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The Best of Me Now

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by

Catherine Li

on 18 July 2015

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Transcript of The Best of Me Now

The Best of Me Now
Motivation/Problem Statement
My mom once told me a quote by David Sarnoff, and it is: "A life that hasn't a definite plan is likely to become driftwood". This quote describes so many times in my life-and probably in other people's lives-where I didn't have exact plans for the future and sometimes even my summer vacations. But a life worth living must be one that has so many aspirations and dreams to chase after and achieve. Throughout this course, I learned about the importance of setting goals and knowing what you want to do in the future. Although I already had some ambitions, this course helped me to set some goals and to discover how to reach them.

After high school, which is very soon, I want to attend University of Waterloo (or even MIT if the smart side of me decides to come up in the next 3 years) and study Computer Science in their co-op program. Like I have said in my
IPP
and
Guidebook
, I have an interest in computers and would like to pursue a Computer Science diploma. In my
PPP,
I talked about joining the co-op program to help gain more experience and to help pay off tuition.

With the various activities I had to do this month, I now know what to do specifically after high school and the perks of each path I can take.

And of course, I have made some education and career goals, because I hope to not be a "driftwood". At school, I want to be an A student, and this means marks above 80 in all of my courses. Since I'm in IB, the academic content is going to get more and more challenging each year. But I want to not only be an academic person, I also want to be a well-rounded student (which IB also promotes). I have a goal to join school clubs and sports teams of my interests and even taken upon myself a leadership role in the school community. This helps a lot in the future as good grades and extra curricular ensure a spot at an university. Also, experiences and skills can be gathered by participating in different activities, and this will help further down the road.

My career goal is to ultimately do something I love to do. Being a computer programmer or to work in the tech field is a goal for me right now, but I am not 100% sure as my interests may change or I may eventually find out that this job doesn't fit me. So, I want to find something just makes me happy and have a itching desire for it. In the future, I don't want to say: "I'm going to work" but instead a: "I'm off to do my hobby."
Methods/Procedure/Approach
I have goals, goals and more goals! But how will I achieve them? The first big stepping-stone is to complete high school. In order to get a diploma, I must have completed 40 hours of community involvement, to complete OSSLT and to have 30 credits (4 English, 1 French as a second language, 3 Mathematics, 2 Science, 1 Canadian geography, 1 Canadian history, 1 Arts, 1 Health and physical education, 0.5 Civics and 0.5 Career studies) at the end of grade 12. I believe I am already on the route to completing this milestone. In my Job Package, specifically my resume, I talked about my volunteer experience at the YMCA and for the municipal and provincial elections. Right now, I have gathered a total of 250 volunteer hours from the different places mentioned in my resume, and this means I have already completed my 40 hours requirement. I have already completed 3 compulsory credits (Geography, Health and physical education and French), and I am on my way to complete Civics and Careers. Year by year I will pave myself towards a diploma!

Career wise, I also believe I am currently doing small things to help me build towards my goal of becoming a computer programmer. In
Planning all Possible Pathways
, I mentioned the grade 11 Computer Science I am going to take in grade 10, and it will help me a lot in gaining more knowledge in the technology field as I will be enhancing my skills in Java, HTML, CSS and hardware (and will earn me a credit for graduation!). This course will definitely help me prepare for the future as a computer programmer, because I am starting out and practicing earlier. I also take programming classes, as mentioned in my
IPP
. In my classes, I learn more about programming in Java and practice contest questions. The knowledge I gained from my classes will help me a lot with critical thinking in my future jobs. It will also increase my chances of my post-secondary option of attending University of Waterloo. The reason is because the classes have helped me in achieving certificates in programming contests (for example, scoring top 25 percent in the Canadian Computing Competition) from the university, and Waterloo looks for these kinds of contest achievements on applications. And of course, achieving this post-secondary option will not only help me gain me more experience and skills, it will give me a head-start in the tech field.
Methods/Approach/Procedure cont.
Before this course, I already wanted to work in the technology industry. So what's the little back story? When I was in grade 7, my math teacher showed us a video from code.org, and the video was about promoting youth to learn how to code. The video talked about future jobs of the technology industry, and my mind instantly clicked. I told myself: "This is the thing you're going to do." I was completely amazed about the industry, its future and the fun headquarters of big tech companies. But I didn't have an insight about the various jobs available and what career goals were the best for me (which specific job fits my character, etc.) until I reflected on them in various activities. When I did my
Career Cluster
, I explored the details of different job paths in the technology industry and even in other clusters that I might be interested in. This helped me to find which jobs have working environments and future prospects that I can benefit from the most.

When I did my
Guidebook
, I did various self-assessments and thought about my characteristics like my strengths, which type of learner I was and my workplace skills. This helped me to narrow the job options down to a computer programmer and confirmed this goal (for now), because a lot of the characteristics I discovered about myself fitted into the characteristics of a good programmer.

The
Planning all Possible Pathways
assignment has helped me to explore the many different choices I cant take after high school. Before, I had only thought about University as a post-secondary education. Now that I have explored the pathways, I understand the pros and cons of each option and which one of them fits me the best. My interest in technology had already determined which kind of program I want to attend in university or college. In the end, I concluded that university was the best option for me, because in the assignment, I reflected on how my strengths (independent work, good level of resiliency, etc.) and how they match a university and college student.

Throughout this course, I had to think about my strengths and my weaknesses. In return, I found out more about myself. After doing the
Learning Skills Assessments
,
the surveys from the Guidebook
and the
Resiliency Survey
, I learned more about the areas I need to improve and the areas I need to hone to perfection. Other assignments that leans towards careers including the
Career Cluster
and
Exploring Educational Resources
aided me in understanding my future career aspirations more and how I connect with them. All these assignments increased my knowledge about my future aspirations and myself.
Results/Findings/Product
I learned a lot about myself. With the Resiliency Survey, I discovered that I do have the capability to pick myself up after a struggle, but I still have a lot of room for improvements for my level of resiliency. I learned about my visual learning style, my motivations (money, recognition, food, etc.) and my workplace skills (document use, numeracy, thinking, digital technology, etc.) through the surveys from the Guidebook assignment. Also, I reflected on my own learning skills (organization, initiative, collaboration, etc.) from the
Learning Skills Assessment
survey.
Conclusion
Another one of the many quotes my mom has shared with me is: "Go confidently in the direction of your dreams! Live the life you've imagined.", and it is a quote by Thoreau. And Careers has assisted me in figuring out more about my dream.
Career Clusters
made me explore jobs in the technology industry and in other career options outside of my technology interests.
Exploring Educational Resources
made me ask myself: "Is this kind of job really suitable for me?" and "Are the educational requirements match the pathway I want to pursue after high school?".

I have concluded that computer programming is what I would like to go for, and it does fit me through my findings. I simply love technology and would love to use my skills and strengths to better the future for everyone.
A Personal Narrative by Catherine Li
Of course with my findings about myself and what I would like to pursue, I was able to better reflect on questions in various assignments about my options for the future and how they correlate with my characteristics. In
My Individual Pathway Plan
, I had to write about my SMART goals. After determining what I would like to do for post-secondary and onwards, it helped me a lot with completing the section of my IPP with relevant and helpful goals. Knowing about where I want to go for post-secondary education, I accurately wrote about what programs interests me. Ultimately, having a greater understanding about myself has helped me to do a good job in this course.
Full transcript