When asked to create a capstone that embodies the core values of Science Leadership Academy, inquiry couldn’t be a better starting point for executing this project. In the beginning, there were so many questions to be asked, so many that were answered and some that got tangled in the web of ideas that hung above my head. The dangling web above my head began to crawl into sense, my initial project was to instruct Zumba sessions bi-weekly at school. The collaboration aspect began to spread like wildfire, as many participants enjoyed working out and having fun. The element of globalization was a success; the spread of ideas with physical fitness being a normal part of everyday life was achieved. I provided a resource for the community to work out - even if it meant trying new things. The reflection process came early; this project had come to and end because of my physical conditions. Instructing became very difficult, but there was a definite weight on my shoulders not to let the community down. Thus, the transition into Paige Wayman’s boot camp began. While it wasn’t easy or always very lucid, there still was a resource for the people in the community to work out. The only catch was it was girls only!
Given my circumstances, I had to change my capstone because of the physical aspects. What drove my original capstone was the question, “How can I engage those of the SLA community who are interested in physical fitness?” I knew that whatever my capstone would be, it had to be appealing. That’s one of the main reasons I chose to teach Zumba classes. Now that my feet condition hinders me from doing a lot of physical activity, I had to modify my essential question. So I asked myself, “How can I still contribute something to the community without being able to use my feet?” My new capstone couldn’t be fitness related, because from the waist down, the pain is too immense. I’m only really able to use my upper body.
Reflecting on this now, it does seem that I was a bit moved by the dramatic events that surrounded combining a capstone. However, it took the experience happening to grow from it. Again, not everything will work out as planned (and that’s still okay). If everything had gone as planned, there wouldn’t be as much learning happening. All of the thoughts in my brain would continue to be right, and no criticism would be taken seriously. Learning from mistakes is a beautiful thing, especially when there is a second chance or opportunity to use the lessons learned in something else. My second capstone was another opportunity to take the lessons I learned previously and apply them thoroughly. Even with the new tools under my belt, I realized how to cope with other issues, such as physical impairment. There were things planned to happen with the Marching Soles capstone that never happened. Partially, because I felt overwhelmed within my community. However, that didn’t stop the project from being a success. The feedback I received from doing the capstone was tremendous, and the other opportunities that sprung from it were rewarding.
Being asked to speak about my capstone experience to a live audience was humbling, but was interrupted by surgery. The challenges of struggling to walk became clear after the surgery (bunionectomy). A beautiful blue boot was laced on my left foot for a month. Here, the process of understanding began. I was able to spread knowledge yet again to my fellow peers and community. Yet, through all of this I persevered; this makes a champion. For the majority of the time I was fighting a battle that many couldn’t see, even some didn’t believe me. However, the reality of it is that I couldn’t let the impairment hold me back from achieving great things and making an impact on my community
- Snapshot from Process Paper