My name is Nora Hill, I'm a senior in high school at the Vermont Commons School. My social studies class has allowed us to spend 20% of our time focused on a current day global issue that interests us, and I have chosen the effect climate change will have on infectious diseases. This blog will be my process of learning about the issue and what I can do to address it.
Climate change is arguably the biggest issue facing my generation, but many people don't realize how far reaching these effects will be. Climate change will change global health, particularly with climate sensitive diseases that are food borne, air borne, insect borne, and water borne. Some of the most climate sensitive disease are: malaria, cholera, Lyme Disease, and West Nile virus. For general information on the impact of climate change on infectious disease check out this information from WHO .

Thursday, April 2, 2015

Final reflection 2-april-15

So this will be my final post for my class on this blog, but as I find new information or try to blitz my video, which I have posted HERE, I will still use this page!

1. On a scale of 0 to 100 (from zero effort to the most effort you possibly could have given) what would you rate your effort level on your 20% Time Project? 
93 - I put in a lot of research at the start of the project, and continued this throughout. I feel like I went in cycles of putting in far more than 20% of time and lots of energy and then times when I would put out less than 20% of time and energy. In general, I would quite diligently on this project but not always as consistently as I could have.

2. In what areas (research, planning, blogging, executing, presenting) have you given more effort or less effort?  Why?
I put a lot of effort into researching, presenting and executing. I put in the least amount of effort into planning, mostly because a bunch of the opportunities that came my way happened very quickly. I also only worked around my own schedule for the most part except for brief periods of time where I teamed up with other groups such as,350.org  or RETN. Not having to conform to other peoples’ deadlines made me more relaxed about my own, which as a senior in high school, was both good and bad. 

3. What are you really proud of from your 20% Time Project?
I am the most proud of my TESTIMONY in front of the senate committee  that is considering divestment at the Vermont State House. That was a great opportunity that empowered and really energized me around my project. 

4. What motivated you to give the effort level that you did give?
I was extremely interested in the topic of climate change and its impact on human health. After the Republicans took charge of Congress in January I was feeling very deflated about unsure about how to continue  to move my project forward. After attending the350.org opportunity and attending the Climate Change Youth Action I felt more invigorated again. I think that this mind set of feeling “I can’t make a difference” held me back for a while and I wish I could have just embraced the project and the immensity of the issue and gone with it more instead of being overwhelmed. 

5. If you could go back and do the project over, are there things you would try to improve?  Are there things you wish you'd done, that you didn't do?  Ways you could have pushed yourself to raise the bar even higher?
As I stated above I would have gotten over the what can I actually do phrase much quicker and started taking real action and creating my campaign faster so that I could have gotten more eyes on my video and generated more interest in my efforts. 

6. What was the most challenging part of this project for you?
Planning and figuring out what my actual product would be.  Since I took on such a big issue it was hard to narrow down what small piece could I work on?  How could my project make a difference?  There were times I wish I was more technically oriented so I could have designed a computer application or created a “thing”. But eventually I was able to find a way to steer the project in a way I could use my strengths.

7. What have you learned about the project-planning process?
As a person, I need to set harder deadlines for myself with more consequences for not reaching those deadlines. At times the open ended nature of the project allowed me to lose focus. In general though I accomplished what I set out to do. I just need to be stricter with myself. 

8. What in this project has made the biggest impact on your learning? Why?
My video project, made me more confident in my ability to use technology with the help of experts. I don’t consider myself a “techie” at all but I do consider myself a strong public speaker.  Now I feel like I can use video more as a medium going forward although I don’t totally understand all the editing components quite yet.

9. When you consider the rest of your life, what percentage of what you learned during this project do you think will be useful to you?  Explain.
Quite a bit of what I learned from this project will be useful going forward. I think making a timeline with deadlines is a life skill that I will use in college and professionally. Research skills are always important, especially when you are making your own deadlines, but it is important to able to move out of the research phase to the action phase of projects. 

10. If you could turn back time and do this project again, what would you do differently?
I would move from the research phase to the action phase sooner.  I would also select a goal that was less reliant on our government to move forward. I might also select a slightly narrower topic.  (Maybe just doing a Lyme Disease  education campaign as opposed to trying to get my bill to the Senate floor).

11. What advice would you give students who will participate in this project next year? 

I would say to pick a topic that you feel strongly about, because passion is the best fuel but keep it narrow.

12. What is something I could do in the future to make this project better?

Honestly, I would in the future give this project to the junior class, that way students would write about this on college applications and perhaps turn this into a senior project. At times, I felt this project conflicted with senior project planning and selection.  I felt torn in two directions. I think that by exploring and developing an interest and product we will all have stronger senior projects so it was good practice and preparation for our senior project but the timing was challenging. 

13. What grade would you give yourself for the quarter?  On what main factors do you base that grade?

94, because I have been an active participant in all forms, both in the class and outside of class. I have engaged in the 20% time project and homework, in class discussion, as well as, debates. Overall, I have really enjoyed this class and learning about more modern history that is shaping out current political and social world, and thus I have found it easy to engage in the material provided. (Although this past week my homework suffered a little but) but I am working on turning this around.

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