WINTER BREAK

Dear Blog,

So the break is here, hard to believe it came so fast. Knowing that after the break, we have a very short amount of time to work on our project, I want to be very productive this break.That means I want to work on my project a lot, so I can then prepare for my final presentation.

I have a couple goals for the break, one being to film the video for my original song called stars. I’ve made the track and gotten feedback on it, and feel I am ready to do the video for it. I’m excited for that one. The video is going to be a level up from what I have already done. I would also like to throw in some quick one take live videos if I have time as well.

I’m hoping to come back from Christmas break with one or two new pieces to show, and the feeling that I accomplished and learned more than what I accomplished and knew before the break started.

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B Task Attack

Dear Blog,
The whirl wind of B tasks tangled me up in the fact that I needed to get things done, before their due dates. With lots to do and such little time the day, I pushed myself this week to complete everything I needed to get done. All though I was happy with the productivity of getting everything done before their due dates, I feel with each new task added to my list, the further away from finishing my project I get. You see for most of us lunch time is the perfect time to get B tasks done. For me, lunch means catching one of the 5 busses I take in a day to go to sing in choir. This week I started to feel the urgency of my Project more and more as each minute turned into each hour gone by where I had been focussing on things other than my project.

I don’t like that feeling, a small amount of that feeling is okay because that feeling is the root of what pushes you to get things done. The idea of quitting choir crept into my mind simply because this week I felt overloaded with things I needed to do and would rather spend that lunch time working on my project. I then remembered all the reasons I joined choir in the first place. It wouldn’t make sense for me to quit this far into the semester, it would make all the work I’ve done for choir this semester worth nothing. So I decided to stick with it.

In order to make myself feel better about my project, I’m dedicating all of next week’s free school time to strictly project work. Yes, that means I will be working on zero B tasks next week during school hours. I’m only allowing myself to work on B tasks in the evenings at home. I will be doing this as a test to see if this is a good system, that leaves me feeling that the work that needed to be done with my project within the school week gets fulfilled. I’m itching to get more videos out and planning on making a release schedule to keep the flow of my project going strong. I’m excited to make more and am always looking for inspiration when it comes to ideas for my project.

Time to Manage Time

I was asked what it is like to be a high school student who manages their own time in school. I told them it’s good because we have to live up to our expectations.

In traditional school we are told what to do and when. We are given specific blocks of time and specific spots to sit in, with specific things to learn. Why things work that way? I don’t know, perhaps it’s because we as teenagers often enough, don’t get our work in on the deadline. I’ve been there, I mean who hasn’t? So I guess we need the planning done for us, in order to become good students. Right? That’s what pushes us and makes us better students? Well I guess it makes sense in some way, for some people, but I have noticed a couple things as a student who knows both traditional and non-traditional styles of the school system.

I have never felt as smart in my school life, like I have in Propel. Some would say it’s because I get to work on what I’m interested in, and what I’m good at, and of course there is truth to that. I get to choose what I want to do here, so obviously I’d pick something I like and want to gain knowledge about. There is more to it than that though, there is something about being trusted with managing my own time, that makes me want to step up to the plate. Large amounts of trust were put in the hands of high school students at propel. The fact that highly educated and credible adults expect a lot from us, makes us expect a lot more from ourselves as well. Encouragement and the need to push ourselves pours out of the idea that there are People who are anticipating high quality work from us, without having to regulate what/when/how we get there. Instead of having it all planned out for us, we learn to plan on our own. We are given the chance to figure things out, with help along the way when we need it. I believe for most of us, it is a recipe that is very high in potential for success.

To name a few things, I’ve learned how to use a whole new program, I’ve grown in my ability to write and arrange music. I’ve learned more about computers and how they work, I use them as tools to create. I’m starting to learn how to use premiere pro to edit my videos at a higher level.  Most importantly, I’ve learned what it means to manage my own time, and being at propel has inspired  me to use that time, to learn.

Princess Auto

At six years old, the word “Auto” had no meaning to me, but the word “Princess” sure did.

 

“Where are you going Dad?”

“Princess Auto.”

I jumped up in excitement and proclaimed that there was no way he’d be leaving for Princess Auto without me. I ran to put on my favourite pink sneakers, grabbed a sweater and hopped in the truck. There was no time to waste, for I had to meet the Princesses of Auto. We arrived at our destination in no time. The castle didn’t meet the expectations I had built up in my mind, instead it had your average city building written all over it. I jumped off the cliff that was the floor of my Dads truck, and headed to the grand entrance. Two huge glass sliding doors parted ways a millisecond after I yelled “Open Sesame”. I did that every time I came across such doors, just for the chance that someone around me might not know what motion censors were, and could assume that I possessed some sort of power that could move things with my mind. I mean what better first impression for the Princesses?

We entered, and I started to realize that this was not all like I assumed, as we walked around I started to give up hope on finding a Princess. So I finally asked my Dad where they all were. He then explained to me that we were in a hardware store. I was disappointed and wondered who would pick such a deceiving name for a hardware store? I thought of all the people who must have had the same misunderstanding that I just had, I wasn’t impressed.

While walking through the hardware store. I gave up my hope of finding a princess when I found something else, something better. A pair of shiny new bongos caught my eye. My two eyes grew bigger than the bongos themselves. What is this piece of treasure doing in a hardware store? I thought. Oh how I needed those bongos.

Almost 11 years later here I am at a career symposium, trying to figure out my career, telling the co-president of Princess Auto, how the long story short was, that I ended up bringing those Bongos home that day. I still have them, and treasure them greatly. I often still wonder why they would sell bongos at a hardware store. She explained how princess auto prides themselves in being a unique hardware store and that It’s what separates them from the rest. She then explained to me the history of the store, and most importantly, for the six-year-old in me, why they would pick such a deceiving name.

 

First Cover Done

I put out my first cover video this week. I had a goal of completing it and posting it by Friday. I was able to get the video out on Thursday, which was before my deadline. I was happy with the amount of work I got done this week. Although it didn’t take me long to finish I can say that I didn’t rush anything in the process, it all just flowed nicely. The video that I did this week got finished pretty fast, and I didn’t run into any noticeable road bumps, but I won’t expect that for the next video because I’m planning to challenge myself a tad more this time.

For my next cover I want to try new things and expand on what I can do. I have put out two, one take videos, one live, and one lip synced. This time around I would like to expand what I know by trying out split screens showing the instruments played, and/or the harmonies sung in the piece. It won’t be anything to extravagant just yet, but it will be a step up from what I am already doing. I have started to work on the track for my next cover. I will be singing “This Town” By Niall Horan. I started last night, and finished piano and vocals for it. Today I listened to the track and was going to put the best vocals together. In the process I realized I want the track to be faster and in a higher key.

So today I did the brainwork for transposing the song, and experimented with the midi key board on things I could add to the track. I am planning on re-doing the piano and vocals very soon. I am excited to move forward with this track and video, and try my best to go a level up for the video. I’m looking forward to learning new things that I don’t yet know, through my next piece.

My Steps to Success

Dear Blog,

This week I did new things. I am very proud of the amount of productivity I showed and the mile stones that I reached. I was able to record a song that I’ve been wanting to get done for a contest. Then I stepped into the video part of my project for the first time. I set up lighting, I set up an angle and filmed the song, I was proud of what I had done. Although the video did not turn out perfect and is still not perfect yet, it was my first go at filming anything of the sort. For my first go at it, I am happy with what I did. I ended up filming 3 different videos for the song on 3 different nights, to try and get the right one. I also have recorded 5 different tracks for the song because each time, there was something that could have been better. I put a lot of time into just figuring out what works and what doesn’t. Although I gave a lot of time into some of the products that aren’t necessarily “usable”, none of it was time wasted because now I know what doesn’t work.

I am excited to take the knowledge that I now have after all my work this week, and apply it to the next video. Next week I am going to start working on “A Million Reasons” by Lady Ga Ga. I found the song yesterday on the bus home. I haven’t stopped listening to it since. I am getting familiar with it before I go to record it. I think I’ll be able to start recording the instrumental track for it tomorrow. I’m itching to get started on it.

If I could take away one thing from this week, it would be not to let failure discourage me. If I chose to look at all the “failed attempts” this week, as a bad thing, I would get nowhere. I am choosing not to look at what I did as “failed attempts” but instead the as “steps” I have to take in order to reach success.

Falling Through the Failure

We were given the opportunity to start our projects Today. My project involves the use of my MacBook which I didn’t bring with me today. Near the start of the morning I felt lost in the room looking for some way to be productive towards my project. I figured since I couldn’t work on my project directly, why not study and put research into my project? This way I would come out with an even better understanding of what I’d want to start on tomorrow.

I sat down and started my research, I watched video after video and took notes followed by more notes. I watched numerous videos that showed me successful Youtubers speaking about how they got to where they are now. For some of them, it took three years to become well known, for others it took 10. If I could take anything out of that, it would be that everyone has to start somewhere. Sometimes things take time, and it’s important to be okay with that. It is crucial not to get discouraged by your failures for as I learned this week, it is our failures that lead us to success, and our fear of failure that keep us away from it.