I don’t know what we did this week. I was only there on Monday and Tuesday because I got to leave early for Spring Break. The days I was there, we continued working on our multimodal project. I know that on Wednesday I finished writing the paper sitting in Chicago Midway on a three hour flight delay. Three kids under ten stuck in an airport for more than three hours when it was originally supposed to be just under an hour is not an ideal situation. Writing a paper under these circumstances is really not ideal, so I don’t actually know how well the paper really turned out. I think my group probably edited it a little bit.
I kept in touch with my group while they were here and I was not. Things seemed to be going pretty well when I left, and they seemed to continue to head that way through the rest of the week. The score in my gradebook for the project is a good score, so I assume everything went decently well when presenting. I asked Erica, but I didn’t get specifics. Just the general, “Oh, it went pretty well. I’m just done with it now though.” That was good enough for me at the time; I was about to have the best vacation of my life. This is a link to view the cruise ship I was on. I don’t know what other link to put. There’s not much else I did this week.
My big accomplishment this week was finishing The Kite Runner. That was my goal, and I managed to reach it. Go me. I also started with the picture notes, and I am going to try to finish them up today. I think the picture notes are a super cool idea, and I wish that more teachers had you take notes on books like that. It provides you with the page number and the context of whatever you’re citing. It adds to the explanation on each of the slides, and really shows the whole point of taking notes in the first place. We also did some elevator talks. At first I didn’t really like them, but now I definitely understand the point of them and can get behind them.
As the writer of my group, I’m a little anxious about the due date of this project. I am about to be gone three days next week for early spring break, and I won’t be back until the Tuesday after break. This freaks me out a little bit because it basically leaves my group to do most of the work, and that’s not fair to them. I also like to be somewhat in control of the things that are happening, and it will be just a little challenging to do that from Florida.
I stumbled across this little article a few weeks ago and thought it was pretty cool. It’s not super relevant to anything we did in class this week, but it’s a little relevant at least to my role in this project. I might reference it as I write, I might not. We shall see I suppose.
This week was really weird. We only had a teacher one day, and I kind of felt a little lost because of it. I am not a fan of missing school, or of having my teachers miss school either. It throws me, and the whole class, off our game. On Monday, the only thing we really did was pick our groups and the book we were reading. I also griped about having to do another group project, but I know that this will most likely benefit me in the end. Anyway, my group appears to be pretty solid, although I feel like Erica and I will take control of the whole thing. Which is fine with me. We did the few things that we were supposed to write this week, and now we’re focused on getting our book read.
My group chose to read The Kite Runner, and I know that it is a fantastic book. The first book I read in class this year, A Thousand Splendid Suns, has the same author and it is now one of my favorite books. I am about halfway into The Kite Runner as of this moment, and I am totally invested in the story. When I am not reading it, I find myself thinking about it, and I love when I read a book and that happens. Khaled Hosseini is a phenomenal author in my opinion. His stories could be true, even though the are fiction.
I am the writer for my group, and I am happy that I was able to obtain that position. I think that my group has more strength in writing in total than it does in the digital/technology aspect of this project, but I’m not worried and I’m sure we will make it work.
This entire week has been stressful for me. I’m still behind in three of my classes, and I haven’t finished reading The Jungle yet. Yesterday I searched for outside sources for my Pecha Kucha presentation, and it was actually a lot harder than I thought it was going to be. I haven’t even started to actually write the paper, and the presentation is totally nonexistent at this point. I’m a little panicked about this, but I think I’ll be alright; I have Sunday to do a bunch of work, and most things aren’t due in my other classes until the end of the trimester. I’ll have a few extra days at least.
My week has been consumed by writing scholarship application essays. I have been so stressed about them, because they were extra on top of what I already had for school. I’ve been up late the past few nights trying to finish them up, and last night I finished all but one. I feel good about this, even though they are due today. I’ll finish the last one in my third hour. The amount of stress relief I felt when I realized that I had finished nine of the ten I am applying for was insane. I’m already in a better mood today than I have been all week. It also helps that it’s Friday.
I learned this week that procrastination is really NOT a good idea. It was also reinforced how bad of an idea it is to miss school. I learned also that being poor in America in the 1920s was totally horrible. The parts of The Jungle that I have read make me incredibly glad that this country has come as far as it has. I am looking forward to diving deeper into my topic this weekend.
We finished up our This I Believe projects this week and I am happy they are done. While I enjoyed this project very much, it stressed me out. With the end of musical season happening simultaneously, it was a lot for me to handle. Not to mention the fact that I am behind in at least 2 of my other classes as well. I’ve missed more school this year than I have I think any other year of my educational career. It’s not going to get any better either because track season is starting soon. I am a bit worried about how behind I am with the end of the trimester coming up, but I know I’ll finish everything; it just might require late nights and tears.
Anyway, back to This I Believe projects. I was mostly happy with how my video turned out. The one that I uploaded to YouTube had the music too loud though, but since I used WeVideo, I couldn’t fix it. That stressed me out momentarily, but I got over it pretty quickly. I have small freak outs about things like that every now and then, but it always works out just fine. Here’s the link to my YouTube video!
Next week we’re supposed to start our Pecha Kucha presentations. Yikes. I am not excited for this. I have read about 11 pages of my second book. Like I said, lots of late nights and tears. I don’t know what I’m doing, and I am not confident in my topic because I feel like I haven’t had enough time to really think it over and see how it relates back to both books. However, it is very interesting and I am a little excited to dive at least a little deeper into it.
This week we focused mainly on making our This I Believe videos. The video making process is something I have a small amount of experience with, but I know that it can be long and testing of patience. I struggled early on this week when determining which video editor to use, and I ended up just deciding to use WeVideo. I also had issues when I tried to find music to put under my voice recording. I ended up just settling for music that I didn’t really like all that much, but I wanted to move on to video and images. I may go back and give it another look once I have my video “finished” if I have time.
I found this article to be helpful when I was looking into how to tell a story well using video. I am a bit worried about being able to do this successfully, and I feel like I will have a challenge finishing my video in the time we have left, but I know that I can do it. The rubric I created focuses on what I believe to be my strengths. I think that as an actor, I can portray a lot of emotion using just my voice, and that is a BIG part of storytelling.
At the beginning of the week we looked at the 7 elements of digital storytelling. I found the video we watched and the discussion we had afterwards to be very interesting and compelling. I believe that I can probably make a video that covers most if not all of these 7 elements. I am looking forward to watching everyone’s videos this week and learning more about my peers.
This week was totally focused on the This I Believe project, which I find I really really awesome. I struggled A LOT writing my essay, and I’m not sure why. I found myself unwilling and unwanting to share parts of my story, and I think that’s odd. It’s a bit out of character for me to not want to tell a story. My speculations are that it’s a very personal story, it’s a very large part of who I am, and I’m generally a pretty private person. Add on top of that the fact that I am a perfectionist, and I guess it’s really not all that surprising after all. A lot of my work time in class was spent looking through other This I Believe essays and videos and such, and I found one by Colin Powell that I particularly like. It has nothing to do with my topic, but it’s very well written and I have similar views on what he talked about.
At the beginning of the week we all chose a TED Talk to watch. I chose the one by JJ Abrams called “The Mystery Box.” I originally chose it only because it was by JJ Abrams, but I ended up really enjoying it. His concept of the whole ‘mystery box’ thing was very interesting. The idea that as an author you should keep things hidden is something that I do and I notice now that he pointed it out that lots of other authors do it too. Consciously allowing the reader to wonder what happens gives a sense of suspense and intrigue. There are some things in my essay that I left open to interpretation and will allow the reader to create their own version of my story. I think it’s pretty awesome that an author can leave things open ended, but still convey the same lessons and messages to the majority of their audience.
Your online presence is being tracked. Constantly. Nothing you do online is truly private. I knew that was the case going into this project, but I was not aware of the full extent of it; EVERYTHING is tracked. I found the information we got this week to be very interesting, and I enjoyed learning about it. I even kind of liked answering the questions on the big document that everyone wrote on at the same time. I liked taking sides and asking questions. I didn’t like having to write a persuasive essay at the end of the week. I actually didn’t get to finish it yet. I was sick, and was not in class on Friday. I am pretty behind on a lot of things because I’ve missed quite a bit of school lately. I’m working on catching up though.
The question of whether or not the government should be involved in protecting citizens from trackers seemed to be the central question this week. I don’t think that they should, one reason being funding. I found an article that was pretty interesting, but it’s not really related to this topic, but also it kind of is. Here is the link. I think there is a lot of opinion pieces on topics like this, but not a whole lot of cold hard fact. I’m reserving my judgement until further research.
As I can’t really comment on an essay I have not yet written, I’m not sure what else to say. I struggled with the rough draft, and it was not very good at all. It takes me a while to figure out how to write things sometimes, but that’s okay because I usually figure it out in the end. I’m looking forward to starting the This I Believe project, and I hope it ends up being as cool as I’m imagining it to be.
The last couple of weeks in this class have been hectic to say the least. This project has stressed me out, and I’m sure the rest of my group was not all sunshine and rainbows either. Our ideas about this project have clashed more than I care to admit, but we have worked through them, and our final product is better because of it. All of us are used to having good grades, so none of us were about to let someone else ruin that for us, o it was almost like we had four group leaders with different leading styles in one group. I’ve found this article, and it should be able to help me with group projects in the future.
I am very happy with how our project turned out, especially our presentation. We had mostly equal parts, and we had practiced more than once, which was a big help. Our essay was another story entirely. Our writing styles didn’t mix much at all. I personally felt like anything I wrote was changed because it “wasn’t good.” Once we finished writing though, I was expected to proofread and edit; something I enjoy doing, but it irritated me a little bit that I had to edit, but anything I wrote was unacceptable. I’m over it now; I think the final draft turned out to be pretty decent. I’m proud of our work, and I think if I had to do it again I would choose the same group.
This week felt off to me; it was probably just because of it being the start of a new year, and we were just coming back from break. We did some cool stuff though. The coolest had to have been the presentation on Shakespeare by Dr. McDermott. She was very knowledgable about the subject and her input on our theory was very helpful. I feel like my group knows what we’re doing, but we’re not confident in our own abilities, so we think we are doing things the wrong way. I’m not sure how all of our writing styles will mesh, and I am not positive we will make it through this paper without problems. I’d never expect to complete a group project without running into minor issues, but we have multiple strong personalities and opinions in our group. I am not totally sure the opinions align, which will create issues. We’ll just have to see.
I am excited to finish our Shakespeare projects soon because I am honestly tired of doing them. We have been working with them for a while now, and I am ready for a change of pace. I am glad we have had the amount of time to do them that we have, but I will also be glad when it is over.
The poems we looked at this week were awesome. I really enjoyed “For Jane Meyers.” I thought it was very interesting how the speaker talked about spring as more of a times of death, which is not how I had ever thought about it, nor would I have ever thought of it like that. This is similar to how I viewed the seasons before this poem, but I will be taking another look at them now. I like sad/pain-filled poems more than happy ones; I find them easier to explicate. My favorite PoW so far has been “I felt a Funeral, in my Brain.” I hope we have more poems like this one.