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And We’re Off! -Iris

October 21, 2011

Intense music playing…. Five years ago, two visionary teachers embarked on an educational journey that no others had ever dared to embark on before. For many long days and sleepless nights, our two heroes faced Liberal budget cuts, un-replied emails, and looming deadlines.  But they never gave in. They never stopped. They never backed down.In the fall of 2005, the TALONS program opened its arms in fifteen bright-eyed but apprehensive grade nines from around the district. Classified as “gifted”, these students had taken a step into the future of education in the hands of Ms. Mulder and Mr. Mancell, and a year later, Mr. Jackson. And so began the legacy of TALONS, The Academy of Learning for Outstanding, Notable Students.

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Welcome to a new year in TALONS! This year, we are bigger (and better) than ever before. The morning class greeted their new grade nines, now officially full class. Mr. Albright has joined the team. We are already halfway through October and things are picking up FAST! Our Eminent Person Study is officially starting soon, so look out for the posts from each and every one of the TALONS students this coming up Friday. The retreat for both the morning and afternoon class has come and gone, we means we are now bonded like a bunch of covalent compounds.

A few weeks ago, a few of us grade tens approached Mr. Jackson and asked him if we could start up the class blog again. Of course, he agreed, and handed us “the reins.” Unsure of how to get started, the three of us decided to introduce blogging to the grade nines with a mini-lesson that involved the grade tens teaching the grade nines the technical aspects of a blog. Then, together as a class, we discussed “good blogging.” Putting together a small collection of posts, we managed to nail down what made a good blogpost. Here are a few points:

  • Personal
  • Honest
  • Descriptive
  • Reader is able to connect with it
  • Make sure it is your opinion
  • What do you think? What makes your point different than others? What makes your experience special?
  • Include a interesting, enticing title
  • Be not afraid!

and a few examples we liked:

And most of all, love the {Publish} button! Don’t ever be afraid to publish something you’ve written, especially if you know you want to. Often, the things we write that make us cringe from the honesty are the the things that will make people stop and think Wow. As long as the reason you cringe isn’t because of the punch in the face you imagine getting after you’ve purposefully offended them over the internet, you’ll be okay.

Oh, and a well-written post can sometimes earn a few comments. And encouraging comments are the greatest ego-boosters that exists in this world.

Starting next week, this blog, Defying Normality, will be busy and bustling with blogposts again. Three times a week, TALONS students of the afternoon class will be writing blogposts to share with the world. Topics will range from anything to everything, and fit under the categories of Masterful Mondays, Wonderous Wednesdays, and Fantastical Fridays, and will include pictures, videos, quotes and links. This is a slight change from last years names: Multimedia Monday, Whatever’s on your Mind Wednesday, and From the TALONS room Friday. We chose to do this because these categories were somewhat restrictive, so we freed them up with some fancy adjectives. However, this does not mean there will no longer be posts about interesting videos, the thoughts of angry teenagers, and the reports of strange happenings in TALONS, because I assure you, there will be plenty. Additionally, we will soon be joined by the morning class on our blogging adventure.

Thanks to Ms. Mulder and Mr. Jackson, TALONS has come a long way. Our blog, Defying Normality, is our medium to express our thoughts that no other medium has to offer. Each one of us will be giving a little piece of ourselves to the world every time we publish a blog post.

So welcome. To Defying Normality, Year Two.

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