First Lap

I’ve never done a Flashlab for only four people before today, but I think it was a success none the less! (I enjoyed it at least…)

I love seeing the faces of people when they finish their first design challenge and get so excited about it.

We had a fun day exploring ways to improve the morning commute experience and I feel like we have a team that will embrace the uncomfortable as we start to tackle our actual design challenge tomorrow.


External Expert Lectures

To build off of my post from last night, I had another instance of course material overlapping today.

In Grand Challenges today we had a guest lecturer. She is currently an Intellectual Property lawyer who graduated from GT as an engineer in 2001. Her entire talk was all about the process to receiving a patent/trademark/copyright (whatever fit the situation) and talking about things you would include in an application and important notes on timing of the process.

Well, it just so happens that my “legal aspects of business” class is currently on a chapter all about intellectual property… I literally had been reading in my textbook last night about this topic and one of the cases mentioned was then something the guest speaker specifically brought up. (The case was about Apple suing Samsung over a trademark with the design of their phones and how Apple won because you can in fact trademark the design of a product and Samsungs was too similar.)

So I literally only had two classes today which were both about the exact same thing… However, the big difference was that one was taught my an external expert. Technically our legal aspects professor also does research in this area and is probably considered an expert, but there is something extra compelling about bringing an outside person in to lead a discussion about work that is relevant to them daily.

Especially in high schools when teachers are often not experts in their particular subject in the sense of continuously doing research or work in that field (partially because high school subjects are so vague and broad that no one could truly be an expert on the entire subject we try to cram into a year, but that’s a topic for another time), it seems that bringing in external experts is such a logical idea. I can’t think of anything noteworthy that we learned in my legal aspects class/from the textbook, that we didn’t also cover while speaking with the external expert. Plus the class she was giving this talk to had nothing to do with legal stuff typically (she was asked to come in because the logical next step with developing innovative prototypes is to learn about how to protect your intellectual property) so it wasn’t like she was told “specifically cover these details and you can look at these pages of our textbook as reference.”

I just wish more schools would take advantage of bringing in external experts from time to time. Not only to give feedback on student work but sometimes just to lead a lecture. While I believe the current education paradigm needs to be transformed, I do not think the notions of lectures are a “bad” thing; they can sometimes be very engaging and helpful at times when you truly just need to gain information on a specific topic.

Latin Class Goes Underground

WE’VE ARRIVED IN FRANCE!!!! It’s Interim Week for MVPS which means that groups of high schoolers and faculty are off to different places around the world for a week of learning while immersed in cultural experiences. Personally I’m on the France trip where we will be spending 7 days in Paris and Normandy this week.

IMG_2351.JPGWe landed at 5:30am and have been going non stop ever since, so I’m exhausted and jet lagged like everyone else; therefore this post will be short. I’d also like to preface this post by saying that like most of my posts, I wasn’t required by any teacher to write this as a form of assessment, but I will be reflecting on my learning adventures throughout the week.

First off, it goes without saying that the food was AMAZING!!! I’ve had a lot of oddly timed meals since getting to the airport at 2pm on Friday, but ever since arriving in France we’ve been eating some amazing breads, cheeses, and meats as expected.

IMG_6771.JPGHowever, my favorite part of the day was exploring the catacombs. Even though we had to wait in line for about 3 hours in fairly chilly weather (we did take turns leaving the line for another pastry thankfully), the catacombs of Paris were entirely worth the wait. It was incredible to see the walls of bones still perfectly stacked up after hundreds of years. And also, being 1 of 3 AP Latin student and having 2 of us plus our teacher on this trip, I actually really enjoyed getting to translate some of the written pieces in the tunnels.
IMG_6772.JPGNo one really speaks Latin anymore, and people constantly say it’s a pointless language to take, but I enjoy the stories, culture, and history we get to learn from reading ancient works. However, there aren’t many chances we have to actually practice Latin in the “real world,” so it was really fun to get to be one of 3 people nerding out about being able to actually understand some of what was written on the walls. It was also really gratifying to know after taking Latin for 6 years that there’s clear evidence we’ve improved, because now we can somewhat translate on site things we’ve never seen before. A grade only tells you so much about your abilities, but being able to actually apply what you learn while out in the “real world” is so much more fun and proving of your knowledge growth over time.

Needless to say, the trip’s off to a great start and I know there’s more greatness to come!

The Dreamer in Us All


So many great and fantastics thoughts, ideas, and stories were shared today!!! My head is bursting with inspiration which is a fantastic feeling! (Once you get over the whole head bursting part…)

Between an AP Lang collab-course meeting, the last FUSE15 flight school coaches meet up before the big event, and then seeing Tomorrowland I feel like my imagination in running wild with curiosity. I feel like what some may consider to be childlike, like I’m floating on a cloud where anything is possible.

Well if you have to be a child to feel this way then I can tell you right now that I’m not going to grow up to be an adult. I feel very lost girl-ish right now (like Jane who is Wendy’s daughter if you’ve ever seen Peter Pan 2), with that whole idea of “I never want to grow up because I want to keep having fun playing pretend”. I think of it a little differently thought.

I’ll still grow up, that is inevitable, but when I grow up I want to still be me and having fun doing so. I want to still be a dreamer, an explorer, a pioneer, a designer, a magician, a wonderer, an imagineer, a wizard, a creator, a challenger, a linchpin, a visionary (in my head this is a noun for my purposes), an innovator, a learner, a leader.

Age doesn’t have to determine who we are. As you get older you can potentially gain far more experience which can make you wiser perhaps, but knowledge isn’t finite therefore curiosity can’t be either. It isn’t humanly possible to stop being curious, that just doesn’t make any sense no matter what kind of logic you use. And if anyone ever tries to use some sort of logic to disprove this, I won’t believe them, so like I do at the end of any mathematical proof I’m now going to say “Iz-Proofa!”

It’s not the “kid” in me that makes me overly excited or curious about ideas sometimes, it’s the dreamer in me.

I’ve only seen the movie once and I know this quote won’t be accurate, but my favorite part of Tomorrowland was when the young boy was asked, “How will this benefit the world if it’s just for fun?” to which he answered, “Inspiration. If I saw someone flying around in one of these I would be inspired to go create something too. Wouldn’t that benefit the world?” Yes! Yes it would!!! Fun is just as important in life as most anything, and inspiration is why people keep striving to make the world a better place, and it’s a major myth to think only kids can recognize that or that only kids can be creative dreamers. It’s a myth I’d like to put an end to.

Growing up doesn’t need to be seen as a bad thing; it’s a part of life and a pretty important part. But growing up to stop being a dreamer, that just seems pretty sad and a much less enjoyable lifestyle.

So as I get ready to go to bed tonight, I wish you all sweet dreams, even when you’re awake.