This is only a test….

Don’t worry talons…. this is only a test…..

  1. Multiple Choice: If you choose an answer to this question at random, what is the chance you will be correct? A) 25% B) 50% C) 60% D) 25%

This is a test

Don’t worry….the following is only a test….

  1. Multiple Choice: If you choose an answer to this question at random, what is the chance you will be correct? A) 25% B) 50% C) 60% D) 25%

The End.

Here are the art pieces I created for socials class, sorry that they are so late!

My theme statement was split into three parts and each part of the theme statement corresponds with a piece in the same order:

I.  People are driven by the need for connection and this need for connection drives action.

II.  This action can be moral or amoral but humans are inherently altruistic.

III.  Understanding the two previous statements is important for me to better understand my actions, the actions of others and relationships between  myself and others as well as the relationships of others.img001editedimg002edited


















As I don’t want to write a long blog post to explain everything, I have posted some photos of my talking points and notes during my presentation about examples of my theme in learning and in my life, where I think I should improve and where I think I did well this year and some brief explanations of each piece.


Socials Symphony

For my final socials assessment, I created a symphony of sorts to go through my entire TALONS socials experience. My thesis statement is: “If we can look at both our successes and mistakes, not looking strictly at one or the other, we can learn to better ourselves for the future.”

PDF of the Score

The music

A symphony is divided into four parts, and I used the four parts to represent the four terms of socials I had over the last two years.

The first movement portrays the first half-semester of year one. The chordal structure is quite simple, basically staying on the root chord for most of the piece. It has a sound of innocence and simplicity. The music has not yet developed into something too intellectual or thoughtful quite yet. It represents me as a new TALONS, unaware and unsure of much of what goes on in my life and in the lives around me. A very unassuming and simple outlook.

The second movement is a darker and more somber sounding piece. It is more developed and more complex than its predecessor, but it is still moderately basic. It follows the basic ii-V-i chord progression throughout and does not deviate from this progression. Granted, it is more interesting and has a lot more going on. This represents the second term of grade 9. It represents me, trying to present myself as knowledgable and wise to others as well as to myself. Creating sounds that on the surface seem complex (and are to a certain degree) but take no real risk or “out there” ideas.

The third movement is a step away from what has been going on previously in the piece. It uses only two or three instruments at a time and has them going as duets for the entirety of the piece. It’s a break from the instrumental set up previously used and is significantly more harmonically complex. It’s now the beginning of grade 10 socials and represents me trying something new. Trying to think differently and look at every perspective (or instrument) for their ideas and opinions and how they can shape the overall outlook on an idea (song).

The final movement is the conclusion of both the “symphony” and socials in TALONS. This is the most complex movement, taking ideas and building off of both the mistakes and successes of the previous movements. It is a piece that is more mellow and calm, not being too dramatic, cheesy, corny, or simple (or at least desperately trying not to be). It gives more instruments in the ensemble a chance to shine and express the beauty that lives within every instrument. This is really a metaphor for my current way of thinking and how I can learn from my mistakes and successes and build off of them to be continually creating a better version of myself.

Socials Final (Goodbye)

Socials Final

     This is my socials final project (and I guess also my final Talons project). 

     I based it around the following theme statement: societies function in a perpetual cycle of recognition, reaction, rebuilding, and repetition.    Realization is the step in which the average citizen becomes enlightened (the whole cycle is powered by the enlightened citizen).  As they become enlightened they can become aware of a flaw or crisis.  The second step, reaction, is the step in which a group of people band together to stand up and dismantle the previously uncovered flaw.  The third step, rebuilding, is the step in which was was previously dismantled is replaced with a hopefully improved system.  The final step, repetition, is the step in which another flaw is uncovered.  After the final step, the cycle begins again.

      I used each quarter of the piece to represent one of the four steps.  The first step is the top right corner, I repeated the image of the eye upwards to show how when an individual becomes aware, they are able to see beyond themselves and gain a heightened perspective.  The second step, on the bottom right corner, shows how when an individual gains power when they stand up against a flaw.  I used lightning bolts because they represent power, but are also uncontrollable and erratic.  The bottom left corner shows the third step, rebuilding.  I used magazine clippings to rebuild the face, I wanted to use a rougher medium to show how the process of rebuilding is messy and imperfect.  The final step, in the top right corner, represents repetition.  I added a copy of the original image emerging from the base, but tore a hole in the eye to show that it still hasn’t reached perfection.  

     I also posted a higher resolution copy of the image on my Flickr.

Thanks for everything.  It’s been a wild year, but I had a ton of fun :))))

On How We Got Here: My Socials Final

When I first came into socials, there were three things that I didn’t enjoy: remembering events, dates, and people; large group discussions; and trying to pick out motifs, themes, and big ideas from a series of events. Needless to say, I really enjoyed socials class. 

When considering this, I wanted to do something that kinda showed off how I’ve changed over the past two years of and how various events we’ve learned about build up to my final theme statement. To do this, I kinda wanted to recreate a project that we did sometime over the past two years that I kinda struggled with, so I decided to do fridge magnet poetry. 

As a way of representing my growth over the past two years, I have pulled elements from one blog post per term. In addition, while writing the poems, I tried to make them longer and less literal as they go on to symbolize how I have become more thorough at communicating my ideas over time and how I have improved my ability to pick out underlying themes of events.

Columbus Poem
So my first piece is based on Columbus and this blog post. In (my first ever) blog post, I discuss how we, as a human race, have a history of turning to violence and bloodshed in an attempt to stay in control in the power structure we have in our society, so with this, I wanted to portray how wanting to be more powerful or have more has led to events of history changing.

French Rev Poem
And I based my next piece off one of the roleplay posts I wrote for the French Revolution. This one is about how the constant want to have power in terms of control or resources kinda trumps everything and what someone does to keep power greatly changed the course of a nation. The reason I chose this message to accompany this topic is that one of the only things I still remember about the French Revolution is how, despite being one of the most influential figures in the revolution against King Louis and the amount of power he had, essentially became everything he was against earlier in order to keep himself in power.


Reconciliation Poem
And then I did my next one based on my blog post on reconciliation and residential schools. In this poems, I talk about how our past, and specifically how much we wanted power and control over people and resources, has influenced how us and our modern identity and can be perceived. It is easy to draw parallels between this and what happened with regards to residential schools and the fallout from that. How we physically, socially, and mentally hurt indigenous people in an attempt to gain more power, both in terms of control over people and land, is one of the main factors that challenge our national identity as inclusive, just, and equal.
Newspaper Poem
And finally, this poem is based on the discussion we had on cultural appropriation and this editorial I did for the newspaper to show how my socials ability has extended beyond the class. I kinda wanted to summarize everything I’ve learned with this piece and it’s basically about how the path a nation is on and what that nation stands for is influenced by either how we wanted to have more power or we wanted to prevent others from taking this power. 

These four pieces build up to my theme statement, which is:

Trying to obtain or keep power and the conflict caused by this changes the course of history and our modern identity.

To accompany the poetry, I overlaid the text on top of various nature shots from Survivor.

For the first one, the player that immediately came to my mind when thinking about aggressive behaviour changing the course of the game was Russell Hantz, who’s known for his blindsides, backstabs, and alienating everyone he votes out. Because of this, the first piece is on top of a shot from Heroes vs Villains in the episode where he boots one of his closest (and only) allies by flipping to the heroes.

The background image for the next piece is a shot from Survivor: Game Changers where Zeke decides to make a “big move” and flip on his alliance, and specifically Andrea, as he felt that he needed to do something to show that he was in the power seat in his alliance, which resulted in all the alliances in the season shifting again and the eventual Pagonging of everyone by Sarah, Troyzan, and Brad.

I’ve put my third poem on top of a shot from the last boot before the jury in this season as it reminded me a lot of “The Incident 5.0” (Yes I know I said 3.0 during my presentation but I thought of a lot of other things between then and now). I knew the second I finished my poem that this was the moment that it reminded me of. Essentially what happens is Varner attempts to expose Zeke as “deceptive” by forcibly outing him at tribal council, which resulted not only in a divide between Varner and the rest of the tribe but also amongst the Survivor community. What really created the connection between the poem and this event, though, was Varner’s insistence afterwards that he was all for the rights of transgender people, going as far as stating that “[he argues] for the rights of transgender people every day in the state of North Carolina” without seeing how his behaviour and what he tries to portray himself as differ. (A link to a shortened version of the tribal council if you’re interested)

My fourth, and final, poem is accompanied by intro shot to Survivor: Cambodia because I feel that the way that the gameplay in that season has greatly influenced the development of the game. To expand on this, the big power plays, including the Savage blindside, the Fishbach blindside, and the F6 tribal, and the power struggle to between the majority Bayon Alliance and the minority Witches’ Coven have redefined where the game is going as it is now much more focused on making flashy “BIG MOVEZ” and has become a lot more cutthroat now.

TALONS: Final Words

June 21, 2017

I am writing this blog post one day before the last TALONS school day, and I have to say that I am feeling a wide variety of emotions right now. In some ways, I feel relieved, for the years in TALONS have been very stressful at times, but in other ways, I feel melancholy about facing the end of the program.

I’m not going to lie, TALONS was a rough journey for me. However, now that it is coming to an end, I am starting to realise how much I have learned from the TALONS program and how much I will truly miss the times I had in the TALONS program.

Thank You, and Goodbye 

I would like to take this time to thank all of the teachers that taught me so many important lessons throughout my time in the program.

I would like to thank Ms Mulder for teaching me the importance of the autonomous learner model, and for teaching me about time management and the importance of keeping organised.

I would like to thank Mr. Jackson, for teaching me about the bigger ideas in life, and for helping me to develop a love for the study of history.

I would like to thank Mr. Salisbury, for teaching me that sometimes sleep is more important than studying, and for making math actually fun.

I would like to thank Ms. Dingle for teaching me the importance of presenting my learning in various ways, both creatively and analytically. 

Finally, I would like to thank Mr. Albright, for teaching me the importance of learning to laugh, and for providing me with guidance on how I can improve my writing.

I would also like to thank my classmates, and the grade nine TALONS students, for all of their support and love, and for motivating me to keep on going!

Overall, I am heartbroken to say bye to TALONS, but hopefully, the future has good things in store for me!

With lots of love,