Alright y'all, this officially marks the final update from yours truly as we head into the last week of TED Talk prep and in fact, TED Talks start this Thursday with our brave guinea pig volunteer, Emily Badgley.
I'll keep this short and to the point as you all know the drill by now (Here is the screencast of me explaining these items if you'd like to listen along):
1. Want some good news? Check out John Krazinski's most recent episode of "Some Good News" with special guests Oprah, Steven Spielberg, John Stewart and Malala. (This just so happens to not only be his graduation edition BUT is also another example of how you could format your TED Talk video!)
2. Keep up with this week's daily agenda assignments, which mostly involve you finishing your TED Talk, doing peer critiques, and getting your ducks in a row!
3. Create the google hangout invitation and invite people to your talk! Link it on THIS DOCUMENT and send a calendar invite to the following people. Make sure your email includes a polite salutation, the time and date of your TED Talk, your research question, and a brief description of what they can expect at the TED Talk.
4. Review the panel schedule and expectations! When the days come for your paneling block, use THIS Schedule DOCUMENT to find the link to the google hangouts for the people for whom you are paneling.
A note on paneling: The paneling schedule document contains, first, the expectations for your role as a panelist during TED Talks, and second, your scheduled blocks for paneling. Please read the first page completely and then find your name on the schedule. You should see your name THREE TIMES. One for when you are delivering your talk and TWO times for when you are paneling.
Scheduling Conflict? If there is a SERIOUS conflict with your paneling schedule, your only option is to ask a classmate to switch with you, as long as it doesn't break the paneling block rules. When you've found a classmate to switch with you, you can then email me with your reason for switching) and CC the classmate with whom you are switching.
5. REQUIRED ATTENDANCE: Attend the final ALL 12th grade conference where we will review TED talk schedule and panel expectations AND watch Emily Badgley's TED Talk as she bravely provides y'all with an example! Thursday, May 14th at 10:00 am via this google hangout link: https://meet.google.com/uvc-pppd-syt
Now get out there and CRUSH your TED Talk!
Yeeeeoooooop! Can't wait to see all your amazing TED Talk performances.
HERE IS THIS WEEK's VIDEO UPDATE: This contains a screencast of me talking through TED Talk expectations and important documents, as well as what TED Talk prep week will entail. I encourage you to watch it rather than merely read this email, as it will make more sense. But if you insist on just reading the rest of this email, read on....
Update in written form
1. Attend the 10:30 am, Wed. 5/6 Required 12th Grade Google Hangout Video Conference: We will have an all-grade google hangout at 10:30 am on Wednesday, May 6th. The senior teaching team will talk through TED Talk expectations and the TED Talk Prep Week schedule. We'll also go over your questions at that time. I'll send a google hangout invitation to that so please mark your calendars and attend. If you have unreliable internet, call a friend at that time and have them put you on speaker phone.
BEFORE you attend Wednesday's 12th grade google hangout, please do the following:
1. Wednesday morning STARTER: watch How to Sound Smart in your TED Talk: This is a funny TED Talk with ZERO content but a lot to learn about presentation style to make you look and sound smart. Cool, huh?
2. Read through The TED Talk Prep Week Schedule:
3. Read through the 2020 Virtual TED Talk Overview and Rubric document and come to the 10:30 am google hangout on Wednesday, 5/6 with questions.
4. Take note of the TED Talk Structure and Format Options
There are two options for how to format your TED Talk. You can find information on those options as well as how to outline your talk and how your talk will be graded on the 2020 Virtual TED Talk Overview and Rubric document. Again, read this entire document THOROUGHLY before 10:30 am on Wednesday, 5/6.
AFTER Wednesday's 12th Grade Google Hangout:
1. Ashley will give you editing privileges on this research question/action project/schedule document and you all can sign up for your talk!
2. Complete the daily assignments and attend cohort conferences as outlined on the TED Talk prep week schedule linked above.
I'm looking forward to seeing all your faces on Wednesday! Let me know if you have any questions or concerns before then. In the meantime, keep crushing those action projects and remember.....
"Our greatest glory is not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall. – Confucius
I had to learn that the hard way-- by failing to stay on the Tik Tok dance beat last week. But on a serious note, we are all being tasked with rising anew, each and every day during Covid-19. Luckily Ospreys don't only know how to persevere and rise again, but they also know how to SOAR. Yeeeeeeeeeeeeoooooooooop!!
Soar on, team.
Here is this week's update video, where I just might have learned a Tik Tok dance and recruited a guest AHS teacher for a cameo...
(But seriously, I'd love more student involvement with these so if you want to send me a contribution for next week's update, go crazy and create something to make your classmates laugh, or provide them with some inspiration. Email me the file by noon on this Thursday!)
I know this week may have brought another round of roller coaster emotions as you received the board's decision to continue "home-based learning" (shout out to Libby for that phrase) through the rest of the school year. Many of you likely saw that coming, but even so, it is a tough pill to swallow. I'm holding you all in my heart and mind as we move through this school year together, apart. I know we'll find a way to celebrate you all in true Osprey fashion and I can't wait to do so at the end of May, seeing the culmination of a semester (four years, really) of hard work in your TED Talks, final action projects, and the moment you all walk across that stage, in whatever form that stage will ultimately take.
Alright, before I get all teary eyed and fry my keyboard and tick Dusty off, here's this week's update, which is 95% a repeat of last week's!
1. Send me a photo of you working on your action project! And, if you want to contribute to next week's video update, see my note above.
2. Thesis Refinements: For those of you who still have time, remember that thesis re-submissions are due 1 week after you receive an email with your rubric and comments from your Humanities teacher. Remember, the thesis is 50% of your overall Humanities grade and thus has a big impact!
3. See pages 1-3 of this document for a senior project calendar for April and May-- it includes action project and TED Talk dates
4. Action Project
The senior teaching team met on Tuesday, 4/21 to discuss TED Talk format. We will continue working together this week to dial in our expectations for a virtual TED Talk format and work on preparing lessons for you all to help you succeed. We'll communicate all that out in next week's Update but if you have any thoughts/suggestions about TED Talk format and how best to teach/prepare you all for them, please reach out to me asap!
TED Talk prep will start Wed., May 6th and run through Thursday, May 14th. Presentations will likely run between Friday, May 15th and Friday, May 22nd. Again, more specifics to come next week.
Keep crushing it, Class of 2020!
Here is this week's video update, where I attempt to learn a Tik Tok dance, update y'all on this week's assignments, and go over the senior project calendar for the rest of the school year!
Read on for more info and links!
We're rolling into the fourth week of online learning, the third week of action project work time, and we've got a whole lot to be grateful for.
"What's that, Ashley?" You ask. Well, students, y'all have teachers who care about you all to the moon and back again, administrators who are working around the clock to make sure they are finding the best ways to support students and teachers alike amidst less than ideal conditions, open spaces in which we can explore, adventure, seek solitude, exercise, calm the nervous system, get perspective, breathe fresh air, learn Tik Tok dances, you name it, and lastly, you have meaningful work vis a vis your action projects, to devote your time and energy amidst a time when many people are struggling with how to be productive and contributing members of society.
So without further adieu, I bring you this week's update
1. Thesis Refinements: For those of you who still have time, remember that thesis re-submissions are due 1 week after you receive an email with your rubric and comments from your Humanities teacher. Remember, the thesis is 50% of your overall Humanities grade and thus has a big impact!
2. See pages 1-3 of this document for a senior project calendar for April and May-- it includes action project and TED Talk dates
3. Action Project
The senior teaching team is meeting this Tuesday, April 21st to discuss TED Talks and we'll share more information starting the week of April 27th. TED Talk prep will likely happen starting Wed., May 6th and run through Thursday, May 14th. Presentations will likely run between Friday, May 15th and Friday, May 22nd. Again, more specifics to come next week.
Week #3 Video Update
Check out this week's video update, with special guests, Robbie Patla and Sailor Kabeary! You don't want to miss this one, folks! We've got sage words of advice from your fellow Ospreys, the weekly update and me in ridiculous costumes doing ridiculous things to try to hold your attention, and be "hip" with the teenagers these days. Check it out! Also, let's just appreciate my refinement from the first video (flashback to me with the bad hair day and absolutely zero attempt at editing, to this gem, which is still horrid, but at least a huge step up).
Here is what you need to know in written form:
1. Senior Thesis:
2. Action Project:
3. Calling for photos of you working on your action project! Please email me a photo of you working on your senior project so I can put together a slideshow of y'all to reassure each of us that we're all in this together!
4. Video Contributions: If you want to contribute ideas or footage for next week's update, hit me up!
Lastly, just a reminder to stay in touch! If you're encountering any challenges, reach out to whichever AHS teacher/staff member you have the best relationship with. Don't isolate yourself!
And finally, here is the written version of what I said in the linked video if you'd prefer to read rather than watch:
I know you’re probably expecting me to share strategies for staying focused, ways to create schedules and routines, ideas for structuring your time, being disciplined, getting stuff done, etc…. However, I want to say two things instead. First, to reassure you that YOU’VE GOT THIS and Second to talk about the difference between managing your time for productivity, and spending your time meaningfully.
For the first point, you’ve got this. I know it is hard it is to stay motivated when all of your routines and normal accountability measures (namely me and your other teachers hovering over your shoulder, flicking your ear when we see you playing a video game or snapchatting in class). I know you may secretly wish that we were still right there, forcing you to keep working but you’ve got this! There is a scene from Cormac McCarthy’s dystopian novel about a post-apocalyptic world where a father and son are traveling alone through the wilderness, trying to survive. At one point, the follow conversation between the father and son transpires:
“You have to carry the fire.”
“I don’t know how to”
Yes, you do
Is the fire real?
Yes it is
Where is it? I don’t know where it is
Yes you do. It’s inside you. It always was there. I can see it”.
Secondly, the difference between productive time and meaningful time.
“Action absorbs anxiety”. But not action in the form of busyness for the sake of busyness, nor action to merely stay in motion and distract ourselves from boredom or pain. In fact, if covid-19 has taught us anything, it is to slow down, look inward, reflect on what wasn’t working with the way we as individuals and as a collective were moving through the world prior to this pandemic. However, what this mantra (action absorbs anxiety) means to me is the way in which intentional action, and action in service of others, action to combat injustices, no matter how small they are—the injustice that your elderly neighbor can’t safely shop for their own food, or the injustice of insufficient medical supplies for healthcare workers. This type of action in service of others takes you out of yourself, it engages you in meaningful work, and that anxiety you may feel creep in subtly in the moments when you’re between tasks, the moment when you first wake up in the morning, before you start your day, the moment between finishing your math assignment and before you decide what to focus on next, that subtle anxiety that is perhaps a response to the uncertainty of these times, perhaps a response to a nagging sense of “how should I spend my time so as to be “productive” today?” well, action in service of others might just abate or absorb that anxiety. And rather than wonder “was I productive” today, perhaps you can answer , “I spent my time meaningfully” For after all, what does productive mean? Don’t we all just want to feel like the way we’re spending these finite days on earth is spent meaningfully?
And so, I’ll end with a short poem by Pablo Neruda, written in the early 1900s but is super relevant to what we’re all experiencing now. I offer the poem as an invitation to use this time to slow down, not for the sake of Inactivity or Inaction or sloth dome, but for the sake of reflection of what habits, practices, routines ,mindsets that you think are ingrained in your being were not really serving YOU or others, and consider how we can come together in this sudden strangeness and be more intentional about how you spend your time. Because it is like a currency. The most valuable one we have.
By Pablo Neruda
Now we will count to twelve
and we will all keep still
for once on the face of the earth,
let's not speak in any language;
let's stop for a second,
and not move our arms so much.
It would be an exotic moment
without rush, without engines;
we would all be together
in a sudden strangeness.
Fishermen in the cold sea
would not harm whales
and the man gathering salt
would not look at his hurt hands.
Those who prepare green wars,
wars with gas, wars with fire,
victories with no survivors,
would put on clean clothes
and walk about with their brothers
in the shade, doing nothing.
What I want should not be confused
with total inactivity.
Life is what it is about...
If we were not so single-minded
about keeping our lives moving,
and for once could do nothing,
perhaps a huge silence
might interrupt this sadness
of never understanding ourselves
and of threatening ourselves with
Now I'll count up to twelve
and you keep quiet and I will go.
THIS WEEK'S ASSIGNMENT CHECKLIST
THESIS: Submit your thesis by Monday, 4/6 at 11:59pm Share with your Humanities teacher and your SPA.
THE RUBRICS!!! Read them, know them, love them:
ACTION PROJECT: Shift focus to your action project!
The Essential Documents Explained
(Watch THIS SCREENCAST if you want to listen to my British cousin from Yorkshire explain the contents of these documents)
Cohort Advisor Assignments
Action Project Guide
2020 Senior Project Calendar and Lesson Plans Document
This is the resource you should book mark and refer to each week as we'll update it with weekly lessons and it has other important links in it.
Week of March 30th Assignment Checklist
For you visual/auditory learners, above is a video of me sharing the contents of this email. Yikes! Can't believe I'm doing that.
Ok, and for you avid readers out there-- read on:
Holy cow, never have I missed my students more than right now! I really would do nearly anything to be able to see all your faces live and in the flesh, but for the foreseeable future, we're going to have to settle with the virtual realm.
Your senior teachers (Sara, Kyle, Ande, Kurt and I) all met via google hang out this morning and discussed next steps with senior project. I am writing to share with you the most pressing next steps and then you'll hear from us later this week with more specific guidelines regarding action project and TED Talks.
The most important thing right now is that we're all staying as connected as possible and that we find a sense of purpose, structure, and routine to our days to help us get out of bed in the morning and not just because you're addicted to coffee but because you have something real and meaningful and of use to yourself and others to accomplish.
And so, before I dive into the logistics, here are some words of inspiration:
On the topic of purpose.....
“What should young people do with their lives today? Many things, obviously. But the most daring thing is to create stable communities in which the terrible disease of loneliness can be cured.”
― Kurt Vonnegut, Palm Sunday: An Autobiographical Collage
On the topic of connection....
“We cannot live only for ourselves. A thousand fibers connect us with our fellow men; and among those fibers, as sympathetic threads, our actions run as causes, and they come back to us as effects.”
― Herman Melville
At a time when we may all be feeling a heightened sense of anxiety, coupled with social distancing, it can be easy to get wrapped up in your own personal concerns. This is, of course, natural. However, the following quote resonates with my own experience of overcoming personal fears by focusing on other people: “Self-absorption in all its forms kills empathy, let alone compassion. When we focus on ourselves, our world contracts as our problems and preoccupations loom large. But when we focus on others, our world expands. Our own problems drift to the periphery of the mind and so seem smaller, and we increase our capacity for connection - or compassionate action.”- Daniel Goleman
And for you avid existentialists out there (Remember reading The Stranger junior year??)
John Krakauer author of Into the Wild, and Into Thin Air among others, recently posted an Instagram post that read, and I quote: "To calm your mind as the coronavirus pandemic accelerates, I recommend this novel...[The Plague] by Albert Camus, published in 1947, even though it’s a grim read. As the philosopher Alain de Botton explained in a recent New York Times Op-Ed, plague or no plague, each of us is always at risk of sudden death: “This is what Camus meant when he talked about the ‘absurdity’ of life. Recognizing this absurdity should lead us not to despair but to a tragicomic redemption, a softening of the heart, a turning away from judgment and moralizing to joy and gratitude. ‘The Plague’ isn’t trying to panic us, because panic suggests a response to a dangerous but short-term condition from which we can eventually find safety. But there can never be safety — and that is why, for Camus, we need to love our fellow damned humans and work without hope or despair for the amelioration of suffering. Life is a hospice, never a hospital.” Hit this link for or a brilliant, highly entertaining video by de Botton about Camus.
OK! Now to the logistics
1. Senior Thesis
We have divided the senior class into 5 groups, each assigned to one senior teacher. These "cohorts" will change once we know what your senior project will be. For now, one senior teacher will be contacting you to schedule a conference call to check in about where you are at with your senior project idea and whether or not it is still viable given coronavirus precautions. The calls need to happen this week or early next week. We want to make sure you all stay safe and are able to complete a meaningful action project at the same time. If that means we need to help you modify or reinvent your project, we'll make that happen! Do not stress. We will not let you guys fail.
3. TED Talks
These will still happen in some format and still be worth 30% of your overall Humanities grade (remember, interim deadlines were worth 20%, Final Thesis 50% and TED Talks 30%. Action project is pass/fail). More info to come on this in the coming weeks.
4. Grade-Level Math....
...is now done. If you are failing, check-in with Kyle and you will be allowed to make-up missing work.
5. Where to go for all Senior Project-related resources?
All seniors should now track MY DP for all senior project documents and updates. I'll be posting relevant documents on the Senior Project page and including all updates/email announcements, etc... in the Daily Blog section. For instance, this email will be posted under the title "March 23rd Email Announcement" on the blog.
Phew! That covers it for now. None of us know what the next weeks or months will look like and so we will have to practice patience, perseverance, adaptability and resilience. These are all things you, as seasons Ospreys, hold in spades. You're going to crush this pandemic and I know so because we're going to do it together.
We got this, Ospreys.
Ashley, Sara, Kyle, Kurt, Ande
ROUGH DRAFTS ARE DUE! Email ME and your Senior Project Advisor your draft.
Handy-Dandy Google Docs Tip for Numbering Your Pages!
Go to "insert"--> Page #s--> More options--> start at 0 and un-check box to start on first page
The WHOPPER Peer Critique Protocol and groups
Humanities teacher at Animas High School