A Babies First Steps: “I’m Fine”

IMG_7409.JPGWith the end of senior year rapidly approaching, I can safely say I have not had senioritous hit me. I have been working like crazy to the point where I haven’t been able to blog. However, tonight I don’t care what I’m procrastinating by taking the time to write this post because I’m so happy to have just made it through the most stressful day of my entire high school experience!!!

A year ago I asked the 5 other Thespians in my grade if they would be interested in working on a senior theater project. Little did they know when they agreed that we would end up writing, directing, and performing our own hour length show and putting the entire production side of the show together in under two weeks.

First semester we met once every other week for under an hour to work on writing the script which we then did a live read through of at the semester to get feedback on our work so far. When second semester rolled around, we still only really met on Wednesdays for an hour, but we decided we needed to come in every week not just every other. Then, once our spring musical, The Addams Family, closed, we had 8 rehearsals to put together the set, tech, and blocking for our show. Furthermore, only 4 of these rehearsals really had every cast member present.

Then today was the big day…

To be honest, our show was a mess even just this afternoon. Lines weren’t fully memorized, and transitions were sloppy, and our techies were just recently pulled into the show because we realized we needed more help and convinced some non Thespian seniors to help out. We barely finished by 6 and then sprinted to cars in order to try and grab something to eat before our house opened at 6:30. We had a small turn out, but a turn out none the less, and our nerves were higher than they had ever been for anything.

IIMG_7386.JPGt’s really hard to spend a hundred hours working on an art piece on controversial mature topics to then put it out in front of an audience for the first time. This show is about so much more than our acting because it’s about everything we had to do to bring the show to life, and it’s our final theater production in high school which is a big deal to all of us. We want to go out with a bang to show the culmination of all of our dedicated time doing what we love. For those people that come to see our show, I’ll admit it’s probably not the best show you’ve ever seen, and I’m sure more time would’ve helped the acting quality and stage relationships; however, this show is about so much more than just the acting, which is why we were even more nervous than normal.

I’ve grown to love our show like a baby, and it’s exciting and a little scary to see your baby take it’s first steps.

But today was the day to stand up because whether we wanted it to be or not it was preview night which means we did an entire run through for a live audience of parents and teachers– Man was I proud of the work that happened on the MVPS black box stage tonight!!!

IMG_7309.JPGNone of us felt like it was the performance of a life time, and there are definitely things that can and hopefully will be improved upon tomorrow and Thursday for our opening and closing night. However, like I said before, this was about more than the acting. This run through was the moment of truth to see if all of our hard work would pay off: could we really pull this off?

I think we did.

By the time we got to the last few scenes we knew we were going to make it through and were trying to hold in our excitement like a kid in a toy store who’s told not to touch anything. We had to keep going out into the cafeteria just to do a little happy dance so that we wouldn’t be too noisy backstage during the show because we just couldn’t contain our excitement.

We did it. We made it through smoothly. People enjoyed it! We made people think!!

I can’t imagine a better team of people to have been working with, and I’m so glad to have been a part of this process. I found myself doing lots of things I never had before from writing a script to crafting all of the light cues to thinking through marketing logistics, I really learned a lot from this process and am happy we put up with the stress it took to get here.

I’m still a little stressed and nervous, as one should be putting on a show, and especially one that you’ve directed… However, now I’m finally at a more normal show stress level where I truly believe it’s going to be something amazing, but don’t want to get over confident and not stay on top of my game.

Now we have two more shows left to really pull all of the bells and whistles together and truly make this show a show to remember. As my acro coach says, “The first time is to make sure you don’t die, now it’s time to do it for real with all you got.”

 

The Independent Project

The past few weeks I have been conversing with Mary and Cali Ragland, two seniors from Perkiomen Valley High School in Pennsylvania. These two are are currently taking an independent study course around the essential question: “How might we design an educational system that best meets the 21st learner’s needs by valuing curiosity?” They reached out to me after having been introduced by a teacher to some of my blog posts and learning about my work in the Education Transformation Movement. Furthermore, my work designing the AP Lang Collab Course last year, where I co-developed an AP Language and Composition course, was intriguing to them because they wanted to learn about how to push through the “dark night of the soul” in the life of an self-guided project.

These two have been doing some great work interviewing teachers and students and pulling away key insights about the role of curiosity in education. I especially love the quote that they describe as really encompassing what made them interested in education transformation:

“Education is not the filling of a pail, but the lighting of a fire.” – W.B. Yeats

I would definitely encourage reading more about their work on their blog:  Curiosity in Education. Personally, talking to these two has been great because it’s reminded me of how far I’ve come in the past few years, and reminded me how important it is for me to always go back to where I started- this blog.

Senior year has made blogging very difficult because I have spent most of my “non homework writing time” working on college essays and scholarship applications. Then when I kind of have “free time” (which basically just means I have finished homework and have no planed activities or meetings at the time) I find myself wanting to savor the moment to take a break from intense mindfulness. However, I know how important it is to blog to not only share my story with others, but to reflect for myself and capture my learning journey. After all, I started this blog for me -not because I wanted hundreds of followers or felt like my voice was something that just had to be heard by others- I started it because of what I thought was a silly challenge to observe and reflect on the world more intently.

In fact, I haven’t blogged in so long that I haven’t yet reflected on the fact that I was approved to embark on another curriculum creation opportunity by designing my own Independent Project!!

For my last semester of high school I am exploring the connection point between film, change theory, and education which will also apply towards my last needed half of a social sciences credit. Often times social science credits are just assumed to be a history course, whether it be world history, US history, economics, US government, etc. However, social sciences by definition are “social” meaning, about human society and social relationships and how they function, which does explicitly mean just IMG_6689.JPG“history.”

I say “just history” because I believe everything involves some understanding of history, because everything has a history and thus History is Everywhere. An essential question to all learning is, “How can we use the knowledge we have gathered over time (the past) in order to better understand and design for our present and future?”

So yes I believe you could call my course a “history course” because I’m definitely researching the past. However, for my particular project, I really wanted to explore society from the perspective of how we create change in society to then apply this knowledge in the world of education. The final product of this work will be a high quality documentary video focused on the Innovation Diploma and the moment that I call the “clicking moment”; that moment when students realize that the world is changing and education should be too, and they start to take ownership of their learning in order to make a difference now, not “when they are grown up.”

Now the main reason I haven’t mentioned this project yet is because it was a last minute project that got put into double time in order to come to life. At the end of last semester I knew I wanted to devote more time second semester to exploring and contributing to the education transformation movement. However, I’m always so busy and yet their is a finite amount of time in the day. I had to figure out what in my daily schedule could give a little time. What I realized is that what I wanted to work on would likely hit a lot of social science credits, so we thought, “What if this was my ‘history’ class?”

I worked on overdrive with my mentors in order to put together a document to pitch the idea of an Independent Project to our administration. The end of the semester though was a very crazy time for me both in and out of school, so I got approved with the intent of needing the first few weeks of second semester to still work on the planning details.

 

One of the first tasks I had was to figure out how I would devote my ID time, especially after the reMoVe10 design brief gained so much momentum after first semester. The design brief given to us by the Mayor of Sandy Springs, was designed to be a project we worked on during a single semester. However, our school admin, representatives from the Sandy Springs Council, and our new partners at Georgia Commute Options all got so fired up about the work we’ve been doing, that we realized this project needed to continue. 16387341_10154593513538277_4820722959124524604_n.jpg

Because of this decision to change the scope of the project, our team had to look back at our team roles and norms and decide how best to continue based on plans that were already set for second semester. I already had plans to work on my Independent Project work, and another team mate was already in the process of another design brief opportunity. Therefore, we added a new member to our team, and I used the month of January to waning out of my position as team leader to make a smoother transition for the new team. My plan is to continue to work with the reMoVe10 team, but more as a consultant for them to help give feedback and provide assistance at specific events.

{Small necessary tangent: This last month was honestly really hard for me, because I naturally find myself in a leadership role in the sense of “project manager,” so it was challenging to work on stepping back and being a leader by pushing others to take a leadership role. However, I think it was something important for me to work on because part of a leaders role should always be to coach others to lead.}

IMG_6691.JPGWhile continuing to work with the reMoVe10 team this past month, I used 4th period (my Independent Project time) to start further brainstorming what my video will look like, while getting a Film Course 101 tutorial from a mentor, and continuing to find ways I can discover and experiment with changes in education specifically in regards to the role of student voice. So far I’m diving deep into essential questions such as “What motivates people to learn?” “Where does ‘passion’ fit into education?” and “What gives students agency?” as my design drivers, though I believe as I start to interview people the story line will become even more clear.

I’ve learned that with documentaries one of the best things to do is to just press record and start filming. So now that I’ve officially had my last day full time with the reMoVe10 team (last Wednesday) I’ve been gearing up to dive all in on this Independent Project using my 8 hours and 40 minutes a week (between ID time and my new Independent Project specific time) to research, film, and synthesize information about the social science of education change. We pushed “purchase” on some new awesome film equipment yesterday, and now the fun (and intense) work is about to really start!

Glad to be Exhausted

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Wow I’m exhausted after today. I always forget how tiring design thinking can be until I spend a day going through a challenge and then stop, only to find myself drifting off to sleep.

The reason I find it so exhausting is because design thinking requires so much constant energy and brain power. You are constantly trying to keep moving forward and observing, analyzing, empathizing, synthesizing, prototyping, iterating, interviewing, pitching, storytelling, etc. (Not in any particular order.) Not to mention the entire time you are working with several other people that you’re trying to learn more about in order to best work together and keep the whole team on track and moving in a positive direction; which sometimes means pivoting your idea and going back 5 steps in order to move forward 10.

At the end of day 2 of fuse16 today, I looked around and you could see how tired everyone was. Everyone was excited about their prototypes and empowered by the users, and that just makes it all the more tiring, because when you’re invested in a project you give it your all and that is what makes design thinking tiring. At least we’re tired for a good cause though, so it’s like a good tired. Like when you just played an intense game of soccer with no subs, so you feel as if you’re about to pass out; however, your team won because you stayed in the entire time so at the same time you’re on cloud 9 by the end of the game because you accomplished what seemed impossible!

I always say, even half a day of design thinking makes me more tired at the end of the day then just a normal day of classes. However, I wouldn’t trade that half of a day to not be tired, because the feeling I get from seeing my work impact my user is worth every minute of stretching our brain muscles to the max.

So I’m glad that I can barely hold my eyes open right now, because that means we had a great day of meaningful working.

This is Our Story-The End

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I haven’t posted in a very long time, and it’s just been the two busiest weeks of the year for me: performing Shrek the Musical (which went amazingly well!!!!), iFest 2016 (the time where all of the high school showcases their year long project based learning and ID always has some of our work set up to talk about), having interviews for prefect positions (it’s like our student government for the entire school which is a step above our student council), having 4 of the biggest tests of the year, working on college essay drafts, having weird schedules for Prom yesterday, getting ready for performing The Lion King this coming week, trying to get experiments done in ID with middle schoolers, plus on top of everything this weekend 4 of us in ID are participating at “Creative Hack Weekend” with #re-imagine/atl where we worked for 6 hours today and 4 hours tomorrow on problem solving issues in Atlanta.

That was a horrible run on-sentence I know, but it was a loooong two weeks.  I was stressed, I am tired, and yet I still had a lot of fun; that’s the story of my life (“oh ya”#shrekpuns ).

I feel like stories have been kind of the theme of the last 2 weeks even more than normal.

Particularly I’ve been a tad disgruntled about thinking about my college essay because with the amount of stories I’ve told in this week alone about my life, it just feels so hard to only get to write one story for colleges to read. There is so much more to a person than one essay about them and it’s not like you can just summarize everything about you in that essay because then it’s a bad essay because it isn’t specific. However, that means we have the daunting task of narrowing our life story down to just one specific moment which now has to become “the moment” in you life, and yet we are only 17…

In person it typically feels easy for me to semi-subtly bring up various things that I’ve done and ideas I have about my future based on my experiences, but in writing it is much harder to choose what to say because you have so much time just to think and ponder and everything comes to mind. There are just so many stories out there to tell, and as many different ways to tell them; and this is only the end of the beginning because even just this school year isn’t over yet!

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“Day Off”

CbcJXqCUYAAGHN1.jpgA day off from school doesn’t mean a day off from learning. It doesn’t even have to mean a day out of the building for some of us.

A little over half of ID cohort members decided to spend our “day off” at school working on our ventures because we feel that strongly about their importance and want as much time as possible to work on them.

What was great about today was that we got to plan exactly how we wanted “school” to be run today. There were teachers around, because they all had to come in today, but there was no one telling us what to do, when to do it, or how to do it. I mean we even decided for ourselves when we thought was a good time to come in and leave, and it wasn’t like anyone was taking role saying “if you aren’t here there will be punishments later.” And yet everyone that agreed to come ahead of time was there. img_3989_720.jpg

My team came in at 10, and I felt more rested and ready for the day then I’ve felt in a while. I didn’t come in sleepy for the first hour or so because I actually got enough sleep that night (and I went to bed around the same time as a normal school day and got all of my homework for tomorrow done yesterday). We all showed up ready to work and that’s what we did.

We started the day by just discussing our game plan for what we wanted to accomplish and how we were going to get there. Our goal: 2 full scale next level prototypes by the end of the day.

We then got to work diagraming on white boards and pieces of paper, 3D printing pieces we designed, cutting coroplast (the material used to create plastic signs for yards) to fit the dimensions of our laser cutter, and updating our CAD model with new dimensions.

Around 12:30 we took a quick break for lunch. Breaks are important and we made sure to take a few through out the day. Some were just us siting and needing to digest, others involved teachers walking by and getting us curious about 3D printed food, and still others involved talking to the other ID team and giving them advice/feedback on their work. (Small tangent, I had kind of a nerdy proud moment earlier today when members of the Design Sprint team asked me for advice on giving a pitch. It was just a cool thing to think about us a team having people becoming experts in various areas enough to ask each other for feedback and advice rather than always turning towards adults.)

Now I will say, we did not accomplish all of our original goals for the day. After having our materials all ready to send to the laser cutter, we had some communication problems that made it not possible for us to use the laser printer today. We did however attempt to use our brand new CNC machine that was set up today! No one really knows just how to use it yet, but we started working with some of our mentors to figure out how it works. So far we’ve learned more about orienting it, learned to not push the “Stop and Flush” button because it just sends the drill into the table, and learned that coroplast does not work with the CNC machine as predicted. Our theory is that because coroplast is made with threads and the CNC machine cuts things by spinning, the threads just get caught up in the machine which made a messy final product that would not work for trying to create anything sturdy. We also did successfully design our own handle that will work with a specific type of screw that we are using for our product!

So both the fail bell and the progress bell were rung today, and both represented important learning moments in our journey.

We finished the day by discussing how we want to proceed, because tomorrow we are having an internal with the rest of ID. We originally planned on using this time to test the building process of our product, but since the prototypes are not ready, we instead have decided to still have the internal but pivot the purpose of it. Tomorrow we will instead be showing some pictures, and the smaller prototypes and system flow which we do currently have. It’s important to share out with your full team every now and then so that they know what you have been learning and working on.

School was not in session today, but learning doesn’t start or stop with “school”. Today we were in the real world. We set our own goals, schedules, and breaks. We found help when we needed it. We used tools around us to support our learning. We had fun working with a clear purpose in mind: we are designing for a need in our community, and that is something worth going to school on our “day off” to keep working on solving.

 

Make Your Mark Event

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Don’t you just love it when something you’ve been working really hard on for a long time goes well?!

First a short backstory:

Last year after mine and Kat’s first semester AP Lang showcase, we got a good amount of feedback from others as well as each other about trying to brainstorm more ways that we could have larger conversations with people. Rather than just the digital conversations we have, we have been trying to find ways to have discussions face-to-face because it often brings another layer to the dialogue.

Then over winter break Kat and I read The Great Gatsby which sent us on a path of curiosity about the ideology behind the “American Dream” and dreams, success, and achievement in general. After analyzing a number of videos, articles, poems, pictures, short stories, and even a few songs, Kat and I managed to pick 6 that we wanted to write dialectical journal entries on. (You can see more about the assignment here.) By the end of that week we had a big discussion with each other about things that became clearer, patterns we’ve observed, and questions that came up from our research.

What we realized is that the American Dream is such a controversial topic with a lot of interesting perspectives and other elements that can come up.

This leads me to today where we had our very first (of many I suspect) “Make Your Mark Event”. (The name is in prototype mode still so that may change, but for now it’s sticking with me.)

We started with an email and a question: “Dreams: What do you want your mark to be?” We sent this email out to the entire high school (faculty included), with a sign up genius attached. On it was room for 10 students and 6 faculty members to select themselves to join this non required event; you have no idea how happy we were when all 16 spots were full. (And we had close to that many end up coming in the end- though not all were originally signed up.)

Now on the one hand we obviously wanted to just be able to have a discussion with more people, but being the ambitious people that we are, we had a few other goals in mind as well. We purposefully  invited both students and teachers to this event because we wanted to challenge the norm that kids are always the students and adults are always the teachers. We brought students and faculty members into the same room because we wanted to hear perspectives from multiple different people, but either way, we the “students” were going to be leading this conversation.

Another goal of ours was to challenge the norms on what a discussion can look like. We wanted to get people up on their feet, talking in small and large groups, brainstorming their own questions so they would take ownership of the conversation, and we wanted their to be some physical take away.

So this is a snap shot of our flow: We started with the pizza and some light conversation;t hen played a John Green video to get people thinking; then broke into groups to brainstorm questions; rotated groups to chose some of our favorite questions; had about a 15 minute discussion; then we even added a bit of a makers challenge at the end where we made our own stamps that represented what we want “our mark” to be.

And I think everything went rather well. Everyone seemed engaged and enjoying themselves. I know we got a good bit of feedback specifically about how people really liked the stamp activity as a take away; they said there was a clear connection to the topic, though the transition could have been smoother, and it was something they weren’t expecting but had fun with!

However, I do think for the future we could improve it by spending more time in the discussion portion. A lot of people liked the conversation, and they wished we would have more time so that we could go even deeper into some of the questions.

 One of my big take aways in terms of the conversation itself is this idea of how the American Dream has changed over time and while it seems that “The American Dream” has typically been more based on a capitalistic market where the goal is to have a lot of money. However, the dream is changing and now people are less concerned with trying to attain this one dream and instead want to focus more on their individual uniqueness and achieve recognition in their field of interest despite having or not having money. Money does not mean success or happiness necessarily. Then the question becomes how does society help people achieve success now that the dream has changed? The overall consensus seemed to be that society as a whole, and education as a whole, does not yet provide this support; however, even some students mentioned things about MVPS, like iProject and ID that do seem to really support the new dream for students to have freedom to explore their personal dreams which are often not the same as their neighbors.

What made me most happy about today though, was that several people asked about doing it again! Someone even said, “What if every Friday we just had deep conversations about life while eating pizza?!” I’m so excited that people enjoyed today, and I think Kat and I have both agreed that we want to do another so I’m excited to see how we tweak things to make the next one even better!

Making Latin Art

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(Sorry about my sticker being in yellow, I know it makes it hard to see in the picture.) 

The Makers Movement is spreading; are you on board?

This story requires a bit of a backstory.

A week or so ago one of my mentors, Tedwards as we call him, walked by during my Latin class and stuck a vinyl sticker on the glass wall. It said “et tu Baroody” and had a picture of the colosseum. My entire class thought it was great, but our marvelously OCD class got frustrated with the fact that it was slightly crooked on the glass. Our natural conclusion was that we needed more, so that it looked like it was purposefully crooked.

Then, earlier this week, Tedwards came to take down the sticker and a few of my friends said no we wanted it and wanted more! So we set up a time for Tedwards to come work with my Latin class, so we could make more Latin stickers!

This Friday was that day!

We were given the challenge to help Tedwards with a Guerrilla Art idea he’s been wanting to start up for a while.

Guerilla art is a fun and insidious way of sharing your vision with the world. It is a method of art making which entails leaving anonymous art pieces in public places. It can be done for a variety of reasons, to make a statement, to share your ideas, to send out good karma, or just for fun. –Keri Smith

So each of us was tasked with picking another high school teacher and creating a sticker for them that connected their class to something about Latin.

While some may think that this day was just a pure day of fun, I think the mixture of Latin and Makers proved to be a great day of learning, which also happened to be fun! I mean just think about everything we accomplished:

  1. We learned how to use a new tool– the vinyl printer.
  2. We worked on Latin prose composition when writing our Latin phrases.
  3. We learned some History while picking what Latin images best conveyed our message to the other teacher.
  4. We promoted the use of art and technology as a learning tool in the classroom by tagging other teachers with our stickers. (Most haven’t been tagged yet because most of us hadn’t finished Friday so we worked over the weekend on finishing.)
  5. We got students excited about learning and talking about their experience with other kids that aren’t in the class.

Sounds like a pretty  productive, successful, and fun day to me! I love it when things that start as a little joke turn into a great learning experience. 🙂

Start of Something New

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Last night was the 10th year anniversary of High School Musical, and you bet I watched the movie with the cast commentary last night on Disney Channel! It’s crazy to think that movie first played 10 years ago. It feels like it was only yesterday…

That movie, while extremely cheesy, makes me so happy. I mean it was a part of my child hood. (Even though technically I only started to like it after a little while of it being out.) I still know just about all of the words and several of the dances too.

One song that has been stuck in my head all day is “The Start of Something New”  (which is slightly ironic because I missed that part of the movie last night).

The song has seemed fitting today though because many new things have happened. I got my new piccolo!! (I had never played one before today and that was interesting, but I’m excited to learn!) Our ReSpIn team in ID worked with the laser cutter and made huge progress in terms of design concepts and connects. Kat and I have been working on planning a big discussion around the “American Dream” and success, which we made a lot of great progress on today in AP Lang.  And tomorrow is my first meeting with the MViFi team now that we’ve actually announced that I’m the first MViFi Fellow, and I’m so excited! (I finally put my shirt on today that we joke about being a bowling team shirt, and it’s kind of giant on me considering there are only guy sizes, but it makes me laugh in a happy way anyway.)

I don’t know why exactly, but it just feels like a lot of “new” is coming soon to my life. It hasn’t quite hit yet, but there’s something in the wondering air…

(I feel the need to explain the term “wondering air,” it basically means “breeze” but it became a joke in Latin today because when we translated a piece literally it said “wondering air” which we all found funny and I thought it was fit in this situation for some reason.)

I Want Off the Train

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What happened to the drive? -The motivation?

Why have I stopped without hesitation?

What happened to my spirit? -The one pulling me to the sky.

It seems my wings have been broken. It seems I can not fly.

I haven’t blogged in several days. Far more than I’d like to admit.

The funny thing is that I’ve been thinking about procrastination. How our minds need creative breaks; time to divert in order to later commit. Time to relax before rebooting. Time to explore the nonsense for inspiration.

I’ve been on the procrastination train for several days. Away from blogging that is. But not by choice. No, not by choice at all.

Late nights till 12:30am at least. Performing, coaching, studying all day. The hour to blog just seems to get away.

But more than just blogging; yes, much more than just that. When no one is looking I’ve not been myself.

That passion for my work– especially in ID. It just isn’t there, at least not that I can see.

I go home not feeling driven. I’ve been leaving the work for at school. Not even my Gold Award has seemed to move.

I know it’s a problem. I think that’s quite clear. But where’s the opportunity? Where’s the road back? The procrastination train can’t be a one way track.

It goes round and round, on it’s long windy track, but to quote Miley Cyrus, “we always find our way back home.”

Don’t we?

I mean the train of thought in Shark Boy and Lava Girl may make us think differently- considering it never travels quite clearly- but even that train with all it’s twisting and turning hasn’t yet left the planet, so there’s that for a fact.

Why is it that sometimes we can be so excited about something, but then as time goes on it just seems uninviting? I just don’t understand. I have no comprehension. I mean even right now I’d like to be watching the High School Musical 10 year reunion, but instead I’m caught not near a TV and thus this blog is finally happening.

How do I get re-excited about my projects? How does it become something I just can’t put down? Like a good book that makes you ignore everyone for the purpose of finishing in a day?

I know I need to work when no one is watching, but instead I wander and wonder. And is that so bad? Maybe not all the time. I’ve enjoyed time with friends, family, and searching online. Buying a piccolo, coaching at a meet, performing a show all about feet. Watching new shows and choreographing new dance, even going to a basketball game- would you believe it?

I’ve been doing these things, and it’s been quite fun. But my work lately hasn’t been giving me this same thrill.

This train is fun to ride, but at some point the train comes back right? Back to the stop of productivity? Back to a time when you fell motivated to fly?

But how do we get back there? I’d like to try. But creating motivation really is like trying to fly: it’s nearly impossible on demand.

So I’ve looked to  old blog posts that tell me to “jump in,” but that advice doesn’t help when I’m in but can’t swim.

Now don’t get me wrong, I have been productive on some level. I have a role as Curriculum Manager for my current venture and have looked at many objectives, essential questions, and emails lately. Even learned about vinyl cutting and laser printing.

But I know I’m not in it. Not 100%. Because when I go home it’s not on my mind. I don’t feel the drive. I don’t keep working even when I have time. Instead I just wander along on my path not knowing where I’ll be going next.

I hope I find it again. The engagement in all that I’m working on and in. I want to want to work when I’m out of site of peering eyes. When it’s just me and my computer with my tiring eyes. I love the feeling of being excited, working non stop because I’m having fun. I know this can’t happen all the time, but I’ve been in this rut and am ready to escape.

I’m ready to get off of the train if only I could figure out how.

 

 

Memorable Disruptive Learning

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I just realized today that my current school class schedule is the longest schedule we’ve kept at MVPS in close to 3 years now. I remember how crazy things were the last few years when every month is seemed we would be switching the schedule and have classes and breaks at different times during the day.

At the time, these constant changes were a bit frustrating because no one could keep up with them. However, looking back, I actually kind of enjoyed these constant changes.

Life is often most interesting when our everyday flow is disrupted. Those moments when you sporadically go to New York with 30 minutes notice, or take a family weekend trip to go zip lining,  or jump in a cab and take a ferry to New Jersey to get food from a bakery on TV. (These things have all actually happened to me by the way.) Even the smaller moments, like going on a field trip, or moving class outside, or venturing up to the roof, all make for an interesting story worth remembering.

I often find myself getting most curious and creative when my schedule is disrupted, and then I also tend to remember these moments the best.

Now that this semester is officially over, I’ve had several conversations with friends about high school. And to be honest, for many people my age at this point it is almost repetitive too much. While we may be learning new material, the everyday flow of knowledge is the same. Same people. Same classes. Same schedule. Day after day.

The beginnings of school years are always so exciting because you’re in new classes, with new groups of people, with new teachers, and you still are just trying to figure out how everyone works together in space and time.

Then we get into a flow. This flow can sometimes be great! However, after spending long enough in the flow, you get on auto pilot which takes away some of that curious excitement.

I wonder how everyday could have some of that curious excitement. I wonder what would happen if everyday had a disruptive adventure that took us on new learning journeys lead by curiosity and creativity. It seems like a lot of great and memorable learning moments could come from these. We can do great things when we’re curious, and there is a lot we can learn when we go on crazy new adventures.