November 2016 archive

Expeditions 2016

This year was my third year of expeditions (but the first where it was called expeditions). This time I went to Niigata on a hiking trip. The hike itself was 3 days and 2 nights. Here we had to overcome many challenges and learn a lot of new lessons.p1310862

What I learned:
I learned a lot of practical skills for hiking such as how to put up and take down a tent properly and how to put on a heavy hiking backpack on in the best, most convenient way. However, I also learned a lot about how people behave differently in different environments and how it is important that we don’t always just take the easiest route. The second I learned when the hike split into two paths. One was an easy hike on the road and the other was a steep mountain that had a distance twice as long as the road. My team decided to take the mountain route. The other team decided to take the easy route. Even though my team arrived later than them, we felt accomplished and I got the feeling that the other team ended up regretting taking the easy way out.

How my views changed on things:
I am not a very athletic person so I was surprised at how quickly I made it to camp with my team and that I could keep up the pace. One thing I am incredibly glad that we had on the hike was one of our teammates who would always ask if anyone needed a break and made sure people were okay. We also had a person keeping track of how far we had gone. Whenever we heard the number we surprised and proud of us for making it that far. Everyone in our team played an important role
Another way in which my view changed was when we had to take down our tent. We had to try multiple times to fit all of the tents into the bag but in the end, we always managed. The lesson learned was that even if something seems hopeless and you keep on failing, you can succeed if you just try your best. This was an important lesson to learn, especially for me as this is something I struggle with.

Problems we had on the hike:
We had quite a few challenges during the hike. Not only was the hike a challenge but our group had some issues too. On the last hike, we got split into three groups: the front, the middle, and the back. I was alone in the middle. Eventually, I caught up with the front but we were still in two parts. This then became an even bigger problem because the back people decided to stay at the top of the mountain while we were waiting at the bottom. In the end, we had to go back and split into even more little groups. Finally, we all arrived at camp. I think this was an important lesson to learn. We have to stick together.


Unit 1 Reflection

In this first unit on cultural art, I feel I have improved in my reading and writing skills. I now find it easier to identify and recreate certain text types. I also believe that I have improved drastically with using unit-specific vocab in my writings. Something I struggle with with reading is full comprehending the reading. A way I could improve here is by doing more complex readings and practice recognizing certain repeated features.

I also feel I have improved on my speaking skills but only when I have had practice in the specific area, for example during a presentation. An area where I really need to improve is my speaking without practice. At the beginning of this week, we had two spanish speakers come and all we were meant to just talk about anything. I found this incredibly difficult. Something else I need to work on is my listening skills. This also became apparent when we were talking to the spanish speakers. However, I did see that many other people were struggling with this too so maybe it is something we can practice together.

I believe I am doing reasonably okay with the unit vocabulary and grammar. The reason for this is that in class we often repeat the explanations but go a bit more into detail each time. Also, games like the fly swatter game help me learn vocab. However, the most useful tool for me for learning new vocab is still quizlet.

To further improve in the skills where I am lacking is by really trying to use to opportunities we are given to practice, mainly speaking. At the beginning of the year, I made asking questions in spanish my goal. I have had some difficulties with this but I will most definitely continue trying. Another part of my original goal was to ask questions when I don’t understand something. I feel I have really done this (and sometimes even received points for them which is a great way of keeping us motivated).

My goal for the rest of the year is now to really use the learning and practice opportunities we are given. I shouldn’t shy away from learning experiences. This is something I need to remember for all of my subjects but it is particularly important in the spanish subject.