This created an inner battle which I'm still trying to figure out: the IA pushes me to give my maximum and because it is so relevant to what I believe and I'm passionate to do, I don't ever doubt if the time I'm dedicating to a project is past the line in order to have a balance in my life. Having that said, I remember that last year we had a debate about how if you enjoy what you are doing it doesn't feel like work, but it does sometimes, when you prioritise it over other aspects in life essential to be emotionally and physically healthy: friends, family, sports and even sleep.
now, i know i've left this hanging:
how did the pol's turn out?
I can say that I was left ecstatic with the quality, depth and fluency shown in my classmates POL's. There where even moments during some presentations where I found myself smiling because I was so proud of our growth. This was so that these seamed like expert led talks and not by regular high school students, something that I'm sure left the audience a little mind-boggled but amazed as we proved that we've truly reached the point where we've developed a passion for learning.
In a personal note, mine didn't go as I expected. It's the fear of failing and of disappointing your own expectations of your performance, I believe, that sometimes keeps you from pivoting against inevitable obstacles that come along the way. I arrived to school yesterday, extremely confident and even excited to give my talk. It's funny because my IB friends didn't understand why; if it was their final they would be suffering to death. But I wasn't, I had my ideas ready, a keynote I was proud of and a message of value I wanted to leave my audience with.
Still, once it was my turn, many small things didn't go as I planned and I let that build on me at the moment: my laptop didn't work, the format of my keynote changed, the screen went from my presentation to another... and so on. It's that exact moment when you realise that, that success you had envisioned so deeply when you created your product will not come as easy.
I can't say that my presentation was disastrous, because it wasn't. There where definitely times where the audience effect worked against me given that instead of thinking in my purpose I thought about how I was messing up and not doing justice to my audience but others where it just flowed, and reflections where innate because the learnings where so fresh in my mind.
When I was practicing the night before I remember thinking how I wanted lots of people to come to my presentation because I had so much to say, rehearsing out loud was going so well; I saw so much improvement in fluency and being excited and knowledgeable on entrepreneurship came through my passionate tone.
Yet, as I said before, my performance in the actual presentation didn't meet my expectations and thinking "what if I had done this", "what if I could have done that" is the torture of any perfectionist--specially when you know you can't go back and fix it. And in those mili-seconds where I started internally panicking and letting nerves built up once things started going wrong, I remembered all I had learned about having a growth mindset, that no matter what happened, no matter how many times I messed up, it would help me learn: I had to keep on going.
Something I have to work on a lot is not relying so much in my media, because given that there where some technical difficulties, what I was saying didn't always go with the timing of my presentation or I got lost because I didn't see the graph in the way it was outlined at first causing me to be less fluent and confident while being on stage. Not being able to use the clicker, also kept me away from the delivery, and body language I would of wished I had when I performed given that I had to come back to the podium every once in a while.
It's important to know that I cannot be so harsh on myself: we all have gray days. I received a ton of great comments from my peers, even comments from my IB friends telling me that I would get a good grade, that I didn't have to worry, but that's the thing, I didn't really care about my grade, but about having a beautiful product.
To be sincere, at the end of the day I'm still proud of myself for what I put together but most importantly for what I learned about finding SUCCESS through failure. The presentation might not have turned out as I would wished it had but it's not an ending point, just one more iteration. I'm happy that I went trough this process because it gave me a tough but very clear idea of what I would have been if I had left school into entrepreneurship without any prior experience. Project based learning is preparation for life, it's giving me a head start into becoming an independent entrepreneur.
I have to credit myself because I really loved the structure I accomplished from the primary idea I had in my outline feedback session with Mr. Topf. Being able to outline the five skills that make up an entrepreneurial spirit was not only the perfect way to tie both the behind and in the scenes stories (personal and women's stories in parallel) but it was also just like having a huge blog reflection out loud in front of my peers given that I was able to naturally know what I had to work on even when giving the presentation based on the traits I was describing.
Just like I said in my POL, sometimes mistakes can't be corrected, I cannot go back and present my POL again; it wouldn't be authentic. Sometimes, all you can do is be thankful that you went through it and take it as a learning experience. Now I know that the next time I have to check my media before hand, that I have to work in controlling my stress when tough situations come up, that I have to improve in DEFINING the trophy because having no outline and autonomy over your project can make expectations and work over-load get out of your hands, and use the GRIT that I have to continue iterating for future POL's. I am, still, a dirty palet and I do recognise I have potential, it's about maximising my skills and human capital over this next year I have left in school.