To document my learning so far, I’ve decided to talk about struggles with my learning center and a brief highlight of Alison’s progress in her Eminent project. Alison’s blog can be found here, and you should probably check it out because it’s just swell.  I’m also looking for some suggestions about scarves at the bottom of the post, and it would be lovely if anyone had time to comment.

Learning Centers, in my opinion, are the most fun part of Eminent. We get to create things about our person! For a visual learner like me, it is a greatly enjoyable way to display our knowledge. In my learning center, there was one particular piece that gave me countless troubles – troubles that kept me for sleeping soundly and made me want to bury my head in a math textbook. What possibly could make one want to bury their head in anything as tedious as a math textbook? To my surprise, it was the item I had originally considered to be one of the most interesting pieces of my center.

Lady Baden Powell’s personal standard.

To me, it symbolized the role Lady BP had in Guiding and reminded me of the legacy she left behind with the Guiding movement. A standard is similar to a personal flag, often containing a coat of arms or pictures with special significance to the owner. Lady Baden Powell’s personal standard heralded her appearances like the sails of a ship. As anxious townsfolk look to a ship’s sails for sign of how the voyage went (for example, flying flags at half-mast to show respect for the dead), so did Girl Guides look to Lady BP’s personal standard and the guidance that she offered behind it. I thought it would make an excellent addition to my learning center.

However, the standard was (metaphorically speaking) a cookie jar with a lid stuck fast. The standard was the delicious cookies within the jar, beckoning to me. And the jar itself? That was incorporating it into my learning center, the piece holding it all together. The lid was what got me. The lid, the only way to get to the cookies without breaking the jar. The lid was the action, the information-to-expression, the resources I needed to complete the task. And it was stuck tight. I could not get Lady BP’s original standard on to paper or poster, in a picture or into a video. Here’s why: although I found a verbal description of the standard online, no matter how hard I searched there was no visual record of it. This is the description for the standard:

“The standard of lady Baden-Powell, chief guide of the world, is blue (azure) from the hoist to the fly. Nearest the hoist is the gold (or) trefoil; Then come two small hemispheres, showing a coloured map of the world, indicating her post as chief guide. These are placed high to the left of the main fly, which is divided throughout its length by two silver (argent) waves, amongst which are shown three ships with black hulls and white sails, four dolphins and the gold fish of the chief guide. Then between two red (gules) motto bands on which are embroidered the Baden-Powell and girl guide mottos in gold letters, there is a section alluding to the outdoor life, showing white tents on a green (vert) field. In the extreme fly the Baden-Powell crests are embroidered .”

Made by UK Girl Guides, supervised by a Miss Kay-Shuttleworth and designed by Mrs. Zigomala, I felt bad about attempting to recreate their work, so what is in my learning center will be my “version” of Lady BP’s standard. To redesign her standard, I had to look up some interesting flag vocabulary, only to realize that some of the words had more than one meaning. Finally, after 3 drafts I painted the finicky thing and left it to dry this morning on the floor. I am desperately hoping my cat didn’t throw up on it, lest it need a new layer of paint or acquire an unpleasant new texture.Parts of a flagHere’s a picture, courtesy of Wikipedia, about flag terminology.

On the other hand, Alison has been doing a number of fantastic things with her Eminent Project. If you remember her speech, I really loved the way she showed us the affect her eminent person had on people’s ordinary lives. On top of all her research and writing, she managed to get not one but two interviews, one with Eric Walters and another with Alice Munro’s husband. I hear there are intruiging plans for her learning center as well.

From Alison’s document of learning, I understand that she’s going to make a representation of Munro Books. I like her idea of painting/reusing material instead of buying wallpaper  to follow her word this year, “Simplify”. A cool idea would be finding pictures of books that influenced Alice Munro and printing them off to add to her “walls”. My favourite part of her learning center is the guestbook, which will be mailed to Alice Munro after Eminent Night is over. What better way of saying Thank You than that?

Once my project is over, I hope to find a way to thank all of the people who helped me in my learning process. I was surprised by the kindness of strangers, so as Mr. Jackson says, it helped restore my faith in the world a little bit. I hope to be able to share my knowledge and resources with some to the 9-11 year old local Girl Guides who have an award they can win by doing a project on Lady BP. My efforts on this project may be able to help them out with their own projects. Lastly, as part of my activity I have scarves being crocheted at my learning center. If anyone knows of a worthy cause to donate three scarves to, I’m looking for a home that they can live at. Warm, soft scarves!

Thank you all for reading!