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.





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