Welcome to my 2020 TPOL! It’s been quite the year, a lot has happened both in school and in the world. From COVID-19 to a good old PLP Field School Trip, 2020 has been nothing if not eventful.
Welcome to my 2020 School Year’s very own recap with a twist.
I’ve picked out three main questions (+ a bonus question) for today’s TPOL. Those questions are:
What is the most valuable thing you have learned this year? Why?
How did your projects help you better understand different perspectives?
What did you learn about yourself during this year?
So without further ado, let’s get into it.
“What is the most valuable thing you have learned this year? Why?”
I think the most valuable thing I’ve learnt this year is that flexibly is important. It’s been something that I’ve known for a while doing projects in PLP:
Always have a backup plan, expect that things will go downhill, and roll with it.
This year the idea of flexibility and just “going with it” was a pretty important thing to become okay with.
First we had the Albuquerque trip where Mr. Hughes constantly told us to stop freaking out when we didn’t stick exactly to plan because “Flexibility is a tortoise (tourist(?)) trait” and then to spite us refused to tell us what that meant and we had to deal with it.
Then we had Macbeth, where we had to just roll with it. We had to hope that maybe, just maybe, we would be the first group to complete the creation of the film. Alas, on our final week for filming before spring break our lead actor fell sick and we were unable to finish shooting. He’s okay now though, and we did the best we could under the circumstances.
And finally, COVID-19 hit in March, causing the most significant need for flexibility I’ve ever experienced in my life. Suddenly, school is online, all my classes are either Zoom calls or PDF’s shared out on MS Teams, and I have to be way more independent and self-lead with my workload then ever before. It was quite challenging to get used to pretty big changes so quickly and then just figure out how to work with it.
Coming to terms with the idea that flexibility is needed to make things work, either in school or just in life, was a good lesson I learnt this year and I hopefully won’t forget anytime soon.
“How did your projects help you better understand different perspectives?”
This year had a lot of really good opportunities to see things from different people’s perspectives and also how the eyes of history shape a perspective.
First we had the Manhattan Project^2, where we saw the perspective of the second world war’s nuclear discovery stage through the eyes of history. We also had to try to look at it through the eyes of the people who were there and the people who were effected to decide whether we agreed or disagreed with the actions taken at the end of the war. This project helped me see that there are two sides to every story and often we are only told one, shown one, and given one idea that is right or wrong. In the end we have to decide for ourselves what is right and what is wrong and we have to look at everything from every angle we can.
Then, we have our current unit. Our Civil Rights movement project where we’ve been looking at history’s perspective of the Civil Rights Movement in the 1950’s-70’s as well as doing our best to learn what the movement was like from the perspective of the black community involved.
These projects have let me see that perspective is important because sometimes it’s not just enough to look through the goggles of history— sometimes they get foggy— sometimes you need to dig deeper and find the stories and the perspectives of the people involved to allow for a proper understanding of the world around you. And by that I mean I need to do that to have a proper understanding of the world around me.
“What did you learn about yourself during this year?”
There was a lot to learn this year. I think I’ve tried my best to be my best this year. I hope that happened, and if not I’ve got one more year to get it done.
I’ve learnt this year that I can do anything if I put my mind to it and look past the predominant fears that will try to block me. Every year on my list of goals I put something like:
- Be better at leadership
- Find a school/life balance
- Be organized
…that’s also what I wrote on my MPOL post this year. And I believe next year’s goals will finally be different. I think that in learning that I am capable of whatever I want to do if I want to do it badly enough, I also figured out how to do all my goals from my past four years of PLP.
Leadership: This one has always been the hardest one for me, and it probably always will be. I don’t like telling people what to do, it’s not a natural part of my personality. HOWEVER. This year I have tried for at least two leaderships roles, even though I only landed one.
Number One was my trying for a Key Creative role in the production of Macbeth: The Movie.
Number Two is our current project, taking a chance and agreeing to be the moderator for our discussion.
School/Life Balance: It’s taken all this time to figure it out, but I finally got here. I can now safely say I know my limits and how to stay within them when it comes to a balance of school and non-school activities. And it’s all thanks to goal #3.
Organization: PGP has made a huge change for me in my organization and ability to separate school-time and me-time. I have worked to create good habits that allow for me to work when I need to work and rest when I need to rest. Back when we started PGP I had doubts but no I’m so thankful for it. 10/10 course.
[another thing I’ve learnt about myself this year is that it takes me approximately 3 months until I loose motivation to properly participate in online school 🙂 ]
“What’s one goal you would like to set for yourself for next year?”
My one goal I would like to set for myself next year is to enjoy my grade 12 year and classes as much as possible. I only get one high school grad year, so I should make the best of it and the opportunities it provides to me.