Final Project: Create, Part 2

25/05/2011 § Leave a comment

At this point in time I’ve gathered all of the interviews I need for the documentary. As of now, I’ve interviewed Ayushi + Natacha, Grace, Mee Jung+Jemima, Kirthank, Dhilan, Shi Jia, Freddie, Kevin and Vineet. I’m planning to put all of the interviews in so that my interviewees get their due credit. The way I plan to cut up the interviews is whenever I need a certain answer on my document, I’ll find the interviewee who answers it best and will cut that up (“split clip”) and put those into the right places in the documentary.

Tonight, I think I’ll be able to film the blog-like home scenes where I do all my explaining and the majority of the clips where I am the only focus of the camera (listed on my outline that I posted in my previous Create blog). I have about eight of those to film but some of them are quite quick to film. Also, I think it would be much better if I do finish all of the home-clips today to get those out of the way and give myself some time to see how to arrange the entire documentary and also give myself more time to edit it properly.

I’ve also added the music onto the iMovie project as I said I would and all of the interviews are not only in my files but also uploaded onto the iMovie project. The music edits will only be volume, fade-ins and fade-outs, and where to put them (and how long each song will have in the documentary, since there are three songs but only about five minutes).

Final Project: Create, Part 1

22/05/2011 § Leave a comment

Before Friday at school, I came up with some questions to ask my interviewees/classmates at school. They are:

On average, how many hours do you sleep a night?
What time do you go to sleep and when do you get up? Normally?
Have you ever stayed up til really late at night to do something? (anything)
Are you satisfied with how much you’re sleeping every day?
Do you know how many hours you’re typically supposed to have at this age?
Do you know what can happen if you don’t sleep right?

I have currently interviewed Natacha and Ayushi (together), Grace (alone), and Mee Jung and Jemima (together). I know I seem sexist and biased as of right now, because I’ve only filmed my friends, but I do plan to get some interviews in other classes (it was just Friday, after all). I’m planning to get the rest of my filming done by the 23rd (Monday) but any extra will be filmed on Tuesday so I’ll still bring my camera that day. Classes I think I can get some interviews done in are during advisory, math class, social studies, chemistry (tentative, though), english (also quite tentative), and any last-minute filming on Tuesday’s health/tech class.

Also, I have yet to start filming the house-clips (explanation clips) but I have made quite an outline for the documentary.

Outline – Sleep Documentary

Attached above is the PDF of the outline I made (I use Pages and it had a template for storyboards) for the documentary. I’ve included any props I need and the music I’m planning to add. Also, today, I already created the iMovie file that will eventually become the documentary but have experimented with some added-text features. I’ve chosen to use the ‘scrolling’ and ‘soft edge’ choices whenever I need to add text onto the documentary. I plan to film my first home-explanation-vlog-like clip tomorrow (Sunday) and will also insert the songs into the iMovie so I won’t have to spend time on it later.

Final Project: Plan

18/05/2011 § Leave a comment

The tangible resources that I’ll be needing for this mini-documentary are:

  • a camera that can take video
  • iMovie (to edit the movie)
  • lots of people to interview
I’ll be using my computer to edit this movie and if I can’t borrow my dad’s camera (I’m sure I can, though), I’ll borrow a video camera from the school – maybe the ones that we used while producing the PSAs.
Other things I’ll be needing in order to make this mini-documentary are:
  • important and arranged information to mention in the documentary
  • an outline of what I want to do for my documentary (what I will ask my interviewees, my main point/idea, the information I want to share, etc.)
  • a schedule of when I plan to finish everything
From my experience in making the previous PSA, I think that this is all I’ll really need (outline, schedule and research; and I have all my research already). The following dates are the film days and editing days that I intend to follow so that I finish this project before the week that exams start (which is in two weeks). I intend to get this project finished before the end of next week. Luckily, I’m a fast editor when it comes to iMovie.
  • Interview filming days (all at school): 20th, 23th, and the 24th (the 24th being an extra day)
  • Home filming days: 20th, 21st, 22nd, and the 25th (the 25th being the last extra day, if I need it)
  • Video editing: 25th, 26th and the 27th
If you’ve ever watched “Easy A,” you’ll know that the whole movie is basically a video-blog about the main character’s story, with the back story and the actual film as her proof. I might be able to get in some explanation-clips at school (like right after someone’s said something that really applies the information I’ve gathered) but most of it will be done at home. The home filming and interview filming days are overlapped because I am positive that all of the people in my grade (all the people I intend to interview) have different sleeping schedules. I’m positive that some people sleep more than others and that certain people get next to no sleep at all. I know this because I’ve already talked to them about it before and when I talked to them, it wasn’t for a class.
I’m also planning to get the outline of this project done by tomorrow so that I can start filming by Friday, this week. 

Final Project: Design

18/05/2011 § Leave a comment

At first, I had a difficult time trying to figure out what kind of project I wanted to make for this final assessment. At first, I thought that making a power point would be the best option for me because it wouldn’t be too time consuming to make and I would only have to prepare for the presentation in front of the class. However, with the research I have, I think the presentation would be long and quite boring and not a very successful presentation. Also, I really don’t think I have the kind of time to prepare for the presentation. In any case, a presentation with Powerpoint (Microsoft Office) or Keynote (iWork?) doesn’t seem technologically appropriate enough for this project, even if I add fancy transitions or something.

The second choice I had was to make some kind of graphic manipulation poster (or two or three) with Adobe Photoshop because I’m not that bad at making graphic manipulations. After using Photoshop for this one English project that required us to make a movie poster for a story we read, I realized that I wasn’t half as bad at Photoshop than I thought I was. I thought making an informative graphic manipulation poster (or two) would be good enough for this project but I remembered that graphic manipulation actually takes a lot of time and patience and with the exams coming up, I don’t think I’d have the patience to do that. Also, I’d need to plan out both posters and arrange all the information I’d gathered. So that option wouldn’t work for me.

Then I thought making a PSA like everyone else would actually be the best choice but if working with a group for a month was hard enough (because it was just a long process), then I think making a PSA in under a week would be ten times harder. Also, I’d need to plan and get my Dad’s camera and ask people to be in the PSA and because of their schedules this month, I’m pretty sure they won’t want to be part of the video.

Finally, Grace introduced me to the idea of making a mini-documentary (it will probably be a few minutes) that would consist of multiple short interviews and a few clips of me explaining the topic of sleep and the problems of the deprivation of sleep. I think the only major problems I’ll find with this choice is the amount of time it’ll take and stopping people every once in a while to interview them and ask them how much time they sleep. Also, I’ll have to ask one of my friends (probably one that is in most of my classes) to help film while I interview random persons. I think this kind of project would put together the technology I’ve learned in class, the information I’ve applied from my research and from the health lectures, and will also try to include people from the outside.

I’ve chosen to do the mini-documentary that Grace suggested for me to do. I chose this because I felt that the cons of the choice weighed less than the cons of the other projects. Also, the filming of this project would take a maximum of three days at school (including maybe two days at home) and I have a week next week (including this week) so I feel that I can get the project done by then.

[Also, I’d like to dedicate this blogpost to Grace Yun. Find her blog here, on WordPress. She’s awesome.]

Final Project: Investigate

17/05/2011 § Leave a comment

The topic I’ve chosen to address in this final health/tech lit. project for the class is normal sleeping patterns. I chose this subject (sleep) because ever since middle school, I’ve started staying up late to finish lots of projects or to bake food for an event the next day. At first, I didn’t think it was much of a problem because even if I slept after midnight, the next day, I’m still able to function properly and do what I need to do the next day. However, in high school, it might be the weight of the work or the increased amounts of homework, but sometimes I can’t stay awake at school and can’t function as well. Usually, I just feel tired. Getting the proper amount of sleep has become something of an obsession for me. I love sleep and I love getting sleep and it’s not a matter of health or taking care of myself; I just like to sleep. Nowadays (especially this month, May), I haven’t been getting a lot of sleep and I’ve noticed some of the effects of that. This project will probably help me find out what the problem is and find a way to fix it so I can get enough sleep to satisfy myself.

I’ve done so much research for this project, I almost didn’t want to post the APA bibliography because it would take up so much space. With the help of Mrs. Ishihara, I was able to find some subquestions and subtopics to help me research normal sleeping patterns. The questions that helped fuel my research were:

  • What is my sleeping pattern?
  • Why do teenagers sleep like they do?
  • What is a normal sleeping pattern?
  • What are adult’s sleeping patterns?
  • Why do teenagers need to sleep?
  • Some statistics on sleeping patterns?
  • What are the mental/physical effects on teens?

Identifying my own sleeping pattern was simple enough for me. Most recently, I’ve shown an interest in improving my sleep pattern and have started sleeping early and getting up early in the morning. I’ve calculated the hours of sleep and rest I get if I get to be by 9:30 or 10:00pm and wake up at 4:00. I will typically get about six to six and a half hours and for me, that’s enough hours. Throughout the next day, I’ll be active, moving, overly chipper, happy and thinking fast. However, during the times when I have a lot of work to do (maybe I procrastinated earlier), then I sometimes take an hour or more of a nap after school and stay up late (please don’t judge, I’ve learned what’s right and wrong after my research), sometimes after 2 o’clock, just to finish work. Also, on the weekends, I only get up when my body automatically wakes up (on Saturdays) and if my parents wake me up for church on Sundays. Other than that, my weekends consist of sleeping til late mornings and working for the rest of the day – and maybe taking a nap later in the afternoon.

I figured that teenagers sleep like they do because of procrastination and the work load and stubbornly staying on the computer (Skype and Facebook, more specifically) til the dawn of day, or until they get really tired, which is (for some people) at 3 in the morning. However, some people, me included, actually stay up on a regular basis for a reason: we just have a lot of work. I admit, maybe I procrastinated and left it all til these last three weeks of school to do, which is why I’m staying up more nowadays. Procrastination and work load in high school could be one of the reasons that teenagers sleep like they do. Surfing the net is another cause for sleeping late. Some of my research led me to find out that sleep deprivation could be linked to depression, too. Depression, however, could be the cause or the effect of sleep deprivation.

Throughout my research, I’ve looked up “normal sleeping patterns” and have found graphs and tables that give me the “normal” sleeping patterns for a certain age. On the contrary, what I’ve concluded from most of my research (and from what most scientists say in the websites/articles I’ve read) is that every single person has their own sleeping schedule that best suits them. Some people can actually live on 6 hours of sleep and be content but others need up to 9 hours of sleep. What matters is experimenting with the different sleeping schedules you know about and finding which one best suits you.

I’ve also looked up the scientific and psychologic explanations of sleep and what happens when we sleep. Some people may refuse to sleep but our bodies need the sleep to recharge and renew our organs. (One piece of information I retrieved is that the lack of sleep can cause the malfunction of neurons, which will affect a person’s behavior.) There are two main types of sleep. Rapid Eye Movement sleep (REM) and Non-Rapid Eye Movement sleep (NREM). REM sleep is just one stage but NREM sleep has about four stages. These stages are transition to sleep, light (real) sleep, deep sleep, and deeper sleep. REM sleep consists of dreaming, takes about 70-90 minutes and takes up most of our sleeping time. I’ve read this information in more detail but the notes I’ve taken take more than 4 pages on a Word processor so it would be best to just summarize everything.

From the information I’ve gathered during my research, some of the statistics given in the websites are all different (i.e. “…people need 8 hours, 6 hours, 7 hours, or 9 hours of sleep;” the data is spread out). However, the websites have suggested multiple ways to avoid sleep deprivation (one popular one is to find your own sleep schedule and to avoid alcohol, nicotine and caffeine), and have mentioned multiple mental and physical side effects. These include:

  • fatigue, irritability, lack of motivation, moodiness, reduced creativity and problem solving skills, inability to cope withs tress, frequent colds and infections, memory/concentration problems, weight gain, difficulty making decisions, increased risk of diabetes, heart disease and other health problems

These side effects are both mental and physical but irritability (the bolded) is the side effect I’ve recently seen in myself. This is basically why I chose this topic. It relates to me health-wise and relates back to the mental health (and physical health) unit we had back in 2010. I’ve noticed that so many of the factors and effects have applied to me and its admittedly a little worrying. Now, I have more information on sleep and sleep patterns, though and with a proper presentation, I could probably tell the rest of the class what they’re doing wrong and what they should be doing.

Resources

  • Are sleep problems normal as we get older? (2008, August 13). Retrieved from http://www.health.com/health/condition-article/0,,20218561,00.html This website is trustworthy because the language is sufficient and it provides in text hyperlinks to cite the topics it discusses (provides justification links).
  • Derbyshire, D. (2008, October 16). The ‘myth’ of sleep deprivation; Rest easy: Most get enough sleep, it is claimed [Article]. Retrieved from Questia database. This source is viable because it comes from the database Questia which is suggested by Ms. Schatzky, our librarian, and is one of the databases the school uses.
  • Fitzpatrick, J. (2010, May 26). How to reboot your sleep cycle and get the rest you deserve. Retrieved from http://lifehacker.com/5548150/how-to-reboot-your-sleep-cycle-and-get-the-rest-you-deserve This is a justifiable source because the writer is cited at the top of the page many people on the Facebook icon have liked this article, which means that it must have been helpful. Also, the writing doesn’t show any signs of being false and misleading information.
  • Physical effects of sleep deprivation. (2011, March 14). Retrieved from Effects of Sleep Deprivation website: http://www.effectsofsleepdeprivation.net/physical-effects-of-sleep-deprivation/ This website is valid and usable because it advertises no ads and commercials by Google and (according to the website) is dedicated to all of the effects of sleep deprivation.
  • Psychological effect of sleep deprivation. (2011). Retrieved from LoveToKnow Corp. website: http://sleep.lovetoknow.com/Psychological_Effect_of_Sleep_Deprivation This page is valid and usable because it cites a doctor with a Ph.D and mentions a many medical and psychological terms linked with sleep.
  • Smith, M., Saisan, J., & Segal, R. (2011, January). How to sleep better: Tips for getting a good night’s sleep. Retrieved from http://www.helpguide.org/life/sleep_tips.htm This site is justifiable because the three authors that contributed to the writing are cited at the bottom of the page and it was last reviewed at the beginning of this year.
  • Smith, M., & Segal, R. (2010, July). How much sleep do you need? Retrieved from http://www.helpguide.org/life/sleeping.htm The authors of this page are cited at the bottom, related sites are linked at the bottom, and throughout the text, there are hyperlinks, bullet points and graphs that tell me that this page truly intends to be informative.
  • Stibich, M., Ph.D. (2008, October 30). Sleep and aging. Retrieved from About.com website: http://longevity.about.com/od/sleep/a/sleep_aging.htm This page is valid to use because not only does it provide state the author of the page, but the author also lists down his sources.
  • Stöppler, M. C. (n.d.). Sleep. Retrieved from MedicineNet, Inc. website: http://www.medicinenet.com/sleep/article.htm This is a legitimate source because the page is written by a medical doctor, who provides a page of her medical history.
  • What sleep deprivation can do to our brain. (2010, August 27). Retrieved from Questia database. This article was pulled from the school database Questia which makes it a legitimate source.

PSA: Evaluate

06/05/2011 § Leave a comment

I think that the technical side of working and making this PSA was easy enough for me. I’ve already used iMovie before to make school projects or just to make movies, in general. According to my abilities from using iMovie before, I think the putting together of the PSA was quite easy and simple – as my group had planned it out to be. In my humble opinion, I had absolutely no major problems in using iMovie and even learned a few new things about using the software. However, filming the PSA and planning it out wasn’t as easy as the computer-side of the production but it wasn’t difficult either. I think the hardest bump my group had to face was transferring all the files from one computer to another. Only two people had some of the clips each and no one had all of the clips throughout the entire project. We spent about two class times trying to figure out the fastest way to give each other the files. Honestly, it wasn’t too hard of a problem, I just needed to clear the “how-to” open a folder up to the rest of my group and afterwards, after a few more little problems, everyone had the clips.

The content of my PSA, I think, is intended to take commonly-known experiences, tries to put facts with that, and at the same time, make the funny experiences seem humorous. Also, adding those serious sign-scenes is the heart of the PSA. Once we get into the discrimination half of the PSA, then people are educated majorly on discrimination and the different ways people are treated unjustly.

At the very beginning of this humongous project, after my group chose to study homosexuals and sexuality as our topic, I remember directly that Ms. Ishihara told us to find the heart of sexuality; the cause of problems that happen in relation to homosexuality. I also remember clearly that she helped us realise that there are problems with gay persons and the rest of the world because gay groups and homosexuals are discriminated against for who they are. Thus came the topic of our PSA (and the idea of using the SU2C PSA as a major influence). We focused totally on discrimination and put discrimination against gay people at the heart of the PSA. My group manipulated the information we found (so this project also made us do some math) to make the discrimination against homosexuals the most drastic. I’m not saying that we made up fake facts – all the facts on the PSA are true and can be verified at the site linked below – we only manipulated a few of them to make the discrimination because of your sexuality look like the worst kind of discrimination. Using proper facts and adding a little bit of humour into the PSA can easily attract students’ views and attention and, in the end, education them a little more about not only the unfairness gay people face, but the different types of discrimination that the whole world faces (which is the point of this PSA, too). We were just able to use sexual orientation as a way of justifying that discrimination is not a good thing.

The process of making this PSA, as said earlier, wasn’t very difficult. Sure, the group might have faced what may have seemed like dead ends but were only momentarily lapses of no-focus and a blank mind. We eventually got around all of these by brainstorming more ideas and deciding on topics, ideas, and how-to’s together. I thought I helped lead the group really well in distributing work for everyone to do, asking for everyone’s opinions and ideas, and just getting the work done. Our group worked quite well together, considering that sometimes we got stuck on blank ideas and couldn’t do anything during class time.

My PSA might not do much to impact other peoples’ lives but I’m positive that it’ll get them thinking. I’ve shown the PSA to some of my friends and other classmates already and they’ve asked me about the facts – whether or not I made them up or found them. I think that’s a sign that the use of facts did its job and it got them thinking – either about the chances of seeing a UFO, chances of becoming president or being possessed by Satan, and in the long-run, maybe even the chances of discrimination because you’re Asian, or a girl, a boy, because of your race/ethnicity and because you’re gay.

This PSA’s effect on my life is mostly that it taught me how to construct an idea for a movie (in this case, a short 1:00 minute PSA) with a group of people, how to work with people who may not be as accomplished as you or might not have as many ideas/skills as you do, and how to use iMovie to make a movie. I already knew how to use iMovie to make a movie but I learned to use the iMovies tools more this time around. Also, the PSA actually brought up some facts I didn’t know about the world and how much people have been or are being discriminated against. I’ve never actually discriminated against other people – I’ve seen no reason to – but now I don’t think I ever will discriminate against people because of who they are.

Throughout the process, I think I handled all of the stages well – from the very beginning. I helped lead my group during brainstorming, I also lead my group in researching for facts and websites/books that we could use for our PSA, then during the filming of the PSA, I feel as though I acted like a little director, saying “stand here, do this, look up there, put your hand like that, look serious, etc.” but people followed anyway and did as I asked. All in all, I felt like I was a bit of a leader during the entire process, helping out here and there.

The three IB learner Profile characteristics that I thought I unknowingly strove for during this project were Communicator, Principled, Reflective. I feel like I learned to be a better Communicator during this project because no one else was stepping up to be the head (or something) and someone needed to take over and lead the group. I thought I learned to be more Principled because, as a leader, I needed to be fair with the distribution of work while being the leader. I also had to make a lot of the decisions and set up different times, so if anything went wrong, I would have to take responsibility for that. I was very Reflective during this project because of the many blogs that I had to post. It kept me in check with the main idea of this project and the heart of the message but also showed me my strengths in leading a group and making movies.

The PSA

06/05/2011 § Leave a comment

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