Sunday, April 6, 2014

A not-so-exciting two weeks

     Hello Everyone! I hope all is well! I must tell you that I did not plan my blog posts very well. Last post, I wrote about my experience at STOMP and the Leadership State Conference, leaving myself without much of a topic for this post. I apologize for my lack of planning, but I do have a topic for this week as well.
     Every Friday during 20 Time, we have started sharing our progress on our projects in order to give us a feel for how it is speaking in front of a group and what we are going to talk about in our presentations. Through listening to these updates, I have found that a handful of students have failed initially at their projects, but have kept going, or changed their goals to one that will be achievable within the time frame given. These friends of mine are showcasing what my presentation is going to be about. My whole presentation is going to be about how people can fail and not be perfect, as long as they do not give up on their cause.

     This project has been a great learning experience for me. I have learned, not only through my pursuit of music, but in many aspects of life, that, as much as I would like to be, I am not a perfect person. I will make mistakes, and I will fail. Obsessing over all of my mistakes and failures is not how I will be successful, it is the only way I can truly fail. Learning from my mistakes and valuing all of my victories is how I will be successful. My dad once showed me this picture, and it had a great impact on me. He showed me this when I was in analysis paralysis, which means that I was thinking too much and not functioning at all. While showing me this, he impressed upon me that all of the most famously successful people in life take the road on the right. This project, and observing my friend's projects, had illustrated to me that the road on the right is the road I need to start taking. Thanks for reading!

Monday, March 24, 2014

Great Progress

     Hello everyone! I did not publish a post last week, as directed by Mr. P. We have decided that a blog post every other week would be a better way to allow us to accomplish more between posts in order to provide more substance and less fluff.
     Last week, I was invited to see a group called Stomp. Stomp is a percussion group that preforms using only everyday objects, such as brooms, various pots, pans, and tubs, plastic bags, garbage cans, and even Zippo lighters. From my knowledge, this group started as a band of street percussionists, and expanded into a group prestigious enough to preform at the Fox Theatre in Detroit. As you can imagine, this performance was amazing to me, being a fellow percussionist. Throughout the show, I noticed that most of it was scripted, but parts of it were also improvisation, or making it up on the fly. These musicians communicated solely through their music, and were completely crisp and in sync. This show conveyed two main messages to me. One being that music is a language of its own, and learning to speak it is an incredible skill. The message is that your passions can take you anywhere. These street musicians expanded to worldwide tours, just through expressing their passion of music.
     This past weekend, I attended the Michigan wide Leadership conference as a part of student council. This is a yearly conference put on by MASC/MAHS, which stands for Michigan Association of Student Councils/Honors Societies. It is put on to develop us as leaders and help us improve our school tough instruction and the sharing of ideas among students on how to improve our schools. The theme of the conference this year was about being a Leadership Avalanche and how we can be a force of nature if we set our mind to it. While this conference was a ton of fun, I also learned a lot throughout it. We had a couple speakers, all with somewhat similar messages. I learned that you cannot set an agenda for your life, because life will throw you curve balls, and will throw you off course. Another theme that was expressed through the talks was that any goal can be reached, but it will require you to step outside your comfort zone and take risks. No real goal can be reached easily, you have to risk failing sometimes. This talk specifically hit me. I realized that I will not be able to accomplish anything in my life if I am too scared to do anything. Taking risks and failing is a part of life, it is how we grow and learn as people. Wayne Gretzky once said: "You miss 100% of the shots you don't take." I will have to take shots, and I will miss sometimes, but I have the possibility to be rewarded if I risk failing. Thank you for reading!

Sunday, March 9, 2014

Another Failure

     I am experiencing another failure right now. I have this massive research paper about Edgar Allan Poe due tomorrow, and I have been working on it for about 7 hours today, along with continuous work throughout the past week. I have come up with many ideas, but I keep rejecting them all because I'm afraid that they're not good enough. I'm afraid that they're going to be wrong, and I am getting nowhere on this essay. I am so afraid of failing this assignment that I am doing nothing. I have accomplished almost nothing in the 7 hours that I have been working today. I am gridlocked. The question that I am left with is this: How do I overcome this fear?
     I think that the only way to truly fail is to do nothing. My fear of failing itself is causing me to fail, since it is forcing me to do nothing. Therefore, I have figured that I have to just write something down. I have copious amounts of research and ideas that I have thought up but rejected. I have begun to realize that if something isn't perfect in my mind, I count it as a failure. Even my rough draft has to be perfect. I have set such high expectations for myself that I will never be able to fill my own shoes. I have written and erased and re-written this blog post numerous times already because I didn't think it was perfect. In an attempt to accept "good enough', I am going to post so I gont have the chance to rrase again.

Monday, March 3, 2014

A reflection on 20 Time

     Mr. Provenzano has asked us to address a couple of points in our blog post this week. What do we like/dislike about 20 Time this year, and what would we do differently. 
     I liked 20 Time a lot this year. It has given me an excuse to play the drums or guitar whenever I wanted because I could call it "homework", even though it's anything but work. It has given me a chance to further explore music with the chance to speak about my journey at the end of this year. It has also taught me that it is okay to fail. I have this syndrome that was brought about by Reginald VelJohnson and Jaleel White. This syndrome is abbreviated as F. O. F.  It is the fear of failure.  It's not an actual syndrome, just a mental roadblock on the road to success. This project has taught me more than I ever thought it could. The only part that I dislike is having to write a blog post every week, since I have a tendency to forget about them until the las minute, but they will come in handy when preparing my speech. 
     The only thing I would change is the fact that my other classes get in the way. My other academic classes have been piling on the heavy assignments, which take up immense amounts of time. I don't have as much time to work on my music since my other school classes are eating up all of my time. Sports are also a burden, but I manage to keep time for my music. I liked it so much, that I can't think of anything that I would change. Thanks for reading!

Sunday, February 23, 2014

African drumming

     Hey everyone, I hope you have all stayed warm! I did not have a blog post last week because South has been on our mid-winter break. In regards to my African drumming, I have contacted Stacy, but I have not received anything from her yet. I have been extremely excited to be learning about African Drumming from her, which has led me to think about what I can ask her. I want to ask her how she was able to learn about this type of drumming, as well as what she could tell me about any heritage that she knows of. Percussion instruments are some of the most widespread instruments, and also have the most heritage due to their timelessness and simplicity.
     I also want to ask her about how to play these instruments. Learning how to play these instruments will broaden my abilities and make me more versatile as a percussionist. These instrument interest me because the vast majority of them are made using all natural components, meaning that they aren't made in a factory or by a machine or using any artificial components, only the ones found in nature. This experience is very rare to me, considering I am not exposed to very much true nature. I am extremely excited to obtain this skill, as you can probably tell by my posts, and I can't wait to get a response! Thanks for reading!

Sunday, February 9, 2014

Forming my speech

     Hello all, I hope everyone has had a good week. I am pleased to tell you that I failed a goal recently. I was hoping to get my Backstroke D2 State cut at the MISCA swim meet on Saturday, and I didn't. I still have more meets to make it, but I failed this time. The good news is that I still have improved immensely thus far, and count that as a victory within itself. I am training myself to stop thinking in the black/white, pass/fail mindset. This is an immense step in the right direction for my project, and my speech at the end of the year. 
     My speech is starting to take form, and it looks like I'm going to talk about how failure in schools is greatly feared. A student can get 60/100 questions correct, and still fail a test. Students are trained to fear failure, and it's not healthy. I have a severe fear of failure, which is why I have been so scared to try new things, such as Latin and African drumming. Since I was told that it was okay to fail this project (and that I could still get a good grade if I did) I decided to stick my neck out. I failed early, but learned a lot in the process. If I didn't try as much as I did, and I didn't stick with it after I failed, I wouldn't have met Stacy, the South African lady who is helping me with African drumming, I wouldn't be able to play Latin or African drums, I wouldn't be able to play much guitar, and I would still fear failure. Thank you for reading, and I hope you have a great week! 

Sunday, February 2, 2014

A special twist

     I have a story that I must share, hence my second post of the week. After my second African drumming experience, a lady came over to me and told me I did a good job, and them started giving me tips. She then revealed that she had moved here from South Africa about a month ago, leaving me in shock. She then told me that she would like to help me learn more about African drumming, which left me thrilled. Also, the woman that asked me to drum in the first place, Sam, said that she want me to help her with another percussion thing, she didn't really explain that much. But, even so, I received more support from just putting myself out there! The world works in mysterious ways!