Who Are You Gonna Be: The Big Question

Who are you gonna be? It’s a tough question to answer, especially when you’re only 15 with no real knowledge of what life is like in our capitalistic society. The crazy part about that is “who are you gonna be” is a question that I’ve been getting asked more and more often as I’ve grown, and I feel like it’s been creating this sense of urgency and panic amongst me and my peers whenever this question has been brought up. It’s making us grow up faster and pressured us to decide what we’re going to do for the entire rest of our lives, despite us being so young!

Despite the stress inducing nature of the question, it is still vital at this age to have some semblance of a purpose in your life. It is important to think about options for university and how you’re going to make your mark on the world.

For me, I have known from a very early age exactly what I wanted to pursue in my life, that thing being my art. Art has always held a special place in my heart. As a child I’d dream about having my paintings hung in prestigious galleries and writing incredible music that would win me Grammys. As I grew up, this passion only strengthened and pushed me forward in life. I bought my first “learn to draw” book when I was around 10, and I have been pushing myself to go out of my comfort zone, challenge myself, and create meaningful pieces of art that could impact people and help to express myself and my emotions in a way that words fail to. It has been comforting to always have an idea of where I wanted to go and what I wanted to do. While my friends had identity crisis’s over what they were going to do when they got older, I was simply sketching away in a notebook or on my ipad.

I think having this to push me throughout my life has really helped me to have a better mindset when it comes to things like school, jobs, and getting important daily tasks done. My art has served as a tool for self preservation and holding my memories within it, while also staying as a motivator for self improvement and was vital for developing my growth mindset. Being able to witness my art improve over time has been very eye opening, and it is real physical evidence that shows me that as long as do something for long enough I can become very talented at it. I apply this mindset to everything I do now, especially for things like public speaking, playing guitar, and socializing with others.

My art, then vs now:
2022:
  2023-24:

My art and its improvement over time has also allowed me to be able to say “if anyone else can do it, I can.” I strongly believe in this idea that if anyone else on the planet can become good at something, I too (with enough practice) can become very skilled at that thing. I used this way of thinking when I was learning to rollerskate, a hobby my mom had shown me first. I am now better at rollerskating than my mom.

A Whole New World (prePOL)

Intro

I have a few personal opinions on this presentation of learning that I am not going to be sharing out of respect for whoever decided this was a good idea. Let us face this whole new world of grade ten and get into this post!

This year we were told to make a “pre-POL”, something to talk about how we are going to be responsible and hard working learners in the coming year (even though that was half of last years tPOL). This is the first blog post for PGP. I’m going to be discussing what we have learned so far in PGP. This includes learning and concentration strategies, how to keep your mental and physical spaces declutterred, and much more.

Skills we were taught

We were introduced to a plethora of different strategies so we could see if they helped us at all, but honestly none of them were able to stick with me. Journaling and writing down things from my day helped for a bit but honestly it all just acted as more things I had to shove into my already overpacked schedule. Between getting a full nights sleep, having a social life, my own personal projects (art, guitar and writing), eating three meals a day, soccer and keeping up with school assignments there was really just no time to do any of that stuff. Every minute is pretty much spent doing something that I value above any of those tasks, plus I was unable to turn them into habits. They just sort of slid off my brain whenever I tried to get them into my schedule or make them into something I do regularly.

Along with that I also had problems with the daily reflection journal. It should have been something to help with my productivity, but you miss one day and suddenly you’re spiraling and falling behind in the writing. Especially since I was sick for most of the days when this was going on. I genuinely believe this journaling activity only set me back. It was an added stressor on top of my regular work. This could have been avoided if I had been paying more attention to Basecamp on my sick days to follow along with the roadmap and do the writing at home to prevent myself from falling behind. Overall I think I should have faced the daily reflections in a different way that would have suited me better.

On the other hand, something that helped was the learning we did for strategies to keep our physical, mental and digital spaces tidy. For me my digital space has always been very organized (yay for me) but I struggle with keeping my physical spaces clean, e.g. my bedroom. Through PGP I was able to set routines that now help me with keeping my space neat and declutterred. It really helped me with my focus and also works to effectively relieve some stress. When everything isn’t all over the place I feel calmer and have minimum distractions so that I can start my work and keep it up until I finish it. Along with this being introduced to the app Things and Craft by this project have SAVED MY LIFE. They are so helpful and straightforward to use and they have proven to be very beneficial to me in order to keep track of time and write things (no pun intended) down.

Some Work We Did

A couple of my daily notes

Before learning how to use things:

After:

The Driving Question: What Strategies Can I Use to Maintain Balance For My Learning and Wellbeing?

In the end I think I was able to learn some interesting methods to improve my Learning and wellbeing. I have found that list making (specifically with Things) is one of the best ways for me to keep on track with my learning. It also helps with my wellbeing by allowing me to get done with schoolwork faster and leaving me more free time to do things that make me happy.

Tpol grade 9

This year, we did so many new things, one of highlight being the Alberta trip on which we learned so much about Canadian history. Before then I’d never been on a school trip that long, and the longest one I’d gone on had only been for 2 days (outdoor school). This is a summary and reflection on everything I have done and learned about this year, and also how I could have done better.

One of the projects I struggled with this year was the building a nation project. I felt it just wasn’t a topic I was that interested in, and for that reason it was a lot harder for me to focus on the things we were doing in class. I think a lot of the work I produced during this project was mediocre and I want to be able to put out high quality work in all the things I do, whether the idea of it is captivating to me or not. I think next year I should try to find interesting things in everything I do, that way it will be easier to focus on the topic we are learning about in class.

I think the most interesting thing I learned about this year was all the things I researched during the WW1 project that we did in humanities this year. I got to present some very (in my opinion) captivating work for the exhibition, and I did some research on human psychology and trauma during war. My least favourite/least interesting project from this year was the Frankenstuffies project. I thought the book was boring and I had a hard time staying on top of reading deadline because of this. I thought I would like it more because of the creation aspect, but overall I found this project unfulfilling.

An instance where my goals for my work changed as I worked on it was during the prep for the spring exhibition. When I was working on my art for the exhibition, I originally had a much different idea then what it ended up as, but the more I worked on the original sketch the more I disliked it, so I did a 180 with it and decided to use a completely different style for the art. These are the drawings I ended up with, I’m very proud of how they turned out.

here are the art pieces:

Something I struggled with this year in PLP was the blog posts. I had a hard time committing to them, more specifically when nearing the end of the year. Next year I want to put in an effort to stay on time with blog posts, and with that staying on top of assignments.

This year, not all of the work I did met my standards. A lot of it was rushed or incomplete, and I wish I had thought about putting more time into my work so that I could create and learn with much higher output quality.

During my mpol, I set some goals for myself for the rest of the year. The main one that I think I completed to it’s most potential is the one in which I talked about how I wanted to explore my own interests more. This goal was mostly about wanting to learn how to express emotion through art and also make my art look more pleasing, and I think I was able to accomplish this goal with evidence for it from the spring exhibition. The drawings I made were able to effectively and clearly tell a story about the progression of trauma throughout war, which is definitely something I wanted to accomplish with this goal.

Now let’s look back at my learning plan. My statement of learning intent was “I will improve my time management and work on task management. In order to do these things, I will aim to police myself when it comes to staying focused in class. I will strive to listen and learn, and be open to new concepts and ideas. When I don’t know or don’t understand something, I won’t be afraid to ask for help from my peers or a teacher.”

I think I really fell off on my statement of learning intent nearing the end of the year, and I’m not sure whether this was something that came out of burnout or just lack of motivation in the final stretch of the school year. It was most likely a mix of both, but I do know that once the middle of may hit I was feeling unfulfilled and bored when it came to school. I feel like I could’ve learned a lot more if I had just spent a bit more time thinking about my statement of learning intent whenever I was feeling less motivated.

Despite this, I think that overall I was able to commit to a lot of the goals behaviours I had listed in my learning plan, for example:

-I feel like I achieved my maker goal of being the most creative version of myself possible through some of the art I made this year in and outside of school

-I was able to set reminders for assignments and regularly checked basecamp like I said I would in the habits section of my learning plan

-I was able to implicate the system I talked about in my learning plan for after school and weekends

This year was filled with plenty of different successes and F.A.I.Ls, all of which I hope to be able to learn from in the future. To answer the driving question, I think I am ready to move on to the next grade level because I am looking forward to extending my learning capabilities and using the things I have learned this year to make higher quality, more captivating work that I can use to express topics, feelings and emotions.

Mpol

So far this year, we have done and learned so much. From the Alberta trip where the seycove bus broke down to the avatar-themed winter exhibition, this blog post is a reflection on everything I learned PLP this year.

First let’s talk about my learning plan.

In the growth section of my humanities 9 chart I said I wanted to stretch my comfort zone by being more open when it comes to talking to others and sharing my ideas. This semester I failed to do this, but the year isn’t over and I’m going to try to keep this goal in mind for the rest of the year.

For the maker growth section, I think I successfully completed my goal of being the most creative version of myself that I can be, and I think I demonstrated this success through the rollercoaster project we did near the end of the semester. I also think I was able to build on my chosen skill, which was my engagement in class. I feel like I have gotten better at paying attention to teachers when they are speaking, and I have also gotten better at taking in information.

In science, I think I accomplished my goal of asking more questions and asking for help when I need it. This is something I have struggled with as a learner for a while, and I’m glad I’m finally starting to cross that barrier.

some goals I want to set for the future include:

  • setting an alarm and improving my sleep schedule so that  I can get to school on time more often
  • start using doodling to take notes
  • Set aside time for homework (I know I’ve talked about this a lot before but I am going to actually do it this time)

Here’s my core competencies.

For my communicating competency I’m not sure that profile 4 is accurate for me, and I’ve demonstrated this through my (in my opinion) inability to talk to people that I don’t know that well. For my creative thinking competency I think I was able to demonstrate a profile 4 as my learning plan says, and you can see evidence for this in my asexual reproduction comics, which I worked to make interesting and creative concepts/drawings for. For personal awareness and responsibility, I think a profile 3 is slightly inaccurate. I could get to a profile 3 by coming into tutorial time when I’m missing an assignment instead of procrastinating. For my collaborating competency, I think a profile 3 is accurate and I displayed evidence for this in the rollercoaster project, in which I helped my group to build and present our rollercoaster. For critical and reflective thinking, profile 4 is accurate and I have evidence in the exciting electricity science project, in which I used information I had learned in class to form a conclusion and make an electrical circuit that worked. For my positive personal and cultural identity, I think at the start of the year a profile 4 would have been inaccurate, but right now it is. I feel throughout this semester I’ve really opened up as a person and I’m way less self conscious.

How the Geography of the West Shaped and Shapes Us

Our first humanities project of the year was called “the Power of Geography,” and it sets it self apart from the others by being the only project that had a trip in which we went for more then a week. We had so much fun creating and presenting our answers to the driving question. I won’t be covering everything we did on this trip, because there is simply too muchto cover.

The first thing we did on this project was bus all the way up to a ghost town. The food was pretty good and the hotel beds were comfy, so I rate this place a 7/10 because there was no wifi in the rooms, but everything else was pretty cool. After exploring the place we did a reflection thingy and then we went to bed.

My favourite part of the trip was the golden Skybridge and zip lining, but the part where I learned the most was definitely the Columbia Ice Field.

Here are some photos and my e book from this project.  

 

Handle With Care

We just finished one of the first projects this year, and this blog post is going to be my reflection on it. In this project, we learned about ecosystems, the earths spheres, bioaccumulation and biomagnification.we also learned about all the impacts that humans have on these things.

what did I learn?

I learned about many different environmental concerns in our current society, and more importantly I learned about the different things that I have listed above.

I’ll start with bioaccumulation and biomagnification. Bioaccumulation is when one small thing, like a fish, consumes a kind of micro plastic. Then, later, a larger organism like a shark comes along and eats that fish. Since the shark eats hundreds of those fish a day, it now has a hundred micro plastics in it. That description was kind of bad, so here’s the GIF I made to visually represent it. IMG_4232

biomagnification is a little different. Biomagnification is when the higher up on the food chain you are, the higher concentration of contaminant you have inside of you.

Speaking of food chains, let’s talk about them.

I’m sure you’ve heard of food chains, but you might not have heard of the different pieces that make up a food chain. Producers (e.g, plants) make their own food, meanwhile consumers eat producers and other consumers. Decomposers work to decompose the waste that the producers leave behind.

here’s the masterpiece I made to show how food chains work:

Reflecting: what could I have done better?

something I feel I could have improved on for this project was my participation. I was absent from a lot of classes (I can’t really be held accountable for this but still) and I didn’t make many notes. Next project I will be sure to actively involve myself in class.

Extra stuff we did in this project

 

 

 

The ultimate design challenge

The ultimate design challenge was a project we did to test our designing and math skills. In this project, we learned how to calculate the surface area and volume of many different types of 3d shapes, and learned how to build, model and design using a 3d modelling app on our iPads. In this blog post, I will be explaining and reflecting upon my learning in this project.

Our goal for this project was to create and object in an app called Tinkercad, and then do various measurements of that objects surface area and volume. We had to either maximize surface area or volume, and then put it in a presentation to show to the class. The object that I created and measured was a solar panel.

And don’t think I forgot about the calculations I had to do for my object. Here are the slides I used in my presentation which include all of the information needed.

Reflecting back on this project, something I would have done differently was spend more of my class time working on this project. Failing in this area led to me having to do a lot of my work last minute. Another thing I would’ve done differently would have been to make a more interesting object, because in my opinion a solar panel is pretty boring. In the future I will be sure to use my class time more efficiently and learn from my experiences and mistakes in this project.

 

The loon lake learning advance

Honestly, when I found out we were gonna be going on our first learning advance, I was quite nervous. But, in the end I decided to go, and it was a blast. Here, in this blog post, are all of the things we learned on our Loon Lake learning advance.

When we first got there, I was very relieved. Who wouldn’t be, after an hour long bus ride? The first thing we did at Loon Lake was take our stuff to our cabins. I was a little disappointed to not have been put in a cabin with my friends, but I got over that quickly. The second thing we did that day was go to eat lunch, of course. The food up at Loon Lake was much better quality then I had expected. After that we did advisory (going over rules and how you’re doing), had evening fun (self explanatory), had dinner (which was delicious) and then went to sleep back at our cabins. And just like that, day one was over.

Breakfast had to have been the highlight of my trip. It was so good, for day 2 breakfast we had pancakes and breakfast sausages. After that, we headed down to our morning advisory, which I had some trouble getting to. After that we took the “ferry”, which was a dock type thing that you could pull across the water, across the lake so we could go on a nature walk. I loved the nature walk, I really enjoy being outdoors. One of our teachers saw a fox, and I found a piece of what looked to be quartz. I don’t really remember what happened after that, so we had advisory and dinner and went to bed.

The last full day there was spent doing tons of fun activities like laser tag, battle archery etc. when we finally got home, I have to admit I was a little relieved. The trip was fun, but my bed at home is much more comfortable than the one at loon lake. That basically sums up my school trip to loon lake. I had lots of fun, and in the end I managed to also form new bonds with some people.

This is the Ebook I made while on the learning advance.

The Laws Of Lasers

Hello, and welcome back to my blog. This post will be about a recent project we did in scimatics (science x math). This project we did was meant to teach us about light and the Pythagorean theorem.

Here is my “project start mind map”. We make these at the start of every project that we do in scimatics. Throughout this project, we answered many of the questions I had on this map.

for example, what are lights properties?

One property of light could be reflection of light. Speaking of reflection, we also learned about the law of reflection. We performed an experiment to try to prove it, this experiment was done to show that when light hits a reflective surface at a certain angle, it will bounce away at the same angle.

The final part of this project that we did was our laser display. We were supposed to make a right triangle out of a laser using mirrors. Our theme for the laser display was “Ghost Busters”

this was our display area for the lasers. Our display was the largest one, but sadly because of this (or at least we think because of this), the laser couldn’t reach all the way and was very faint compared to everyone else’s.

Destination: Imagination!

Hello everyone and welcome back to my blog! This post will be an introduction to what Destination Imagination is and everything we are doing in it this year.

first of all, what in the heck is destination imagination? Destination imagination is a yearly event that includes multiple different groups, all with different topics, where students have to create something (that something depends on the group they are in). That thing is then presented to a group of judges and the end goal is to beat the other schools.

 

the group I am in is called “up close”, and is based on microscopy. The something that my group had to create and present was a play acted out by us. It had to be set in a micro-world, and there had to be a mysterious object of some sort that appeared at any moment during the play. We also had a budget of 150 dollars to spend on props, costumes and other what nots.

unfortunately, I am not aloud to tell anything in this blog post about our ideas or script, due to the rule of DI that states “if an idea is shown to a different team/group, that idea is now unusable”.

The next part of DI is instant challenges. Instant challenges are challenges where you have limited time to build/create something in a certain amount of time with specific resources. I can’t find any photos of instant challenges, so see you next time!