Pivoting to a New Direction

Hello! Bonjour! Aniin!

As I am writing this, contemplating where I have been and what needs to be done next, I can’t help thinking about how little time left I have in the Propel program. There have been many bumps in the road of my project, but overall, I have been able to keep myself together. I can’t wait to make the most out of the time that I have left.

TIMELINE

In Propel, we use a Gantt chart for our project timeline. The purposes of the timeline is to use it as a reference tool to plan your tasks for the day, and to indicate if you will meet your due dates by your progress. As you see pictured above, I have sectioned off my milestones into themed weeks on what generally need to be done. Each week breaks down into specific action steps.

My timeline states that I have completed three action steps this week, however I have three more steps I need to do in order for my milestone to be done. I know this because on my “Week 13” milestone, it says that I only have 50% of the week’s tasks done. As of writing this, I am behind by a day and a half. To propel myself back on track, I will do schoolwork in my local library this weekend to complete the three outstanding action steps. I am behind due to a pivot point with what my project’s final product does and looks like. Instead of recording spoken word poetry, I will be teaching a Grade 9 English Language Arts class on “painting a picture with language”. This change has affected my timeline structure and project exploration.

In the upcoming weeks, I will be focusing my project time on drafting three potential lesson plans including generalized learning outcomes and a timeline. I will then choose one and conduct multiple feedback cycles from a variety of educators, then practice and implement the chosen lesson.

Thank you for checking in on my progress, it is always appreciated.

JB

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Let’s Get Moving!

Hello! Bonjour! Aniin!

I am happy to have you come along with me through my Propel journey! Right now, we have begun the project timeline phase. This phase is where we map out our project time, so we know what our daily tasks are as well as knowing our due dates and if we are behind, on time, or ahead at any given point.

After some more consultation with the Propel Teachers, I’ve decided to spend my semester focusing on writing and recording spoken word poetry, and creating a music loop in the background. I am extremely excited to improve my skills in writing and to communicate a message through this project.

When we decided that spoken word poetry was my direction in Propel, I had to make my own project timeline. In my final draft of my project timeline, I broke down my major target goals into the periods of time in between I meet a mentor through Studio 393, which is an urban arts studio.

Originally, I had my target goals as steps, but this proved ineffective for my brain to fully understand. As the way it currently is, it has more structure for what I need to accomplish when the time comes for a mentorship session.

My target condition before next week (which is when my next mentorship is) is to have three spoken word demos edited by the writer’s guild so they are ready to have music added to them and be recorded.

I am excited to see where this project will take me.

Best of luck,

JB

Where We’ve Been, and Where We’re Headed.

Hello! Bonjour! Aniin!

Welcome back to your glimpse at Propel through the eyes of Jake Bell! It has been busy in Propel during the last three weeks, as we have just wrapped up the “Proof of Concept” phase (POC). The purpose of the POC phase is to prove that a student is capable of achieving their set project goal. A students POC is a condensed version of their project in a two-week time frame.

I would like to enlighten you on what I learned, but I feel it would almost be more appropriate to blog about what did I not learn during my POC. There were moments of turbulence, and success, but most importantly I made it through with more clarity about what I want my project to be. The most mentionable learning experiences include learning how to use GarageBand, what hooks/chord progressions are, as well as vocal layering affects. All of these techniques were hard to wrap my head around, but after hours of watching YouTube videos and trying, failing, and trying again, I feel that I have developed a baseline musical knowledge.

The POC phase has definitely helped direct where my project will move forward to. After conferencing with the Propel Teachers, I’ve realized that the initial project I had in mind is, as of right now, unrealistic due to the lack of time. In all honesty, I felt very deflated after, as what I envisioned was making a Pop song that really stands out, and that was very important to me. One of my most defining learning experiences in Propel is to not “get married” to your original project idea.

As of right now, what my project will look like and accomplish, is under construction, but I do have some potential ideas. I still really want to communicate a deep message through thought provoking lyrics/poetry and advance in my writing abilities. Where will these goals will take me? We have yet to find out.

Happy almost spring break,

JB

Propel: A New Chapter of High School

Hello! Bonjour! Aniin!

It is hard to find words that would do justice to describe a learning experience such as Propel. I am so grateful for the opportunity to join this program. I will make sure that I use this experience to its greatest potential.

My name is Jake Bell and welcome to my journey in the Propel program at Nelson McIntyre Collegiate. I have many interests that revolve around education, leadership, history, humanity and the environment.

I had wanted to use the time I have in Propel to enhance my understanding of public education in Manitoba. I feel I am already comfortable to lead a class based on my experiences, but I wanted to improve on my skills so that I could prepare for the Faculty of Education. That said, Propel is designed to push you out of your comfort zone. Teaching runs through my veins but music does not. After a long time of analyzing the song “Chandelier” by Sia, I became inspired to be a singer and songwriter. The brilliance of Sia’s work was mesmerizing. I had written dozens of song concepts, but I never thought they would see the light of day. Propel is one of the few chances I will get to take this new direction.

Coming into Propel, I had questions. A lot of questions. How could I turn pain into productivity? If I do end up perusing music in Propel, how am I going to transfer all the teenage angst into art? I could be like every other teenager and vent on Instagram. Do I want to pursue music when it is not my passion right now? How am I going to learn how to sing? How do I make my tracks stand out in a world that almost anyone can make music?

This is the point where I need to self-regulate. If I keep “spinning my wheels” with questions I am not going to get anywhere. I love Propel because it will provide me opportunities, I didn’t think I had before, that said having so many “driving questions” feels like too much.

However, I have learned in my short lifetime that big questions give me a purpose and that they should take time and effort. And of course, a positive outlook on any situation. I know I will be able to make it through any challenge that Propel presents to me. After all, the purpose of Propel is to not always be right. It’s about learning from our mistakes.

Warm regards for this frozen weather,

JB