Sunday, June 8, 2014

Looking Back on this Journey

     Hello everyone! I hope everyone has had a good weekend. I had a good weekend myself, considering that I spoke pre-show at TedX GPSHS! The video of the event is not posted yet, but I will embed it as soon as I am able. Mr. Provenzano asked us to address a couple prompts in our last blog post, so this will be a reflection piece.
     In my opinion, 20 Time is a fantastic idea and curriculum piece. The project I chose made it hard to work on it in class, considering how big a drum set is. I loved 20 Time, and it showed me a lot about myself. I learned how to deal with failure, since it had been so hard for me to deal with previously. It gave me an opportunity to build in time to play music, and it taught me some very valuable lessons.
     An aspect of 20 Time that I think should be adjusted for next year will be the blog post frequency. We used to have to write a blog post every week, but later had it changed to every other week. I think that every other week is better and should be kept for next years' students. When we had to write one every week, I found myself filling up part of my post with fluff, since I can only accomplish so much in one week. Having posts every other week allows for better, meatier, more content-heavy posts.
     An aspect of 20 Time that shouldn't be changed next year should be the pacing of everything. We had ample time to decide on our project and prepare to start. I think that everything was good, except for the weekly blog posts early in the year.
     More students should do 20 Time in school because it gave me a chance to actually do something on my own, of my choice, outside-of-the-box on school time. 20 Time lets students be creative and be themselves as a part of an academic class. More students need to learn more about themselves and teach themselves valuable life lessons like I did.
     Some advice to the students doing 20 Time next year: Choose something you're passionate about. If you don't, it will be a long year. This is a great opportunity. Don't let it slip.
     I loved the event. It brought some publicity to the school, and it showed us how to organize and event and actually figure out what we were doing. The vast majority of us have no experience with events like this, so it was a great experience for us. The school should try and do it again, because I think that it was a great experience, but it would be even cooler if it was a one time thing. Maybe we could make it separate from TedX next time? I'm not sure if Ted will accept us as an event again also.
     I just wanted to say thank you to everybody who has read in the past and is reading right now. I really appreciate all the support I have received, it has helped me keep with this project and my blog posts. Thank you so much!

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

The Wrap-Up

     Hey everyone! I gave my presentation to the class on Friday, and I thought I was finished. It turns out that we still had a blog post due this week, so I'm sorry for scarabmbling to wrap up! I just wanted to say that this has been quite the adventure so far. I truly have learned quite a lot about myself through this project. I have learned that I do not accept failure very well. I almost don't accept it at all. This project has made me grow as a person and learn to accept the failures that I have and turn them into proverbial bumps on the road to success. 
     My talk was about how failure is an essential part in learning and being successful in the long run. I learned this throughout my project and a little outside research. I am very pleased that I was able to push myself to take the first step in accepting failure and not being scared of it. I still have a long way to go. I still fear failing, but now I know how to cope with it and learn from it. Like I said, I have a long way to go, but this was a great way to start. Thank you so much for reading about and following my journey through this project, I really appreciate the support I have gotten. If I am not surprised again, this will be my last official blog post. Thank you very much for reading! 

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Crunch Time

     Hello everyone! I am glad to be publishing again! We are about two weeks away from the start of our final presentations, and I could not be more nervous. I have a well constructed idea and format of my talk, but have not planned my exact words. Mr. P told us that our talk should be in three parts. Part one is going to be a small part, and will be about what I am talking about and why is it important. Part two is a slightly larger part and it is about how my project lead me to the idea, and part three is the biggest part. This is the section I am most worried about. It is about why my idea is so important for everyone. 

     I recently read a post by Seth Godin called Good at the Beginning. It is about how being good at the beginning of something is luck, but being good in the long run at something requires much more than luck. It requires one to fail in the process, learn from those failures, and keep going after them. Mr. Godin supports my topic that one needs to fail in order to succeed and improve. I am continuing to do research along these lines as I prepare for my presentation. I have been hit with a couple setbacks this week that have stalled my process, namely the suicide of a swim teammate and good friend of mine, but after my AP Government and Politics test next week, I will be back on track. Thank you for reading again this week!

Sunday, April 27, 2014

TEDx Talk and Guitar Cover

     Hello, all! I hope all is well. I have been on spring break this week, which has given me time to think about and get a handle on my presentation. Through much deliberation, I have concluded that I am going to talk about the importance of failure. If someone never fails, they will never be able to grow as a person. People need to fail. If people never fail, they will never learn. I read a fantastic quote about the topic of my project, and it was something along the lines of "A mistake is only a mistake if you fail to learn from it" That is the key to failing successfully. If one fails, it will show them what needs to be changed in order to be successful, if they choose to learn from it. Now that I have made this conclusion, I still question why I fear failure. Failure is not something to be afraid of since it is the only way to learn. By using the term learn, I do not mean as in memorizing or "learning" terms out of a textbook, I mean it in the sense of growing as a person, and learning how to be better and improve yourself and your skills. Failure is not something to be afraid of, is is something to be valued, since it is one of the most important parts of learning.

     Embedded above is a video of me playing Sweater Weather by The Neighborhood. It is a fairly easy song, but it requires a capo on the third fret. I do not own a capo, so I had to do some improvising. I tuned all of the strings up a step and a half in order to simulate having a capo on the third fret. It sounds just fine to me, so I am happy that my improvising worked. I hope you enjoy it, even though my singing is under par. I have also been working on another song, called Blue Blood Blues by The Dead Weather. That is a very challenging song with numerous riffs spanning numerous strings and a majority of the fret board. I have two of the four riffs down, and I wanted to play it for you all, but I wouldn't be able to play much of the song. I chose this one because it is much different from all of the other song I know how to play so it would expand my range of genres. Anyways, thanks for reading!

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.