New Year, New Adventures!
Excited to start my SECOND year here at UW! This quarter, I finsihed my very first Ad Hoc project, and my last Experiential Learning experience. Check it out!
A Fishy Project to Answer the Question:
What would happen if we threw an underwater rave for a fish?
FISH311 and my first Honors Ad Hoc Project
Prior to the Autumn quarter, I heard COUNTLESS recommendations for the FISH311 Biology of Fishes course taught by Luke Tornabene. My honors instructor from the Burke, Melissa Frey, encouraged me to take it. My marine biology academic advisor, Joe Kobayashi, told me I would fall in love with it in an instant and could open up a whole new world of opportunity to work with the Fisheries Collection at the Burke if it was something that I found interesting. It made sense to jump at the opportunity when autumn quarter registration opened up last spring. Now here we are!
As someone aiming to complete my EEC Biology, Marine Biology, and honors requirements, I thought of Ad Hoc-ing the course to make the most out of my time studying the topic I knew I would LOVE. After discussing the type and format of the project prior to the start of the quarter, Luke and I thought it would be great to make a video, interactive assignment, and additional learning material on a topic I was very curious about: how fishes hear!
This project made me fall in love with science communication to a degree that was borderline "obsessively passionate". While the process most certainly took much more time and energy than anticipated, I really enjoyed every second of it. In fact, all of my prior instructors who ended up catching wind of the project heavily encouraged me to continue producing these types of content outside of this project timeline. I've always looked up to the science communication queen, Emily Graslie, since I was 13 years old. She worked as a Curiosity Correspondent for the Field Museum in Chicago for many years, and I grew up learning about the zoology and biology world through her witty and exciting videos. This project made me feel like a mini Emily, and I'm extremely happy with the final product and the amount of support I got from my instructor, Luke, and all my other mentors and advisors.
I'm happy to say that I've decided to continue producing these videos in a series as an independent project throughout my time here at the UW. I have truly dipped my toes into every aspect of life sciences during my first two years here at UW, but I have so much further to go in regards to communicating those sciences with audiences. As a possible profession after undergrad (and maybe graduate school), I want to see if this hobby will fuel my fire of curiosity even further, and hopefully teach or share a thing or two with my peers along the way.
All of the final products of the Ad Hoc project, as well as the application are accessible with the button below. I had such an incredible time working on the project, and I cannot wait to see what's next!
Fulfilling my Peer Educator Potential!
HONORS 397 and my 2nd Experiential Learning
After nearly 9 months since Peer Educator training began, I finally finished teaching my first-ever course at the UW this fall! I am forever thankful for the amazing memories I've made with the current PE cohort, as well as my wonderful students from my section of Honors 100. I came into the experience feeling nervous about how my students would treat me being so close in age or the quality of my lesson plans, but all of my worries melted away after meeting my wonderful students in class for the first time and getting to know each and every one of them over the course of our 11 weeks together.
I felt consistently supported and reassured by my fellow PEs, and I took a new practice to heart: trusting myself and my preparation over all. I felt like I consistently forgot that I spent such a huge amount of time preparing for these lessons in spring quarter. When I reminded myself of the content, and looked back on my work from spring quarter, it gave me the extra boost of confidence and reassurance that I was prepared for whatever happens in my sections.
I'm incredibly proud of the progress I've made as a Peer Educator, and even more proud of the relationships and connections I've made with my students. I could tell they felt much more comfortable with the class and in sharing their ideas with one-another as the quarter progressed, and I'm happy that I was able to successfully foster this safe and inclusive learning/community environment.
The memories I've made as a PE have made all the preparation work and long nights cutting out class materials for arts and crafts projects ALL worth it.
I've included my Peer Educator Experiential Learning and Final Course Reflection at the link below.
Doing my Best to Do the Best Good!
HONORS 394 - Are Do-Gooders Doing Good?
This quarter, I took the course Are Do-Gooders Doing Good with Kathryn Pursch Cornforth. As you may remember, I designed for Cotopaxi for a while last academic year, so when I saw this course description pop up for the autumn quarter, it was a no-brainer that I would sign up and see if I could put that "Do Good." motto to the test. Of course, there were other reasons I chose to take the class, most importantly, I identify as someone who has a history deeply rooted in community engagement work around the Seattle area (particularly in the environmental education and stewardship sector) so learning about how I can analyze my own engagements and actions seemed like an excellent rationale for taking this course.
Every week, I learned SO much about the philosophy of community service.engagement. From how positionality/privilege of the servicer impacts the receiver, to understanding Community Based Asset Development and Cultural Wealth Frameworks! Every step of the way through my assignments for this course provided me with extra tools and resources to understand why community engagement exists and how to define service in my own terms to provide the best quality of work. Some of my favorite assignments include the Community Engagement Autobiography, the Book Report (I read Creative Acts for Curious People by Sarah Stein Greenberg - an EXCELLENT read for folks who like making things like me!), and the Community Asset Mapping group project (on the right!).
What I loved most about the class is how applicable all my learnings were to my own community engagements. I worked actively on two/three projects over the duration of the quarter while taking this class, and I have even shared some of the readings/resources from the course with my supervisors. Seeing this learning implemented in my own engagements has been incredible, and I can sense our work becoming more effective and exciting as time progresses.
What I've learned about myself in this class is that I do the BEST and most effective good when I'm implementing skills or topics im extremely passionate about into my work. For instance, I do a lot of science communication and design in my projects, so the course has certainly given me the clarity that it's a great idea to continue doing so and see where my passions and expertise find their fit in future engagements as well.
Looking back on Autumn 2022
One of my favorite concepts of all time is the idea of a fresh start. Actually, it doesn't even have to be THAT fresh, it can just be a start. A start of a week, a start of a month, a start of a quarter, or the start of a year.
This quarter was the start of my second year here at UW, and it was certainly a 0-60 rollercoaster launch out of the loading dock.
I spent my summer obsessively planning for the perfect fall quarter. My ad hoc and experiential learning applications were practically made and drafted by the end of the first week of summer… for my autumn quarter submission. I had maybe four to five different chains with my departmental advisor. Probably a solid six events of academic identity crises. Even with all of this planning, reflection, and mental preparation, this quarter still managed to throw some solid punches at me from the personal life sector of my existence.
Medical issues within the family. Parents leaving the country for a few weeks. Having all of the responsibilities of my home life come hurdling back towards me since moving back into my family house. Family dynamic issues. Everything in between.
I’ve learned that after a transition period, everything can build up so quickly and come to a painful peak in silence. While academics were okay on their own this quarter, I was a duck frantically paddling my feet under the water to stay afloat in regard to my personal life. For the first time ever, school was my escape. I was beyond happy to show up and feel the separation between home life and school life even with a commute in between.
This quarter was certainly not as detrimental to my mental and physical health as the spring quarter of my last academic year, but there were a surprising amount of issues that arose during my autumn that threw wrenches into my plans.
However, I learned to persevere and have the little joys of interesting and engaging classes on my schedule for the quarter. I loved every second of HONORS 397 with my fellow PEs and cherished teaching HONORS 100 for the first time with my amazing group of students. Speaking of, it's my second and final Experiential Learning Requirement! I completed my very first Honors Ad Hoc project with another favorite instructor, Luke Tornabene, and I'm beyond satisfied with the result. I got to explore, experiment, and create this quarter, and those are the three things that bring me the most joy. The level of satisfaction from my time at UW is completely unexpected for the amount of effort I was putting into it this quarter, but it gave me a breath of fresh air after a summer and season full of adjustment, tedious preparation, and unintentional grounding.
I’m looking forward to seeing where my projects go next, but until then, I have lots of resting and recovering to do before preparation for Winter quarter begins. Luckily, I have identified my support systems and routines for the upcoming winter, and it gives me a little more comfort knowing that I have my go-to's and security blankets at the ready.
As for my goals prior to the start of the winter quarter, I hope to complete a few internship applications on hand, create my life-saving Notion assignment tracker for my classes for the upcoming quarter, and spend some time playing Animal Crossing on my Nintendo Switch.
Yes. Animal Crossing. It is healing at its finest, but actually second to an IKEA or Target run.
The snow is falling a little sooner. My hands grow cold after typing and writing a little faster. And my dog is even more adamant about the timing of his treat deliveries. All are tell-tale signs we’re in for a treat this winter quarter.
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