On Her Shoulders

Today I witnessed the emotional masterpiece that is On Her Shoulders by Alexandria Bombach. The film explores many crucial ideas about Yazidi culture, European culture, and identity. One concept that I really liked was the idea that documentary film can be therapeutic for the subject. Throughout the film, Bombach captures the raw emotion of Nadia and upon seeing how many places Nadia visited I noticed something remarkable. Nadia, while emotional at times, was for the most part very reserved and strong. When Nadia visited refugee camps in Greece and noticed other women crying, she immediately went to their aid and gave them hope. Although she is reminded constantly of what happened to her and her family, she is able to tell her story with such audacity that she has made the subject easier to talk about. Another theme that stuck out to me was this idea of community. Even though everything has been taken from the Yazidi people, they still persevere as a cultural entity. They hold their identity, their culture, and their faith to the utmost importance. They believe that without their religious or cultural identity, then they don’t have an identity. I am fascinated by this concept that our geographical identity is less important than our cultural identity. Essentially a community values its morals more than what they have access to. Whether it be freshwater, crops, strip malls, everyone in the community circles back to their cultural roots. Similarly, in Cynthia Hill’s A Chef’s Life, she explores southern identity through ingredients. But there is more to be said about Hill’s creative process. She shows that southern identity is not only shown by the food you eat, or where you live, or what you believe, but rather something deeper. She’s trying to show the amount of kindness they show for one another. She’s trying to show the relevance of each ingredient and where it comes from. She’s telling stories through food. What I believe sets these filmmakers apart from others is there use of showing and describing events, rather than doing formalized interviews with the main subjects. They are truly interested in developing legitimate relationships with the characters. And, I think that’s what makes their films so meaningful.

~ Sam Grant

Twenty Time Reflection

  • What did you enjoy about the experience?

I greatly enjoyed this experience for many reasons. Music is one of my favorite things, and I loved the feeling of having a challenge and then overcoming it. It also gave me something to focus on that wasn’t school work, and I now have a new passion because of it.

  • What was the most challenging aspect of your Twenty Time project?

The most challenging aspect was definitely finding the time to practice my guitar. I would usually get home from school and have a lot of homework…afterwards the desire to sleep usually overtook playing the guitar.

  • What is one thing you learned about yourself by participating in your Twenty Time project?

I learned that if I put my mind to something, no matter what the challenge, I can overcome it. I think I doubted in the beginning that I would make a lot of progress in the beginners course, however I was proven entirely wrong.

  • What are you most proud of? Why?

I am most proud that I didn’t give up, and that I made it so far in the beginners course. I kept persevering even when I found something extremely difficult, especially when I was first starting out. I also never really allowed myself to think negative thoughts about my playing, which is quite an accomplishment for me.

  • What lessons did you learn from your successes?

I learned that if you put work into something you can progress farther than you ever thought. I also think I will be much more willing to try new things because of this project, because I learned that trying new things can lead to surprising outcomes.

  • What lessons did you learn from your failures?

Through my failures I learned that there is no point in getting so frustrated that it ruins the experience. Instead, I now know that to be successful you have to be optimistic and believe that, with enough practice, you will make good progress. I also learned that you will not always reaching the goals you set at the beginning, and it is important to not let that discourage you from continuing.

  • What is one thing about this project you believe you’ll remember for a long time to come?

Well, I will always have my guitar to play now, and I will definitely continue learning it for many years to come. I think that this project gave me something that will last a lifetime, which is something I would’ve never guessed when starting out.

  • What is something the teacher could have done to make this project better?

I think, because this project is independent, the teacher did everything perfectly. She gave us the motivation and structure to get started, but then let us work through most of the details and setbacks by ourselves.

Thank you so much for this opportunity!

#18 Final Evaluation

What did you enjoy about the experience?
What was the most challenging aspect of your Twenty Time project?
What is one thing you learned about yourself by participating in your Twenty Time project?
What are you most proud of? Why?
What lessons did you learn from your successes?
What lessons did you learn from your failures?
What is one thing about this project you believe you’ll remember for a long time to come?
What is something the teacher could have done to make this project better?

I really enjoyed getting to play another instrument, and although it was a drag sometimes, I did like learning a challenging song. Speaking of challenging, the most challenging aspect of my project was making time to practice, because I hardly had time to practice my main instrument. And I learned that I set pretty high goals for my self, because I had to adjust my goal in the middle of my project. I am also not very good at getting myself motivated. I am most proud of the fact that I have a part of a song memorized because that means I can play it anytime, anywhere. From my successes I learned that I have not forgotten the piano as much as I though I had. From my failures I learned that chords are really hard, and the only way to get better is to practice. I believe that I will remember how to play that first page for a long, long time, and I also want to keep working on the parts I didn’t get to. When we were starting our projects, maybe Ms. Wittman could have told us the previous year’s students’ regrets so that we could have chosen our projects more wisely.

Twenty Time Evaluation

What did you enjoy about the experience?

I really liked this project and I thought that it was really unique compared to other projects that I have had. I liked how it gave me an opportunity to try something new when usually at home, I would be too lazy to do. I also liked having the feeling of accomplishment at the end knowing that I achieved my goals that I set for myself at the beginning of the school year. It was a really positive experience.

What was the most challenging aspect of your Twenty Time project?

I think the most challenging aspect of this project was managing my time wisely and forcing myself to watch one hour youtube tutorials. Sometimes I would get a vast amount done during Twenty Time, but sometimes I would sit and do nothing. I also had a few setbacks during the project and it was hard making those lost days up.

What is one thing you learned about yourself by participating in your Twenty Time project?

I can accomplish thing that I did not know I could if I just put my mind to it.

What are you most proud of? Why?

I am proud of my final result because it took an entire year to complete and it was very hard to do. I would not have been able to do this without the project forcing me to do so. I really like my final result and I listen to it regularly. I am also proud of learning how to use FL Studio because now, I have added something else to my repertoire.

What lessons did you learn from your successes?

I learned that I can succeed if I really want to. Trying new things can be very fun and make you feel really good when you are done.

What lessons did you learn from your failures?

I didn’t use a few Twenty Times to their full potential so I had to finish my song the night before presentations. It’s very important to use time wisely.

What is one thing about this project you believe you’ll remember for a long time to come?

I made my first song, that I might be able to sell on iTunes. This is really cool and I’m pretty sure it will be something I remember.

What is something the teacher could have done to make this project better?

Maybe gotten rid of the blog posts within 24 hours thing. I struggled with that.

Project: Breakdance Final Post

This will be my final post evaluating my 20 time experience this year in World Lit.

  • What did you enjoy about the experience?

I enjoyed being able to do something that I really enjoyed that we do not do at this school regularly.

  • What was the most challenging aspect of your Twenty Time project?

My most challenging aspect of my project was finding time both in and out of school to actually work on my dancing skills. During the first half of the year, it was fairly easy to go practice in the dance room. However, during the second semester, a dance class was being taught there so I was unable to use the space. This meant that I had to find time at home after my sports to practice which was very hard. Not only did I have sports but I also have to practice at least an hour and a half of piano every day to stay competitive. If that was not enough, then my homework load every night was not the easiest to manage. That said, I got a lot less time than I thought I would get to practice.

  • What is one thing you learned about yourself by participating in your Twenty Time project?

I learned how hard I have to work to squeeze even one more thing into my schedule these days. I also learned how I’m not always motivated, because a lot of the time I found myself too tired to work on my dancing so I didn’t…

  • What are you most proud of? Why?

I’m most proud of my video because I think it turned out pretty well. I think the editing could have been better of course, but I think it showcased a variety of different dancing ability and I’m proud of that.

  • What lessons did you learn from your successes?

I learned I need to keep on practicing once your get it down once. If you stop right after you do it correctly, then you will forget it. I learned this with windmills, I got it in the beginning, then stopped practicing and ended up losing it for a while. This could have been due to my core strength diminishing after not practicing for a while.

  • What lessons did you learn from your failures?

From my failures I learned that I needed to work on editing more before hand. I had only somewhat tried editing before making my final video. That was why some of the editing and transitions were a bit sloppy. But overall I think the video went pretty well.

  • What is one thing about this project you believe you’ll remember for a long time to come?

I mean, I’ll remember my video for a long time because it will be on my computer. But aside from that, I’ll really remember the experience of having 1 day out of 7 to just do what you want to do. It was so different from other classes where every day would be monotone and just grinding out work. Day 7’s would be my highlight and I would look forward to them every time.

  • What is something the teacher could have done to make this project better?

I don’t think there was anything the teacher could have done. They are supposed to be independent projects. If the teacher had gotten involved, I feel as though it would lose its fun and lightheartedness. I really liked this whole concept of 20 time.

To Be a Girl at DA // Final Reflection

  • What did you enjoy about the experience?

I enjoyed this project so much! One of my favorite aspects of the project was the artistic piece. I loved learning how to use a bunch of tools and nurturing my creative ethos. Also, it was wonderful getting to know Ms. G-B

  • What was the most challenging aspect of your Twenty Time project?

The most challenging aspect of my project was figuring out which questions to ask the girls of DA and then determining how to represent the results I got. It was difficult transforming somewhat abstract ideas into a tangible representation.

  • What is one thing you learned about yourself by participating in your Twenty Time project?

I learned that I’m a pretty ambitious person; this served me well sometimes and not so well others. The structure I made required a lot of time to complete it, and I didn’t have very much time. But I got it done, so YAY!

  • What are you most proud of? Why?

I’m most proud of the time I dedicated to make my final product what I envisioned it to be. I could have made decisions that would have varied the outcome of the structure, but instead I decided to go in a lot during tutorials, lunches, and E period.

  • What lessons did you learn from your successes?

From my successes, I gained a platform for moving forward. When I succeeded with my structure, I could then move on to working on other things and build on top of what I had already done. From my successes in the interviewing/surveying process, I gained information to compare my other results to.

  • What lessons did you learn from your failures?

From my failures in the information gathering stage and in the artistic stage, I learned how to come up with alternative routes of getting where I wanted to be. Ms. G-B really helped me think at the intersection of things when something wasn’t working in the structure.

  • What is one thing about this project you believe you’ll remember for a long time to come?

I think the one thing I’ll remember is the people who I see looking at my structure and taking the time to learn about a really relevant topic in our community. It’s really great seeing what I learned through this project being spread to others.

  • What is something the teacher could have done to make this project better?

I don’t think anything. She was a really big help in formulating the questions for my survey and always patient and available to help me reevaluate when it was needed.

 

Peace out.

Twenty Time Reflection

What did you enjoy about the experience?

I enjoyed that I got to choose a topic to focus on for the whole year and that we got time one day out of the seven day schedule to work on it. I am glad that the time was there for me to further explore photography. It helped me to really improve on an existing hobby. The project started out as something that I did a lot of during the twenty time days and only did the minimum during the rest of the week, but it changed as I got further into it. I spent more and more of my free-time devoted to taking photos and figuring out how to use my new camera.

What was the most challenging aspect of your Twenty Time project?

The most challenging part of my project was that I forgot to take a photo on some days, and then that just piled up into a week where I had not taken any photos. So that aspect of my project dissolved as the year progressed.

What is one thing you learned about yourself by participating in your Twenty Time project?

I learned that for me to pick up a hobby and become more serious about it, I need to start slowly spending more time working on that hobby. I think that since I started out the project with just a photo a day, it allowed me to start off slow and become gradually more involved in photography. Eventually my ‘photo a day’ plan progressed into me taking long walks with camera looking for interesting photos to take and I was finding myself spend more time trying to find inspiration from peers and places online.

What are you most proud of? Why?

I am most proud that I was able to figure out how to use my DSLR camera, and eventually be able to move it off of auto and change the settings with shutter speed. This is shown by a couple of my favorite photos that I took during this project:

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I am really proud of these photos because I took them on my DSLR with a different shutter speed setting. They show how far I have come from the start of this project.

What lessons did you learn from your successes?

I learned that if you like something, you should make more time for doing it. You may find out that you have a passion for it and continue on with it.

What lessons did you learn from your failures?

I learned that when you fail, try not to get discouraged. I had trouble taking photos with my DSLR camera at first. I was really excited to start taking photos with it and at first they all came out blurry. I did some more research on how to use it, and I later realized what the problem was. Sometimes failures can be easily solved by some research or by asking for help from someone else.

What is one thing about this project you believe you’ll remember for a long time to come?

I will always have the photos to remember this project and I will remember this as my ‘start’ in photography. I will also remember my one main accomplishment which was moving off of the auto setting on my DSLR camera.

What is something the teacher could have done to make this project better?

This project is more in the students’ hands. I think that there isn’t much the teacher could have done to make the project better. I think the mid-year evaluation was really helpful and it helped many people to make adjustments in their goals. I also think that even though the presentations took a long time that they were worth it in the end because we got to see what our peers did for their projects.

15th Twenty Time: Photography

Last week I categorized some of my photos into categories given by the presentation I found on VSCO called “12 Tips on Photographing the Everyday”. I only got through half of the categories, so below I will place more in the rest of the categories. The categories left are: create the unexpected, abstractions, grotesque, strange occurrences, lines, and shape and form. In the category, create the unexpected, I have not really taken many photos. For most of the photos I have taken, I have not really altered the environment to take photos. There is one photo in which I have done this and it isn’t one of my favorites and its kind of weird:

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I am not sure if I have any photos that fit in the abstractions category, but these three below are the closest things that I can think of:

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For grotesque I definitely don’t have any photos for this category. As of this moment I am mastering photos of what most people would consider to be pretty things, and I think I to master those before being able to take a photo of something ‘ugly’ and make it look good. The closest thing I have to this is the photo I took of the dirty pool of water in the parking lot, but I had to put a black and white filter on it to make it pleasing to the eye.

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Processed with VSCO with b5 preset

Processed with VSCO with b5 preset

The same goes for strange occurrences, I don’t think that I have many photos of strange occurrences. This is due to the fact that usually when I see something weird, I don’t try to take a really cool photo of it, but more of a photo to show someone and say “hey look how weird this is”. I hope that I will continue to improve with taking photos of things that are odd or not necessarily pleasing to the eye as I continue to improve as a photographer. For the category lines, I have a lot of photos:

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For the last category, shape and form, I have a couple photos:

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I have really enjoyed this project and I hope to continue this after the project is over.

 

Training 8 Season 2

On Wednesday, I only trained Allison again because Catherine has swimming. For this training session, I let Allison decide what to do, and I would just run the drills. First, we did the foot-skill drills and juggling. She got the highest score that she has ever gotten in juggling, which is seven. She is also continuing to improve in her foot-skills. Second, Allison wanted to do trapping out of the air. I threw her the ball and she trapped it with the top of her foot, the inside of her foot, or her chest, and then passed the ball back to me. From the first time that we started trapping and volleying, she has improved a lot. After trapping, Allison wanted to do one touch passing. Allison was already very skilled at passing before I started training her, but she is still always getting better. After passing, she wanted to cross and finish. So, we alternated who was the crosser and who was the finisher, and did three each on each side. I think that if we do more crossing then we should move to a bigger space but from what I could see on the small field is that she knows how to find someone on the run and get the ball to them. Her finishing is very good as well. Hopefully Catherine can be there next time and I am excited to train them again!

Twenty Time #17

Today started out on a sour note. I didn’t get the responses back from Coach K today. Although there was some sad news, there was also some good news which was that I decided to have one last interview! This last interview is going to be for Coach Nate James, a former college basketball player at Duke and now an assistant coach at Duke. I am excited about finishing this interview because it will give me all the perspectives from the Duke basketball coaching staff who all know everything there is to know about college basketball. By doing this I will finally get the chance to work on my final product and start gathering the information like I have previously done. Some of the questions I asked Coach James are the following: From a players perspective what did you do to distance yourself from other basketball players? Meaning what was distinctive about you that made you different from other players to college coaches? In my opinion I feel these are the most important questions because they really get the coaches/players to think about what they did to make it to the ultimate level of Division 1 college basketball. Lastly for my next twenty time I will hopefully have 2 interview responses to share and blog about. Also these will be my last two interview answers and I will finally get to blog about my final product.