June 3

Personal Project Reflection

For my personal project, I created a film critiquing blog through the Global Context of personal and cultural expression. 

Reflecting

Film critiquing took more time and was more difficult than originally anticipated. But I also learned that film critiquing is very similar to analyzing any other art form.

Looking at my project through the lens of personal and cultural expression I learned that art always has a lot of connection with the psychology and relationship of the viewer and creator, with their own experiences and their perception of the world. By learning and practicing film critique, I learned that film is a media in which the creator and the viewer communicate. Through the film, the creator shows the audience the world through their lens, the audience sees this and creates meaning and learns more through this new lens.

After successfully going through and reflecting on my personal project, I learned how important it was to my learning. One of the reasons the personal project is so important is because it helps you become more independent in decision-making. In school, you are often told what to do, but outside of school, we are left to make decisions by ourselves. By going through the personal project, we become more independent as well as better decision makers. The personal project is also important because it teaches students to decide on one thing they would like to achieve, then figure out how to reach that goal by themselves. Although it spans a period of less than a year, it helps on a larger scale. For example, I want to become a successful actor, so I would study film and advance toward my goal. The third most important thing you learn during the personal project is persistence. For a project that takes months to complete, you must continuously work on it to keep the momentum.

In this project, I expressed a lot of skills as a thinker. I made sure that all of my notes and process journal entries were clearly organized so that I would not struggle to look through my notes later on. This helped me when I was writing my blog posts, because I could continue to look back at the knowledge I had acquired throughout my research period and refer to that knowledge on the posts. When I interviewed Professor Ainge, I made sure to record the interview and take notes by listening to the recording multiple times. I also made sure to create to-do lists whenever I could, in order to understand the steps I needed to take next to reach my goal. As I was not able to use my action plan as effectively as I would have liked, having short-term to-do lists turned out to be a better approach for my process.

During this project, I improved as a risk-taker. The biggest risk I took throughout this project was choosing a topic on which I barely knew anything. Being an ambitious student, I decided to challenge my limits of absorbing and learning new information in a short amount of time. I had not had a lot of time, as I was new to the school and had less time for research. I had not fully prepared to interview Professor Ainge. With the short amount of time I had, I wrote down questions I could ask, which ended up being extremely beneficial.

During this project, I continued to be a communicator. I had to make sure to collaborate with many people to create my final product. I had to communicate with my mentor as well as Professor Ainge and my peers. I made sure that in sent emails, I used the correct, formal language where I included all the information needed to understand the context of the emails. Not only this, in my exhibition I made sure to convey my product, my goal, and my knowledge as clearly and succinctly as possible to make sure the guests received as much as they could from my exhibit.

Throughout the personal project, I spent a lot of time reflecting on my work and my process of working. Whenever I sat down to work on my personal project, I made sure to reflect and if I hadn’t reflected, I created a reflection for a collection of events that had happened since the last entry. At one point in my project, I had gotten stuck because I had been too ambitious. I then decided to adapt my final product, so it would be more achievable in the given time.

Conclusion

Although the personal project is not something that I particularly enjoyed while doing, as it is difficult, time-consuming, not to say stressful, the feeling of accomplishment I felt when I finally finished, standing in front of something I was proud of, that I created by putting in all of that effort, is what makes it such an important learning experience. As I reflect on the personal project, and knowing the struggles I went through, I feel proud of the product, but not only that I realize all of the new skills I’ve learned by going through the process.

The things I have learned in the personal project will help me in other aspects of my life in the future. This includes not only knowledge on film critiquing but also the skills I developed by completing the personal project.

June 3

Wellness: TML

 

Cast Photo

Around January of 2017, the drama department put on a show called “Too Much Light Makes the Baby Go Blind” (If you would like to know about the theatre show here is the link: TMLMTBGB). The show was a compilation of skits which one of them were written and directed by me. The piece was a very emotional and personal topic for me, sexual harassment.

 

Here is a passage from my Drama Journal about the creation of the piece:

I decided that I would like to create my own play. For a while, I had wanted to create art that conveyed my experiences as a victim of sexual harassment to others. It had had a large impact on me and on how I lived my life. As something that is difficult to process I turned to all kinds of art to channel my feelings into as well as spread awareness of sexual harassment. Hearing about TML and the format of skits stringed together to create one show, as well as the objective of the goal to express opinions on current issues, I decided that TML would be the perfect place to express my feelings. I started writing by thinking of the atmosphere I wanted to create and what emotions I wanted to make the audience feel. I decided that in the end I wanted the audience to empathize with the main character, and understand the big picture of what people go through from the perspective of a victim. I wanted to make sure that people took my performance seriously and it made people rethink their lives.

By creating this piece, “Used”, I lessened the pain that I carried around as well as spread the word about a very important problem. Creating and presenting this piece terrified me because of the risk I was having to take in order to do it. Firstly, I was terrified of the reactions I would get. The piece was my way of opening up about my pain to the world, and I was terrified that if anything in the piece went wrong that I would create the wrong atmosphere resulting in humor. I was also scared that the actors would not take the piece seriously which could cause a mistake to occur during the presentation of the piece. Since this was such a sensitive topic for me, receiving such reaction to invalidate the pain I had gone through or seeing that the audience didn’t care about the topic and the reality of going through such a traumatic experience would emotionally destroy me and collapse the work I had done rehabilitating myself. The second fear I had in presenting this piece was getting labeled as the “broken girl”. I took a very high risk showing the most vulnerable parts of myself. This opened myself up to so much possible judgment that would not help the development of my emotional stability. I was terrified of people treating me as if I were to burst at any second and also being judged for being labeled an “attention whore”. I had already been sensitive to sexism especially since the incident and had always had to ask people to stop. This was a very big step for me whether or not it was to move forward or backward and I was terrified, from my experiences that it would instead be a step back.

I worked very hard and made my actors practice the piece repeatedly to make sure that the piece would be perfect for the show day.

Standing backstage I heard my title being called up. Nervous but determined to honor my piece I walked up onto the stage: ” USED. GO!”.

As the show came to an end we all held hands and bowed for the audience. My friends and family came up to hug me and congratulate me and told me that “the piece where you were the main character was amazing” and with the relief I felt from all the compliments as I told them that I wrote the piece, I started to cry. Everyone was so supportive of me and the piece that I had nurtured which I cared for as if it were my child. It was my intellectual baby and everyone loved it so much. People came up to me to tell me that they had tears welling up in their eyes from such an emotional piece. I was so amazed at the reaction of love and support I was receiving and I knew that I had truly touched these people’s hearts with my piece. The reaction I received was more than what I imagined. I had only hoped for people to watch my piece and understand what people go through, but I received more than just understanding. I received love and empathy from all these people.

Creating this piece I became emotionally more well by telling people about my problems, and I also realized my social wellness from all the support and love I was able to receive from my piece. This piece helped me emotionally by telling people my pain through art.

December 4

Field Studies- Okinawa

Many things happened in  Okinawa. At the beginning of the trip my 2 roommates, and I wanted to go home. We did not enjoy the hotel we were staying at, the diving was simply tiring and left us no joy and the only thing we looked forward to was the daily trip to the super market and our midnight gossip. We talked about our newly found relationships within the grade, as we were all new. As the week went on my mood continued to go on a wild rollercoaster. As my 2 roommates talked about how much they missed talking to their significant others, I wished that mine was no where near me. It was extremely bothering and took over most of my thoughts during the trip. By the end of the week I was emotionally, mentally, and physically tired from all the studying for our test,from the diving lessons themselves, and the emotional strain from my collapsing relationship not only with my boyfriend but also with one of my 2 roommates. The 3 of us were so tired and one of the roommates and I continued to have tiny fights about things that didn’t matter whatsoever.

Although the trip included a lot of fighting, tears, and anger; I have an over all good memory of it. I was with my 2 closest friends, and saw and breathed under water (which was amazingly cool). The thing that had the most impact on me through the trip was when we were finally done with all the skills we were required to learn, and actually dived simply for entertainment. Underwater, sounds are distorted, so that you hear everything but nothing at once; there is no gravity around you, or it feels like there isn’t; and color is distorted as well, so you are in a world of blue. Under water, I felt like a child again, with the sense of wonder the situation created around me. I felt solace, enveloped in a sort of hug from the water around me. It was a different world all together that I had experienced for the first time in the 15 years of my life.

Coming back from the trip I realized a couple things. I have come to peace with my relationship with my boyfriend, although it ended within the next week. I also realized I had to put my emotional stability before anyone else’s. Other than that I used to be worried that something would go wrong during the week and I would do something wrong while I was diving. I am glad to be home safe, but not only that I learnt that I sometimes I have to learn to trust myself. In the trip I was able to get closer with my roommates and get out of my comfort zone with my relationship with not only them but everyone in the trip. I also learnt to get out of my comfort zone in order to experience these wonderful things in life.

August 23

Hey!!!!

Hey guys!!!

My name is Sarah and I’ll be keeping this blog for the next couple of years. This is my first entry and I’d like to keep track of my time at Y.I.S. for future reference and all that. I hope you guys enjoy reading my content and I’ll see some sort of improvement!

Till next time <3