The End of Block 1

/ 1 November 2008

Thursday at 12:20 pm was the end of block 1 for me. This essentially means that 1/4 of the school year is now over. It did not feel, in any way, like that amount of the school year is up. A lot of this has entirely to do with the traditional school calendar being followed by Avalon (as I’ve been used to the year-round calendar for the past five years), but not entirely. We had an early release on Thursday, and quite to the intentions of Avalon’s administration, we had yesterday (Halloween) off. The second block begins on Monday. It honestly feels like I didn’t accomplish all that I needed to accomplish in this first fourth of the school year, even though I can easily prove that I did accomplish all the needed hours for the block (we Avalon students need 250 hours per block to reach 1,000 hours per year and I was at 261 hours by Thursday at 12:20 pm), but it still feels like just 1.87 independent projects (my weather project is being finalized Nov. 5th) in one block is way too little a number of projects. This final week of the block consisted of many exams for most students, I only had one in the way of a short Algebra 2 quiz. A 4th of the school year already being over is making me look at the school year in a bit different of a lens. Given that I already knew that we needed to get 6 hours in school per day, and I was getting 6 hours and 45 minutes daily I understood that I was a bit ahead of the game. Now knowing that the overarching goal is 250 hours per block makes me look at the time logging more as a fluid scale, and less as a solid requirement. This is not to say that I won’t consistently get 7+ hours daily (counting homework/ project work outside of school), but I have started viewing the year as a whole by knowing my end goal and subcomponent block requirements/ goals. I am kind of worried, however, that I may not get 7+ hours daily in Vienna, but who knows, I may get more. Then again, that is my only current worry for accomplishing all the needed hours.

Working straight through the breaks and on some of every weekend will bump me further ahead anyway. Though I had not many end-of-block exams (just one, technically), I did have a checklist of things to finish in the single final week. The list consisted of some things like “clean your desk area” and “verify that you’ve entered all your block one hours” (since I log right after accomplishing a task/ period I had next-to-no worry on that one), but also consisted of things like “write up a reflection on this block” and “make an annotated booklist from the books that you read” (this I’ve now decided to do throughout the entire block for easier data entry).

Overall block one went well, and I feel as if my performance has put me on track to get the credits that I need from this year, and likely more than I need, fairly easily. For starters, I probably spend more time (and remember to log it to the ProjectFoundry) outside of school than most of my classmates. I’m also competent and motivated enough to actually do hours and hours and hours of work outside of school without being asked by an advisor or parent, and most students won’t be able to say that. Block 1 went well, and I hope that block 2 goes even better. Enjoy, Alex.