Question: “Describe the ups and downs you have encountered to date in your inquiry. Specifically, when you were frustrated or struggling in your inquiry, what did you do to address the situation?”
Currently to date, an up I’ve had is the amount of information I was able to find. Using some valuable internet sources I was able to find lots of information for my project and notes. A down I had was when I was thinking of the story I would write. I got many ideas, and for a few I even started writing the story before I realized I wanted to switch to another idea. After a few days of thinking, I finally settled on an idea. Now I had to think of a structure I would follow. This also took a while, because I kept coming up with different ideas and then ended up scratching them off, since they all had flaws. It was a while until I was able to come up with a structure that I would stick to and use all the way through, and even then I ended up making many tweaks to it as I wrote, improving the structure to better suit my tastes.
When I was struggling to come up with a story idea, I thought about things that interested me. First, I determined that I would write about either fantasy, sci-fi, or both. After that I thought about what I wanted in my story. Action. Action was another one of my favourite genres, so I thought of storylines with either fantasy or sci-fi and action. After lots of trial & error, I came up with the storyline I used to create my short story, successfully making it fantasy and full of action.
Question: “Provide a copy/image of your research notes. What concepts in your learning do you now feel you have a solid grasp on? Which ones might be useful to other students in their learning?”
Here are some pictures of my notes:
At this point, I feel I have a solid grasp on the 5 basic elements that make up a short story, as well as many more elements that make up the 5 big ones. There is also the biggest and most important key, which is to WRITE ABOUT SOMETHING YOU ARE INTERESTED IN!!! If you don’t write about something you are interested in, then you won’t put everything you have into the story. Then you have the 5 big elements which are: Character, Setting, Plot, Conflict, and Theme. I researched key elements that made up good basic elements, because without effective basic elements, you can’t create an effective short story. There are many things you should keep in mind, which will help make a short story. So to clear things up, there are 5 big topics (elements) that make up a short story, and there are smaller sub-elements that make up the big ones. So if the smaller sub-elements are great, they will create great big topics, which in turn will create a great and effective short story!!!
If there are other students who are researching a similar topic, I feel like my notes would come in useful to them, because they can look at my notes and see all the important elements I found that make up an effective short story. My notes can save them a lot of time, and they can use them as a reference in their inquiry.
Question: “Related to your learning evidence, what have you done to make retrieving information easier or more effective in class?”
To make my work more efficient and quick, I email myself links to useful websites on the internet, so I don’t spend too much time searching for another useful source. On my laptop at home, when I find a good website I bookmark it at first, and then when we do ZIP in class I email myself the link for easy access the day before. As for my zip notes, I keep them on a google doc, so I can access them from any device, which also proves very useful and efficient. This way, when I do research in both class and my house, I can easily access my info on any device, which means more time to get work done! I have saved a lot of time with this technique and I will continue to do so to maximize working time.
When I look for a new source, I first quickly skim over the website, then I see who wrote the article/page if the author is provided, just so I can make sure the source is legit and not totally fake. Then if the info seems interesting and trustworthy, I go in-depth and read it, taking notes from the provided information. This is also where I bookmark the website. This way, I can get more effective info than if I had just by reading any old website.
The most significant conflict Junior faces in Sherman Alexie’s The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian is his crisis with his tribe because of the choice Junior makes to go to Reardan. Upon discovering this, many of Junior’s tribemates brand Junior as a traitor and hate him because they think he is betraying them. Thankfully, not all of his tribemates are against him, for example, Eugene who says, “No, man, you’re cool,” when Junior asks him, “Do you hate me, too?” (145). This shows that Eugene is fine with Junior’s decision and respects his bravery. On the other hand, most of Junior’s tribemates totally aren’t fine with Junior’s decision, for example when Junior says, “Mostly they just wanted to remind me that I was a traitor,” to the kids wearing Frankenstein masks that jump Junior (79). Worst of all, Junior loses his best and only friend, Rowdy, when he tells Rowdy that he is going to Reardan. At first, “He coughed and turned away from me,” but then afterwards he yells, “You always thought you were better than me,” and punches Junior in the face (52). This means Rowdy hates Junior for going to a white school and thinks of Junior as a traitor along with many other people. Junior even says that, “[…] I knew my best friend had become my worst enemy,” which shows how Junior understands Rowdy is no longer his friend, because of Junior’s decision to go to Reardan (53). All of this is because of the one choice Junior makes to go to Reardan so he has a more hopeful future. Unfortunately this leads to his tribe branding him as a traitor, because they think Junior is betraying them by trying to be white. None of this is true though, all Junior wants is a better future for himself, and a shot at success.
For my first doc of learning, I have chosen to answer the question, “What is a specific source of information that you have found valuable in answering your inquiry question? How has it proved valuable? Explain.”
A specific source of information that I have found valuable in answering my inquiry question is a website on the internet called The Write Practice. Here is the website: https://thewritepractice.com/successful-story-elements/
This website provides five specific tips for “Successful Short Stories”, and tells you some key elements to create a successful short story, which is basically my inquiry question. In order to make sure that the website article was trustworthy and not fake, I looked at who the author was. The author was someone named Emily Wenstrom. After further research, I saw that Emily Wenstrom was a popular freelance writer, content marketing specialist, and copywriter. She has also had eight years of professional marketing experience in journalism, marketing, and public relations. In other words, the website is a reliable source.
The source has proven valuable because it gives me specific key elements that make effective short stories, and my inquiry questions asks for no less. Of course, I will look at other sources and get a broader understanding, but for now this source has helped me very much. The five key tips it provides are: 1) Get right into the heart of the conflict, 2) Share only what’s critical to the moment, 3) Don’t get Artsy, 4) Build to the climax efficiently, 5) Have a clear conclusion. Under each one of these headings they provided brief explanations, which was very helpful rather than just the tips themselves because just the tips can easily confuse someone and lead them the wrong way.
Throughout the last week, I learned a lot through John Maxwell’s “How to be a REAL Success” lessons. Through the lessons, we learnt that there are 4 key areas to being a REAL success: Relationships, Equipping, Attitude, and Leadership. In order to be successful, you must be able to build relationships with people. If you are unable to build relations with people, then you will struggle to find success in your life, but the most important relationship you have to have is with yourself. Another thing you need in order to be successful is the ability to equip others. This means to be able to recognize the leadership potential in those around you and build on them. You must be able to equip others and take them to a higher level and mould them into your dream team because as I now know, one is too little a number to achieve greatness. The third law is attitude- you must be able to keep a positive attitude with everyone around you, because if you don’t it will rub off on others, leading to an unpleasant atmosphere. Your attitude is a choice, and if you choose to maintain a positive attitude you will find more success. The last law is leadership, because you must be able to lead others to find success. A team can’t go past the leader’s ability to lead, and you should lead from the heart, not the head.
I can use these in my day to day life because I can maintain and build positive relations with my classmates, and equip them to do tasks instead of trying to everything myself. I can also keep a positive attitude with those around me, to keep a friendly and good atmosphere. These will guide me to become a better leader and achieve more success in my life. I can apply these to my Leadership event and In-Depth to achieve more success than I would have without this leadership seminar.
What are the key elements that make an effective short story?
For my ZIP project this year, I would like to explore the question, ‘What are the key elements that make an effective short story?’ I am very interested in writing fantasy stories, and this way I can write a short fantasy story, which I can make even better by researching the key elements that make a short story effective and interesting for a reader.
Currently, I haven’t really dedicatedly written a story, except for one time last year where we had the month of November to write an 8000 word story. That wasn’t for marks though and back then I wasn’t too interested in story writing either. I do have a creative imagination though, and this will help me with my story.
At the end of ZIP, I hope to know what key elements make the most effective short story, and then develop my research into an actual short story that I will write. I want to be able to develop my research into a story that is effective and interesting for the reader.
During my research, I can look for sources on the internet, and I can also ask you, Mr. Morris. Other resources that can help me with my inquiry could be famous short stories, and I could read them and see what makes them so significant. I could also see what flaws they have to see what kinds of mistakes the authors made, and keep those in mind when I am writing my story. I will research many, many key elements that make an effective short story, and then narrow the list down to the most frequent ones that pop up over and over, and the ones that are most important.
To present my learning to the class, I will read aloud a small segment of my short story to the class, one that shows a few key elements that make the story effective. I will also then ask the class (based on my read-aloud) what elements they picked up from that segment. At the end, I will tell everyone the few most important key elements that make a short story effective.
WEEK 1 (Dec 3 – Dec 9):
Research key elements that make an effective short story
WEEK 2 (Dec 10 – Dec 16):
Continue and complete research, have a short list with the most important elements. Start short story.
WEEK 3 (Dec 17- Dec 23):
Continue short story, finish up draft and give to Mr. Morris or someone for feedback.
WEEK 4 (Dec 24 – Dec 30):
Do good copy of short story
WEEK 5 (Dec 31 – Jan 7):
Polishing and preparing presentation.
WEEK 6 (Jan 8 – Jan 12:
This site provided a nice overview of Steve’s life and helped me with the major events in his life, and lots of new info I could work with.
Again, this site helped me with more major events in Steve’s life and provided some more in-depth information than the previous site.
This site helped me lots with the details on how Steve Jobs was fired from Apple and how he came back, which is very important in his life.
This site helped me with Steve’s death, and the pancreatic cancer that caused in his death, and how Steve tackled this problem.
This site told me about how Steve Jobs started NeXT before he returned to Apple, and it told me of the time before Steve’s legendary return to Apple.
This news article told me all about how Steve Jobs impacted the world with Pixar, and how successful Pixar is today, thanks to Mr. Jobs.
This site told me about how Apple was similar and/or different from Apple 2 years after Jobs’ death, and this helped me with how Apple is faring without Steve Jobs.
This site helped me figure out how exactly Steve Jobs stumbled upon John Sculley, and why John Sculley was chosen to be CEO of Apple.
Kahney, Leander. Inside Steves brain. Portfolio/Penguin, 2012.
This book helped me with how Steve really thought and it went past how we people portrayed him, but I didn’t have enough time to carefully read through the entire thing, so I ended up skimming over it.
Note: I used other sites, but these ones helped me the most
For my first eminent project ever, it definitely wasn’t as stressful and difficult as I had thought. Part of the reason for this may have been because I actually enjoyed myself throughout the project, and I enjoyed learning about Steve Jobs.
First things first, I’ll start with my speech. I am satisfied with my performance, and happy that I was able to get a laugh out of my audience multiple times. However, when I re-watched my own speech through the video taken, I saw that my face was really red due to anxiousness.
Next up, my eminent interview. I was able to interview one of the senior hardware engineers of Apple Inc., who works at Apple’s main office in California: Yindar Chuo. He gave me very useful insight on Mr. Jobs that I didn’t know before. Although I couldn’t directly incorporate the feedback I got to my questions tangibly into my learning centre, I was able to answer many, many more questions people had than I would have if I hadn’t conducted the interview. In the end, I am very happy I was able to get an eminent interview; because of the insight I got into how Steve Jobs and Apple work.
Leading on, now you have my learning centre. I had a poster board with a brief timeline of Mr. Jobs’ life, and pictures decorating the timeline. On the 2 side folds of the trifold board, I had inspirational quotes along with a few other pictures highlighting Steve Jobs. Along with my poster board, I had an iMac, iPad, iPod and iPhone set on display in various areas, but I have to say the iMac caught most of the attention thanks to the large size and sleekness.
Besides the poster board and various Apple products, I had wires, circuit boards, breadboards, and other various circuit components to create the feel of Steve’s garage when Apple Computer was first created. My interactive was a build-a-circuit station where I got people to attempt to create a successful circuit, which you could tell if the LED light turned on. Despite the many people that tried, only 2 prevailed in actually building the circuit correctly, which surprised me, leading me to wonder whether I should do something simpler next year. Last of all I had some printed documents that Steve Jobs wrote, and a pencil and pens lying on the paper to look like he was writing stuff down.
I was very happy that I got lots of people who wanted to look at my learning centre, but I probably should have put up ‘Please Refrain From Touching’ signs in front of my circuit parts because many little kids came and fiddled with them. Thankfully they put them back soon after, because I didn’t want to tell them to not touch it, fearing they would think I was mean. I hope everyone who came to my learning centre took something away, because everybody had at least one question. Most people had many more, but I answered every single one to whoever was asking’s satisfaction. Yay.
At the start of eminent, I made some goals, such as researching Steve Jobs’ personality as well as how he is eminent. I think it’s safe to say I accomplished that goal. I discovered that Steve Jobs didn’t have the most charming personality, not at all. He was quite rude and harsh, as long as the work was done. Steve liked his work done as fast as possible. Another goal I made was to stay slightly ahead of the structured ‘due dates’. I sort of accomplished this goal because I either finished ahead of time or directly on time for everything up until the speeches. After that, I only had a few more days to do my learning centre, and I hadn’t started. Over the course of the weekend, I scrambled to put everything together. Next year I will start on my learning centre much earlier than I did this year to avoid last-minute rushes.
There are a few things I’m going to remember from Night of the Notables 2017. The speeches, learning centres, and good atmosphere to name a few. Most importantly, I will remember the grade 10 speeches and the learning centres. The speeches were absolutely phenomenal, and after listening to them, many grade 9’s were like, “Oh god, I think I’m going to start working on my speech right now”. Yeah. Many learning centres were also totally awesome, beyond what I had expected. The tremendous amount of work that would have been put into them was impressive, and they set the standards quite high for us 9’s. Sorry, my bad. They set the standards very high for us 9’s.
There are many people I would like to thank for Night of the Notables. First off, the TALONS teachers. They gave us structured ‘due dates’ and helped us along with our project, telling us what might work well and what might not. They in general made our lives a lot easier. Next, my parents. They helped me with my learning centre and speech, giving feedback to make the speech stronger and more interesting. Lastly, I would like to thank the TALONS class because we all helped each other through eminent, and helped us enjoy the project more. We gave each other feedback for learning centres and speeches on what we thought would work best, and this helped make our projects shine.