As the first semester ended, the time has come to review and reflect on our growth. Today, I will reflect on my growth and success throughout the first semester.
Before judging if my first semester is successful, I want to define what success means. Success means that my work represents not who I am now but who I want to be in future. In other words, I want my work to align with my goal and be at the level of the ones I admire. Under this condition, the sense of failure can occur often. At the start of this school year, I set my goal to 97%; therefore, to claim a project was successful, it must at least reach my goal.
The Manhattan Project
Self Evaluation: A- ~ A
Impact: Communication & Critical Thinking
In general, I was interested in the scientific, economic and political impact of the Manhattan Project. Because I was curious, I did lots of research and thinking, which gave me more knowledge and broader perspectives on the topic. Specifically, for the writing itself, I think it was around an A. As I had a very different viewpoint than the mainstream, I needed to deliver my message well; however, that did not go well.
Like most people, I had more confidence in my writing than in speaking and presenting. I believed that my writing would be better than my speaking. The results confirmed my hypothesis in a very terrible way. Because I spent much more time phrasing my script than rehearsing the presentation, my presentation did not align with my goal. Shamefully, I chose the more simple, not more important, path, which was script writing. Overall, I think my writing was close to aligning with my goal, but the speech was not.
Self Evaluation: B+
Impact: Communication, Personal & Social Awareness & Critical Thinking
This project challenged me to question the fundamental beliefs I had. Shakespeare’s play often contains many philosophical questions and themes. Surprisingly, it changed my perspective on things within two months. It taught me that the world is not black and white, with clear answers to all questions. This project was memorable because of its impact on my personality.
The project in itself, however, was challenging for me. I struggled to understand Shakespeare in grade 10 when we were doing Romeo and Juliet; it was the same this year. Despite getting lots of support from friends and teachers, the performance did not go well, and it was entirely my fault. Not only should the play be rehearsed more, but I have also messed up my introduction. Fortunately, I was aware of the round stage and reminded myself to turn and face every side of the stage.
Goal vs Reality
Why didn’t I reach my goal
I remember at the first conference in PLP, and I asked: what is the formula of success? I never got an answer, though. I started to search for patterns and similarities in subjects I did well. Funny enough, I found the answer in a different topic called special relativity. Albert Einstein’s famous law: E=mc^2, gave me the ultimate answer to improve my learning. I have made some changes accordingly to the equation, as you can see below. What’s interesting about this equation is that it indicates the importance of thinking. A point one difference in thinking, positive or negative, would significantly change the final results. In other words, laziness in thinking and planning poses the greatest threat to success. Last year, I focused on the effort part, which drove me nuts with limited results. Although it may be effective in the short run, my body could not sustain staying late in the long term. With the realization of how crucial my thinking pattern is, I want to focus on the thinking aspect of my learning
Looking back, I have always procrastinated the assignments and tasks. Often, I can be distracted by external conditions. 80% of the time, I am not productive; therefore, I rely heavily on the burst generated in the rest 20% of the time. Procrastination has always been one of my most significant weaknesses, and it comes from the lack of desire for work. I have always been a nerdy and weird kid in physics 11 as I always wondered about different aspects of science; however, I become totally another person in arts when I am not interested. The desire to learn would reflect on my grade. Therefore, to be productive, I should keep my curiosity alive, as it motivates me to go above and beyond.
I realize that my goals and expectations for myself are often ridiculously high and challenging to achieve. Shamefully, I didn’t reach my goal last year. However, because of this ridiculously high goal and the high pressure it gave me, I could catch up, more or less, with other PLP learners who were wiser and experienced. And because of the crazy goal this year, I have notable improvements compared to last year.
In the first project of PLP, I struggled to get 80%. In other words, I work to reach an accomplished level. It took me an entire night to handle one keystone blog post. I didn’t understand the task; therefore, I failed. I remember doing three different blog posts on the same keystone simply because I did not know what to write. Fortunately, I no longer need to spend one night on each keystone we have. Although my work this semester didn’t quite accomplish my goal, it had significantly improved from last year.