In Depth Blog Post #5

Well, The tail end of In Depth is upon me, and I only have a couple more things to make before I start to plan for In Depth! The past few weeks have been pretty productive. Over spring break I had some free time so I baked a couple of pies. I firstly made an apple pie, which was relatively straightforward except for the thatching on top, and a lemon meringue pie. The lemon meringue pie was more difficult because not only had I never made meringue before, which led me to making a mess since it took a couple tries to get right, it was  also different on top of the pie, and I baked it a little longer than I should have so the meringue was a little burnt. Although I had some struggles in baking my second pie, it provided me with some good learning experience to take into the future, especially when I start preparing for In Depth night.

I also have started watching some tutorials on making macaroons and it seems to be pretty difficult, but definitely doable. Even the professionals who are showing me how to make the macaroons mess up fairly often. I feel that it might take a couple of tries to get everything right because of the fine margin for error in preparation, but I should be able to pull off at least a decent batch of macaroons. After that I will start planning for the big night, and I’m already getting excited!


(I was unable to meet with Mrs. Priestly last week but I have a meeting with her this Thursday, so I will update the post with the five hats section later that day.)

In-Depth Blog Post #4

Once again, time seems to disappear with in depth! It’s already week 7! My project is still going strong, and over the past couple weeks I’ve been doing some research and experimentation with gluten free baking. My original plan during this time was to focus on pies but due to time constraints I decided that I would work on pies during spring break. While I was researching, I found some interesting information about the types of flour supplements that are used. I found that the most common types are almond flour, rice flour, oat flour, coconut flour, and sorghum flour. What I also learned about these flours was that the lack of gluten made them weaker and less able to form a strong structure due to the lack of gluten, so I had to use xanthan gum as a substitute in order to keep my dough together. Even with this, the dough seemed to be weaker in a sense than normal dough and it seemed to take longer to cook, but everything still worked out in the end. 

A Beautiful Mind: 

#4 what information are you getting and what questions did you ask to probe further into the topic?/#8 Ask for an explanation for a certain skill you are learning. Discuss what happened 

I asked Mrs. Priestly about some of the commonly used ingredients used on gluten free baking, mainly xanthan gum, as seen below, and she gave a very good explanation of both the properties of it and how it is similar and different than gluten. 

Me: what is xanthan gum and how does it help support the integrity of dough or batter? 

Mrs Priestly: Xanthan gum is a thickening agent that helps to build the structure in dough, keeps ingredients together, and helps to stabilize the dough. 

Me: Is xanthan gum better than gluten? 

Mrs. Priestly: In terms of price, normal flour containing gluten is better because it is much cheaper than xanthan gum but they have a very similar effect on dough. Gluten sometimes needs to be activated by kneading or folding so it can take a little more effort to activate. 

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

While I was talking to Mrs. Priestly about the difference between gluten and xanthan gum I developed the point of view that from the perspective of someone who doesn’t have much money or time than gluten free baking is a waste of time because it can be more expensive and since you have to measure out more than just flour it can be more time consuming. 


Links to photos (I made more cookies but the other photo was too large to store)


Romeo and Juliet Act ll Critical Response

  1. Based on what we have read so far, I believe that Romeo and Juliet’s relationship is “puppy love” because they don’t yet know each other on a personal level, and are mostly just basing their love off of their first encounter together. Romeo spends most of his time with Juliet discussing her looks, as that is the main reason why he is in love with her. Juliet, although slower moving and more cautious, also fell in love with Romeo at first sight, showing that their love is based mostly on looks and not on an actual connection between them. We also see in Romeo’s first encounter with Juliet that looks are all that matter to him, as he goes into the party thinking that Rosaline, his original love, is the fairest woman he has ever seen, even going so far as to say “the all seeing sun ne’er saw her match since first the world begun” (l. 2. 92-93). After this, he goes into the party and sees Juliet, immediately forgetting Rosaline and saying that “Did my heart love till now? Forswear it, sight! For I ne’er saw true beauty till this night” (l. 5. 52-53). This shows that Romeo will ditch whoever he loves if there is someone he considers prettier, meaning that his love is not true and deep, but shallow and temporary, like puppy love.


2.  Kulich’s argument is effective and historically accurate because of the time when the play was written. Romeo and Juliet was written between 1591 and 1595, in England. At this time, there was no law dictating the age at which someone could be married, but generally in Europe at the time children would be married when they started showing signs of puberty, at age 12 in girls and age 14 in boys. At this time children would also start working and being treated as adults, and being both rewarded and punished as such. This shows that at the time, children were considered mature adults who were capable of handling adult matters such as marriage, proving Kulich’s point that Romeo and Juliet are both adults.

In-Depth Blog Post #3

So, it’s been an interesting couple of weeks with the wacky weather and all, but I still managed to get a bit of baking in. I made red velvet cupcakes (although I used too little food colouring so they turned out more brown then red) as a part of the cake portion of my project, as seen below, and I will be making a regular vanilla cake tomorrow, along with some creme anglaise. Things are going along smoothly and I will move on to meringues this weekend, after meeting with and discussing my progress with Mrs. Priestly on Thursday.

How to be Interesting

While I was conversing with Mrs. Priestly, I made a rather obvious connection my In-Depth and my foods class, which Mrs. Priestly teaches. She acknowledged this connection, and generated interest by saying that we could potentially do some of the recipes that I plan on doing later on in the semester. This would be of great benefit to me because I could share my passion with my classmates and practice my baking skills all at once. It would also allow me more time to experiment with the recipes, as I could get the basics out of the way during class time. She said we could potentially do pies or eclairs after spring break, so I could try making different kinds of these goods or add different flavours to change things up. When we were discussing why I chose baking I told her a story about my Christmas tradition of baking with my Grandmother. I have fond memories of baking gingerbread cookies, fruitcake, and other seasonal treats, and I chose to do baking for my In-Depth because I wanted to remind myself of those happy times. I look forward to focusing on listening during my next session with Mrs. Priestly, and will report back with my findings soon.

In-Depth Blog Post #2

It has been about two weeks since my last blog post, and unfortunately I have made less progress than I would have liked. I have secured Mrs. Priestly as my mentor, but was unable to meet with her over the past two weeks due to exam week and the transition to the new semester, but I have a meeting with her set up for Thursday. I have also had a chance to get into the kitchen and refresh my baking skills, as I made scones on Friday. I have also done some preliminary research on the effects and uses of different flours such as all purpose, bread, cake, pastry, whole wheat, and rice flour. From this research, I have decided that I will probably use pastry and cake flour for my baking, as most of it will be dessert based, and I will use rice flour for the gluten free portion, as rice flour does not contain gluten. The main takeaway from this research is that flours used for baking pastries and cakes are more finely milled and have a lower protein content to help give the baked good a more fluffy and tender texture. In the coming weeks I hope to make up for lost time, meet with Mrs. Priestly twice and really get my In-Depth rolling.

Unfortunately, since I have not yet met with Mrs. Priestly, I cannot comment on how I have incorporated the first three aspects of A Beautiful Mind. I will update this blog post on Thursday after my meeting with my mentor so I can demonstrate how I have used the three aspects.

Zip DOL #5

1. What is your inquiry question? What initially drew you to this question? Did your question stay the same, or did it change overtime? Why?

My inquiry question for this year was “what techniques make a good persuasive speech?” I was drawn to this question because as mentioned in my introductory blog post, I’ve always had an interest in speeches and I like arguing with others, so I figured I’d combine these two interests in the form of my inquiry question. My question stayed the same because my research didn’t change my main question, although it did change my understanding of the topic. My question could have changed if I had gone down the broader topic of being persuasive in general, but I felt that if I had changed to being persuasive I would have strayed too far from the English aspect of this inquiry. However, a lot of what I learned during my inquiry could be applied more or less the same way in general persuasiveness.

2. What skills have you expanded on / learned during the inquiry process? How are these skills applicable to your success as a student?

During the inquiry process, I have expanded on a number of skills. firstly, I expanded on my speech writing ability. Almost all of the speeches I have written in the past have been more informative rather than persuasive, so I learned about a new type of speech writing that I can use when doing public speaking in the future. I have also improved my research skills. Rather than exclusively use sources specifically focused on persuasive speeches, I have explored other areas that I can apply to speeches, opening me up to a broader amount of information than I have found in the past. Finally, I have improved on my organizational skills. By keeping all of my notes and drafts, etc. in one place, I have made it much easier to find the information I need when I need it.

3. What did you learn about / what is your answer to this inquiry question? Remember to be specific and provide direct evidence from your research.

There are many answers to this question, as there are many components that make a persuasive speech successful, so I will go over the most important. Delivery is a huge part of making a success speech persuasive. If a person goes up and has a boring introduction and drones on during the speech, the audience will lose interest very quickly. The same is true if a speaker goes up and seems to lack confidence or knowledge of their topic. It is important to appear confident and be engaging with the audience. this can be achieved by gesticulating, speaking clearly and confidently, and using humour to maintain interest. The composition of the speech is also very important. The issue needs to be a topic that can be argued. It is extremely difficult to write a persuasive speech on a topic such as “why sharks are animals,” as this is already commonly accepted as a fact. The topic also needs to be well researched. One cannot just go up and say that their speech is about “why you should wash your hands” and then not have any evidence to back this statement up. Finally, one of the most important parts of making a persuasive speech is knowing what the opinion of the audience is, so that one can relate to them better and be more personal in their persuasion.

4. In what ways does your final learning artifact demonstrate your learning / answer to your inquiry question? How does it connect to your chosen curricular competencies? Consider listing your competencies and including images, links, or excerpts from your work to demonstrate this.

My final learning artifact is a persuasive speech. This demonstrates my learning since my research is intended to be applied to a speech. Although the speech topic itself is not related to my question, the type of speech as well as the techniques I use will demonstrate my learning. My curricular competencies are express an  opinion and  support it with credible evidence, transform ideas and information to create original texts, and assess and refine texts to improve their clarity, effectiveness, and impact according to purpose, audience,and message. My artifact connects to the first competency because it is, quite literally, an opinion supported by credible evidence. It connects to the second competency because in order to write my speech I needed to take ideas that I learned from being persuasive in general and apply them to speech writing. I also had to take information I had gathered about my speech topic and use it in order to write the speech. My artifact connects to the third competency because I had to edit my speech and cut it down, change word choice etc. to make it clear and concise and to fit better with the audience that I was trying to persuade, my classmates.

5. What resources did you find useful during your inquiry and why were they useful? (Cite at least four resources you consulted, with links, and write a brief 50-100 word response as to why it was important to your learning).

This source was really useful as not only did it give tips on how to write a persuasive speech, it also was very useful in the structuring of my speech. Overall a thorough and extremely useful source.

This source was useful as the tips were useful in writing the speech, but also helped me understand how to deliver it. Citing examples from very successful speeches also helped me understand the concepts better, which allowed me to apply them much easier.

Although not every principle mentioned was applicable to my inquiry, most were and not only helped me in learning about the delivery of a persuasive speech, but also in how to write one, as some principles could be modified to work in the writing process.

This source was useful because it had more information to do with the audience, and since other sources didn’t mention as much about the audience, this was a major help in writing my speech when I was thinking about the audience.

6. What new questions do you have about your inquiry? What motivates you or excites you about these questions?

Although I don’t have any questions about my inquiry itself, the process has spawned some related questions that I hope to answer in the future, such as how are the techniques in persuasive speech writing and essay writing similar and different and why? What excites me about this question is that by looking into this topic, I could improve my speech and essay writing, and I could explore an area similar to the topic that I originally chose to pursue for Zip. I also have another question, how is a persuasive speech different from other kinds of speeches? I am excited about this question because by trying to answer it, I could learn more about other speeches, expanding on the knowledge I have which could help prepare me for future public speaking.

DOL #4

Knowing what you know now, what advice would you give yourself at the start of your inquiry?

The advice that I would give myself at the beginning of my inquiry would be to try to broaden my research. I spent too much time scrolling through repetitive articles that bored and frustrated me when I could have been discovering new information that could actually help further my inquiry. adding on to this, I would have given myself less time for speech writing because I managed to finish it a lot quicker than I imagined and then had “too” much time to edit.

DOL #3

Reflect on your inquiry question and how your understanding is changing, becoming more focused, or is perhaps being reaffirmed by your research. what do you know now that you didn’t know when you started this inquiry?

At the beginning of my inquiry, I understood that the delivery of a speech was what made it a good persuasive speech but as I have done more research I have learned that the actual composition of the speech plays a major role in how effective it is. I never knew that such simple and minimal things, such as only having three body points, could have such a large impact on how successful a speech is. Even word choice can make or break a speech, so it is important to pay attention to detail while writing a speech, let alone while delivering one.


DOL #2

Describe the ups and downs  you have encountered to date in your inquiry. Specifically, when were you frustrated or struggling in your inquiry, what did you do to address the situation?

There have not been too many ups and downs in my inquiry, but one particular area where I was frustrated was the repetitiveness of articles on persuasive speech writing. It felt like I was just reading the same information article after article, rarely finding new information to further my progress. In order to address this problem, I switched my area of research from persuasive speech writing to being persuasive in general, which provided me with a large amount of new information that wasn’t about speech writing, but could be applied to my question, therefore allowing me to further my inquiry.

In-Depth Introductory Blog Post

My In-Depth this year is baking. I chose to do baking this year because I have a passion for food, and I want to sharpen my baking skills as in the past I have mostly focused on other disciplines of cooking. My project will open up new areas of cooking for me and help expand my culinary palate. Baking will also allow me to express myself in the form of food, one of my favourite things in life.

The mentor I hope to acquire is Mrs. Priestly. Mrs. Priestly is the foods teacher at Gleneagle and is very experienced in cooking in general. I will also be taking Foods and Nutrition 11 with Mrs. Priestly over the course of In-Depth, which will make it easier to arrange meetings and have conversations with her.