Think…. And Grow Rich!

For the last project and the spring exhibition, I had one of my favourite projects to conclude my years in PLP — Page to Practice. For the last few weeks in high school, I worked with Dries, Jordan, Keenan, Annie, and Nathan to construct a comic-con panel. Let me share our stories in this last PLP journey without further ado.


Project Overview

For this last project, we each read a book to answer the driving question of this project: “What can we learn from authors about achieving personal and professional success?” From the start, I was eager to read the book Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill (and eliminate that option for my good friend Dries for my benefit) as my parents have always recommended this book. We then established my group based on the common theme of professional success in the workplace. Because my group and I decided to organize this as a Socratic seminar, it is memorable how we had to do many run-throughs and rehearsals to ensure we were on track. However, even with the rehearsals, panel flow, mind maps and notes, I was still very nervous. I still vividly remember how my arms, legs, body, and even face shook when I first got on stage. Yet, with the rehearsals and the support from my peers, I could calm myself down and deliver the messages from the book. As the “connector” of my group, I also tried my best to synthesize different concepts and ideas from my peers’ takeaways. Looking back, I’m glad I did my best to contribute to the panel discussion, which is our performance for the spring exhibition. At the same time, I am also grateful for the feedback and suggestions my peers and teacher gave me as I recognized, after reflection, how much worse it could’ve been without them.

Answer to DQ and Reflections

What can we learn from authors about achieving personal and professional success?

The main reason why I believe this is one of the most meaningful projects is that it allows us to learn from experts and professionals to prepare us for the future. Fundamentally, we read because we seek to learn and gain insights from authors to improve ourselves. What makes my book, “Think and Grow Rich,” exceptional is the wisdom it gathered from many people’s life experiences. Notably, Hill spent 25 years of his career interviewing 25,000 people and 500 self-made billionaires to publish this book in the 1930s. One of the most memorable lessons is the importance of a burning desire. Hill refers to that burning desire, faith and determination as the foundation for success. It was exceptionally inspiring when I learned from him that without the unwavering will to achieve your goal, nothing can be achieved. Interestingly enough, Napoleon Hill spent more than a quarter of the book talking about building that burning desire and unwavering determination in you. One of the most thought-provoking stories from the book was Darby’s stories.

“R.U. Darby’s uncle discovered a vein of gold in Colorado and borrowed money to purchase mining equipment. After a few weeks of successful mining, the vein of gold disappeared. Despite exhaustive efforts to locate the vein, they found nothing. They gave up and sold their equipment to a junkman for a few hundred dollars. The junkman, aware of the situation, sought the advice of a mining engineer. The engineer’s calculations revealed that the gold vein was just three feet from where the Darbys had stopped digging. The junkman went on to make millions from the mine. “

From those real-world experiences of other people, I learned that persistence in the face of challenges often leads to success, just beyond the point of defeat. Darby’s story emphasizes that many people lack the determination and courage when they are on the brink of significant success. At the same time, Hill also mentioned the importance of decision-making, which is our core competency for this project, in the aftermath. As he stated: “Successful people make decisions quickly (as soon as all the facts are available) and change them very slowly, if ever. Unsuccessful people make decisions very slowly and change them often and quickly.” Connection back to the idea of a burning desire, the decisiveness when making a decision reflects how determined we are. Looking back, I really felt that Napoleon Hill wrote this book as a step-by-step guide for ordinary people to achieve success. Within 13 chapters, Hill explores the stepping stones for success, from building determination, transforming and narrowing your energy to constructing the right environment for yourself to help you achieve your goals. If anything, all we should always remember is that “whatever the mind can conceive, it can achieve!”

Thank you, once again, for your time!

Echoes of History

On Tuesday, April 30th, the PLP 12 cohort presented our picture books to grade 4s and 5s at Carisbrooke Elementary to spread awareness of the significant consequences of intolerance and hatred. To me, this is the most stressful yet meaningful project this year as we get the opportunity to work with youngsters and see how our work impacts others in the real world. For this blog post, I will be talking about my journey in the most recent project: echoes of history.

Project Overview

In this unit, we learned about the significant consequences of intolerance and hatred through historical examples, specifically the Holocaust. At the same time, we learned about the importance, the reasons, and the methods of conveying such dark histories to the younger generation. Moreover, we even had field studies at the Vancouver Holocaust Education Centre to see and analyze primary sources. Ultimately, those knowledge and experiences help us to construct our picture books. Here’s the final product in collaboration with Story Spark AI:

Shapes of Society


Answer to the Driving question

How is storytelling an effective weapon against hate?

Quoting my interviewee Dianne Whelan from the last project, “Storytelling is the ancient way we connected and shape the narrative of our culture.” Storytelling has the power to motivate and unite each and every one of us to change society for the better. Through novels like Night by Elie Wiesel, and historical examples like Nazi propaganda, we see how effective uses of words and visuals can shift our perspectives and worldviews. If hatred in our society is produced with misleading, hateful propaganda, then the only cure is heartwarming, uniting storytelling. One of the most memorable examples comes from personal testimonies/stories of a Holocaust survivor after WWII. To me, the story of the 60-year-old woman begging to live was touching, as you recognize that even at an old age, under such extreme pressure filled with despair, she still had a burning desire to live. That testimony provoked strong yet mixed emotions while inspiring questions like “What does it mean to be alive?”, “Why would you want to be alive?” and “If it is easier to die and harder to live in this world, why did people persist?”. As Stalin stated: “a single death is a tragedy; a million deaths are a statistic.” The power of storytelling is that it can turn cold names, numbers, and statistics back into deep, touching, and reflective moments that can help us recognize the mistakes in the past and move forward.



About the project & book feedback

The moment I knew my book creation was going to be read to elementary students and perhaps stored in their library was the moment I decided to exert every bit of my effort. While most PLP projects are about your growth and your learning, this project also allowed you to impact others with what you know. For myself, I stood up till 3 AM three days in a row to learn and work on the project; with that in mind, however, many things could’ve been better.

(Aria writing feedback for me, photo taken by Ms, Madsen)

Looking at Delilah’s and Aria’s feedback, I realized that the book would’ve been more effective if I paid more attention to those tiny details. After all, it was my ignorance of the contradicting details that distracted the children from the book itself. At the same time, I also should’ve made the storyline more attention-grabbing to surprise and engage with the readers more. Moving forward, I will remember the lessons and feedback elementary students like Aria and Delilah gave me and strive for perfection in every aspect of my work. Overall, I am happy that I exerted my best effort on the book, but I am more about the fact that those elementary children understood, liked, and learned from the story. Their learnings and the realization that I could help and impact others with my knowledge were worth the stress and workload.


About our Social Responsibility

Through this project, I have gained a deeper understanding of the responsibilities I carry as a citizen in society. When first designing my picture book, I had a protagonist, Charlie the Circle, advocating for changes and reinforcing the new world; however, I don’t believe it was appropriate for the story as no individuals should be held accountable to take Charlie’s role in our society. In the real world, no individual can change the world alone; therefore, I decided to remove the only main character from my book. As I removed the heroic figure from the story, I realized that the hero of the story, the hero of our society, is each and every one of us. Looking back, I am glad that I removed the protagonist before presenting to the children as I don’t want them to depend and count on an imaginary hero to save the world. As a citizen of our society, like a cube shape-being in the story, I learned that it’s our responsibility to create a better world for each other.


Philosophical wonders

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During the project, the stories and the testimonies from Holocaust survivors were depressingly memorable. Referring to the 60-year-old woman’s story mentioned earlier, I questioned what it means to be alive as a human. No one deserves to die, but at what cost survival should be maintained? Is it better to die with dignity if I was a victim myself? Why would I want to be alive if the world is like hell? Those philosophical, late-night questions remained unanswered. As Victor Frankl stated himself, “The best of us did not return,” I started wondering if human nature can be tested under extreme circumstances, and I started wondering if I myself can be tested under such circumstances. But looking back, it is clear to me that our goals were never to test the boundaries of human nature but rather prevent such extreme conditions from taking place in the first place. It is only until I reflect on those philosophical questions, I realize how nice it is that my friends and I are not fighting over a bowl of soup and some bread. It is only until I reflect on those philosophical questions I realize how fortunate we are to live in the 21st century. It is only until I reflect on those philosophical questions I recognize the importance of passing down those stories to children and preventing this dark chapter of our history from repeating itself.

Our Pacific Perspectives

For our first group project in 2024, we studied the innovators, those who can see around corners and their impact on our collective identity. Although I couldn’t attend the field studies in LA, this project has been exciting and meaningful as I visited different places and met industry professionals across Vancouver. Now, without further ado, let me share with you my learning journey.

About the Project


In this project, I had the pleasure of working with Annie and Erin to create an episode of a documentary on the entertainment industry, specifically the film industry, of the West Coast and how it shapes us as a whole. We collaborated well and worked hard throughout the project as a team. Each one of us dedicated ourselves to the creation of the episode, from scripting, filming, to editing, and I hope you like it:

Learning from the innovators

As a class, we have studied influential innovators worldwide, such as Walt Disney and Frank Gehry, and their impact on our society. However, meeting and interviewing the innovators was a new level of experience. For the first week, I visited the Vancouver Film Festival with Jakub to seek insight from industry experts. Seeing how these individuals think and work and how their storytelling has shaped the film industry as we know it today was truly eye-opening. Specifically, I am grateful for the opportunity to interview Dianne Whelan, an award-winning director/producer, and Alan Formanke, the festival director, for their input in our video. Conversations with respectable industry professionals like them have helped me understand the meaning and purpose behind films and the potential impact stories can bring to our lives. On the festival night, Jakub and I witnessed how filmmakers or storytellers, I should say, are always trying to make the world better by using their films as mediums to address social issues and speak up for minorities. As Tom Sherak, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Science President, stated in an interview: “Movies are stories. Movies tell us things that we never could’ve known. They tell us things we might not know and give us a way to explore the past, present, and future.” This journey to the Vancouver Film Festival helped me to understand and appreciate the film industry better.


Side Journeys

For us folks staying in Vancouver, we are also responsible for filming B-rolls and creating the collective intro for our documentary series. While capturing footage from places like Lonsdale Avenue, Deep Cove, and Stanley Park, I developed my video editing skills with the help of Dries and Josh. Additionally, I am happy that I was able to help other groups with some Vancouver footage while they were away. The side journeys behind the project, whether catching/missing buses to Stanley Park, hiking with Dries to get quality footage, or editing and animating with Josh, are unique experiences that have made this project exceptionally joyful, effective, and fulfilling for me.


Driving Question

Why are some people able to see around corners in ways others are not, and by doing, shape how we see ourselves in this changing world?


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Looking back, I found similarities between Walt Disney, Frank Gehry, Dianne Whelan, and Alan Formanke throughout this project: they all dare to think and do outside the box. They don’t allow traditional social norms to define what’s possible and are not on their journey to make this world a better place. Walt Disney, for example, has created a world through their films and theme parks where fantasies become reality, nostalgia reigns supreme, and happiness is guaranteed. On the other hand, Gehry defies the laws of architecture with his unconventional and avant-garde designs that challenge the status quo. Those improvements in our society cannot be established if we limit ourselves to the traditional norm. Similarly, Dianne Whelan, with her documentary films “40 Days at Base Camp” and “500 Days in the Wild,” challenges conventional storytelling by immersing herself in the world of mountain climbing and exploring the meaning of life and death. She pushes boundaries and takes risks to shed light on important issues and provoke thought. Through the stories of those individuals, it becomes clear that innovation and progress in our community come from those willing to break free from the constraints of traditional thinking and pave their path. The courage to think and act differently, after all, is how we can make a difference and leave a lasting impact on the world.



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Overall, I believe I learned more and enjoyed more from this project because I took on more risks and responsibilities. Particularly, reaching out to strangers always makes me nervous; however, meeting and talking with those respectable industry professionals before your eyes was impactful and meaningful to my learning journey. The advice and insights I gained beyond my comfort zone talking to Dianne and Alan have helped me to drive my thinking forward and deeper while widening my perspectives with different views. Looking back, I realized I grew more when pushing my boundaries and overloading myself to work beyond my capacity. To me, this project serves as a reminder of the importance and benefits of going beyond your comfort zone. This learning journey allowed me to see the potential difference I can bring to myself and my surroundings by dedicating myself and exerting my best effort.

Thank you for your time 

Our Dark Society

For the last project in 2023, we learned about the history, ideas, and significance of feminism in modern society. Through conceptual art, we presented our learning in the winter exhibition. Without further ado, I’ll share my journey in this project and the thoughts and wonder it sparked.

About the project

What is feminism about?

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A feminist is a person who believes in the power of women just as much as they believe in the power of anyone else.


Initially, I thought feminism was only about women fighting for their rights and their voices to be heard; however, I soon realized that feminism is not only about women. At its core, feminism is fighting for a more just society, a world where people are not discriminated against based on their self-identity or assigned sex at birth. In reality, it is about equality in payment, work conditions, and respect that is often overlooked. According to the Pew Research Centre, American women typically earn 82 cents for every dollar men earn. Additionally, women reported a higher probability than men of being harassed at work, quoting Statistics Canada. After all, feminist ideas were never about getting that 20 more cents but rather about creating a more equitable society for everyone.


The Learning Journey

Significant Keystone for this Project — The Handmaid’s Tale

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Beyond researching on the internet, we have read a dystopian novel to understand our society better. My reading group, Ryan, Ryder, Jakub and I, studied The Handmaid’s Tale by Magaret Atwood, a fictional, dystopian novel set in the early 2000s. A key takeaway from this book was that our civilization society doesn’t grow on hatred, fear, or divinity but rather on collaboration, unity, and respect. Men versus women, white versus coloured, old versus young, all of these are artificial divisions created by some people for their benefit, to manipulate our worldviews into “one of us” or “one of them.” Quoting Martin Luther King, “Hate cannot drive us out of hate; only love can do that.” Through The Handmaid’s Tale, Margaret Atwood taught me the significance of respect and diversity.

(Check my Backgrounders and Journals for a more detailed analysis)


Final Product — Conceptual Art

For this project, we used conceptual arts to present our learning. My conceptual art, the Black Society, intends to provoke a cannon shot effect on the audience by showcasing how our society, similar to the black market, is exploiting and objectifying women with falsely rooted stereotypes and stigmas. A key element in my station, perhaps the spirit of the theme, is a Barbie girl hanging from the ceiling. In this case, the nuce executing the women was a pretty necklace, symbolizing society’s experience and standard of beliefs. A quote from The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood inspired the creation of this art:


I have given myself over into the hands of strangers because it can’t be helped.


The quote expresses the loneliness and helplessness of women in the fictional Republic of Gilead, a dystopian society that suppresses women’s rights and freedom; such feelings and characteristics echo and reflect the world we live in today. Through the contrast between the black market’s monetary appreciation (for their organs) and society’s ignorance of women’s contribution to our civilization, my art argues that the black market values women more than we do.
My feedback from the exhibition, however, was mostly silence. Ryder and Jakub’s red-dimmed lights and the hanging Barbie and human organs made my station one of the scariest, if I may say so myself. “Dark, but true to some extent,” I remember one of my audiences said that. The purpose of this art to raise public awareness of the ongoing discrimination and prejudice women face today. Although I don’t expect my art to change one’s worldview immediately, I hope my art has planted a seed for a more just society in my audiences’ minds.


Thoughts behind the themes

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Learning about dystopian societies from The Handmaid’s Tale made me wonder what a perfect utopian society should look like. In that ideal world, no one is judged because of their sex assigned at birth or their identity. In that ideal world, anyone can achieve their dreams without discrimination or limitation because of who they are. In that ideal world, everyone is happy as the division and tension among us are seized. I thought about the present while imagining the great thing that could happen. I started wondering what can we do to make that dream come true. Globalwide protests to capture our attention? Or reinforcement in feminist organizations to ensure their voices are heard? I am not sure how to be honest. One way or another, I believe we, as a whole, can only achieve, or get closer to, a utopian society by resolving imperfectness in our society, and that must be an ongoing action.

Thank you for your time!

Don’t be Dictators

Are you tired of boring politicians with all the fake promises they never redeem? Are you tired of waiting for social changes? Are you tired of how inefficient our society is? Beyond running for elections, we look at ways to make the country “better” as dictators. In this blog post, I want to share what I have learned about authoritarianism in the “Don’t be a DICtator project.”

About the project

The final products for this project are slideshows and debates. For this project, Dries and I were Canadian dictators taking over Canada during the pandemic. Choosing Canada to take over was interesting because you are challenging one of the most democratic political systems globally. But it was truly shocking, depressing, and almost terrifying after you researched all the feasible ways to execute your dictator dream. From locking down the border to controlling media, there’s virtually nothing you can’t do as the Prime Minister of Canada. See the below slides for an example:

Driving Questions

How can we use a speech to explore the threat posed by authoritarian rule?

As the dictator in the debate, I have sparked emotions of anger, fear, and hatred that will justify my actions as we unite to fight against “our enemy.” Understanding the dictator’s perspective helps me better understand how well our thoughts and emotions can be manipulated and controlled. Through speech research, I realized common tactics: instilling anger, fear, and hatred in our minds. Exploiting our feelings and perspectives creates a sense of urgency and desperation among the masses, thus turning us into machines and tools for their ambitions. To them, we are sheep waiting to be slaughtered after being used.

Some Insights and Thinking Inspired


Political Party, Beliefs, & Divisions

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Although we are different from one another, why do we hate each other?

For some unknown reasons, talking about politics always creates tension among us. Political debates turn citizens into “one of them” and “one of us” based on their beliefs. To me, this project is a wake-up call that we need different voices among us to keep us engaged and resilient as a nation. To me, this project is a wake-up call that our emotions and feelings could be dangerous when it comes to decision-making & judgments. To me, this project is a wake-up call that our hate towards each other contributes to violence and the destruction of the community we love. Perhaps our society needs never judgments and criticism but respect and acceptance.

Efficiency vs Democracy?

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A wonder I had during the project was how we can balance our nation’s efficiency while ensuring democracy is secured. To some extent, higher efficiency requires higher concentrated power and resources, leading to more significant risks to authoritarian rule. Judging by the decision-making duration, planning and implementing stages, authoritarian governments are often more efficient. But along with that efficiency are oppressive measures, unjust laws, and abolishing fundamental freedom and rights. So I wondered, how can we sustain high efficiency in our government without enduring the risk of authoritarian regimes? Is there a way, potentially a better system, to prevent the risks? How do we balance efficiencies and safety?

One potential answer that derives from the learning process is that the effectiveness of the policy and the impact the policy brings to our society is more important than the establishment of the policy. In other words, it is more important to solve a problem thoroughly than quickly. Similar to a test, you don’t get any points for solving a question faster but rather for getting the correct answer. The world, however, is never as clear as black and white; therefore, we can only be sure of our decisions by reviewing, analyzing, and perhaps criticizing them. Through the heated debates, we learn from others as we work to craft a better world. Only then can we ensure those revised policies and laws are suitable and beneficial to us as a nation.

Thank you for your time!

School, What Is It Good For?

How can we transform schools to create more engaged and informed citizens? It is our driving question for our last project of the year and one that we share our learning through the spring exhibition. In this blog post, I will share and reflect on my learning in the “School, what is it good for” project.

My Answer to the Driving Question

“Education is about both head and heart,” said Cecil Race, an elementary principal in Alberta for 20 years. Similarly, I believe the foundation of education is not about memorizing knowledge or facts but rather inspiring and developing positive minds. My focus in this project is to create a program that combines experiential learning with ethical education to bring students substantial impacts on their worldviews. You will learn more about homelessness by talking with someone experiencing it than in a classroom with all the statistics. With the same logic, you will learn more about morals and virtues in a real-world situation than with papers and pens. After reflecting on my experiences in Taiwan and Canada, I realized that ethical education is often skipped over or avoided. News reporters, especially those in Taiwan, often criticize individuals for not making moral decisions; however, they seldom question the issue’s root causes. At the end of the day, how can we expect one to make the best, most ethical decisions without explicitly teaching them what’s right and wrong? My idea was fully solidified after I investigated programs and studies worldwide. Unsurprisingly, I wasn’t the first to come up with the belief, nor am I the only one supporting it.

Reflection on My Learning Journey

People climbing books. isolated on white background. Vector illustration. Eps 10

I am generally proud of the interactive elements I have at my station. Especially the digital display of examples, which brought me a lot of trouble as I had no clue how to make it at the beginning. As a side product of spending hours problem-solving and having headaches, I now know exactly how to make sophisticated interactive charts to share my message. At the same time, I can confidently say that I pushed my comfort zone in this project by investigating topics I never explored before. Most importantly, I can say to myself, in the end, that I put in a surplus amount of effort as I am probably the only one that stayed at school till six and worked on PLP till 1 AM.

Looking back, I should improve my time management skills for greater efficiency. Although the effort is important, what matters more is efficiency, where you use your time and energy. One of my biggest mistakes was that I overestimated my capabilities to create a model, resulting in poor time allocation. Although I eventually constructed a model, I believe I can refine and modify the details and the appearance better with better time management. In other words, I think the execution stage is where I can grow and improve the most, as the final product is only about 70% perfection in my mind.

Impact on My Personality

Recently, I had to do a presentation on learning with my parents and teachers, which allowed me to dive deeper into thinking about how each project contributes to a more mature dynamic worldview. In other words, I questioned how this project, even in a small way, made me a better person. Ultimately, this project allowed me to develop a stronger sense of justice and responsibility toward our society. At the core, I can reflect on my identity and worldview and have the chance to reevaluate them. Through constructing a course myself, I have a deeper understanding of the purposes of schools and a greater appreciation for all the teachers designing and executing their systems for our excellent sake. Instead of complaining, I can “seek first to understand” the reasons and rationales behind each decision. Essentially, this unit brings me a different view on schoolwork and assignment with the realization that their goal is to make us better people. Because of this new perspective, I can now enjoy school more. So thank you, teachers, for all the hard work to help us become more informed and engaged citizens.

Thank you for your time 

TPOL 2023



“Thank you for coming to my presentation on learning. I am an expert in my own learning. I am responsible and accountable for my learning. You can expect me to give honest and precise 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.”

At the start of the year, I set my goal of 97% in PLP. Yes, it was a very high, ambitious, and perhaps ridiculous goal. At the start of the year, my desire to achieve the seemingly impossible drives me to set a lofty goal for myself. Looking back, the drive from my dream was a notable contributing factor to my success; however, it wasn’t enough to bring me to 97%. In this blog post, I will share my growth/ failure throughout this year to summarize my learning in Grade 11.

My Goals and Intentions

To me, a goal is a challenging, complex objective for individuals to achieve. Many people believe setting 97% as a goal is setting yourself up for failure, and they may be partially correct. I know my overall strengths are in the schematic fields, and setting a ridiculously high goal in your unfamiliar, weak subject areas may not be realistic. I have such lofty goals and expectations of myself because I want to say my Grade 11 year is fulfilling confidently. I would rather fail high than succeed low.

How have I grown?

How have experiences in PLP 11 made me a better person?

First and most importantly, how do I know I have become a better person than last year’s me? Throughout the year, many of my core beliefs are different than before. For example, in the Manhattan project^2, I questioned one’s responsibilities to its society; in Macbeth, I asked what true virtues are; in the Hope project, I started to examine how we can strengthen ourselves with resiliency. I have developed a more mature, dynamic worldview through those curiosity-inspired thoughts and investigations. It is those curiosities behind each learning journey that nurtures my development in the core competencies, such as critical thinking.

How can I develop my full potential for Grade 12?

Have I worked and lived the best version of myself in Grade 11?





Take a look at the screenshots from the Coldest War project. I don’t specialize in art in any way, nor do I consider myself to be an artistic person. But there I was, trying to make every stroke of the comic perfect. It may not mean that my comic has the most content or historical accuracy, but it represents my effort to reach my goal. Similarly, I try to refine cuts to the seconds when making the Hope project video.


Setting grades aside, I could’ve done more and refined more for many PLP projects. Throughout my PLP year, I put in around 80-90% of my effort, which I believe can be improved. Not until I reflected on my progress this year I realized that every project has a trend: the final product, whether a presentation, model, or comic, is always about 60-70% compared to perfection in my mind. Often, it is my execution that lets the plan down. I either underestimate the tasks, since constructing in my mind is so easy, or procrastinate and be indecisive. Looking back, I am often overwhelmed and terrified by the final product and ignore the steps to achieve success.

Knowing that I didn’t reach my goal, something must change next year for me to match 97%. To develop my full potential, I must divide and conquer individual tasks and set a clear timeline for each stage. Specifically, setting the alarm or having the timer beside me will increase efficiency. Although it may seem like no significant changes, I believe it is within the minor improvements, one after another, that will eventually bring considerable changes.

Thank You

After all, I want to note that my peers and mentors have given me a tremendous amount of support, and the reason why I stayed in PLP wasn’t just because of the challenging, exciting projects but also because of the overall friendly and supportive environment

Hope Project

Who do you admire the most? Often, the individuals we respect are the ones with resilience who can see the light through despair and perhaps benefit from adversity. Recently in the project of hope, we studied resilient and admirable individuals and sought to learn from their stories. In this blog post, I will summarize my learning journey in this blog post

Answer to the Driving Question

“What lessons and inspiration can we draw from the stories of individuals and communities that have faced tragedy and overcome adversity?”

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As I dive deeper into the project, I am amazed at how resilience allows us to shine in the darkest time. Victor Frankl‘s quote inspired my answer to the driving question: “Everything can be taken from a man but one thing: the last of the human freedoms—to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one’s own way.” My biggest takeaway from this project is that poor backgrounds, physical disabilities, and harsh environments don’t limit your possibilities. Despite all the tragic events we encounter, we can still make our life meaningful and inspiring with our positive growth mindsets. Throughout the individuals I studied, it is common that they all have the determination to endure all the obstacles for the better future they have in their minds.

The Final Product

Self-Evaluation and Spaces for Improvement

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Overall, I have a stronger desire and curiosity toward this unit as I see the lasting effects that may come with hard work. While it is one of the most meaningful projects, I find it interesting. Because I value this project, I have put more thought into this project than ever. Other than my research skills, my decision-making skills are another highlight during the process. But after all, I am afraid that my final product failed to show how impactful their stories are to me. Although it may be a complete story, I know it is not a creative nor a stunning video. The video lacks original films. Looking back, the execution part of this project is where I struggled the most. I may have had a great concept and understanding of the purpose behind this project; however, I could have executed it better. In the future, I hope to improve my creative skills, like filming, storyboarding, and video editing, to create a more impactful final product. Also, It will be critical for me to seek feedback to get an outsider’s perspective as I may have blindspots with the editor’s lenses.

Personal impact

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From my perspective, this unit not only passes down the best spirits to the younger generations but also helps us see the bigger picture and overcome our challenges. At the same time, this project empowers me to move forward as I understand how small my “adversity” really is. In the process, I have developed my social awareness as I realize how different life can be on Earth from other places and times. Seeing and studying the individuals helped me to have more appreciation for my daily life. I never thought living a casual day in 2023 could be a privilege until I saw what happened to Victor Frankl in the concentration camps. Furthermore, this project has also taught me the importance of having a positive mindset. Seeing how the individuals I studied were able to overcome unthinkable challenges has profoundly impacted my attitude and the way I think. One day, they can tell all their unique life stories to the younger generations and how all the past adversity has become a nutrient and improved their lives. Most importantly, this unit forces me to redefine success and the purpose of life. I used to think that achievements and wealth ultimately determine success; however, I cannot say to any individuals I studied that they are unsuccessful. They may be more successful than the millionaires since they may not endure the pain and unfortunates they have been through.


After all, this unit, studying and learning from admirable individuals, had been an inspiring journey. It taught me that we can still succeed despite all the adversity. It taught me that we can construct our future regardless of conditions. It taught me that we can always find hope, even in the darkest times. It reshapes my perspective and inspires me to question the purpose of life. Even though the project officially ended last week, it has been a lifelong journey for me.

Thank you for your time 

Hope at Its Core

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Why do some people suffer real hardships and not falter? How could hope last through the darkest times, like cancer attacks or concentration camps? Recently in this project, Stories of Hope, we are learning the concept of adversity, survivorship, resilience, hope and their relations with each other. In this post, I will answer the most fundamental questions of the entire project: what is a story of hope?

Key Terms — Oversimplified


  • Difficulties and misfortune, often times greater and more severe, or even life threatening


  • State or fact continuing to live and exist, often after a life threatening adversity or trauma. Survival itself may or may not require resilience as luck plays a role as well.


  • Resilience is a reflex, a way of facing and understanding the world, that is deeply etched into a person’s mind and soul. Resilience can be seen through one’s interactions with the environment, especially under harsh conditions.


  • An optimistic feeling that the best has yet to come. It is an open sense of possibility and willingness to work things out while seeing / facing the reality.

Summarizing from Stories and Experiences

(Austrian neurologist and psychiatrist Dr Viktor Frankl (1905 – 1997) attends the 6th International Congress of Psychotherapy in London, UK, August 1964. (Photo by Evening Standard/Hulton Archive/Getty Images)

Reading through different stories, I found Victor Frankl’s life fascinating. Although he’s best known as a survivor of the concert camps, that couldn’t define his life or character. Coming out of the centers, he published “Man’s Search of Meaning,” which stunned the field of psychology and impacted plenty of people. His writings are evidence of his resilience at work, withstanding and overcoming such severe adversities and growing and benefiting from them. He suffered terrible losses from WWII, losing almost all family members and friends; however, it is without a doubt that the struggles and painful experiences forced him to grow and become a better person

Another example that comes to mind is Terry Fox, a Canadian athlete diagnosed with bone cancer at 18. Despite having his leg amputated, he continued to train and ultimately embarked on a cross-country run to raise awareness and funds for cancer research. His legacy lives on in the annual Terry Fox Run and his foundation, which has raised over $750 million for cancer research. His unwavering hope and determination in the face of adversity have inspired countless people worldwide, and his story serves as a powerful reminder of the resilience of the human spirit.

(Image Source)


In both cases, it isn’t abnormal for someone to surrender to adversity and admit fate as a default result. It is, without a doubt, much easier to ignore hardships and difficulties than to face reality at its core. One with hope and resilience, on the other hand, embrace and face the pain up close for them to take action and bounce back (the word resilience initially came from the idea of bounce back)

So, what is a story of hope? Beyond luck and survivorship, a story of hope is resilience and perseverance in the face of adversity. This narrative shows how individuals can overcome seemingly impossible challenges and emerge more robust and determined. These stories inspire us to hold onto hope even in the darkest times and remind us of the incredible power of the human spirit. They serve as a beacon of light in a world that often feels dark and overwhelming and give us the courage to keep moving forward, no matter what obstacles come our way.


A Bigger Picture 

As mentioned, this is only the start of our journey of learning and sharing the stories of hope. This keystone of the project, the first and perhaps most essential, laid the foundation and helped us define and clarify abstract ideas like hope and resilience. Before answering the driving question, what can we learn from hopeful stories? We must first understand what a hopeful story is, and that’s the purpose of Keystone 1.

Thank you for your time 

The Coldest War

For over half a century, humans were at risk of extinction. However, the end of another world war did not clear the tension between nations. Despite an estimated 7 million deaths in total, this period is what we call the Cold War. In the blog today, we will be talking about my learning journey studying the Cold War era. 

Project Overview

In this project, the Coldest War, we each investigated an event from the Cold War and shared it through our graphic novel creation. At the same time, we learned to analyze character developments and view perspectives that contributed to the final product. 

Topic: Why the Civil War?

I chose to focus on the Chinese civil war for this project. Coming from Taiwan, I have seen many debates on how Taiwan should manage its relationship with China. I have a personal experience of how people from China treated me differently, not necessarily in a good way, when they realized I was from Taiwan. They tried to force me to agree that Taiwan is part of China, even though it doesn’t change anything. The root of this conflict came from the civil war that occurred in the Cold War. Since we have the same ancestry, I questioned why the tension existed in the first place. I started to doubt which side was telling the truth, the nationalist, the socialists or neither. I wondered why the estrangement and “gap” exists. Because of all the questions, wonders, and curiosity, I decided to do this controversial topic on the Chinese Civil War.

(Here’s the link to the Final Product)

Answer to DQ 

“How can I support my understanding of a significant event from the Cold War?”

The theme throughout the comic is that nobody wanted the war from the start. Knowing that China suffered economic depression and countless warfare for around a century, it is evident that another deadly civil war, which killed around 3 million and 30 million people indirectly, was not beneficial. This idea echoes the WW1 movie “all quiet on the western front” as both suffered unnecessary casualties. To illustrate and support the picture, I incorporated a variety of angles and shots as well as two characters that symbolized different ideologies. 

Project Reflection

1. Start: What should I start doing? 

Especially when doing projects like this, setting a timeframe for myself would be helpful. One of my most extensive critiques is that I often waste my time on unnecessary details in the story, leading to a systematic failure of my sleep time. Looking back, I didn’t see the full scope of the story when I was executing my plan. I didn’t realize which parts should be enhanced and which pages were unnecessary. 

2. Stop: What should I stop doing?

Something that bothered me the most was self-doubt. The world was discoloured when I heard the final product was a graphic novel. My fear took control, as I believed I couldn’t draw out an entire graphic novel. Conquering that thought took me lots of time and energy. After all, that fear and self-doubt generated more anxiety and pressure than the task itself. At the same time, it also leads to procrastination and negative attitudes. 

3. Continue: What should I keep doing?

Overall, the knowledge and perspectives I got from interviewing experts helped shape my understanding. During the project, I had the opportunity to interview a history professor in Taiwan and other elders. My conversation with them allowed me to have a deeper and closer experience of the civil war through their point of view. Through the process, I was able to enhance and renew my worldview. 

Impact of the Project

The most significant impact this project brought to me is the realization that the world is often biased. I didn’t recognize how corrupt the nationalist was until studying this project. Coming from Taiwan, I could quickly identify the wrong things that CCP had done in the past, like the cultural revolution. Often, those incidents are more spoken of and obvious to point out. However, that was because I lived in a biased system that hid all the past wrongs and atrocities the nationalist committed. For example, my parents have never heard of the yellow river flood that directly killed at least 90,000 people, with minimal impact on the war effort. Those mistakes were never spoken, and perhaps never will under such a system. I aimed to discover the truth when I started this project; however, the deeper I investigated, the more I knew that neither side was clean nor innocent. Relating to modern days, I began to question if the environment or the dictators control my worldview. Do I think the way others want me to think? This project’s social awareness triggered more questions to the extent that I wondered if I was a conspiracist….

Thank you for your time

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