In-Depth Night

Hello everyone! I hope you are enjoying your evening so far.

My name is Simran and for my In-Depth project this year, I chose to learn the basics of watercolour painting. Prior to this project, I did not have any knowledge about watercolour painting but through this experience, I have gained a basic understanding of various skills and techniques. Thank you to my watercolour partner Amin for helping me throughout In-Depth. I would also like to say a huge thank you to my mentor Nina as I have learned a lot from her, and without her support, I would not have been able to gain as much knowledge as I did.

For my final presentation, I have put together a PowerPoint of some of the paintings I created and descriptions for each one to highlight some of the skills I learned.

Here is the link to the presentation:

In-Depth 2020: Watercolour Painting PowerPoint Presentation

Please feel free to leave a comment if you have any questions or comments regarding my In-Depth journey. I will be replying to them as soon as possible. Thank you for visiting my post and I hope you have a great rest of your evening!

In-Depth Post 6

Since my last post, I have continued to practice watercolour painting using the materials that I have at home. I mentioned in my previous post that I was running low on watercolour paper and Ms. Mulder suggested that I could learn how to make my own out of recycled paper! I looked for a tutorial online and I ended up finding this video.

It was very helpful and I was able to make my own paper with materials that were already in my house. For example, I needed to improvise with the screen material because that was something that I didn’t have but there were alternatives such as using an old cotton t-shirt or a cheesecloth. Besides making watercolour paper, I have started to think about my final project and also have been communicating with my mentor via messaging. Our mentor is currently in Taiwan and because of the drastic time difference, it is very difficult to arrange video calls because when it’s daytime here, it’s the evening over there. We have been encouraged to continue to practice with the materials we have and have been communicating through texting if we need any help or have questions.

I am still planning on how I want my presentation to look like for our online In-Depth night later this month. An idea I have at the moment is creating a slideshow of all the techniques I’ve learned and paintings that I’ve created since the beginning of in-depth. I was originally planning on having a physical gallery of my work but since that isn’t possible, I’m thinking that this is the next best thing. I have also thought about creating a short video tutorial demonstrating some of the basic watercolour techniques that Nina has taught me. I am not sure if I have the time to do this but it’s something that I could do to present my learning. In-depth has been a fun and exciting journey and I feel that time flew by so quickly. I am excited for in-depth night and to see what some of my peers have been doing over these past months.

Until In-Depth night!

Ecological Footprint Assignment

Planning

Ecological Footprint Calculations

Based on my calculations from the questionnaire, my ecological footprint is 8.8 hectares. Comparing to my peers, I had a lower footprint than Hailey that had 10.6 hectares and Evan who got 9.36 hectares. I had a similar footprint compared to Indah with 8.2 hectares but I had a substantially higher footprint when compared to Avery who calculated 6.77 hectares.

10 actions that currently increase the size of my footprint:

  1. Taking showers for 10+ minutes
  2. Buying some of my clothing brand-new
  3. Producing enough garbage to fit into a shoebox every day
  4. Spending some time traveling in a car each day
  5. Spending more than one hour on my laptop every day
  6. Having a medium-sized car as the car used most often
  7. Having the majority of the food I eat grown outside of BC
  8. Eating mostly non-organic food
  9. Consuming dairy products (milk, cheese, yogurt, etc.)
  10. Consuming lots of meat

5 actions to reduce my ecological footprint:

  1. Taking shorter showers: I take long showers and by reducing the amount of time spent in the shower, my overall water usage will decrease, resulting in a lower ecological footprint. I also feel that taking long showers is a bad habit I have and by starting to reduce the time I spend showering now will spark a change and build good habits for the future.
  2. Producing less garbage daily so it can fit into a cup: I currently produce enough garbage to fit into a shoebox every day and I think that the amount of garbage I produce can and should be reduced. Recognizing my actions is the first step and by attempting to reduce the amount of garbage produced will cause me to become more conscious of how the garbage I produce carries toward my footprint.
  3. Spending less time on my laptop every day: Although I do have to use my laptop daily for online learning purposes, I am spending an excessive amount of time on my laptop doing activities like watching Netflix. Limiting my laptop usage for unnecessary activities will lead me to become more productive and have time for other actions like going for a walk or doing in-depth.
  4. Reducing my dairy consumption: I chose this action because I consume a lot of dairy products. Right now is a good time to try to minimize the amount of dairy I eat and I feel that it will not be very difficult to make this change.
  5. Reducing my meat consumption: Again, I feel like I eat a lot of meat. Reducing my meat consumption wouldn’t hurt and I also feel that this change will be quite easy to implement.

I am aiming to take shorter showers. To do this, I am going to set a timer whenever I take a shower so I am aware of how long I am spending showering. I will set a 10-minute timer so that when I hear it go off and I am still showering, I will know that it is time to start wrapping up. This will be effective because, for the first few days, I can recognize how much time I am actually spending in the shower and work to reduce the time over the next week or two.

To reduce the amount of garbage I produce each day, I am planning on having a cup that I will put all my garbage inside. By doing so, I will be able to monitor how much garbage there is and make changes accordingly. I will also make a conscious effort to reduce my unnecessary use of items like paper, food packaging, and drink bottles.

To spend less unnecessary time on my laptop, I will have a limit on how much time I can spend on my laptop for activities that do not pertain to school work. I am going to be limiting myself to 1 hour each day and tracking the time by setting timers whenever I am using my laptop for an activity like watching Netflix.

To reduce my dairy consumption, I am going to limit myself to 1 cup of dairy each day. This should keep me on track to consume less dairy in general. I will also ask my parents if we can have dinners with less dairy. I will try to ear dairy-free snacks and include a good balance of other food groups.

To reduce the amount of meat I eat, I plan to communicate with my parents about the meat we are purchasing and how dinners will look like. I can control what I eat for breakfast and lunch because those are meals where I make my own food, but for dinner, it is mostly up to my parents on what we’re having.

Reflection

Some of the changes that were easy for me to make were taking shorter showers and spending less unnecessary time on my laptop. The timer method worked well for taking shorter showers and by the end of the two weeks, my shower duration was around10 minutes instead of 10+ minutes. I was also able to reduce the amount of time I spend on my laptop for activities like watching Netflix quite easily. By setting timers, it reminded me of how much more time I had left. By spending less time on my laptop, I had time for other activities like going for a bike ride to get fresh air or baking cookies.

Some of the changes that were difficult for me to make were reducing the amount of meat I eat, reducing dairy consumption, and fitting all my garbage into a cup. I thought it wouldn’t be too hard to reduce meat and dairy consumption but I was proven wrong. Since my dinners were based on what ingredients we had at home, it wasn’t easy to control. I did make an effort to eat less meat and dairy throughout the day, but when it came to dinner, I did not have control over that. Although I think I did reduce the amount of garbage I produced, I wasn’t successful of fitting it in a cup. I do think that my amount of garbage decreased but it was difficult to get to a point where I was only creating enough garbage to fit into a cup.

An obstacle I encountered was not having control over some of the meals that I ate during the two weeks. I couldn’t completely change my diet due to the fact that our dinners were based on the ingredients we had or what was available at the store. I didn’t have full control over what I ate and that caused it to be more difficult to consume less dairy and meat.

For the future, I hope to continue to implement some of these changes. For example, the shower timer worked really well and I hope that I will keep taking shorter showers because it is reducing my water usage. Spending less time on my laptop when I came will also be a change to implement and continue. I also think that I can continue to work on the amount of garbage that I am producing. This assignment made me more conscious of my actions and how these actions can affect my ecological footprint.

TALONS Digital Literacy Assignment 5

Assignment 5: Hick’s Lake Retreat

(Unfortunately, we do not have access to the planning documents)

For our leadership class, our class planned a 3-day retreat to Hick’s Lake. We started planning on the first day of school and it was our second time meeting one another. We all split off into different committees and got to work. I was a part of the food and equipment committee. There were many tasks that we had to complete in order for a successful trip. For example, the food and equipment committee was in charge of planning each meal we would be eating on the trip and we did our own food shopping and food prep. We attended many leadership classes in order to prepare for our trip that would take place in the middle of September. The learning objective for this was to get an idea of what leadership planning would look like, to work collaboratively and get to know our classmates, and of course to plan a successful retreat.

3. I respond to the work or ideas of my peers in a way that is compassionate and productive

Since the first day of planning was only the second time most of us had met, there was a lot of teamwork within committees. We recognized that we all had to provide our own ideas and work together effectively in order to plan the retreat. We didn’t have a lot of time to do this, so I feel like responding to the work of my peers in a positive way came naturally and there was a lot of building off each other’s ideas.

8. I challenge myself to increase my technological literacy by working with apps, software, or mediums that I have not used in the past

Although I used my laptop throughout all of middle school for my classes, I had never worked with Microsoft Teams. On the first day of planning, I was introduced to working with teams. It was something new and unknown at first, but I quickly became familiar with it and now Microsoft Teams is something that I use on a daily basis. 

TALONS Digital Literacy Assignment 4

Assignment 4: Parts of the Cell Powerpoint

My Powerpoint Slides

This assignment required our science class to work collaboratively on a PowerPoint about the parts of a cell. Each person chose a cell part and made PowerPoint slides for the structure and the function of their cell part. I was assigned the chloroplast. After doing a few days of research and working on the PowerPoint, we all presented our slides to the rest of the class. The objective of this assignment was for collaboration with peers and to learn the parts of a cell in a shorter period of time.

1. I use digital spaces to plan and execute collaborative projects with my peers

Since this was a collaborative PowerPoint, we were using digital spaces to plan and execute the presentation. Everyone in the class conducted research on their own cell part using online resources. Afterwards, we all worked alongside one another online to create the presentation on PowerPoint online. There was a problem when one person changed the theme of their slides and it changed the theme of the whole PowerPoint. We were able to overcome the obstacle by suggesting that everyone make their own slides in a separate PowerPoint and add them into the group PowerPoint when finished. This made sure that even if your slides get altered or deleted, you can easily copy and paste your slides back in.

7. I design my work with consideration given to aesthetics and design, such a consistent colour schemes, symmetry or organization of visual elements, and overall layout

For my own PowerPoint slides, I created a theme that was simplistic but added design components into my work. I considered many options but went with a theme that would compliment my pictures and not distract my peers away from the information. I kept a consistent theme throughout my slides by keeping the fonts and design the same.

14. I ethically use content that is not created by me by using Creative-Commons licensed audio, video, or images and by properly citing these resources within my work

For my slides, I used images that were not my own. I used diagrams I found online for the structure of my cell part and the function of my cell part. I made sure to include the link to the websites where I found the images right underneath the diagrams on my slides.

TALONS Digital Literacy Assignment 3

Assignment 3: PTI Presentation

Presentation Script

PowerPoint Presentation

While reading The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie, we were assigned a project where we presented a topic that was relevant to the novel. In small groups, we researched our topic, made connections to the novel, created a PowerPoint presentation, and wrote a script. My group presented Indigenous Women’s Rights. The idea of this project was to gain a further understanding of issues that First Nations people face that are relevant today.

9. I critically assess research sources for Currency, Reliability, Authority, and Purpose

Before taking information from different online sources, we made sure to check that they passed the C.R.A.P test. All of our research had to be from sources that were no more than 3 years ago. This ensured that we were talking about relevant information. Critically assessing your research sources is very important as information is always changing and knowledge from 5 years ago may be completely different from the knowledge that we have today.

10. I identify bias in research sources

There were many sources that we reviewed online about indigenous women’s rights. There can definitely be apparent bias in news articles or other online resources. We identified bias in the resources we came across online. We recognized bias for indigenous women and bias against them as there were many perspectives showcased in the research we conducted about indigenous women’s rights. As a group, we talked about the different viewpoints given by different people and we tried our best to collect information given from unbiased sources.

12. I look at controversial issues or topics from opposed perspectives to gain more complete understanding

The research we conducted provided us information about the problems that indigenous women face every day. Indigenous women face violence, racial and social inequality, and discrimination, which are all controversial issues and topics. By looking at different resources online, we were able to recognize different perspectives on these issues. The perspectives we looked at included the family members of missing and indigenous women and the Canadian government.

13. I attribute credit to ideas that are not my own by preparing a Bibliography/Works Cited and by using in-text citations

A requirement for this assignment was to prepare a bibliography for the sources we used to collect information from as we are conducting research from different sources that are not our own. We also created a Works Cited slide for our PowerPoint presentation as we used showcased pictures that we found online that do not belong to us.

TALONS Digital Literacy Assignment 2

Assignment 2: A Midsummer Night’s Dream Vignette

Vignette Script

Backdrop Visuals

Our class read and analyzed William Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream. We got into small groups and were challenged to choose a scene from the play to present to the class. My group chose Act 5 Scene 1. We were allowed to put a creative spin on our scene and while our group kept most of our scene the same, we took out a few characters and added. We wrote our scripts while keeping some of Shakespeare’s most famous lines. Then we memorized lines, got costumes and props, created visuals for our background, and presented our finished scene to the class. This assignment strengthened our ability to work effectively with peers and presenting what we learned about the play.

2. I tailor my work to appeal to my intended audience and use language and visual design elements appropriate for them

Our audience was our peers so our group made sure to adapt Shakespeare’s text in a way that would make sense to our classmates. We knew that we wanted to keep the general idea of the scene the same as Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream, but we modified the text. We used language that would appeal to our peers by adapting the Elizabethan English to phrases that are more commonly spoken today. Our group also altered a few of the character’s attributes as a way to add humor and creativity into our vignette.

5. I enhance the impact of my research or presentation through creative use of technology

Our group decided to add audios and backdrops as a way to elevate the quality of our scene. Although it wasn’t required to include technological aspects, we thought that it would add a lot to our presentation. We added sound effects like a lion roaring and trumpets to introduce the prologue. Along with the sound effects, we created slides for different scenes such as a stage, a graveyard, and a forest.

 

 

TALONS Digital Literacy Assignment 1

Assignment 1: Independent Novel Study

Independent Novel Study

Our task was to select a novel and write a multi-paragraph 800-1200 word response. I selected Turtles All the Way Down by John Green. During the reading process, I reflected on three different scenes and wrote about the character motivations within each scene. After I finished reading, I reflected on the whole novel. I wrote about the protagonist and assessed their growth throughout the novel. Then I analyzed the major theme that the book explores. I also wrote about any personal connections I made between the character’s conflicts and my own experiences and finally, I gave the novel an overall star rating. The objective of this assignment was independent work and reflecting on ideas present in literature.

4. I constructively build upon or synthesize the ideas of my peers

Although this assignment was an independent novel study, getting peers to look over and revise your work is helpful in terms of punctuation, grammar, and the overall flow of your writing. While I was working on this assignment, I asked a few peers to read over my work and give me constructive criticism. I built upon their feedback and applied their thinking into my work. My peer’s responses were helpful as sometimes you can’t see errors while viewing your own writing.

15. My work demonstrates a positive, productive, and empathetic worldview

I wrote about the major theme presented in the novel. The novel I synthesized explores mental health as the main character struggles with that every day. It talks about how her anxiety and OCD affect the way she wants to live her life. In the character appraisal, I wrote about how I feel empathy for her as anxiety and OCD are definitely things that are not easy to deal with and she still manages to stay positive through it all.

In-Depth Post 5

In these last two weeks since my last post, I feel I’ve made a decent amount of progress. Since we cannot meet in person any longer, I am communicating with my mentor Nina and Amin through messaging on Instagram. We are also looking to set up a few video calls but it is a little tricky. Nina is also a student and since she is in grade 12, a lot is going on. I have been practicing and playing around with watercolour painting in my free time. I will admit that it was a bit challenging at first to find the motivation to consistently practice, but now that I have set aside time every day that I can do a little practice, it is more structured and easier to get working. Since I am not learning face to face with Nina, I have been finding resources online to assist me in watercolour painting. A challenge that I am currently facing is that I am almost out of watercolour paper. This is a problem because watercolour paper is a necessary supply that I need to continue my project. I may have to order it online or find a different solution so that I am still progressing and improving my skills. I have also been thinking about my final project, which I am hoping to create a final watercolour piece.

Here are some of the things I’ve been doing:

Basic Watercolour Skills

Mixing Neutrals and Flesh Tones (top) & Layering Shapes

Bottle using Layering Technique

Questions:

1. What kinds of learning opportunities does the mentor provide to expose you to new learning?

Nina has been great at teaching us new techniques. Before spring break, we had two meetings where we learned various watercolour techniques. Since we cannot meet in person, it has been a bit harder to learn from her. Amin and I have been doing our learning from other resources like YouTube videos, websites, blogs, etc.

2. What kinds of learning opportunities exist to reinforce new learning?

I’ve been doing my learning online. Nina is always there when I need to ask her questions or need help. To reinforce learning, I feel that consistent practice has helped. If you practice watercolour one day and don’t practice again for a few weeks, you are likely to forget what you’ve learned and you’re back at stage one. To successfully build off of skills you are learning, it’s important to practice regularly.

3. What kinds of opportunities exist that might accelerate learning?

Opportunities that may accelerate my learning are online resources. I feel that I still learn a lot through videos because I can always pause it when I’m stuck or go back to a certain point if I need clarification. I have also been looking at websites that teach watercolor skills and techniques.

4. When you get together what do you talk about?

When we had in-person meetings, we would talk about how we are feeling about the skills we learned and if we have any questions regarding watercolour painting. We would go over the practice we did during the 2 weeks leading up to the meeting. While we would paint, we would also talk a bit about how our personal lives are going. Nina talked to Amin and I about how she’s applied to universities because she’s currently a grade 12 student.

5. What is going particularly well in your mentoring relationship right now?

Communication via messaging on social media has worked fairly well since we cannot meet in person. I feel comfortable asking Nina for clarification questions or just questions regarding specific techniques. I feel that by having video calls we can improve that communication but messaging is still working well.

6. What are you learning about one another?

I have learned that Nina is a very talented artist. Before we went off to spring break, Ms. Croft showed us one of her finished watercolour pieces, and it was amazing. Nina also has an art Instagram account where she posts some of her digital art. As I talked about earlier, Nina is a grade 12 student and she has applied to various universities.

I feel like I’ve made progress since my last post and I look forward to learning new skills and overcoming more obstacles. Updates to come.

In-Depth Post 4

Since my previous post, many events have occurred. The COVID-19 outbreak has posed a few challenges that have been difficult to work through, but I have found solutions that can keep my in-depth project progressing at the rate I would like it to be. Prior to spring break, I had two meetings with my mentor Nina. During the first meeting, she went over some of the basics of watercolour painting. Nina taught Amin and I about the basics with materials, colour theory, and the different watercolour techniques. Nina would demonstrate the techniques and we would practice after observing her. This worked well because we had time to take in the information and we had sufficient time to ask any questions.

An overview of what I learned in meeting #1:

Basics with materials:

  • Tape paper down because it keeps the paper from moving around or curling. It also creates a clean border for the painting which makes it more visually appealing.
  • White is not used for watercolour painting. Unlike acrylic where you would add white to make a colour a lighter shade, in watercolour you can just add water.
  • Leaving negative space (white spaces) in your painting can be used effectively. For example, you may use negative space to create highlights in your paintings.

Colour Theory:

Color Theory Poster – graf1x.com

Techniques:

  • Wet-in-wet
  • Graduated wash
  • Mixing hues
  • Building values

At the end of our mentoring session, Nina gave us a homework assignment for our next meeting. The assignment was to create a small abstract painting that has 4 layers, each layer for one of the techniques learned. We were to choose and use a specific colour theme so I choose warm colours (pink, orange, and yellow).

Reference Example

 

My Abstract Painting 

Two weeks later, we had our second meeting. First, we discussed the abstract paintings and reflected on what went well and what we could work on. Following that, Nina went over some more basic skills for our lesson. We learned about glazes, wet-on-dry applications, mixing neutrals and flesh tones, and layering. Similar to the first meeting, Nina walked us through and demonstrated the techniques while we would watch and follow along.

These are examples of layering with different shapes:

Nina left us with a few homework/practice assignments to complete over the break. The assignments are painting 3 shapes and a bottle using the layering techniques, a small still life painting with 3 objects, and to take a photo to use for watercolour painting for the next meeting. Through these two meetings, I feel that I have learned so much from Nina and I now have a basic understanding of watercolour painting. Although COVID-19 has presented obstacles for in-depth, looking towards the positive side of this situation, I have had a lot of extra time while social distancing. Taking advantage of all the spare time I’ve spent at home, I have been working on those assignments mentioned earlier and practicing to improve my skills.

1. What has been my most difficult mentoring challenge so far? Why?

The most difficult mentoring challenge I have come across so far has been meeting with my mentor. Due to the COVID-19 outbreak, schools will remain closed until further notice and the meetings we had set up were all during school hours. Although this may be an obstacle to my learning, there are ways around it. This has been the most difficult challenge to deal with because we had all our meetings outlined with what we were going to learn during each one so our learning will have to take a different direction. We will have to find a way to work around this and to meet with Nina. To make up for the meetings that will be missed, we found that it would be a good idea to set up group video conferences between Nina, Amin, and I. That way, we can still learn, just at home, and we still have the ability to ask questions and receive feedback on our progress.

2. What is working well? Why?

Something that is working well is the structure and flow of our mentor meetings. Since our meetings are short in length, it is very important that we know what we want to accomplish for each meeting so we can continue to grow and improve and make the most out of each meeting. I feel that this has worked very well because we planned what each meeting would look like by creating an outline before the first meeting took place. This is especially helpful now, due to the fact that there most likely will not be any more meetings face-to-face. The outline has also been useful because I can look back on it as a reminder of what concepts we have gone over, and I can look ahead for what is to come during the next meetings.

3. What could be working better? How can you make sure this happens?

Something that could be working better for my in-depth project is communication with my mentor outside of the meetings. I have realized that since our last meeting, I have not contacted my mentor many times. As stated earlier, setting up frequent video conferences would strengthen the communication between my mentor and I. To make sure to improve on communication, I will make an effort to message Nina every week to update her on my progress, ask questions as needed, and discuss what our plan will be going forward. Strengthening our communication outside of the bi-weekly meetings will not only be useful to my growth in watercolour painting, but it will also strengthen my relationship with Nina.

Overall, I am satisfied with the progress I have made over the past few weeks and I am looking forward to learning more and improving as my in-depth journey continues. Stay safe and stay tuned for more updates.