1799: Goodbye note

June 14th, 1799

It’s been just less than five years since the end of the reign of terror and life couldn’t have changed more. Amongst the thousands of executions, I managed to be spared. Watching almost all of my friends leave this world was hard, but there was nothing us nobles could do to stop it. After all the deaths, I am able to admit to myself that I was of lesser importance amongst the nobles, a big reason as to how I survived. I now realize how ignorant I had been. Surrounding myself with the Queen and her companions changed my perspective of life. I remember when I was young, I would converse with anyone and everyone. I didn’t pick and choose my friends based off of their appearances.

After watching the King and Queen perish, as well as the monarchy, I understand how little of an impact I made on the revolution. I could have joined organizations, clubs, read flyers, done anything to help stop the executions. Instead, I hid in the shadows and let others do the work and fight for my freedom.

However, the past is the past and what has been done cannot be changed. I can only hope that if I were to do it again, I would have acted differently. Since the end of the reign of terror, I have moved to America with my husband who has left the political world to become a doctor. Here in America, I still lead a rather lavish life, if I do say so myself. While I no longer parade with Marie Antoinette in her hamlet, I have found new friends to fill her spot.

This will be my last entry as I intend to rid my life of this journal as I cannot truly move on if this constant reminder is always with me. Carrying it with me only reminds myself of the past. To whoever finds this, I hope my entries provide you with some insight and guidance with your life.

Ezra Wellington

1791: When will I say my goodbyes?

June 1791,

The news has been flying around town left and right. I’ve heard just about enough of it. Every turn I make, I hear someone spreading the news of the attempt of escape by King Louis XVI and my dear friend Marie Antoinette. Last night, the King and Queen, along with their children fled Paris for Montmédy. Sadly, they only got as far as to the town of Varennes after the King was recognized at their last stop. Marie had dressed as a governess while the King a valet. Even when escaping her own monarchy, Marie has to indulge in one of her favorite hobbies: dressing up.

Marie hadn’t told me about her plan to escape, which was quite a shame. I had seen her just five days prior where we had relaxed in her hamlet and feasted on bread. Though now that I think of it, I should have seen the signs. She had been complaining about her husband’s method of dealing with revolutionary demands. The riots and mobs caused by the commoners always left her husband in a state of shock. Lately, the King had been leaving many important decisions in the hands of Marie. While during the first years of their marriage she had wished for more political responsibility, Marie had stressed how relatively untrained she was for making these large scale decisions.

After the royal family’s capture, I’ve been hearing of the news non-stop. After the third estate and many others began to riot against the monarchy, the King fled in an attempt at gaining more freedom. My biggest wish would have to be that Marie had told me of her plans before she left. Now that she is being confined to the Tuileries Palace, I wonder if I am allowed to go visit. I could only imagine what would have happened had they been hurt during the escape. I would never even get to say my goodbyes. Now that my dear friend Marie Antoinette along with her family are being locked into a palace, I can only imagine what is going to be left of the monarchy.

“Through Me You Are All Brothers”

Through Me You Are All Brothers

This image is titled “Through Me You Are All Brothers” and shows the three estates being unified through religion. In the image, The Virgin holds a cross that emits rays of light towards the other figures. The other figures are supposed to represent the three estates: the clergy, nobles, and commoners. As you can see in the photo, an unidentified figure holds onto the priest and noble. The hooded figure is meant to represent the traditional thinking of the old regime.

As there is not much information on this image, I am not entirely sure who made it. Unfortunately the words at the bottom of the photo are slightly blurry so I cannot read them. However, I do think it is significant towards the French Revolution as the large difference between nobles and commoners was one of the many causes of the revolution. It shows that the three estates could have been unified, but traditional ideas and beliefs held them back. In my first Dol for the French revolution, I wrote about how, as a noble, I lived a very lavish life. However, at the very end, I wonder if there is anything I could do to help the starvation that had begun pre French Revolution.

 

1784: Parading in the Queen’s Hamlet

September 1784

Today I met up with Her Most Christian Majesty The Queen of France and Navarre, Marie Antoinette. It’s been just short of fifteen years since she and the king have been married, yet she is still not given many responsibilities. Fortunately, that means she has a great deal of free time on her hands for us to parade around in her hamlet. We spend many days a week dressing up and trying on jewelry. Both of our husbands are always at work which leaves us with no responsibilities. However, we manage to always fill up our schedules with party planning and gown shopping.

It must be stressful living in the Palace of Versailles, having eyes on you during all moments of the day. That is why Marie had her hamlet built. An escape from all the great buildings and people, at her hamlet we wear comfortable commoner gowns. Today we dressed up as milkmaids and sat around in one of her many cottages as we watched the farmer water crops. I’ve always wanted a private getaway like Marie, and now that my husband is moving up in the ranks, I may be able to have one built. Of course, it will never be as lavishing as The Queens with her exceptionally built cottages surrounding a lake, but I can always dream.

Her farmer brings in the freshly harvested cauliflower and artichokes before preparing them with a side of bread for us. As the sun sets, I say goodbye to my dear friend before heading home. As I near my home, I see the start of a riot at a nearby bakery. Angry yelling is exchanged amongst the crowds as the baker emerges from the safety of his bakery. I can see him try and tame the crowds, but the people’s yelling about bread prices drowns out his attempts. I scan the crowds to see many frail, thin figures. Rising bread prices and failed harvests must be taking a toll on the 3rd estate. However, I continue on my way home. I mean, there was nothing I could do about it, right?

In-Depth 2016 Weeks 13, 14, 15, & 16- Almost there!

As we head right into the middle of AprilMayJune, I remember why these few months are so stressful. With homework, extracurricular activities, and the adventure trip coming up soon, my schedule is pretty much packed until the end of June. However, I still make sure to set aside time each week for my in-depth!

This year, I’m really disappointed that in-depth is ending as I found that I really enjoyed my project. In the midst of homework and school stress, I found that working on painting was a relaxing break. Like my grade nine in-depth, even though this was homework, working on art was so enjoyable and calming that I began to treat my in-depth project as a hobby. I think one of the most important aspects of learning something new is making sure that you enjoy it. When you genuinely enjoy something, learning and working at it doesn’t seem as much of a chore. I think that is why no matter how many mistakes I made during my in-depth 2016 progress, they all seemed like a fun challenge I was ready to face.

Another important aspect I think is important for many projects, is the takeaway. Getting something out of a project, whether it is a realization or a new appreciation, shows improvement and growth in not only that subject, but also you as a person. Definitely one of my main takeaways from this project is a new hobby. Now that I have come to genuinely enjoy painting, I hope that I can pursue this in the future, even when in-depth is over.

Now onto my update!

Over the past couple of weeks, I actually have been working on two paintings. I am almost done my third painting as I am mostly just adding a few more finishing touches. I am meeting with my mentor, Grace, tomorrow to finish it. This painting has been quite a challenge as I had originally began painting something else, before changing halfway. However, it taught me how easily paint can be fixed. Unlike pencil drawings, simply adding more layers of paint can cover a mistake. However, I have also learned from personal experience that adding too many layers of paint can also look quite bad. It also taught me to go with the flow more when choosing what to paint and what colors to experiment with as it can always be covered!

As for my fourth painting, I have recently just started at home. Grace and I decided that I would paint on a smaller canvas for my final painting as it would let me focus on more detail. Instead of a large canvas where the overall presentation is extremely important, using a small canvas will let me pay attention to color, strokes, and different techniques I am using. In terms of what I am painting, I decided to stray away from water as I included that in my last two paintings, but rather try something new. Grace thought it would be interesting for me to try and paint snow as at first glance it seems simple, but actually takes many different colors.

As for my learning centre, I have decided not to perform and just stick with a table. I obviously want to display my four paintings, but am still deciding how. I might ask around if anyone has an easel and also ask Grace if I can borrow a few of hers. I also think I’m going to display my paintings out of order as a quick and simple interactive component. Last year, I had people copy my drawings in three minutes or under and displayed them around my table. This year, I’m thinking about asking people to guess which paintings were my first and last paintings. This would not only be a simple interactive component of my learning centre, but would also provide me with feedback to see if I have improved in my painting skills or not.

Anyways, thank you for reading!

Almost done my third painting
Almost done my third painting

 

What does it all meme?

I never thought in my educational career would I ever have to make a meme for class. As someone who does not look at many memes, and definitely has never made one, I would just like to apologize in advance for anyone who has to see my memes. Nonetheless, exploring with various meme generators and revisiting my old friend comic sans was quite a fun journey.

socials memeFor my first meme, I chose to focus on Hamilton as well as tying it into a current and popular meme, grumpy cat. For some of the criteria my quad discussed when creating a meme, we decided that a successful meme included popularity, relatability, and overall humor. This meme includes the famous ‘Talk less. Smile more.’ quote from the Hamilton play and touches on relatability and popularity by including the grumpy cat picture at the bottom.

This meme also connects with big idea #4, “Collective identity is constructed and can change over time.” While I usually relate this big idea to countries changing their identity over time, in this situation I relate it to Hamilton. While I am definitely not as familiar with the play Hamilton as many other students in TALONS, after listening to more of the songs and reading a couple of articles, I was able to understand how this meme related to big idea #4. In the beginning of the play, Hamilton is just starting out his journey and is seen asking for advice from Burr in the second song. When I listen further into the play, I can see (or in this case hear) that he sounds a lot more confident in his ideas and that his overall identity has somewhat changed. I relate the quote “Talk less. Smile more.” to the general beginning of Hamilton’s journey as it is first heard in the second song and is brought back up numerous times.

I also slightly relate this meme to big idea #3 “Disparities in power alter the balance of relationships between individuals and between societies.” as at first, Hamilton is asking Burr for advice on how he graduated so early. Here, I believe that Burr is in more power, but later into the play as Hamilton becomes Washington’s right hand man and gains more power, Burr is seen to become jealous, which overall affects their relationship.

Screenshot (112)The next meme I created was following the style of the comic sans Valentine’s Day cards. I was really excited to make this meme as the cards look super simple and easy. Also, as Mr. Jackson stated, what makes these memes so humorous and popular is that they’re so poorly done that they end up being funny. I was hoping to take the simplicity level to my advantage as I have no experience in making memes. However, unlike my last creation where I found a meme generator to use, there was no template I could take to create the comic sans Valentine’s Day card. What I ended up doing was opening a word document and pasting a picture of a pink background. I then wrote my letter using the famous comic sans font, and topped it off by adding a Donald trump picture on top of it.

This meme relates big idea #2 and a current event together. The name Donald Trump has been heard everywhere over the past few months, whether it’s from a video or a conversation. I decided to make a meme of Donald Trump as his mark in American politics is very popular and current as of right now. The big idea I relate to this meme is big idea #2, “The physical environment influences the nature of political, social, and economic change.” because if Trump does somehow manages to build the wall between America and Mexico, as well as America and Canada, many aspects of our daily life would change. For one, as someone who doesn’t fully understand economics, I can still see that cutting connections from your neighbouring countries will definitely affect your economy. Politically and socially, Canada and America would definitely not have as strong of a bond that we have now if the wall is built.

Overall, I’m actually really glad I got to experiment with making memes and discovering what makes them successful. I have also had lots of fun listening to the Hamilton sound track (my favorite is still ‘You’ll Be Back’, I’m not sure why) and having an excuse to put it on full blast in my living room. However, if there is one thing I realize now, it’s that I am much better off looking at memes than I am at making them.

Thanks for reading!

 

In-Depth 2016 Weeks 9, 10, 11, & 12- Changing paintings halfway!

Since my last post, I have started my third painting. I worked on it for a week or so before I headed off to Mexico on spring break. My mentor also went on vacation for spring break so we were not able to meet for around two weeks. However, we did meet up this week to try and make up for the missed meetings. For my third painting, I decided to paint a photograph I found in a book of a beach. While I worked on it for the first week or so, when I came back from vacation, I ended up not liking it very much. While at first I didn’t want to have to restart, I also didn’t want to paint something that I didn’t fully like. After a while, I ended up voicing my opinions to Grace, my mentor. While I didn’t want to disappoint her, I’m glad I shared my opinion as Grace had a lot of good suggestions. She handed me a couple other books that I could look through to find inspiration to add to my painting or to find a completely different photograph to paint altogether. Fortunately, I ended up finding a photo that had a very similar setting to the one before.

Once I had found a new photo, I went to select a new canvas. I’m very accustomed to pencil drawing where grabbing a new sheet of paper is the answer if you want to change the outcome. While erasers work wonders, if you want to change almost the entire drawing, even they will leave behind faint pencil marks. However, Grace reminded me of one of the many advantages of paint. Even if you want to change the entire painting, acrylic paint can be easily covered with just more layers. I found the technique really interesting as when I started painting my second photo, I already had a layer of paint under. This eliminated a lot of the white dots I usually run into when my paint isn’t thick enough.

Here is a look at my painting and the changes I added:

Photo 1
Photo 1
Photo 2
Photo 2

Onto the questions:

  1. What kinds of learning opportunities does the mentor provide to expose you to new learning?

My mentor, Grace, provides me with a handful of different mediums of art that I can take inspiration from to incorporate into my painting. She provides me with a ton of different books that I can look through, whether they are books of paintings, sketches, or even photos. In terms or learning, Grace gives me a lot of freedom in terms of choosing what to paint, the canvas size, and other aspects. This leaves a lot of room for mistakes. As stated before, small painting mistakes are easy to cover with a little bit of paper towel and some more paint. With Grace giving me so much freedom, she lets me learn from my mistakes opposed to some teaching styles that are very constricted. I think letting me make my own mistakes definitely improve my painting as I can analyze what I did wrong and remember that for next time. It also ties into a lot of the TALONS learning I do as there is a lot of flexibility and learning on my own.

  1. What kinds of learning opportunities exist to reinforce new learning?

As I mentioned above, Grace letting me make my own mistakes opens up a lot of new opportunities for me to learn on my own. This is especially helpful when I paint at home by myself as I am learning how to clean up my own mistakes rather than always have someone else do it for me. The freedom of my own mistakes reinforces independent learning, as well as creativity. I really enjoy taking my mistakes and somehow incorporating them into my painting.

  1. What kinds of opportunities exist that might accelerate learning?

I could definitely take a painting course at school to even further my learning. While I tried to sign up for Drawing & Painting 11, I ended up not getting the course. There is an opportunity for me to take it next year to continue with my in-depth project. Another learning opportunity that I could use is the internet. There are some great tutorials and videos on painting all over Youtube. While hands on experience is still the primary way for one to learn about painting, watching tutorials is still a great way to introduce myself to new techniques.

  1. When you get together what do you talk about?

When Grace and I meet up for mentoring session, we start off by talking about what I am going to accomplish in that short meeting. Once I get the paint out and start actually painting, our conversations takes off to a bunch of different topics. Since I have known Grace for quite a while, conversation flows really easy. In a few of the session I’ve been to with Grace, there have been other kids there as well (including my sister) so sometimes we have giant group discussions. However, when it is just us, Grace and I cover a bunch of different topics each day. As she has kids around my age, she often talks about them as well as their plans for university. We also talk about how our week has been since we last met as well as any news.

  1. What is going particularly well in your mentoring relationship right now?

Something that is definitely going well in our mentoring relationship right now is communication. Over the past few months, I’ve been finding myself becoming more and more comfortable voicing my ideas and opinions to Grace. I think this aspect is definitely an important factor in any mentor-mentee relationship as open communication leads to a ton of new opportunities.

  1. What are you learning about one another?

Besides teaching me about painting and painting techniques, Grace and I also learn a lot of different things from each other. I’m definitely learning a lot more about her kids and her history before becoming an art teacher, both topics we generally didn’t discuss prior to this project. Overall, we are both just learning more about the other in terms of personality and experiences!

Thanks for reading!

Dol#2 SS 2016: Kesha & Dr. Luke

For my second document of learning, after switching topics multiple times, I finally decided on my original idea: The Dr. Luke and Kesha case. Not only am I familiar with the artist, but I also thought it would be a good idea to focus on a topic I didn’t have that much prior knowledge on. I want to learn more about the nature of sexual assault cases, as well as understand the many different perspectives that come with a situation like this one. Overall, I hope to explore my own opinions on this case as well as to come to a final conclusion about this topic.

In October of 2014, Kesha filed a lawsuit against Dr. Luke after claiming he had sexually, physically, as well as emotionally abused her. Having first met in 2005, Dr. Luke had heard her demos and convinced Kesha to drop out of school and move to LA where she signed a record deal stating that she must record a minimum of six albums for the company to release her. After filing many more law suits against each other, the final decision was made in February of this year. The Supreme Court denied her access to be released from her music contract until she produced four more albums, making a total of six.

Questions

After researching and following this topic for a couple weeks now, I ended up having a lot of questions. Some I had already answered for myself after some more research, but others cannot be answered as simply.

One important question I had was “Why can’t Sony just release Kesha from her contract?” When I first heard about this case, one major question I asked myself was why doesn’t Sony just let her go instead? After researching this, I found out that it isn’t as simple as I had thought. While Sony could be willing to release Kesha, Sony had partnered with Dr. Luke to form Kemosabe Records back in 2011 which is the label that Kesha is signed under. This means that even if Sony wants to let Kesha out of her contract, they cannot fully do so unless Dr. Luke is also willing to let her go.

The next question I had was “What is the ‘best’ way to handle rape accusations/cases?” This is a question that I can only ponder about as I understand there is no one answer. While I would love to believe that everyone is constantly telling the truth and that we can trust everyone’s word, I understand that the world is not like that. This is a question I hope to understand more into my document of learning post.

So what? Who cares?

Often, people forget that celebrities are still just regular people, so to see a celebrity come out and admit they have been sexually assaulted is quite rare. A reason why this topic is relevant right now is because of the potential impact it could have on women and men around the world if Kesha can end up getting released from her contract. Seeing such a high profile celebrity fight her way and succeed in getting justice could potentially inspire other victims around the world to come out and report their own cases. There are many different reasons as to why rape and sexual assault victims do not go through and report their own cases. Whether it is because of embarrassment or believing that they won’t get justice, Kesha’s case against Dr. Luke could positively impact sexual assault victims around the world. Even if Kesha does not end up winning, simply being brave enough to speak out about her case could help inspire many.

Informing & Evidence

Information about Kesha and Dr. Luke’s case has been floating on the internet everywhere. There are countless articles and websites that cover the topic, many of which that I checked and cross referenced with.

Article that sums up the case very well:

One interesting piece of writing I found on Forbe’s website was an article stating that “Sony is Reportedly Cutting Dr. Luke Loose.” From looking more into the topic, I found on other websites that Sony may have been pressured to make this decision after countless celebrities and media platforms spoke out in support of Kesha. However, from looking even more into the topic, I found that when asked, a Sony representative simply answered with “no comment.” Dr. Luke’s attorney has stepped forward and claimed these accusations are false, however, Sony still has not denied it. You can find the article here.

Other websites to visit:

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/tvshowbiz/article-3483576/Lady-Gaga-comes-Kesha-s-defence-fight-Sony-Dr-Luke.html

Kesha vs. Dr. Luke: 7 Developments Since Singer’s Legal Setback

Sony to Drop Dr. Luke Amid Public Pressure Over Kesha, Internal Headaches (Exclusive)

One piece of evidence that could show Kesha is telling the truth is a point that Mira made in class. For the past couple of years, Kesha has been in court battling this case. In January of 2014, Kesha entered rehab and first filed her lawsuit against Dr. Luke in October of the same year. If this whole case really is just a publicity stunt, Kesha did not gain much from this experience. Not only has she not been making music since her lawsuit, but she was also relatively out of the media up until her court date. The amount of effort and time this case has taken would be a great imbalance in work and the fame she would receive. That is one of the main reasons that I believe that Kesha is telling the truth.

Causes

There are many different contributing factors as to why Dr. Luke allegedly sexually assaulted Kesha. However, I understand that I will most likely not be able to uncover all of them. Especially since Dr. Luke has denied all accusations, I will most likely not be able to find any information as to why he allegedly sexually assaulted Kesha.

However for Kesha, a cause of her finally stepping up about her history with Dr. Luke could be from being in rehab. As stated before, Kesha entered Timberline Knolls, a rehab facility, in January 2014 for an eating disorder. There was reports that stated that while Kesha was there, she told doctors about Dr. Luke drugging and physically/sexually abusing her. While the public will probably never fully find out, a possibility could have been that one of her doctors at the rehab encouraged her to take action in her and Dr. Luke’s complicated relationship.

POV

There are many POV to this case; Mainly Kesha’s and Dr. Luke’s. As stated before, Kesha has accused Dr. Luke of sexually, physically, and emotionally abusing her, as well as even drugging her with date rape drugs. The public is mainly in support of Kesha, including various celebrities such as Adele, Lady Gaga, Taylor Swift, Ariana Grande, and countless others. With tags such as #FreeKesha roaming around the internet, it is also quite easy to see that the media is also on Kesha’s side. However, is the public’s views objective? More often than not, people like to side with the victim as we feel sympathetic and sorry for them. While my opinion is also probably objective, I do want to believe that Kesha is telling the truth based on evidence rather than my personal feelings.

The next POV to look at is Dr. Luke’s. If Kesha is telling the truth, it is pretty obvious that anyone on the opposite side would want to deny any allegations. But what if Kesha happens to be lying? While I personally don’t think this the more I look into the case, there is always a possibility. We must try to sympathise with all sides of this story. Imagine if Dr. Luke did happen to be innocent, but now his career and reputation have been tarnished as people are bashing him on social media, at award shows, and on many websites. Even celebrities have not been shy about supporting Kesha. If in the rare case that Kesha is lying, then the objective views of the public have potentially ruined an innocent man’s career. This is where the phrase “innocent until proven guilty” comes in. While most people do believe Kesha is telling the truth, without any solid evidence, it is hard to convict Dr. Luke of this crime in the rare case it is all a publicity stunt.

What do we do? Conclusion

While I had hoped to come to a decisive conclusion at the end of this blog post, I am realizing that there really is no right answer to my original question of “What is the ‘best’ way to deal with rape/sexual assault cases?” In the end, I believe that each rape case should be treated differently based on the provided evidence and people involved. However, as someone who doesn’t fully understand the court system, that conclusion may be totally wrong, but none the less, I do believe that rape cases should be treated differently than other cases as the consequences (emotional, physical, mental) differ from case to case.

In the past, rape in marriage was not seen as a large deal as in many cultures, the concept of consent even in marriage was not widely recognized. From reading up on marital rape, I can see that consequences of rape have been greatly improved as time passes. While my answer to the question “What is the proper way to deal with rape/sexual assault cases?” is still there is no right way, I am glad to know that with time, these cases have been started to taken more seriously.

Thank you for reading my second document of learning! I am looking forward to exploring and following this topic even more!

In-depth Weeks 7 & 8- Halfway through 4 paintings goal!

Over the past two weeks, I have begun to sink into the rhythm of in-depth and have begun to really enjoy the relaxing process of painting. As usual, I have met with my mentor, Grace, twice since the last post. Both these meetings were efficient in terms of project progress, as well as mentorship process. Diving straight into how my painting has improved, I can definitely see how far I’ve come since the beginning of this project. As I recently finished my second painting, I now have physical evidence of my growth over the past eight weeks. Although my second painting was relatively easy as there is not much fine details and textures for me to worry about, it was still a great jump from my first painting.

From google images
From google images

I spent the last two weeks refining my painting and adding in smaller details such as logs floating on the water and clouds floating in the sky. I also polished up a lot of the water reflections as I realised I had painted them too structured and perfect, something I have been seeing myself do quite often. I have begun noticing myself painting everything very structured and perfect. Grace has encouraged me to explore and step out of my comfort zone by painting a bit more care free. Especially with something like landscape, not everything is going to be in a perfect pattern. Trees aren’t going to be evenly spaced out and clouds won’t float in a pattern. Grace has been teaching me to step away from my want to make everything perfect and to just enjoy the process of the painting instead. This also goes for brush strokes that are left on the canvas. At the time they are made, I always want to paint over them and get rid of it, but Grace has encouraged me to try and leave them for at least one painting as I will never know if I actually like them until I see the final product. From finishing my second painting, I can definitely see why she asked me to leave them on the canvas! They not only make the painting feel more natural, but is also blends in with the randomness of landscape and nature. They also add a bit of texture here and there.

On to the questions of this blog post:

What has been my most difficult mentoring challenge so far? Why?

Probably the most difficult mentoring challenge Grace and I have had so far is our difference in opinions, which I mentioned above. While the difference in opinions make for really interesting conversation topics and debates, they sometime slow down my progress. They usually occur when experimenting with new painting strategies and deciding whether or not I like them. They also occur in other aspects of painting like mixing colors. In the end though, when the opinions are centered on painting, Grace is usually right. This does not come as a surprise for me as she has much more experience than I do. I think that our difference in opinions actually help me learn and understand concepts better as the conversations that follow are always very insightful. Overall, I believe this is a challenge that comes with any mentorship.

What is working well? Why?

Our communication has definitely been one of the strongest aspects of our mentorship, especially the fact that we can communicate in two languages (English and Mandarin). Also the fact that Grace was my mentor last year, we know a lot of each other’s favorite conversation topics. This makes it extremely easy to start conversations and to keep them going smoothly, without seeming forced and uncomfortable. Grace is also very good at telling me when she doesn’t understand something I am saying, and vice versa. From the relationship we had built prior, we are both relatively comfortable communicating with each other and effective in getting points across.

What could be working better? How can you make sure this happens?

Something small in our mentorship that could be working better is the planning of what each painting will be. As stated in my last blog post, I seem to spend a lot of valuable mentorship time deciding on what to paint. While the subject of all the paintings are extremely important, I feel as though I could do a portion of it at home. Overall, I think Grace and I could briefly discuss over the phone about what I am going to be painting, or even just some subjects I could possibly paint. I also am going to make sure I become more efficient at planning by researching at home some possibilities and looking through nature/landscape books for inspiration. These strategies will help me make the most of my time with my mentor.

Thanks for reading! Here is a look at my finished second painting:

Week 8: Completed second painting!
Week 8: Completed second painting!

 

In-Depth 2016 Weeks 5 & 6- Second Painting Coming Along

The past couple of weeks have been quite hectic with adventure trip, science, electives, and out of school activities. However, I continue to work with my mentor weekly in hopes of continuing my process in the in-depth project. After I finished my first painting in my last post, I have since then started my second painting. As we are already on the sixth week of in-depth, I am happy to say that I am still on schedule. In fact, one week ahead of schedule. With this being said, that is why my mentor and I decided I would paint on a larger canvas than I did for my last painting. At first I was quite hesitant as I don’t have lots of background with painting, but my mentor said that my history with drawing and my willingness to try something new would assure that I could pull off a larger painting. As my first painting was a close-up of dandelions, my mentor suggested I try something different the second time around. We decided that landscape would be a good option as it would help me improve my blending technique and I wouldn’t have to focus on any extremely fine details.

As for my relationship with my mentor, Grace, we have decided to try and meet once a week, usually on Tuesdays. The meetings are usually two hours long as the length gives us a chance to talk, but also paint. As my in-depth study is a hands-on project, communicating over phone or email is quite ineffective. This is why we choose to meet in person at her house. Her house is the ideal meeting spot as she has all the paint colours I would ever need and a large selection of brush sizes. No matter how many times I enter her house, I am always motivated to paint and draw even more after seeing all her different paintings and all her other student’s paintings.

Regarding the questions for this post, they mainly reflect upon the mentor student relationship. This is great for me as I knew Grace prior to this year and these questions help me to further improve our relationship.

  1. What went particularly well during your mentoring sessions?

Something that has been working well is the balance that my mentor and I share. While it still is Grace that is teaching me, she asks me questions that make me feel like I am contributing to our conversation. Overtime, she doesn’t have to ask me as many questions for me to open up as I do it sort of naturally now.

  1. What learning challenges emerged? What did you do to hold yourself accountable for the learning?

One challenge that emerged was during one of our first meetings when I was deciding what to paint. I ended up spending quite a while looking through various books before deciding on a dandelion. This ended up with me spending my time looking while I could have begun the painting process. To fix this and hold myself accountable for this, when it came time to start my second painting, I had already talked to her briefly over the phone of what would be a good idea to paint so when I came to the meeting, I spent a considerably less amount of time looking.

  1. What three strategies could improve the quality of your mentoring interactions?

Asking more questions: I feel that asking even more questions during our mentoring session can help me to discover new information not only about painting, but also my mentor. It could also lead to even more interesting conversations afterwards.

Spontaneous: This strategy also involves questions as I would like to be more spontaneous with my question asking. Often, I mull over the question in my head before deciding to ask or not, but I realize that contemplating my questions does not really benefit anyone. I think if I ask more in the moment questions, it can help my learning process, especially with any confusion.

Common interests: Sometimes, my mentor and I will talk about other topics than just painting. I hope to find other interests we have in common as the ones I know of so far are great conversation topics and also give me more insight into my mentor as not only a teacher, but a friend. One common ground we have is our same cultural background. The generation separation however, makes for a great compare and contrast of my lifestyle compared to hers as a teen.

Anyways, thank you to everyone for reading. Hopefully by the next post I will be done my second painting.

Painting #2 in week 6
Painting #2 in week 6
Painting #2 in week 5
Painting #2 in week 5