S2 – 32: Choir Concert

We recently had a choir concert, which went pretty well, considering all of the things we had to do in such a short amount of time. We have been practicing nearly ten songs all semester preparing for this concert. Show choir didn’t perform, as we had out concert earlier. When we performed at the PAC in the high school, there were an insane number of people there. Once everyone got on the risers, we were very squished and I felt quite claustrophobic. I also helped turn pages for my mom, who was the piano player, during the boys’ songs.

I think this experience fits in best with the Enrichment category. We got to explore new music and learn from it. We got to watch professionals perform the same pieces we were doing and learn from it. We had many practices, that were preplanning for the concert. We had to skip some classes to meet altogether when it got nearer to the concert. We were assessed on our performance at the concert.

This helped me grow as a learner and as a person, especially since I would like to get into a musical career as I get older. I learned more about music in the singing sense, and got to experience it more. It was a fun and great experience for me. I love to sing and it got me more practice for the future. When I sing in the future, I can use what I learned from this experience to help me become even better.

S2 – 31: Genius Hour (BOOKS)

Can you tell I love to read and write? Because I do. And therefore, I starting writing a book for my Genius Hour project, and recently presented it.

To prepare for our presentation, we had to do several things. Firstly, we had to write a script. There were about eight questions we had to answer within this script, and there was a time requirement for it as well. Next, we had to make a visual aid. It was asked to be minimal, with little to no words. I simply just had the cover of my book. After that, we were told to practice multiple times and come up with a time for your entire presentation. Mine was around nine minutes. You could have it between five and eleven minutes.

When I presented, I wasn’t too nervous, which was a good thing. I had practiced a lot, so it went fairly smoothly. I talked about many things. I explained why I wrote my book. I talked about the book itself (Fly Away Again) and read a small snippet from it. I said what the best part of doing my project was as well as what I would change if I did it again. I said what I learned from the project. I spoke about the problems I had to overcome while doing my project. I tried to add some jokes and sarcasm in it as well. All in all, I think it went pretty well.

I think this entire project would fit best with the In-Depth Projects dimension. As a big reader, I used my favorite authors as well as other authors as my mentors to aid with my writing. I watched Ted Talks and other presentations to prepare for my final presentation. I made a conclusion of my project and presented it in front of an audience. Finally, I assessed myself in the PELPs on the project as well as was assessed by my teacher.

This project helped me grow both as a learner and a person. I learned a lot about writing and presenting, as well as learned other things that will help me in the future. It was a great experience for me, as I was doing something I really enjoyed. The presentations were also challenging, but fun, and I enjoyed the experience. I can use my presentation and my project in general for uses of future speeches and presentations as well as when I continue writing in the future.

S2 – 30: Frog Dissections (That’s Disgusting!)

I’m not one of those super girly-girls who hates anything guts and blood, but I’ll admit that the frog dissection was not the most fun experience I had. We were told to partner up and then were given a packet and basically just received the get-go. I was partnered with Charly Froerer, who did most of the cutting because, I mean, come on, it was an entire frog! I’d rather they be alive and in the wild than dead in the classroom smelling like formaldehyde.

We had to cut open the frog, find certain body parts, and document about them and what they do to the system. Cutting the frog open was probably the worst part, honestly. The rest was fairly simple – take out certain parts and look at them. I honestly found it somewhat interesting (along with mildly disgusting, of course). Frogs have a giant liver with three lobes. We had to take it all out in order to see most of the rest of the frog. The fat bodies were these weird stringy yellow things (that kind of looked like spaghetti squash…which I will never think of the same again).

I think this project fits in with the Enrichment catergory. We got to explore new areas of science. It’s not that we never have dissected anything, of course – but this was more in-depth and very hands on. It also was a sort of investigation, in my opinion. We got to learn independently/in a small group about something and go deeper into it (very literally). I would consider this an activity that would fit in best with this catergory for those reasons.

This project helped me grow as a learner. I got to experience a new way of learning things, and it was something that I will remember and learn from in the future as well. I would consider it a good experience, as everyone in class learned a lot and got to do something that they might never get to do again. The next time I do something like this, I can definitely go back to this experience. Firstly, it would help me get over some of my squeamishness. Also, I can remember that if you don’t listen very closely, you can irrevocably mess up and it would not be beneficial. All in all, it was an experience I can learn from now and in the future and that I think lots of people enjoyed.

S2 – 29: Show Choir (They Always Said You Had to Work Hard to Achieve Greatness)

     Show choir, though a fun experience, is also a stressful and, to be honest, quite a crazy one. I got into it through audition – it is a select group that is divided by grade. My group has around 55 people in it, which is quite a lot, and I think it can have upsides and downsides. More people can mean a better overall performance as well as the implication that we have some very talented seventh graders However, it also means more work that has to be done over and over as well as more people becoming distracted and not listening.

     In show choir, we work seemingly non-stop, and we always seem to have concerts coming up. We have had workshops, dress rehearsals, parent concerts, and extra practices. We worked for over a month on one song, and then suddenly learned the other two in about three rehearsals. It was unbalanced, stressful, and definitely imperfect. We are under a lot of pressure, but it’s an experience to learn with and from.

     I think this relates to the ALM aspect of Enrichment. This entire experience was one of exploration, as it was something I had never done before and decided to try. Our cultural activities involved seeing other show choirs perform and getting help by professionals to critique our work. We went on tour around to the elementary schools in West Des Moines as well. I think these things and show choir overall fit in with Enrichment.

     Show choir was definitely something that I grew from, both as a person and as a learner. All of the crazy last-minute practices and unbalanced timing was something I could learn time management from. Also, being someone who would like to become a musician as I get older, it helped me grow as a musical person as well. Overall, I think it was a good experience that I enjoyed, though I think it could have been even better if we had been more organized. In the future, I will hopefully do more music-related things like show choir, and I could take some of the new found knowledge, like dance moves and how (not) to organize things like a select group.

     Although, yes, I ranted quite a bit about how many things I didn’t like about the show choir experience, overall I did enjoy it and will most likely do it again next year. Hopefully, by then, people will learn when to be quiet and listen so we don’t have to rush for time.

S2 – 28:

Question of the Week: What would you do if you woke up in another country and no one could understand you?

     Okay, this would be bad. I can barely say ‘hello’ in Spanish, much less maintain a conversation in any language other than English.

     First of all, let’s hope I had my phone with me. That would be great, because I could use translation apps and such. If that wasn’t the case, however, I would have a much harder time.

     I would try to communicate with others through sign language of some sort and body language in general. Then, maybe I could figure out how to get back home and such. If not, I’m doomed. Maybe I could have someone with me? Yes? Would my alien invaders be so kind as to have a relative or friend wake up alongside me to be eternally doomed? Okay, thanks.

S2 – 27: Could I Even Survive Such A Travel?

Question of the Week: If you could only take three people with you on a trip around the world, who would you bring and why?

     To any of my friends: If I don’t choose you, please don’t be offended. You guys are still fantastic (:

     A trip around the world would be fun, no doubt, but it would also be tedious. Such an adventure would require people I trust wholeheartedly and people with a good sense on life and the world. I think having people like that would be fun and we would all have a good time.

     The first person I would bring along on this journey would probably be my cousin, Felicia. Although we are technically family, she is my best friend. We enjoy very similar things and almost always get along. We have many of the same friends as well. She is a great, intelligent person who I think is wiser than her age (the same as mine) and I know I could trust her to come with me if she wanted to. We would probably want to go to see ruins of the ancient places of Egypt, Greece, and Rome. We would also probably want to go to Italy and eat pizza. Pizza is good.

     The second person I would choose would probably be my friend Hailey. She is my other best friend (who isn’t related to me) and although she lives in Canada, we also get along very well and enjoy similar things. All three of us, including Felicia, are friends and I would consider us pretty smart and responsible. A trip with these people would be very fun.

     Finally, well, the third person would be very hard to choose. I feel like I couldn’t choose anyone from school since the former people I mentioned don’t know who I would choose here, would it be somebody I knew from school. If I had to choose, it might be another girl I know, Alara, who is all of our friends, and again, we enjoy similar things, or Geneveive (aka Gigi), who has the same ordeal.

     In conclusion, a trip to travel across the world would be fantastic, especially with some of by best friends. I would totally let this happen if I could!

S2 – 26: Wild Hairstyles and Awkward Denials (only because it rhymes)

Question of the Week: What’s the wildest hairstyle you’ve ever seen?

     I really want some crazy hairstyle. That’d be fun. Fun fun fun fun fun.

     I’m bored. But, writing is fun, so let’s have some fun, shall we? We’re asking about the cool, wild hairstyles you might see in your life. I, for one, have seen some fun things. Lots of completely dyed hair and half-shaved heads with odd patterns and that one time in fifth grade when I was at Urbandale a kid named Wyatt shaved a U for Urbandale on his head. Those are probably the wildest, but also very fun. I kind of want to dye part of my hair a bright color. JUST FOR FUN LOL.

     Alright, I’m done.