In the Midst (Eminent #2)

Getting into the real meat of this project really allowed me to deepen my passion for everything I was learning, which made it easy to get all my ideas and content out into a product I could present. However, the more I dove, I stumbled upon the realization that this project for me wasn’t so much finding out my person’s life story or all the critical events that happened in his life that made him eminent, but more of the philosophies and ideas that contributed to his progression to what person he is today.

I also was finding out the benefits and struggles of picking a more contemporary person to emulate. I think one thing that was actually starting worry me during the course of especially my speech writing, was that to really be able to convey what my person is all about, I would have to stray from the usual format of the examples and the speeches my fellow classmates were based around.

This, strangely enough, scared me.

Usually I’m one to be pretty confident in what I do. I don’t think I’ve ever actually been unconfident with anything I’ve ever done in terms of school work. So naturally, it made me feel pretty uneasy having to go through the phase of thinking, “I’m doing this whole project wrong, I have to scrap everything and start over, this is not at all what it’s supposed to look like, why can’t I do this?” Thankfully I in fact didn’t scrap everything I worked so hard on, but I actually wasn’t able to finish my speech writing until about 2 days before I was presenting. And even after finally finishing my speech, and having run through it a few times, I still couldn’t help but have this nagging in the back of my head telling me that something was wrong and that this wouldn’t cut it.

Sometimes it’s important to ignore that little voice in the back of your head, and consider actually listening to those around you. I had to deal with the unpleasant experience up until the moment (no not day, moment) I actually performed my speech;  funnily enough all my anxieties melted away nearly instantly as soon as I began to speak.

I think before the speech in specific, I used to think that I always challenge myself in what I do, whether it be music, school work, etc. But it looks like I wasn’t actually challenging myself so much beyond my comfort zone that I could actually feel I was doing it. And it turns out that maybe going that extra step and actually feeling that little bit of stress to know you’re really, truly challenging yourself is a good way to explore more options in what you do and broaden your thinking.

Night of the Notables

It happened. The night that we have been dreading/dreaming of for a month and a half. Night of the Notables. It happened and it was so amazing. In my opinion it went perfectly. Kind of. I finally saw how everything came together and how all of this planning was really worth it. It was very different from what I expected but, I had so much fun!

In the morning, I was so nervous. When I went to school. Everybody was stressing and freaking out. Compared to them, I was as cool as a cumber. For the first two blocks, I just wanted the day to speed up to blocks 3 and 4. I really wanted to start getting ready for eminent! After blocks 1 and 2, I had lunch. Me, Christine, and Mira hung out near the parking lot outside the MPR. We were just talking about random things and it took my mind off of eminent for a while. It was kind of nice to relieve some stress I had. After lunch was blocks 3 and 4: Eminent Prep Blocks. Finally! I was super exited to get to work on my learning center! I started with preparing some of my interactive part of my learning center. I didn’t have much to prep so I helped out others with their projects. I mostly helped Andrea and Nazlie, but I helped some others as well. At the end of block 4, just before the bell rang. We were all in the classroom, and I sat down and went through what I wanted to do in my head. I really calmed myself down and went into Zen mode. This actually really helped me out because for the rest of the night, I was relatively calm. Then, the bell rang. In my mind, it was officially Night of the Notables. Game on!


Photo Creds to TALONS Flickr
Photo Creds to TALONS Flickr

Morning and Afternoon were gathered together in the TALONS room, and we discussed our schedule for the night. Everybody was either super nervous, super exited, or both.  I was both. I wasn’t that nervous because I didn’t really have to give a speech, but for my learning center, I had to think on my feet because I didn’t have a poster or anything, just me. I had a few cue cards but they got lost in the mess of the TALONS classroom. When we started to set up our Learning Centers, I got kind of disappointing. My Learning Center did not turn out the way I wanted to. I wanted to look a little more cluttered, but I had more space than I thought I did, so I had to make do. I think my Learning Center turned out pretty well, but I think I could have done better. Unfortunately, with all this stuff going on, I forgot to take a picture so thank goodness for the TALONS camera. Someone (I think Mr. Jackson) took a picture of me in my learning center. THANK YOU!!!!!! Anyways, in my Learning Center I made a typical, poor, Kenyan house. This is what Wangari probably lived in when she was little. In my house, I had clothes on a clothes line, a stool, a fire pit, a bed, and some plates and pots. I also had 4 interactive activities. In the picture you can see that all of my interactive activities are in the front so it makes it more accessible.  The activities were bracelet making, playing with clay, pick up, and Mancala. In bracelet making, I taught people how to make bracelets. This is what poor young girls may do living in Kenya. In the clay station, you could make whatever you want with clay. This is something children would have done to let their imagination run wild. Pick up is a game similar to jacks but you play with rocks or wood. It is really fun and addicting! Mancala is an African game that is easy to play and fun! Click here for instructions!

Anyways, after setup, I was in food committee, so I went to go get dinner ready. Dinner was so good! Everyone enjoyed it but we might need more drinks next time. I really got to bond with my friends and eat! After dinner, we put some finishing touches on our learning center. We then headed down to the MPR to start. I was so excited to watch the speeches!  Once we were seated, we started to watch the grade 10’s. OH MY GOODNESS IT WAS SO AMAZING!!!!!!!!! I have no idea how we are going to top that next year. I just can’t even explain my feelings for those speeches. So good. Anyways, after that we ran to get to our learning centers.

Photo Credits to TALONS Flickr
Photo Credits to TALONS Flickr

I was so ready for this moment, I had be preparing for this for so long. I think I killed it. I was super involved and I didn’t forget any facts. I got my point across in style and I had a lot of fun! The little kids went crazy over the interactive things and the adults asked tons of questions and they all got answered. I was really comfortable with what I was doing too. On top of all that my outfit was on point. Just saying’. I also got a chance to look at other peoples learning centers and they were so cool! I am just amazed by what people can do! I am so blown away with everyone else’s project. During this time, people from the ESL class were talking to me and took some notes. They told me that they were going to share it to the class. This made me feel kind of special. It was cool that these people really wanted to learn about my person and that they took the time to take notes and play my games. The one woman actually beat my high score in pick up. She got 9 which is crazy hard so I gave her one of the bracelets I made. It was pretty fun to watch her beat my record. My grandparents were there and it was pretty fun to talk to them about what I have learned. They were very into it and they said they had a lot of fun! My parents also had a good time. My dad thought it was kind of weird how the grade 10’s didn’t break character at all. He said he was talking to someone and referred to them by their real name (I forgot who it was), and they just brushed it off and said “Who is _____?” I told my dad that they aren’t supposed to break character and then he said “Ohhhhhhhhh”. It was pretty funny.

After the crowd started to die down and Ms. Mulder said to start cleaning up, a wave of relief swept over me. It’s over. It felt so short but it was finally over. “You still have to blog,” said the tiny voice in my head but I just told it to shut up right now. Night of the Notables was almost over and I was actually… sad. I wanted to do it again and I couldn’t wait until next year! I started to pack up and I left with a smile on my face. I did it and I did it well. I couldn’t have done it without my peers and teachers. I will remember this night for years and I will look back on it and say “Look at that. I did that.” The only bad thing about this is. I got to top this next year! Until next time…