Since school is almost wrapped up for this year, its about the time I reflect on our spring exhibition. This year as about the same size as the pervious year, but our final product for our projects were much different, and I think much more challenging than last years tour through the 1950s. There were some awesome opportunities to find out more about our community in this project, and I was lucky enough to also incorporate my sport, but I’ll explain all of that in the post. Here is how it all went down.
How do we determine who has impacted our communities over the years? That was essentially the questions of the this project, and it would be our job to understand and find people who we best thought were an example of this. At first though, we had limited understanding of what an impact maker truly is, and instead of going through texts books on people who have shaped our world, our teachers really surprised by saying we would learn the majority of what we need to know through movies. This was really shocking at first, and I’ll admit I thought it was going to be a breeze. It was not.
A key aspect of learning through film is that you understand what is being explained, and any background knowledge necessary to understand this. Really this meant we had to have done research or have had previous knowledge on our films in order to really learn from them. On top of that we had to translate key ideas that were not specifically explained in the film, for example there could be a speech repeated twice in the film, but what it is trying to explain is how the speech is a connection between the two instances and how it is comparing like situation to each other. This was definitely tough because the three films we watched were designed to be played in movie theatres and simply enjoyed by the audience who would maybe understand the true messages later on or after watching it a few times.
The three movies we watched were Hidden Figures which was about the three black women who had an incredible impact on putting the first American in space, and they did it despite the discrimination they faced. The second was about Mozart, and gave us a really good insight into the ideas and influences that went into his music. This one was tougher than Hidden Figures because at some points of the movie you questioned whether Mozart was really the main character and you don’t see much of his impact until the end. Our last movie was about Gandhi and his incredible process in making India independent from Great Britain. This one had just as much important messages within the film, but it was stretched out much longer than the others. This definitely made it much tougher to capture all the information necessary. Some would say it was easier because the movie is longer so you have more time to completely understand hidden themes and messages, but I found it was really hard to connect ideas because we watched it in segments. Maybe there would be a message from segment one that I didn’t connect to something that happened later on, and that’s because it left my mind as soon as we took a break from watching the film.
I thought this worked well and gave us everything we needed to know in much shorter time, which I really liked.
To make sure we understood the important parts of each movie, we had three socratic seminars, one after we finished watching each movie. As I mentioned in previous posts I find these challenging not only because preparation is key in order to know what points you want to make, but also because there was a lot of content to talk about, meaning it is important to only use content that would best support your own agreement or arguments. I found the three seminars more helpful than before and I think the discussion we had definitely boosted my knowledge and gave me a new perspective on ideas in the movies.
Our second last part of the exhibition was to find a community maker in who has created an impact that has impacted us or a community we relate to. Luckily for me I had recently participated in the MVPL which is a league created this year for high level field hockey players to show off their skill and compete at high level against olympians and jr national athletes. I thought there would be no one better a community impact maker than the founder of the league, CJ Roydhouse. Since it was the first year of the league I had to actually interview CJ in order to find out how the league was created, what inspired him to create the league and how he planned on continuing the league in future years. He talked about how he used to play and how in recent years he was wanted to create something new and unique compared to the current Vancouver league. He was really happy with how the first year of the league went and he hopes to expand moving forward, which will only impact our community more.
In order to represent our impact makers we created portraits in a style which we thought would best represent them and their contribution to our community, and this is where I decided to try something new. I wanted to draw CJ in a 1930s cartoon style, and the reason is because I thought this style allowed for some weird techniques that really showed who a person is on the inside and out. A lot of the cartoons back then were pretty weird and characters had non humanly abilities like opening their head and showing you their thoughts, or maybe their appendages were portrayed in a rubber like fashion. You can judge for yourself in the image below, but I thought it showed the values of CJ in a cool way.
Then came the exhibition. Like always leading up to the exhibition was very stressful and crazy, with all grades running around doing last minute stuff and setting up their booths. I was placed in the athletics group as my topic was related to sports. It was really cool to see how everyone else portrayed their people, and it definitely gave me ideas for the future. Before I knew it we were done, and it had only felt like an hour at most, but times fly’s I guess.
Overall this project showed me that taking risks and reaching out to people who I might now have known really pays off. I was able to create a cool final result and also give thanks to CJ who has really shaped how the community views my sport.
That’s all for now.