Weekly Report 1/30 to 2/05
Despite my doubts, I managed to gain some ground in regards to my motivation and successes in this semester. I had my Original Work Speech and I finally wrote my 6th interview assessment. Although I still do not know what my grade is for the assessment, I managed to complete it, and the Speech, in a manner, which to me, means improvement.
I wrote last week that I wanted to regain composure and focus. I was hoping it would help me improve my work ethic and my grades. Well, it sort of did. I seem to still be suffering from the fallout of my arrogance. My grades have continued to fall, despite my improving work ethic. However, this will not deter me. This only means I need to continue improving. And that is exactly what I have done; for example, I gave a great speech on Thursday and I have begun working on fixing my schedule. I have pouring myself into my work, and I can see my improvement, but I am still not where I want to be.
Ms. Vernon, my mentor, gave me an assignment a couple weeks ago in her class at SMU, but I only did it on the last day possible. When I was finishing it up around one in the morning, I realized how much I needed to prioritize all my work. For the entirety of the last semester I barely did any homework on Saturdays, and worked tirelessly on Sundays, but this has to change. I need to, regardless of what my friends say, focus on finishing some homework during Saturday. At the very least I need to finish half of it by Saturday; this would give me enough time to sleep well on Sundays. In reality I should strive to prioritize in school. It should give me the leverage to thrive in not just ISM, but all my courses. I am, sadly, afraid to do this. I do not want to give up on my hobbies and begin working more often, but I have to. I said it myself in my Original Work: a painter, needs to dedicate themselves to their art; otherwise they cannot succeed. I have to dedicate myself to my work, so that I may succeed in school. Most importantly, however, I do not want to let my mentor down. She has given me so much, and in return I leave her assignment to the last minute! What kind of person am I?! Honestly, that is disgusting! I cannot keep that up. I must, and I mean this, I MUST do her justice. I must prioritize her assignments. So I will work on doing this. My efforts will be focused on ISM and school, rather than anything else. This will allow me to not only thrive in school, but to, as I said, do justice to the opportunities I was given by Ms. Vernon.
Weekly Report 01/23 to 01/29
This is a sort of new phase in my ISM journey. I am beginning my Mentor visits and I am finishing practically everything to do with my Original Work. In every way, I have completed the first semester. However, that does not mean I have any room to relax. The reality is quite the opposite.
On Monday I went to SMU and visited my Mentor. She has allowed me to take one of her classes, and despite only being able to show up half the time, I am as excited as humanly possible. Not only am I learning from an amazing professor, but I also am having the chance to learn from other students. This is an incredible opportunity and I am attempting to make the best of it. Although admittedly I am finding it hard to balance this with school. I have been assigned homework, which I know will progressively become more difficult, so I am somewhat afraid. I do not know if I have agreed to do something I will fail to complete. How will I balance school, the homework of the course, and the assignment I will be given? Should I even be afraid? I mean, fear and anxiety is normal. Especially when one is out of their comfort zone, right?
I am struggling to find motivation. I believe it is because I have become lazy. I thought I was doing so well in the course, and in everything really, that I might have gotten overconfident. My reasoning for believing this is because throughout this week I have failed to satisfy my standards in practically everything. My grades have dropped and I am procrastinating more. It is absurd! How did I lose track of my motivation so quickly? I lost myself in my arrogance and now I need to regain focus. I need to improve, as I did before. However, I must also not be too critical of myself. Failure is bound to happen. How I bounce back; how I improve upon it, that is what matters.
I feel the best course of action is to go back to my roots. I need to, as I have said in the past, re-prioritize. This week has taught me a valuable lesson. Arrogance is fatal. I will not let it get the better of me again. No, I will improve. The first step will be to begin preparing for my speech.
An Amazing Experience
Weekly Report 01/16 to 01/22
As my sister and I pulled up to the Star on Wednesday I could not help but think of the effort I had put in this year. All the weekly reports, assessments, interviews, my mentorship, my speeches, and my Original Work. I will be presenting it all, and that is not even my final presentation! I will admit, I was somewhat scared, but I had no reason to be. Wednesday, as the title says, was an amazing experience.
When I walked my mentor to my board she seemed impressed. We talked about how I made the board and my future assignments before the Showcase really got going. I thought keeping my Mentor involved would have been difficult, but she seemed to always get pulled off to the side with people and talk for tens of minutes. That made it easy for me to focus on my presentation.
I began talking with the few people that showed up to my board and they seemed somewhat interested, but as time passed more and more people started showing up. Every new visitor seemed to grow with curiosity and praise. I was praised for my uniqueness in design and distinction in topic. I felt so rewarded! When people told me of how others around the showcase were talking about my presentation I was so invigorated I could barely contain myself!
Recently I have been writing doubts I had over the week, but this past week I had none. I feel reenergized for what is to come. I cannot wait to continue to do my absolute best on my speech and future assignments.
Weekly Report 01/09 to 01/15
Mismanagement. This week, and those before it for that matter, I managed to forget one thing: my board. To think I had an incredibly easygoing weekend in all my other classes, and I still managed to leave the board for last. The only consolation I have was my first mentor meeting.
Many of my friends say I challenge myself too much. They think I take too many AP and Pre-AP courses and they claim my life is dominated by homework. That is far from the truth though, I take significantly less AP and Pre-AP courses as many of my peers in ISM. Taking less AP courses allows for me to spend more time doing homework, but I still take significantly longer to do my homework than my peers. I am not sure if I spend too much time doing homework or if I procrastinate too much. Take weekly reports, most ISM students I have talked to take thirty minutes to complete their report, while I take around an hour. (Admittedly I have gotten quite a bit faster these past two weeks). It is a tough issue to deal with. When do I start homework? How do I motivate myself to work? Is it really better to spend less time working on homework? I am not sure. I believe I should start working earlier and accept the fact I will not have as much free-time as I would like. However, that is easier said than done. This weekend I left my research board for last. I just spent the last 8 hours working on it. I painted the background, worked on using the outline as best I could to save time, but I still took far too long cutting the paper and resizing it to put in the board. To top it all off I am still not done! If I learned anything this week it is to better organize my priorities and to stop avoiding homework.
Luckily I also had my first mentor visit. Ms. Vernon and I met up on a restaurant next to SMU and talked about the Mentor Handbook as well as the Research Showcase. She helped me figure out how to better my original work and set up a plan for future mentor visits. I am incredibly excited. This is a once-in-a-lifetime-opportunity. I will make the best of it.