Sunday, June 8, 2014


1. Through all the ups and downs of the school year, 20 Time has stuck out to me as making my sophomore year amazing! It is hard to believe that I have just finished my whole entire sophomore year already. It went by so fast! In a way, it all makes sense. Since September, the teaching routine of every classroom as been the same except for one. In most of my classes the routine goes as follows; the teacher teaches new material, I listen and analyze it, and then I get tested on it. After a while, I just go through the motions because I can't express my creativity. However, my english class was different this year because of 20 Time. 20 Time gave me the opportunity to express all the different creative ideas that run through my mind daily. I have learned that motivation, failure, proper time management, and being disciplined are the keys that keep me going. Through 20 Time, I have found new confidence in myself that I never knew I had. In a way, it was always there. I just never had the chance to let it grow. This project has also made me believe in myself. I was the only person controlling my project. I wasn't doing this project for anyone except me. This project has shown me that I can do anything I want. I can conquer anything that comes my way now. A man who was interviewed by Humans of New York once said that life is a rubber band ball. You have your bad weak bands and you have your good strong bands. In order for your ball to bounce, the ball needs to be made up of both bad and good bands. I think this sums up what I have taken away from this project. My rubber band ball never bounced before this project. I was just made up of good (my successes) bands. After learning to accept and analyze my failures, I now have bad bands too. This project has given my rubber band ball the chance to bounce in any direction it wants.

2. If students were to have 20 Time next year, there are only a few things I would change. Blogging every week became sort of annoying because I could't complete things in one week. The time frame was to short to talk about new things. Next year, I think students should blog every other weekend. It gives students more time to work on their project. I also think students should do some research before choosing a project right away. The students should get 3 weeks to finally decide what they think they want to accomplish in a year. Although a year seems like a long time, it goes by so fast. I think it would also be awesome, if maybe once every 3 months the class would go on a field trip. If someone did their project on discovering Belle Isle, the class could get involved in activities on Belle Isle for the day. Interesting experiences shape who we become.

3. Having 20 Time every Friday during class should not be changed. It gives students time to work on their project if they don't have time over the weekend. It also gives students the chance to learn about other students' projects. Although I'm not a fan of blogging, I think it is important to have students reflect on their progress. It also shows the teacher their progress. I think you should also keep the presentation at the end of the year. The students get the chance to share what they have learned. The other students take a lot away from that. I think it also brings the class together more. It really meant a lot to me when every student in my class stood up and clapped for each person.

4. 20 Time should be something more students do in school. It gives them more opportunities to experience and discover new things on their own. It is more of a 3D experience than a 2D one in a classroom where everything is taught verbally. I think students learn so much given the chance to be creative. Creativity seems to be hidden throughout classrooms. It needs a chance to blossom.

5. If your doing 20 Time next year, I would recommend choosing a project that you can do for a whole entire year. Choose something that you are passionate about and that you would not be able to do in a normal class. Choose something unique that many people don't know anything about. If your project doesn't go the way you planned it to go, remember to accept it and try going from that new direction. Failure is acceptable. However, failure is only an option if you accept and analyze it. Have fun! Be creative!

6. I took a lot of things away from speaking at TEDxGPSHS. Without 20 Time and Mr. P's hard work, this event would have never happened. I'm overjoyed that it actually happened and everything went smoothly. I was extremely nervous waiting to go on stage. My body was shaking so hard and my heart was beating so fast. The part that made me so nervous was not actually presenting in front of the audience. It was being live streamed world wide. That idea just blew my mind. My family in Switzerland saw my Talk, which is amazing! Once I started talking on stage, I started to feel more and more confident. The experience was awesome. All my classmates were so supportive and that made me feel comfortable. It wasn't as scary as I thought it was going to be. Up on stage, I felt like I could control the whole world. I, a 16 year old sophomore, was telling the world what I thought. Looking back, I did miss some things I wanted to say and I should have spoke slower. I think it went great! The night before I received an email from someone who had given a TED talk before. From his advice, I learned that I should just be myself on stage. I shouldn't hide or act like someone else. If I am myself, my confidence will shine and people will listen. This experience has changed me on so many different levels.

Monday, May 26, 2014

Reflections on the Talk

Last Thursday, I presented my talk to my class in the auditorium. Throughout my first two classes, I was extremely nervous and anxious. I don't think I have ever been so nervous. Once I got on stage, I started to feel a little bit better. Looking back, I think it went really well. However, I did talk fast. I should have slowed down. It is very difficult to give a presentation without notes. I am use to talking in front of people using notes and a podium. I also skipped some slides by accident because I was going too fast. In the end, I think I delivered my ideas well. Now that the audition part is over, I feel like a huge burden has been lifted off of my shoulders. I still have to practice my talk because I might get chosen to present at the TEDx event. The Talks that my fellow classmates have been giving so far have been very good. I really like how supportive my whole class has been throughout the presentation. It shows how close we have become as a class through this project. It is really nice to clap after a Talk. However, it shows how much the audience liked it even more when the whole class stands up and claps. The speaker really feels comfortable and confident. This week the rest of the Talks will be given. I can't wait to see what other ideas my classmates talk about!

Friday, May 9, 2014

Presentation/set design

Last week, I signed up to be on the Set Design Crew for TEDxGrossePointeSouthHS. Nina and Julia are also in it. Last Monday, we got together before school to go over our ideas. So far, we have come up with the idea of making big wood letters spelling TEDxGrossePointeSouthHS to be in the background on the stage. They will then be painted red ( the color of TED). To make the stage look more inviting, we will also be including a rug, a bench or some chairs. I think we might also make a 3D cut out of the Tower. The Tower represents the South as a whole. It makes south high school unique. I think it would be great to have it in the background of the TED videos. The set design needs to be creative and cool! However, it can not take away from the speaker. The speaker needs to be the center of attention. I plan on making everything next or the weekend after that with my dad. He is really good at wood-working. 

Last weekend, I wrote up a rough draft of what I am going to talk about. I am happy I finally got all my ideas down. Since, this weekend, I will be studying for my AP US history test, I plan on finishing my slides next weekend or during the week. May is such a busy time of the year. I can't believe the school year is almost over. Once I get the AP test over with, I can commit all of my time to my talk. 

Sunday, April 27, 2014

Slow Down Spring Break

My initial plan for spring break was to work a little bit every day on my talk. However, the first day of spring break I had no motivation what so ever to do any homework. That same feeling continued on for the following days. Before I knew it, my spring break was over. I am disappointed that I did not get that much accomplished. However, at least, I started my outline for my talk. So far, I am really happy with it. As the school year closes, I am becoming more and more stressed out about my AP US history test and my potential TED talk. They both mean a lot to me. They both have very high expectations that I have to meet. My next course of action is to practice the material every day. Although this will take a lot of discipline and motivation, I know I can get through it. Looking back after I have accomplished both things, I think I am going to be happy that I challenged myself. Next weekend, I am going to finish writing a rough draft of my outline/speech to use as a reference. This will help me connect ideas while I talk.

Countdown to...

TEDxGrossePointeSouthHS: 41 days

End of Sophomore year: 47 days (including weekends) or 7 weeks

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Presentation Topic

Last Friday, we had to finalize what we are going to talk about in our presentations. I have decided that I am going to talk about the importance of cultures and languages in today's world. First, I am going to start off small. I am going to talk about how this relates to me in general. My experiences growing up in a bilingual and multicultural household. During this part, I am also going to include how my worldly experiences have shaped who I am. After that, I am going to connect it to my 20 Time project. Finally, I am going to broaden my idea to show how it effects every one on Earth. This weekend I started a folder on my computer to put in photos and papers that I will use in my powerpoint. My goal is still to have a rough draft done by the end of spring break. As the days go by, I am getting more and more excited to present. It is going to be challenging to talk in a huge auditorium, but I am up for the challenge. Once it is over, I think I will look back on that day with amazement. On the other hand, I am not sure yet how I feel about my community expanding the project to involve other schools. I think it will be great if other schools have the chance to do 20 Time projects. This gave me the chance to experience new things that I wanted to do. However, I do not want it to become too big that it won't be special anymore.


Saturday, March 22, 2014

TED videos/book

I only have a few weeks left before I need to know what I am going to talk about in my presentation. Yesterday, during 20 Time, I asked my teacher his opinion about my two ideas. He said they would both work. He also talked about combining the two into one big idea. This sounds like a great idea! This weekend I am going to figure out how I am going to fit both ideas into one. If it doesn't turn out well, I guess I will just stick with one. Last week, my teacher went to two conferences in Grand Rapids and California. He created a quote (see below) from my blog from two weeks ago. He ended up using it in his presentations. That wass CRAZY!!! After that happened, a bunch of people began tweeting it out. My 10 seconds of fame. During my free time, I have been reading a book about how to public speak from TED and watching TED videos. The book is very good so far. Whenever I watch people public speak, I  can now recognize if they have a strong connection with the audience. The way a person delivers their speech needs to grab the audience. Next week, I am going to start making a list of key ideas on my topics. That will be the outline to my speech.

"The biggest success stories are built on a 
foundation of multiple failures."

-Leonie L. 

Sunday, March 9, 2014

Deciding 1 or 2

After having a group discussion in class about what we liked and disliked about the project, I was happy to hear that we will only have to write one blog post every other week. Since we finished the projects, we did not really have a lot to write about. Although I will only have to write one blog every other week, it will need to include what I accomplished in those two weeks. This Friday I am going to ask my english teacher about his thoughts on what I should talk about in my presentation. This weekend I narrowed it down to two topics. I am still undecided on which way I should go. His input will help a lot in figuring out which one I should choose. Once I have my topic down, I am going to start writing up my speech. Although I will not be able to use it in my presentation, it helps when I write things down. For some reason, I can remember things better that way. It will help with practicing and memorizing when and where to say what. After that, I will start making a powerpoint about my project. This weekend I narrowed down my topics.

On a side note, I can't wait for SPRING to arrive!!!