Reflecting Upon My Presentation

This week, I made a presentation with my main goal in mind being to effectively convey why space exploration is important for the U.S. government to peruse, and may be more important then one may think. I already had a decent understanding of my topic since I wrote an essay on it earlier in the year. The most effective part of my presentation was the clever formatting I used. I spent a solid amount of time working on how aesthetically pleasing my presentation looked, so the students would be more engaged in the information itself. If I had the opportunity to present my project again, I would be more serious. This way, the audience would take me more seriously. I think that Caden’s piano project was very nice. The modern music that they played was much better then Mozart and was very relatable, since I typically listen to the kind of music that he played.

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Editorial – Why Hesitating to Venture Beyond the Walls of our Earth May be the U.S.’s Greatest Current Fault

I chose this topic because I have a natural interest in it, and also believe that it is a very overlooked issue that not enough people are talking about. I didn’t enjoy the process of writing this editorial, mainly because of the fact that I procrastinated and left all the work for the last day. This made my piece a little rushed and not the best it could’ve been.


For nearly all of mankind’s existence, we have not only successfully made significant progress in all aspects of the development of society, but have shown a thirst and desire to continue to pursue such progress. This is perhaps why I find it so baffling that we have expressed contentedness with putting an end to the very mission that could offer the most promise, opportunity, and potential over any other to the Earth’s inhabitants: Space exploration.

In 2004, President Bush made an announcement informing the U.S. people that congress wouldn’t add an additional rough estimate of $1 billion to NASA’s spending budget for the next five years. Through the denial of the deal, congress was essentially saying that they did not feel that space exploration would be a priority of theirs, and would instead choose to see it fall as a necessary sacrifice to inevitably see other programs rise. Many were in support of the decision, arguing that space exploration was too costly relative to its seemingly pointless goal that merely seemed “cool” rather then actually helpful towards the improvement and development of the country. The foolishness of this rejection, however, is evident in the numbers – NASA’s 2015 budget of a measly $17.5 billion is nothing but a speck in comparison to the $35 and $250 billion made each year by the pizza and tobacco industries, especially considering the benefits of NASA’s presence in both the current and future world that make their work well worth the cost. The list of incredible technological advancements that wouldn’t of been without NASA’s space exploration missions is a long one. The modern day quality of artificial limbs, solar energy, water purification, and computer software have all been drastically improved as a result of NASA’s older space missions. Launching a man into the depths of outer space is a mighty task that will always take years to accomplish, but all the developmental feats that are achieved in the scientific process of improving life outside of Earth’s atmosphere makes space exploration one of the most worthwhile investments the U.S. could put their money into.

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As John F. Kennedy once said, space exploration is humanity’s greatest mountain – a mountain that offers short-term developmental successes as well as, in the long term, massive expansion successes if humanity invests enough time and money in our space programs. As a kid, I want the future of both my country and my world to be as fulfilling as it can possibly be, which is why now is the time for U.S. congress to allow NASA to once again shoot for the stars and quench that dying thirst for pursuing societal progress within us all.



My Academic Progression and Future Plans for Improvement

Over the course of this school year, I feel like inlab has helped me improve as a communicator. In humanities, most of our project are done in groups, which has helped me learn how to better communicate with other people and express my ideas. Right now, I am in a group of five people, which posed multiple challenges in the beginning of our project. We were constantly stepping over each other’s toes and were always speaking over each other, which resulted in our project not improving as much as it could of. Experincing something like this forced myself and the other members of our group to improve our communication ability so we could work better together and improve our work. Another example of my communication ability improving is when our humanities class built our Germany memorial, when again, we were assigned to work in groups. In this project, my partner and I texted one another multiple times after school hours in order to be prepared for the following day. This form of communication was very effective and greatly improved our project, as it allowed us to focus on building the project during the class time we had to do so instead of gathering materials and forming a desgin. 

When I come accross difficult porblems, I typically immidietly give up without even attempting to solve it. This is an issue that I came across multiple times in bio, which is my weakest subject. Early in the year, I was in way too difficult of a class for science, and because of this, I stumbled early on in the year. Most concepts we learned didn’t stick with me all that well, and because of this, I didn’t even know where to begin when it came time to study for tests and quizes. At the end of second quarter, I had a D in the class, and my midterm grade would determine whether I would pass or not. During this time, I started studying very hard and ended up eventually scored well on the midterm. This experience showed me that when I was forced to, I could buckle down and solve complex problems when there was no other option. For the future, I need to teach myself discipline and find a way to get myself to work hard by myself so I can bring out the best in me academically.

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Mindset Analysis

Over the course of the creation of my documentary, I learned that I don’t have a completely fixed or growth mindset, but rather a blend of both. When I came across a problem, which happened multiple times throughout these two months, I didn’t stop and mope about it, but nor did I persevere through. As an alternative, my mind took an alternative route; finding loopholes around my issues, almost dodging every roadblock that came my way. For example, early on into this project, when searching for an editing software, I took sacrifices after learning that the availability of quality editing systems on a Chromebook laptop were quite limited, determined that instead of actually resolving this issue, would do most of the editing at home on my own personal time. I wouldn’t say that I got past any of my problems, but I always managed to find a way around them. My mind wasn’t fixed on the issues or growing past them, but instead avoiding them to the best of its ability. When I did happen to go through a class period not stumbling across any roadblocks, I was very productive and was able to accomplish much more. In the beginning of the editing process in early November, I was very bad at editing and had no idea what I was doing, which inevitably resulted in me making mistakes that I didn’t no how to fix. However, as time progressed, my editing ability grew stronger, and I was able to edit the second half of my documentary much faster without facing much problems and difficulty. Editing this second half of my documentary was the biggest success for me for this Genius Hour project, as it is noticeably stronger than the first half, which I made when I had no idea what I was doing.

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My Biography

Joseph Baske was born in Stamford, Conneticuit, and has lived there for the entirety of his life. When he was two, his sister, Genevieve, was born. His first real intrest was animals and dinosuars. At around 6-8 years of age, Joseph could name almost any dinosuar species and could go on for hours listing random facts about nature in general. He attended North Street Elementary for eight years, going there for his pre-school education as well. As he reached the end of his time at North Street, Joe’s intrests began to shift, and he got into sports, particularly basketball. Joe had always had a liking for the sport, but began to take it seriously around fourth or fifth grade, and has been playing for AAU teams year round ever since. Around this same time, Joe recieved the greatest birthday gift he has ever gotten: a basketball hoop. To this day, he shoots around in his backyard almost every single day. When it was time to transition into Middle School, Joseph and his family moved to another part of Stamford, leaving their old home behind. Joe did not like the new house at all, but it had been purchased for a good reason. Joseph’s grandparents were planning to move in shortly, and fast forward three years later, and the big day is finally coming. His grandparents will be moving in tomorrow.


Joe interviewed his mother and father about what they thought of him, and they gave him the kind of answers he had been expecting: mostly kind, very exaggerated compliments praising how he had positively influenced their lives, while throwing in a sprinkle of sneak insults as the brutally honest part of them to shone through. They described him as kind, creative, insightful, insecure, and anxious, a collection of adjectives that even Joe believes are spot on. Both parents made it clear that they were concerned about the fact that Joe is deeply secretive and may allow his fear of being judged to deter him from accomplishing what he has the potential to accomplish in his life, and in general, their answers were nearly identical.

The Documentary Creation Process: Day #1 to Now

So far, this month of Genius Hour has been quite the journey as myself and my classmates discover oneself through the act of pursuing interests in a school environment. This freedom to chose is a responsibility not frequently handed to students, so when it finally is, it feels like a breath of fresh air. However, as the process continues, one is likely to stumble some time during the first month of the project. For me, I got hit with a major roadblock almost immidietly, as I was unsure what exactly I wanted to do for the first solid week. Throughout the entire time we were creating and presenting our presentations, I struggled to think of any ideas that I would be satisfied working on for a two-month period. The turning point for me was looking a little deeper into myself, deeper than what the presentation had required. Restating what I already knew about myself wasn’t enough, but it was a good first step, but that’s all it was. Using it as a building block was immensely helpful, however, and eventually, after settling on editing a documentary, I was ready to begin my Genius Hour Project.

The first thing I did was research my topic. I had chosen the 1983 nuclear missile incident, something that my father had told me about a few years ago. I had remembered how invested I had been in his story, but couldn’t pinpoint much of the details about the historical moment. Looking back at the joy this topic had given me a few years back was enough for me to determine that this was not only a topic I wanted to learn about, but something that I would want to keep learning about for the next handful of weeks.

Fast forward to now, and I haven’t had many issues with my documentary as of right now. I am currently working on the end of my introduction, which will be about a minute and a half long. Compiling clips and music very early on into this process was something that I found very helpful for me, as it allowed me to create a visualize the entirety of the project’s layout. If I consistently work on it for homework for around 30 minutes every day for homework, I think I might be able to finish it by the fifteenth of this month, but it isn’t something that I can guarantee.


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Genius Hour Blog Post

For my Genius Hour project, I will be making a documentary about the 1983 Soviet Union Nuclear War False Alarm Incident. My plan for my project is to not have much direction when I begin working on it. as I find myself more engaged and productive when I write whatever pops into my head. For the script of this documentary piece, I’m going to start off with a very general idea about something I am interested in learning about this time in history. When I have used this tactic in the past, I can write and research for hours without stopping, and the writing itself turns out to be better than usual. This is why I am slightly concerned about the way this Genius Hour process has been going, as stretching every small moment of it out will probably make me lose interest in the topic after a few weeks. I can crank out all my research and writing out during one or two class days easily without stopping, but I feel as if the writing will feel tedious and boring if this opportunity to dive into the work part of the project doesn’t come sooner. Another concern of mine is that I won’t be able to work  on the project during Design Studio, and might have to do a lot of it at home. At home, I have access to a better computer that could help me make a better overall documentary, which is the main goal of this experience at the end of the day. I could work on the script at school, but after that it might be tough to work on the project. I want to be as productive as possible during the time dedicated solely to working on the documentary, but I just don’t know how to.

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When we do begin working on the project, one of the major things all of us will need to focus on is what we expect the audience, and us ourselves, to get out of this experience. For me, I hope to put a new perspective on this historical event that will spark some sort of emotion from the audience. In the process of trying to accomplish this, I hope to teach myself about both editing and the historical topic the documentary will be about.