What do I do with my life now?

Wow! Presentations are over! It calls for a need to celebrate (and morn a bit) that we have finished with one of the biggest school milestones we’ll have to reach! Though it’s not completely over yet. Once DAP presentation was over I’m sure many others, like me, just let out a huge breath they’d been holding since this project started. To finally complete DAP felt liberating and accomplishing. What most of us didn’t really do though was reflect over the entire project, our brains still only had the capacity to just register we we’re done, so I’m going to take some time in this blog to do that.

My group’s DAP presentation went better than I expected it to be. What I loved most about our group presentation is that we had all these different personalities, completely unique to ourselves, coming together, which I felt kept our presentation charismatic and enjoyable. Overall I felt our group did a great job presenting a lot of information (Interior Design, Electrical, Water and Propane Systems, Framing, Budget, Paint, Flooring, etc.) covered in thirty minutes and answering the judges questions.

In my personal presentation I felt that I kept eye contact with the judges throughout my speech. This is an important skill, because if you can keep your audience’s gaze then you keep their focus on your presentation. As well, this is an important skill, because if you’re feeling nervous when you keep eye contact you appear more confident in your speech. One of my goals going into the presentation was my tone, to keep a professional attitude throughout the presentation, but still not feel like I was giving a lecture. By the end of my presentation, I felt I managed to do this fairly well.

Mistakes that I made, in my presentation, where mostly in the order I presented my information, but judges would not have noticed this. This is what I love about speeches, only you know how the order should be, but if you don’t present it exactly the way you prepared for it no one knows (unless you make indication of it). My other mistake was I forgot to hand out the Marmoleum samples, when I was presenting about the Marmoleum flooring, but I went ahead and brought it up again during the Google SketchUp and handed out the sample then.

Some of the judges we had were a man named Sandy (I believe a retired Engineer), Ms. Welker (an AISD worker), an architect, Mrs.Lakshmanan (an ARS Teacher), Mrs. Goka for a portion of the time, and of course Mrs.Jo. Some questions that the judges asked were: How did you distribute the weight on VENTURA? Why did you not choose to add a rain collecting system? Has VENTURA been mold tested? Has VENTURA been led tested? and why did you choose to keep the Jalousie windows, even though they are bad for insulation? One of the comments we received was to be careful with buying second hand foam or cushions, because of bed bugs.

Now that we are done with the presentation I definitely would have liked to have been more prepared to better defend our choices. An example is to the question about a water collector, which our group considered installing a water collector, but for certain reasons it was ruled out. Knowing now that the judges would have asked questions like that we could have prepared better for their possible questions. I think as well that

Even though this DAP project has had its ups and downs  it was taught me many important skills. One of the most important skills I learned was how to learn on my own research. Because this project was self led a lot of the information we learned was learned by independent research. I definitely learned this new skill from using Google SketchUp (which I’m still continuing to learn to master). One of the other most important skills I learned was having to assign myself deadlines and personal homework. In most school projects, your teacher normally gives you an outline of when certain parts of the project should be done, but in this self led project, you have to take the initiative to give yourself realistic deadlines, that are still punctual.

Overall DAP was an experience neither pleasant or unpleasant, it had its highlights but it also had its improvements, which is why I hope to forget about Google SketchUp (or at least for the next few weeks). But to end this blog, I would like to talk about my title. As you might have noticed I titled this last blog entry “What do I do with my Life now?”. Over the course of this project, mostly these last few weeks before DAP Presentation week, my life revolved around VENTURA (not that VENTURA is necessarily a bad thing to dream about) its just now that we’re done, what do I do with my life now? This is what I felt once the presentation was over, “Wow, wow. It’s finally done? Wow, I’m actually done! Wait, what do I do now?…” Well I think this question has many answers, but what I’ve decided is to learn from this project (the reason you reflect) and to take it into the real world. Overall I have learned the importance of a well functioning team, responsibility and being independent, on your self to learn your own information and not wait for the teacher or anyone else to teach you. Can you believe that? I had to learn how to learn on my own?! And I have to say I’ve already begun using my new skill. Yes, this means I’m about to get off on a story, but I feel that it can wrap up what I’ve taken the most out of this project very well.

A few days ago my dad and uncle were talking about their cars, installing new engines, and the number of cylinders, a common thing in our “do-it-ourselves” family. Of course I remember thinking to myself “What in the world is a cylinder?” Normally I would have left it off on that, but something inspired me to go home and spend two hours on research about car engines (this would be more impressive if it had been an RV engine). I can now say that I personally have successfully used my learn skill, of learning by myself, so all I have to say is thank you VENTURA, even though you follow me around (really, math class?!).

-Libertad Escobar, Trendy Trailers Inc.

Eco-Trendy and Eco-Friendly

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