Sunday, June 1, 2014

Open Source Learning

“The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you'll go.” Dr. Seuss 
If I have but one regret at the end of this year for this class, it would be that I didn’t read enough. I entered the course young, curious and hungry for knowledge with a reading list a mile long. I was as hungry for good literature as the “Beat Generation” was for the human condition (ooh look a simile with metaphorical hints). And although I did not get the literature experience I was necessarily hoping for, I did not walk away from this course empty handed. As high school seniors, right off the bat especially, we are not entitled to trust. We have to earn. Although by virtue of signing up for an Advanced Placement Course should already set the stage for trust and equal levels of understanding and collaboration. In your AP English Literature Course there was a level of trust. Which because of the style of the course comparing the level of trust say to a math class is a bit difficult but regardless I will share my thoughts. At points and times, especially when it came to our projects and individual Literature Analysis there was a high level of trust, collaboration, and equality in the class room. But then other times, moments such as last week where such restrictions and requirements on note taking for the Master Pieces could have curbed involvement. But I do understand and respect where you were coming from. They were meant to be a tool to keep us accountable rather than just present. It just seems that times and instructions on the notes could have been taken the wrong way, if other students did as I did at first and didn’t take the time to see where you were coming from. 
Reading is a connection. It is the cheapest form of travel, one of the purest forms of entertainment, and a way to relieve the events of the past. And although I personally was not able to read as many books this year, both inside and outside of a classroom setting, as I hoped I was able to still connect with literature. One such piece of literature, was the first book I read for class this year, “The Poisonwood Bible” by Kingsolver. Leah, one of the protagonists was easy to empathize with. Many of her emotions, doubts, and frustrations are problems that I have had personally or connected with. And for me, watching her evolve and develop as a person and adult was in a way perhaps watching myself evolve. Another novel that I connected with was “1984” by George Orwell. Because of the August NSA leaks and Edward Snowden I remember seeing signs from protests and one of them said, “I was born in 1984, I don’t want to die in 1984!”. This resounded in me. I struggled with the idea because I understood that the sign was an allusion to the novel, but I had not read it myself. So I swiped the book from my sister’s bookshelf and began reading. I have read many books over the course of 18 years. Many have changed my opinions on events, and others have made me rethink my world and surroundings, but “1984” did that and more. I was so enamored by the book, I used it in my SAT essay and really took a hard look at the world around me and was so shocked by how much was similar to the totalitarian regime that existed within the pages. I still think of it often and will soon reread the novel because I feel that there is so much to learn from it.  And together, although not three books, they have shaped my thinking and approach to this year in a way I did not think possible; which have made me more alert about my surroundings and experiences.  

Monday, May 26, 2014

The Art of Destructive Therapy

Originally Posted Here:

The Art of Destructive Therapy

“Remember kids, the only difference between screwing around and science is writing it down.” Adam Savage
When we first began our Destructive Therapy project we received a lot of questions concerning its value. “Why Destructive Therapy”, “you are doing what” and our favorite, “are you guys ok?” But these were questions that we knew were coming, and the goal now is to explain our method and why Destructive Therapy is relevant to not only our lives as high school students, but also our society.
Throughout high school, students especially Advanced Placement Students have had to travel down a difficult path between academics and personal lives. Although we understood the challenges that we signed up for, the last four years has been filled with large amounts of uncertainty, difficulty, and stress. In these moments as all humans do we begin to search for outlets to lessen the burden. Some turn to sports and extracurricular activities, some to art and other creative endeavors, others such as my group start pushing the boundaries (by seeing how much noise we can make with dry ice before the neighbors start worrying.)
Before we begin we have to ask ourselves this, what is destructive therapy?
When you search Google for “Destructive Therapy” you find a handful of psychiatric journals on self-destruction, a few youtube videos and finally a few articles on what Destructive Therapy really is.
In Dallas Texas an “Anger Room” literally lets paying customers take their aggression and stress out on unsuspecting furnished rooms. Customers wield baseball bats for increments beginning at 5 mins and going through 25 mins.
This is destructive therapy at its core. The basic human need to de-stress and relax and take out any anger and aggression that they have on non-living objects.
And it isn’t surprising that these “Anger Rooms” exist. Work place stress in adults has increased and today’s teens find themselves busier than ever with the ever increasing demand and workload to satisfy college requirements.
These stressful situations and environments can have numerous harmful effects. In adults increased stress levels can cause hypertension, increased blood-pressure, and wide variety of other serious health issues. In teens the effects are also profound. Teens suffering from chronic stress can lead to loss of sleep, irritability, and in some more extreme cases panic and anxiety disorders.
And from our own endeavors and experiences with stress Destructive Therapy was born. In its simplest form, Destructive Therapy is a tool in which people destroy items, such as fruit, to relieve stress.
The second question for destructive therapy and its relevance has to be judged on why it is needed?
Just look around. Students around the world deal with high levels of stress on a daily basis. In moderation, scientists have agreed that stress is healthy. It drives action and causes us to make decisions in a timely matter. But the levels of stress that drives students in their quest for college acceptances  is anything but healthy.
Which is why the Destructive Therapy Group, underneath the stress of their own challenges, endeavors, and goals, embarked upon the destruction of fruit.

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Destructive Therapy Update

"Remember kids, the only difference between screwing around and science is writing it down."-Adam Savage. 

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Deliverable #1

I was reading the instructions and I understood they asked for an essay and group collaboration and the whole poetry destruction/dissection/buildup. But again, just like every single week of the school year, it comes down to balancing and when I look at the big picture for tonight, and still having several assignments due I am going to take a quick English hiatus...when my schedule gives me room to breathe I can come back to these. Here is what I have for now...