In-Depth Post #4

Another two weeks has past, and now we’re in our third month of in-depth studies! We have less than three months before we enter the week of In-Depth Night, and that’s not a long time at all!

I have to confess… I didn’t work much on my project these two weeks. AprilMayJuuuuuune is approaching at rocket speed, which means there will be more and more events added to my schedule. This is still a major difficulty in all my mentoring challenges. I fully understand that there is nothing much I can do about this situation, however, it has still brought my mentor and I lots of inconvenience. Both Edline (my mentor) and I are students. We have one thing in common: we’re both very busy. I really appreciate the fact the Edline sacrificed quite a big portion of her free time to assist me in my project. I try my best to organize a meeting with Edline as often as possible, but of course it only works when both of us have no objections to it. As we are from different schools, our weekly schedule don’t really match. I am trying my best to cope when Edline isn’t available. It is possible that our meetings will have to be more reliant on social media than in person.

Despite the fact that our schedules are filling up, our communication is still very strong. We are now good friends, which makes our interaction very natural. Our sessions are productive, as we both engage in our roles and work hard to reach the goal. Edline is understanding and is very patient with me. I ask lots of clarifying question regarding stitches, knots, and rewinding. I think the reason our communication is working so well is because we are both giving it our best and staying on task. I enjoy working with Edline, and I hope we keep up our good communication.

And last of all… well… You’ve probably forgot about this, since it’s been a long time since I’ve mentioned it. Yes, I still have no mentor for my other part of the project: silk-flower crafting. I definitely should be working harder on this… But the problem is… how? Before I go any further, I should tell you some news: I’m visiting China during spring break! Now you might be thinking, what does this have to do with your in depth project? Guess what, it has everything to do with my project. I think I have a solution for my “absence of mentor”, an idea that just popped into my head when I started writing this blog post. Since I’m going to China… isn’t this the perfect opportunity to seek a mentor? I know spring break’s only two short weeks, but isn’t there a saying, “something is better than nothing”? To make this happen, I will have to do research the moment after I get a good night’s sleep upon my arrival in a different time zone. The chances of finding a mentor in China is ten times greater than in Canada. I hope I succeed!

Until next time!

In-Depth Post #4

WOW! Here we are again! It feels like just yesterday that I was addressing my progress to you. Looks like that’s what happens when you’re working hard and having fun. Nonetheless, I am here to talk about my progress and questions that were assigned for us to answer.

Eight weeks in and my progress is still consistent and smooth. I learn something new every session and I have definitely improved quite a bit during the last couple of weeks. I’m not going to lie though, the last couple of weeks have also definitely been a bit more challenging however, It feels great to know that even though training may be getting harder I always want to go back learn more and more skills. Already being an athlete, some movements come naturally to me however, there are some movements that can get a bit difficult at times such as dodging and ducking punches or kicks. Lateral and up and down movement come quite easy for me as I already use them when I play soccer. Moreover, my kicks and punches have improved technique wise and Joel says that they will continue to improve over time. I’m still going in only once a week either on Tuesday or Thursday for about 2 hours which is more than enough time to learn and improve on my skills and techniques. I should be meeting with him again sometime next week to talk about my progress and area of improvement.

Questions:

1) The most difficult mentoring challenge so far has definitely been finding time to meet and talk face to face about my progress and area of improvement. This is because, we both have very tight schedules that it makes it hard to find a day where both of us are free to meet for a couple of hours or so. However, we both put in equal effort to meet at least once a week even though it may not always work out. However, when we do meet, Joel and I talk about a lot and we get to know each other better and better each time which has definitely helped with our communication and our comfort around one another.

2) Despite not always being able to meet with Joel, the relationship that we are building and forming is definitely going well. Even though he his supposed to teach me boxing, when I meet with him I also like to talk to him about me and my life because it helps me become more comfortable and relaxed around him. For example, If I need some advice for school I’ll ask him and he will give it to me which makes me feel like I can trust him not just as a boxing mentor but as a life mentor too.

3) I think that time management could be working a bit better because I would like to be meeting with him every week and ensure that we do so because I think that it is important to see him at least once a week outside of the gym to talk about my progress and improvement. To make sure this happens, the next time I see Joel I’ll make sure to talk about our schedules again and see if we could meet once a week outside of the gym to talk about my progress in boxing. Skyping or talking on the phone could also be an option if meeting somewhere cannot work at all.

Well, that is it for me. Until next time, TALONS!

In-Depth Post #4

The past two weeks have been my research weeks. I wanted to look into the technical side of makeup, so I checked out the book Making Faces by Kevyn Aucoin. This is a book that my mentor had recommended the first time I met with her.  Though this is a beauty makeup book, not a special effects one, it had valuable information in it, including the structure of faces and how to get certain effects out of them.

I also was finally able to pick up some new supplies that I will be using tomorrow for the first time. I now can add 3rd Degree and Spirit Gum to the list of supplies in my kit.

Tomorrow I’m getting my friend Katherine to be my model while I try out my new supplies on her. That should be fun!

Alright, now on to the questions that are specifically for this post.

1. What has been my most difficult mentoring challenge so far?  Why?

I would say that the most difficult part about this mentoring has been communication and meeting up. She’s a very busy person and I’m in school five days a week so there is not a lot of time where we are both free to meet.

2. What is working well? Why?

When we are able to meet, I learn a lot. She is very knowledgeable about SFX makeup (her job is teaching it after all), so I benefit a lot from talking to her and seeing what she does. I learn techniques and guidelines that I wouldn’t have been able to learn on my own.

3. What could be working better?  How can you make sure this happens?

Something that could be working better would be staying in contact. I will make sure to talk to Cory more by emailing her when I feel it’s time to talk again and choosing when we will meet next ahead of time. That will make it easier to stay connected.

That is all for today! Next time I will upload photos of the looks I am creating tomorrow!

In Depth Post #4

I can honestly say that these two  weeks have been beyond busy for me, and I’m very stressed with everything going on right now, but sometime along these two stressful weeks, I’ve been able to work on in-depth. Although I may have not done as much these two weeks as I have done before, I’ve honestly tried my best to work along with my theory exam preparations and school work, and I think I’ve been able to maintain my work load to a decent amount as well as meeting up with Lucien.

These two weeks have taught me one very important thing: I have to make sure to save every chance I have because computer and IPad apps almost always seem to crash and I lose all my work. I’ve had some troubles saving some of my work when my computer or iPad turn slow and I would get frustrated and stop working altogether for the day, only to work again the next day. I guess this has been a good strategy for me because when I try to work out of frustration, I never end with good results and just taking a break for the day really helped me develop better ideas, and calm down from frustration.

It hasn’t been really hard meeting up with my mentor because I’m friends with his daughter but what I find is the most difficult is that he lives in surrey and that means crossing the toll bridge every time and a long drive. Lucien and I have gotten along really well and he mainly helps with my photography and camera functions. We sometimes get into problems about my camera not working well, but besides minor things, Lucien and I have been very successful.

What I feel is working well for me right now is my ideas. I’ve been getting some great ideas of what to edit and every week, I end up thinking of something new. My ideas have been leaning towards surreal type of images rather than photo shopping someone’s face or  body. I’ve also felt that the apps I’ve been using are very successful in my images especially light leaks ad filters. However, I have been having some troubles with the weather because I’ve been wanting to take pictures when the weather was nice, but all it’s been doing lately is rain. I can’t really control the weather so I’m hoping that during spring break in Mexico, I’ll be able to take some good photo’s. I’ve also been wanting to buy a tripod to help take steadier photo’s that are easier to edit on the layering and to be able to do that, ill have to ask my parents if they are willing. I’m hoping that I’m able to over come the obstacles and I would love it if people gave me some ideas on what I should edit next!

 

Here is some of my work:

 

quite difficult to do but fantastic results
quite difficult to do but fantastic results
the original photo does not have any filter or light leaks
the original photo does not have any filter or light leaks
thought it would be funny to compare my change with a collage
thought it would be funny to compare my change with a collage
easy picture done with layering
easy picture done with layering

 

 

In-Depth Post #4

The flag of China

Oh my! It seems like only a couple of days ago when I last blogged about my in-depth! Time sure does fly when you are busy! Nevertheless, here I am again to blog about my progress and address the questions that Ms. Mulder stated in her blog.

In my last post, I talked about how I was familiarizing myself with “pinyin”, which is the pronunciation of the English alphabet in Mandarin. In addition, I was learning how to read small words (using the english letters and tones) and use my pinyin book to copy them to help me memorize them. After lots of practice, I am happy to announce that I have completely memorized pinyin! I tried my best to squeeze in a little “pinyin time” everyday for me to practice the pronunciation until it was memorized and flawless. Since my close friends, Lori and Crystal, speak fluent Mandarin, I recited my pinyin in front of them and asked for their insight on my pronunciation. Crystal and Lori approved which is a good sign! On another note, the Mandarin homework that was assigned to me by my mentor, Hannah Duan, was successfully completed as well. I will hopefully be meeting my mentor sometime this weekend or near the beginning of next week to move on to the next stage of my learning, and I can’t wait!

Stay tuned for the next post to hear more of my progress. At this time, I will address the questions Ms. Mulder stated in her blog:

  1. The most difficult mentoring challenge so far has definitely been meeting times. I do my best to try and schedule a Mandarin lesson with Hannah as often as I can, preferably once a week, but sometimes, it doesn’t always work out. This is because of my busy school schedule with TALONS events, piano, and musical theatre, and her work schedule. Adventure trip planning is well underway, so I will have to work extra hard to manage my time in order to find a time to meet with Hannah because let’s face it, TALONS is only going to get busier from here.
  2. The relationship we share with one another is definitely something that is working well. We engage in our learning and discussions, and we listen to each other when I have questions or when she has something to emphasize about the language. We communicate well with one another and we have quickly become comfortable with each other. My confidence has grown in every meeting, and I am starting to ask more questions when I need clarification. Hannah has been a fabulous mentor and teacher, and I am excited to continue exploring my in-depth alongside Hannah.
  3. I mentioned this in my last post, and unfortunately I never focused on completing this goal. However, I am ready to give it another go. Something that could be working better is for me to wonder more about the Chinese culture and the relationship it has to the language. This can be achieved by asking even more questions about the language and how it works. Language is a big component in culture, so for me to be more culturally aware of the Chinese society would help make my learning more interesting and enjoyable.

That is all for now. Thanks for reading and I hope to blog again in another two weeks!

Remixes, CRAAP Tests and Collaborative Unit Planning

Twitter as Citizenship Learning

For my EDCI: 335 class, Learning Design, I’ve thus far been addressing our discussion tasks and various thought exercises to my work with #IntroGuitar – especially as the class has been revised and relaunched for this new semester. But it feels as though there is also a lot going on in the TALONS Socials classes that has presented an avenue to manifest a lot of the theory underlying my term project in last semester’s EDCI 338, as well as aspects of our learning in EDCI 335.

As we have embarked on Socials 9 this year (our two-year class alternates between years of Socials 9 and 10), I have approached the spring semester in TALONS attempting to practice collaborative assignment and unit planning, offering opportunities in individual inquiry, media literacy created as an implicit expression of citizenship learning. With #IntroGuitar effectively “launched” for the time being, my planning focus has shifted to the beginning of socials 9, and the dawn of the modern era.

Remixing the Great Book of Knowledge

Over the past few weeks, we started with the source material of Kirby Ferguson‘s “Everything is a Remix” and CBC Ideas‘ The Great Book of Knowledge and set about discussing “the greatest knowledge revolution in human history ([which] began in our lifetime).” Pertinent as a connection to Gutenburg’s role in fostering the social conditions that brought about the Enlightenment period as well as to our present informational context, The Great Book of Knowledge presents the advent of Wikipedia as a manifestation of an emergent, socially created Truth. It seemed an apt place to begin talking about the advent of the bourgeois public sphere, and the creation of modern democracy.

From the hour long episode, each of the TALONS classes was left to organize and delineate the various themes and key ideas presented in the show. During each of these class discussions, I pledged not to talk unless necessary to clarify a technical aspect of information or procedure. In the vacuum created by eliminating the teacher’s voice, various individuals rose to the occasion to help bring about and represent the group’s thinking.

Momentum built slowly in either class’ discussion, with notes emerging on the board, and votes being taken to determine the show’s key themes and concepts.

Once the episode had been divided into as many segments as there were groups in the class, each ‘quad’ (group of four TALONS) was tasked with the creation of an audio remix that expressed the theme or thesis of their selected section. Each class brainstormed and supplied their own criteria for the assignment, and set about experimenting with the classroom technology – iPads, personal computers, Snowball Microphones.

Screen shot 2014-02-28 at 8.04.35 PM

As a finale, the finished remixes were presented on K12 web radio station 105 the Hive live as a debut broadcast from the TALONS classroom. Class members took on the duties of slotting the remixes into an order reflecting their content, preparing copy and questions to read as MC/hosts, learning to navigate the broadcasting software and attending to the group’s various social media. With a few hiccups (network connectivity, a tripped extension cord), both morning and afternoon classes made auspicious debuts in presenting the live broadcasts, and archived their work on the class blog.

We even received a note from the producer of The Great Book of Knowledge, the CBC’s Philip Coulter:

Hey talented TALONS people!

I heard some of the remixes you posted on Soundcloud of The Great Book of Knowledge. They were terrific! Really imaginative work- you had a great feel for the ideas behind the programme and for how to take those ideas to another level, which is what remix is all about, and you obviously get it.

You’re lucky to be in such a great programme, and from a little cruising around your site its obvious that you’re doing really interesting work. Keep it up with creating things that no-one ever thought of before- thats called Art, and that brings us a better world!

Philip Coulter

Producer, The Great Book of Knowledge “Ideas” CBC Radio

CRAAP Testing the English Civil War

This week we have moved into a different sort of crowd-sourced media literacy, emulating Jim Groom and Paul Bond‘s Internet Course at the University of Mary Washington, and CRAAP Testing resources on the English Civil War.

Screen shot 2014-02-28 at 5.01.52 PM

After applying the CRAAP Test to a reading that I supplied, we collected various resources and materials using a Google Form that was published in a wiki page dedicated to the activity. Next, each of the sources was evaluated and highlighted to indicate Good to Go (green), If you have time (yellow) or No Go (red).

In examining the resources Purpose(s), I provided the classes with the government’s prescribed learning outcomes for Socials 9, and asked which resources best fit the following tasks:

Students will: 

  • analyze factors that contribute to revolution and conflict
  • analyze the contributions of the English, French and American Revolutions in the development of democratic concepts
  • evaluate the changing nature of law and its relation to social conditions of the times

Collaborative Unit Planning 

Building on the questions raised by elements of the CRAAP Testing exercise, as well as the minimally guided dissection of The Great Book of Knowledge episode, collaborative unit planning has become a forum for developing the Ministry of Education’s “Applications of Social Studies,” wherein 

It is expected that students will: 

  • identify and clarify a problem, an issue or an inquiry
  • select and summarize information from primary and secondary print and non-print sources, including electronic courses
  • defend a position on a controversial issue after considering a variety of perspectives
  • co-operatively plan, implement, and assess a course of action that addresses the problem, issue or inquiry initially identified

Each of the morning and afternoon TALONS have pursued slightly different courses of action this week, as they have made their way through discussions about projects and readings, generating criteria and a two-week schedule (that will take us to Spring Break). In addition to addressing many aspects of the TALONS leadership curriculum in the spring semester – In-Depth Studies, Adventure Trips, and the culmination of an yearlong (and for the grade tens, a two-yearlong) exercise in community building – this approach is an extension of the reading and thinking I did last semester on developing an emergent curriculum.

Gert Biesta and Deborah Osberg describe a curriculum of emergence as one where:

“…knowledge is neither a representation of something more ‘real’ than itself, nor an ‘object’ that can be transferred from one place to the next. Knowledge is understood, rather, to ‘emerge’ as we, as human beings, participate in the world. Knowledge, in other words, does not exist except in participatory actions.”

Having had the opportunity to experiment with the concept last semester in Philosophy 12, I am getting more and more comfortable with the idea that

“…to encourage the emergence of meaning in the classroom, then the meanings that emerge in classrooms cannot and should not be pre-determined before the ‘event’ of their emergence.”

In-depth Post Week #8: To Everything There is a Season- Predictable Phases

Zachary points out that “mentoring relationships progress through four predictable phases: preparing, negotiating, enabling, and coming to closure” (p. 49).  Each of these phases may vary in length depending on the people involved and type of project.  Opportunities to reflect, such as blog posts, enhance the learning throughout these phases and allow for tweaking interactions throughout the entire duration of the project.  Zachary notes that ” Reflection, in combination with the key elements of readiness, opportunity, and support, forms the scaffolding (or structure) for facilitating the learning that takes place throughout each phase” (p. 50).

Preparing:

– clarifying expectations

– setting goals

– making sure the mentor is ready

Negotiating:

– defining content and relationship

– sharing understanding about assumptions, expectations, goals, and needs

– addressing confidentiality, boundaries, and limits

– sharing details about how and when to meet, responsibilities, criteria for success

Enabling:

– implementing the project

– maintaining trust, communicating and learning

Coming to closure:

– evaluating learning

– applying learning to other situations

– acknowledging mentor

– celebrating learning

 

At this point in the project, you should be in the enabling phases of the mentoring relationship.   Zachary (2000) concludes, “Facilitating effective learning relationships requires a mentor’s commitment to time and investment of time during the entire mentoring cycle.  Reflecting on one’s own learning and tending to the key elements of readiness, opportunity, and support to make sure that they are in place helps mentors promote the learning of their mentees” (p. 64),

Reflection Questions for post #4 :

1. What has been my most difficult mentoring challenge so far?  Why?

2. What is working well? Why?

3. What could be working better?  How can you make sure this happens?

 

 

 

 

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Falling, Stumbling, Tripping (InDepth Post #3)

It is post number three and I still am having a few bumps with my project (including getting this post up because it just decided not to publish).

Nonetheless I am working with these issues and moving towards the completion of my In Depth project.

I’m going to be very linear here and state the three questions I will cover and then answer them before moving on to my progress report.

 

3. What learning challenges emerged?

a. What did you do to hold yourselves accountable for the learning?

During this whole process I’ve had some issues with the little things. A filtering feature here, a suggestion that popped up there, a glitch in the system. I’ve done my best to read through all of the “How to For Dummies” and Q&A topics about these problems and the programs in general. My mentor has continued to point out a few ways to work through these problems occasionally when it gets to be a real problem, but usually it is me who has to learn and take responsibility for my mistakes. My mentor really just acts as a safety net and a guide at times, leaving me to take those baby steps to learn what I need to know.

 

4. What logical challenges affected your communication?

a. What factors affected your ability to interact effectively?

One big issue with the communication between my mentor and I is the distance. My mentor lives in Kamloops and I, of course, live here in Coquitlam. This means it is difficult for us to meet face to face but we do still communicate through handy dandy Facebook. Of course, in a message there can sometimes be perceived tones or meanings that aren’t actually there so we both have to be careful to make it clear what we are asking or stating when we message each other. I will be seeing my mentor in person quite shortly though, hopefully it will go smoothly with no serious bumps.

 

5. What three strategies could improve the quality of your mentoring interactions?

First of all if we were meeting in person every time that would be a huge improvement from our current situation. Secondly if I could find ways to go a little more in depth with the questions I ask, that may improve my overall experience with my mentor and the project in general. If I could really nit-pick the whole process and all of the information that I am gathering through the research for my final presentation of my project, to really get every scrap of knowledge I can claw from my mentor’s mind, that would allow me to have a broader picture of the whole process and where you can really go with programs and projects like mine.

 

Now on to the oh so very interesting progress report!

 

As you may have guessed based on the title (or not, because some people would just skip the title all together,) it’s been a little bumpy at the beginning of In Depth, but now that I’m really getting the hang of the programs I’m using and how to lay out the data I’m falling headfirst into a pool of knowledge and skill I didn’t know I had. My mentor has kinda let me go off on my own lately to find my own way to learn the techniques and quirks with doing what I’m doing, to really explore the topic I chose and take flight all by myself. Lucky for me I will actually be having a meeting with my mentor in person soon!

“And falling’s just another way to fly.”
― Emilie Autumn
 

In-Depth Post Number Three

Alright before we begin I’d like to thank Shaw internet for the stellar internet I have been getting this weekend and today, and for getting my blog post out like three days late. So here we go.

We have been working some more on reading and beginning to appreciate poetry. Format and form are being taken note of and we are discussing the virtues of different types of poetry. Hopefully soon we can continue to some actual writing, but immersion is good for setting me up for success in my writing.

4. Our mentor relationship, being long-distance, has inevitably gotten a little rocky. Whether through the fault of the aforementioned Shaw internet, or the always reliable Yahoo email, or some issue on my mentors end, I haven’t gotten through to Bay for a while. It’s a logistical problem that I did expect but didn’t really plan or prevent for it.

2b. Our interactions started fairly formally, with introductions and such, all nicely spelled and formatted. We’ve started to become more colloquial in communication however and I think that’s a good thing. With formalities out of the way, we can more easily get on to what’s really important, and that’s the poetry.

5. My three strategies for improving mentor interactions are both logistical and educational. A different method of communication may be beneficial, such as Skype to better communicate with my mentor. A second strategy would be on my part, to ask more questions and take some ownership in interactions with my mentor to enrich my experience. A third would be to take some initiative outside of my mentor’s advice and read and discuss poetry as often as I can.

I realize I’ve not made much headway, but I’m doing everything I can to make week 8 a more fruitful fortnight.

 

 

My Mentor V2 (#3)

Jacob Gebrewold is an excellent human being. I can feel it. Emma and I recently had our second meeting with him at the Starbucks adjacent to Chapters, and I was struck by his charisma, as well as the effort and planning that he is putting into our relationship. What I first thought was going to be just another writing session has turned out to be seminars on life, networking, and relationships; and that is not even getting into the poetry side of things!

On an unrelated note: clear communication is a beautiful thing, so all questions from here out will be clearly marked.

1) What went particularly well during your mentoring sessions?

The two mentoring sessions Jacob has facilitated thus far have been incredibly successful, because of his structured lesson plan that he brings to the table every single time- he knows what he’s doing. He assigns us homework (reading leadership literature & organizing poetry slams at Gleneagle & Workshopping w/ Emma), and we are slowly working our way through our curriculum- yes he has a curriculum- and everything is just dandy.

Side note:

Jacob is very, very good at what he does. I didn’t really realize at first how lucky Emma and I to have this opportunity… Jacob is the Founder and Captain of the Port Moody Secondary Poetry Team; which won Hullabaloo in it’s first ever year, mind you. He won the Vancouver Youth Grand Slam, and to top it off he has gone on international tours as an activist poet.

jacob

On to question #2.

2) Were you candid and open in your communication with each other? Explain.

We were incredibly open and candid with each other from the very start. For example, the first exercise he had us do was write down a pros/cons list of who we are as people. This was difficult and draining, but it made us comfortable with each other pretty darned fast.

3) What did you do to hold yourselves accountable for the learning?

For the first time ever, I am using a planner. This is not completely due to Jacob, TALONS has helped considerably, but I think there is a correlation, at least.