SML Questions

What is your topic and why did you choose it?

I chose to deal with the subject of animation because it’s something that I’ve always been very interested in. My last year’s topic also touched the topic, so this year I kinda wanted to continue it.

Describe your experience so far: What challenges have you faced? Did you overcome those challenges?  

At first I had like, no idea how to animate something huge and long, with a whole script and everything. I talked to my friends (who were also animating) and they helped me out. I now have a new way of animating that’s not so professional, but I’ve managed to go forward in my process. I’ve also had problems with writing my script (I’ve entirely changed my story line so I had to write a new script) but I think I’m managing okay.

Has your project changed since the beginning? If so, how?  

At first I wanted to make a smooth, free-flowing animation but now I’ve shortened my goal to a animatic (which is like a shorter, scrappier version of it).

What are you proud of so far?  

I’m proud of my character designs and sketches for my characters, along with the small frames I’m doing right now.

Do you feel creative when doing SML? If so, what are the conditions that help you to be creative?  

‘Creative’ is a vague term. How would one define feeling ‘creative?’’ Is creating something new ‘creative,’ or is a new idea ‘creative?’ Does creative mean original? How would you define the feeling? Proud? Unique?

I think I feel ‘creative’ when I come up with my own ideas (right now I’m working on an animatic of Life and Death [personified] as neighbors.) So yeah, I guess. I guess my condition to be creative is coming up with a new idea that’s original.

Can you share any specific samples of your learning?  

….I guess I haven’t really learned much? It’s more like, the experience that I’ve benefitted from. I’ve learned a bit about the process of animation, like the animatic development and different types of programs that can sustain an animation.

What have you learned about yourself as a learner? How do you learn best? Does the structure of SML help? Or is the structure frustrating for you?  

I’ve learned about persisting through challenges. I learn best around my friends, because they give me advice on how to do things or what my animation looks like. I think the SML end form that you have to fill out is annoying because it doesn’t really help (though I guess it helps the teachers).

Also, I wish we had a little more time. My animation’s kinda getting rushed right now.


Book Report #12

Book Equivalent # 12

Words: around 44,800

Date: Dec. 29, 2015

Title:  The Boy in Striped Pyjamas

Author: John Boyne

Genre ~ Non-Fiction / Fiction Type: Historical Fiction

Opening Sentence: One afternoon, when Bruno came home from school, he was surprised to find Maria, the family’s maid – who always kept her head bowed and never looked up from the carpet – standing in his bedroom, pulling all his belongings out of the wardrobe and packing them in four large wooden crates, even the things he’d hidden at the back that belonged to him and where nobody else’s business.

Favourite word / phrase / sentence: 

“Who’s the Fury?” asked Bruno.

“You’re pronouncing it wrong,” said Father, pronouncing it correctly for him.

“The Fury,” said Bruno again, trying to get it right but failing again.

“No,” said Father, “the – Oh, never mind!”

Vocabulary and new terms (with part of speech) and definition:

courgettes (noun)  – another word for zucchini

Reflection, Connection & Personal Response: 

 I read this book because 1.) My sister had it and 2.) I was trying to avoid my non fiction book, but wow. I finished this beginning to end in one sitting, because it was so interesting. You get to see this whole horrible war pan out, but through the eyes of a rich, immature young boy who doesn’t fully understand what’s going on. And it’s so amazing to see this from this strange perspective, when he makes a friend with a ‘boy in striped pyjamas’ and he doesn’t understand what he’s going through. He just imagines everyone’s living like he is, in a 4 story house with food at their beck and call, and he comes across a boy who’s starving and dying. And then he makes decisions he doesn’t think through, and he sees things in such an innocent manner. It’s just…a super interesting story. Definitely worth a read.

Book Report #11

Book Equivalent # 11

Words: I have no way of telling, unless I count. Which I  don’t have the patience for. It has 232 pages.

Date: December 15, 2015

Title:  The Avengers, Earth’s Mightiest Superheroes

Author: Stan Lee and Jack Kirby

Genre ~ Non-Fiction / Fiction Type: Realistic Fiction

Opening Sentence: “It is because of that accursed Thor that I am exiled to this barren isle, ordered to remain here by Odin, King of the Gods!”

Favourite word / phrase / sentence: 

“But why the costume – why the corny name?”

“Look, do I tell you my problems?”

Vocabulary and new terms (with part of speech) and definition:

I don’t think I ran into any new words?

Reflection, Connection & Personal Response: 

I honestly just picked this up at first because it contained the comic where they show Bucky’s death (an OFFSCREEN death, because apparently they couldn’t show it properly.) But honestly, these collections of comics are funny to read and don’t require too much thinking and are easy, so. It’s really nice to see one of the beginnings of a team of the most well-known comic characters. And of course, you get to see small snippets of the Fantastic Four, the X Men and others.

It’s all really cheesy though, with heroic, strong characters but without much character. It doesn’t really go in depth about their personalities, it’s just them punching things. (I love how Janet [Wasp] calls Hank Pym [Antman] ‘Blue Eyes,’ though, I thought that was cute.)

Book Report #2

Book Equivalent # 2                                    

Words: 240 pages. I unfortunately cannot find the word count for this book.                 

Date: September 20, 2015

Title:  Trash

Author: Andy Mulligan

Genre ~ Non-Fiction / Fiction Type: Realistic Fiction

Opening Sentence: My name is Raphael Fernández and I am a dumpsite boy.

Favourite word / phrase / sentence: “She was waiting for her dead father on the Day of the Dead. What kind of miracle was that?”

Vocabulary and new terms (with part of speech) and definition:

This is going to sound bad, but I don’t think I learned any new words?

Reflection, Connection & Personal Response: 

I read this book because it was one of the BOB (Battle of the Books) books. It’s an easy read and the plot is pretty easy to follow. I’m going to be real honest: to me, it’s not an amazing book. It was really fun to read, yes, but it wasn’t astonishingly amazing. There weren’t any ‘wow!’ moments and I didn’t really love any of the characters.

However, the plot of this story was nice. It gave insight into families that live near trash sites and have to search through trash in hopes of finding something to eat or to sell/use. And the three boys try to solve a mystery of a dead man and millions of money before the police do. And it ends in a happy ending, which is nice.

The Final Reflective PBL Post!

Our models are finally-finally-done. Here’s a picture of our final products:

Photo on 11-3-15 at 10.04 AM #2

Photo on 11-3-15 at 10.04 AM

Building the models were not very easy. Since Annie and I worked together on building the alveoli model, I’m going to talk about that one. If you want an analyses of the lung model one, visit Ryan or Brandon’s blog.

When building this, we faced difficulties such as ‘how are we going to make a model that represents an alveoli and have others understand?’ to ‘how are you going to make this interactive?’ to ‘which wire will let us put the clay balls in?’ and, the most frustrating question: ‘how am I going to finish this without killing all of my classmates?’

I think, though, the most difficult problem was trying to get the clay balls in the tube. We were going to put clay balls on a wire, and pull them through a tube. This would represent blood cells going through the capillary. But the thing is, when we did it, the clay kept sticking to the sides of the wall and never moved. We tried this several times, until at some point there was clay blocking up the tube so we had to fill it with water and bang it against a trash can to loosen the clay and get it out.  The design and material was a bit difficult to work with, so.

We ended up solving it by waiting to let the clay balls dry before putting them on the wire, and surrounding them with glue (that idea is thanks to Mr. Wylie) so they wouldn’t move.


We tested ours many times (usually mostly with the tubes) and with our clay alveoli. I think we had around 3-5 tests before we came to our result.  Our changes were not too drastic from the design, though. They usually followed the original design plan.


In conclusion, I feel like this project has brought a new perspective of teamwork. I’ve learned communication is essential to working with others, and that if you do not like something, you must voice your opinion. Creativity is hard in this project, because our system is specific. Even so, I think we were creative with our alveoli model. Also, even if you hit a brick wall, you CAN go around it. We faced many problems, but we managed to get around them. Overall, this was a fun project and a nice experience.