LTI & Shadow Days

LTI Hours Log

My first shadow day was at Girlington Garage in Burlington. It was interesting as I had never done anything like it before, but I also felt a little out of place since I was so new. I attempted to pursue an internship but it didn’t pan out.

So, I returned to my internship at Crows Path from last spring. This time, I worked with one of the mentors named Britt and a particular group of kids each week to film a Crow’s Path movie with a pretty far out script written by a past mentor and some crazy costumes.

Britt mentioned to me that she had recently dropped out of an apprenticeship program because she got too busy, and thought I might be interested. Thus I began my internship at Betty’s Bikes, a community non-profit bike shop where I took apart and fixed bikes, organised parts, learned about not for profit organisations, test rode bikes to see if they needed any additional repairs, listed finished bikes on Craigslist, and set up an art gallery in the foyer.



Science at Chewonki

The Maine Coast Semester at Chewonki has a strong focus on sciences. In addition to our science class, Natural History of the Maine Coast, where we learned about the environment surrounding us, we also had a weekly energy systems seminar about agricultural ecosystems and alternative energy solutions like solar and wind power, electric cars, and geothermal heating. We had 2 hours of work program on Tuesdays and Fridays where we got hands on experience with these systems while working either on the farm, the trails, or eliminating invasive species. All students went on Science Field Trip once a week, completing a field journal project with site maps and descriptions, species accounts, data collection and analysis. We also did a phenology project over the course of the semester, noticing and detailing changes in our individual phenology spots on campus as fall turned to winter. Below are several examples of work from both my field journal and phenology notebook.


Spring 2018

Spring Term Narrative 2018

Classes: Spanish 5 with Graeme Saphier & AP Calculus AB with John Painter

Service Thesis Project:

My STP started while I was in Maine, during Human Ecology Capstone week. My project idea was to compile some of the important knowledge I had gained during the semester into a simple, easy to follow format that could be used by anyone including kids younger than I was. So, I made a field journal.

Then, on a rainy day in early April, I worked with Jessie Kochelyaev and the Mansfield Cooperative School to teach a tree identification lesson and kickstart the ongoing field journal project.

Pictures of the kids’ field journals:

Human Ecology Proposal

STP Proposal

Community Needs Assessment

Final STP Reflection


Gateway is an exhibition designed for students to demonstrate their abilities and accomplishments as a self directed learner, and prove they are ready to move into the more independent BP advisory.


  • Intro
  • LTI
  • Project 1
  • Project 2
  • Self Reflection
  • Socratics
  • Capability in the Community
  • School Contribution
  • Conclusion



  • Self Direction

music journalism project, website project, irish tune project, application project, etsy shop project, classes, interviews, shadow days, strategy workshop, internship


  • Self Reflection

journals & BP notebook, socratic essays, personal narratives, music journalism project, application project, portfolio

  • Contribution to School

student rep, GSA, dance team, first year BP student from MMU, student gathering planner & facilitator


  • Contribution to Community

VYOA, VYD, bard, VTIFF, intro to CBL, internship, rally

Maine Coast Semester

From September 5th to December 19th, 2017, I lived on a 400 acre peninsula in midcoast Maine attending the Maine Coast Semester School at Chewonki. This school is for a small group of motivated and curious high school juniors and it has been running every semester since 1987. There were 45 of us and as well as taking classes, we worked on the adjoining farm and trails, studied natural ecosystems in various locations near campus, and participated in various wilderness training activities such as a 3 day solo trip, a 5 day group wilderness trip, and a wilderness first aid certification program. To get a more personal idea of what it was like, check out the blog I wrote every 2 weeks while I was away!


Literature & the Land with Eli Peirce & Amy Pond

Natural History of the Maine Coast with James Kary, Becca Abuza, & Eric MacIntyre

Spanish 3 with Chris Percy

Art & the Natural World with Sue West & Drew Higgins

AP Calculus AB Online with Lynnae Boudreau for OneSchoolhouse



Spring 2017

Spring Term Narrative 2017

Classes: Chem, PreCalc, & Driver’s Ed with Geoffrey Bennett

project no. 1

Semester School Applications




  • What does it take to write a good application?
  • Will the admissions directors respond well to my request for extra time?
  • What schools am I applying for?
  • Will I get accepted?

GOAL(s): My goal is to create an exciting opportunity for myself next year as well as learn how to write a successful school application in preparation for future endeavours.


  • Excerpts from my application essay

I believe the traditional school system hinders curiosity. Out of all experiences I have had in my young life, the most valuable have been in the world rather than in a classroom. I am aware that a duality is important. To learn about the workings of the world, a classroom is often necessary. However, in order to learn about myself in relation to the world, I’ve had to step outside the norm and pursue different opportunities available.”

As a society, we often disregard the wisdom of children. However, children are the most inquisitive of us all. Their boundless curiosity is inspiring and I wish that every adult in the world would make an effort to channel some of it. We would become more aware as a whole.”

  • Request for extra time


My name is Gretel Dougherty and I am writing because I am interested in attending semester school next year but I know my application will be late and I am wondering if it would still be possible to review it. I first learned about your semester school when I was a rising freshman, so I was too young to apply. I was instantly sure that it was something I wanted to do but after learning that I was too young it slipped my mind for a while. I recently was reminded about the possibility of this semester school but unfortunately the day that I looked on the website to begin my application was the day it was due. By now I am almost finished with my own part but I know that it will take a few more days to get everything else in order, especially since my transcript from this year is slightly different than the typical school transcript. I am part of the Big Picture self directed learning program at my high school, which uses proficiency based graduation requirements. We achieve these through project based learning with a focus on internships and community interaction. However, I have taken a class based approach in the past so it is not foreign to me and I am taking 3 classes this year in addition to the program (Accelerated PreCalc, Chemistry, and Driver’s Ed). Please let me know if I can still submit an application. Thank you so much for your time and I look forward to hearing back.
  • Acceptance email


EVALUATION: Note from KC Ford (admissions director), acceptance email, card from Chris Percy (Spanish teacher)

PROCESS: Investigate the semester school network for schools that I am interested in, send requests to the admissions directors asking for an extension because the due date was past, fill out required info about place of residence, school, age, parents, etc., write application essay, submit, wait to hear back

RESOURCES: the internet, my mom, Alison James, Jim Shields, Kevin Downey

no. 2

Make Money!



  • What are some skills I can learn or use to make money?
  • How long does it take to make a piece of embroidery?
  • What is a good platform to use?
  • How can I make people want to buy my work?
  • How many products do I need to make?
  • What types of products can I make?

GOAL(s): My goals are to learn different ways of making money that I can use in the future, as well as learning a new skill (embroidery), fostering my creative spirit, marketing and managing a business.

EVIDENCE: Etsy shop, Depop shopGoFundMe account, embroidery pictures and pieces

EVALUATION: Did I reach my goal for amount of money needed? Did I learn useful skills for the future?

PROCESS: Acquire materials needed for embroidery (thread, needles, scissors, hoops, fabric), seek inspiration, draw out designs on paper, sketch designs in pencil on fabric, stitch! start etsy, paypal, and gofundme accounts, take pictures of work and put it up online, write a bio and create levels of gifts for gofundme, get the word out

RESOURCES: the internet, fabric store, embroidery artists, Kristin Humbargar, Tessa Perlow, goodwill


no. 3:

Edit a Novel


  • What does good character development look like?
  • How long does it take to edit a book?
  • How can I easily comment on content and share it with the author?
  • What makes writing interesting?
  • How can I provide useful, constructive feedback?

GOAL(s): My goals are to practice my editing skills, to read critically, to give useful and well thought out feedback to the author, and to gain knowledge about good writing.

EVIDENCE: book manuscript is confidential (Sleepwater Beat by Kathrin Hutson)

comment examples:

“Do more with this. She just watched a fellow beat spinner, friend, & lover go over the edge. its gotta hurt. put a squeeze in her solar plexus or an immediate tight feeling under her ribs, a head spin or a sick throat twinge”

“Pretty sure its spelled jaywalking. check in”

“Come on sounds too playful right here. I’d choose come along or something similar. more formal, more professional & a bit condescending which seems to fit the vibe”

“Not really sure if this would work with the format but maybe you could add something about how Alex feels in the situation, or more on Leo’s interpretation of Alex’s emotions? I think it would give Alex more depth and move above and beyond. The bare minimum in this situation is that weird area of a character that is just there to support the plot. Obviously that is not the case here. Alex has a personality but you can do more! And I think it would be extra cool if you could find a spot to fit something more about her as a person rather than just her in relation to Leo.”

EVALUATION: Did the author appreciate the feedback? Was the feedback useful? Did the book get published?


PROCESS: Read each chapter of the book to get the idea, then read it again and make a comment or edit in each instance of confusing language, incorrect spelling, and unrealistic dialogue/ plot as well as incorporating praise when something is especially good

RESOURCES: previous knowledge about writing, the internet, book author, good spelling skills, comprehension & analytical thinking, realistic viewpoint

no. 4: 

Do it for science!

In December of 2016 I went vegan. Initially I planned to do it for just a week but it ended up going on much longer than that. Here is my take on the experience

Veganism Experiment



Orientation Term Project

STATEMENT of PURPOSE: To be well-educated, a person must understand the importance of natural medicine as well as modern medicine because it is impossible to be educated about the world if we can not be educated about our own bodies and minds.


  • Does nature give us everything we need to survive or is it necessary to create synthetic drugs?
  • How effective are herbs and where does the line get drawn between addressing with herbalism and modern medicine?
  • Is plant based medicine being unnecessarily overlooked in society and should it come back into practice?

GOAL(s): My goals for this project were to learn more about alternative medicine and how it is being used in today’s society, and also to create something that could educate people who might not know about the potential for plant medicine.

EVIDENCE: img_4469

Link to Video

Orientation Term Research

Proficiencies & Transferrable Skills:

  • Communication (video format conveying a message)
  • Self Direction (sought out person to interview & decided on an alternative to a trifold)
  • Integrated Thinking (used research, drawing, video editing & interviewing skills)
  • Responsible Citizenship (final product can be used to educate people)


Since this project was so short, I did not have an expert mentor. However, a main part of the project was the interview I conducted with Laura. The audio component was recorded outside, so there were a few noticeable background noises, but all the words were easy enough to hear and it was a pretty consistent volume. I could tell the video was good because the camera was steady, and it was relatively well positioned. The framing was not crooked, and the picture was clear and in focus. My drawing incorporated elements representing both modern and traditional medicine, and it was planned so there wasn’t too much time where nothing was happening. Also, the colours I chose to incorporate were all a similar scheme of black and white on purpose, so as to not distract from the focus.


To complete this project, I first did research on the significance of both modern and homeopathic medicine in today’s society, and used my research to come up with interview questions. Then, I designed a drawing I thought would convey the message that all forms of medicine must be used together for the best health benefits, because each type deals with a different spectrum of illness. I filmed myself drawing this on a chalkboard wall using my iPhone camera and a small tripod. I then interviewed an herbalist using the questions I had come up with and combined the audio from the interview and the drawing video into one. Coming up with an idea for a final product was hard because this was my first BP project, and I had a minimal frame of reference. It was also hard to narrow my ideas because they began very broad. However, while most people created a tri-fold about what they had learned, I am glad I created something different, that can be used in the future.


Laura Litchfield

The Internet

An iPhone 6s

Video Production Software

Chalkboard & Chalk

My own Brain & Body

Fall 2016

Fall Term Narrative 2016

Classes: Chemistry with Amy Listenik & Accelerated PreCalc with Eric Stone

project no. 1

Music Journalism


  • What do music journalists look for when they’re listening to music?
  • What format do music journalists use in their writing?
  • How does music journalism differ from other types of journalism?
  • To what extent does opinion matter in music journalism?

GOAL(s): My goal is to learn about what a music journalist might look for in music and the process used to create a piece of writing about music, to improve writing skills, and to gain general knowledge about music in preparation for having a radio station in the future.

EVIDENCE: 3 pieces of writing including two concert reviews & an album review, 2 interviews, pictures, project plan

And the Kids

Awaken, My Love!

242 Main

Justin Crowther at Burlington Record Plant Interview Write Up

Dan Bolles, Music Editor & Jordan Adams, Assistant Music Editor at Seven Days Interview Transcript

EVALUATION: Rubric created with help from Dan Bolles, feedback from Dan & Young Writers Project

PROCESS: Go to a few concerts to gain an understanding of what to expect and what to look for. Pick one to write about and write first piece. Interview Dan to get tips, write next two pieces (an album review and another concert review)

Concerts this term:

  • Shellac
  • And the Kids
  • El Ten Eleven
  • Last Concert at 242 Main

RESOURCES: Justin at Burlington Record Plant, Dan Bolles & Jordan Adams at Seven Days, Higher Ground, Signal Kitchen



no. 2

Creating a website on WordPress


  • What web software can I use to create a portfolio other than google sites?
  • What are the components I need to have a good website on WordPress & to showcase my work in a positive way?
  • How can I customise my portfolio to best suit my needs & plans?

GOAL(s): My goal for this project is to have a beautiful and successful website to showcase the effort I have put into my work this year at Big Picture.

EVIDENCE:  This website!

EVALUATION: It has all the components of the original google sites portfolio template

PROCESS: Make website, research how to customize if necessary, put all requirements in

RESOURCES: The internet