Saturday, February 21, 2015

Weekend Update

 It's the weekend before the first TDO reflections are due.  Over the last month, students have been working on their projects, and some have already revised - or completely scrapped - their original plans in favor of something new.  My students share their proposals via Googledrive, allowing both teacher and student instant access for commentary, revision, and, well, last minute changes before the first mandatory reflection.  

As I've said before, I truly love the creativity and ingenuity of my students.  Case in point, the decision by one student, who has been working on a novel for the last 3 years, to suddenly scrap that plan in the last semester of his senior year, to explore something with reckless abandon.

Title of Project: My Endeavors In a Field In Which I Have No Left Talent to Develop: Art Projects

Proposal:  I plan to explore art, an area I have not explored since middle school.  I plan to come in with no preconceived idea for what I plan to create, but borrow resources brought in by other students for their TDOs to make my own art and work in many different styles and mediums.  Ultimately I plan to create a grand “portfolio,” portfolio being in quotes because that word implies professional quality, and I certainly do not think I will be exhibiting that.  I have not explored art since middle school for a reason: I am very bad at it.  I have turned my “Talent Development Opportunity” to an “Un-Talent Development Opportunity.”

 Defense: I think as a heavily left brained individual, an experience in the right brained side of things will be interesting for me to say the least.  Also, something that always stressed me taking art classes in the past was the  side of things will be interesting for me to say the least.  Also, something that always stressed me taking art classes in the past was the (???)o attempt to develop in an area I am so poor in.

1.3 Self Understanding: Students with gifts and talents demonstrate understanding of and respect for similarities and differences between themselves and their peer group and others in the general population
1.6 Cognitive and Affective Growth: Students with gifts and talents benefit from meaningful and challenging learning activities addressing their unique characteristics and needs
3.2 Talent Development: Students with gifts and talents become more competent in multiple talent areas and across dimensions of learning

Editorial Reply:

Aside from the obvious prepositional ending to his defense, the reflection in the actual proposal is pretty sound.  It also demonstrates a certain risk, which is certainly encouraged in this course.      

The fact that two of his friends, one of whom is actually his girlfriend of more than a year, are the apparent targets for access to free art supplies is not lost on me, and my response to his proposal reflected that obvious statement of intended theft.

See question marks above.  Also, do your classmates, aka the targets for all of your supplies, have any idea of your intentions?  Any chance you’re going to be viewed as a supply-moocher?

I'm excited to see how this all plays out, and pleased that a senior is attempting something that he will ultimately present in front of underclassmen, potentially illustrating the "purse out of a sow's ear" principle in the intended assignment and his end-of-project reflection.

Am I a little sad that the groundbreaking novel, now more than 80 pages long, may never be completed?  Sure, just a bit.

Fortunately, it was based on the French Revolution, and history can help me overcome the curiosity I have for what the ending might have been.