Library Experience 2016

Before the trip began, I decided that my ultimate goal was to get books on my Eminent person, Benton MacKaye, and his legacy of a trail. I wanted to sort through the books before taking anything out to make sure that I would take out only the ones I needed and leave the ones that had little to no useful information behind to work on making practical decisions. I asked myself: how are you going to make the most of this trip? What are you expecting from this trip? I decided that I really wanted an opportunity to see my project from a different angle to get new and creative about where I approach it from. At least three books, I said to myself, three good books that I will actively use in research. I decided to take pictures to document my experience.

As one of the organizers for the Vancouver Public Library and MacLeod’s Bookstore event, I can assure you that neither the planning nor the execution of this trip was all smooth sailing. There were certainly some hiccups, and I feel that is what I learned the most from this experience.

I found some fantastic books on the Appalachian Trail at the Library. In fact, when I walked in and used the search engine to find some materials, the first place it guided me was packed full of trail stories, facts, routes, and history. I also looked for tow other sections, I found one but the other was in an the archives. The problem with the archives is that they are a section of the library with automated shelved that move open by shifting back and forth to preserve space, meaning that if your book is in a closed section you have to find someone to help you open it which, believe me, is a task in itself. My issue however was that my book had a number that was skipped past in the labeling of these shelves and I couldn’t find any staff to help me out.

When I returned to where I had left my books I began to sort through which ones I planned to take out and which I would leave. I selected six that I felt would be useful to me and would give me different insight than that I have already witnessed in my online research. Unfortunately, I just had to take the largest and heaviest book to carry around for the next four hours.

After we checked out our books, both groups met outside the library to check in for lunch. As we were waiting for people to come out of the library, we watched as an assortment of people set off the security gate alarm for one reason or another, and had to empty their bags and present their receipts. Everyone arrived more or less on time, and we split up for lunch.


Post-lunch, it was my group’s turn to visit Macleods. The walk there was rather wet and gloomy, but the payoff once we arrived was huge. We were asked not to take photos unless we asked permission, so quite a few people did not ask. The store was packed with books, there was not a single free spot. It was really quite amazing. At a glance, it could have looked terribly disorganized. Once you looked into it, however, you found that all the books had incredibly precise arrangements. I found a quiet isle to sit and read in. As I scanned the thick walls of literature surrounding me, I noticed that the books on indigenous culture were separated into individual nations and these nations were alphabetized. It was really cool to see how much love is put into keeping the store up and functioning in the manner intended. I did not buy anything, but it was a really cool experience and I think that I will go back in the future.


Now that I have this experience and these resources, I am feeling a lot more comfortable in getting the information I need for my Eminent study. I know that I have the materials I need to improve the level of interest of my project. I want to be sure that people will actually be engaged in my presentation and will enjoy themselves. I want to take the information I have collected and take it in an unexpected angle. I am now ready to take off and I have a clear goal in sight. Can’t wait to share it with you!

8:45am Meet at Lougheed Station
9:00am-9:45am Travel to downtown via Skytrain
9:45am Arrive at Granville Station
10:00 Split into groups 1 & 2
10:10 Walk to Vancouver Public Library or Macleods bookstore
11:45 Meet up at Vancouver Public Library for Lunch
11:50-12:50 Eat lunch
1:00 Meet after lunch
1:05 Groups switch activities 
2:40 Meet back at Vancouver Public Library
2:55 Walk to Granville Station
3:10-4:00pm Travel back to Lougheed Station via skytrain
4:00pm Arrive at Lougheed Station

Tommy Douglas – Eminent Intro Post

For eminent this year, I chose to study Tommy Douglas, a Canadian politician from the 40’s. “The father of Medicare” began his life of politics after witnessing the effects of the great depression on the Saskatchewan farm town he lived in. He found it unfair that healthcare, a seemingly basic and essential need was being withdrawn from a portion of the population due to the economical turmoil this country resided in around those times. He then took it upon himself to change things for the better and first became an MP in 1935 as part of the Canadian Commonwealth Federation.


One of Tommy Douglas’ Famous Speeches


Douglas was a minority in a mainly Liberal or Conservative parliament and faced fierce opposition from both these parties. But he was a fighter, and dove right into many heated debates. Douglas rose through the ranks of the newly founded CCF quickly and returned in 1942 to lead the party to victory in the Saskatchewan provincial election. He was elected for five terms in which he brought upon many badly needed services such as the expansion of electricity and healthcare province-wide. This was a large shift for North American politics as he was the first social democratic government in Canada and the US and a pioneer for left wing politics as we now know them.


In 1959 Douglas set a bomb off across Canada with his idea of pre-paid, public healthcare. All over the country he was widely accused of being a communist by the upper class, especially in the medical sector. It wasn’t until 1962 when Saskatchewan adapted his revolutionary healthcare proposal but when they did, it was widely praised. This was the basis for modern healthcare as know it today.


Near the end of his terms as premier of Saskatchewan, the CCF was falling apart. Douglas decided to end the party and from its ashes, the New Democratic Party was formed with Douglas at its head. He served as an MP until 1979 when he retired from politics.


I look up to Tommy Douglas, not only does he have some amazing accolades and truly changed Canadian politics for the better, but he also rose through the political ranks from nothing. I admire and marvel at Douglas’ bravery, courage and determination to have an issue and fight for what he believed in at the highest level. He demonstrated exemplary leadership skills and I idolize him for this.


I was also attracted to Douglas because of his chosen field. Lately, I’ve been increasingly following politics both Canadian and American (sigh*) and find them very interesting. I’d like to learn more about this field as in the future, I’ll have to make increasing decisions on who I would like representing my voice in government and making all the important decisions concerning my country.


As for some barriers, Tommy Douglas was a very strong religious man and based a lot of his governmental decisions based on what he had seen as a priest. I would not define myself as religious so I may have some trouble connecting with him on a religious level. I don’t think I will find this to be a major barrier as I want to focus on his political life and not so much his religious one.


I’m looking forward to my eminent study and hope that I can learn a lot about the political life of Tommy Douglas. If, after the study, I can act only a small bit like Tommy Douglas I will have succeeded.

The Adventures of Eminent…. Duh Duh DUHHHHHH

Eminent… Does anyone else feel like every time someone says that there should be a “duh duh duhhhh” after it? Anyways, despite the idea of this giant eminent project looming above me, I have to admit, so far it hasn’t been as bad as I expected. I guess people really aren’t lying when they say if you break it into chunks it will be okay. Don’t get me wrong, there have been some struggles and I don’t think I am in the bulk of it yet, but I have gotten a chunk done.

So lets go with the roadblocks first. Bad news before good news, right? I have had quite a few blocks along the way, but I have been

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able to get past them fairly well. One was right at the beginning while I was writing my introductory post. I was following the criteria for this blog post instead of the introductory one while writing half of the post before realizing that it was the wrong sheet. That one wasn’t too hard to fix though because they are somewhat similar, and I just had to do some minor tweaking. The next

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roadblock I had was around finding an interview. I couldn’t think about anyone I knew of that was both a feminist and a writer and would actually spend the time to talk to me. I pondered it for quite a long time, but I eventually thought of an answer. I could interview two people, one of which is a writer, and one a feminist. During my research I also couldn’t find anyone who bell hooks had influenced (although there were a lot of people who influenced her), but I hope to learn more about that through my feminist interview. Another roadblock that isn’t solved yet is my learning center. I have an idea for something on the side that I could add, but other than that, I really have no clue for what I should put in my learning center.

Next, onto a happier note; the things that have gone well so far. One, which was actually really surprising to me, is that I haven’t been procrastinating all that much yet! I mean, I’m not saying that I

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haven’t at all, but it is significantly better than some other projects I have done last minute. I have completed an introductory post, answered pretty much all of the main questions we have to know about our eminent person (its called the index in the booklet we got), have two interviews lined up, finished the introduction to my speech and have ideas for the rest, and I am currently part way through my Document of Learning, as you can see while reading this. I was quite worried about writing such a long speech, and I didn’t know what perspective to do it from, but taking a grade 10’s advice, I just started my speech, knowing that I could change the perspective later on if I wanted to. I started from the perspective of a pen, and I found that it wasn’t quite a bit easier than I thought, although it will definitely need editing and tweaking. I have learned a lot on bell hooks,  and one of the most interesting facts I learned is that her family actually didn’t stand for feminism at all, and that’s what pushed her to start writing and speaking out, when usually it is the opposite.

I think that there have been a lot of ups and downs in this project, but it is going semi-well so far, and I think I am about where I should

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be in terms of what I have completed so far. There are still a lot of things that I haven’t worked out yet, but then again we do still have two weeks left. I plan to continue chipping away bit by bit, and hopefully I won’t be frantically typing away at 3:00am the night before presentations and regretting my trip to the dark playground with the instant gratification monkey that afternoon…. (If you don’t get this reference, go procrastinate and read this article on procrastination!!! :) )

Eminent Interview: A New Perspective


For my interview this year, I jumped on it before we even started discussing it in class, because I knew instantly that it would be something that I would struggle with if I didn’t get started as soon as possible. I’m quite happy I did.

The professional that I interviewed for Eminent is Stan Hunc. Here’s a bio quoted directly from his website:

“Stan Hunc – an art practitioner and educator with ten years of formal art training (MFA and MEd) and lifelong practice. His art adventure and passion has never worn-out since the time he made a fantastic scribble of “Guernica” at the age of two. He has started his teaching career over 30 years ago at The Public School of Fine Arts in Opole (Poland) and currently continues as an art instructor at ECUAD in Vancouver (Canada).

In 1988 Stan set up a graphic design studio: ‘Stan Hunc Graphics’ working on various graphic design and illustration projects for the clients such as: Labatt Breweries, BC Lottery Corporation, BC Event Management, Equity Magazine, BC Business Magazine, and Northern Bell Casino.

Throughout the years Stan’s work has been presented at individual and group art shows in Poland, Austria, Germany, Belgium, Switzerland, Hungary, China, and Canada.”

One of the reasons I wanted to interview him was because he is a professor at Emily Carr University and has extensive art knowledge. I find his art intriguing as well, which is a plus.

artwork by Stan Hunc

I held the interview in person at Place Des Arts, an arts centre and music school in the Millardville area of Coquitlam where he teaches, during a slot of spare time he had between teaching classes. It was somewhat daunting, of course, having a face-to-face interview, but I think it went smoothly.

He had many helpful insights to the world of professional art. He had always wanted to be an artist, and describes his journey into professional art as a “smooth transition”; “A drive that took me all the way”. He has been surrounded by artists for most of his life, so he feels that he just became a part of it.

His favourite thing about being an artist is being able to “live the dream”. He says a lot of people just paint for income, such as making commissions that they’re not passionate about, but as a teacher, he seems to be in a place that he loves. According to him there’s nothing he likes least, although he would say that there’s a sensitive part of being a teacher.

He voices that in a regular job, there comes a point where you retire, and there’s nothing to do, so many people fall into depression. With being an artist, there is “no over” (in a good way).

I asked if people supported him becoming an artist and some struggles he faced. He describes himself as lucky in his career, but he provided an interesting viewpoint that I took note of:

“In art school, we generally were considered as a special type of people. If you acted silly, you were excused because you were an artist.” He describes having a sort of “creative liberty” as an artist. You can generally wear what you want and act how you want because you were an artist and could “create your own visual standards”, but obviously this comes with a stigma. One of his examples were that artists wear “poor” clothes, but they do it because it will get dirty anyway.

“A crazy status that art students are crazy.”

I asked him for any opinions or knowledge he had on Emily Carr, and to my surprise, he offered a completely new perspective that I had never heard or even considered before.

He remarks that he thinks he knows quite a bit about Emily Carr, but he doesn’t particularly like her work. Mr. Hunc expresses that Emily Carr only has so much fame and has a university named after her because there were a “limited amount of professional artists in the early 2000’s who painted in the post-impressionistic way” who lived in this area. There were “Not many to choose from, so you just choose from a handful” to name an art university after, or to idolize.

This opinion from the interview I held “stacks up” very different compared to everything I’ve read about Carr so far. My online sources all speak of her in a good, if not awed, light. I think it will be very helpful in my overall project, because through this interview I realized that I do not necessarily have to idolize my Eminent person, I just have to believe  they are Eminent.

My next step in my project is to continue research on Emily Carr herself and begin writing my speech. 🖌 I plan to start reading her most famous book, Klee Wyck, that I borrowed during our VPL trip immediately.

Begin Again (Eminent Intro Post)

Aaaaaand we’re back.

For eminent numero dos I’ll be focusing on Brandon Stanton; the creator and driving force behind the popular photography blog “Humans of New York” He started the blog in 2010 with a goal to create a visual census of 10,000 New York inhabitants. During the first few months of his project he posted the photos by themselves, but he wasn’t getting too much attention. One day he uploaded his first photo with a caption.


“So do you do a different color everyday?”

“No, I used to go through different stages. But then I found that I was the happiest when I was green, so I’ve been green for 15 years.”

He began pairing his photos with captions each time, and the page became very well known currently at over 20 million followers across Facebook, Tumblr, and the website itself.

Since then he’s accomplished a lot for global humanitarianism: locally for Mott Hall Bridges Academy, overseas and at home interviewing refugees, and talking to prisoners. These projects have shed light on the lives of people we don’t seem to acknowledge the regular.

I chose Brandon because I feel like I can connect with him a lot more than many other people, we are both white, male, average guys with a drive to use or circumstances to speak for people who can’t. I have a passion for photography as he does, but I don’t think I will pursue it as a career. I do however, believe it is a great way to tell stories and use it for good purposes; I’ll keep it as a hobby!

BUT I’m going to backtrack a bit because Renee and I are taking over the Humans of Gleneagle Facebook page, which will be a way for me to accomplish things inside and outside this project. First and foremost, this will give me an opportunity to understand Brandon and what be does every day, and the challenges he faces, on a smaller scale of course. Secondly it’ll give me a chance to work on some of my IEP goals, one being time management. I’d have to make time every week to go out and find people to feature, and socially it will force me to step out of my comfort zone and talk to people I wouldn’t normally approach.

So to wrap up, here are my goals for this project:

  • Learning about my eminent person and how he’s able to do what he loves, make a difference in the world with what he had to begin with.
  • Find out how he’s able to humble himself, and share the stories of everyone regardless of appearance, social status, race, gender or beliefs; and how I can apply this to my life.
  • About myself: how I can use my fortunate circumstances to make a difference, and to not judge people by how they look.
  • Time management: working on this project in a timely fashion, and balancing it with other school work, and the crushing weight of a teenage life.
  • Social skills: becoming comfortable talking to other people, and confident enough to have my interviewees feel comfortable in sharing parts of themselves that they wouldn’t normally tell a stranger.

Hayao Miyazaki: Altering the definition of Anime

Even more than Disney movies, throughout my childhood movies, movies produced by Hayao Miyazaki were my favourite. Spirited Away, Howl’s Moving Castle, and Castle in the Sky were all movies that I had watched many times before.

For my eminent project, I am going to be studying Hayao Miyazaki. Hayao Miyazaki was the creator of many famous anime, and is widely regarded as one of the greatest living animators in the world.

Hayao Miyazaki began his career at Toei Animation in 1963, and eventually, after having much success with his movies such as Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind in 1984, he co-founded his own animation studio, Studio Ghibli.

What draws me so much to him is that all of his films have recurrent themes, such as the difficulty of being a pacifist, the influence of capitalism on his country’s culture, and the turbulent relationship with humans between nature and technology. Unlike many other anime films, he has the power to leave long-lasting images and ideas in people that transcend the movie. In that way, he is a very influential person in society for being able to do so, from something as simple as a movie. Recently, he has been in stages of semi-retirement, where he has said that he is retiring several times, but is always drawn back to his career, showing how much he actually loved it.

Hayao Miyazaki is someone who I can feel I can relate to because he has very strong beliefs and stands by them, which I can relate to. Even when one of his movies won an Academy Award, he refused to go the the award ceremony, stating that “He didn’t want to go to a country that is bombing Iraq”. He shows his very pacifist nature like this quite often. I am also quite a pacifist, and try to attain a peaceful solution to a problem usually too.

Some obstacles I see for myself in achieving eminence is staying true to those same beliefs when I am older, just like Hayao Miyazaki did. Through this study, I hope to learn exactly how staying true to his values was something that Hayao was able to do while simultaneously striving to run a successful studio. I also hope to learn more about what exactly what my values are, and how I can use them to affect my work ethic and every day life like he did. This will also affect how I exactly participate in school, which is one of my IEP goals for this year.


Some barriers between us include the country, as we live in completely different countries with large culture gaps, as well as growing up in different eras. Hayao grew up in the time of WWII, and experienced many of the tragedies involved with it, which may have been conducive to him attaining his pacifistic nature. I hope to overcome this barrier by learning more about his childhood, and possible talking to people who I know can relate to growing up in the same era.




Our VPL (Very Pleasing Learning) Expedition

Trips like these make me glad to be in a group like TALONS! I never would have thought of going to MacLeod’s Books or the VPL to study for eminent, or for anything else for that matter. I’d never been to either of those places before, and I’m really happy I went!


shout out to Maeve, always the star model. @Kendall Jenner, take notes.

First stop for my group was MacLeod’s books. I was baffled the instant we walked in. When Ms. Mulder told us we would have to take our bags off, my first thought was “Nope. Not happening. My bag’s small enough.” and then we actually entered the shop, and now I could see why we couldn’t carry our things around. There were books everywhere! I expected a more Chapters-esque where mass-produced books had been stacked in metal shelves with sleek plastic covers and neon price tags. Here we had books literally everywhere you looked, on the floor in piles, on the shelves in mountains, and the smell was incredible. There seemed to be books of every sort, excepting most mainstream ones. Many had beautiful bindings with intricate patterns on the covers, and I was almost too scared to touch these. It was a great atmosphere, and I’d never experienced anything like it. I would love to go back.

Here, I already had learned something new; though I’d already known my eminent person, Emily Carr, had been an authour, I had never known she’d written so much and was so notable in writing, too, as well as painting! I learned a bunch just by reading the blurbs on the backs of books that I found by her. There were too many to choose from, so I didn’t buy anything and decided to try my luck at the VPL, to see if they had any of her books. To my relief, they had many. I borrowed three:


My weekend activity plans, right here^ it’s going to be wild.

One of my favourite things about the VPL was how it was like two separate buildings attached by a glass roof. Walking between the food court-ish area and the library itself felt like I was traveling on an actual street with structures on either side, but without rain and better lighting.

I discovered something new at the library that day: Zines! Before now, I had no clue what zines were, but I quickly discovered that I really liked some of them. I borrowed a few that I was drawn to, and the style of some of them became inspiration for a part of my ZIP project!

One more thing I borrowed was something I’ve been itching to read for the past TWO years, so finally touching it in the flesh was basically a spiritual awakening. Universes collided. Supernovas exploded. A choir of baby angels burst into song. I finally had my hands on it: The Tiny Book of Tiny Stories by Wirrow (my favourite artist!!!), HITRECORD, and Joseph-Gordon-Levitt. As you may or may not be able to tell, I was stoked. The hype was real. My life feels complete. I’m not kidding.


My word count is over 500 now, so I’m wrapping this up. All in all, I had a great day and new experience and knowledge on this venture! 10/10, would participate again. Big thanks to all the organizers and teachers who made it possible!

Vancouver Public Library Trip

Library Trip

Wow. I have never been on a trip like that. Right when we got on the Skytrain I was away. For the first time in a while, I wasn’t worrying about homework or problems. The Skytrain trip was shorter than I thought it would be. And then they were there. Downtown Vancouver. The first thing I realized was that I hadn’t walked around Vancouver for 4 years. The second thing was that it was way more welcoming than Seattle. When I went to Seattle earlier this year, I got this creepy vibe from some alleys and some street corners. I didn’t feel that at all in Vancouver.

MacLeod's BookstoreI went to the bookstore first. I hadn’t done any research and I didn’t know anything about the bookstore. I thought that the library was going to be more fun than the bookstore. It was the exact opposite. The bookstore had more books than I had even seen in my life. I realized pretty quickly that they didn’t have any books about my eminent person, Pete Rose. I searched through the fiction books, looking for something that intrigued me. I didn’t find anything that I liked, so I went to find some non-fiction books. I joined a group of people huddled in a corner and read for about 30 minutes. By then it was time to go. Then we left and slowly walked towards the Library.

Vancouver Public Library We couldn’t see the Vancouver Public Library until we came around a corner. There it was. It was massive. I had only been there once before. We went in and found seats just outside the library building. It took about five minutes for the last few people to trickle out of the library. We then ordered food. I got a surprisingly large slice of pizza and a drink for only $4.20. After lunch, we went inside the library. It was very large. It was hard to find my book because it had the same call number as other books that were in a different section on the same floor. After I found it, I helped people find their books. My library card didn’t work so I had to get a new one. We left just after I signed out my books. We walked to the Skytrain station and hopped on. The ride back was a lot longer than the ride there. Once we were back, we left the Skytrain station. It was an experience that I won’t forget for a while. I will remember this trip when I think back to my early days of TALONS.

Library Field Study – An Adventure

The library field trip to downtown Vancouver turned out to be much more rewarding than I thought. Not only did I borrow a very great pile of books on my eminent person himself and my interests, I also had a great time bonding with my other TALONS peers.

As I was walking down the sidewalk to the bookstore, many memories came back to me from last year. The cool downtown air was just like last year’s, and the many ingeniously designed buildings stood just as I remembered. When I stepped into MacLeod’s bookstore, the immense piles and shelves of colourful books really mesmerised me, even thought I had a vague memory of the store from last year.

The theme for me was to mostly enjoy a relaxing day in downtown Vancouver, while discovering interesting archives and fictional books that I was into. However, I did spend half an hour browsing the science and medical shelves of the library to really find good information on my eminent person. I eventually found a large book about Louie Pasteur. It was a biography as well as a collection of his many works.

This field trip was highly beneficial to my eminent study. It reminded me that the Internet was not the only resource of information, and sometimes a hard copy can be more helpful. I also found that I should get more familiar with the services Greater Vancouver offers, as we are very fortunate to have a reliable Skytrain running from Vancouver and such large archives of literature and printed resources.

Finally, I have a few pictures that sum up my trip nicely.

Looking from inside the library Some more piles of literature Outside the Vancouver Public Library On the Skytrain! A view of downtown Vancouver from the skytrain The immense shelves at MacLeod's Books