Over the course of my life I have come to notice that no source of information stands a chance next to actually getting out there and experiencing; so this passing week, we took our project to its point of origin, Pucusana. On Monday the members of Mi Pescador Peruano, went for a visit to km 57, a mass fishing site for artisanal fishermen who make a living by selling their produce to providers.
It was truly incredible speaking to these hard-working men who spend numerous days out at sea, only to be rewarded with a mere 1 sol per kilogram of fish. Listening to their stories truly changed my perspective of the whole fishing industry; I was amazed of how different their lives where from us. These men lead truly unstable lives, they face real ambiguity, given the prices of their work tend to change overnight. When there is little competition their fish can be sold to a price of 6 soles, yet when the market is full the prices drop exponentially.
What I enjoy the most about this project is that we actually have the opportunity to change the lives of those who are less fortunate, to honestly make a difference. If anything this field trip has served as a true inspiration, only after actually seeing what I have read being portrayed before my eyes was i able to notice the bigger issue at hand. Now I am completely aware that this is a problem that has to be addressed, and i am glad to say that I'm going to be one of the people who lets these stories be told to the world.
Embracing the challenge
This week, after having a long discussion about projects, I was faced with a decision: Photography or film. Now to understand my frustration with this topic, you must know i consider myself someone prone to the medias, I enjoy taking pictures, drawing, and basically any type of technological representation of ideas. However, when it comes to film-making, I find myself clueless; and that terrifies me.
I was given the opportunity to modify the final product of Cuéntame Perú, which lead me to two options, either stick videos, or migrate to images. I thought about this decision a lot and couldn't seem to reach a consensus between the logical and illogical sides of my brain. One side of me opted towards the easy pick: photography, it was the safe decision to go through with. I already had plenty of experience with the topic and could even improve my current skills. However, once I listened to the other side of my mind, I knew which decision I had to take.
Film-making is something I have never done before; sure I have made a couple of I-movie videos, but never something professional. Film represents the adventurous life-style, the risk-taking personality that many wish could have. By choosing to do film, I am not only showing others, but showing myself that I am not afraid to take scary situations and turn them into exhilarating challenges, to truly embrace the dare.After this sudden realization ,that fear, that fright, turned into excitement, because in this case, film-making stood for so much more.
Of course, I still have my doubts; but I know that if I go through with this and give it my all, I will be able to succeed. This decision only means that I have to put all my strength into my work, but simultaneously, as my work multiplies, the pleasure of seeing the final product completed will multiply as well. Because in life we are always going to be faced with great challenges, and it takes a true risk taker to follow the road less travelled.
THE IMPORTANCE OF FEEDBACK
“feedback when given well should not alienate the receiver of the feedback, but should motivate them to perform better.”
-M.O., Manager. Fortune 500 Company
This past Thursday, all of 10th grade Innovation Academy gathered up along with a few parents and teachers to present a project pitch. The purpose of this was mainly to share our ideas and receive some constructive feedback, which is exactly what happened. I must say that I did not expect much of this, I was completely prepared for the mothers to nod and compliment our presentations, so I was pretty shocked when my group received some of the best feedback I have ever heard in my life.
Had you asked me a week ago about my current Innovation Academy project, I would have had a whole plan as to how I was going to accomplish a set goal. I would have had dates, assignments and tasks to complete; however, if you ask me now, I have no clue. Some may think that this realization is a projection of declining productivity, but actually this change of direction might as well be the best thing that has ever happened to this project. Because if you count the number of days we would have lost following the wrong plan, instead of a few steps backwards, this is a giant leap forward that will surely propel us in the direction of success.
Throughout my months in Innovation Academy, I have grown fond of feedback giving and receiving; Breakthrough, of course, being my number one example. Having the several iterations of the magazine cover, searching for different points of view and denying conformation with nothing but the best we had, is what lead us to succeed and create beautiful work. And I am 100% prepared to return again to the same quest for perfection, and here is where it begins.
This whole experience truly comes to show that feedback is actually crucial in the efficient development of a project, and that in fact two minds think better than one; especially when one of them has a different perspective on the subject. Sometimes when we are too close to an idea, we get caught up in the details and seize to see the bigger picture, which is why feedback is so helpful.
Feedback can really change a whole project, it can take something decent and make it extraordinary. And beyond schoolwork, beyond projects in life constructive criticism is extremely helpful. But what happens when we don't have somebody else to consult?
We won't always have another set of eyes to give us their opinion, which is why this project has lead me to the realization that cultivating a critical mind is a true gift and advantage in life. Learning how to question your ideas and your deepest thoughts is the highest level of reflection one can undergo, and the consequences are always positive given that you begin to notice things that you didn't see before.
The life of education
The basic concepts of evolution state that in order to survive, one must learn to adapt; weather it is in a group of species, a progressing business or the 'learning experience' change is a crucial step towards success and perdurance.
If we look back 20 years from now, we can say with confidence that several things have changed, like: technology, music, architecture, fashion, and so much more. But when we come to think about education, we are faced with confusion. Of course, there have been evident advances in tools that facilitate learning; however, two decades have passed and for the most of it, us students are still sitting at our desks listening to the teacher talk about the same subjects our parents learnt in school.
Having education be a subject of such great importance, it is incredible to say that through the years it has not developed much. The student-teacher relation has stayed the same, even though the individuals and their perspectives are now completely different.
On Wednesday, Mr. Akin showed the class an out-dated promotional video of what once was Colegio Roosevelt; It showed progression of design, change in the buildings, and even the uniforms. As we quietly sat and watched, Mr. Akin said something that got me thinking: " It's funny to see how much physical change Colegio Roosevelt has undergone, however our students are still here learning the same lessons, sitting in the same classes, teacher to students."
In my opinion, learning is advancing at a slow speed. World-wide, numerous innovators and education enthusiasts are doing all they can to jump-start new projects like the Innovation Academy, and it is these projects which are going to make 'the learning experience' move forward.
Back and on track
After an eternal, yet, time-flying summer break, school is back; and neither students nor teachers are losing time to begin working.
We opened up the first class of innovation with Mr. Bon's keynote; however, we weren't seated for long. As soon as the presentation reached a conclusion, we began doing some hands-on work. As pitched by Bonnici, freedom is our topic this semester. our projects will somewhat relate to the greater subject, and finding some ideas for that project was our task that Tuesday afternoon.
Before we knew it, we all got into groups and began debating. Everybody had their own ideas in mind and wanted to share them with our peers.
That same day, once I got home, I opened my laptop and began to organize. The incidents at school really got me thinking more about my organization this semester. If such efficiency is being led so early into the semester, then I must be efficient in my own time as well.
D I G I T A L O R G A N I Z A T I O N T I P S :
1. Folders are your best friends:
Please don't be one of the desktop-clustering type of person, color code and organize your documents into folders.
2. Evernote for to-do's:
Get into the habit of writing down your homework or pending errands in an Evernote checklist.
3. Hard-drive it:
Don't have enough memory and are sad to erase data? Buy a hard drive to store it all, and keep your laptop junk-free.
I have to say this has definitely been one of the most productive first weeks of school. Not only did we quickly jump into conversations and discussions; however, watching us all engaged and embracing what will be our future innovation project, was something that brought me true inspiration.
“The earth has music for those who listen.”