Canadian Autonomy: The Paris Peace Conference

 

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The year is 1919.

The first world war is at its resolution, but in order to officially declare the conflict between the Allies and Central Powers over, a conference must be held in which the major political powers of the world deliberate Germany’s fate. On January 12th of 1919, a preliminary meeting was held in Paris by representatives from five great powers: Britain, the U.S., France, Italy, and Japan. Originally dubbed the Supreme Council or “Council of Five”, this number was later reduced to four due to Japan’s lack of interest in matters that didn’t directly involve their country. They met to deliberate the responsibility and reparations of wwi-cartoon-1918-grangerthe war,cartoon-view-of-outcome-of-paris-peace-conference-1919 prevention for future ones, and what would become the League of Nations. The conference took six months in its entirety and resulted in the creation of the Covenant of the League of Nations, an international diplomatic group tasked with resolving conflicts before they resulted in warfare; the Treaty of Versailles, the peace terms imposed on Germany; the Treaty of Neuilly, the peace terms imposed on Bulgaria, and the Treaty of Saint-Germain, the peace terms imposed on Austria. The Paris conference officially ended with the inauguration of the League of Nations on January 16th, 1920. The “Big Four” (the U.S., Britain, France, and Italy) had achieved their goal of minimizing the armies and lands of the Central Powers to prevent any future wars and creating a council to enforce diplomatic solutions to international conflicts.
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While the principal global powers may have gotten their way, many voices struggled to be heard during the deliberations. Canadians wanted their opinions heard as important decisions were made in Paris. As a colony of Great Britain, Canada was considered represented by the British ministers who held power on the councils during the Paris conference.  Canadian Prime Minister Sir Robert Borden believed fiercely that even as a Dominion, Canada deserved separate representation and signatures at the conference. He argued that Canada’s contributions and the 60,000 dead more than warranted a say in the resolution of the war. As a result of the Prime Minister’s vigilance, Canada signed independently on the Treaty of Versailles, indented under the umbrella signature of the British Empire. Canada as a whole gained more opportunities to share their views on the international stage but was still branded as a British colony.

Canada was considered worldwide as simply a colony of Britain, but with their major contribution on behalf of the global power in the first world war, they gained leverage to use in their fight for more recognition. Canadian politics were taken more 6254349173_f7b7b0f1fc_bseriously after Prime Minister Robert Borden argued his way into a seat at the conference. Having their independent signature on the major document that was the Treaty of Versailles was a huge step in showing that Canada was no longer hidden in the shadows of the British Empire but ready to take the plunge into a more dominant role in international politics. They later went on to become founding members of the League of Nations, a very big accomplishment for the British dominion.

Canada’s autonomy as a developing colony developed politically because of the efforts of Conservative leader Robert Borden. Due to their participation in the war, the principal nations had no choice but to recognize Canada’s autonomous status during the conference. They received an independent signature on the Treaty of Versailles, one of the most important documents to be created at the conference. There were there as Canadians, and the Paris Peace Conference was one of the major stepping stones in Canada’s struggle for recognition and independence. As a result of their presence there, Canada gained more autonomy over their foreign policies and international politics.

 

The Paris Peace Conference - Deliberation over the Treaty of Versailles (Borden was present)
The Paris Peace Conference – Deliberation over the Treaty of Versailles (Borden was present)

 

 

 

Sources:

https://www.thecanadianencyclopedia.ca/en/article/league-of-nations

https://www.history.com/this-day-in-history/post-world-war-i-peace-conference-begins-in-paris

https://www.britannica.com/event/Treaty-of-Saint-Germain

https://www.thecanadianencyclopedia.ca/en/article/treaty-of-versailles

https://www.vimyfoundation.ca/the-1919-paris-peace-conference/

https://www.britannica.com/event/Treaty-of-Neuilly

https://www.britannica.com/event/Paris-Peace-Conference

Desmos Graphing: Sandy the Squirrel

Desmos Graph

When choosing an image I would be duplicating for the next week using solely functions and relations, I knew that the most logical decision would be cartoon characters for the simplicity of their design. I chose Sandy from Spongebob predominately because of the curves of the drawing, which I thought would be easy to replicate using circles and parabolas. However, this wasn’t the case when I recreated the drawing. I ended up using a variety of parabolas, quadratics, circles, linear equations and even an exponential function. Lines I thought would simply use circles I ended up using a multitude of parabolas and quadratics on. Before I applied any equations to the graph, I looked at my initial picture and imagined what lines would work best to replicate that shape. I used that strategy throughout the project, deviating when things didn’t look quite right and using the next probable equation to remedy the problem.

The only real struggles I faced were the transformations of the lines. I figured out early on that by making the x and y variables negative I could perform vertical and horizontal reflections of equations over the axes. Occasionally I would need to perform angular rotations or in one specific case, an overall increase in the size of a sin function, and would have no idea how to do so. To resolve this, I looked for alternative ways to carry out the task. This may have resulted in more work to achieve the same result, but I worked with what I knew. This project helped me develop and apply my knowledge of relations and functions while thinking of them more visually and less like simple numbers and letters on a page.

Maurice Richard

Qu’est-ce qui fait un héros?

What makes a hero?

It’s a question the Quebecois of the 1940s answered when they looked to television screens and saw a human rocket skating on ice with a hockey stick in hand.

 In Charles Foran’s Maurice Richard, the author explores the story of a man born like any other, who rose above his status quo to become a symbol of pride for French-Canadians all over Canada.

The biography of Maurice Richard highlights the nationalistic pride and bravery he demonstrated throughout his career in hockey and his refusal to roll over in the face of American adversity. He proved to the world of sports that being Canadian means standing up for your heritage.

 

 

The son of a blue-collar French immigrant, Richard learned early on in life that in a province dominated by American influence, he’d have to work three times as hard to achieve his dream of a future in hockey. By 18, while studying to become a machinist to support his future family, Richard was playing on multiple hockey teams, using aliases to get away with the act. He was special even then, scoring 133 of the 144 goals scored by the entirety of the team. It was only the beginning of his career, but people began to see that beyond Richard’s unassuming, quiet nature was a talent and passion none could replicate.

Working steadily towards a spot on the Canadiens, an underdog team in the NHL, Richard faced bigotry and slander at every turn from anglophone players, referees, and even superiors. It was his refusal to take these insults lying down, often even turning to violence to get his point across, that awoke the slumbering spirits of the French majority in Quebec.

 

March 17th, 1955

On that fateful day, they took to the streets. Tear gas bombs, overturned cars, and over a hundred people arrested.

Some say the riot broke out because the President of the NHL, Clarence Campbell had suspended Richard in the peak of his season for a fight instigated by an anglophone player. But others saw the passion behind the eyes of those rioters and knew they were protesting more than just a hockey player’s unfair treatment. Those few saw the fire in Richard’s eyes, the passion he had for his culture and country, catch on. The people in the streets were the Quebecois. The French, the English. And they refused to be ignored.

Richard’s career had become a microcosm of Canadian identity.

His dark, brooding eyes hid the soul of a simple man who worked his entire life to become something greater, for the benefit of his family. He never meant for his career to mean anything more than a blue-collared man who’d lucked out in joining the NHL. Every time he stepped onto the ice, however, he brought his French-Canadian roots with him.

 

“I am just a hockey player.” Richard would say. Yet he grew to become so much more. Struggling with identity is something most Canadians are familiar with. Richard knew he was more than just the son of a French immigrant. But was he “Saint Richard”? A man to be exalted as the defender of his people, both on and off the ice? Regardless of the labels stuck on his legacy, Richard made a difference for his people. In a time when no one was listening, he made the French heard.

 

I ask again:

Qu’est-ce qui fait un héros?

In the words of Gerard Way,

Heroes are ordinary people who make themselves extraordinary.

 

Macdonald’s Malevolent Management of Canada: Why He Should Be Removed

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Is the modern preservation of history keeping the triumphs and turmoil of our past from fading from the minds of society? That very question is being hotly debated as the public disputes the use of the name and likeness of Sir John A. Macdonald, Canada’s first Prime Minister and Founding Father, on public institutions across Canada. Advocates for the continued use of his likeness argue that his establishment of Canada as an independent state through the formation of tariffs and the transcontinental highway far outweigh the tragedies that occurred during his time in power. Those who disagree believe his cruel involvement in the founding of the residential school system and biologically racist state regulations make him undeserving of any public attention he may receive by staying in the public sphere. While some argue that Macdonald’s perspectives were in line with the values of his time and thus shouldn’t be juxtaposed to our modern beliefs, due to the lack of importance of his memorial in modern Canada and the implications of his values in today’s society, John A. Macdonald’s likeness should be removed from the public sphere.

 

When compared to the true underlying issue of justice for those wronged by Macdonald’s political regulations, the mere action of removing his likeness is but a baby step in the arduous process reconciliation to solidify the nation. Action is the very least owed to those hurt during Macdonald’s time in power. The negative impact of the removal of Macdonald’s likeness in Canada would be very little, as a “Sir John A. statue is not Sir John A.” (Gerster 2018). Looking to solve magnanimous issues like reconciliation “with [only] simple solutions- whisking symbols of the past away in the early morning hours” is not only disrespectful to the injustice First Nations in Canada have faced, but akin to putting band-aids over the gaping wounds of the people in the country (Olsen 2018). Due to the impact the removal of Macdonald’s likeness would have as a show of faith and reconciliation towards indigenous peoples in Canada, the first Prime Minister should be removed as an antecedent for future and more meaningful action.

 

Those in favour of keeping the Founding Father’s name and persona in the public sphere argue that his actions cannot be judged fairly when looking through a more modern and tolerant lens. That being said, knowing the injustice, targeted racism, and Aryan supremacy unique to Macdonald’s political perspective, his actions not only should, but deserve to be re-evaluated by modern standards. Society decides who is memorialized within the public sphere, and thus the lives and legacies of featured historical figures should divulge from the abhorrent acts ascribed to Macdonald’s leadership. John A. Macdonald notably stated on the topic of regulating Chinese influence Canada that “[it] may be right or it may be wrong, it may be prejudice or otherwise, but the prejudice is near universal” only affirming the fact that as a leader in Canada, he ultimately reflected the views of his audience (Hopper 2015). Taking into perspective the vastly different values of modern Canada, Macdonald should no longer be exalted as a leader when his political platform was so rooted in “biological racism in Canadian state formation” and the preservation of the “Aryan character of future British America” amongst other issues so against the diverse and tolerant nature of today’s Canada (Stanley 2014). Macdonald understood the views of his people- and took it one step further. Even when compared to his fellow politicians, Macdonald’s views were particularly severe and focused on the racial preservation of Aryans in Canada (Stanley 2014). The belief that the public is unable to evaluate the first Prime Minister based on modern-day beliefs is unjustified because those honoured and memorialized are appraised using said beliefs. The public cannot in good conscience exalt Macdonald knowing the flawed political platform he stood upon.

 

Canada is still at odds over the paradox we know as Sir John A. Macdonald and what should become of his likeness within the public sphere. While some exalt him as the founder of our nation and the man responsible for our economic and political independence, others see the ugly side of his platform: the thievery of land and starvation of indigenous peoples and imposition of racist head taxing. Due to the overwhelming negativity and racial bias perpetuated through Macdonald’s political platform when evaluated by modern standards and the need of this event in the resolution of injustice faced by minority groups in Canada, John A. Macdonald should be removed from the public sphere as a show of solidarity to those he wronged. As a nation, there is no way for us to proceed forward until we acknowledge the wrongdoings of the past by historical figures like John A. Macdonald and do what we can as a modern society to resolve them.

 

 

Works Cited

 

Anderson, Rick. “Should Statues of Sir John A. Macdonald Be Removed? No.” Thestar.com, 20 Aug. 2018, www.thestar.com/opinion/contributors/thebigdebate/2018/08/20/should-statues-of-sir-john-a-macdonald-be-removed-no.html

Gerster, Jane. “’Statues Are Not History’: Considering the Removal of Sir John A. Macdonald.” Global News, 12 Aug. 2018, globalnews.ca/news/4380641/does-removing-statues-change-history/

Hopper, Tristin. “Sure, John A. Macdonald Was a Racist, Colonizer and Misogynist – but so Were Most Canadians Back Then.” National Post, 24 Jan. 2015, nationalpost.com/news/canada/sure-john-a-macdonald-was-was-a-racist-colonizer-and-misogynist-but-so-were-most-canadians-back-then

Innes, Robert Alexander. “Don’t Forget John A. Macdonald – But Don’t Honour Him.” The Tyee, The Tyee, 15 Aug. 2018, thetyee.ca/Analysis/2018/08/15/John-A-Macdonald-Reflection/

Macdougall, Brenda. “Naming and Renaming: Confronting Canada’s Past.” Shekon Neechie, 1 Aug. 2018, shekonneechie.ca/2018/08/01/naming-and-renaming-confronting-canadas-past/

Olsen, Adam. “Macdonald Statue Debate Distracting from Reconciliation.” Adam Olsen, MLA, 12 Nov. 2018, adamolsenmla.ca/macdonald-statue-debate-distracting-from-reconciliation/

Stanley, Timothy J. “John A. Macdonald and the Invention of White Supremacy in Canada.” Canadian Issues/Thèmes Canadiens, 2014, pp. 29–32.

In-Depth #6

Overview

The fact that this will be my last In-Depth blog post ever is bittersweet. I’ll miss the long and arduous projects that lead to amazing and pride-inspiring results. In these past four weeks, I’ve spent time watching videos mainly about making patterns and preparing to make my own patterns for In-Depth. I’ve met with Ms. Learmonth once over the past few weeks as she’s been very busy with the West Side Story play, but mainly I’ve been pioneering my own journey and beginning to experiment more with fabrics and creating my final garments for In-Depth. I learned more about sewing and garment construction terminology, as well as how to apply them to real projects. For example, “darting” is a technique used to add shape to a garment, usually around the bust and waist. It takes in the fabric so it’s more body-fitting, and overall just changes the drape of a garment to make it more structured and tight.

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How to Have a Beautiful Mind

Concepts

Ms. Learmonth and I have discussed concepts for my final garments and overall learning centre. De Bono stated that “one of the main values of identifying a concept is that [it] allows us to breed other ideas from other concepts” and I experienced this when brainstorming with Ms. Learmonth. I plan to have a more minimalist approach to my In-Depth centre this year, and Ms. Learmonth suggested that for areas I lack I can make up for by adding more creative or engaging elements that help me interact with the people viewing one-on-one. This brought to mind other ways I could show my learning and demonstrate the same knowledge through different mediums. The concept of balance in my centre between visual and engaging elements led me to come up with new ideas for my final product.

 

Alternatives

Ms. Learmonth has been very helpful when offering me alternatives because as a very busy teacher she knows a lot about flexibility and how to work around problems. For example, when I needed to come in to sew a top I had been working on but couldn’t find the fabric I needed, she generously allowed me to use some of the fabric for Costume Design as an alternative to buying my own fabric. In addition, she’s helped me come up with realistic goals for my project. I was quite ambitious in the beginning, but she helped me adjust my perspective and come up with more realistic decisions like making garments that use less fabric and require less sewing, as well as focusing mainly on tops.

I think that Ms. Learmonth was able to offer me such good alternatives is because her specialty is teaching, and such she’d more experienced with mentoring students and passing on her knowledge. An alternate mentor may not have had the resources or the willingness to allow me to use their fabric and would have insisted that the only way for me to get fabric would be to buy it myself. An alternate mentor may not have cared so much that my goals were unrealistic, and would have focused solely on getting me as far as I could go, perhaps without a completed garment to show for it.

 

Learning Centre

My learning centre this year will be relatively simple. I plan on showing at least two garments, one of which being an example I’ll use of what not to do. I’ll explain where I went wrong and how I should have gone about sewing the garment. In addition, I’ll have several garment patterns available for people to look at and my previously sewn garments up for display. I’ll have my sketchbook there so people can see my initial ideas, and answer questions about how the pieces could hypothetically be made. Throughout the night, I’ll answer questions about my learning and journey. I’m going to focus mainly on the theory of my learning, as the actual results are a bit rough around the edges. I hope the audience will take away the amount of time I’ve put in learning about a topic I’m so passionate about, and hopefully inspire a few people to look into creating some of their own clothing or learning how to sew by engaging with the visitors at my station and allowing them to peruse the artifacts of my learning.

Maurice Richard: A Biography Check-In

When I attempt to think of a quintessential Canadian, my mind blanks. There are so many demographics in Canada that converging all of them into one would be an injustice to the unique cultures and experiences of the many groups and representations. Therefore, I decided to instead delve into the rich and colourful history of French-Canadians. French culture in Canada is prominent, even more so in Quebéc, and exploring that through the engaging story of Maurice Richard was an amazing decision. Without further ado, I present my passages from Charles Foran’s Maurice Richard.

 

Passage #1:

“He is, matter of fact, recognizably the same intense, nervous young adult who, though skilled at hockey, trained as a machinist during the Depression in the hope of landing a job in the Canadian Pacific Railway yards, just as his father had done, and who then tried three times to enlist in the army to fight Hitler in Europe.” (3)

The way Foran has introduced Richard is remarkable because although walking into this I know Maurice Richard is one of the most renowned French-Canadians to live in Canada, a new level of depth is brought to his persona that makes him seem not only more human but a hardworking part of his community. The determination he must have had to try “three times to enlist in the army to fight Hitler in Europe” and train so hard to get the job his father had had shines through Foran’s words. There’s no need to read between the lines because the author represents Richard’s character so clearly with just a few lines.

This passage reveals the hardworking nature of Canadians everywhere. As a nation, we’re no stranger to working hard in life to achieve our dreams and make better lives for ourselves and our families, and Richard was no difference. Canadians were acutely aware of international affairs, and willing to fight to make things right outside of their own country. This sense of internationalism is what Prime Minister Justin Trudeau spoke of when he declared Canada the first post-national state. We still hold the same passion when it comes to international affairs and incorporate worldly perspectives into our day-to-day lives.

 

Passage #2:

“Back in 1962, in the early days of the la Révolution tranquille [the Quiet Revolution], the novelist and melancholy separatist Hubert Aquin went public with his own bitterness about being a French-Canadian intellectual by declaring that in Quebec you were a nobody unless you were Maurice Richard.” (15)

This quote caught my eye because this book does a great job of juxtaposing the many facets of Richard as a person, a hockey star, and a nationalistic hero. It expresses that though Maurice was loved by many in the height of his career, there became a time when his old-time values weren’t the norm anymore. To put it frankly, he fell out of style. He became the face of French-Canadians for many reasons, but people came to resent him for the very things they’d once praised him for. They believed that people saw Quebec and only saw Richard. What if they were justified in their apprehension? In Venezuela, the current president Nicolas Maduro is being put under fire because people no longer support his perspectives and want to push him out of office. Like Richard, he had once been exalted and stood for what the people wanted in a leader and hero. Unlike Richard, his descent from grace is much more violent.

As Canadians, we’ve always struggled and will continue to struggle with our identity. When people look at Canada, what do they see? Do they see the attractive Trudeau, considered as more a meme and pretty face than a legitimate leader by the youth of the country? Or do they simply see a bland, polite nation of moose-riding, pelt-wearing people? French-Canadians during that time were lost and desperately trying to find their voice in the nation, and today that search has escalated to the entire country. Each one of us still asks ourselves what it truly means to be a part of the nation.

 

Passage #3:

“Told they were a ‘small people’, a helpless minority cast adrift by history in a vast sea of North American difference, they denied what their own eyes and ears reported.” (21)

This passage really opened my eyes. There was oppression in the world of not only indigenous peoples of the land at the time, thrown aside and branded as savages by colonizers, but of these true foreigners by their own kin. Reading this book has brought to light the overwhelming power of Britain and the quintessential European mindset. These French-Canadians, who took pride in their language and heritage, were made to seem less than they were to keep a bottle on their power as a nation of people. This brings to mind the referendum in Quebec to leave the country of Canada and the sheer closeness of the vote. French-Canadians can be truly powerful when they band together, and the referendum is a demonstration of that nationalistic pride.

In Richard’s time, religious beliefs were a powerful tool for those in authority. Quiet, unquestioning servitude was rewarded, and thus, an entire nation of people lay dormant under the leadership of Church dictates and autocrats. At that period in time, to rebel was so out of the norm that even the French-Canadian revolution was labelled a quiet one. Now, as perspectives and religious beliefs become more diverse, people have found their voices. However, as a country, we’re still perceived as polite push-overs compared to our much rowdier neighbours to the South.

 

Passage #4:

“Richard is upright, meeting the goaltender’s gaze despite his evident discomfort. Henry returns the eye contact while literally bowing before him, his expression one of humility and respect.” (55)

When I first saw the image being described in the passage, I felt something akin to awe and a sense of justice finally being served. The passage describes a moment when Richard, a French-Canadian player typically spat on by his English-Canadian opponents, is literally being bowed to after showing the full extent of his talent and determination. It doesn’t matter that this is in a hockey rink or that they may just be players of a game, because the image symbolizes so much more, only affirming the fact that it’s become such an iconic memoir of Richard’s legacy.

French-Canadians in that time period were not looked well upon anywhere. They were seen as “less than” by not the majority, but the people in power. Thus, that mentality spread over the people. The moment in time captured by the photograph marks one where an English-Canadian acknowledges the strength of his peer without the prejudice and discrimination so often targeted towards the Quebecois. Today, French-Canadians have a strong sense of pride and identity, but the people we still have to continue mending relations with are First Nations. The injustices done towards their people have yet to be fully remedied.

Passage #5:

“Had a friend or, heaven forbid, a psychologist proposed to him that he was actually struggling with the loss of purpose, of the only identity he had known, he would have dismissed the idea as nonsense.” (133)

Richard’s story is headstrong and charming, but often very lonely. The falling action in the story arc of his life as a French-Canadian hero sees Richard fade quietly away from the public eye and the world of hockey, struggling with a sense of identity and the age-old question of “what now”? Going from becoming Maurice “the Rocket” Richard to simply Saint Richard, the idealized figurehead of French-Canadian protest, was a struggle for the hockey player. John A. Macdonald would face a similar problem if he were still alive to this day. As norms and values changed around him, he’d struggle with new perspectives of his character, and may also search for a concrete self-identity as Richard did in the years following the end of his hockey career.

Canadians back then were a lot more static than they are today. The Liberal Party of that time’s slogan was C’est le temps que ça change? [Is it time that we change?] and was not widely celebrated do to its more progressive viewpoints. Today, we do still struggle with change but we’re putting more effort into evolving as a country. Canada’s joining of the coalition with Japan and other smaller world powers is a step in the right direction.

In-Depth #5

The First Garment

Over the past month, I’ve had a lot of time to do research and learn a bit more about my topic. I’m starting to figure out the final garments I want to make for In-Depth. In addition to the bandeau top my mentor and I are discussing below, I’m going to be making two t-shirts and another top. If I can, I want to attempt making a bottom. Ms. Learmonth has told me that they can be quite difficult for beginners, but I’d love to try. I haven’t had a ton of time to meet with Ms. Learmonth not only because of my own busy schedule but due to musical theatre’s many performances. She’s had to focus more on the stage tech for the plays and hasn’t been as readily available as before Spring Break. Nevertheless, I met with her afterschool during costume design this past week to discuss my first garment.

 

The beginning of the bandeau top:

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Ms. Learmonth: So what are you planning to do? What exactly do you want to achieve by the end of this project?

Me: I’d like to create a few garments. At least a few tops and maybe a bottom? I’m not completely sure at this stage.

Ms. Learmonth: Typically, beginners start with skirts. They’re the most simple and don’t take very much expertise or knowledge to begin.

White Hat: If you look at beginner sewing lessons, they typically consist of skirts and pillows. The pattern for a general skirt is relatively simple, just a half circle with space cut out for the waist. The lack of components to the pattern makes it an ideal starting point for people who want to learn to sew

Me: I don’t really have the fabric for a skirt. Could I maybe make a bandeau instead?

Ms. Learmonth: Like a strapless top? Sure. We have elastic bands in the costume design room.

Me: I think I know how to add an elastic band. I’ve seen it enough times in my own clothes that I think I could replicate it, but I’ll check some online videos to make sure.

Ms. Learmonth: That’s great! See if you can find leftover fabric in the bins to use. Is there anything in particular you want to do for the bandeau? Add ruffles, or make it textured?

Green Hat: Ms. Learmonth is asking me about possibilities for variation in my garment by suggesting creative details I could add to make the bandeau top unique.

Me: I don’t think I’m going to do anything like that for my first one, no. I’m not sure I want to try anything like that until I get the basics down. What exactly do you mean by textured?

Black Hat: Here, I think that any embellishments to the garment might distract me from understanding the basics and focusing on the quality of the stitches. I don’t like the idea of adding ruffles or texture, so I’m expressing it in a productive way to my mentor. By assessing my abilities I know whether or not I can handle the suggestions.

White Hat: I’m missing information to understand my mentor’s question, so I’m probing further to fully understand.

Ms. Learmonth: I have to run out, but Zora can explain. She’s actually just about to add an elastic band to the skirt she’s doing, so you can watch her. Feel free to ask anyone for help!

Me: Thanks, Ms. Learmonth. Bye!

 

Postnationalism in Canada

Is Canada a nation, simply a country, or a “post-national” state?

Source: click image!
Source: click the image!

Canada is well on its way to becoming, as 23rd Prime Minister Justin Trudeau states, the world’s first post-national state. Postnationalism is essentially the transcension of a country in terms of nationalistic ideals in favour of more global outlooks on economics, politics, social and cultural issues, and other important factors of a country’s identity. The quintessential Candian identity has been hotly debated. The Canadian Encyclopedia argues that there may be too much social division for there to ever be a single one (Blattberg, 2016). Rather, we’re made up of multi-faceted cultures and identities, and our current “poly-ethnic” society may make it impossible for Canada to ever become as nationalistic as our neighbours to the south, or even other countries in the world (Blattberg, 2016). This absence of knowledge about our identity, however, is what makes us such a promising candidate for post-nationalism. We’re searching in the wrong place. Looking at Canada internally may not be the right way to find our core identity. Our long-awaited existential answer may lie in our ties to international culture and globalization.

Writer Ralston Saul says that we have “space for multiple identities and multiple loyalties”, which strengthens the notion that Canada’s identity is made of international influences (Foran, 2017).  On the other hand, Candice Malcolm from the Toronto Sun believes that Trudeau’s statement in 2015 fuels “race-based ethnic politics” because those are “the politics and policies… Prime Minister Justin Trudeau [promotes]” (Malcolm, 2019). While both opinions paint Canada and our leadership in different lights, the core of their points is very similar. Canada has become internationalistic. Some may argue that this is solely to “override the rules, customs, and sovereignty of individual nations” and to maximize the flow of “unrestricted global migrants and money”, but I believe that’s the extreme (Todd, 2016). Canada is in no way there yet, which is why it’s nearly a post-national state. Rather than experiencing overwhelming patriotism for our country, Canadians look at the bigger picture. International trade, a multinational society, global politics and economics are all aspects of Canada we’re still attempting to develop. Until we truly change our mindsets from Canadian to global citizens, I don’t think Canada can truly be a post-national state. Working internationally in the best interests of the human race rather than focusing on the borders and cultures that divide us is the next step in making Prime Minister Trudeau’s statement a reality. Canada will be a post-national state. It’s only a matter of time.

 

 

Sources:

Blattberg, Charles. “Canadian Identity.” The Canadian Encyclopedia, 29 Feb. 2016, www.thecanadianencyclopedia.ca/en/article/canadian-identity.

Foran, Charles. “The Canada Experiment: Is This the World’s First ‘Postnational’ Country? | Charles Foran.” The Guardian, Guardian News and Media, 4 Jan. 2017, www.theguardian.com/world/2017/jan/04/the-canada-experiment-is-this-the-worlds-first-postnational-country.

Malcolm, Candice. “MALCOLM: Raced-Based Politics Natural Outcome of Trudeau’s ‘Postnational State’.” Toronto Sun, 16 Jan. 2019, torontosun.com/opinion/columnists/malcolm-raced-based-politics-natural-outcome-of-trudeaus-postnational-state.

Todd, Douglas. “Douglas Todd: The Dangers of a ‘Postnational’ Canada.” Www.vancouversun.com, 3 Nov. 2016, www.vancouversun.com/opinion/columnists/douglas todd dangers postnational canada/11779069/story.html.

In-Depth #4

The past two weeks I’ve continued drawing and started to research fabrics and patterns. Adding more texture and detail to my drawings has been very beneficial in helping those looking at the drawings understand things like what fabric I’m using and how I want the garments to drape. I plan on starting to practice planning, drawing, and cutting patterns next week and purchase some fabric I can use to start the first pieces I want to sew. This week I implemented the guidelines given to listen and ask questions effectively.

Listening

#5 Discuss any new points of view you developed while in conversation with your mentor.

Ms. Learmonth spoke briefly about popular local fashion and mentioned First Nations designer Chloe Angus who creates scarves with designs from her own culture. The media around First Nations designs fuels her sales on the product. This conversation made me realize the impact of culture and trends on the designs fashion designers create. Local and international designers capitalize on trends to create products that will sell.

#9 How do your mentor’s values differ from yours?

Ms. Learmonth told me that she has a background in fashion because she was really interested in it when she was younger. I mentioned this before in a previous blog post, but her taste and inspiration in fashion really differs from mine. I’m more interested in modern streetwear whereas she’s comfortable with more traditional fashion. Ms. Learmonth told me “the clothing you’re interested in may be really difficult to find patterns for, so it’s important that you know how to make your own”. This lead me to learn more about patterns and sizing in my free time this past week.

 

Asking Questions

#1 Ask questions. Record them. Why did you ask these questions?

Q: How does sewing change depending on the fabrics you use?

A: Different fabrics require different needles, and sometimes even different threads and machines. Leather, for example, needs a totally different needle than typical cotton.

Fabric is really important when creating garments. When buying fabric for my own pieces, I wanted to know what things I needed to consider so I could make the best choice possible. I didn’t want to buy fabric and go home only to realize I needed an entirely different set of tools to work with it.

 

Q: How can you better represent fabrics when drawing in fashion?

A: The drape of fabrics is super important because it tells your customer what exactly their buying and how it might look on their figure. Focus on pulling things from your memory and applying it to your drawings. Think: “where would the fabric go? Where would it crease? Where would it hang?”.

If I ever want to get into the fashion industry, I need to know how to draw fashion. These are the basics I need to build on my skills. Drawing is the first stage of fashion production, and being able to represent your vision to others is essential.

Romeo and Juliet Act II: Critical Response

Based on our readings so far, do you agree or disagree that Romeo and Juliet’s relationship is one of “’infatuated children’ engaging in ‘puppy love’”? Why or why not? Provide at least two pieces of textual evidence.

Based on our readings, I believe that Romeo and Juliet, while not engaging in puppy love, are infatuated rather than truly being in love. Montague reveals to Paris, one of Juliet’s suitors, that she “is yet a stranger in the world [and] hath not seen the change of fourteen years” while Romeo is around seventeen (1.2.8,9). I think that true love at these ages, while highly unlikely, may be possible. It’s the circumstances in which this “love” of Romeo and his fair Juliet came to be that makes me question the reality of their feelings. Prior to Juliet, Romeo professes his love for Rosaline, a Capulet who swears to never marry. Following the Capulet ball where Romeo first lays eyes on Juliet, his friend Mercutio calls for him, saying “I conjure thee by Rosaline’s bright eyes, by her high forehead and her scarlet lip… that in thy likeness thou appear to us!” (2.1.17-21). Still believing the claims of love and commitment Romeo made to Rosaline, even his closest friends Mercutio and Benvolio think that she is the only girl in Romeo’s life. His ability to wholely forget her and suddenly transfer the totality of his feelings to Juliet makes the new relationship seem superficial and baseless. When he stumbles upon Juliet’s balcony where, lo and behold, the thirteen-year-old girl is professing her feelings for Romeo, he breaks into a soliloquy about Juliet’s beauty. His lust for Juliet is evident when he says “her vestal livery is but sick and green, and none but fools do wear it; cast it off” because he essentially wants to take her virginity even though they met only hours prior (2.2.8,9). The sole things he knows about her are that she’s beautiful and a Capulet, and I don’t believe real love can be borne out of such superficial knowledge.

 

To what extent is Kulich’s argument that Romeo and Juliet should not be viewed as children effective, or even historically accurate? Do some brief online research to back up your claim, providing links/citation to your research at the end of your response.

Kulich argues that Romeo and Juliet were physically and mentally mature enough to engage in what they believed was love. It’s true that in the 15th century when Romeo and Juliet is speculated to take place, marriage typically occurred between girls in their teens and men in their early twenties. The marriages were typically arranged and women never had a choice in the matter, making Juliet a rare case. Ethos, logos, and pathos are often utilized to make effective arguments. By providing a personal story, Kulich is giving credibility, explaining how their life experiences connect to the point they’re trying to make. Logos and pathos aren’t as prevalent in the argument, and that opens it up to more speculation. Why tell of your own experience in the 1940s when you could just as easily give information directly related to the time period of the play? By not giving more concrete evidence about marriage and relationships in the 15th century or appealing more to the reader’s emotions, Kulich’s argument fell a little flat. The information provided is historically accurate and relevant, but in order to truly believe the argument, you have to fill in the blanks on your own.

 

Works Cited:

https://www.mesacc.edu/~paoih30491/ArgumentsBestFriends.html

https://www.medievaltimes.com/teachers-students/materials/medieval-era/marriage.html

https://www.historyextra.com/period/medieval/love-and-marriage-in-medieval-england/