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My Personal Geography- An embodiment of my experiences and those to come.

My personal geography is an embodiment of my experiences. The plan was to map all the scars on my body to show all the childhood and adolescence experiences that were made perpetually living memories when marked onto my body. However, while developing the idea, my draft extended to factors outside of my individual person which undeniably make me who I am.

At the very top of the image is a city upon my head. This city is that of Aspiration. This of course varies from person to person, but for me it is a city of gold representing the heavenly golden city (or atleast I want to aspire this more than anything else) and  the act of living up to my values. Reaching the peak of these mountains is the most valuable achievement to me.

Moving downward, on the forehead is the Sea of Dreams and Clarity enshrouded in a layer of darkness. This shows that my mind could go on thinking negative, consuming thoughts but my dreams and plans about how to reach them are greater than the darkness. Although, I may feel unmotivated and tired, my aims will propel me to keep on working towards them, learning more about the world and applying my findings to my life.

Further down is my heart connected by veins to factors which build on my individuality. If I’m floating on the sea then the bubbles which are connected externally are the currents that move me. These things are nature, spirituality, family, and art. The drawings include me with one of my dogs under the starry night sky, me reading a book, a sermon I remember distinctly that deeply motivated me to serve God, and my family. If it weren’t for these things I would have no reason to do anything that I’m doing currently to achieve my goals.

At my feet is a multi-colored path. This is because I’m striving for various and numerous things, but most importantly a dynamic and beautiful future. So starting at the top and moving downward, everything that I am and everything that impels me will lead me to that multi-colored road.

Now, this could easily be applied to other people’s lives. Everyone has goals that decide what course their life will take. Beauty, family, and a belief system are the important elements that get most people through life. Sure, its a bit more personalized because it depicts my raccoon attack experience, my receiving the first flower from a boy, my friendship mementos, the markings that my pets have left on me, my wanting to dye my hair crazy colors, and my scarred knees, but the overall idea is very generalized and could apply to anyone.

However, the Miracle Monument reveals that everything that I am I owe to my Savior, and that’s what makes me and this map my own. All the scars and memories might not be living and moving now, if it weren’t for the grace of God. Nothing, none of it, would be alive, so in the lapse of a couple minutes my existence was saved, and I saw that I am unique and special with everything, bad and good, that I carry. personal geography.JPG

Ways of Knowing Post-Lessson Reflection

Upon learning that we were going to organize a lessons and instruct the class for a full 90 minutes ,I was nervous but also looked forward to it. However, when the time came to organize the lesson, it became a little daunting. Although I was excited for the challenge, I wasn’t so sure where to start and how we would spark deep thinking. The first group’s turn came and it was so good I realized how much ours was lacking. However, we still weren’t completely done and had time to improve it. We came together one nights and built on each other’s ideas and structured the presentation so it would be one coherent piece. We added more thought-provoking questions and a very interesting and informative podcast which was sure to prove effective in building the class’s understanding of the way of knowing that is emotion. Ultimately the presentation was good,but not exceptional and not completely what we were aiming for.

In total we had 30 slides, which meant there was too much information packed into a single presentation. We tried to cover everything instead of focusing deeply on a couple of ideas, detracting from the depth of the subject. It was not suited at all for an IB class full of students who want to understand things on a deep level. For this matter, we discussed only our first few ideas on a deep level and weren’t able to get past slide 10.This prevented us from reaching our most informative and engaging section of the lesson which was past slide 10. We very briefly touched on the podcast and for this reason,if I were given the chance I would cut our slides about basic and complex emotions and our unnecessarily long definitional slides which weren’t very enriching. I would focus more on our most insightful knowledge which was about how reason is intimately tied with emotion and how emotion deeply affects the way me know and make decisions.

However,since we did touch extensively on one of our deeper topics, the role emotions plays in visual art and music and how it’s a method of creating and analyzing these pieces , the presentation didn’t completely fail at engaging the class and informing.

One of our strengths was the discussion questions which prompted thinking, For example the question “If you feel no emotional response to a piece of art or music, can you know it?” initiated discussion about personal experiences with art and music and the way emotion allows us to fully appreciate them. It also arose confusion about what it meant to know “art” or music. It showed the conflict we constantly have between reason and emotion and how reason seems to prevent us from understanding things emotionally, or on a personal level.

Although we weren’t able to discuss the podcast , we did give out a note taking guide which should have been effective in helping the class get a deeper understanding of the way of knowing if they were actively thinking and jotting down ideas. Therefore,although we could have done a better job structuring the lesson, I believe we imparted sufficient knowledge and discussion to broaden the class’s understanding of the way of knowing significantly.

The experience was a good one and it taught me a tremendous amount about emotions and their importance for our survival. I also realized I shouldn’t have let the class steer the presentation, but Instead our group should’ve redirected them when drifting away from the topic being discussed. This would have allowed us to move through the presentations at a quicker pace, and address all questions and perspectives. However, our efforts were not in vain, as we learned a great deal and provided the class with enough information to obtain a deep understanding if they actively listened.

This I Believe

I believe in my fathers, my heavenly father and my earthly one. I believe God is real and I believe in His infinite love and grace towards me. I believe in my father and know he is a good man. He inspires me to be a good woman and assures me that I can reach whatever I set my mind on if I work hard. My dad seems rather hard on the surface but I know he’s a generous, hard-working, and wise man.
You could call my dad a mysterious man. He doesn’t let people see his vulnerable self and instead acts tough and some, I’m certain, think him “cold”, but he’s not. Some time ago, my dad and I stayed up late lying on my bed talking about his life in Honduras and about God. He told me some stories but one in particular, in which he told me of the time God saved him from doing something terrible, deeply impressed me. It reminded me of how God had saved my life before and how my entire family had all been witness to it. It also showed me parts of my dad which I had been oblivious to. Before he told me this, I hadn’t completely understood my dad, and I still don’t, but I understand more of him and perhaps why he acts the way he does in regards to some things. I can’t tell the story out of respect for my father, but I will tell the second story he told me that night.
One day he was walking through the streets of his town. It was a bright, relatively normal day with people going about their business, passing one another without acknowledgment, too submerged in their own thoughts to notice anything or anyone else. He was just trying to get home and as he was passing through the crowd he noticed that to  the other end there was commotion and people were gathering. He turned towards the tumult and broke through the gathered observers. He noticed everyone was frightened and observing with great attention but no one would do anything to save the little girl who was on the verge of drowning in the tempest of the river. He threw himself in and saved the little girl that day.
That night he told me, “When you have the chance to help someone, don’t think about it, just do it.” That night I understood my dad more than I ever had before, and something in my heart shifted. The value of that night with my dad and his words of wisdom could never be replaced by all the treasures in the world.
I believe in my God and his grace and mercy, not because I was born into a Christian home, but because my life is proof of His existence. If the God which I hope to serve faithfully were not real I would have been in the passenger seat which was ravaged when my mother and brothers suffered a car accident one morning. I wouldn’t have gotten so sick that I couldn’t possibly go to school, and it takes a whole lot for me to be sick enough to decide to not go to school, because I dread having to miss class and make work up, but I truly felt awful. What was more amazing was that I only got sick the night before and the next morning when I awoke to my brother telling me that they had been in a car crash any illness that had been present in my body had completely vanished.
I believe in my father, because in innumerable instances he has been what I aspire to become one day, and I believe in my Father God, because I’ve lived his grace and love in my life.