NHD Class Performance Reflection

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National History Day,  a day where students can go to showcase their work and what they’ve learned. On Friday, February 26th 2016, my group and I (Nicole Wood, Katherine Hurst, and Flora Braes) shared our play to our classmates. In this photo you can see that we are all wearing leather jackets and similar clothing, this is because we re-enacted as WASPS (Women Airforce Service Pilots). In our performance we had different scenes and we explained the importance of equality and the spread of equality.

Before starting this project my group and I knew that we should have a plan. This came a bit easy for us since we have been doing many projects in other classes such as Humanities and STEM. For example, in STEM we recently just finished our Identity project and displayed it at the Bruce Museum. Before quickly starting it, in the beginning we had to draft out all of our work and work step by step and to pace ourselves while being aware of time management. With practicing time management skills, drafting out our work, and working step by step, it had really helped our group be on-top of our project, rather behind it.

My group and I faced a lot of stretches and challenges but a few that I, personally had faced was being able to be on-top of my work. In the beginning, my role in this project had been the researcher. I had found a WASP that we interviewed and I had contacted many colleges who had stories and archives about these Service Pilots as well. Afterwards, I had kind of stopped and allowed the others in my group to do some more research. While stopping, I found another way to be involved by working on the process paper and the script. I think this was helpful because everybody had at least gotten to contribute to the research rather than I doing it all myself. Another challenge that I had faced was actually working in a group. Many people think it’s not hard working with people you know or working with your friends but it can and it will get frustrating one way or another. I know while working on the group we happened to be a bit lazy and talk about other things while we tried to get the work done so that was a bit distracting but at the end we ended up completing the work and we didn’t have any problems. Except for the Mock Performance on Friday during Bee Haydu’s Letter. I started to speak and I read the lines..

“Pecos Texas. December 2nd December 2nd 1944.. 

Dearest Mother and Father…” 

And I paused, looking towards my group mates and started to get very nervous. My letter had been cut off and deleted. I was told to wing it and then I realized that I actually knew the lines, I was just so shocked and nervous I didn’t know what to say. So I began to spoke and said the lines I had remembered. It was a little off in the order but I saved myself pretty good. That’s another thing I struggle with and was a bit challenging for me. My group and I had barely practiced the lines and not having those ones kind of put a lot of pressure on me, especially since it was being recorded by a teacher. But it wasn’t the end of the world, I saved myself, and that’s all that counts.

That being said, some aspects of the project that I believe my group and I need to improve is being able to speak under pressure. I think a good way to remember our lines for the play could be trying to speak them under pressure and have blank spots in our scripts or put our hands over our lines and recite them. I think this is important because our full and real performance, outside of the classroom, is in three weeks. And even if we are not working on this in class anymore we still need to be on-top of our work and trying to memorize the lines in good time. I think another thing we all have to work on is being able to talk slow, clear, and loudly. I know under the influence of pressure and anxiety I tend to not say words correctly or stutter a bit. Therefore, I think the only way to fix these problems is to practice a lot and to do our best for our presentation of our research and work.

While working on this project, not only had I learned some things about the people I researched, I had also learned some things about myself. I learned that I really really like researching about different things and reading news articles and databases online. In Middle School I had remembered doing something similar to this, it was called the ‘Capstone.’ For the Capstone we had to choose a topic we were interested in researching and doing a presentation about in front of a small group of students and teachers. I had chosen pollution in the water and out since I have a strong interest in environmental science and marine biology. I remembered loving researching and going to the beach and local paths in-search of pollution and garbage.  Another thing that I learned about myself is that I like to take on the role of leadership but I have a small part of myself that doesn’t like public speaking and presentations. Hopefully, with being a part of this program, Innovation Lab, I will lose this fear completely.

Lastly, my goal for myself and for my future project work is to be able to speak as proudly and bravely as the WASPS had spoken and acted when they worked a “man’s job.” A way I will try and accomplish this goal is to practice, practice, practice, because practice makes perfect. And I really believe that my group and I will do amazingly well in the performance in March.





Whispers (451 Found Poem)

The blood pounded in his head.

He heard the faintest whisper,

“It was a pleasure to burn.”

The numbers 451 stitched on his char-colored sleeve,

he looked at a blank wall,


He listened.

Half an hour passed…

Someone else’s blood there.

Strangers come and violate you.

Someone else’s flesh and brain and memory.

Strangers come and cut your heart out.

Only an hour,

but the world has melted down.

One drop of rain, Clarisse.

Another drop, Mildred.

His heart pumping,

“The man’s thinking”.

So many pages to a person,

we’re nothing more than dust.

A man moved in the darkness,

Blowing his breath on us,

sending the sea to tell us we are not so big.

The Four Things That Give Me Inspiration..

#1) Long walks.


One thing that inspires me is taking long walks. Whether it is through local trails near my neighborhood or walking on the sidewalks home from school, walking for pleasure soothes my mind. At school I walk a lot and everyday I see on my phone that I’ve walked 5-10,000 steps a day. Walking opens up my mind and helps me think of new ideas, it helps expand my imagination and my creativity in my writing. Usually when I take walks I like to look at the trees, the nature, and not walk looking at my phone. Somedays I’ll walk in the trails and bring a notebook to jot down some notes and some things I see that could be used for my writing. Other times I simply bring a notebook to write down different ideas I have.

Walking also improves your health. I know that I don’t usually exercise that much unless I’m in my Gym class or walking home from school. Walking for fun helps me become more energized and stay healthy at the same time. A while back I had watched a Ted Talks video about a women who is a business Innovator that is named, ‘Nilofer Merchant.’ In her Ted Talk she produced a startling statistic – we are on our butts for almost 10 hours of the day on average. She also mentioned that physical inactivity can lead to heart disease, diabetes, and a large number of cancers. Just thirty minutes of walking each day is enough to dramatically reduce your risk of heart disease, colon cancer, breast cancer, and dementia. In my opinion, I don’t like sitting down all the time or staying inside. And if I don’t particularly want to go anywhere or do anything I like taking walks because it’s just me, myself, and I and my thoughts and ideas in my mind.

Taking long walks also helps with being more productive. The key to productivity is optimism and positivity. Usually when I take walks its because I need to be calmed down and relaxed. I might be in a bad mood or I just simply need to be alone for a little bit. I believe that taking walks before working on a big project or an assignment can really help with your productivity. Walking also helps improve your self confidence and positivity. Usually I don’t like to start my work or an important assignment if I am in a bad mood or tired so before doing so I like to go out for a walk, stretch my legs, and take deep breaths. Therefore, when I get home, I have a open mind and I push myself to complete my work. Taking walks also helps me separate from electronics. Many people believe that iPhone separation Anxiety is not real but it is. People do not like the idea of being away from their desks and electronic contact for any length of time. While I take walks I see many people walking while texting or taking pictures of themselves or the things around them, and I just think..when are people going to stop looking at the world through their cellphone screens?

#2) Warm Showers

Showers = The place of thoughts and decision making (and maybe some singing)

While taking showers, I tend to be the person who takes 20-30 minute long showers. With warm, hot water. Like taking walks, showers help you come up with new ideas. But, it also comes with a lot of decision making. If you’re stressing over something or don’t know what to do about something, I know I tend to talk to myself about it and make a diagram of the good and bad things of the situation in my head. Showers help me solve problems and face them. It also saves so much more stress. Showers also make me think a lot more then I do anywhere else. I think of the things that have been stuck on my mind or the things I wish I’ve said earlier that day. I think of new goals I want to accomplish and the things I want to change about myself. Showers help me think more about me, about what I need to do to make me happy. It helps me think about whether or not something or someone is a good decision or a bad one. And usually, after my shower I have a better idea of what I do and what I don’t want.

#3) Naps & Sleeping

After school I am usually very very tired. Some days I like to come home and take a nap and naps really really help with me completing my homework later on. It helps me become more awake for the loads of work I have to do and I tend to become more focused on my work after my naps.

Another thing that I absolutely love is sleeping. Sleeping allows you to dream and I am a person who tends to remember my dreams, and have dreams of meaning. When coming home from school I am either excited to take a break and relax or go to bed. I dream of people, of life dreams, goals, the past, and many other things. Dreams are road signs along the nighttime highway of sleep. Sometimes during my sleep I even wake up to write down some of my thoughts and feelings that took place inside my dreams. These things I write down are used for my writing or for me to simply look at later on.

#4) Music To My Ears

Music of all genres help me feel more focused within my work or helps me think while trying to write a poem. Music helps me feel understood. Listening to music that match your mood can help you feel understood at a deep level. That sometimes the understanding can provide release to help you move on. Whether you’re angry at someone or had a bad day, listening to music can help you relieve that stress, relieve that anger. Music helps me. It makes everything around me disappear completely like nothing else mattered at all. With music to my ears the only thing I am thinking about are the words and beats flowing through my body and my emotions on my sleeve.

I usually like to make playlists on spotify and I like to play different playlists for the different emotions I feel. If interested you can check out my spotify here. Here are some of my favorite songs at the moment that have helped me with my feelings and helped me come up with new ideas for my writing:

1. Hallucinations – dvsn


2. Faded – Alan Walker

3. The Emotion – Borns

4. Tired Of Talking – Leon

5. Sound (Prod. Wilough) – Jabilough

6. Diet Mountain Dew – Lana Del Rey

Bruce Museum Exhibition

In the Innovation lab Exhibition located at the Bruce Museum on February 2nd 2016, I displayed my STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) project which was called “Highland Flood Zone.” Below are images of my work before the exhibition:  

The first image with the blue/green background is my Desmos piece. In that piece, I include mountains, a spine, and an ocean. I also include some grass to separate the ocean and from the mountains and the spine.

In the second Image I created a replica of my Desmos piece. With the green and blue trapezoids on the bottom I created the ocean from my Desmos piece. Which explain different types of writing since I enjoy writing poetry. Sometimes the ocean could be calm and soothing so therefore it can connect to poems I write that are simple and filled with joy, brightness, and love. And other times the ocean can be vicious and filled with power so it can connect to poems that I write that are filled with darkness and depth. And ironically, my writing can be very deep as well as the ocean. While working on this project I tried my best to have both pieces connect to each other and have the ocean symbolize the depth of my writing. From my Desmos piece to my Physical piece I included the spine with extra things surrounding it such as a dream catcher to represent always reaching to my goals and creating goals. I also added a cloud with rain falling down to show how my emotions are pouring down on me, sometimes creating floods. On the bottom I have half of a butterfly, half of a ear, which is the tailbone of my spine and the butterfly is used to show my love for nature and being outdoors and the ear with music notes besides them is drawn there to show my love for music as well. On the top, I remade the mountains which represent strength and growth and the whole theme of my physical piece is that; “No matter how high the flood gets, the flood of emotions and feelings, I will always be growing, always reaching for my goals.”

If interested in checking out the math part of my Desmos Image and seeing how I made it check out this link:


Before the exhibition (that went from 6:30-8:30) the Innovation lab team and I took a short trip to the Bruce Museum to set up our work. Putting up everyone’s art pieces and projects from both the STEM and Humanities Modernism project was so exciting. After setting up my work and helping others out I started to feel very nervous for the Exhibition, but I also felt very proud. This project was a long term project, working on them since November, and each and everyone of us in Innovation lab put so much work, time and effort into our artwork. Each and every one of us had different types of projects, relating to our different kinds of personalities and identities. Here is what the exhibit looked like after we set up all of our work:

There were so many fantastic pieces and everyone had so much fun displaying their work to the community. One piece that I really loved was Emma’s project. Unfortunately she moved and now goes to another school but we still displayed her work because it is actually amazing, and also very beautiful:


I know that a lot of people liked her piece and it was still known and seen by other people even if she wasn’t there to explain or talk about it, people still walked by and read her Museum card because of how interesting it was.

During the exhibition we had the choice of displaying our Modernism English/History projects, our Identity STEM projects, or both. I decided to display my Identity project because I loved how it turned out and it was a more recent project that we have done in Inlab. Before this exhibition, our Innovation lab team has been working on the Identity projects since November. This means that we have been working on our projects for two months. Before the exhibition, a lot of times I was stressed and had problems with time management. During the time of Midterms I was struggling between whether or not I should’ve been studying for a test or finishing up the last things I had to do for the exhibition. Another struggle I had was coming up with a name for my piece. At first I didn’t know exactly what I would name it, I wanted it to connect to the mountains and the ocean but I couldn’t think of a good enough name. Until I realized that the name could’ve been something completely insane or strange or random and nobody could understand it but you. The title you name your piece would still be good, because the “Identity Project” is about explaining who you are and what represents you and explains your Identity. Therefore I named my piece I know that a lot of people asked me to elaborate more after reading my Museum card and the title of my piece because they did not quite understand. After I explained my piece more, many more people understood and finally saw my artwork through my eyes and my point of view.

My artwork also included many different little images and colors and that’s what also caught the audiences eyes the most. I received many questions about how I created my Desmos background and what the colors symbolize and how my project connects to my Identity and my personality. Below is an Image of my Desmos before I added any of my math functions or images on top:

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To create this board my friend Katherine and I created this together. To create the turquoise color we both mixed yellow and blue together and we both created different textures and used the paintbrush to create splotches around the sides. I made my piece this color to represent the ‘Flood Zone’ part of my title. The texture in the center represents waves while the splotches around the sides were made to create more of a design to my piece.

Many people also asked me how I liked Innovation lab, and how my project connects to both Science and Math. In both pieces, I include my understanding of Math and Science in both of my two different boards. As I answered these questions I explained how one board included my math part of the project while the other board included my science part of the project. Many people didn’t understand exactly so explaining my work a lot seemed to help and people became more and more interested as they heard more and more of the process and how I created my artwork. In my Physical Piece I include a chemical change by using pH and universal indicator to create different colors with different kinds of chemicals. If you would like to learn more about how I created my Physical piece you can read more about it here:




While speaking to different people I learned that I am not as nervous as I used to be speaking in front of people. This exhibition helped a lot with my public speaking skills and became so much more relaxed when people not only asked me questions, but also told me that they loved my piece and explained the things they liked the most about my piece, which was honestly such an incredible thing to experience. I remember Dr. Goldin coming by asking me how nervous I was from a scale of 1-10 and I responded 2, and she said that I don’t look nervous, I look like a natural and I’m very confident and I’ll do great. This was also very helpful because it reduced my nervousness by a lot. When people asked me about Innovation lab and how I like it and how it’s different from regular classes I explained how the teacher to student connection is stronger and the smallness of the program is also a great thing because it really helps the teachers and the students focus on what they need to do and what they need help on and to work with each other more often. I also explained how the projects that we do are not just a project that might last a week or two weeks in a regular class but these projects we do, usually last for a good amount of time and the amount of time we are given really helps us plan our projects and figure out what we are going to do and do our best on it so that we do not stress out too much. During the exhibit, I also saw many people come by and take pictures of my artwork and other peoples artwork, interviewing some people, students were explaining their pieces to the people and they all seemed as if they were very impressed, which many people were.

The exhibition itself changed my perception of myself as a scholar and professional by a lot. As a result of the amount of people who came to talk to me about my work, and me being able to speak without stuttering or saying “um” or “like” too many times, the exhibition has made me become a better speaker. While people were asking me questions about my work it was if I was being interviewed even if I wasn’t and usually during interviews I would get very nervous and I would walk around back and forth or side to side due to nervousness but this time I did not. I talked clearly, loud enough for people to hear, and I answered questions with no problems. This exhibition also showed me that if you put in all of your effort into things whether they are goals or projects, you may get something good out of all the effort and focus you put into your work. It’s like that quote; “Plan your work then work your plan”. This whole project began with a plan and working your way up to the plan. I feel that if I did not plan how I was going to set up my work, or my drafts of my artwork I wouldn’t have been able to make what I had made that was displayed at the exhibition. I am very proud of my artwork and I’m very proud of how I created it and how I connected my work to my writing, and reaching goals, and my emotions.

If I could’ve changed one thing about my piece, I would’ve added a poem or two onto my Desmos board or on the link of my Physical Analysis Description because I know that many people had asked me about my writing they wanted to read some of it but unfortunately that was not a part of my project. Therefore, I decided to add in some of my poems that I’ve written and will be shown below:

Overall, I believe that I did a very good job and I’m very proud of my work. I really loved the experience and being able to display our work in different environments and atmospheres. I really hope that we do something like this again in Innovation lab.