Memo to Myself- 1793

November 1793.

I’m writing this letter with the hope that it will clear my conscious or at least help me cope with what is happening. It has been two short months since the convention came to the decision that terror was the order of the day and it has already become difficult to justify the killing of innocent citizens. The idea that anyone can be determined an enemy and killed on the spot is ludicrous. However despite how crazy this all is and how much I despise it I cannot take action or speak my mind for that maniac Robespierre would kill me on the spot. I cannot live with a clear conscious knowing that this bloodshed is taking place. For now I’ll continue my duty of running the revolutionary army.

“Terror Is the Order of the Day”

This document, written on September 5th 1793, holds the recorded minutes of the last meeting of the convention before the Reign of Terror officially began. The Parisian citizens were fed up with the state of the revolution and wanted change, so Robespierre and the committee gave it to them. It was during this meeting that the convention, led by Robespierre, decided that anyone in France could be determined a threat or an enemy to the country and be punished to the full extent of the law. Lazare Carnot was put in charge of rearranging the Revolutionary Army, and recruited nearly 300,000 citizens to become soldiers. He also changed the way that the revolutionary army fought which gave a large advantage over enemies.

“Every day we learn of new betrayals and new crimes. Every day we become upset at the discovery and the reappearance of new conspiracies. Every day new disturbances stir up the Republic, ready to drag it into their stormy whirlwinds, hurling it into the bottomless abyss of the centuries to come. But where is that powerful being whose terrible cry will reawaken sleeping justiceÑor rather justice that has been paralyzed, dazed by the clamor of factionsÑand force it at last to strike off criminal heads? Where is that powerful being who will crush all these reptiles who corrupt everything they touch and whose venomous stings stir up our citizens, transforming political gatherings into gladiatorial arenas where each passion, each interest, finds apologists and armies?” -Chaumette

Read “Terror Is the Order of the Day” Here.


Memes on Memes on Memes

Now when Mr. J told us that we were going to be creating memes for socials class I was a bit confused. At first I thought I heard it wrong, but I soon came to realize that we were in fact making the same type of memes that you look at for a good laugh, or get in trouble for looking at in class. Despite never making a meme before and having a bit of a hard time brainstorming ideas, I actually ended up having a really good time making a few. Now they aren’t comedy gold or anything, but they aren’t terrible given the circumstances.

P.S. Big thanks to Kody Cao for helping me out last week (I had no idea what I was doing)

Hamilton Meme 1


So here’s the first one I made in class. At first it was just kind of a test meme, but I ended up liking it so I kept it around. As you may have realized it’s about Alexander Hamilton and how he was shot by Aaron Burr. I think the bad luck Brian meme really fit what I wanted to get across, which was that despite all the super crazy things Hamilton did he ended up getting shot by his friend… pretty bad luck right?

Now the next two I made were in regard to Mr. Trump and they both had a bit of personal relevance too.

Trump meme 1trump meme 2

The classic “bruh” meme on the left was really inspired by how I think a lot of people, myself included, would react if Trump becomes president. I think it really shows the disbelief and the disappointment that so many people would experience if he really became president.

The awkward moment seal meme was sparked by a bit of an awkward moment I experienced a few months ago when discussing Trump with a group of friends. A friend of mine made a comment (jokingly) about supporting Trump and the rest of us in the group kind of felt that awkward moment at first as we didn’t know if they were serious of not. So when I was looking for inspiration for a meme last week that moment totally came back to me so I ran with it and added the best friend part just to spice it up a bit.



Breakthrough Achieved: In-Depth Post 5

So today is a great day, I have finally found a mentor to help me with ASL this year. It took a long time but I did it.

As to date I have been in contact with 4 different organizations and sent out dozens of emails with either no reply or people saying they can’t commit for whatever reason. So over the break I did a lot of work to find a mentor before I left for vacation. I ended up getting in contact with a girl named Laura Ceron that went to my middle school. Her older sister Andrea, who studied ASL throughout high school and university, is going to be mentoring me this year. She’s super nice and should be able to provide me with tons of material and support. With her being so young we have a lot more in common I feel and I think it will make it super easy for us to work together. We have been talking and should I am trying to meet next Wednesday because I am super busy this weekend. With players billeting at my house from Saturday to Wednesday morning I won’t be able to meet until that afternoon.

I’m super excited about this, even though it’s super late to have found a mentor at least I have one and I can continue to move forward with what I have. The other thing about finding her so late is that I’ve had a lot of time to learn the basics on my own, so when we do meet we can go over more complicated ASL skills which is something I really want to do. Other than just practicing with my mentor, and as I have said before, there are tons of resources to help my learning. I’ve been using the ASL app which has been super useful and because it’s on my phone I can practice wherever and whenever I have free time. I’m super excited that my ASL classes start in two weeks at Pinetree Community Center. The books and CD’s I found in my mom’s old collection, despite being super old, have been helpful too. Although when I watch the CD’s I usually end up laughing at the way people dressed 15 years ago. The ASL dictionary, like any dictionary, is a bit dry but is super useful for explaining how signs that look very similar mean different things.

ASL Green Books

This is one of the books that my mom used when she studied ASL

ASL Dictionary


The Donald

I never paid any attention to American politics before this year, and if it wasn’t for the insane and surreal events that have taken place so far in the Republican party I still wouldn’t. Not only has Trump caught my attention with the outrageous things he has said and done while running, but he really sparked my interest in how the Presidential election works.

There’s so much controversy surrounding Trump it’s hard to figure out where to start. Let’s go back to earlier this year when Trump announced his run for presidency. “We need somebody that literally will take this country and make it great again. We can do that,” Trump proclaimed, “So ladies and gentlemen, I am officially running for president of the United States.” “Make America Great Again” a simple sentence that could mean so many things, has become the slogan for Trump’s campaign and that sounds good and all. Who doesn’t want America to be great again? But how exactly does he plan on doing this?







So let’s go over Trump’s campaign promises. The Washington Post created a list of 76 promises Trump has made along his journey in the presidential race so far. At the top of this list there is the promise to build a wall along the U.S. Mexico border, and the promise that Mexico will pay for the wall entirely. Even if the wall was a good idea, which it isn’t, the idea that Mexico would fund its construction is absurd. There are other promises that Trump has made that really don’t make much sense either. Things like getting rid of Obamacare and replace it with something “terrific” or “bombing the sh– out of ISIS”

Throughout that last few months the hilarious idea of Trump becoming President went from being just that, a hilarious idea, to being a scary possibility. Trump is like a wart in the presidential race. He started off as a small speck that stood out slightly, but wasn’t a cause for any concern. Then he began to grow and attract the conversation of people becoming something that you might want to get checked by a doctor. He’s now a swollen, painful problem that is a breeding ground for political cancer and if not dealt with now could kill you. People in America don’t seem to realize that, even though its fun to watch Trumps performances, this is real life politics and it is serious. Being the President isn’t a job for anyone. 

Now when I read about Trump, I’m consistently left asking the same question; how could anyone support Trump? If you look close enough, you can actually see why. There are a few different reasons actually that come up when you look into Trumps supporters. One of the main reasons is that Trump has found anger and fears in American people, many of which are reasonable, like the fear of terrorists. And he has made those the main points of his campaign saying that he has all the answers, and the people who have these fears and are angry connect with what Trump is saying. 

 I was watching the “Last Week Tonight with John Oliver” on Trump the other night and I think that Oliver brought up a super valid point that addresses the question of “how can anyone support trump?”  I think, like John Oliver said, that the name Trump is so synonymous with wealth and power that people just automatically trust him. Especially in the US, there are so many things that are considered to be quality, or high-end, or even just popular that the Trump name is associated with. Things like hotels, golf courses, reality TV shows and even WWE WrestleMania. A part of the John Oliver segment showed an interview of Trump supporters, one of which said “I was a little girl and I didn’t even know what Trump Towers were, but I knew that he was a wealthy successful man.” To which another man replied “Even as a young kid the word Trump meant rich… it meant success.”  Even for myself, up until this year if you asked me about who Trump was I would probably say something along the lines of “Super rich and mean guy from TV, who owns a whole bunch of stuff.” Not the Republican candidate for President and certainly not the answer to America’s problems. But now that he has come forward “claiming,” and I put an emphasis on claiming, that he can solve America’s issues, people who know the Trump name are flocking to the polls to vote. But are any of them stopping to think how exactly he is going to make America great again?


Getting Close To A Breakthrough: In-Depth Post #3

So, it’s week six and I’m still without a mentor which is pretty frustrating but I am really trying everything I can to get one. So far everyone I’ve tried to contact is either moved away or is too busy to help me which sucks. But I have not given up! This week I got in email contact with Max Vincent from the Hearing Resource Department of SD43. I gave him the details of the project and he is searching for someone who would be available and able to meet my needs. Once again I’m awaiting a response, so fingers crossed. This week I also talked to Ms. Cridge at Gleneagle about finding a mentor. She also offered to get me in contact with some people she knows that sign. However, she did stress that the people she knew were very busy, one of them being pregnant.

Nevertheless, I am still learning sign whenever I can between searching for a mentor or doing other school work. In the last week I started learning some basic gestures such as “Hi, how are you?” “Good morning,” “Good afternoon,” and “Good night.” My finger spelling has also come a long way in the last little bit, which is exciting. I tried to upload another couple videos but my computer wouldn’t let me. So I’ll try to get them up in my next post.

As for answering some of the questions here are some of my answers to the questions that I could answer.

  1. How many times are we going to be meeting? How regular? How long is each session? Time commitment?

Although it depends on my mentor’s schedule, I’d like to be meeting at least once every week or two. Meetings, depending on how much content is being covered, will probably be around an hour or two. If that doesn’t work with my mentor we could meet every, say, three weeks or so for a longer time and cover a couple blog posts.

  1. How are we going to be communicating? Online? In person? Over the phone?

Preferably, I’d like to meet in person. I think with something like ASL which has so many components that are hands on, it’s best to learn it in a face to face environment. Over the phone definitely would be my last option as I wouldn’t be able to see them. Perhaps Skype or some other kind of video chat would work too.

  1. How do we maintain our connection with one another?

The best way to keep connection would be over email. It’s safe and reliable, and allows me to keep track of what has been said.

All in all, it’s been definite challenge this year with the mentor situation. But I think I’ve learned a lot from this experience. Although it’s frustrating to be looking with no reward, it’s shown me that I can’t expect everything to always come together easily. It’s also helped me meet some of my goals for this year. One being raising my confidence levels and not being afraid to reach out and talk to people. This is something I’ve had to do a lot because I’ve been trying to get in contact with complete strangers. Anyways that’s just little update on my progress so far, hopefully I get to that breakthrough.


Alphabet Aerobics: In-Depth Post #2

Over the past few weeks I have been working on two main goals; finding a mentor and working on my ASL skills on my own. As for finding a mentor I haven’t been very lucky. I tried to get in touch with several potential mentors, and all the options lead to dead ends. I have however recently found a couple more possibilities for mentors that look promising. Rob Luinenberg, a retired hearing impaired educator and friend of my mom, may be available. The phone number my mom had for him was out of service, so I tried him on email and I am awaiting a response. Just in case that doesn’t work, I am trying to find a new phone number for him.

On to my progress so far I have learnt the ASL alphabet, and have begun to finger spell words like my name and favourite colour. There are tons of ASL apps out there, a few of which I downloaded and have been using. You can play memory games and watch videos that help with finger spelling and word memorization.

Here is a video of me finger spelling the ASL alphabet…

It didn’t me long to learn the alphabet itself, but putting the letters together to form words is a bit more complicated as you’re not just going through the motions of the alphabet and you don’t have the song to go along! However, I have been making lots of progress and I’m super excited to keep learning. It’s also helpful to learn these basic skills before I meet with my mentor, because this way when we do meet we can focus on the more challenging things I want to learn.

ASL alphabet



Signing in to In-Depth 2016

For this years In-Depth I have chosen sign language or more specifically american sign language (ASL). Sign language is the use of hand shapes and movement of the hands, arms, and torso as a means of communication. Although it is used primarily by the deaf community, sign language is used by people who can hear but may not have the ability to orally express themselves as well. ASL is the main sign language used in (you guessed it) America, as well as in Canada and also in many countries in Africa. ASL was founded in the early 19th century at the American School for the Deaf and is said to be used by around 500,000 people.  It is commonly misconceived that all sign language is the same, but just like spoken language there are many different forms of sign language. For example Mexico and Spain have completely different sign languages even though Spanish is the primary language in both countries. Last recorded in 2013, there are 137 different sign languages used worldwide.

I had a bit of a hard time picking and In-Depth this year. I started off with the idea of doing power-lifting because of my interests in sports and fitness, and I think it would have been really fun. However it wasn’t very far out of my comfort zone. Sign language on the other hand, was more out of comfort zone, and was also something that I was highly interested in learning about. ASL has been something that I’ve always been interested in learning. It has also been something that I never got a chance to learn so it is perfect for In-Depth, and I’m super excited to start this project.   signlanguageimage

Lastly on some goals for this project and the matter of a finding a mentor, I am currently still trying to find a mentor. There are a few possibilities that I have looked in to. My mom took an ASL course at night school and then Douglass College so she has some connections that may put me on the trail of a mentor. There are also a ton of apps and online courses to keep me busy and learning in the meantime. They will also help with my goal of being able to have a regular conversation in ASL with someone else. This involves knowing hand shapes, gestures, basic grammar, and sentence structure. A short term goal that I want to fulfill in the next month or so is to learn the entire ASL alphabet. Overall I’m on the right track, just need to secure a mentor and I’m good to go. Should be a great final In-Depth!


A Diamond in the Rough

The definition of a leader is “the person who leads or commands a group, organization, or country,” however there is so much more to it than that. It’s behind the scenes where a real leader shines; all the effort, planning, organization, and sacrifice, that usually goes unnoticed. A real, effective leader does a lot more than just leading, and that is the reason why I chose to interview a great young leader in our community named Aarman Bondar, most people just call him Bondar.

Bondar 2

I first met Bondar in late February of last year, at the beginning of the rugby season, he was volunteering as an assistant coach for both the junior and senior boys. I knew he had graduated a year prior and had played for the rugby team, but other than that nothing. The first practice he ran was the hardest practice I’d had in a long time, and I was kind of like “whoa this guys hardcore,” but I soon realized that he pushed us so hard because he wanted the best for us. Fast forward to the end of the season; a couple months of practice,  a dozen games, 2 tournaments, and a few late nights with the team later and Bondar and I have really got to know each other.

Bondar 1

Bondar was born May 22nd 1996, into a relatively poor Coquitlam family. He grew up in Coquitlam and attended Gleneagle Secondary, where he played five sports all four years of high school including soccer, volleyball, rugby, wrestling, and cross country. He was team MVP all four years in at least one sport and received athlete of the year not once but twice. He was in the COAST program, and loved to get involved in ‘school spirit’ activities such as attending sporting events or fundraisers. He also played drums in the school band.  During high school Bondar volunteered at the Pinetree Community Center, where he worked with children in the outdoors running activities such as hiking or canoeing. In his senior years at Gleneagle, Bondar excelled on the rugby team playing on the local rep team, and eventually team B.C. He now play’s for the UBC rugby 15’s team and more recently the 7’s team. He is currently studying at the Sauder School of Business at UBC, where he is taking a double major in finance and marketing.   This past summer he worked with the Gleneagle rugby team, myself included, running a course which taught us about general fitness and weightlifting.
Bondar 3
On Tuesday at lunch I conducted an interview with Bondar in the library in which I asked him a few questions about himself that would show his leadership in the community. I learned a lot about Bondar from the interview, most of which I wouldn’t have known if hadn’t have chosen him for this project, so I’m glad I did.

When asked what style of coaching he preferred to use and what he did to motivate players he answered…

“At first I coached the way I was coached, which was lots fitness, lot’s of yelling. The real hard approach. Eventually though I realized that even though I was coached like that and it was successful, it wasn’t the best style. I realized that kids react better to things like competitions and fun games and stuff like that. That’s what I tried to do in the summer with the weightlifting. Adding in fun games and competition’s to get the kids to push each other. That carried over to coaching United. A lot of it was based around fun and having fun, but still always working hard and learning the skills. Many kids and young people especially don’t like just being told to do something a certain way like they’re being commanded. They like to be interacted with instead which makes more sense than just being black and white.”

What kind of advice would you give to a young person striving to be a leader or who you think would be a good leader?

“A lot of times when someone tries to be original or different or a leader they get criticized, because they start to stand out and they begin to separate themselves from the norm. Some advice to give to them, because I was in their shoes at one point would be, don’t care about what people say to you or about you. If people make fun of you and stuff like that it doesn’t matter. If you believe in something then do it. For example I was in concert band and people made fun of me for it, but I didn’t care what people thought, I loved it. People spent there summer’s working at McDonald’s or the grocery store making money for themselves. I spent my time with kids in the outdoors doing things that I loved. So just when you find was you really love and what you really want to, do it, and you’ll probably be really good at it. Don’t regard the bad things that other people say about you.  Your biggest critic is yourself, and your the one who pushes yourself to do what you can not other people. Don’t be afraid to set high goals for yourself you know. You have to think of something before you can go out and do it. For example someone had to think of sending a man to the moon otherwise it never would have happened. Don’t follow what other people do, create your own path, create your own vision.”

“What have you done for work in the past and what are your goals for work in the future?”

“I grew up in a very under-privileged family so I started working pretty young. When I was 11 or 12 I started helping at my dad’s shop, building kitchen cabinets, sweeping the floors etc. Just doing whatever I could to help. During high school I worked as a sports referee. I worked at The Bay selling shoes at one point. My dad also opened up a donair shop so I worked with him there part-time. I was also paid as a personal trainer during high school for several sports teams from different schools. Now the work that I do is mostly internships with a couple of firms and my professors downtown.

For the future I want to try to use the options of my double major. The reason I chose finance is that I have some connections in the finance district, so I with a good education I can easily get a job through that. While the other reason why I chose marketing is because I love sports and I could possibly end up travelling around and working with sports teams while I’m young. And then when in my 30’s or 40′, and I want to start a family, I think settling down with a secure job in the finance sector would work best for me.”

As I said before there I learned a lot about Bondar from the interview, and I think it really showed how much of a leader he is to a lot of young people, like myself, in the community. Personally I think that Bondar is an amazing leader both as a sports coach and just as a general role model. There aren’t many people who can do what he does. As a matter of fact it’s quite amazing that he is able to balance all the different aspects of his life; school, work, volunteering, rugby, coaching, and still finding time to come and do an interview for me. He’s definitely a great leader and even more importantly a truly great guy.

Neil Young Annotated Biblography: Ha Get It?

So here’s the links to all the resources I used for my project.

Rock and Roll Hall of Fame -This is a biography of Neil Young done by the rock and roll hall of fame, and it is also where I got the idea for doing my speech like an acceptance speech.

Another Biography– I got a bunch of Information about his childhood from this biography, which helped me with my intro post.

Ahmet Ertegun– This is a wiki page on Neils long-time producer Ahmet Ertegun, who originally signed Buffalo Springfield and has been Neil’s good friend ever since. He was very important in the making of Neil’s career.

Farm-Aid– Is a benefit concert that Neil Young founded along with Willie Nelson and John Mellencamp. The concert takes place every year and all money goes towards helping family farmers in the U.S. Neil plays at the concert every year along with the rest of the all-star lineup.

Bridge School– The bridge school is a non-profit charity organization that Neil and his wif Pegi founded in 1967. The foundation gives aid to children with communication disabilities. The foundation has an annual concert in the Bay Area of California where the school is located.

Crosby,Stills, Nash and Young– A wikipedia page on Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young a band that Neil was a part of for a number of years before he returned to Crazy horse. This link helped with research for my speech.

Buffalo Springfield– The band that Neil started with and gained most of his fame with. He moved to California with the band in 1966 and the band broke up 2 years later after releasing just three albums. They were later inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

Those were the sites that I got most of my information from. I also got a lot from reading his book “Waging Heavy Peace” which mentioned all of these things, and many first-hand accounts of events from his life.