Saturday, June 7, 2014

My Relay for a Cure Final Post 25

This is the final post of my 20 time blog and in this post I will be answering questions given to me by my teacher.

1. Overall, what is your opinion of 20 Time based on YOUR experience in class?
My opinion of 20 Time is that it should be its own class. It would be a good English elective class that could benefit students in areas of public speaking, Also, students would know what they are getting into. I did not know I would be doing this when I decided to take Honors American Literature.
2. What are some aspects of 20 Time that you think should be adjusted for students next year?
I think progress should be required in one way or another. I know of some people that slid through the whole project not doing much of anything to get to their actual goal because they knew failure was an option. At the end of the year, they just said they failed and that was it. Although "failure is an option" is not a bad thing, it shouldn't be emphasized as much. When people said they "failed" their project, they meant they didn't accomplish the goal they set for themselves at the beginning of the year. Instead of taking this approach, students should be told the goal of 20 time is for them to learn something through the project they choose. I feel if that approach was taken this year, students would have been more prepared to give a TED style presentation at the end of the year.
3. What are some aspects of 20 Time that should NOT be changed for students next year?
Blog posts should still be required, as a hopes of making students write about what they did and not let them put off their project until they present about it. Also, there should still be at least 4 weeks after introducing the project before students are required to chose something, and they should still be allowed to change if they realize that project is not something they want to do.
4. Is 20 Time something that more students should do in school? Please explain why or why not.
No, 20 Time is not something more students should do in school UNLESS it is its own class. If it was its own class, I wouldn't have had homework of writing an essay AND doing something for my 20 time all for the same class. Since it was a part of English class, some students didn't have time to work on it outside of class (which I had to do a lot), and other people, as I said earlier, slid through the whole year not making much progress at all. Also, students shouldn't need class time to do things they are passionate about. They will make time on their own for things they really want to do.
5. What advice would you give to students who are doing 20 Time next year?
PICK SOMETHING YOU WANT TO SPEND A WHOLE YEAR WORKING ON! What I worked on stopped feeling like a school project and ended up just being a normal part of my life. I wouldn't want to spend a year doing something just because it is a school project, and the people that were passionate about what they did were better at presenting and achieved more than people that weren't motivated to do theirs.

Sunday, May 25, 2014

My Relay for a Cure post 24

Last weekend the day finally came and I participated in the Relay event with my team. We had a good turn out, as over 75% of my team showed up despite having several other events they attended that day. As far as the actual event went, it wasn't the best as it was both cold and rainy that Saturday, but neither stopped us from having fun. At one point when it was raining I was with three other of my team members in our tent. This tent was one used for camping, but we had plenty of room inside and we were playing Michiganopoly, a monopoly game based on the University of Michigan. At one point in the game, I drew a chance card that said to avoid losing a turn I had to sing the whole fight song. So there I was, in a tent on a rainy Saturday singing "Hail to the Victors" so I wouldn't be at a disadvantage in a board game. Later as we were playing, one of my team members said that he felt so safe in our tent, he thought we could withstand a tornado. In a tent. Tornados tear houses out of the earth but he thought we were safe in a tent. That really killed me.

This weekend I spent a lot of time ironing out some final details for my presentation. So far 9 people have presented, and the rest will present this coming week. Everything is happening so fast now, the year is almost over, and my presentation date is in 4 days away. I feel really mixed about it. Sometimes I feel like it will be easy, but other times I worry about my presentation being too short or if I forget to say something important, and pretty much everything I plan on talking about is important to my presentation. I also got sick over the weekend, but I am not going to let that be an excuse for how my presentation turns out. Unless it turns out poorly. Then I will have 100 excuses about it. Also, there is only one more blog post I will be writing this year and it is about certain questions we will be given so I want to thank everyone that has read this blog, and everyone who has presented so far and taught me what not to do while presenting.

Sunday, May 11, 2014

My Relay for a Cure post 23

This past Wednesday, I attended another Relay meeting, and this one was full of information about the actual event. On the day of that meeting, there were ten day until the event. Now there are even fewer days, and I am starting to sort of scramble to prepare for the event. I am not doing last minute fundraising, but I have a lot of preparing for the event to do in not a lot of time. This weekend I will be very busy, and the event starts next Saturday morning. Between now and then, I will need to get some drinks to sell at the event, get all of my team members to fill out a youth form, and pack all of the things I will need to bring to the event, including enough food for four days and multiple decks of cards. We will be running euchre games nonstop throughout the event at our tent, so anyone that thinks they are any good at euchre should stop by the Grosse Pointe Woods Lakefront Park on Saturday and show us what you've got. Also, starting this year everyone under 18 needs to fill out a youth form, and anyone that doesn't won't be able to stay at the event after 9:30PM. Apparently, last year they ran into a problem with kids drinking in their tent, and this year they are not messing around. Also, I reached the $1000 mark in my fundraising effort. Although my goal in the beginning of the year was to raise $2000, that was an uneducated guess on how much I could raise, and I am satisfied with the amount that I have raised.

In terms of my project, I have looked over my presentation format, looked over my speech ideas, and have taken more pictures that I will use in the slide show that plays while I present. As the presentation date gets closer, I am having mixed emotions on how I feel about presenting. A part of me thinks presenting will be easy, and the other part of me thinks I am underestimating the task at hand. I haven't had a ton of time the past week to work on it, because all school focus last week and this coming week is on AP testing. I have my first AP test on Monday, but I only have one AP class and my other classes are also giving tests so I have had a lot of studying and makeup work to do. I hope after this coming week I can spend more time focusing on my presentation, because I want to make the best speech I am capable of making

Saturday, April 26, 2014

My Relay for a Cure post 22

This past week we had spring break, and just like any other break I thought I would get a lot more work done than I actually did. Before break I thought I would study for my AP test in biology, do chemistry work sheets, read our English book, and work on my 20 time project. For the majority of the break, all I did was read my English book. I could attribute that to my impromptu trip to Chicago, but this happens every break we have. Today I put in a lot of work on my 20 time project, and the only reason I did it today instead of tomorrow, the last day before we go back to school, is because I have 4 basketball games tomorrow. What better way to end break???

The work I put in on my project is pretty much all I will be doing until the end of May, which is preparing my speech for the end of the year. I collected some pictures that I am going to use in the during my final presentation and put them in a new PowerPoint document specifically for it. I put them in an order based on the order of how my presentation will go, but I will probably more them around as I get closer to presenting and as I add more slides to it. I also organized some ideas that I am going to share with the audience in my presentation. The speeches need to be at least 8 minutes long, and the more I brainstorm about mine, the more I think I can talk for way more than 8 minutes. I probably will shorten my presentation by removing examples/points that are repetitive. I am getting kind of excited for how my presentation will turn out, and for the TEDx event as a whole because it is kind of a big deal.

In terms of the Relay, I attended a captain's meeting where I learned more about the actual event. We discussed on-site fundraising which I didn't know what that was before the meeting. During the event, teams do stuff as fundraisers, and my team talked about what we could do. Below is a picture of me at the meeting with my team sign thing

Our current name is The Notorious C.U.R.E., a knock off of rapper The Notorious B.I.G.'s name, which we all think it pretty clever. Our name has changed 4 times already though, so don't be surprised if the name changes again soon.

Sunday, April 6, 2014

My Relay for a Cure post 21

These past two weeks were influential in showing me the direction of where my project is going. First off, I realized that I probably won't be able to reach my goal of raising $2000 for my Relay. With 42 days left until the event, I have raised $845.60 which won't get me to my goal, but I am not disappointed with it. Going into the projects at the beginning of the year, we were told failing is an option and that it is not necessary to reach our goals. A large part of what I have been doing recently is recruiting new team members for the event. Currently my team has 5 members, and the event only has 63 participants. Last year at the same time the event had 175, so there has been a big push for teams to try recruiting new members. In terms of my progress regarding recruiting, I have recruited two new members in the past week, and hope to recruit more this coming week.

Also, these two weeks were important in terms of deciding the topic of our final presentations. On Friday in class we needed to tell Mr. P what the main topic of our speech would be. In the two weeks leading up to that day, I realized something. The idea I was going to make my speech about was boring. Also, I realized something about myself while working on my project, which is going to be the topic of my speech. How competition drives me as a form of motivation. I am really satisfied with this new topic, and it is going to make my presentation more interesting, both for me making it and the audience. In the past two weeks since I decided on the knew idea, I keep getting ideas that I am going to use in my project. For example, last Friday while brushing my teeth I thought of a story I am going to use in my project. I really like my new topic, and I believe it will make for an interesting presentation.

Also, GO UCONN!!!

Sunday, March 23, 2014

My Relay For a Cure post 20

Hi everybody!

After the reflection blog post, my teacher decided to make blog posts required ever other week instead of every week, which is why I didn't post anything last week. The idea behind it is that some weeks people didn't have time to work on their projects, so this way blog posts would be more substantial.

The first thing I did since writing my last post was attend a captain's meeting. I didn't know about it until I was told from my partner and co-captain about it because he wasn't able to go. He wanted me to go so we had somebody from our group there to get any information from the meeting. I thought the meeting was from 7-8, but when I got there I found out it was from 6-7. This isn't as bad as it sounds, I got there a little before 7 (because early is on time and on time is late) so all of the Relay people were still there and were able to give me all of the information I needed to get from that meeting. Now I have in paper the time for the next meeting, so I will make sure to be there at the correct time.

Another addition made to 20 time based on the reflection blog posts was that starting last Friday, we are going to give in class minute-long presentations updating the class on how our projects are going. Only 8 people go every Friday, in order to make the rest of the time available for people to work on their projects. On Friday when Mr. Provenzano said that we would be starting presentations, people with names near the top of the class list alphabetically were moaning because they thought they would have to present that day. Mr. P ended by saying we would do presentations starting at the END of the alphabet. This made everyone with a last name starting with B and C happy, and everyone at the end of the alphabet started to groan. I, on the other hand, jumped out of my desk excited and to present for the class. I am he last person in my class alphabetically, so I was up first. I explained to my class about my fundraising and meetings I have attended to further my knowledge about the event. After presenting, I felt like I broke the tension for other people to present knowing it is not that bad to stand in front of a class and in 1 minute talk about what you have been working on for 6 months.

Also, I changed my blog's background to a bunch of basketballs because March Madness has started and I LOVE MARCH MADNESS

Sunday, March 9, 2014

My Relay for a Cure post 19

This week I am going to talk about what I accomplished last week, becuase I got a lot done last week but in my blog I reflected on what I thought of 20 time. Last Wednesday, I went with the other two members of my team at the time to a Relay Kickoff meeting. We learned about what the American Cancer Society does, and heard from different people about their experiences with cancer. At the end of the meeting, we received some helpful information about fundraising and the event itself. Since then, our group has increased in number up to 4 official members with 2 verbal commits to joining the team.

As a said in my blog two weeks ago, I had sent out just over 20 emails to friends and family members informing them about my school project and asking them for donations to my team. The response to these emails was overwhelming. In the past two weeks, more than $700 has been donated to my Relay by people I emailed two weeks ago. That on its own has been amazing, but most of those donations came with encouraging comments. This response has been everything I could have expected and then some. As soon as a donation came in, I have tried to send a thank you email back to the donor, and as of now I am totally caught up on thank you letters.

Below is a picture from the Kickoff event: