Take your kid to work day reflection

Take your kid to work day is a nationwide event where grade 9 students accompany their parents, or another adult to work. The goal of take your kid to work day is to develop an understanding of the similarities between classroom learning and work life and to appreciate all that goes into working to provide for oneself and family.

For me, take your kid to work day was an information packed day of tours, meetings and de-egging a salmon (yes you read that right, and no that’s not the proper terminology).

After google maps leading us in literal circles, and almost losing someone’s dog, I hoped the day could only get better. Thank goodness I was right.

We started of the day at the Capilano Salmon Hatchery and were given a tour of the facility. I learned so much about salmon and have a newfound respect for hatchery workers. Did you know there’s a head depot? As in a depot specifically for fish heads. Blew me away.

The second half of the day took place downtown in the Douglas Jung building. In case you’re wondering who Douglas Jung is (like I did) he was the first Chinese-Canadian member of parliament. The Douglas Jung building is home to the offices of three government divisions, Environment Canada, Climate Change Canada, and the Department of Fisheries and Oceans. They kindly organized a meeting with speakers working a variety of professions.

The highlights of my day included being able to get hands-on at the hatchery. Harvesting eggs and sperm from salmon was an unexpected surprise and was actually more interesting than horrifying. Another highlight was the tour the conservation officers gave us of their offices. They had a large display of confiscated items which included an elephant foot, carved ivory and an alligator head, to name a few. In another room the officers showed us items from an active investigation. I was shocked to see live snapping turtles and a spiny soft shell turtle, which I promptly named the Pinocchio turtle for their long nose.

I learned a significant amount in one day. My learning ranged from sustainability and what the government is doing to try and protect our environment to insane stories of the attempted animal smuggling into our country to practical workplace applications. In fact, I didn’t think I would learn about a possible career path that I’d be interested in, however I did when I met a woman who works in communications for the government.
This experience showed me that regardless of the field, work isn’t static. Things are always changing, people learn and grow at every age and stage. It was evident through meeting various people during the day that the common thread for everyone was an ability to think critically and adapt to adversity.

Feel free to check out my video capturing the learnings of the day.

Why is our voting age so high?

Now as a firm believer that the age to vote should be lowered I struggle to understand why minors, who are affected by laws passed and people elected, are unable to vote. I will be impacted by officials who are elected, yet I have no say in who that is. Now I recognize that minors of a certain age are not competent enough for the responsibility that comes with voting. With that said, I find it difficult to believe people younger than 18 are not aware enough to vote. I wish I had a say in the people making decisions in my country. I have to sit idly by and watch decisions be made that can and do negatively impact human rights and laws and bills being passed that simply go against my morals. Even though I said “I have to sit idly by and watch decisions be made” that is in part, untrue. I go to protests, and advocate for what I believe in. I have conversed with individuals holding opposing views, at protests. After hearing from one adult about how she didn’t share the extreme views of the people she was choosing to stand with I told her that what she was standing for may not be what she personally believed but standing with them meant standing against me, as a queer individual. So, by advocating and having open discussion in some ways I do impact people who can vote, by giving them added awareness and a new perspective. In many ways people my age can impact the issues that are important to us, we don’t have a vote, but we do have a voice. While we are able to have an impact, it is not enough. I am deeply and authentically distressed for the years I will be unable to have a say in who impacts my rights and the rights of my peers. I will ask you again, why is our voting age so high?

Geography of the West: Humanities Edition

“We are here on our honeymoon.”

Was not a sentence I expected to hear as we made our was through Alberta. I’ll touch on that later. Now this blog post is the humanities version of our “Geography of the West” project. The driving question was “How has the geography of the West shaped us?” Questioning, researching, organizing information, and critically reflecting to further our understanding, were the main skills we focused and built on.

In order to fully answer and understand our driving question we created a book including 8 different locations from our trip that held importance to the geography of the West. Personally my book was fun to make and I feel as though my work on this book positively represents me as a learner.

How has the Geography of the West shaped who we are?

Overall I feel as though I have improved from last year in multiple ways. For starters I actually took notes about content I found interesting or relevant in the places we went. I included photos, videos, fun facts, and information to help me in answering the driving question! I also feel that with the Multitouch book, because I took notes, procrastination was easier to overcome as it felt like I was already part of the way there. Another helpful technique I used was the pomodoro timer. Convincing myself to get 25 minutes of work done makes it easier to start.

That’s all well and good but whats the answer to the driving question?
I’m glad you (definitely) asked. My answer to our driving question “How has the geography of the West shaped us?” Is this. Businesses who make a profit because of the physical characteristics of the land their businesses is on or relates to, rely on it, it shapes them. Take the Revelstoke Railway Museum, for example. It only exists because of the difficulty of the West’s terrain. People are connected to Land. People develop emotional connections to land. For example, I talked to a woman who had lost her father. 2 weeks ago she said. It had only been 2 weeks since he passed. Why did she come to the Columbia Ice Field? She and her dad visited a glacier. Visiting the Columbia Ice Field was a form of grieving and remembrance for her father. I was touched. I hope she is having a great day, that woman deserves it. There are also people who travel to experience different lands. I saw this in the couple I quoted at the beginning. They chose to have their honeymoon in Alberta! They were avid hikers and enjoyed the scenery that the Rockies offers! Them choosing Alberta as the place to spend their honeymoon was not something I expected. I can’t figure out why, but I was shocked! Then there is us! The PLP 9 learners. We learned from the land. We worked to understand the significance and history of the land we visited and reflected upon our learnings. Through interviewing people I became baffled at how connected people are, naturally, deeply, and emotionally, to land. Historically the Canadian West is significant because of the building of the CPR, among other reasons. Historically the West is significant because of the wrongdoings that happened on its land, the Chinese workers killed in building the CPR. The prevalent racism. The history also holds a story of perseverance and determination. Like an onion, it has many layers. The geography of the West is significant to us, us being people, not specifically me, but inclusive of me, because of the memories, history, and growth that will continue to happen on and because of it.

Geography of the West: Maker Edition

Have you ever lived in a place? No? Well now I’m concerned.

If you have, you may find it interesting that the grade 9s most recent project was about Geography! There are 2 parts to this blog post, this is my maker blog post. I encourage you to check out my humanities blog post as well! (Once it is complete). Ok enough preamble!

On our recent trip to Alberta, we learned how to tell a story through the moving image centered around questioning, and collecting information. The driving Question was “How does the geography of the West shape us?” We were required to make 3 videos in Alberta, and 1 during our time at home. The style or topic of these videos included, TikTok, investigative, silent, and inspiration. Our task was to tell an effective and engaging story during each of these videos.


As a fun and an unexpected (by me) twist we created TikTok style videos! I worked with Monica and we made 2 different TikTok’s. One is a trend that compares how we see things through social media vs the reality. Thinking it would be entertaining, we chose to highlight the difference in what is shown on PLP’s instagram account, compared to the reality of PLP trips. The second trend is done with another person and shows a variety of different places. The requirements for these videos were that they followed a TikTok trend, had music behind them, and told some story of the West. I believe Monica and I worked well together to accomplish the assignment and had fun while doing it!

Moving on to the Investigative video. We were instructed to create a 3-4 minute video including interviews from people in the West. Having to approach strangers with the intention of an interaction that for the most part exclusively benefits me was slightly intimidating. However, as with anything, practice makes better and after a few interviews I was getting the hang of it. Not having planned interviewees or timeframes for the work, unlike in a classroom, stretched my thinking by forcing me to think on my feet and encouraged me to be opportunistic. My investigative video was my favourite as I feel it turned out the best (I’m proud of the results, and the points I made were clearly supported).

The first and most exciting to plan was the silent video! I feel my group collaborated and compromised productively, and that our overall strength laid mostly in our preparation. I worked with Hazel and Sebastian Harrison. Our story, though confusing to understand, still turned out to be relatively good! It follows the story of a person going about their day, when they run into a murderer!!!!! (Dun, dun, dunnnnn!) they shrug it off, not really noticing the very obvious crime afoot, and accidentally become an accomplice to the dysfunctional murder. Somehow when the detective shows up they are convinced to lock up the dead person! Check out the video here! (Insert link) If you liked it, I edited it. If you didn’t… the editing was all Hazel!

The final video and one that has the most room for improvement, in my opinion, is my inspiration video. it is lacking excitement and the music could have been made to better enhance the video. I liked aspects of it but if I were to do it over I would’ve made it funnier and more visually pleasing by adding animations having the voiceover be succinct. If you are thinking of clicking on this link, think again for both our sakes, (please). If you must watch it, here’s the link.

I enjoyed making all these videos and learned so much about geography and creating videos by reworking them when they had kinks. Overall I am proud of the work I have done, and will take my failures and successes and continue to incorporate (or drop) habits I expressed within this project!

Congrats! You’ve reached the end! 🥳

tPOL 2023 (I Know, unoriginal name)

Am I ready to go into grade 9? Yes.
Am I scared out of my mind? Also yes.

Welcome to my first ever tPOL! Wow, time flies! It feels like it has been simultaneously forever and 5 minutes since the start of grade 8.

POL declaration:

“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.”

First things first, if you’re unfamiliar with tPOLs, they are transitional presentations of learning. In my tPOL I will be focusing on the improvements I’ve made this year and reflecting on some areas of growth.

I’m going to be honest, in many ways this is difficult for me. The reason being that I’m forced to think about the fact that I am 1/5 of the way through my high school experience. I’m going to be a LEGAL ADULT in 5 years. I still have trouble wrapping my brain around that.

Considering that this is my very first tPOL, I want to get it right. What I mean is I want to look back on this and be proud, not embarrassed or ashamed. As a result of this, I’ve done a bit of procrastination.

Procrastination was a major talking point of my mPOL and has been a common struggle affecting my work this year. You can see this within my dinocell drawings. The reason I struggled with my work on this is I wasn’t able to keep words on the page. I’d type, delete. Type, delete. And so on.

In contrast, procrastination was the last thing on my mind when I worked on my advertisement to present at the Spring Exhibition. I pumped out drafts for the ad without a second thought because I recognized that I didn’t need my drafts to be perfect, I only needed to continue to improve and develop with each irritation. As long as I did that, I knew it would result in a product I’m happy with.

My takeaway from this is that a shift in attitude can and has resulted in a major improvement in quality and confidence in my work.

My development in humanities (aka my favourite class) has meant a lot to me. I have become a more confident writer. I’ve made this progress because of, you guessed it… procrastination. Well rather a lack of. During the beginning of the year I struggled with my writing because I was unhappy with the quality of my first drafts. The MindNode I created during the beginning of the year showcases this. As the year went on, my procrastination became less constant. Don’t get me wrong, I definitely still procrastinated, but on a much lower scale. I’ve demonstrated this in the entirety of The Medium Is The Message project. Another example is my work on Radical Innovations. Not procrastinating has made me a more confident writer as my work is higher quality when I give myself more time to get it done.
I love writing and I love learning about the world, making this progress within humanities made it easier to do both those things.

I’ve grown in many ways relating to my PGP, (Personal Growth Plan) for example my note taking has improved and I have worked on my writing skills. Even in my PGP, which we created during the beginning of the school year, I recognized the importance of routine

PLP 8 Learning Plan Template September 2022.numbers 2

Though I have a long way to go, I’ve made many improvements in my work habits and attitude throughout this year.

I have learned a lot in science this year. From my vaccine source analysis:

To my gummy bear diffusion. I’ve found that I retained information best in Science. This is likely because of the check in spot Ms. Kadi had. During most classes Ms. Kadi would get us to either, submit our work from the class, or answer a few questions relating to the learned material. This has allowed me to remember more material for longer periods of time, while also forcing me out of procrastination as I knew that I would have to hand in work by the end of class.

So, how can I use these failures (First Attempt In Learning) to create a recipe for success?
All of these failures can be traced back to procrastination. While procrastination has not been the only factor in these failures, it plays a significant role. By working on my routine and therefore organization I will greatly improve my current quality of work across all areas. This summer I am actively going to commit to a routine. My hope is that this practice will translate smoothly into the coming school year.

Lets tie this back to the beginning. Am I ready to advance to the next grade?

I am ready, scared, but ready.

Thanks, Kennedy

Spring exhibition 2023

The end of the year is almost here! What comes with that? The Spring Exhibition! The exhibition was chaos, the good kind. All of the grade 8’s made advertisements for businesses we visited on our Oregon field study. The ads we created were to understand the answer to our driving question, “How does advertising persuade, sell, and influence society?” I was assigned to the Wolf Haven group, which happened to be the best business (I’m definitely not biased 😉). Wolf Haven is a hands-off sanctuary for wolves who have been in the pet trade. Wolf Haven works to protect wolves and educate people of all ages about wolves. I loved visiting Wolf Haven and had the pleasure of having a 20 minute in depth interview with one of their staff members.

Prior to making our ads we learned about different advertising techniques including logos, ethos and pathos. Logos uses evidence, logic, or reasoning to convince consumers. Pathos persuades people via evoking emotions. Ethos creates credibility of a brand by using celebrity or professional endorsements, whether real or perceived. I focused on the use of pathos in my advertisement. I felt this method was appropriate to try and draw interest through emotion. I thought is was the easiest and most logical way to promote Wolf Haven’s message. This technique is very commonly used when promoting brands involving animals. Here is the evolution of my ad.

During the Spring Exhibition I enjoyed talking to people about Wolf Haven and my approach to advertising the organization. It was great sharing about Wolf Haven and walking visitors through the process of building my ad. I personally enjoyed meeting my peer’s family members. Oddly enough my favorite part of the night was rolling up the mats at the end of the evening. Ms. Kadi took a video of us yelling “child labor!”. I felt a real connection to my classmates as we were all working together to finish our year off, working towards a common goal and laughing while doing it.

If I were to have an opportunity to do this over I would’ve created an outline of bullet points I wanted to mention to those interested in Wolf Haven.

Unfortunately I didn’t get the chance to visit all the other grade’s projects. Next exhibition hopefully we will have set breaks like the Winter Exhibition did.

Overall there were a number of highlights and learnings from this exhibition that I will use to improve my contributions to future exhibitions.

Thanks for reading!

Oregon 2023 (PLP 8)

So we went to Oregon! Though the trip had its difficulties, namely the bus breaking down, it was jam packed with excitement. A part of the trip that especially stuck out to me were the quests. I think this is because of the relatively large shift in the teamwork and communication of my quest group. The first quest was at Fort Stevens and my quest group was more dysfunctional than an Addams family reunion! Our last quest was at Yaquina Head and since my group had a few quests under our belt, our communication and teamwork had done a 180 in comparison to the first quest! We’d turned our Addams family into the Brady bunch! As weird as it may sound, I’m glad we did poorly in the first quest because it made working well together feel unbelievably rewarding in the end. It was such an awesome experience, and if you want to know more here’s a link to my field journal!

Going Coastal 2023

I feel like this goes without saying, I’m going to remember this trip for the rest of my life. Thank you Ms. Willemse, Mr. Hughes, Ms. Maxwell, and Ms. Kadi! I’m beyond grateful for the time and effort you spent making this trip happen.

Colonization.. it happened

This humanities project was on colonization. It wasn’t very difficult, but I will mention that I had trouble sticking to the due dates because of procrastination, (so fun).

For our first keystone we filled out an art chart. This chart was for reflecting on an art piece we were given made by by C.W. Jefferys. I wasn’t a fan of the symbolic message portion as it confused my tiny little pea brain. this is my art chart:

The second keystone way quite similar to the first as it was connected to it. This keystone was another art chart. But this time we were reflecting on the contrast between our reinterpreted piece and the original artwork. 🙂 I enjoyed this art chart significantly more as I now understood what was required as a symbolic message, (my tiny little pea brain went “yayyyy”). This is my second art chart:

The third keystone was a script for a video about our art. Though it isn’t my best work I enjoyed making this script. Here it is:

Finally for the finish line we made videos about our reinterpreted images! This is mine: (WARNING this video contains major cringe)


Science.. it is a thing

Hi people and potatoes! (For the record, I would die of joy if potatoes could actually read my posts).

Today we will be digging into the wonders of cell biology, the immune system, and vaccines! As a younger student, I’m aware of the possibility that this information may be oversimplified. Now we are both aware of this possibility!

I’m excited to share the shortest possible explanation of the first keystone! The reason being that I was away for a chunk of this keystone and was never granted the chance to experience this keystone in its full glory!

The first keystone gave us students a chance to use the scientific method through a field journal. This journal included pages displaying observations and my “wonderful” art skills. (I need to take an art class… or 12).

Despite my severely limited artistic ability this was a great opportunity to practice an experiment! I say practice, as now I know to put more thinking into and be more reflective within future conclusions, i.e. expanding on the why rather than the what, doing some individual research granting me the ability to answer my previous queries, etc.

Phew, glad we made it through that, onto número dos.

Have you ever wondered what a few primary cells within your immune system would look like as dinosaurs? No… well now I bet you’re thinking about it! Well whether you have, or (most likely) haven’t, appreciate and respect these cute lil dinocells.

Though these dinocells are cute, I’m disappointed in them for a couple reasons, first the style of them is inconsistent, second and more importantly, the writing is more than disappointing. The quality of writing causes me great frustration as I was going through a personal matter and couldn’t write if my life depended on it. Let me reframe that, I’m disappointed in the writing because I am confident it isn’t work I want to be affiliated with. Well, at least they are cute!

Lets move onto the third, and my personal favourite keystone!
This keystone was about making a simple infographic dispelling myths revolving around vaccines. Another aspect of this keystone was writing a short paragraph around vaccine hesitancy. Here is a link my paragraph if you’d like to read it!

Bias paragraph!

Disregarding the mistakes I believe this to be a good paragraph!

Last but not least there was a poster I made to encourage elementary kids to wash their hands! It was slightly cluttered, but I can appreciate specific pieces of the work, such as the art I drew for it!!

That’s all! Thanks for stopping by! 😀

Breaking the Cycle: Overcoming Perfectionism, Procrastination, and Overthinking for mPOL 2023

Hi there friends… and foe!!! This is my first and likely worst mPOL! (Worst only because I hope that future me continues to improve!) In case you’re wondering, an mPOL is a midway presentation of learning! What an mPOL is NOT is a way to solely demonstrate my strengths as a learner. An mPOL IS a way to showcase my growth and areas for further development as a student!

In this mPOL I will be using examples of my work to display what I’d like to start, stop, and continue doing as a learner and why doing so will benefit me as I continue learning.

The main talking point for this mPOL is that I struggle with a cycle of overthinking, procrastinating, and perfectionism. These struggles challenge my development and stunt my growth as a learner.

This unhealthy mindset leads me to expect my first piece of work to also be my last. An example of when this caused me difficulty is in my MindNode for The Outsiders project (we didn’t create a blog post for this), which also happens to be part of my first keystone in PLP. I had trouble starting it.. continuing it… and finishing it. I couldn’t get two sentences into my MindNode without deleting and starting over as I couldn’t find the perfect wording or idea. As I couldn’t keep anything on the page, I wasn’t able to refine ideas or edit my thoughts as there was nothing there. This resulted in me running out of time and having to hand in work that I wasn’t proud of and was even embarrassed by.

The same pattern happened with my Worldview art piece in The Outsiders project (still no blog post) where I felt I didn’t have a good enough idea to start on the project. When I can’t start a project or task, there is no opportunity to have it evolve. When I get caught up in perfectionism, I overthink and that leads to my procrastinating. Then at some point I realize I’ve taken too long to get work done and won’t have time to deliver work that reaches the standard I set for myself this then makes me anxious.

In order to manage this cycle or pattern of thinking, I’ve identified the importance of breaking down the overall project into a number of steps and committing time to work on these steps. This improved organization will help me set expectations for myself more constructively. An example where I effectively organized my workload was with my triptych in my Renaissance Project (link to work).

Continuing to break work requirements into manageable pieces will also assist me in knowing when enough is enough. What I mean by this is realizing how much effort different tasks require and not getting hung up on creating “perfect work” as this is unachievable and takes time away from making other work better.

In order to further combat my tendencies, I need to start acknowledging when I get overwhelmed. When I am having difficulty or struggling with work, the room can feel very loud and distracting. I get caught up in things happening around me and I frequently lose focus. I generally resort to thinking that I can’t do the work now so I’ll do it later, but later never comes.

I didn’t work on the mPOL during class time due to all the factors I’ve mentioned. Another element at play was my inability to review past work. Often I am disappointed and discouraged by reflecting on work that I’ve done because I only see the flaws. It makes me worried that those around me might view me as less capable because that is how I feel.

Though I didn’t recognize it before, I now know I can self advocate and communicate my situation to a teacher and ask to move to a more quiet setting. I will strive to do this as quickly as possible. I feel this is also a representation of my self-awareness.

Hopefully, by using these strategies, I will feel more comfortable looking back and reflecting on past work. Rather than only seeing the imperfections I’ll see the effort and the iterations that built it.

Despite what I have explained so far, my perfectionism can also be a positive quality when managed appropriately. It can encourage a positive iterative process and result in a final product that I am very proud of. My attention to detail is also heightened due to wanting to get everything “right”.

The PLP environment enables my curiosity which is a defining trait of mine. I enjoy exploring and questioning. I’ve represented this both within and outside of PLP by trying new activities (ski racing, basketball) and joining clubs (Tabletop Games, GSA). In relation to my classroom learning, I’ve embraced technology. I used to shy away from it and now I’m able to exceed and comfortably use the skills that technology allows.

My self-awareness is also a quality I am proud of and helps me grow as an individual. I will continue to work on my awareness and understanding to further my learning and personal development.

The combination of my curiosity and self-awareness presents itself positively in group projects. Through understanding my own impact on the group, and the group’s impact on each other, I am able to offer a logical perspective on our work. I believe that bring out the best in others on my team by being positive and making sure everyone is heard.

My hope with this mPOL is that I’ve demonstrated both the progress and the challenges I’ve faced this year. I feel both are important to recognize and learn from. I know that the mPOL has been a difficult task for me to create, as it requires reflection on my shortcomings. Regardless of this difficulty I am so grateful for the opportunity to grow through reflection as I recognize its importance and wouldn’t be by choice. I am so glad to continue my learning journey with PLP! This sums up my mPOL, thanks for stopping by!!


Thanks, Kennedy

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