This blog post is intended to be a recount of the winter exhibition and the steps leading up to it; however, I’m writing this, frankly, quite later than I should have, which has let the events of the winter exhibition become distorted and twisted into an almost fantastical story. Of course, I did make notes when the memory was fresh in my mind, but these are limited to only a few points I deemed important, so the rest I had to fill in myself, which has resulted in, well, this.
So, in its most basic form, the winter exhibition is one of the annual showcases of our learning and skills. Prior to the winter exhibition, we spent a week or so creating a project that showcases some of the things we learned about. 2 or 3 days before the day of the exhibition, we start to plan out the designs of our rooms to match an individual theme and a broader overarching theme. With both our project and, in part, our room, we reflect on the driving question, which, in the case of this exhibition, was “What does James Cameron’s fantasy world of “Avatar” reveal about our own society?”
To fit with the theme, the grade 8s made avatar-themed boxes revolving around a personal “theme statement,” which is basically a statement made about a theme present in “avatar.” My theme statement went through almost as many iterations as this story, even partially rephrasing it in the middle of the exhibition, but now I feel like I can’t really go any further without talking about my project on its own, rather than as part of a collective or in a very vague way, so here’s the bit where I talk about my project.
The bit where I talk about my project.
So, first, my theme statement. Here are the first and most recent versions of my theme statement that I have records of:
Avatar shows us how sometimes the interests of a corporate operation can be made more important than the well-being of the environment.
And the rewritten one:
Sometimes a corporation will do almost anything to protect an operation, such as finding legal loopholes, bribing people, and ignoring the wellbeing of the environment.
Even the last one went through some minor changes to better fit my box, which i decided was necessary on the night of the exhibition, more about that later.
For the actual design of my box, I made “the corporate money machine,” which basically consisted of materials, resources, products, etc. Go in; perhaps some sketchy laws get passed; perhaps a forest gets levelled, but it’s fine; it’s producing money!
So that’s the basic idea for the design of my box, and here are the initial sketches of my design:
And the finished product
As I’m sure you can see, I rigged up the hand crank, tree, and conveyor belt to a Lego robot kit to make it actually move, which honestly took almost as long as actually making the box. Anyways, now that I’ve finished talking about my box and stuff, it’s time to talk about the exhibition.
On the day of the exhibition, our classes went as usual. We did checks on our boxes to make sure they were ready for presentation and made sure everyone brought the materials. Once school let out, we went to our rooms to start decorating. Our room theme was exploited workers, so we brought in some lanterns, tools, and some boards and covered up the lights to make it darker; we played sounds of an active mine and had an image of a mineshaft projected on the wall; we also opened all the windows to make it cold in the room so it felt more like a mine. For food, we had brownies and double chocolate cookies, meant to symbolise coal. Once we decorated, there was a short break to eat, and then it was showtime.
The exhibition itself can be summed up in only a few words: “descent into chaos.”
The first three quarters were alright; it involved a lot of standing around though, and my back started hurting around 30 minutes in. We weren’t allowed to sit down, so that was hard. We were allocated only one 15-minute break for the whole 4-hour exhibition; mine was near the end, right before things really started to get chaotic. People were getting tired and bored, and not many people were actually at their stations. Nevertheless, things were alright right up until the incident.
I don’t know much about the incident and only know what I witnessed to be true, but I have heard a few accounts from other students, but the basics were that at one point all the teachers started telling everyone to go back to their rooms and try to get everything together, but it was the end of the night and there wasn’t really anyone around so shortly after we started cleanup, which was essentially getting rid of everything that wasn’t important a
Anyways, that’s the winter exhibition; I don’t really think there’s much else to say about it, but of course, other people have different perspectives, so go check out their blogs as well.
Congratulations. You’ve reached the end of my post; good for you for reading the whole thing! If you didn’t, I don’t really care; I know it’s long; skimming is fine, anyways, see you next time, and goodbye!