Mulgrave eFolio

Whole Student // Whole World

Category: Performing Arts

Choir Update

At this point in the year the grads are more focused on their university acceptances than any classwork they might have. Although many of us, (myself included) have a handle on both of these things, some people struggle with the balance and have had issues in terms of dropping their predicteds or missing deadlines. For me, the only thing affected by this juggling act is my choir attendance.

Ever since grade 9, I’ve kept a relatively spotless record in terms of making it to every biweekly choir practice without issue. While at times I’m tired and wish I was at home sleeping, practice usually acted as a recluse from a busy school schedule. Lately I’ve noticed myself slipping a bit, missing practices never off my own choice but rather as a result of the demanding IB coursework keeping me up at night or having prior commitments in the morning, such as prefect door duty or a spanish oral. I’m having to miss the Banff trip due to final exams as well, which is unfortunate as I had a lot of fun last year!

I’m starting to get to practice more often now that a lot of my big assignments are out of the way.  I think that it’s an important balance from my schoolwork and my plan is to commit more to getting to the biweekly classes while I still have the option!

Choir

One of my most if not my number one creativity commitment this year is Senior Concert Choir. As someone that has been in the choir off and on since grade 3, choir is something that I’ve never questioned not continuing. It’s an easy, fun thing that I can do with my friends and get a commitment out of. I know lots of people join solely for the “commitment points”, but a lot of us are there because we really do enjoy it. It’s also very exciting this year because lots of guys from my grade joined, which means that next year when the gr 12s leave we might have a good base to build on.

On Dec 10, we went to ICBC to go caroling in our regular choir time before school. It went very well, but did get interesting when Ms. By suggested we do our new choreography for one of the songs having practiced it once. The employees at ICBC seemed to enjoy it, and we did get better for the Christmas concert.

This past Tuesday, we had our annual Christmas concert at the West Van United Church. I think it went really well, and the audience seemed to enjoy our songs especially our final number. From what I remember of doing this even last year or the year before, the event seemed a bit tedious to me because of the timing. We left the school out of our third block at about 1, went to the West Van United Church, and stayed there until 9pm, (omitting our dinner break). Every other year it has seemed a bit lengthy, but this year it was better because we spent the majority of the time practicing. I’m hoping my final concert next year will turn out just as fun!

Zoom Reflection (minor creative commitment)

Zoom was a part of the year I was really looking forward to in grade 11, partly because it’s something I love and partly because I’d never done it before. I got into a group of 5- myself, Sarah, Micaela, Josh and Stephen. At 5pm on Friday Oct. 25th, we received our theme and prop: Karma, and a ticket. My group had come up with a starter idea involving candles, (as we knew this would look great on film) and a girl who has interactions with different props. We fleshed out our idea into a workable plotline, and spent Friday night filming the few night scenes and scripting/developing the details. Saturday was mostly filming our main scenes until 3pm, and then editing until late that night. On Sunday, final touches were put onto the project and we made our way to Mulgrave to burn our disk at 2. We ended up handing in the burnt disk by 3, a full 2 hours before the due date, and we were pretty happy with the outcome.

Something my group did really well was working together to get footage. Although we all had our separate roles, it was obvious that we all wanted to try everything and we made it work. This meant that we all had help in our jobs and didn’t get stuck on anything for too long. We also had very good time management- as I can be a bit of a control freak and I know other people in the group who consider themselves to be the same,  staying on track and not getting behind was important to us as a group. This was invaluable in such a time-crunch of a project, especially with the equipment we used and in the style of film we did. A last thing my group did well in Zoom was thinking outside of the box and being creative. It would’ve been much easier to choose an simpler idea and a more everyday example of karma, such as a teenager that misbehaves and gets caught for it. Going with a supernatural, difficult idea as we did was extremely challenging but I believe it made the project that much better.

One thing we could’ve improved on in our film was simplifying our plot throughout the project. We wanted to do a simple plot but ended up building on it until it because slightly confusing to the viewer, a fact which we only noticed, unfortunately, after we handed it in. If we really wanted to stick with the plot, next time I would add dialogue. We went for the affect of having only one line of dialogue in the film- something that limited us in how we could portray the story. Although adding dialogue might take away from the feeling of the film, it might be worth it so as to clarify the plot for the viewer. It might also have been helpful to film with a storyboard so as to get a better idea of what the clips would look like in the final product. I found that sometimes when we were filming, we didn’t know how to put together the scene so as to make it look great as a final product. Lastly, we spent a lot of time perfecting the editing process as opposed to spending more time perfecting the shots. I would’ve been more comfortable spending a lot of time getting each shot right and then editing more loosely, simply because the editing was more about adding extras while the footage was the bulk of the project.

Final Reflection- CAS Learning Outcomes Experience

This year I met most of the CAS learning outcomes to my greatest extent. My first goal, with learning outcome Self-Awareness, was to remember to reflect every so often on my levels of commitment to school and out of school responsibilities. I believe I achieved this to a good extent, adding Green Team to my commitments this year and taking away Open Arts Studio to focus on what I care about. I could’ve done better on this one by taking more time to reflect, but I think for the workload I had I did fairly well.

With Exploration, my goal was to learn new things within commitments. For me, the biggest commitments I’ve learned from this year are Personal Project, (if that counts), choir, and Duke of Edinburgh. From all three I learned many new skills and traveled near and far to achieve new goals for myself. I think this was one of my more successful goals.

Planning and Initiative was an interesting  outcome to fulfill, with my goal being to stay organized throughout the year with schoolwork and other work. I think this was one of my less obvious outcomes, simply because for some parts of grade 10 I was very stressed and for some I wasn’t. I do believe, however, that I managed my time in and out of school effectively.

For the Collaboration learning outcome, I wanted to do projects for commitments both in groups and by myself. I’m more unsure about the level of achievement on this outcome than any other, mainly because the commitments I’m in were more small things than big projects. I can, however, say that I did achieve this outcome as I can think of some projects that I did by myself and some with others. For instance, the Banff choir trip was mostly collaboration with all choir members for the entirety of that trip, including clinics and performances. However in yearbook, for example, I did all of the photography myself and that was a big year long solo project.

My Commitment goal was to keep up with all of my commitments by going to all group meetings. I achieved this mainly through one of my major service commitments, Green Team. Having a meeting virtually every week was good for me as it became habit and helped me to commit to the team even more.

For Globalocal Impact, my goal was to develop ideas focused on global issues rather than only school based. I achieved this by reading more newspapers and watching some news, as well as having discussions with my friends and teachers about whats going on in the world. This was mostly in Social Studies class with Mr. Hardy and ACE with Mr. Wilson.

My Ethics goal was to remember to ask myself if what I’m doing is right for me within commitments and within my life. I liked the outcome of this goal so much that I think I may use it next year as well, when I begin IB. This idea of doing things that I enjoy in order to organize my life helped me sort out my priorities and keep my commitments in the back of my mind all the time, throughout the year.

The last outcome, New Skills, had a goal that was more straightforward than the others. I wanted to learn new skills by constantly challenging myself within commitments and my life, which I achieved by doing just that. From learning how to sail in Duke of Edinburgh to learning new chords on the guitar, I believe that I learned more this year than I have perhaps ever before in a year. This was probably my most thoroughly achieved goal this year.

Banff Trip- Choir

I got the chance to go to Banff this year for a choir trip, which was such amazing experience. I’m actually writing this the day we got back just to make sure I can remember everything! To greatly simplify the trip, our choir and vocal jazz ensemble traveled 12 hours to and from Banff, Alberta, for the Canadian Rocky Mountain Festival of 2013. We performed songs as an ensemble in front of an audience of other choirs, bands, and our adjudicators. Eugene Rogers, the composer of one of concert choir’s songs, Jenga Imani Yako, was one of our adjudicators and got to judge his own song which we performed. That was a very cool experience for us, as was watching a feature concert involving a song all about hockey and seeing the amazing Count Basie Orchestra. We took part in two great clinics too- one for concert choir and one for vocal jazz. Being in an environment with people from all over Canada that enjoy the same things I do was an incomparable experience, mainly because of just how kind and friendly everyone was with each other, even in competition. I would definitely go again next year if I get the chance!

Benny’s Flashmob

Last Saturday and Sunday I helped out with Benny Jean Cytrynabaum’s Personal Project; a flash mob to raise awareness about shark finning. The event counted as a minor service commitment. This project SO cool for me as she is a close friend and I got to develop my photography/videography skills. I videotaped the behind the scenes of the practice on Saturday and the actual event on Sunday! I got to see the planning that went into the project (A LOT) and the final outcome, which went really well. I really learned to appreciate how much work everyone is putting into their projects. I still have to give Benny the footage I took both days, but I beleive that once it is all put together it is going to look great. Today (Tuesday the 22nd) I actually worked on Jolee’s Personal Project; a huge swim meet, but that will be another post in the upcoming weeks as right now I’m very busy with my own Personal Project!

We Day!

A couple of days ago I was lucky enough to go to We Day 2012! I could spend hours writing about it, but the main point I want to make is this: If you ever get a chance to go, GO! Many people didn’t go because we had another fieldtrip that day, or it seemed boring, or it seemed like it wouldn’t apply to them. But I just wanted to tell everyone that it DOES apply to everyone, and its really fun too! We got to hear from awesome speakers like Archbishop Desmond Tutu, Magic Johnson, Spencer West and more as well as hear singers like Demi Lovato, Shawn Desman, and My Name is Kay. I really enjoyed the mix of motivational speakers, singers, and personal stories that we got to hear throughout the day. The point of We Day is to leave feeling inspired and excited to make a difference in the world, something that I know I got from the experience. Looking forward to next year!

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