Italian Campaign DOL

  1. What were the causes and most important aspects of your chosen event related to the guiding question? (5W’s)

The tides of World War II were turned in 1943 at the Battle of Stalingrad from almost certain Nazi victory to a chance for the allies. Due to this, the allies in the west were mobilized to surround the Axis forces. One of the places the Allies were mobilized in was Italy, an ally of Nazi Germany, and an important place to capture to successfully surround the Axis forces. When Britain, America and Canada gathered near Sicily for a naval invasion on July 10, 1943, the Italian Campaign began. This campaign is significant because Italy was one of the three main fronts from which the Allies pushed Nazi Germany and was crucial in the Allies’ victory.

  1. How was your researched event viewed by Canadians at the time? How do you know?

Before the infamous invasion of Normandy, the Italian Campaign was looked upon with pride by Canadians. At the time, it was the largest campaign in which Canada participated, which caused Canada to be recognized as a valuable part of the Allied forces. Canadians treasured this recognition of importance from other countries. However, as tales of heroism from D-Day reached Canada, the Canadian soldiers in Italy were not only forgotten, but also dubbed ‘D-Day Dodgers’. This name arose because the Allies had liberated Rome on June 4th, 1944, just two days before the invasion of Normandy. Canadians civilians thought that the Italian Campaign was complete with the capture of Rome and presumed that the Canadians that stayed behind in Italy and had not gone to fight in D-Day, ‘dodged’ the violent invasion on purpose. However, the Italian Campaign continued until spring of 1945, well beyond the capture of Rome. Interestingly, the Canadian ‘D-Day Dodgers’ did not reject their nickname, instead, they wore it with pride. This pride is displayed in a verse of the song D-Day Dodgers written by Canadian soldier Hamish Henderson:

If you look around the mountains

In the mud and rain

You’ll find scattered crosses

Some which bear no name

Heartbreak and toil and suffering gone

The boys beneath them slumber on

For they’re the D-Day Dodgers

Who stayed in Italy

This verse displays how the Canadian ‘D-Day Dodgers’ were proud of their nickname, choosing the name of ‘D-Day Dodgers’ to honour their fallen friends. This song also mentions that their fallen comrades “stayed in Italy”, signifying that they were proud that their friends continued the Italian Campaign and died to liberate Italy. Despite the lack of attention and care from Canadian citizens towards soldiers in the Italian Campaign, the ‘D-Day Dodgers’ remained steadfast and proud of their mission.

  1. To what extent did this event or idea affect Canadian social, political or economic norms or values?

The Italian Campaign was mainly forgotten by Canada due to the famous D-Day invasions. However, the Italian Campaign did change some social norms in Canada. Through the numerous battles during the Italian Campaign in which Canadian forces were sole reasons for victory, Canada cemented itself as a core part of the Allies during World War II. Today, Canada prides itself on its involvement with the Allied forces and in World War II. Even though most of this pride lies in the invasions of Normandy, the battles fought during the Italian Campaign were the birthplaces of that pride. Even though Canada’s perspectives on Canadian soldiers’ accomplishments have shifted, the Italian Campaign was the dawn of Canadian pride in our involvements in World War II.

  1. In what ways, specifically, did your event contribute to Canada’s social, political, or economic autonomy? Provide evidence from primary and secondary sources.

Due to Canada’s contributions in the Italian Campaign, the country became well known as a highly trained fighting force instead of an unknown nation in North America. During the first months of the campaign, the Canadian forces were already referred to as “highly trained mountain troops” by Albert Kesselring, a Field Marshall in the German Army. As the campaign advanced “German respect for the Canadian soldier was beginning” (The Canadian Encyclopedia). It was not only the German soldiers’ respect Canadians were gaining, it was the allies too. As Canadian forces won important battles, such as the Battle of Ortona, and played critical roles in Allied attacks, such as the breaking of the Gustav Line, Britain and the USA recognized that Canada was a crucial part of the Allied forces. Canada became a more politically autonomous country because of this acceptance from the world powers, as it now garnered more respect due to its contributions during World War II. Canada’s involvement in the war also sparked a new, common sense of pride in Canadian citizens, which improved Canadian identity. The Italian Campaign is incredibly important as it was where the appreciation and respect for Canadian assistance in the war was initially given, and without this respect, Canada would not have evolved into a more politically autonomous country.

 

http://canadianmilitaryhistory.ca/some-reflections-on-the-italian-campaign-terry-copp-keynote-2010-military-history-colloquuim/

https://www.warhistoryonline.com/world-war-ii/fall-rome-fight-italy-m.html

https://www.history.com/topics/world-war-ii/italian-campaign

https://www.veterans.gc.ca/eng/remembrance/history/second-world-war/italian-campaign/history/pish

https://www.thecanadianencyclopedia.ca/en/article/italian-campaign

Math Graphing Art Project

R34 Graph link

I decided to make an R34 GTR on Desmos Graphic Calculator. I used linear, quadratic, cubic, square root and circle equations to fulfill my mission.

Guide:

Black line: linear function

Green line: straight linear function

Blue line: quadratic function

Red line: cubic function

Orange line: square root function

Purple line: circle equation

I was surprised to find how many of the car’s lines perfectly fit different functions. Luckily, this car is quite boxy, which made it easy for me to style the complicated front with linear functions. For the linear functions, I only had to make slope changes, vertical translations and domain limits. The lines on the hood of the car reminded me of square root function graphs, so I adjusted square root functions using expansion/compression, horizontal translation, and vertical translation to fit those lines. Quadratic functions came in handy for long horizontal curves, like the horizontal lines of the front splitter and roof. To tailor a quadratic function to a line on the car, I would use horizontal translations and vertical translations, domain limits and expand the parabola to a very shallow curve. In some cases, I would also make the quadratic equation negative to make a downwards curve. I used a cubic function once, on the rear of the car. It fit perfectly with the curve of the line between the rear bumper and the roof. I used horizontal and vertical translations to fit it in the right place, domain limits to make the line the correct length and expanded the hyperbole to fit the curve. Circle equations were very handy when making the wheels and vertical curves on the doors. I used horizontal and vertical translations to get the circle in the right place, and then adjusted the other variables to make the ellipse shape in wanted. Afterwards, I would set domains and ranges to have only parts of the circle there. In some cases, I would have to use two circle equations in the same place with different domains and ranges to get the desired parts of the circle or ellipse. By the end of the project, I felt like I knew exactly what each variable did in each equation and could correctly estimate correct variables for a function to make the graph I wanted.

John A. Macdonald: A Modern and Progressive Leader

In the late 19th century, John A. Macdonald was celebrated as a great man, but time has changed the definition of a ‘great man’. Macdonald is known for leading the scattered provinces of pre-Canada to confederation, being the nation’s first political forefront and for being a cornerstone of the country we live in today. Despite this praise, Macdonald is currently being ridiculed for the discriminatory laws he created and the questionable decisions he made during his years as a Prime Minister. Macdonald’s image as the reassuring founding father of Canada has not stood the test of time, as his name and statues are requested to be removed from view by the public. As much as our values have changed since Macdonald’s time as founding father and Prime Minister, we cannot remove his image from statues and buildings because, taking into account the societal norms of late 1800s Canada, Macdonald made highly progressive decisions that were incredibly valuable to the creation of the Canada we know today.

Views on racism and sexism in the late 19th century were far different than they are today. It would have been shocking if John A. Macdonald paid attention to minority problems or gave women the ability to vote. Nevertheless, Macdonald was not fazed by these expectations, promising voting privileges to women and bringing new laws to help protect the Indigenous people of the prairies. “He was uncannily modern” for his time, being “the first national democratic leader in the world to try to extend the vote to women.” (Gwyn). During the start of Macdonald’s time as Prime Minister, fur trade declines lead to growing whiskey trade, which made “many [Indigenous people of the prairies to be] drawn into alcohol dependency”, threatening the well being of prairie Aboriginal peoples (Peters). In response to this issue, Macdonald created the North West Mounted Police “to quell the whiskey trade” and, in turn, helped preserve the welfare of the Indigenous peoples of the prairies. Alongside this accomplishment, European Canadians were tried in court for their wrongdoings against First Nations people under Macdonald’s government. This justice for Indigenous people was so contrary to the systems in the United States, that Indigenous people of the prairies called the border “The Medicine Line, suggesting that above it there might just be some fair play […]” (Gwyn). These pushes for justice and equality were groundbreakingly modern at the time, proving Macdonald to be an innovative Prime Minister, even if his views seem outdated today.

It is a fact that Macdonald is responsible for the creation of the residential school system and the destruction of many Aboriginal families. These actions cannot be justified, yet, Macdonald’s decision to allow residential schools was affected by a major external factor: these schools were already a societal norm when Macdonald first came to Canada in 1820. “Churches had built schools for Indigenous children since the mid-1600s”, and the first origin of the residential school system can be traced back to the 1830s (Royal Canadian Geographic Society). “These schools were often in a poor state and, in some cases, were even dangerous,” frequently burning down and lacking in tents or temporary shelter. When Macdonald accepted the residential school system in 1883, he was creating a better-funded and safer alternative to a societal constant by building the new schools in strong and fireproof “heavy bricks-and-mortar-style architecture”. Macdonald made the best decision he could with the societal norms of the time, because in the late 19th century, a Canada without residential schools was both unheard of and unimaginable, and without government support the schools would remain underfunded and dangerous.

It is easy to accuse John A. Macdonald of unethical decision making from a current moral viewpoint. However, it is important to understand that Macdonald lived in an entirely different period than we do, and that the actions that he took were considered modern at the time. Macdonald does not deserve to be erased from history books and monuments for his shortcomings, because he governed as best as he could while staying within the societal viewpoints of late 19th century Canada, making him a progressive leader that needs to be recognized for the actions he took to build Canada.

 

Works Cited

Gwyn, Richard. “Sir John A. Macdonald, the Greatest PM of All.” Thestar.com, 9 Jan. 2015, www.thestar.com/news/insight/2015/01/09/sir_john_a_macdonald_the_greatest_pm_of_all.html.

Gwyn, Richard. “Canada’s Father Figure.” Canada’s History, 6 Jan. 2015.

Peters, Hammerson. “How John A. Macdonald Helped the First Nations.” Canada History and Mysteries, 25 Aug. 2018, www.mysteriesofcanada.com/alberta/how-john-a-macdonald-helped-the-first-nations/.

Royal Canadian Geographic Society. “History of Residential Schools.” Indigenous Peoples Atlas of Canada, Canadian Geographic, 15 June 2018, indigenouspeoplesatlasofcanada.ca/article/history-of-residential-schools/.

In-Depth #6

Over the past four weeks, I have met with Liza to learn more about Modern Calligraphy and Improvisational/Freehand Modern Calligraphy. Improvisational Calligraphy differs from regular Modern Calligraphy in that it can trespass guidelines and have lines that leave the letter space, access another letter’s space and go above or below another letter space. This type of calligraphy can also completely not use guidelines, which means writing completely freehand on a blank sheet of paper. Here are some pictures of my experiments with Modern Freehand Calligraphy.

Modern Calligraphy alphabet:

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Modern Calligraphy:

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Improvisational/Freehand Modern Calligraphy:

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Calligraphy is based on one large concept: make your writing look as aesthetic as possible. This can be achieved in many ways, which causes there to be a multitude of existing scripts. In the scripts that I have learned about, this aesthetic writing is usually achieved through smooth and flowing lines, and a general sense of connectedness in the letters of a word. This foundation of many calligraphic scripts is the only thing that Modern Calligraphy and traditional Copperplate Calligraphy agree on, the rest is built on very different concepts. Copperplate Calligraphy is all about staying in the confines of perfect letter shapes, sizes, proportions and slants. All the practicing I did for Copperplate was to make my letter shapes consistently match the ones in the standard Copperplate Script book, to make my slant consistent and perfect, and to make my letter proportions perfectly fit the guidelines. The concept of Copperplate Script is to keep your script consistent with all other standard Copperplate Script to ensure its perfection. Modern Calligraphy is a complete U-turn in the other direction. I remember my mentor asking me to go out of the guidelines for the first time and the feeling of confusion filling my brain. Modern Calligraphy is completely built on the calligrapher’s creativity and personal wants.

In the Copperplate part of this project, there were almost no alternatives for letter shape or design options, however, there were alternatives for what tools to use right from the start. My mentor supplied my first nibs and nib holders for me. She supplied two types of nibs and two types of nib holders, just so I can find which ones I like and would fit my writing style the best. This was immediately important because a nib and nib holder affects a person’s ability to write a certain script, comfort when writing and style of writing. I was very lucky to have a mentor who offered these alternatives right from the start and I think another mentor might have just given me one starter nib holder and one starter nib or not supplied any materials at all. When I found Copperplate to be somewhat dull compared to the Modern Freehand Script, I was given an alternate perspective on Copperplate. This perspective was that Copperplate’s greatest strength is not in stimulating your creativity, but in the concentration you must focus to make a letter shape perfect while keeping proportions, slant and spacing in check. I found this to be true when I returned to practice Copperplate. The concentration puts you into a relaxing mindset where you can’t think or worry about anything else but this one task. From this alternate perspective, I found the best part of Copperplate to be when you finally get a letter perfect, or even better, an entire word perfect, with slant and spacing and letter shape exactly as described in the book. It’s the most rewarding and satisfying feeling ever when you look down at your paper and think, “I wrote that”.

My learning centre will include a lot of my practice sheets and first work to show how far I have gotten in my calligraphy. It will also have some full-page compositions to show where I am now in my Modern Calligraphy. I also want to show what materials are used in calligraphy, and how important they are to creating proper calligraphic lettering. To make this learning centre interactive, I will be seated at my table and will be writing to show people how calligraphy is written and how the materials work. I will also be quickly teaching people simple Copperplate Script and how to write their name in the script. I will have a separate piece of paper with guidelines where people that learn the simple Copperplate Script can write their name.

Biography Check In

Passage #1

“Marshall later claimed that his earliest memory, dating from this [1913] time, was a view of the Peace River in Edmonton, seen from a streetcar on a bank overlooking the river. According to this memory, he saw horses in the distance and was profoundly impressed that they appeared small enough to fit into his nursery.”

I was interested in this passage because it shows that even from a young age (two years old), Marshall McLuhan was constantly analyzing the world. His first ever memory is of his analysis of a horse’s size. This might seem a somewhat unremarkable first-memory, but it’s intriguing that a two-year-old would have the thought of how the size of an object relates to another size of an object, even more so that the two-year-old would find it impressive.

This passage reveals something different about Canada. I found that it showed a lot about how Canadian cities connect with nature. The passage says how, from Edmonton, a rapidly expanding city at the time, Marshall overlooked the Peace River and found horses on the banks. I can see how Canadian cities are connected with nature, especially living in Vancouver, where even the most urban areas are flooded with parks and greenery. I feel that keeping cities harmonious with the nature around them is a Canadian value that relates to our love of the environment and the outdoors.

 

Passage #2

“McLuhan embarked on a five-year honors course that was intended to ‘lay a broad foundation’ for the students and that included physical sciences and foreign languages as compulsory subjects.”

I found this passage interesting because of how similar the University of Manitoba’s course of 1928 seemed to the current high school courses in grade 9 and 10. I found parallels in how both educational systems wanted all of their students to have a platform or foundation of all important subjects from which students could learn in-depth.

This passage shows how Canadian school systems have almost always kept to giving their students a foundation level of education on all important subjects. This passage shows that this foundation system has only barely changed over almost a hundred years because of its effectivity. However, the system has been pushed from the university level to high school level, which shows that Canada is committed to strengthened and innovative education wherever possible.

 

Passage #3

“For all this [mental] agility he was not, initially, a good student. He certainly did not remember his teachers fondly’ later in life he stated flatly that he had ‘never had a teacher who made me the slightest bit interested in anything I was studying.’ He actually failed grade six […]”

I found this passage intriguing because of the parallels I find within Marshall McLuhan’s early school life and my early school life: we both were completely disinterested in our earlier grades of school. For me, it all changed when I went into the MACC program and gained access to an educational system which I found challenging and interesting. However, McLuhan, one of Canada’s most celebrated intellectuals, never had any access to gifted learning programs, and therefore never enjoyed, and rarely did well in school until his later university years. I find it staggering to see how much Canadian school systems have changed to allow better education for all learning type students.

I think that this passage provides an insight into how early 20th-century education systems in Canada and around the world were not accepting of different learning styles. It seems strange that a country known for its accepting nature would only accept one educational program for one type of learner, and I would imagine that it would be difficult for some learners, like McLuhan, to keep up with the ‘standard’ type learners. Nowadays, we can see multiple different types of educational systems, made for most if not all types of learners, which leads to higher rates of success in school, so it is interesting to see how Canada was not accepting of different learning styles less than a hundred years ago.

 

Passage #4

“McLuhan felt that his upbringing on the prairies provided him with a kind of natural ‘counterenvironment’ to the great centers of civilization. He felt he had the advantage that any bright outsider brings with him from the boondocks when he comes to the big city: a freshness of outlook that often enables him to see overall patterns missed by the inhabitants who have been molded by those patterns. It was the advantage that he felt accrued to Canadians in general vis-à-vis the United States or Europe.”

This passage resonated with me because, not being from the prairies or from a developing Canadian city in the early 20th century, I have also experienced this fresh outlook on not only patterns but ways of life in different countries or cities. I feel like being from a place that has only one distinct pattern of life can lead to a feeling of confusion or misunderstanding when looking at another’s way of life.

This passage directly states how the freshness of outlook on other people’s life patterns is an advantage “accrued to Canadians in general”. This is because Canadians spend life in Canada not only around one ‘way of life’ or life pattern, but around many due to multiculturalism. This witnessing and sometimes participation in more than one way of life leads to most Canadians being open to other countries’ or ‘centers of civilizations’’ life patterns.

 

Passage #5

“McLuhan lived in an age advantageous to children. It was an age in which, as one of his contemporaries remarks, “we weren’t organized within an inch of our lives, and we were allowed to laze around and watch the clouds.’”

This seemed like a strange passage to me because my entire childhood was crowded with after-school activities, classes and lessons. I remember having little spare time, and never having time to ‘laze around and watch the clouds.’ One of the biggest things that has changed over time is not how adults live, but how children live. Over the centuries, adults would standardly keep a routine similar to the last generations’. However, children’s lives change from period to period. Once upon a time, children had to work with their parents and multitudes of siblings to gather enough food to survive the winter. There were periods throughout history of ‘lazing around’ that Marshall McLuhan got lucky to enjoy during his childhood. Now, in our hypercompetitive world, children have organized schedules during and after school of intense lessons and activities to ‘ensure’ a successful position in their adulthood. This drive to secure a position in the routine that the adults of the world have always followed and the world conditions changing is what makes the children’s lives different. If they need to farm to be a ‘successful’ adult in the future, they will farm. If they need to study, then they will study. If they need to do nothing, then they will do nothing.

I feel like this idea of doing whatever it takes to make children successful in the future is a Canadian trait. All the education systems that I have encountered go above and beyond to ensure that the children enrolled in their programs have a successful adult life.

In-Depth #5

The In-Depth project is now in full swing, and I am giving more thought about what my presentation and final project will look like. I had lots of time to practice calligraphy over Spring Break, however, my recent trip to Cuba and the school catch-up afterward has taken up so much time that I have not practiced at all for the past 1.5 weeks. So, when I met with my mentor this Sunday, I was a little rusty with my traditional Copperplate Script. Due to this, we spent some more time writing out full-size sentences and poems to practice complete Copperplate Script with connections and capital letters.

After that, I had an introduction to Modern Calligraphy. One of the main differences that I noticed between traditional and modern calligraphy is that there are not nearly as many rules surrounding letter shapes and variations. When practicing Copperplate, when I asked about what variation of a letter I should use, most of the time the answer depended on a variety of rules that were established by the previous and next letter I was writing. Letter shapes were also very strict, with a letter that did not perfectly follow the proportions and design of the script considered ‘wrong’ by traditional calligraphers. However, when asking about which shape, connection or variation of a letter I should use in Modern Calligraphy, my mentor’s usual answer was “that’s up to you. Whatever you think fits best aesthetically.” This was an interesting new concept for me that was fun and creatively challenging to explore. Nevertheless, the Modern Calligraphy script that I was exploring was her own personal script, so I didn’t have the freedoms I will have when I create my own script.

 

When meeting with my mentor, Liza Child, I was able to analyze some of our conversation with the six hats. Here is a conversation that shows all of the hats:

This example happened when I was writing the word ‘lemon’ and I didn’t know what type of L to use to start it off. There are two different variations of the lowercase letter L, one with a loop at the top and one without a loop.

Me:

“What type of L do I use here? There are two different types and I don’t know which one fits best”

Liza:

“Remember to look at the other shapes in the rest of the word and find which type of L fits the other shapes best. What L do you think would work best?”

Me, after some time to analyze the word:

“I guess the E in the lemon comes right after the L and would look a lot like a small loopy L. I think it would be better if I used the regular L without a loop to differentiate between the L and the E. It would also help complement the loop-less shapes of N and M in the lemon. Would that work?”

Liza:

“Great job! Try to use this type of analysis and figure out what type of letter to use yourself for the next word.”

White hat: I ask, “What type of L do I use here?”. I am asking a question that asks for a factual answer.

Red hat: Liza says, “Great job!”. It is Liza’s opinion and feeling that I am doing a great job. She does not back it up with any evidence.

Black hat: I ask, “Would that work?”. I am asking if this suits the design of the word. I am also giving my mentor the ability to point out places where I could be wrong.

Yellow hat: I say, “I guess the E in the lemon comes right after the L and would look a lot like a small loopy L. I think it would be better if I used the regular L without a loop to differentiate between the L and the E. It would also help complement the loop-less shapes of N and M in the lemon”. I provide multiple insights on why the non-loopy L would work better than the loopy L in the word design of ‘lemon’.

Green hat: Liza says, “What L do you think would work best?”. Liza is asking for my ideas on what L would work best in the word. She is also letting me think creatively about the design of the word so I could gain a better understanding of how word design works.

Blue hat: I say, “There are two different types and I don’t know which one fits best”. I ask for advice on which L would work best in this scenario. This shifts the focus of the conversation on word design and analysis to pick a good letter variation. It completely sets the tone and purpose for an entire conversation.

Is Canada a “postnational” state?

Justin Trudeau’s definition of a post-national state is a place where “race, religion, language, culture – are vanquished in favor of an inclusive citizenship based on simple acknowledgment of shared humanity” (The Washington Post, 2017). What Trudeau struggles to define is the dictionary definition of post-nationalism, which is “a mindset in which the identity of a nation is no longer important” (Oxford Dictionary). Canada is still a regular country; however, it is made up of a vast amount of different ethnic groups and cultures. Due to this wide array of communities, Canada has “no core identity, no mainstream” (Justin Trudeau). Instead, we have a wonderful thing called multiculturalism, which, as stated in the library of the Canadian Parliament “consists of a relatively coherent set of ideas and ideals pertaining to the celebration of Canada’s cultural diversity” (Canadian Multiculturalism, pg. 1). The popular beliefs from the plethora of cultures in Canada are used to create a set of common ideals, a Canadian identity. This identity is important to most, if not all Canadians, because it is comprised of their own cultures’ ideals. Therefore, Canada does have an identity that people feel the need to protect, because in protecting Canadian identity, they are protecting their own cultures’ identities. Thus, Canadians find the country’s identity important, which goes against the dictionary definition of post-nationalism, making Canada not a post-nationalist state.

In-Depth #4

Over the past two weeks, I have finished learning about the basics of Copperplate Script. In my last mentoring session, Liza (my mentor) and I went over capital letters for Copperplate, connectors for lowercase letters, and started on the writing of complete words and sentences. This was my last mentorship lesson that included Copperplate Script. From now on, I have to practice Copperplate on my own, and will learn about modern calligraphy in the next mentorship sessions.

Some of the practices I have been doing for Copperplate are shown below:

Lowercase practice sheets:

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Capital letters sheet:

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Lowercase connections:

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Complete words (with and without capitals):

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Warm up sheet (used to loosen the wrist and prepare for writing):

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When meeting with Liza Child, I was able to apply some of De Bono’s recommendations. I made sure to probe into topics that I was interested in and in which I felt like I needed to ask about to gain a better understanding of calligraphy. As discussed in my previous blog post, there is more than one type of letter shape per letter. I asked about which letter shapes are used in what scenarios. Liza answered with “sometimes it depends on the connector that you’re using, but most of the time it’s just personal preference”. She also introduced a new view on concentration during our mentoring sessions. One thing that we both agreed on is that calligraphy takes a lot of concentration. However, she had a different point of view from me on how to achieve that concentration, as she thought that listening to music improved concentration. I on the other hand, always thought that music distracted me from things that needed concentration. Yet, when she played some music during our mentorship session, I was pleasantly surprised to see that it didn’t bother me at all. In fact, it helped me relax and get into the right, Zen-type, mood I needed to be in to properly do calligraphy.

 

Currently, I am finishing up my practice with Copperplate Script, and getting ready for my next mentorship session in which I will be learning Modern Calligraphy.

In-Depth #3

Over the last two weeks, I have almost completed learning the lowercase letters of Copperplate script. I have also acquired all the materials I would need for calligraphy. Those materials include an elbow pen, straight pen, 4 nibs (different types), Sumi ink, and several types of paper. Learning the lowercase letters just includes learning the shapes and strokes that each letter consists of, and then writing that letter repeatedly until you are confident with it and until it looks exactly like the Copperplate script is supposed to look like. This might sound somewhat dreary and repetitive, but I have found it to be an incredibly relaxing way to de-stress. I think the repetitive motions and the amount of concentration required to make a perfect line takes your mind off everything except the task, or letter, at hand.

Here is a picture of the lowercase letters I have learned and mastered:

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There are some blank spaces in the picture between some letters. This is because letters often have several different variations that I have not completely learned yet. These variations are mostly for personal preference, but some only apply in rare case scenarios or only with other specific letters.

When meeting with Liza Child, I was able to apply some of De Bono’s techniques. When I tried out my first couple of strokes and letters, Liza gave me a special type of practice paper with slanted lines, so I know the exact degree of the calligraphy slant. This reminded me of a very similar practice paper I used in Russian school, which made Liza interested, stimulating a lot of conversation about my prior experience with Russian cursive. This personal story was also a response to the conversation about the paper that we were working with. Another example of a response was because I needed clarification on how to write a letter. Each letter has a specific design, a series of strokes, and pressures applied to specific parts of the letter. Due to this, I needed to clarify many letters to make sure I had every letter perfect.

Romeo and Juliet Act II: Critical Response

  1. 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.

I think that “’infatuated children’ engaging in ‘puppy love’” is a perfect way to describe Romeo and Juliet’s love. Their ‘love’ is extremely impulsive and doesn’t involve any meetings in which they get to know each other and each other’s personalities. The suddenness of this relationship can be seen with the first thing that Romeo ever says to Juliet: “If I profane with my unworthiest hand / This holy shrine, the gentle fine is this: / My lips, two blushing pilgrims, ready stand / To smooth that rough touch with a tender kiss.” (1.5.93-96). Romeo proposes to kiss Juliet in the first words he ever says to her. However, it usually takes more than several seconds after meeting someone to get to this stage in a regular relationship. By the second time they meet, which is only several hours after the first meeting, Juliet is already setting an ultimatum for a marriage proposal: “If thy bent of love be honourable, / Thy purpose marriage, send me word to-morrow, […] But if thou mean’st not well, / I do beseech thee – […] To cease thy suit, and leave me to my grief.” (2.2.143-144, 150-151, l52). These children are planning a marriage only a few hours after meeting each other, which furthermore proves the impulsivity and unnatural speed of this relationship. The couple meets for a third time on the next day, this time to marry. In a regular relationship, people spend many months, if not years, getting to know a person before they decide to marry them because they want to be sure that they love that person. People must make sure that they truly understand and know a person that they are interested in before they can develop a love for that person. This is because many people hide certain details that might render them unlovable. Romeo and Juliet have little to no knowledge of each other’s personalities, characters and overall selves, and therefore don’t understand each other to the extent they need to, to love one another.

  1. 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’s argument that Romeo and Juliet should not be viewed as children is not effective. Teenagers in the sixteenth century, especially in wealthy families, didn’t do much work. Unlike in poorer families, in which double-digit families worked away on fields to provide enough food to last the winter, most of the work in a wealthy house was done by people like the Nurse or the Servant. This allowed teenagers in rich families to stay homeschooled and to have free time to participate in fun activities. With the lack of work, and surplus of schooling and careless fun, most of these teenagers still act like children: irresponsible and impulsive. We can see irresponsibility and impulsivity in several different points throughout the story, but one great example is at the very beginning of the book. “Draw if you be men. Gregory, remember thy smashing blow.” (1.1.60-61). The play begins with wealthy teenagers starting a fight that puts the people around them in the street at risk, themselves at risk and their family’s reputation and safety, as the prince later demonstrates, at risk. All this dispute happens over a bit thumb. This clearly demonstrates the childishness, impulsivity, and irresponsibility of wealthy teenagers at the time. This example shows how privileged adolescents, like Romeo and Juliet, act like children, and therefore should be treated like children, rendering Kulich’s argument ineffective.

https://prezi.com/vlyf6jybbv8k/typical-day-of-teenage-during-the-16th-century/