept of ideas driving change. We began reading Jennifer Donelly’s, “Revolution,” which I thoroughly enjoyed due to the historic mood it provided. We studied different revolutions through the ages and make informative videos explaining how the driving question could be answered with each example. Read my full post on the project here! In the end, I decided that this project really helped me with my video making skills, perhaps more than any other this year.

   Moving on lets dive into some of the other project we’ve done this year. On the flip side of things, there have been multiple occasions this year where I messed up. I’m not afraid to say it and it’s honestly affected me in some good ways as well as bad. To be more in depth on this topic lets start with this years very first big maker project, Running a Remake. The challenge for this project was to recreate our own copies of the short film, “Run.” My post on this project can be found here! Recreating “Run,” was honestly a very difficult task and I found that it really did help me develop my skills in video making. This project is a beyond perfect example of where a better sense of teamwork and interpersonal thinking would’ve been key. I found that with my group, I struggled with that and it might’ve been the reason our final product wasn’t as great as it could’ve been. 

   My next example of a fantastic FAIL was this year’s Student Blogging Challenge. I actually never completed the challenge and in hindsight I really could have done better. I tend to find that when I’m not interested in the topic at hand I lose focus and often forget about certain tasks that go with. I didn’t struggle with this much last year but I’m finding that I can recognize when it’s happening. For the next time I participate in the student blogging challenge, I am determined to keep an open mind and not let my judgemental side take control. Aside from that factor there is also my massive issues with organization. I’ve struggled with keeping organized throughout my entire life and I’ve tried many things to help improve. Since the beginning of grade 8, there has been so much growth in that area. As I go on I sometimes get lazy and put things that I should be paying attention to on the back burner. Working towards becoming a confidently organized individual is a huge goal of mine and I plan to closely consider the habits of mind that can help me get there along the way.

   Star Wars. Where do I even begin. The Story Strikes Back has probably been the biggest project I have completed individually all year and I must say it was no easy task. Let’s begin by saying that there was a lot to unpack with this project so yes I did write an entire two blog posts on it and no I am not proud of my of incapability to write and reflect concisely. You can read all about the project here! We had an amazing task with this exhibition. At first I kept asking myself how the heck I was going to transform my everyday classroom into a planet and yet we still came out the other side with a success. That being said, the journey to that success was rough and very bumpy. I can confidently day that my LAUNCH Journal this time around was a FAIL. I’m striving to achieve more with my next LAUNCH experience because I really didn’t try enough with this one. All in all the FAIL has given me insight that I can’t simply expect to get away with minimal work even if my final product matches standards. Not only does it let my teachers down but I end up hurting myself more than anyone. By not trying my best I brought down my personal standard and that isn’t something I ever want to let happen. 

   Finally let’s talk science! My absolute favourite project in scimatics this year was our chemical bonding animations. You can read my post on it here. Chemistry is not my strong suit but I still enjoyed making my own animations and understanding chemical bonds. I definitely struggled a little bit in the beginning but I began to get a hold on things after a few weeks. This is my best example of keeping my eye on the prize because of my commitment to trying my best to comprehend the science behind it. I’m typically an English and socials kid so some fields of science and math really get me down. I’ve always had a hard time learning based on my personal styles and I find it easier to connect and engage in a humanities classroom verses a that of science and math. With our chemistry video’s things were hands on and had a very creative and imaginative side which I really enjoyed. My definite goal for scimatics the rest of the year is to try and engage myself in each lesson more and more as we go.

   And that’s about it. Congratulations you’ve made it to the end of my third presentation of learning. Now we seem to be forgetting one thing. My question to the teachers. As I mentioned previously, I tend to struggle keeping my thoughts contained or to a minimum. When I write reflections and portfolio posts they almost always exceed 1,000 words which is probably torture for those reading them. My goal for the rest of the year is to write my reflections more concisely and to try and get my point across with fewer words. This doesn’t mean I have to cut the word count in half, it just means that I want to be able to express myself more clearly without going overboard. My question to you is how can I do that? 

Thanks for coming to my TED Talk ✌️



🪐The Story Struck Me Hard🪐

   Good Morning, good afternoon, good evening! Wherever you are, whenever you are reading this, I feel it is my sole duty to represent the intensity of this portfolio post in just the opening sentences. Now before I get into the nitty gritty, I would like to pleasure you with a clever pun. Enjoy…

What is the internal temperature of a Tauntaun?


   Diving into the details of this years Winter Exhibition we shall begin with our project launch and building of knowledge that lead us to an amazing final product! When we initially launched the subject of story telling and literature analysis I honestly didn’t expect for there to be an entire story writing, Star Wars extravaganza awaiting us on the other side. All expectations aside, we dove right in. Starting out with our first milestone, a simple opinion piece, the topic of which, “why is Star Wars still relevant in modern pop culture?” Our task was simply to identify an answer and support our reasoning and logic behind it. As this was our very first milestone, it was important to set the bar for myself and try my best as from there, I could only improve. I think that I did myself a solid in setting a standard that I needed to meet for each of the following steps and I feel that my works speaks for itself in this case.

   Advancing in our understanding of opinion and the importance and overall influence that Star Wars has over modern film and media, we stepped into the basics of story analysis. We began to spend classes discussing the ideas of literature and comprehending the terms used to describe different short stories we were assigned to read. In doing so, I found some of the fiction very interesting, especially that of Ray Bradbury’s, “The Veldt.” All of the stories we read were helpful components in identifying literary terms that would go into our short story charts. Eventually, the building knowledge lead to our final test on literacy analysis. This entire process was one of two vital steps in the completion of our short stories. 

   “The Hero’s Journey,” is a phenomenon in the world of storytelling that was proven and developed by a man named Joseph Campbell. Our example of The Hero’s Journey was the Star Wars saga and the trilogies within. The concept itself explains that all stories follow the same outline. Not exactly an unfamiliar idea but undeniably more complex than a simple beginning, middle, and end. The Hero’s Journey explains the story alongside the main characters development. Using Luke Skywalker as an example, the story begins with a call to adventure. Luke receives a message from Leia through R2-D2 and the story begins. When he complains that he is “late for supper,” he is simply refusing the call, which happens to be the second steppingstone in this storytelling chart. We worked with different examples of The Hero’s Journey over a couple of weeks and eventually were tasked with creating our very own story using it. 

   Our stories, what a subject! In order to not give every single student in my class a heart attack, we were divided into groups. The best part about this particular grouping was that each of the teams were assigned a planet. The Death Star, Endor, Tatooine, or Hoth. Each of these Star Wars planets are filled with seemingly unimportant characters and that gave us so much opportunity. Our initial task was to select an “unimportant,” character from our planet and tell their story. My group decided Hoth was our best fit and we started to brainstorm ideas for a character. When we researched all the scenes on Hoth from the Star Wars movies, we found one very important character that doesn’t get nearly enough credit for the role he played in the overall success of the Resistance against the Empire. This is a character like no other, a vital role in the survival of Luke Skywalker himself, Pudge the Tauntaun. No his name isn’t actually Pudge but this is our story so we named him what we felt was right. Now at this point in my seemingly never ending rambling session you may be confused as to what Pudge did to deserve so much credit. Well, do you remember that scene on Hoth in the Empire Strikes Back? The one where Luke is help captive by a giant abominable snowman, also known as a Wampa. Well if that doesn’t ring any bells  maybe the part where Han Solo slices opened a giant snow lizard horse thingy and stuffs a nearly frozen Luke inside for warmth will. Yeah that things that Han slices open, that’s Pudge. 

   Not to spoil anything, but my group, Meg, Felix, Julia, Angelo, Brenton, Kaden, and I all did an amazing job at creating a story, Pudge’s story and using The Hero’s Journey to do so. On a more reflective side of things, there are undeniably parts of our humanities portion that I could have done better at. Earlier I talked about setting a standard for myself with our first humanities milestone. I’d really like to say that I met that standard with everything but lets face it, I’d be lying to myself. I can confidently say that I worked on this story whole heartedly and it took time to build something that I was proud of, especially being the representer of the stories conclusion. With each group member writing one part of The Hero’s Journey being last was difficult considering that our main character literally dies at the climax. Okay, that’s enough spoilers! I’ll be explaining a lot more in the post linked below!

   Thanks for coming to tonight’s comedy special and we hope to see you again soon ✌️ 

   Click here for part 2! (I’m so sorry for how long these are, concise writing isn’t my strong suit)

🗝Ra Ra Revolution🗝

Hello world and welcome back to my blog for yet another post. This time is different I assure you. You see this post is all about our most recent humanities project, Revolutions Through the Ages. I like to identify as a history and literature nerd so please excuse the amount of utter excitement that I am presenting as I write this. Ok now for the nitty gritty! This time around our driving question asked us, “how do ideas drive change?” This certainly was a new concept for us as we hadn’t really studied the idea of what drives change in a while. That didn’t stop us from diving in head first. For each of our projects we focus ourselves around both the driving question and the curricular competencies. So I’m trying out a new way of formatting these posts to allow you to get a better look at my understanding and growth.


Cause & Consequence:

   Starting off strong let’s cover what this really means. Understanding the who what when where and why of a historical event is a big deal especially when your overall task is to create a video in which you would offer said information in immense detail. Admittedly when we started off our video wasn’t the strongest and we didn’t really have a clear way of showing our understanding of the causes and consequences that came from the French Revolution. I felt as though I understood the reasoning for the French Revolution and what it caused in the end and further thereafter but struggled with the presentation of it. Defining the cause came easy because when you understand where the idea for a revolution came from its easy to show it, especially with the format of video we chose the first time around. As we got to our third video I began to easily see the recognition of the consequences that came after the revolution in question. The third being the Russian revolution there was a lot of resemblance between the three we had studied. I wonder why! Oh wait, we learned this. Crane Brinton’s theory of the structure of revolutions allowed for me to recognize the connection between all of the revolutions we studied. And I got a better understanding of how I could represent cause and consequence in my final video. When we talked about the incubation stage in each of our videos I feel that I got better and better at recognizing the defining factors leading up to the ultimate crisis stage. Overall I feel that I can now identify the cause and consequence and present it in a way that is easy for an audience to comprehend. 


    This largely comes into play when we talk about my final video. We decided to go a little off the map and take a risk in choosing our own, particularly recent revolution. This required a ton of research and in doing so I had to carefully sift through articles, websites, and videos that were not necessarily offering false information, instead it was biased. In choosing to study The Troubles in Ireland, a recent rebellion that only took place roughly 30 years ago there’s still has a lot of unsettled tension causing many sources to be particularly biased in the information they give. I think that aside from the general research itself the evidence of our understanding for each revolution was evident in each of our videos getting better and better as we improved our skills. 

Create and Extend Shared Understanding:

   With my group mates, Holly, Grace, and Finn, I felt like we could use one another for our skills in each video while simultaneously pushing each other to our limits with all kinds of challenges. Having half the group being moderately to extremely extroverted and the other half being very introverted was no problem and worked to our benefit. On any day, we’d come together and discuss our findings in research, innovation, and revision. In doing so we found ways to bounce off one another with new ideas evidently changing the dynamic of our group to benefit us in the long run. With each of our videos we tried to mix things up a little. Myself and Holly would typically be highlighted in the video while Finn and Grace worked behind the scenes on post production work. Sharing our ideas allowed us to extend and gain insight on ourselves and how we work in a group. I definitely see an improvement in my group work this time around which is fantastic and I’m glad to see that in myself.

Text Comprehension & Appreciation:

   Finally, we talk about the novel. Jennifer Donnelly’s, “Revolution,” is a fiction novel based on the events of the French Revolution. The story takes place in present day following the teenager life of Andi Alpers as she struggles to find her way through depression and addiction following the death of her younger brother. This part of the project was rather enjoyable as the book was actually quite captivating. Or at least that’s what I thought until some major plot twists took place. Sorry, no spoilers. Anyway, alongside the physical reading aspect we had to write a creative reflection at the end of the novel study. I say write because I chose to write my own short story from the viewpoint of Truman Alpers, the deceased brother of the main character. everyone had the option to choose whatever they please to represent their text comprehension and their overall appreciation of the books contribution to our studies. I think that I did an outstanding job with this. I’m not trying to brag or sound snobby I just was really proud of the work I did. I think that my creative reflection was strong and very personal. Nonetheless I can confidently say that I improved with this competency mostly because whenever we get assigned a book for class I typically find it to be an easy read or one that is not captivating to my personal style. 



Our Videos:

   Ok I promise its almost over! In talking about the curricular competencies and reflecting on how I feel I performed and improved with some, if not all of these, I realized I neglected to show my groups masterpieces to begin with. Getting right into it, we studied the French, American, and Russian revolutions in class and made videos for each, describing the cause and consequence using evidence from our notes, sited sources, and background knowledge. Starting out, making these video was a very difficult task. To write, film, and edit a video is one thing. Doing it in under a week is another. We somehow got through the three weeks almost smoothly if it weren’t for some small bumps in the road. I really enjoyed the history part of this project as it was honestly very interesting to get a deeper understanding of how a revolution really works. And lets be real here. Two months ago if you’d asked me the cause of the American revolution was I would probably have answered with a sarcastic comment regarding George Washington and his slaves. By the end of each week I’d learned something new and been able to represent it in a stellar video. My personal favourite to create was the American revolution rap video. Yes you read that right. Rap video. I think that we did a very good job with this video and it was definitely the most enjoyable. And finally, the moment you’ve all been waiting for. Our final video! For our fourth and final video we chose to study The Troubles. This was a revolution that took pace in Northern Ireland around 30 years ago making it very recent compared to the others. In creating this final video we had to conduct all of our won research and innovate our ideas in order to succeed. I believe that we did so and I was really proud of the video in the end. Aside from my horrible voice because yes, we of course decided it was a great idea to make another rap video! Anyway ladies and gents, that’s it for today because my brain hurts from thinking to much!


Thanks for coming to my TED Talk ✌️

🏔This Land is Us🏔

Hi, guess what! I’m back at it again with my grade 9 year of PLP. Somehow I managed to make it here alive and well, with the exception of the overwhelming pressure of my school, social, and personal lives. Just kidding, I bet I really had you there. Once again kidding. At this very moment I’m sitting, iPad in hand typing away at what some would call, a “she just drank 5 shots of espresso” pace. And no, I didn’t just drink 5 shots of espresso, it was only 4. Kidding again. Anyway, back to the fact that I’m sitting here, typing on my iPad for my school portfolio post alive and well. I wonder what that hints to. Considering the was identity works I’m simply saying that there is a reason that I have the opportunity, the privilege to be doing these things. To be learning in a way that makes it fun and more beneficial. And to be surrounded by a diverse community rich with culture that all have something in common. Place.

Our first project of the year is entitled, “This Land is Us,” and had given us the question, “How Does Place Impact Who We Are?” Why don’t you try and answer this question without any research or background knowledge. It’s hard isn’t it. Yeah I would know. So how does the place in which we live impact who we are? In order to properly grasp an understanding of the answer to this question we took a trip up north and through vast terrain. You guessed it, the Canadian Rocky Mountains. This trip was amazing and I think that I got so much out of it going towards my project. Since I now realize that I neglected to explain what said project is, I will now do so.

Incase you haven’t read any of my blog from October 2018 – June 2019 I’m gonna refresh your brain and explain briefly that grade 8 was all about still images and worldview. As I am now one year wiser I’m starting to recognize that we started with a big idea that we are now working our way inwards on. Worldview was one of my least favourite words last year and now its seems to be one of my favourite. On our trip to Alberta, we began to talk about identity and culture of an individual or social group. This resulted in the making of our “people groups.” These seven groups defined the final product, a video explaining the answer to the driving question. But like everything in PLP, this come with a twist. Our class was divided into seven different groups that we would research and interview. Albertans, Artists, Business Owners, First Nations, Students, Tourists, and Wildlife. In these groups the driving question was fit to each subject. For myself, “How Does Place Impact Wildlife,” became the driving question I was so determined to answer.

Okay so that I’m all caught up here comes the checklist you’ll learn to love.

1. I have now explained that we are learning all about the making of videos and working with technologies to do so.

2. I have also explained that we are working with the idea of identity and culture and were asked, “How Does Place Impact Who We Are?”

3. Finally, I’ve given a basic understanding of what our project was all about.

Perfecto! So how did we get here. And by here I mean to the beginning of our glorious project. We started out by discussion what make place a part of who we are and how living in BC impact us. We mapped out some ideas surrounding the general idea including politics, geography, education, food, and many more. We tried to summarize what we meant by this and not going to lie, not a single person in that room spoke up about identity and culture. As we went on into our next milestones we began to get and idea of how place impacts an individuals personal identity without really speaking about the word or concept of identity itself.

As we continued with our travels through Alberta we reached Calgary in which we visited the Glenbow Museum as one of our many ventures in the city. At this beautiful museum we saw tons of art relating back to our driving question, some of which closely related to my specific group, wildlife. With each stop we learned more and more about how the place in which we live, learn, and strive in impacts us and those related to our people groups. The most beneficial stops on the trip for my specific group were definitely anywhere from the Lake Louise Gondola Tour to Leo Downey’s Buffalo Ranch so clearly the topic was difficult especially when it came down to choosing between my many interviews for my final video.

Now I know that is is a dreadfully long post and you’ve probably given up on reading it at this point. The final point I’d like to make is all about my understanding of the curricular competencies. Before Alberta we were introduced to the idea of curricular competencies that would act as a guide line for what we should be trying to recognize in each milestone. “Compare and contrast continuities and change,” was the big one that stood out to me. I feel that with the way my video turned out, I did a good job and not only made something that I’m proud of but also demonstrated my solid understanding of the continuity and change in the impact of place on wildlife. When I finally got to answer the driving question in my own words it resulted in the idea that the place in which we learn, grow, strive and adapt to life in become one of the biggest parts of our identity as individuals. I would not be the same person if I’d grown up in Ireland. I wouldn’t be the same person if I’d gone to Dorothy Lynas instead of Cove Cliff for elementary school. Our place seems like a widespread area. Some would say that the place they come from is BC or Vancouver. But I really believe that its the close to home place that hits my identity hard. Where I learned to ride my bike and multiply 5 by 7 have gotten me to where I am to today.


ciara ✌️

⛈Colonizing in a Tempest⛈

Hello ladies, gents, aliens, etc… welcome back to my blog for another episode of, “Torture With Willemse!” Obviously I’m kidding, or at least I hope its obvious. Anyway if you aren’t familiar with my many, many humanities posts added to this portfolio you should seriously check them out cause these projects are awesome. Moving on, in my final term of grade 8 PLP I have experienced Shakespeare like no other in PLP 8’s, “Colonizing in a Tempest!” 

   So what is Colonizing in a Tempest? Easy answer. Basically, our teacher decided that combining the historically significant events of New France and the first European colonizations of what is now Canada and Shakespeare’s play, “The Tempest,” would give us a unique perspective on the two subjects. As a result we staged dramatic tableaus from “The Tempest” set in New France. This project was one of my favourite and one of the most stressful as our teachers were on a field study with the grade 10’s for two weeks leaving us with multiple TOC’s. Very stressful business! As I am talking about a PLP project, there has to be milestones with many, many stepping stones that got us to the final presentation. Only a few really helped me gain a true understanding of both the history and the play itself.

   Among the stepping stones that started us off after our initial launch came our anthropology viewpoint milestone. This basically challenged us to grasp a solid understanding of how the different viewpoints of an anthropologist. We studied terms like cultural superiority, imperialism, ethnocentrism, and a few more for a week or so in order to understand that in the process of first contact between First Peoples and Europeans viewpoints were flawed. This milestone helped me grasp more than a basic understanding of the topic in question and stared me off on a path of deeper meaning and constantly searching for that during the rest of this project.

   The next steps in this mega project included reading and writing about some of the history. We covered things like treaties and wars. We moved through the beginnings of the fur trade and came to a halt at the expansion of small companies. When the european colonists and traders set up efforts all throughout New France, some along the border of British territory. This is when companies such as the infamous Hudson’s Bay Co. were started and only few thrived through the beaver wars. In learning about all of this we wrote paragraphs that showed our understanding and only one really stood out to me. The assignment entitled, “why did the First Nations choose to trade with the Europeans?” So why did this challenge me? I found that with this assignment I took the time to really think and try my best to see both sides in order to grasp an unbiased opinion on the question at hand.


My absolute favourite milestone was our timeline. I love history. From peace and war, to government, religion, and exploration I can’t get enough. I found that with every project this year, the history has been the easiest thing to understand. Learning how to read and grasp the full Shakespeare experience was a daunting task for me but I found that with time and some close examination, I learned to read and comprehend it to the best of my current abilities. Moving back to our timeline. When combining the main scenes in each act of the play, with the historically significant events we needed to keep track of how they coincided to make sense of it for the audience. We started around first contact between First Nations and Europeans and aligned it with the first contact between the plays main character, Prospero and the shipwrecked nobleman from Naples. For each scene we needed to come up with a solid plan for the parallel history. In doing so we made a huge timeline stretching from 1600 to 1765. This was the point in the project where everything was beginning to make total sense. This final milestone was the one that has helped me answer the driving question, “How can we use Shakespeare’s, The Tempest, to stage dramatic tableaus and show the lasting effects of colonization to an audience?” 

   This final play was truly amazing and I loved every moment from costume set up to rehearsal and backstage coordinations. I think that we absolutely answered the driving question and I’m really proud that we could. The question in itself can’t really be answered without the play but I can take a risky shot. I believe that we allowed for the audience to understand the lasting effects of colonization through the dramatic tableaus we performed. In doing so we showed how the play aligns with the most historically significant events in the history of New France. That might not have been much of an answer to the question if you think of it as a very literal thing, but from a different perspective it answers the question by me simply saying that my 7 year old sister could basically repeat the history and big events to me afterwards.

    See ya’ll for about one more post in my PLP 8 year. It’s been great guys!

                                                                       – Ciara ✌️

🎶It’s The End Of A Very Long Series Of Posts As We Know It🎶

   Oh my gosh it’s feels like I’ve been writing for as long as I’ve been alive!!! I’m not even warning you this time in just cutting to the chase. After multiple drafts we had our final draft done and ready to go, but of course Ms. Willemse decided to throw a little twist into the mix. Instead of being done with the project our teacher had us combine our lyrics as a group. Matthew, Jude, and Zoe are my group members and we had some pretty stellar lyrics to work with. As we combined our lyrics we learned that between the four of us a couple individuals branched out and wrote in their song a bit more that wasn’t accustomed to just themselves. This gave us ample opportunity to make our song fairly relatable. We only had one draft for this but luckily the lyrics weren’t the problem. The recording was.

  The lyrics were done and we just needed to record but with such vastly different voices and opinions on how our song should be structured. We worked with different methods of audio tune and for the most part it didn’t work out what sounded good with one person’s voice sounded absolutely horrific with another. Eventually we split up our song from verse to chorus to a little bit of backup and tuned them to what was appropriate. Each person recorded their own versus Zoe and I sang backup, and we split the chorus so that it didn’t sound like death metal. As a group we are very happy with our final song product but with a song comes a video…

  Once again we thought we were done until we had to make a video using photos from grade 7 and 8. The photos not only had to be nice but also had to somehow represent worldview and how it has shifted. We met up with PLP’s grade 11’s last week and they gave us great feedback and critique. We edited our photos to better show some of the changes in our lives and how they represent our worldview!

  This final post represents the end of what feels like an era. Once again it’s been 45 days since this whole thing started and I have invested myself in this project way more than any project we done so far. I really loved learning about the crusades and history in Europe and realizing how much the cultural exchange relates to our transitioning from elementary to secondary school.


Til next time….. Ciara ✌️

💬It’s The End Of The World As We Know It pt.2💬

Hello fellow humans, I’m back here with pt.2 of my “It’s The End Of The World As We Know It,” reflection. Now I’m just gonna skip the intro so if you’re looking for some witty wording and light humour, resort to pt.1 of this reflection. Now let’s cut to the chase. In my last post I talked about the building knowledge part of this huge project, now I’m talking about the development of the final product and the critique that comes with!

geralt / Pixabay

  After we wrote our crusades paragraphs we transitioned into putting our knowledge into words. We made MindNodes. MindNode is basically a thought bubble/web building app that allowed for me to put everything I’d learned into words which later became song. ( more on that later )

The requirements for the MindNode were; show how the transition from elementary school to secondary school is represented in each aspect of worldview. Below is mine!

  So how did the use of MindNode affect my final product? Good question. Making thought bubbles and webs was never really a part of my thinking process until this year. I now resort to using this method in every project whether it’s required or not. During this long winded and painful journey we had to give three examples of transitional effects from each aspect of worldview and I had more than a few realizations about how much my life has changed since starting high school. This allowed for me to write a much more honest song and I didn’t have to stick to the cliche, “more homework, harder to navigate, and couldn’t find my locker.”


  Not only was the MindNode helpful for my understanding of things, but it lead on to be a great help with the next assignment, the triple venn diagram! A venn diagram is simple, I’ve used them since kindergarten. So why did the “triple venn diagram” sound much more intimidating? Here is why. In order to complete this task we needed to share the somewhat personal stuff recorded in our MindNodes. Not only with our teachers, but with our peers. I was not present on the day we shared but a few of my friends helped me out by giving me their opinions on the transition. Another factor in our diagrams was the opinions of “the experts…”

You may be asking yourself, who??? We were also given a document written by a group of scientists working with teens transitioning from elementary to high school. In the article they talked about the stress of the situation, the changes in ones personality, peer pressure, and even gender influenced anxiety. At first the venn diagram didn’t really help me but I later understood why we had to do it. The assignment was to show us how our opinions about how this transition combined with that of others is a real eye opener in how our overall worldview has been affected.

  Almost finally, you will learn about the song in question. Yes we had to sing. Yes it was embarrassing. Yes our teachers made us present them. That is the more humiliating side of this project. Once we had built up the knowledge and put it into words and even real life situations, we had to put it into song lyrics. Remember the title of this series of posts? Yeah well, “It’s The End Of The World As We Know It,” by REM is the song that would be altered just as Stephen Colbert did in his rendition “It’s The End Of The Year As We Know It.”

  Just as Stephen did, we altered the lyrics to a limit and made our song center around our worldview shift since entering secondary school. We wrote multiple drafts, some accepted and others rejected. Eventually, they were ready to be recorded. Once again if you live on the moon then it’s in my best interest that you know, PLP uses iPads instead of pencil, paper, and textbooks. So inevitably we used GarageBand. GarageBand allows for you to edit you voice and add audio tune. (thank god)


We did 2-3 drafts of our songs and received peer critique on both the lyrics and the singing, which was it’s share of purely embarrassing. I am really grateful for the critique I received. It helped me notice things I probably would’ve been defensive about and even little things that made the song soooo much better. After mastering the art of GarageBand I had learned so much about using music software and about how much it can help bring anything from a soundtrack to a professionally recorded song to life.

See y’all in post number 3 ✌️