Wednesday, 21 May 2014

Eavesdropping 101

For the eavesdropping assignment, a group of us went to the band room. We are pretty familiar with the band teachers so it wasn't too out of place that we were there. The conversation lasted for about 15 minutes between the four of us and the teacher. Micayla had been recording out teacher while I observed body posture and language. Morally, it felt wrong to be recording this conversation. Our teacher is a very trusting person, but on the flip side it made me feel like a secret agent. The conversation made me realize that certain teachers treat some of their students like friends. Te way he spoke was very casual and his posture was relaxed. It really just depends on the kind if relationship you have with them. Our conversation involved talking about the amount of grade eights that we're coming up to play in the jazz band, and the general worry about if it would be enough. 
If I were writing a short story this assignment would give me insight as to how a dialogue would work between a teacher and a student in a story. At most, anyone can determine the chatacter of a person by the way they act when you are speaking to them. Shifting eyes, interruptions, different topics, body language, etc. Personally, I believe that when someone is keeping eye contact, has their focus on you, and is genuinely listening instead of thinking of the next thing they're going to say is the sign of a good conversationalist. 
When more than two people are involved in a conversation, I find that more often than not it results in multiple ideas being said at once without a real base of the conversation. That doesn't go for everyone, or all the time; it is just much easier to talk with someone one on one to stay on topic. I've found that it doesn't really matter what age you are, if you're respectful and willing to actually e invested in a conversation, people will trust you. That overall has been the most surprising to me and it's become more apparent to me over the last year. 
Depending on who you're speaking to, spoken conversation can be either really formal or really chill. When you're writing something or texting I find that people care more about what you think if there is no punctuation. If I am writing an email to a teacher, everything has to be perfect. Correct punctuation or who knows what they'll think of me. In person, I am the complete opposite. 
Everyone is very different in the way they speak to people they know and don't know. 

Monday, 5 May 2014


Going to see Ted talks was a different experience for me. I knew what they were but I had never actually seen then for myself. I love listening to other peoples' stories. I know that sometimes I am consumed with things that are going on in my own life so this gives me more of an insight as to what goes on in the lives of others.
Nereo II was the very first presenter and he set the bar really high. He started out with a spoken word poem, and then went on to explain how his life had went from smuggling drugs across the border and painting patrol cars, to investing his time into making beautiful spoken word poetry and teaching people how to go after what they're passionate about. Nereo II closed with another beautiful spoken word poem, this time with accompaniment. 
Abigail Theano-Pudwill also opened with a spoken word poem about technology. I'm pretty sure everyone in the audience could relate to what she had to say. Her topic was "Facebook is not my friend, you are." This topic had to deal with how we have become so consumed with technology that we sometimes forget to invest our time in the people around us face to face instead of screen to screen. 
The last presentation was done by a girl named Lauren Chopeck. Her presentation stunned me the most. She had no script, she just spoke about the heavy burdens that had been placed on her heart. Lauren told us her story and how it still affects her today. There was not a single person in the room who did not have their eyes glued to the stage, everyone was hanging on to her every word. I have mixed emotions on this presentation, but the one word I would use to describe it, is powerful.
A small group of us went to this, but we all had a very good time getting to know eachother better and discussing what we had heard. 

Tuesday, 29 April 2014

Quick Write - Worst Meal

Anything meat, is probably the worst meal for me. I am a vegetarian, so the idea of eating meat to me, is not very appealing. The texture, smell, and idea of meat just turns me off. I do not mind watching other people eat meat, but the times when I tried it as a kid resulted in gagging. Hot dogs are something that I did eat as a kid, but now the thought of them just makes me cringe. A lot of my friends love to eat ribs, and in our group chats there is the occasional "let's go eat ribs." My natural response to them is "I'll just eat carrots." 

Quick Write - Eden

My imaginary Eden would be bright. Beautiful blue skies, sun shining, and not a dark cloud in sight. This would be a place with no judgements, and insecurities would not control any thought process. This is a place where faith takes a big role. Everyone has something to put their hope in, and no matter wha the circumstances are, we always comes out stronger in the end. My loved ones would be here, stress would be subsided, and people would be filled with not only happiness, but joy. 

Ideally, another Eden that I have would be sitting on stage, front row, black dress, black dots on the pages in front of me, no audience to be seen; just the conductor. I would have the most beautiful, lyrical, professional solo placed on the stand in front of me and not a nervous bone in my body. I would play my flute with grace, unafraid of making a mistake. The people around me would be my second family, all supportive of anyone in this orchestra. As I look around the room, everyone would be working towards one goal, one beautiful song that would make jaws drop. 

Monday, 28 April 2014

Skype Reflection

The Skype session went really well today. Everyone was prepared and the kids seemed to be pretty interested in what we had to say. It was cool that we got to put their procedural writing into practice, and it was a fun group project as well. 
I think skyping is really effective in learning for both our grade and theirs. It's a new experience and we get to see their working habits compared to ours. It's exciting and it keeps us all engaged because it's a different way of doing things. The grade 3's are genuinely interested in doing well and learning from us. It's pretty cool to get a different classes perspective on things. 

April 26th - Big Band Dance

This past Saturday was out school's Big Band Dance. It is probably one of the biggest nights of the year. You can't go wrong with good music, lots of dancing, and good people. This was my last year performing and it was amazing. Our set lasted and hour and a half and it was really entertaining for the audience. All of our hard work went into performing for one night and it was great, but unfortunately it's now over. Four more performances to go! 

Wednesday, 23 April 2014

Procedural Writing - How to Snapchat Your Friends (Responsibly)

Step one: Got to the App Store on your apple or android device. Type the word "Snapchat" into your search bar, and hit download. 
Step Two: go to your homepage and open your brand new snapchat app! 
Step Three: Go to the list icon. Once on the new page, go to the "add a person" icon, which is a picture of the person with a plus sign. 

Step Four: Type in your friends usernames to find them.

Step Five: Hit the camera icon I the top left corner to start snapchatting!

Step Six: Take an appropriate picture of yourself of what you're doing. Megan and I like to send ugly selfies of eachother-sometimes!

Step Seven: Tap the picture to add any words or funny doodles to your picture.

Step Eight: Tap the arrow in the bottom right corner and that will take you to your friend list. Once at your friend list you can choose who you would like to send this to, or you can tap the heading that says "My Story" and send it to everyone!

Monday, 21 April 2014

Ignite Presentation

Photo Credits:

Slide 1:
Slide 2: Megan Luff
Slide 5: Megan Luff 
Slide 6: Jessica Radomsky 
Slide 8: Cam Denby 
Slide 9: Megan Luff 
Slide 10: Taryn Wichenko 
Slide 11: Taryn Wichenko 
Slide 12: Patrick Kotelko 
Slide 13: Optimist Festival Canada 
Slide 15: Sophie Dow 
Slide 16: Amy Huang 
Slide 18: Megan Luff
Slide 19: Tyler Michaud 
Slide 20: Michelle Zhou

Sunday, 20 April 2014

Six Word Memoir - Growing Up

There are three things that scare me in life. Spiders, losing a loved one, and change. I did not realize just how afraid of change I was until last year. I didn't go on my grade seven winter camp trip, or my grade eight ski trip, or band camp, and I almost did not go to Cuba. This was all because I would have to face the simple fear of trying new things. I'm the type of person who finds something they like and sticks with it. Why change things if they're going well? The problem with that, is graduation. It's going to happen eventually. No, I am not prepared for it, but I cannot love by the words of this six word memoir anymore. Without being pushed a little bit, I would not be who I am right now. That is why I chose a before and after picture. The first picture was taken when I was in pre school, and the second picture is my graduation picture. I chose to use bold letters for this photo because this fear, and nervousness has always been on my mind and in my life. This photo does not show what my life has been like, but hopefully it will show where I can go from here.  
               Life Touch Photography 

Six Word Memoir - Love

"Love makes the world go round." 
I love this quote because it makes me realize that no matter where you are; if you're thousands of miles away, next door, maybe you're at your lowest point in your life, or your happiest, someone will always love you and always be waiting for you. I think this picture shows that you can love different people as well. I chose to use a black and white background to make it seem more like we were silhouettes, and to give more of an effect than anything. The people in this picture are ones that I have known all throughout high school, and one that I have known since elementary school. We don't always see each other, or always get along, but somehow things work out. Love is not always rosey, but there is always going to be someone who does love you. 
                            R. Job

Mid Semester Reflection

Six Word Memoirs: Grade B

This project was one that I have enjoyed, but not completed. It was something new and very different. I've never been told to sum up something about my life in six words. It got me thinking more in depth about myself and how to approach what I was trying to get across in the image. The pictures were the easiest thing to find. The only part I found hard about this was coming up with words that made sense to the reader. I definitely could have gone more in depth looking back on it, but I can also make some changes to the ones that haven't been posted yet.

Ignite Presentation: Grade A

I thought my presentation went well, and that I handed my assignment in, in a timely matter. It was a little bit stressful for me because I felt I was a little bit of a scatter brain. One idea would come up and then another directly afterwards, and sequencing the slides didn't go as well for me as I had hoped. Over all, I could have been more organized, and tried to calm myself down a little bit more as well. However, I do believe that my peers enjoyed what I had to say. Through this presentation I learned how to connect with audience on a different level than just speaking at someone. The purpose of these presentations are to inform, and I think everyone in the class did a great job of expressing what they were passionate about. It was different to have the option of what we wanted to talk about, rather than having it handed to us. I think that turned me a little bit sideways, but when I think about previous years, I remember always wanting my teachers to let us have our own topic. Having that choice was a good kind of different.  

Blogging: Grade C

Above all, this has been my biggest setback. I have not been on the ball with posting my assignments on time, or visiting others' blogs. Recently I started adding some personal posts. Initially it hadn't really clicked that the blog was more than just a place to store your assignments. As I add more things I do become more familiar with it, it's just a different way of learning. Posting on my peers blogs is something that I need to start doing, as I have neglected it so far.

Connecting and Engaging: Grade C

I think that I could definitely do a better job of participating in class discussions, and commenting on blogs. I have pushed that to the side when I shouldn't have. I do attend class on a regular basis, but generally I don't always get my work done in class, which is something that I am working on.

3 Goals:

1) Complete all missing assignments, and hand in assignments on time.
2) Participate in class discussion, and other class activities.
3) Regularly update my blog with personal posts.

What Are You Going to do Next Year?

This question has been asked many times by friends, aquaintances, family members, teachers, and even myself. It is a question that I haven't been able to answer just yet. 
Initially when I was in elementary school, I wanted to be a vetranarian. After a while I realized I would not be able to look a child in the eye and tell them to say goodbye to their beloved pets. In middle school I had no clue because I wasn't thinking about it and at the time I only wanted to be accepted by those around me. School was not my top priority. Towards the end of grade 8, on into high school, I had started watching Criminal Minds, Rizzoli & Isles, Lie to Me, CSI, Law and Order:SVU, and Castle. Basically any crime show you could imagine at the time. I wanted to be as bad ass as Emily Prentiss on Criminal Minds. Being a criminal profiler, study forensics, behavioural analysis, and helping people was what I wanted to do. Then of course I stopped watching the shows, and I lost some interest in it. At the thinning of grade 12, I wanted to be a nurse. My youth leader is a nurse at the children's hospital, and her stories just inspired me to try it out. Clearly God must have some different plan for me, because I am definitely not a biology person. Biology stressed me out beyond belief and that was only grade 12, could you imagine university? 
Soon afterwards I decided music was something I could do. I spend the majority of my day in the band room, the majority of "study" time goes towards practicing. It's something I care about, something I love, and something I'm good at. My only issue is that I was never this invested in my music until grade eleven. That's five years of taking it for granted. My teachers informed me that I should take a year to do more lessons because I can do it, it's just going to take some extra work. 
Most times I am not patient, and everytime I messed up, I stress a little bit more. It scares me to leave where I'm at a little bit right now, just because I don't know any different. Now, to change my mind one more time, I started thinking about leaving to do a mission trip. Everyone says "travel while you're young", and as the days go on it becomes more and more appealing. 
How great would it be to travel, help people, and experience life all at once? I am in such a bubble and change might just be a good thing. 
I had a short concersation with a friend the other day. I'm not that close with him but the moment I told him about music he said "oh man, that's awesome. You should be in the symphony." Immediately I started saying "well, it's not as simple as that." His response to me was "everyone in that symphony started where you are. Yeah, you're going to have to work at it, but if you want to do it, than do it. What's stopping you?" I didn't have an answer for him because I don't know what's stopping me. Everything that I worried about just seemed so small in that moment, and it gave me some new hope. 

Friday, 18 April 2014

Easter weekend at the Luff's! Gets more and more interesting every year. I tried to make a minion, didn't turn out so great but luckily I didn't break anything this year! 
An after school jam session. It wasn't pretty, and some doors were shut on us. I don't know though, playing "let it go" with a cow bell in the mix; we're definitely giving Idina Menzel a run for her money.

Monday, 17 March 2014

6 Word Memoir - confession

This photo was taken in Cuba in 2013. I thought it was fitting that the picture be faded as a memory. It has become an inside joke to my friends and I, as well as an amazing memory. Our hotel room in Cuba over looked the roof and our supervisor, who also became one of our very close friends, taught us how to get on the roof. Naturally, this wasn't a really bad thing, but it wasn't a great thing either. It became our little secret and every time we mentioned the "roof party," the secretive looks we gave one another were hilarious. Going to Cuba was the most amazing experience of my life so far. This is where we all became more of a family and this is where we found sheer joy among everyone. 


6 Word Memoir - Future

I don't quite know what will come of my future just yet. One thing that I have thought of is that my kids will play basketball. I have been playing ever since I was 8. Basketball has been my outlet when I've been upset or just needed a break from life. It's a place where I can just work off all of my stress. I came to know so many different people from being on different teams and basketball has taught me many life lessons as well. I want my kids to have a coach, just like I did, who strives to make the team a second family, and making responsible young adults. The girls in these pictures became the people that I went to when I was upset and vise versa as well. I would love it if my kids grew up learning about dedication, commitment, loyalty, trust, and sportsmanship. 

                          V. Luff

6 Word Memoir - Me

"I hit three's and high C's." Two things that I enjoy in life are music, and basketball. These are the two things that I excel and that I am passionate about. These things consume my thoughts and time, and i can proudly say that i put endless efforts into both. I used my graduation picture for the photo in the memoir. Out of all of the pictures that were taken, this one has to be my favourite because I feel like it shows more passion than anything. 

             Life Touch Photography 

6 Word Memoir - Family

This is a picture that my teacher took of some of the kids in wind ensemble on the last day before winter break of 2013. It has been four years creating my second family. The band room is the place that I am most comfortable. It's where I can let go of my stresses, goof around with friends, and get serious to play music all in one. Within my first two years in this program, I don't think I remember saying a single word. It wasn't until grade eleven that I started talking and now I'm friends with pretty much everyone. It's amazing how close I've grown to these people. I met my best friends in this program, though they're not all in the picture. I consider them to be my second family because they're the ones who help me up when I'm down and I know I would do anything to help them smile on their worst day. 

                          K. Byrne 

Skype Reflection

1) My group presented the punctuation mini lesson. We came up with clever ways to present it to the kids in a way that they would understand it. We came up with the analogy of driving. The red light represented the end of a sentence where a period would go, the yellow light represented a comma, and the motion of driving around a lot hole represented a question mark. I'm sure the kids did know punctuation before we gave them this analogy, but after seeing their tweets it felt really good to know that they were actually interested in what we ha to say. 

2) I feel like the mini lesson went really well. We taught them as much as we could in about five minutes and with that being said, they definitely knew punctuation before we had taught it to them. The kids were really respectful of us and what we had to say even though we weren't their actual teacher. I think we performed it in a way that was understandable to them and we were also pretty amazed that we came up with some of that as well, because it made sense to everyone. The only weakness we had was that not everyone had a chance to speak. We all had a role in holding something up, we just had such a big group that there wasn't enough time to get everyone to speak. 

3) Through this experience, I learned that there is more to teaching that meets the eye. Not even just teaching, but also public speaking or anything of the sort. You have to make sure that you are using the correct wording for your audience so that it is something that can be easily picked up on by everyone. You have to find a way to speak in which your tone is not condescending or annoyed, as well as being patient. 
4) I think it would be really cool if they taught us something they learned. We taught them about "six word stories" and all of their stories were wonderful. It would be awesome if we got the chance to be the audience to their teaching. 

Tuesday, 25 February 2014


Februrary 25/14 
My creative writing class skyped a grade three class in Thompson today. It was a pretty fun experience, though pretty short as well. It was interesting to get to see the kids reactions even though we couldn't actually hear them. Everyone had a great time and from what we could tell, so did the kids. 

Wednesday, 19 February 2014

Quick Write - Sevenly

This is a quote that I have heard many times. I'm a stress ball and sometimes I have really good days, but others are really bad. I get angry if I make a mistake and sometimes that sets off my bad day. A girl in one of the younger grades that I have grown pretty close to told me about everything that had gone wrong in her day. It was astounding to hear all of it, but the most surprising part was that she was cautious, but ready to forgive. At the end of her rant she said "I know it's just a bad day and not a bad life," and that was when it sort of clicked for me. I had been taking everything so seriously that I never stopped to think "I will survive." Often times I think days in advance and I get overwhelmed with everything that needs to get done, but something that this girl taught me was to not give up. I have been so blessed with everything in my life and countless opportunities have been placed at my feet. My life is not bad.

Quick Write - Because of..

I have a lot of people who influence my life in different ways, and my basketball coach is only one of them. Everyone on the team would agree that we have never had a coach who was as invested in our off court lives as well as on court. Everyone needs someone to turn to when they're going through a rough spot, and time and time again my coach has been there for me. He's helped me realize that I do not always have to please people, I have to be comfortable with my own mind, I will make mistakes but I have to keep looking forward, and that I should invest my time in those who would make the effort to invest the time in with me. Always look for people with a good heart. 

Quick Write - Which Door?

Through the doors given, I would definitely pick the hogwarts door. I know this door the best and in knowing the Harry potter stories, there is bound to be lots of mystery and adventure. It would be a whole new world with something other than a paper and pen to write with in math class. I would walk through the dining hall all prepared to eat at a huge feast, and hoping to receive a new broom stick from hedwig. I grew up watching this series and reading it with my dad, pretending to defeat the dark lord with the wave of a wand. This door will be the most suspenseful, and in my opinion, with the most excitement.