Reflection for John Maxwell’s Leadership Lessons


You cannot antagonize and influence at the same time.

John Knox

Many people believe in their abilities to work efficiently and lead, knowing that it would benefit the team and its goals, but they do not often get others to follow. The simple reason is that people don’t have to listen! Leadership is all about influence. As we are trying to take on the responsibilities of a leader and trying to gain supporters, we need to keep in mind that we need to have either position or influence to lead. Also, since we can hardly be bestowed a superior status (if we have any in TALONS) without first proving our abilities to manage, we should change our mindset of “I want a position that will make people follow me” to “I want to become a person whom others would want to follow”. The only solution to this challenge is to become someone others would trust to lead.

*In the second semester, we have one of the most significant projects that TALONS’ students will undertake: the adventure trips. I will also have my cultural event planning and maybe in-depth. It will undoubtedly be beneficial to keep in mind the ways that Maxwell suggested to overcome the Influence Challenge:

  • Care. Get to know others.

This means that I should be familiar with all of my team members, and they should be with me. I want to help them get to know what they are doing and do it better with tips from someone who has a bit more experience.

  • Build trust and be dependable.

I will need to do what I promised to do, whether it is bringing a brochure to the meeting or actually attending the meeting. To develop and exhibit the character I want, I can look at the attributes that leaders I admire possess, and try to change myself starting from now on.

  • Do my job well. 

Mainly, I need to hand in my share of work early enough so others would have time to critique it. I need to make sure that I put in all my efforts into my product, which will not just benefit myself, but the overall goal of the whole team.

  • Be consistently approachable.

I always need to be willing to talk to others, whether I am in a gloomy mood or not. It is like a hat that I need to put on, gloominess is not something that would benefit the team, and I shouldn’t let that interfere.

  • Be wholeheartedly committed to the goal myself.

Poor leaders demand respect. Competent leaders command respect.

John C. Maxwell

*for clarity purposes, I separated the sections (I personally hate long paragraphs because I can’t understand them). It is still under the word limit.

ZIP Post 2

At this point in my project, I have realized that my initial plan is way too ambitious. I could still complete it, but it would require a lot of effort during the break, which I prefer to spend relaxing. I made a new calendar, attached in image

Changes: I am going to scratch the compare and contrast essay for a couple of mind maps/infographics. There should be one pre-reading guess, two after reading comparisons, and one master comparison. I could do compare and contrast notes still, but no specific notes for each one. I am also going to change the second novel vs. film comparison to maybe a short story vs. short film comparison (I still need to find it, recommendations accepted).

Doc of Learning, and all my struggles [Reflection]

There are quite a few things that I want to talk about in this post, first and foremost my process of writing my speech. I will then go on to say a bit about my research and learning centre planning.

The highly technical aspects of my eminent person, Ben Graham, meant that my speech would have to center on his core contribution to the world, a stock investing principle. I had quite a bit of trouble deciding what I wanted to direct my focus. I knew that an informative speech is not what the audience came to hear, and I knew that because Graham is such an inspirational and compassionate person in sharing his ideas; I wanted my speech to inspire the audience. Ben Graham hoped to every day do

“something foolish, something creative, and something generous,”

and that is the attitude that I wanted to focus upon.

The final theme of the speech that I decided on was that value investing is the key to success both in the stock market and in life. Indeed, many things are interconnected and similar in many ways, and time-tested principles can often serve as an allusion to something else. I completed my speech, but the more that I practiced, the clearer I understood Graham’s perspective. I ended up rewriting a new copy a couple of days before NotN. My peers did not find any mistakes to fix, but again, as I read the speech over and over I discovered better ways to phrase some paragraph. I only wish I started sooner so I can incorporate those changes and have time to practice still. You can find both versions of my speech here.

This year, I was not able to secure an interview. I sent out around 10 emails, and around 3 replied with a “no”. The rest were stones thrown in the ocean, never to be heard of again. The two versions of my request email are featured here, as well as a record of who I sent out an email to.

I think that this year’s unsatisfactory results are due to my emails being too concentrated in a few organizations. I chose to focus on Columbia Business School because it is the school that Graham taught at, and is now a value investing centre. There is even an option on their website to filter professors who specialize in value investing. Most of my emails there went unanswered, suggesting that maybe that period is a stressful time for them. Besides that, I found two organizations that focus on value investing. One of them is a mutual funds group, and the other an educational research institution. I sent the rest of my emails to their staff.

If another opportunity like this comes up, I will try to find people in more diverse locations and institutions, to increase my chances of finding someone who is available and willing to help. Like the saying in the investment community and elsewhere,

“Don’t put all your eggs in one basket.”


My initial ideas for my learning centre is to make it like an office space. I knew that when Graham was young, he used to work posting stock and bonds prices on the walls of the trading centres. From that, I had the idea of posting stock prices and asking visitors what they would want to buy. I tried to use foam boards and push pins to resemble posting prices on blackboards, and put up multiple frames to make the space look more “professional”. Here is a video of the final result, versus the plan.

Overall, I would say that this year’s Eminent is not much different from last year and that all the differences are positive changes! It is hard work for all of us, from the students to the teachers, and it looks like we all did the best we could to produce such a spectacular night. Ciao to Eminent, and good luck to the nines for next year.


  • Remember to make a list of supplies needed, and write everything down. I forgot to bring something and didn’t have time to put up other things.
  • Keep in mind that people WILL come and try to use their lockers when you just finished putting up paper on the walls.
  • try to actually compare the wall length and width to your design, and don’t change your design on the day of. Go scout the locations a day before and imagine the placing of everything [Use this doc, it has all the dimensions of locker bays]


Socials Final!

Socials is over, and how fast time flies by when you are having fun… To give you more of a visual, I have included notes in my PowerPoint that I presented in class on Wednesday. So when you click on the link, just click on notes on the bottom right hand corner and you will see an explanation of each slide, which is also kind of my script for the presentation, altered a bit.

Some helpful links you may find helpful in additional:

My Midterm blog post

Socials 9 learning outcomes

pdf of powerpoint without notes

if the PowerPoint link don’t work, click this pdf notes-and-ppt


Learning Centre, more like 10 hours of work on…

Hello, welcome to my learning centre post. Yeah.

I got the idea for my poster like the day before NoN. Before, I planned on using a piece of green paper to write stuff, but then I thought about the tree on the Academy’s logo and the tree of learning. I then thought, for some reason, why don’t I tape letter sized paper together to make a tree shape!. And it went like that. img_1557

OK, for the Eminent Person Study Project, I would say that I made tons of mistakes because first, I thought a wall besides two food tables would be a great spot, turned out that it is completely a wrong decision. Once I got started I realized that I can’t do much there, especially with my “limited” imagination. I was even more surprised when hardly any came to my station. I would have thought that being besides food make people come, but I guess no, being in the back alley is just that lonely. I got my interview after I wrote my speech, which is both my fault and her fault. She replied 11 days after I sent her the email! And then, there were five emails back and forth with 0-4 days in between.

Something that I would do next time would be to send more interview emails, as I got my interview after my speech and it was “somewhat” helpful. In addition I should have looked at the learning centres of past TALONS students to gain more understanding of what Night of the Notables is about, and get ideas for my learning centre as well.

Learning centre plan
Learning centre plan

Still, I felt like I had achieved my goals for this project. I got to know my person better, and most of all, I got to know more of his ideas, his approach to obstacles, why he stood out for a change and his “eminence”. Through this I learned not just about him, but insights and approaches that I could use my own life as well.

Finally, Night of the Notables was an amazing experience for me, particularly because this is the first time that I’ve participated in this kind of event. In the end I want to thank everyone for their contributions in making this NoN so memorable for me and others! This is especially for Ms. Mulder (for being so organized with tons of things and giving out pointers), Mr. Jackson (for giving us lots of class blog time with help and delivering the unforgettable first speech to NoN), Mr. Salisbury (for cheering us on and playing music to loosen everyone’s nerves) and Ms. Dingle (for giving us time to write speeches and teaching us how to)!

GIF courtesy of

Goodbye Eminent 2k16, Grade 9’s first and Grade 10’s last NoN!







Speech Post Eminent 2K16

Hi everyone, here comes my speech post that everyone is not waiting for, probably. Anyways, here you can find pictures of my drafts and my final copy.

So, I didn’t technically do a complete first draft. I did several unfinished drafts that have around 300 words. The thing that will happen is that I will work on my speech, but I would forget my draft at school, or at home. So then I have to start all over again. That happened three times, resulting in three drafts. I also created a list of speech ideas from my eminent person’s book.

Finally, like three days before NoN, I sat down in front of my computer, and decided to do it once and for all. I wrote the speech, and that became my so called second version.

Because my speech is both inspirational and informational, I saw no reason to get my TALONS peers to edit my speech, as I thought, what is the point of delivering an inspirational and informational speech when everyone had already read it over five times?. Instead, that night I was with my sister in the church nursery so I asked two grade twelves at Heritage Woods, I think, to edit my speech. They weren’t that helpful by saying things like: “it’s all good”, “that’s really impressive writing”, “your English is really good” and “you should join IB”. I revised it myself with my parents, and finally, came up with my final draft, A.K.A., third draft.

Having trouble posting them here…


Second version

Third Version/ Final


Video from

I have the door gif now I am cool now…’_’


Library Trip Post

On a rather dark and rainy Friday, I walked into VPL, and I experience the sense of peacefulness that I always get in a library. I remembered the time when I was ten years old, visiting my favorite library, one as big as the one I am in right now. Right at that moment I know that I will find what I need, just like four years ago when I would find everything I love in one book, or another. I went to the library with one goal, to know about my eminent person, Salmon Khan. Specifically, I want to know more about his life and dreams.

I started off going to the nearest computer catalog, and I searched up things like “Sal Khan”, “E-learning” or “MOOC”. Soon, I was able to determine where the books that I want are located, and conveniently, they are all beside each other, decimeters apart. I went to the little corner of education, grabbing a book about nerds in the process. Before long I was sitting in one of the comfy chairs of the inspiration centre, books all check out and ready. Still thinking about how I wasn’t classified as “nerd” by that book, I started this intro post. I decided that I would better do this post when the memory is still as fresh as a dewy field. I figure that the two books I got, one written by Sal and the other called, “The Theory and Practice of Online Learning”, could wait a bit. I wrote for a while, and finally, couldn’t resist the temptation of the books sitting on a desk in front of me. Sadly, right after I started we had to go. Pizza was O.K., I didn’t think of it as really good, plus it was really expensive. I thought Fresh Slice tasted better, in addition to being like 50% cheaper.

At McLeod’s bookstore (at least that what I think it is spelled), I didn’t find any useful facts, partly because all the books are old, and online learning is a new concept, partly because they don’t have a lot of teaching books. I did find several physics and neuroscience books that are really interesting, but due to a lack of money ($10), I wasn’t able to buy anything. I just sat and read books about Einstein and brain tricks.

Going to on this library trip really helped me by letting me gain more understanding of my eminent person. I read in the book Sal wrote about how he started teaching, how he overcame some challenges and most importantly, his visions and beliefs. It really adds on to the short and brief information I get online.

Video from

Socials and What I Feel Towards it

Image From

Main Focus

Where are you? (with respect to Socials Studies)

I am an individual that is curious about the vast amount of knowledge contained within only one little subject: Socials Studies. I love to learn about the history of the Romans and the Greeks. Economics and anthropology are also big hits for me. However, I got to admit that I prefer straight forward answers rather than thinking about something complex, which is why I never much liked learning philosophy in a classroom. Just thinking about philosophy is OK, but having homework, that are due in a limited amount of time and demands a certain level of response is not my style.

Where are you going?

In my future years of high school, I wish I could develop a further knowledge and interest in Socials as well as its sub-topics such as philosophy. I aim towards developing a more organized mind to sort through information, and to be able to process and narrow complicated facts into the main idea.

Second Focus

What interests you about this topic? Why? Examples?

Socials, I believe, is about learning how the human society works, the past mistakes and errors so we don’t repeat them and discussing what we should do in our lives. Just like the quote:

GIF from

“Those who fail to learn from history

are doomed to

repeat it”. – George Santayana

I believe in the need to learn about history and not to make the mistakes of repeating it. Plus, learning about history is pretty fun. We can see what people did in the past and maybe what we would have done differently about it. A lot of things occurred in the past, and it is like watching a movie when you are reading history. History is also never what it seems like. Things that happen in the future will certainly change the perspective that people look at the “heroes” or the “losers”. I had read a book series called the “Ender’s Game”, and it provides a strong example of how people change their thinking. The book’s main character, Andrew (Ender) Wiggin, saved the human race by wiping out an entire alien species unknowingly during what he thought to be a video game. He was considered a hero for a while. But after the release of a book with the author Speaker for the Dead (Ender himself, written after realizing what he had done) told a story from the loser’s perspective, the world changed its views. The book became the classic and Ender was exiled and taught in schools as a cruel, unfeeling person. This applies to many stories in the real world, like how after reading the loser version of Christopher Columbus we changed our views entirely. Other subjects like politics, economy, sociology, anthropology and philosophy are also important and enjoyable subjects. I loved learning about why Black Friday happened or whether progress is worth the sacrifice.

What challenges you about this topic, Why? Examples?

This topic of Social Studies challenges me in multiple aspects. First, is the need to process mass amounts of information, and to understand what the author is trying to say or why did this particular event happened.  Sometimes, we need to think about a concept, and we have to come up with a sensible solution, which could be challenging. Political systems might be hard to understand as politics is complicated, as said in a Washington Post headline,

“Donald Trump is shocked to learn that politics is complicated”

Economics may also be difficult for the mass amount of data concerned in certain areas, but overall, philosophy is the hard part for me. As I mentioned, discussing things and probing deep into a concept with pressure on me isn’t how I’m like to learn things. This is something that I could probably improve on over the next two years and in the end, I hope I would be comfortable writing a paragraph about “progress”!

What have we done/read/discussed so far that provides an example of what I just said?

The “A People’s History of the United States” that we read clearly shows how acts of famous people that may seem wise or cruel could change when looking at a different perspective. Columbus, a person whom we once regarded as a great hero that discovered America, and became the foundation for the American civilizations that is to come, had turned into a merciless, greedy man that led to the massacre of thousands of native Indians when looking from the sight of an Indian. Thinking about “progress” nearly give me a headache as well, as I am too used to not thinking shallowly. Overall, Socials would be a demanding subject for me, but I know that in the end, I would have learned so much my knowledge would

Be Over 9000.

GIF courtesy of

-Deon (Dragon Ball Z)