Wrapping It Up

My 20-Time project comprises a writing program where students cope with any personal problem they might have through writing. I created this because I have a passion for writing. I believe that creative writing is a wonderful way for humans to express their feelings without completely giving away their problem. Additionally, creativity is very important to the development of the brain, which I elaborated on in my first blog post.

The participating students have been working hard at journaling and using their entries as inspiration for bigger works of writing, the constituents of the project. Moreover, my participants have been blogging about their experience throughout the project. However, due to the holiday break and their other assignments, the students are not completely finished with their writings. Consequently, I will be aiding the students and extending the project until they are finished with their writing. I predict that it will take about three to four more weeks to finish.

Here are a few examples of my participants’ work:

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Broken

I have fallen for you
Each day I fall a little harder
And each day that I fall
I get a new crack in my heart
My heart is slowly breaking in two
I try to make an effort towards you
But you push me away
I hear many things about you
Some good and some bad
I dont know what to think
Deep down I know you are a good person
But it is hard to believe
When people close to me are telling me different
I hurt so much because i care
If i dint care
I could walk away from the situation
Without a glance back
So what do i do
Try and move on or keep making an effort
I dont know when love might be involved…

I wrote this a couple weeks ago. I was really sad and depressed for a lot of reasons. It helped me with my emotions though. I felt better after writing it. It helps prove Alexis’s thought that writing helps the mind.

By the end of my project, I learned that writing does indeed help those who are dealing with personal issues. Furthermore, I have been touched by these students’ writings. I hope that my participants will continue using writing as a coping skill and that creative writing will be used more often in school to relate to student’s lives.

My Career and My Project

Two weeks ago, I started researching how I could pursue my passion for writing through a career. I chose the profession of a neurologist because of how relevant my project is to the development of the human brain. Since then, I have done a lot of research on becoming a neurologist. The information I have accumulated shows to people who have my same passion that one does not have to focus on the typical writing-related careers, such as an author, English teacher, poet, journalist, etc. when pursuing a passion for writing. There is nothing wrong with these professions, but my information shows that one can choose a career in science and still pursue one’s passion for writing.

Regarding my 20-Time project, I am making steady progress. The release forms went out and came back with success. Though only three out of my ten recruited students are actually participating, I find that the students involved are definitely getting something from my project. I am so proud of my participants who were brave and open-minded enough to delve into the intricacies of their own minds and make an attempt to resolve any problems that are contained. I have seen a few pieces of their work, and I can really feel the emotions portayed through their words. During the last few days of the semester, I will be providing feedback from my participants’ blogs and collecting their work to use as proof that my project worked. I am so relieved that my project is coming along!

Living Life Through My Passion

If I were to choose a career based on my passion, I would choose either becoming a neurologist or a college professor. Neurology relates to my passion for writing because creative writing is a good source of creativity, which is essential to the development of the brain. If you viewed my TED talk I posted on my first blog post, you understand what I am referring to. Being a college professor relates to my passion because the profession involves a lot of writing. Both of these careers are ones that were of interest to me, so researching these professions was very helpful.

Following my research, I learned that being a college professor would not be the right choice for me. I did not like the colleges that were reccommended for the profession, nor did I find its salary pleasureable. In addition, I found the process of becoming a college professor more tedious than enjoyable. However, my research only increased my level of interest in becoming a neurologist. I really like how hands-on the training is, especially in residency. Plus, I already had an especial interest in neurology. As a result, I have decided that becoming a neurologist would be the right career path for me.

What’s Next?

Pitch Day was a good way for me to organize my project and identify the steps I need to take toward my success. Below is a screen shot of my presentation.

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Now that I have been spending a few weeks sorting out the technicalities of my project, it is time to start the implementation part. On Pitch Day, I did not receive any negative comments on my project, so I am going to continue to pursue my project without any altercations. I plan on finishing my program before the day of my final presentation, but there are still a few tasks I must complete prior to the start of the project. I still need responses from my authorities confirming the amount of students I will be working with, along with their names and e-mails, and a release form that can be issued to the students’ parents. I have only allowed myself one week to address these issues, so I am walking on a thin line. These are a few questions I still have about my project:
1. How will I send this release form to the students’ parents? What is my role as the issuer of this release form?
2. If I cannot recruit these students in time, what will I do?
3. What am I going to collect as proof of the success (or lack thereof) of this project?
4. How will I present this project as a tool to enhance the quality of the community?

If my progress so far in this project had to reflect a theme or lesson learned, that lesson would be to prepare oneself for a million “what ifs,” meaning that one must have many backup plans in case things go wrong. I choose this lesson because my project is not going according to my original plan, so I have had to create a different plan for my project. Since things are getting pressed for time, I am now considering other backup plans in case things do not work out. This lesson will assist me through the completion of this project by helping me prepare for any more problems that may arise. This lesson will help me in other classes and other aspects of life by guiding me in the preparation of other large class projects and assisting me when I schedule get-togethers with friends when issues can occur.

Pitch Day Reflection

My Pitch Day presentations were not as unnerving as I anticipated, which is mostly because of my audiences. Three out of four of my audiences were people I knew pretty well, so presenting in front of them was not as “scary” as I thought it would. I did mess up on my speech when explaining things at times, but that is mostly because I am terrible at public speaking. I thought that there would be more administrators of higher rank at the Pitch Day, such as more principals, so that was one reason why I was so nervous. The people who knew me liked my presentation, but I am not sure about my lesser-known audience. It was hard to discern their attitude when they were listening.

All in all, however, I believe I did quite well at presenting. I just need to work on speaking more consisely by using proper word choice, refraining from stuttering, and talking slower. I tend to use large words when I am nervous and sometimes I do not know the exact meaning of them. Stuttering is a nervous habit that stems from me talking too fast. Talking slower will also help the audience understand what I am saying.

A Sit-Down With Myself: How Do I Really Work?

So far, this project has been great, but also very taxing. I have learned that I do not like when things do not go as planned. According to a plan that I created for this project, I should have already started working with the students. However, I am still waiting for a release form and confirmation on how many students I will be working with. As one can see, I like to stick to schedules and specific plans. When things do not go according to plan, I can become very scattered and confused. Now that my plan is completely ineffective, I seem to be reaching that scattered point.

Although, this has been the only thing that has proven to be a challenge, which is better than what some of my classmates have had to face. In that aspect, I know I just have to be patient and faithful in my authorities. In retrospect, I believe that I might have made my plan practically unachievable from the start. This is yet another example of how I sometimes set my expectations way too high. I need to work on adding more flexibility to my plans and learn to be more faithful in others.

Contacting the Authority

I have received responses from two out of the four authorities that I e-mailed. The two authorities seem to have a lot of support in my cause. This was the e-mail I received from one of the guidance counselors:

WOW, ______. This is INCREDIBLE!!  I am also a very big advocate for journaling, and have been keeping journals since 1996. I wished I kept them before this.

I am currently journaling with a few students who I will ask to be a part of your program. I can also “recruit more globally” this week.

Thanks for reaching out and asking for my help. I support your project 110% and would love for you to share results. This is definitely something to publish. **Have you been giving thought to professions that you would like to pursue in the future??

Great stuff…can’t say enough….

Please keep in touch…

This is the e-mail I received from one of the two teachers:

I would be glad to help.  I will put an announcement up on the Stretch Wall linking to your blog and explaining your need to the class.  I will then do some personal recruiting for you as well.  I’ve got a few 7th graders you may be interested in as well.  Be in touch soon.

I did not have any major problems while I contacted my authorities. Even though only half of the people I contacted responded, I am not concerned. The two teachers teach their class together, so I am not losing any potential students from that. I think that I will have enough students from the language arts class and the counselor’s recruits combined. I am very excited that I have received so much support! I have high hopes for the success of this project.

I learned from this experience that if I am considerate, professional, and polite, the chances of me getting what I want increases immensely. I also learned how it feels to have to depend on others in order for a project to be successful. This can take a lot of patience and consideration because you have to wait for the people’s responses, figure out a plan if they do not respond, and you have to consider the other people’s situation in order to appeal to them to support your cause. Next, I will wait for my authorities to recruit students. I plan on starting the actual project next week.