My final Mpol, tragic isn’t it? Horrifyingly I’m growing up. But the hope still remains that I’ve managed learned a little. Today I want to reflect on some of the learning I’ve done so far this year. The positives and negatives, my improvements and my failures, as well as some of the goals I have for the rest of the year. For the most part I will be drawing on my learning plan that I wrote at the start of the year, as my set of goals that I wrote for this year. And look at my progress on those initial goals I set for my learning.
The first of my two classes that I took this year is humanities. We’ve done two quite long projects this year, and then one significantly shorter project. One of the things that I said, in my learning plan at the start of the year was that I wanted to participate more in group projects, but as part of a group, rather than always trying to be a leader and overpower other peoples voices. I’ve been called bossy more than a couple of times in my life so far, and I don’t always think that I’m good at taking taking a more backseat role. That’s why I was pretty proud of my role in the horror movie project. I didn’t apply for any leading positions and instead chose to work in the costume Department, along with acting. I took much more creative roles and spent a lot more time collaborating with my classmates. I showed drafts of the costumes, as well as the Pinterest boards I created, to almost half the class in order to gather multiple opinions. One thing that stuck with me a lot from my PGP learning this year is a quote from an interviewee we had, which was something like “ You should never ask a question right after getting instructions, you should at least try to figure it out first, then ask the right questions”. And I think this project and the team role I took in it shows that I’m able to do this, and figure things out by myself, then work with others to clarify and get feedback, then finally bring a better project to those in charge. I think I was able to balance having my own ideas while still working with others, all without having to be bossy, and I’m proud of it.
However, I don’t think my half year in humanities has been a complete and total success. One thing that I still really struggle with, and have for the past two years is critical thinking, analyzing media, and supporting my ideas and arguments. Now that sounds like a lot of things, but those things have pretty much been what we’ve done most of the year. In the Socratic seminars we had discussing horror in this recent project. I always feel like my ideas are inadequate and unsupported. I just feel like I’m missing the mark on the idea of the media we consume, and that the evidence I have from whatever book or movie, we watched or read is not enough. Even in the thematic analysis on Brave New World I did in the dystopia project I just felt like my ideas were somewhat flat and boring, and the evidence was surface level. I know it’s a little silly, but my ideas just seem unoriginal and sort of boring a lot of the time. Unfortunately, I think a lot of this feeling comes from not really getting enough feedback on my ideas. I honestly never really know if my ideas or evidence is adequate because I never get any feedback on it. Now I’ve done it maybe once or twice this year, but for the rest of this year I want to use tutorial time to come in and get more feedback on the work I do, And how I can improve my thinking and arguments. As I go into University I think I’m gonna be more responsible for the feedback I get. And I really need to get into the habit of taking the initiative to go out and figure out how to improve my work .
PGP’s been a little less consistent of course this year, but that doesn’t mean I haven’t found it useful. The interviews that Ms. Maxwell set up with some of the recent Seycove grads talking about their university experience probably had me the most excited and comfortable with the idea of University that I’ve been all year. I think Luca’s comment that nobody has to live with your university decisions more than you was probably the best advice I’ve ever got for determining programs and schools. Hearing that from a person who had recently gone through what I’m going through felt very reassuring, and gave me some of the confidence I needed to finish applications and make decisions. I also think that PGP has given me some more confidence with my creative ideas. I talked in my TPol last year about how I lacked confidence in some of my creative ideas. However in this recent PDP project I just finished, I had the opportunity to create an artifact based off the book I read. For the first time in a while when I had my idea and I didn’t second-guess it, instead I pitched it and then refined it later. Having confluence in my idea and committing to it earlier, allowed me to do more drafts, and fine-tune my idea into a better one. Is this something that I really want to continue practising for the rest of the year.
In my learning plan I set a goal that was meant to help improve my learning through the work I did outside of school. This goal was to read at least a book a month, and this is something I have definitely achieved. The other purpose of this goal was to practice taking permanent notes on the books I read, so that I can use the knowledge and thoughts I had about the books in future projects. However although I’m proud I’ve managed to start up this habit, my notes need a lot of work. Right now they’re often just my personal takeaways on the theme of the book, but I need to work towards finding concrete pieces of evidence in the book or specific quotes that I can use to support my ideas on the theme. This is important, because otherwise, my notes later on have no context outside of my memory of the book. I think I would also benefit from widening my range of notes from just books, to movies, podcasts, and videos in general. I think the first half of this year has been a really good start to improving my work on this habit, but in the rest of the year, I really want to work towards increasing the quantity and quality of the permanent notes I take, putting specific focus on evidence in the media I consume.
Now when I was thinking of what goal I should have to guide me through the rest of the year I actually really struggled. I feel like I’ve said, quite a number of achievable and measurable goals during this Mpol. So my guiding goal will be a more personal one. I’ve always thought of myself as someone who really loved school and approached it with a good attitude. So far this year has been the hardest to keep up that good attitude. Maybe it’s a bit of graduating burn out, but whatever it is, I don’t think it’s beneficial to my learning, and I’m certainly not used to feeling it. Either week, I got a piece of really good advice from one of my classmates, which was to focus in on the parts of a topic, you enjoy the most, and run with it. Do extra research, and find ways to work the topic that you’re passionate about into your project. Simply put it was do extra work to help keep you engaged. Your learning is your responsibility, and if you have to approach topics at different angles to keep yourself, psyched, that’s for you to do. I know I can do this through things like the notes that I’m already trying to improve, but I think, by recognizing some of the burnout I feel, I can start to work towards fixing my attitude and putting more energy into the learning I do.
I want to thank you all for coming to my presentation of learning, and for the constant support that I have received throughout the first 4 1/2 years high school. It does feel sad to start doing my lasts, but I do have a lot of excitement for the rest of this year.
Thank you as always,