At last, I have written a complete paragraph in Hindi. It was challenging and there may be several errors in it, but I wrote it all by myself. The only resources I used were some notes I took on the Hindi alphabet. I hope this paragraph provides enough evidence to prove that I indeed memorized the Hindi alphabet and learned the rudiments of writing in the Hindi script as well.
 
       In terms of my presentation, I'm not quite sure how to approach it. I never enjoy presenting and this one is going to have to be at least five minutes long! I don't know how to present my topic in a way that will interest my peers because learning a language is not everyone's idea of fun. Nevertheless, I will probably just stick with a power point presentation. This will allow me to include plenty of visual effects. For my hook, I think I will use a question like: "How many of you know how to speak in a language other than English?" Then I will go on to say: "But how many of you know how to write in a language other than English?" These questions will help engage the audience and will act as a segue way to my topic. Although my presentation may not be too thrilling, I will still be able to impart my knowledge of Hindi to the class.

       On the whole, Genius Hour was a noteworthy experience. There were many ups and downs during the journey to reach my goal. At the beginning of this project, I was extremely excited, enthusiastic, and eager. As the semester progressed, I continued to enjoy learning the Hindi script. However, as of late, I realized that time management was a hurdle in my Genius Hour journey. Although we had some class time to work on Genius Hour, they occurred quite sporadically. I understand that Planning 10 is a jam - packed course with little flexibility. Therefore, I had no objection to executing most of the research and work on my own time. In fact, I actually preferred working on Genius Hour at home because it allowed me to go at my own pace. Gradually, however, work from my other classes kept increasing and I couldn't seem to carve out enough time for Genius Hour. In essence, I still had the passion and drive to learn how to write in Hindi, but it was difficult to keep up with time. Luckily though, I managed to make up for the deficit during Winter Break. As a matter of fact, during the holidays, I rekindled the joy of learning to write in Hindi because there was less of a time constraint. 

       Despite all of challenges that came with Genius Hour, I appreciate the fact that we got an opportunity to learn whatever we wanted. It allowed us to be creative, innovative, and imaginative. Moreover, it was satisfying to overcome all the various difficulties. Even though there is still a considerable amount of work left for me to do before I become an expert in the Hindi script, it feels as if I have laid down the tracks that will guide me to my goal. In addition, I see myself as a more diverse individual now because I learned how to write in a script that hails from Asia. Overall, Genius Hour enabled me to reconnect with my heritage and has made me more internationally literate.
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I can't tell you how many times I've been through this type of situation. In reality though, overcoming challenges is what made Genius Hour so significant to me.
 
       At this point, I have learnt most of the Hindi alphabet. There are a few symbols still left to memorize, however I am basically finished the alphabet portion of this project. Nevertheless, I am behind schedule because I had planned to learn all the symbols by mid-November, but it is now December. Therefore, I must make up for this setback during Winter Break. Otherwise, I will not be able to learn Hindi grammar rules, and I will not be able to form sentences or paragraphs. 

       No matter how much priority I gave this project, it always played a subordinate role to my other work. I feel bad about this because I truly wanted to learn the Hindi script. Unfortunately, I don't think I gave this project enough time or effort. I honestly tried to work on this project whenever I could - weekdays, afterschool, weekends, etc. However, I feel that my progress on Genius Hour was extremely slow. Therefore, I don't know if I will successfully be able to complete this project.

       Even if I am not fruitful in my endeavor to learn Hindi, I am glad I made the attempt because it was something I always longed to learn. At least I have memeorized the Hindi alphabet, if anything. Now that I have learned most of the letters, my next goal is to learn how to form sentences in Hindi. I would like to accomplish this by January. Overall, through this Genius Hour project, I felt reconnected to my mother tongue and I got to learn some interesting details about it. There is nothing more rewarding than that.
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I seriously have to get back on schedule in order to meet the deadline.

 
     As I continue to learn the Devanagari script, my goal to write a complete paragraph in Hindi is slowly coming into view. My progress has indeed been slow, but it has also been consistent. A few weeks ago, I had memorized 12 letters, and now I have 34 symbols committed to memory. Nevertheless, I still have around 12 more letters to learn, on top of sentence-forming rules. Although there is a lot of work left to do, I feel that my progress has been steady enough for me to eventually accomplish this project. It is going to be a challenging, yet fulfilling experience. My short term goal is to learn the rest of the symbols by mid- November. From then, I would like to focus on sentence- forming and grammar. If I continue my Genius Hour project this way, I might be able to write a paragraph in Hindi by January. 

     My greatest challenge with learning the Devanagari script has probably been the time. Despite the fact we have had class time to work on our Genius Hour projects, it is still necessary to take what we did in class and review it at home. For my project it is crucial that I put my knowledge of Hindi into practice at home, because if I solely relied on my work in class, and never reviewed, I would forget most of what I had learned. This is a conflicting situation to be in because it gets complicated balancing this project with other work from different classes. However, I've come up with a plan to solve this problem. My solution is to complete all the homework for the rest of my classes on weekdays and allot most of the weekend for Genius Hour. This way, no subject is compromised for another, and I can still practice my Hindi writing. 

     Lastly, I would like to communicate some new things I have learned about writing in Hindi. For one, Devanagari symbols are written in exclusively one case, meaning that there are neither "uppercase" forms for symbols nor "lowercase" forms. Therefore, when writing in the Devanagari script, the beginning of a sentence does not require capital letters, since no such form exists. Every single symbol is written in only one case which is coherent to the others. At the same time, periods are not used at the end of sentences; instead a vertical line separates one sentence from another. The basic punctuality principles that we apply to writing in English everyday contradicts the rules of Hindi grammar. Evidently, switching from writing in English to writing in Hindi requires a reversal in your logic and perception. However, the fact that I do not have to memorize capital letters in addition to regular symbols may benefit me.

Here is a chart of the Hindi alphabet's letters along with the sounds associated with them.
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        My Genius Hour project is to learn how to read and write in Hindi. I have been speaking Hindi all my life, but have never learned the script in which it is written. Through gaining knowledge of the Hindi script, I would like to be able to write a paragraph completely in Hindi. I have always been mesmerized by Hindi text because it seemed so exotic and foreign to me. Due to the English-based world we live in, I guess I have gradually drifted apart from my native language. Therefore, I was never able to learn the Hindi writing system. However, now that I have the opportunity to reconnect with my mother tongue, I am driven to use it to my full advantage.

       So far, my Genius Hour research has been quite extensive and rigorous. Furthermore, the actual skill-building process has been exceptionally challenging. The Hindi script is a baffling concept to grasp because its grammatical rules are considerably different from writing in English. For example, instead of having one character for “a” the Hindi alphabet has at least two, which represent the long “a” sound and the short “a” sound. On top of that, Hindi characters can form conjuncts with each other, in which different sounds combine to form new sounds. For example the symbol for “dha” and the symbol for “ya” combine to form the symbol for “dya.” Despite all of these hurdles, I have managed to memorize 12 letters. These letters are the English equivalents of the sounds gaghakakhaja, jhacacha, ta, tha, da, and dha. Additionally, I have learned that the Hindi language is written in the Devanagari Script, and that the Hindi alphabet has approximately 46 characters, which consist of 13 vowels and 33 consonants. Although learning the Devanagari Script is a tremendous undertaking, I believe my “Visual” learning style will assist me during the process. Some techniques that I am using are to study each character’s features and repeatedly write them down on paper until I commit them to memory. Thus far, my technique has helped me memorize 12 symbols, and I am counting on it to help me learn even more. One important thing that I have learned is that even though I speak Hindi, writing it is a completely different perspective of the language. However, I will not give in to the struggles; instead I will work sincerely and try to learn something I've never known. 

       The extremely helpful website I am using to learn Devanagari Script and Hindi is http://www.avashy.com/hindibhasha/
This website tells you the sounds of characters, along with words to identify different sounds with. It even has practice tests in which you hear a sound and try to associate it with a specific symbol.


 
       On the whole, I felt that the results of my personal assessments helped create a custom-made portfolio which illustrated most of my characteristics. From Holland's Self-Directed Search, I learned that I am an Investigative Type person. I agree with this classification because the description supports my practical attitude and acknowledges my worldly interests fairly well. As for the actual test, however, I believe there should have been more questions for each category to make the results even more accurate and specific. Additionally, instead of grouping all the questions into different sections with headings like "Are You a Helper?" I believe they should have been dispersed randomly throughout one continuous test. I suggest this because when someone is aware of what the test is trying to ask of them, such as "Are You a Helper?" they are more likely to intentionally skew their answers in order to either fit the descriptions or to prevent themselves from being classified as a certain type. People manipulate their answers because they aren't content with the qualities they have, so they try to modify their personality according to their preferences. On the other hand, the Values Survey was extremely thorough and detailed, which I appreciated because it asked more of me and I believe it gathered more precise results. I also thought that there was a wide range of "Value" categories; in fact there were thirteen, which meant a greater diversity of results. Furthermore, the fact that the different category questions were scattered throughout the test promoted honesty while answering the questions and a lower chance of distorting the results. Overall, I have no negative critique for the Values Survey. Considering the online quizzes, I initially had complete trust in the results primarily because it was government regulated. However, as I took the tests I realized that some were indeed trustworthy, while others were somewhat general and had displayed results in a manner that was inconvenient to me. The quiz I did have faith in was the Multiple Intelligence Quiz, which told me I was a Logical/Mathematical, Intrapersonal, and Visual Spatial person. These terms accurately define me because I am a logical and visual person who is more concerned about himself.  One of the other online quizzes was the Seeing, Hearing, and Doing Quiz, in which I learned I am a Visual learner. This also represents my personality because I prefer to learn with notes, textbooks, diagrams, pictures, and any other type of information which I can see and refer to. However, after I took the Work Values Quiz, my faith in the results began to diminish. This was because I did not like how the results consisted of statements which were merely copied from the quiz and pasted to the results page if they matched you. For example, if it said "I would like to work with the public" on the quiz and you selected "Important" for that, the exact statement would appear on the results page. Therefore, I felt this quiz wasn't very personalized and the results weren't exceptionally customized to me as a specific individual. The last two online quizzes were the Work Preference Quiz and the Abilities Quiz. Through the Work Preference Quiz I figured out I was Innovative and Methodical, while the Abilities Quiz helped me discover that I have Clerical Perception, Numerical Ability, and General Learning Ability. I am in accordance with these descriptions and I have no complaints for either the testing or the results. I had faith in these results along with the results of the Multiple Intelligence Quiz and the Seeing, Hearing, Doing Quiz because they included numerical percents which corresponded to how much I fit under a specific category, and I always trust numbers. Altogether, despite the fact some personality tests were somewhat vague and had the possibility of being skewed, I believe my results were reasonably indicative of my traits and preferences.

       Taking a look at myself, I believe I am making diligent efforts to put my skills and interests to good use, however there is always room for improvement. One way in which I am using my interests to my advantage is by helping my peers in classes such as Science. By helping my classmates better understand certain concepts, I am exercising verbal skills and interpersonal skills. Since I want to become either a family physician or pharmacist it is critical that I gain and expand on these skills. Moreover, I am taking courses which correlate to the logical person that I am, such as Accounting and I am planning on taking Biology, Chemistry, Physics, and Pre-Calculus for the future. This shows that I am willing to take the initiative in order to pursue my interests. However, where I can expose my skills and attributes even more is possibly by taking extra-curricular activities which help build upon my skills. For example, maybe I should attend science camps or take writing classes which will not only teach me new things, but also give me hands-on experiences. At the same time, I believe everyone should challenge themselves and the same goes with me. One possible way to challenge myself is by increasing my participation in classes. For example, I should contribute at least one thought a week. From there, I can keep adding on one more each week. If I do this, I will become comfortable with my surroundings and be able to communicate and present effectively. Again, these qualities are crucial to family doctors and pharmacists, who always communicate with their patients. For a greater challenge, maybe I should involve myself in writing competitions or any other academic activities. It doesn't matter whether I win or lose because the purpose would be to give the mind a workout and enrich my skills. On the other hand, I feel I should improve my study habits because I have the tendency to get somewhat distracted. We all know that the road to a medical career is quite long and difficult, yet incredibly rewarding. Consequently, I will have to organize a schedule of some sort and dedicate specific subjects for allotted times in order to stay on top of coursework. By doing this, I will hopefully prepare myself for the rigorous studying in University. However, an area that I have already tried to improve on was my computer proficiency because I took Information Technology last year and am pondering over taking another computer class next year. Through Information Technology, I have become a considerably faster typist and have acquired knowledge about creating web pages and optimizing images. As we progress and advance in our "electronic society" it is essential to be proficient in computer programs, especially for medical specialists, who regularly use high-tech software for analyzing, experimenting, and doing research. Besides working on these skills and abilities, I have to polish myself in one more area. Considering the fact that I would like to become either a family doctor or pharmacist, I have to gradually develop critical thinking skills and be able to make decisions on the fly. Although I try to analyze and think at a deeper level, my solutions don't seem as sound and practical as they ought to be. In the same way, when I am under pressure I sometimes hit a few blanks and begin to feel extremely panicked. Furthermore, it takes me a long time to make decisions because I constantly over think every little detail and make mountains out of molehills. Therefore, I realize that if I do want a career in medicine I must sort these issues out or I may never be able to work in my dream occupation. One of the things I can do to prevent this behaviour is by simply taking deep breaths and looking at the bigger picture, rather than the minute details. In summary, there are many aspects of me which I consistently put my undivided attention and effort into; while there are others that are in desparate need of continuous progress and revival.
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Family Physician
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Pharmacist
 
For the most part I disagree with the thoughts and ideas from the video "Does School Kill Creativity?". To start with, I believe creativity is one's choice and how they correlate that with education is completely dependant on them. In essence, there is no reason that students should complain about not being given enough freedom to exercise creativity because school gives us ample opportunities. For example, in order to express their creativity, students can join school clubs and programs, such as the Japanese Club, Global Issues Club, pep rallies, sports teams, student councils, and any other extra-curricular activities. However, many students don't take the initiative to partake in these creative programs even if they have the time and interest. Other than clubs, teachers also give us various chances to express ourselves, like through poetry, art, science experiments, and presentations. If you really think about it, how likely are teenagers to exercise their creativity and learn ways to express themselves when some of them find it difficult to wake up before noon? I find school to be a beneficial push, in terms of teaching us practical skills and encouraging our growth academically, personally, and creatively, which in turn will help us in future experiences. Therefore, I feel school helps us reach our full potential. Although the host of the video told us that our current education system is outdated, demanding, and killing our creativity, there is evidence which suggests otherwise. For instance, it is widely recognized that our education system is from the 19th century, yet during that very period the education of that time had a major breakthrough, which lead to the achievements of the Industrial Revolution. As a result of this centuries-old education system, our civilization has evolved from the cumbersome and obsolete instruments of the past to the highly advanced gadgets of today's "electronic society". Thus, I believe it is a positive thing that we follow the same education system from the past because we might reap similar extraordinary outcomes. Despite all of these details which support our education system, I still think there is room for improvement. One of the areas the school system can improve on is reducing class sizes in order to emphasize the teacher's purpose and presence on students. Additionally, I suggest that classes should be sorted according to academic capability, not age, because it is unjust to expect results of a certain standard from students who might not be able to mentally cope with the course content. Therefore, I propose students should be classified into groups according to their strengths and weaknesses, and that the school system should cater learning towards students in a way that best meets their needs. For example, different students learn through different learning styles which include visually, logically, socially, aurally, verbally, solitarily or physically. Accordingly, students should have education delivered to them in a manner which makes it more relevant to them. Other than these minor details, I find the current education system to be functioning just fine. In summary, the current school system in which students are learning has not only stood the test of time, but also left behind long-lasting effects, and therefore, I believe questioning it would be preposterous. 

To take a learning styles quiz click on the following link: http://www.edutopia.org/multiple-intelligences-learning-styles-quiz
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Talk about oversized classes!
 
My name is Shaneel Kumar and I am a grade 10 high school student. I have many different interests which define who I am. To begin with, I genuinely like school because it satisfies my desire to obtain an assortment of useful skills and learn about fascinating topics in various subjects, such as Science, English, Social Studies, French, Math and Business Technology. In terms of reading, I relish in compelling and thought-provoking accounts of real people in the past. For example, I was thoroughly intrigued by Island of the Blue Dolphins and its tale of finding hope even in the severest cases of isolation. One of the reasons why I really appreciate education is because it gives us the opportunity to grow as both academic students and global people. At the same time, I also enjoy travelling because it is a great way to have international adventures. Moreover, travelling exposes us to exotic cultures, completely foreign to our own, which builds our character. However, aspects of travelling that I really dislike are the plane rides because I am utterly terrified of them. Turbulence is my worst nightmare! Although travelling is neat, I enjoy biking and playing volleyball as well. Despite all these colorful sides of me, I am actually a relatively practical person who finds drama, art, and other things alike considerably difficult.  Furthermore, I am a fairly quiet student who doesn't care for the latest trends in fashion or electronics. Instead of getting easily influenced by material things, I strive to put all my concentration and energy on schoolwork. A direct result of my quiet and low-key demeanor is the fact that I'm not very fond of presentations. Lastly, throughout high school I hope to gain a better understanding of specifically what kind of career I would like to pursue. So far, I think I would like to study in the field of medicine, however I am still contemplating which type of doctor I want to practice as. To conclude, I try to be as committed a learner as I can because that's what really matters to me.
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Here is an attempt to channel my thoughts into an artstic perspective.