One of my celebrations of success is my This I Believe Essay. In this essay titled “Life Is Best Experienced With Friends” I wrote about an incredible adventure I was able to experience with good friends. I tried to not only show the fun of the experience but also show the struggle it was to make it happen. A couple lines at the beginning and end of my essay are “This trip wasn't the easiest to make possible. When Wolf Creek gets snow it doesn't snow just a little it always snows a lot and that has its upsides and its downsides. A downside happens to be the drive. It took us hours to make it over the treacherous icy road.” This quote from my writing is a good examples of how I tried to show the fun and the struggle of the trip we took. I also tried to really add a lot of visual description to make it as if the reader was experiencing the trip with us. This quote from the text here talks more on my point of how I was trying to relay part of it as a fun trip not just a struggle. “Everything that I have done with friends has been a greater experience than alone and I'm really grateful for that.” While I was writing this I reflected a lot on how I should value my friends and family a lot more because everything I've done with my friends and family has been so much better than alone. This experience has shaped me to value my friendships more and that's why this project has been so valuable to me this past semester.
My second success or celebration is my math spreadsheet unit/project. For this project we had to get into small groups and complete progressively harder tasks. Some of the tasks we did were “Make a table with multiple colours” and things like that. We completed these task with spreadsheet skills we were taught as we went through the spreadsheet project, some of the skills we used where using spreadsheet formulas. I was super interested in this unit because I know I can use this skill outside of school in the real world. I also liked the way my group and I collaborated on the project. Instead of just dividing and conquering we did the tasks together and I learned more that way. This was one of the few units that I felt committed to and inspired to do. This is the kind of unit that I wish every unit was like because these are the types of learning that make me so thankful to have come to Animas. The skills that I learn from small projects like this is what is going to prepare me for my future outside of Animas. Every job has to do with at least the most basic understanding of math and these spreadsheet skills are bound to make things a lot more simple when I need to use my mathematical skills.
This short half of the year has already made me grow in group work skills. My biggest problem with group work has always been that i'd always try to be the leader of the group and not let others have the opportunity to share their ideas or opinions. During my freshman year our Rube Goldberg project was a huge example of this. Our group couldn't get along because we were always battling with our different ideas and could never could find a middle ground between our ideas. But since then I’ve grown out of that bad group work habit, I've been really working on letting others lead and let others share their ideas. But instead of last year a huge example of change i've seen in a project this year was the Take Action Project in Biology. Our goal was to choose a topic related to the ecosystem we chose. The biggest way I personally improved from this project was how I allowed others to lead and we all combined our ideas to choose our topic. A big part of succeeding at Animas is being able to do group work well, since this school is project based learning I find myself in groups a lot. I’m glad the school is that way because a lot of jobs these days involve you having to work in an environment with other co-workers and having to cooperate with them to get your job done. Also a huge reason I've decided to make the change to become a better group member is because another person's ideas and opinions are very important in a group project to make the most beautiful work possible.
Something I can really work on academically is finding commitment or inspiration for my school work. Throughout some of high school and even middle school i've never had any interest in school, but at Animas i've been finding some projects interesting but not most of my school work. A huge example of this was my spanish grade this year. I found that class really boring and it didn't help it was the last class of the day. I just couldn't commit to the work in that class. I didn't really try to find that commitment for my work either, which in turn my grades suffered from that decision. I've been thinking of solutions to try to find more inspiration with my school work and the best solution I can come up with is try to take things i'm passionate about outside school and apply it as best as possible to the work i'm doing. I'd take something like stuff I like, skateboarding, snowboarding, photoshop stuff and try to apply what I can to my work. The only problem would be if I couldn't apply anything to a less flexible topic, the only solution I see for that is to have a conversation with my teacher to see if we can come up with anything.
Another thing I could work on is some bad school work habits, this sort of ties into my first area of growth. The main problems I have involve bad work habits. Some of the bad work habits I had this year where when I would occasionally not do my work in school and then end up doing it in the middle of the night at home. I also would do this and then also end up doing it last second, these both are terrible habits to have. I had these problems a couple times throughout this year, I did this with the Things Fall Apart reading notes towards the end of the reading around chapters eighteen and higher. I also saw this happen during the logic unit in math two. These occasional bad habits I have with my school work all revolve around me not being able to commit or find inspiration for my school work, especially if I find the work very difficult or boring.
How can I find more inspiration or commitment for my schoolwork?