WW1 Comic Con – Blast from the Past!

World War One was one of the bloodiest, deadliest wars that killed millions and injured way more. It caused mass destruction across the entirety of Europe and has been a key factor in Canadian history. During WWI, Canada played a significant role as a member of the Allied Powers. The war had a lasting impact on Canada, shaping the country and its identity in ways that are still evident today. From the sacrifices made by Canadian soldiers on the battlefield to the changes in Canadian society and economy, the effects of WWI can still be felt in Canada a century later. This was the topic of the grade 9 exhibition this year, so join me as I take you through the different stages of creating it.

After our Nationalism project, we swiftly moved into what would be the highlight of our grade’s exhibition, World War 1 Comic Books. When first introduced to this project, I thought it would be an easy, fun, end-of-year assignment, but boy was I wrong. The instructions were to make a WW1 comic book about a battle/event that had taken place, with full details and everything. It was a tracing assignment, so in my mind that meant less drawing time, but I decided that I was going to go the extra mile, I was going to freehand draw the entire thing! Am I good at drawing? No. Because I had a stellar idea? Somewhat. Because I like to make things challenging for myself. Absolutely. We had to create storyboards before we could start drawing our good copy, so as soon as it was announced, I got started drawing. 

My story is about the last day of the war, November 11th, 1918, and is told through 3 different points of view. So not only had I decided to freehand the entire thing, but I had also decided to at 17 more panels than suggested. I realized that I was digging myself into a hole I wasn’t sure if I could get out of, but I had to try. And the moment I finished the storyboards, I jumped head-first into the comic. The rest of the time prior to exhibition was a blur. I only had a week and a half to create my comic, and that had me feeling stressed, using any free time I had to draw. I would stay up late on many occasions to draw, and before I knew it, the dreaded day had arrived.

 To say exhibition day was chaotic would be an understatement. All the grade 9’s were instructed to meet in the cafeteria at 3:15, and we quickly came to the conclusion that no one knew what the plan was after. Because we spent all our time on our comics, we didn’t really think about the decor or anything. We all frantically ran around for the next hour and a half trying to organize ourselves. The comics came at 4pm, and everyone dropped everything and excitedly gathered around Miss Madsen to collect them, but mine wasn’t there. The printers didn’t print mine, and that made me freak out. Since I was the only one doing my topic, I was lone in a group, and if I had no comic then why was I even here?! But thankfully Mr. Harris came in clutch and printed out the forgotten comics, and at 5pm, the doors opened, and the presenting started!

In the end, all the stress, late nights, and chaos of exhibition day were worth it. Seeing all the hard work and creativity of my classmates showcased in one room was truly inspiring. Despite the challenges and setbacks, we all came together to create something truly special. The experience of creating my World War 1 comic book taught me the value of perseverance and determination. It showed me that even when things seem impossible, with hard work and dedication, anything is achievable. The lessons learned and memories made during this exhibition will stay with me for a long time. So, here’s to overcoming obstacles, pushing through challenges, and coming out stronger on the other side. Cheers to a successful exhibition and all the growth and learning that came with it!

tPOL 2024!

“Thank you for coming to my presentation of learning. I am the expert on my own learning. I am also responsible and accountable for my own 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.”

Driving Question: How can you showcase evidence to demonstrate that PLP Success Behaviours have prepared you to advance to the next grade?

Within 3 months, in September, I will be starting my grade 10 year. That means I would have completed 2 years at Seycove, as well as 2 years in PLP. And at this moment, standing here, I can’t quite fully grasp the fact. This year has flown by, and with the weather changing every day, it honestly feels like we’re in February, not June. Grade 9 has been something different, with plot twists and events I never knew were going to happen, let alone expect it ever would. But, before I can successfully move into the next chapter of my education, I need to reflect on the most challenging, annoying and wonderful school year yet.

For this year’s tPOL, I would like to start with my most challenging event of the year; Destination Imagination! Specifically, I want to talk about how the competition has helped me open my mind to the simple yet taxing part for me, which was accepting feedback. On the first competition day, my group and I were ready to take the stage, presenting our performance to the audience, and hopefully snagging a spot on the podium. But due to lack of preparation, technical difficulties and overall disagreement, we ranked 4 out of 4. Honestly, in my opinion, we would have ranked the same on the second round if it weren’t for what the appraisers had to say. Now, I can give feedback like no one’s business, but accepting it is another story. I feel like if someone has any criticism or negative thoughts about my work, that I had failed and should give up, but the judges at DI, they made sure to portray the feedback in a way that encourages you to preserve, which helped my entire group. With this, we rewrote our script, made some adjustments to the costumes, and made sure our pinball machine was looking good. And this time, we came out on top, tied for 2nd! I was proud of myself for being able to take the feedback, mix it into the content, and have something in the end that was what they wanted and more! This is something I needed to learn, and will hopefully improve more on in future projects and next year’s Destination Imagination!

Like many projects, the Nationalism Video proved to be equally as challenging, but throughout the process, I learned a very valuable skill: Self Regulation. During the whole time, I was working like crazy day and night trying to have a finished product by the due date. But while I was working, I was constantly stressed, working until 11pm every night, and even missing sports practices. I’ve always struggled with clear boundaries between school/homework and my time outside of the classroom, but over this year the lines have become severely blurred. After that project was finished, I vowed to myself to keep working on my regulation, and hope to make it a strong strength for the future. So far I have kept this up, (with the exception of a few late night comic drawings sessions), and am definitely going to try bringing this new skill with me into grade 10!

Every POL I like to reflect on my learning guide, to see what things I have accomplished this year, and skills that I have yet to learn. But today, I want to talk about a specific skill that has taken me ages to develop, but am slowly getting better at. For me, seeking help from teachers about schoolwork has always been an issue, especially in the past. My mind had convinced me that if I’m confused or need help, than I’m stupid and should just give up. That is clearly not a healthy work mentality to have, and over my 2 years in high school, I’ve tried to improve that. At this moment, I can confidently tell you that I have been able to ask teachers and other administrators my questions, and have not had the little voice in my head telling me to just give up. I know this seems like a skill that is very easy to do, but for my people pleasing, overachieving self, showing even a hint of weakness can send me into a downward spiral. So this is when I am at right now, and hopefully at next year’s tPOL, I will be able to talk once again about this topic, and have more confidence to go with it!

In conclusion, as I prepare to advance to grade 10, I can showcase evidence that PLP Success Behaviours have prepared me for this next step. From learning to accept and utilize feedback effectively during Destination Imagination, to practicing self-regulation during the Nationalism Video project, and even conquering my fear of seeking help from teachers, I have demonstrated growth and development in key areas. These experiences have equipped me with the necessary skills and mindset to tackle the challenges of the next grade level with confidence and determination. I am proud of the progress I have made and excited to continue to build on these successes in the future.

In the Name of Nationalism – An Indian Exploration

Nationalism is a mysterious ideology that has been used to help create almost every country on planet Earth. It can help improve government, make the country a better place, or single-handedly ruin a nation. Events happen in wild, crazy ways, that can be methodically thought out, or just free-wheeled. No one can tell if it happens for better or for worse, so our class decided to figure it out for ourselves. 

At the beginning of April, all PLP 9 students were faced with a new and daunting assignment. We all must pick a country to study, learn about its history during nationalism, and make a 4-5 minute video displaying our knowledge on the topic. There were many different countries to choose from, but I wanted a challenge, so I picked the place I thought would that would do just that; India. Now, I know absolutely nothing about the history of India, so I was excited to start this project, and as soon as we were given the green light, I dived right into the research. 

Before even doing any research, the teachers taught us how to find a good, reliable source, and how to cite our sources. It was a really useful lesson, and it helped me later on, but I was having a hard time finding things to source from. Locating information about Indian nationalism was super difficult because every page I looked at had differing interpretations of the event. I looked for a solid 3 days, but eventually, I gathered all my necessities and started forming a script. After having all my notes, writing was the easiest part of the whole process, as I used my notes as the starting point and turned them into proper sentences, after I was finished, double-checked for errors, and headed in, it was time to move on to the video. 

The video was slightly less stressful than the research but was a challenge as well. Since nationalism in India happened quite a bit later, I thought it would be easier to find, but a lot of important dates occurred during WW1, in which India did not take part. I had to use so much media to create my video from many various places, and thankfully I had all of them in my search history so I could accurately source them all. After many hours of editing, some slight procrastination & many snacks later, and I finished my video! Honestly, I’m proud of this, and I hope you all enjoy!


mPOL 2024!

“Thank you for coming to my presentation of learning. I am the expert on my own learning. I am also responsible and accountable for my own 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.”

DRIVING QUESTION: How have I demonstrated growth as a learner so far this year?

8 months ago, I started grade 9. In eight months, I have drastically changed the way, I learn, the way I live, and the way I think. In eight months, I have had my fair share of successes, failures, learning moments, and about everything in between. I have accomplished things I never thought I would, felt proud of myself, and opened my mind up to the possibilities that school and the world have in store for me. Alongside that, I have failed in the ways I didn’t know I could, tried new things, and made mistakes.  I feel more connected to my work than ever. I have dared to learn, dared to dream, dared to be the best human being I can be. And for these 7 minutes, I would like to share my greatest moments in PLP this year with you.

 To start, I’m going to jump into my biggest learning moment so far: The Winter Exhibition. If anyone wasn’t aware of the grade 9 project, we had to make a Rube Goldberg machine based off a revolution, each step coronating with a part of history in that time. When we were put into a group at the beginning, everything was going amazingly. We collaborated, brought new ideas, and helped with equipment and items we needed, but as time ticked away, things took a turn for the worse. We broke off into groups of 2 to tackle each machine module, and by the day of the exhibition we had all our necessary pieces to set up, yet when we tried to put them all together, the top part was way too big. No one had been on the same page, no one had even talked. We spent the majority of that day frantically working to try and make something happen. In the end, we got the second half to be a successful machine and rolled with that. Now, was this an absolute disaster? Yes. Should we have probably tried everything together before the day of? Absolutely. But did we also learn, grow, and experience strong self-reflection? 100%. I learned that if you want something done, you have to do it yourself and find those people who can help you achieve your goals, instead of holding you down. I also learned how hard it was to work in big groups where everyone wanted different things, but it is now a skill of mine I can use in the future. So this year, my biggest fail, my biggest challenge, was my biggest learning, and honestly, I wouldn’t have it any other way. 

Alongside the failures, I have had so many accomplishments and proud moments. I went to Alberts and did hikes I didn’t even know I was capable of doing! I have grown with my peers at Loon Lake, opening our minds and emotions to each other. I have competed in DI and tied for 2nd! I have learned about a wide variety of topics, from the periodic table to Louis Riel to our creating thrillers. But one of my biggest achievements of this year was none other than my Frankenstuffie. The project was for us to sew the most creative creatures we could think of, write them a story, and turn it into a video. Like most of my projects, it started easy, getting to be fully immersed in the storytelling, but by the time the video part rolled around, I realized that this would be harder than I thought. I looked high and low to find photos for background and props, but nothing was working, so eventually started drawing. Before I even knew it, my Apple Pencil was taking control. And I am proud to say that everything in that video besides my Frankenstuffie is hand-drawn. All 2 minutes and 24 seconds of it. Boy was it a struggle, my hand cramping up countless times, getting bored, and almost giving up. I’m glad I didn’t though, because whenever I look back and reflect on it, I get overwhelmed with a feeling of pride, and that made all the hours of drawing worthwhile.

To take it back the beginning of the year, I would like to talk about my learning  plan. I still remember how I started my very first mPOL with it, and how it taught me a valuable lesson of expressing one’s true thoughts and opinions. I know this is only my first presentation of learning this year, but reflecting on this guide, it’s safe to say that I have almost accomplished everything in the growth categories. I have started asking for help when I’m struggling, and I have learned that failing is okay. I have continued to hand things in on time and will continue doing it. I have almost mastered the ways of constructive criticism and not coming off like a mean person, but that’s a department that still needs help. And I have finally started sticking up for myself in group projects, not letting people walk all over me and hand their work to me, and voicing my concerns. More than ever, I have become the learner that I dreamed of being, and setting these goals was like making a checklist of things that were holding me back from it. 

In conclusion, I have demonstrated significant growth as a learner throughout this year. From facing challenges and failures to celebrating accomplishments and successes, I have embraced every opportunity to learn and grow. Through projects like the Winter Exhibition and Frankenstuffie, as well as experiences at Alberts and Loon Lake, I have pushed myself beyond my comfort zone and developed valuable skills in collaboration, creativity, and resilience. Reflecting on my learning plan, I can see the progress I have made in seeking help, meeting deadlines, and advocating for myself. Overall, I am proud of the learner I have become and am excited to continue on this journey of growth and development in the future! Thank you!

Itsa Me – Destination Imagination!

A crucial part of all schools is teamwork, which is tested and presented in many ways. Most places will have group projects like PowerPoints and experiments, but PLP is on a whole other level, as they use the most team-reliant type of project, Destination Imagination (DI)! DI is a school-wide event, where people attend a school to witness their families and friends compete for first. There are 4 different challenge topics: Technical, Engineering, Scientific & Fine Arts, each getting a new challenge every year. This year, it was my first year in DI, and I got placed in the technical challenge this year – Pinball Hero! In Pinball Hero’s, each group has to create a working pinball machine, with 3 or more modules. The pinball has to complete one full pinball round where the size three soccer ball interacts with every module to get any points. And this year, we had to make it themed around an action/adventure movie. But, you’re not here to read paragraphs on the rules and regulations, so let me indulge you in the absolutely crazy process of making a pinball machine.

When it was first announced in early January, my mind instantly started brainstorming ideas for potential ideas. I was working on some plans when we were assigned our groups and challenges, and as soon as we did, my group started collaborating. It turned out that I wasn’t the only one with ideas, because our conversations were full of cool and crazy thoughts for modules, art and the story. We bounced things around but eventually ended up with the story idea of Mario. It was a classic, and everyone in my group was familiar with it, so it seemed like the perfect idea. Once we had the basics of the plan, we split up into 2 groups; one from the machine, and the other for the story. 

Jannik, Logan and I worked on the story and script while Magnus and Charlie worked on the actual machine. We stuck to the original elements and stories in Mario but added our twists to it.  We had fun creating it, reminiscing on the joy that Mario brings us, and focusing on the specific ideas we think would fit best. Then, once we had the story, I created the script to bring our story to life. While we did that, our 2 grade 10’s (Charlie and Magnus), worked diligently on the machine and the modules. We all communicated throughout the entire thing, to make sure the story matched the machine and vice versa. Everything and everyone was great and on the same page completely, until the semester change. During February, my group lost touch. We all had conflicting schedules, never agreeing on times to meet up, and having to do all our tasks on our own. I spent that time collecting my costume and making all the necessary props we agreed upon. 

I made fireballs out of whiffle balls, mystery boxes with cardboard, and fire flowers with both. It was stressful enough working together every day in Maker, but not meeting up added a whole new layer of anxiety. But finally, everyone’s schedules cleared up, and we started working again. The 10’s built and assembled the machine, while the rest of us started to paint it, adding more of the Mario feel to it. Before we even knew it, it was March 2nd, Destination Imagination Day! The day was eventful, to say the least. We all met at 8:30 am in our practice rooms and started rehearsing immediately. Hours and hours we practiced, trying to make sure everything was perfect for our 12:45 pm presentation time. In between we had our instant challenge, then lunch, and the next thing we knew, it was time! We grabbed our props, sign, and machine and headed onto the stage.

The presentation went well! We all remember our lines, acted to the best of our abilities, and completed a pinball round. Our group was sure we snatched a place on the podium, but when we talked to the appraisers, that idea was quickly dismissed. Because of some technical problems and actions, we placed last, and I was furious. How dare I put 3 months of hard work into it, just to end up at the bottom?! I didn’t understand, but I kept my anger inside as I congratulated the groups that won. I realized that my group has many things to improve from the art of the machine to the modules themselves. After the day was over, went home and started again from square one, thinking of new ideas to make sure we secure a podium spot for next time. We may have not won, or come close in any way, but we all learned the hard way, that if you want to win, then you need more than a half-finished product and a dream. So until the next teams, may the best and most improved machine win.

The Rise of the Frankenstuffies!

If you could create any random animal hybrid, what would you make? I ask this of you, because our most recent project, ‘Rise of the Frankenstuffies’, we all had to use our imagination and semi successful sewing skills to build the hybrid of our dreams. 

We were first approached with the project in the beginning of February right after semester change. We were told to bring old stuffed animals that were ready to be repurposed and destroyed in the name of art. We were given free rein to pick and choose whatever materials we wanted to use for our creations. After scavenging around different tables for stray parts, I found a frog head, lamb body and ears, cat tail, and leopard legs. It was a mishmash of different textures and colors, but somehow it all seemed to come together in a weirdly cohesive way. Over the next two days, I spent every spare moment working on my creation. Sewing, stuffing, and stitching until my fingers were sore and slightly bleeding. But the result was worth it.

Process of Creating Leonid

After the assembling of our stuffies, we moved into 2 separate things at once. We were first given a book to read called “Levithan” by Scott Westerfield. This book was about an alternate world in the midst of war, where there were genetically engineered creatures called ‘Darwinist Beasties’. The creatures in the book were a mix of different animals, just like my creation. At the same time, we were tasked with creating a Hero’s Journey diagram for our stuffies. We had to break down their story into seven different sections, and describe our strange friend. It was a challenging task, but I dove in with enthusiasm. I wrote the entirety of Leonid’s story, bringing him to life with every detail. The combination of reading “Leviathan”, creating my Frankenstuffie, and mapping out his Hero’s Journey had opened up a whole new level of thinking for me, showing me how anything can spark creativity.

Once we our entire story, we had to choose one part to present in our film. I choose 3 parts and simplified them to the length of one, and it was no easy task let me tell you that. I love writing, I do it all the time in and out of school, but having full creative liberties on an assignment can cause writers block for me. So while everyone was writing, I was still plotting the perfect way to share Leonids story, and once I found it, everything fell into place. Words spewing from my brain onto the page instantly, and before I knew it, I arrived at the last part of the entire thing; the video.

This process was the most infuriating and difficult part by far. I realized some of the parts that I wrote about were going to be difficult, so I had to simplify even more while still portraying my story. Once I had my new final draft, I started gathering background photos for editing. But, I couldn’t find any, so I decided it would be more unique if I drew it all by hand. It took me hours and hours of drawing, erasing, redrawing and animating, but I finished it just in the nick of time. Before I handed it it, I added some sound effects and video effects to spice things up, then sent it in!

“How do we as writers make our message clear and engaging to an audience?”This is the driving question, the bigger question around the entirety of this project. The main focus is on how writers can make their message clear and engaging to an audience. The writer suggests drawing inspiration from various sources, incorporating elements that resonate with the audience, and utilizing creative storytelling techniques to make the message more captivating. By being creative, persistent, and innovative, writers can effectively communicate their message and capture the attention of their readers or viewers.

In conclusion, the ‘Rise of the Frankenstuffies’ project pushed me to think outside the box and get creative with my storytelling. From creating my own hybrid stuffed animal to mapping out its Hero’s Journey and bringing it to life in a short film, every step of the process was a challenge that ultimately led to a satisfying result. By immersing myself in the world of ‘Leviathan’ and drawing inspiration from various sources, I was able to craft a story that was engaging and unique. This project taught me the importance of perseverance and innovation in writing, as well as the power of storytelling to captivate an audience. Who knows what odd creature I may create next, but one thing is for sure – the journey of creating it will be just as exciting and rewarding as this one.

Now you, my amazing viewers and teacher, I would like your feedback on my video. After watching my film, click this link, and it will take you to a padlet. There you can give me feedback alongside comments for me to take into consideration. Thank you very much, I’ll see you next blogpost!

Rise of the Frankenstuffies Padlet

Is this Riel Life? Or is this Just Fantasy

In the short time before the semester changed, my PLP 9 class dove into the study of an important individual in Canadian history; Louis Riel. Now, I’m somewhat of a history hater, so when the project was first announced, I was disappointed. I have never felt any interest in historical events such as World Wars or ancient civilizations like my peers, so I was counting on this particular assignment to bore me. Yet, at this moment in time, reflecting on “Let’s Get Riel”, I feel more connected to my country’s past. However, if you aren’t familiar with this Métis legend, let me indulge you in his story, so sit down, get comfortable, and enjoy as I share with you a retelling of Louis Riel and his portrayal in history through my eyes.


For this assignment, we had to create a multi-paragraph composition based on our driving question, “How has the portrayal of Louis Riel changed over time?”. He was portrayed as many different things, but the evolution in itself reminded me of the power of perspective. History is not a fixed entity; it is subjective, shaped by the viewpoints and biases of those who record it. What we believe to be true today may be challenged and reevaluated in the future. It made me realize that our understanding of the past can never be fully comprehensive or objective. Growing up, I was taught a simplified version of history, where the heroes and villains were clearly defined. But as I delved deeper into Riel’s story, I realized that reality is far more complex. The struggles faced by the Métis people were not black and white; they were multifaceted and intertwined with issues of identity, land rights, and cultural preservation. In a way, studying the life of Louis Riel challenged me to question my own assumptions and preconceived notions. It made me realize that history is not just a static collection of dates and events; it is a living, breathing entity that continues to shape the present. 

While I’ve discussed a lot about his story and my thoughts on it, I haven’t talked much about the actual composition. This project was very challenging for me, as I couldn’t put my opinion into it. I’m usually a very opinionated person, you could ask anyone I know, so having to write a piece of literature while staying completely impartial was hard. I wrote drafts and drafts, each one different yet not meeting my personal expectations. Then something clicked, and I knew how I had to write. I wrote like someone who just knew the facts, the evidence given to them, like I knew nothing other than the impartial truth. And after revisions from myself and the teaches, I had a finished product that I was proud of.

So, is this real life, or is it just fantasy? Perhaps it’s a bit of both. The study of Louis Riel allowed me to step out of my historical apathy and explore the vibrant and often untold stories that shaped our nation. It reminded me that history is not just a subject to be endured; it is a lens through which we can better understand ourselves and our country.

How Do Ideas Drive Change? A Winter Exhibition ❄️

Exhibition day is supposed to be the day when you proudly present your finished product to the world, showing it off and reminiscing on the last few months of building, painting, planning, and overall design. But when you have 8 unassembled pieces of a Rube Goldberg machine, a documentary to finish, and 7 hours before people show up, exhibition day is one of the most stressful parts of PLP. Now, before we begin, let me take you back a 2 months, when our project, “Metaphor Machines” was announced.

I was assigned to the Haitian Revolution group as part of a project. Before diving into our specific revolution, we read ‘Animal Farm’ by George Orwell to understand how power can corrupt people and lead to conflict. We analyzed the characters and their actions, relating them to real-life historical events. We had passionate discussions about the characters’ intentions and the manipulation of power. Once we finished the novel, we were given our revolution groups. My group was tasked with researching and analyzing the Haitian revolution. My first job was to create an infographic educating our classmates about the causes, events, and impacts of the revolution. I wasted no time and started working on it immediately. After revising it myself and getting feedback from peers, I handed it in and moved on to the next step, planning.

The planning was probably the easiest part of it all. We first made individual plans, with connections and the metaphorical message behind them. For some, the metaphors proved to be challenging, but I found them easy because we already had the background information for our machines to help guide us. And after completing our ones, we gathered as a group to turn our 7 blueprints into 1 collaborative one.  Once we had a fine design, and it was approved by the teachers, we moved on to the hardest step of it all, the building. 

The building process was hands down the hardest part of the entire project. We all decided to work on our connections, but we also had to work on the design for our room, the supplies and the documentary, so things got out of hand fast. Some people did a lot, some people did nothing, and at points, there were times when I wanted to give up. But as a group, we pushed through and started working together. We made ramps, designed switchbacks, overcame obstacles and did a lot of painting, and in the blink of an eye, it was the day we were all waiting for exhibition day.

This day, on December 21st, the day of the exhibition, was the day that everything went south. While all of our connections worked on their own, which was a miracle, to begin with, when we put them together, nothing seemed to work. We tried moving parts, repositioning them and even scrapping some, but nothing seemed to work. When we took a break for lunch, I wanted nothing more for the day to be over, but by some blessing, we made the 2nd half of the machine work. Our next challenge was the documentary, and because the person in charge of it became ill at the last second, we had to finish it day of. But that didn’t stop us, and when the exhibition was in full swing, we had something to show people, and with our solid presentation, half a documentary and witty charm, which all worked out for the best.

And lastly, to touch on our driving question: How do ideas drive change? Ideas have the remarkable power to ignite change by acting as the fuel that propels revolutions. They are like the metaphoric sparks that set in motion a Rube Goldberg machine, the simple yet effective series of cause and effect. As we collaboratively built our own Goldberg machine, we learned the importance of working together to overcome obstacles in our path. Similarly, when ideas are shared and combined, they become a force that can triumph over any hindrance, driving transformative change in the world. And even though we’ve faced challenges, we learned many valuable lessons, and that I wouldn’t trade for the world.

Thrill Us: A Journey Through A Basketball 🏀

Why do people make thrillers? To add suspense, make us uneasy? Is it to scare us? To give us a gateway into another world? Well, in the case of teachers, its a task given to kids to make them understand film for themselves. And in my opinion, it’s difficult as heck. For this whole semester we’ve been studying the ways of filming. The different angles, specific lighting, characters, editing, the whole shabang. So after we finished our previous project, filming a remake, it was time to make a film on our own. 

We started by watching a collection of short thrillers to give us inspiration. Each film provided us with a different perspective on how to create suspense and keep the audience on the edge of their seats. We analyzed the various techniques used, such as suspenseful music, unexpected plot twists, and well-developed characters. We also studied the three C’s, (contract, clock & crucible), which helped us dig deeper into the world of media. And after breaking down the short thrillers and learning about the key elements that make a good thriller, we divided into groups to start planning our own film.

My group consisted of basketball players, including me, and it seemed only fitting that we incorporated our shared passion into our film. We decided it would start with 2 friends playing basketball, one makes a bad shot and sends the other friend on a wild journey to get it, and ends with a really dramatic and confusing twist. So once we had our plot, planned the shots we needed, and developed the characters, it was time to film. We were given 4 days to film and edit, Monday through Thursday, and it had to be submitted on Friday to watch, so we split the shots we needed into 3 days, leaving the last day for editing. 

Unfortunately, on Monday I was sick, but since I’m only in 1 shot, my group was able to film the designated shots without me. They started with the beginning, and worked their way down to 1/3 of it finished, which was perfect for the day. We were all determined to make the most out of the remaining days. On Tuesday, we gathered again to film the rest of the shots. Despite the setback of my absence on the first day, we managed to capture everything we needed. There were a few retakes here and there to ensure perfection, but overall, the filming process went smoothly.

With all the footage in the bag, we eagerly moved on to the next phase – editing. Wednesday was dedicated to transforming our raw footage into a thrilling film. We added special effects to intensify the suspense and make certain scenes look distorted. Dramatic music was carefully selected to enhance the overall atmosphere of the film. Applying filters in specific parts added an extra layer of intrigue to the visuals. One aspect that pleasantly surprised us was the sound quality of the running scenes. It was captured perfectly on set, so there was no need for reshoots or additional audio recording. This saved us a lot of time and allowed us to focus more on other editing details.

By Thursday, we were entering the final stages of editing. We added some finishing touches to ensure a seamless flow between shots and to fine-tune the overall pacing. It was a process of trial and error, making sure every scene was as captivating as possible. We meticulously scrutinized each frame, aiming for perfection. Finally, on Friday, we proudly handed in our finished product. The sense of accomplishment was overwhelming. We were thrilled to have created something unique and captivating, a film that truly immersed the audience in its suspenseful narrative. We couldn’t wait to see the reactions of our classmates and teachers. And to our surprise, we ended up having a film competition, and ended in a tie for 2nd place. 

Reflecting on the journey we took to create this thriller, I realize how much I’ve learned about the complexities of filmmaking. The process of planning, filming, and editing taught me valuable lessons about storytelling and the power of visual media. I now have a deeper appreciation for the art of crafting suspense and captivating an audience. And in the end, our group successfully completed our task of creating a thrilling film. We overcame obstacles, honed our skills, and embraced the challenge with enthusiasm. It was an experience that will forever be etched in our memories, reminding me of the incredible power of film has, and I will always be thankful that I got to experience a bit of the magic. 

What Happens In Loon Lake, Stay’s In Loon Lake 🏔️🌨️🌲

PLP 9 just got back from the Loon Lake Learning Advance, and it’s safe to say that this field study has been my favourite out of them all. We spent a week away in the forest of Maple Ridge practicing our collaboration and learning to trust our peers as well as ourselves. Pinicale Pursuits, the program that had us, and Johno, the leader who was with us through most of the trip, made the environment of the trip more welcoming and comfortable. 

Tuesday, my group, the otters, went rock climbing and were pushed out of our comfort zones. It was exciting to challenge ourselves physically and mentally and we saw how determined and resilient our peers were. We learned about planning our next steps and strategizing to overcome obstacles. In the afternoon, we had group discussions with Johno, where we appreciated the unique strengths and qualities of our group members. It was heartwarming to see the support and encouragement within our group.

On Wednesday, we started the day by participating in a challenging low ropes course. It required teamwork and trust as we navigated through the ropes and obstacles, supporting and encouraging each other. After that, we split into smaller groups for a thrilling scavenger hunt, using maps and compasses to find hidden challenges in the forest. It tested our critical thinking and creativity. We then had a meaningful discussion about our individuality and created posters to showcase our unique qualities. Sharing and affirming each other’s posters brought a touching moment of love, support, and genuine connections. Then to end the day, we gathered in the gym and did a few more bonding activities, bringing us closer as a class.


Thursday was full to the brim with events, and after breakfast, we started on the first one. Our animal groups were given colours, then split into 3 smaller groups to compete in a variety of challenges. This activity as a whole tested out time management, teamwork and attention to detail, as we raced for 1st place. My team ended last, but that didn’t stop us from learning and enjoying it while it lasted. Afterwards, we were put into 3 groups, and lead through 3 different activities. We did the high ropes that made us get out of our comfort zone, shelter building to help our skills of survival, and lastly trust falls, where we had to fully trust ourselves and others.

By the time Friday rolled around, we were getting ready to welcome our parents like Pinnacle Pursuits welcomed us. We gathered in our fruit groups one last time, as we discussed the 5 key things we learned over the week and put them in categories. Clear communication, social awareness, leadership, internal talk and emotional intelligence was what we decided. My group got leadership, so we wrote a script, made a poster and soon enough our parents arrived. Throughout the gathering, we presented our ideas and thoughts surrounding leadership to different people, and at the end shared goals we planed to take home with us. My goal is to think before I feel. I’m someone who would react before actually proceeding the information in a logical way, so that’s something I’m trying to bring back to Seycove.

In conclusion, Loon Lake was a transformative experience for me. The program and Johno created a welcoming and comfortable environment for us to learn and grow. We did activities like rock climbing, low ropes courses, scavenger hunts, and team challenges, which pushed us out of our comfort zones and helped us develop trust and teamwork skills. The discussions and reflections throughout the week fostered genuine connections and support within our group. We shared our learnings and goals with our parents and I want to work on improving my leadership skills. Overall, this field study was an unforgettable experience that taught us valuable life lessons and strengthened our community bonds that we will never forget.