Socials DoL 3: Halibut Treaty

Halibut Treaty… What exactly is the Halibut Treaty? The dictionary definition for the word treaty is a formally concluded and ratified agreement between countries, therefore, it can be assumed that the halibut treaty is an agreement made between countries about Halibut fish. However, many people fail to inform themselves on the direct consequence and result of this event, and how it really shaped Canada’s political and economic growth. A reasonable explanation for the lack of unified Canadian identity that is evident in today’s society is due to our lack of knowledge in significant Canadian events that determine our autonomy and makes us Canadians. By delving into the Halibut Treaty, we are able to learn about one of Canada’s most prominent landmarks that transitioned Canada to a sovereign autonomous state.

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First of all, in order to look back at an event which took place nearly a century ago (95 years to be exact), it is necessary to recall the events leading up to the Halibut Treaty. In 1923, when the Halibut Treaty was negotiated and signed, Canada had an ‘independent government’ but was not fully autonomous as a nation, due to Britain’s powerful grasp that still had a huge impact in Canada’s political decisions. Britain had the right to consent, repeal, and override any of Canada’s acts, and Britain’s acts still applied to Canadians.

 

Section 132 of the British North American Act states:

The Parliament and Government of Canada shall have all Powers necessary or proper for performing the Obligations of Canada or of any Province thereof, as Part of the British Empire, towards Foreign Countries, arising under Treaties between the Empire and such Foreign Countries.”

 

This basically implies that a Britain representative will have a seat at or at the very minimum be present in any of Canada’s international treaties and foreign affairs. Canada’s international standing became almost non-existent, which was expected  considering that any meeting involving Canada had a British subject attached at the hips who had all the power to OK or veto all the conditions being negotiated. Almost all of Canada’s officials at this time grew increasingly frustrated over Britain’s control over Canadian matters, many felt that Canadian ego was threatened, and some began to take small, but noticeable actions to retaliate back.

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https://www.pinterest.ca/pin/857724691504264635/

In Canada, the Halibut stock value was rapidly decreasing. Prior to 1921, it was in great bloom: large scale halibut fishing was big in business after the creation of the Northern Pacific Railway, which connects the Pacific Ocean to Eastern Canada allowing Halibut to be traded and sold. In World War I, fishing for Halibut was big due to the continual efforts from Canada and the United States to be on good trading terms while the war was happening. In 1915, Halibut was at an all time high of 69 million pounds! The serious decline in Halibut became concerning enough that the Canadian government sought for a way to amend the problems. Between Canada and the United States, negotiations for preserving fish stocks began around 1918. Most prominently involved was Ernest Lapointe, then Canada’s minister of Marine and Fisheries, and Charles Evan Hughes, the US Secretary of State. Although at first the discussions had no urgency, the continual decline motivated both countries to come to an agreement regarding the North Pacific, fishing grounds for both countries. In the terms of this treaty, fishing would be off season and would not be allowed between November 16 to February 15, with a seizure of penalty if terms were broken. The International Fisheries Commission was introduced to inquire about the life of a Pacific Halibut and recommend measures to preserve their presence in our oceans. On March 2nd, 1923, the final result of the treaty boiled down to the Convention for the Preservation of Halibut Fishery of the Northern Pacific Ocean, an historic first agreement on an international preservation of a resource. However, there is a bigger underlying theme that is arguably, more important than the treaty itself. (Will be discussed later on.)

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Halibut Treaty

 

Economically, this event improved Canada’s fishing industry and therefore the flow of Canada’s cash flow and economy. During this time, there was also an economic shift in trade between Canadians and international countries. Prior to the event, British was Canada’s biggest trading partner, but during this time, the US surpassed Britain. Politically, this was the first treaty that was signed without British involvement and established Canadian dominance over Canadian issues. (This idea will be developed in Historical Significance). Finally, socially, this changed Canadian mindset so that Canada is not so dependant on Britain, but rather a separate entity that can make own decisions.

Regarding this whole ordeal, we can put ourselves in the perspectives of Canadians of the early 20th century, and what they felt about the Halibut Treaty. One of Canada’s biggest industries at this time was fishing, and local business were being threatened by the lack of Halibut reaching the markets. Those who knew about the discussion of a treaty supported the government’s decision to negotiate fishing rights in the North Pacific Ocean, as the continual decline of Halibut could have negative impacts on Canada’s economy. Many also supported the government’s decision not to involve British officials. Prior to confederation, a lot of Canadians were still loyalists, and enjoyed the benefits from being under Britain’s rule, such as protection. However, after Canada’s ‘semi-independence’, the British Empire became a huge benefactor from the creation of another country. They did not have to use their resources to protect Canadians, however, still had the right to control all the regulations and bills in Canada. This brought along many concerns by Canadian Prime Ministers such as Robert Boden, and it can be assumed that their interests reflected the citizen interests at this time. After the treaty was signed, initially, the Halibut market continued to decrease while the IFC was researching and providing recommendations. However, after revisions in 1930, 1937, and 1953, and a increase of board members to six people, the market finally began to stabilize and grow. In 1959, a catch of 71.5 million pounds of Halibut finally exceeded the 1915 record of 69 million pounds. Canadians could finally feel a sense of independence, knowing that as a nation, decisions made without British involvement could still have a positive influence on Canada. 

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http://www.storyboardthat.com/storyboards/millymater/halibut-treaty

 

Historical Significance

As mentioned earlier, the Halibut Treaty affected all four quadrants of a cycle: economical, political, social, and environmental. That’s great and all, but what does this really mean in terms of Canadian identity and it’s path to becoming a fully autonomous state? This treaty seems of low importance at first, considering that it had minor impact on the US, however, it was extremely important from Canada’s perspective in terms of what this treat symbolizes beyond the simple preservation of nature.

When the negotiations were being made between Canada and the United States, the British wished to sign the treaty as they have always had. However, Prime Minister William Lyon Mackenzie King argued that this issue had nothing to do with the British Empire, therefore, a British official doesn’t need to be present. Despite fervent British resistance, King maintained his stance, even threatening to send independant representative to Washington D.C. The British Empire backed off, knowing that a request for independent representation would bypass any British authority.

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https://www.thecanadianencyclopedia.ca/en/article/halibut-treaty/

 

Mackenzie’s strong insistence to keep Britain out of the Halibut Treaty, was the start of proving Canada’s autonomy from the British Empire. Canada proved as a nation that it is capable of making independent decisions that shape its own future without guidance or help from Britain. Throughout accumulations of smaller steps such as the independent Canadian involvement in World War I, Prime Minister Mackenzie King successfully took the first noticeable step with the Halibut Treaty to Canadian autonomy.

For example, Prime Minister Robert Borden demanded that the Canadian Expeditionary Force in World War I fight as a single unit instead of a subunit under British troops. His case seems well justified; Canadian military members would want to fight for their own country, and it probably boosted Canadian moral and national pride. After the war, he continued on to fight for Canadian independence in small ways such as arguing for a Canadian representative at the Paris Peace Conference and for Canada to have its own seat at the League of Nations.

This also demonstrates national pride for Canada, and its growth over the last century from confederation to resisting against other countries trying to meddle in Canadian affairs. It proves that Canadian wants and fears can be negotiated within Canada and by a representative of Canada, and we are capable of making independent decisions that shape our own path. Although I was not present 95 years ago, this event is significant to shaping Canadian autonomy and forged the way to the Balfour Report, which states that, “all are autonomous Communities within the British Empire, equal in status, in no way subordinate to one another in any aspect of their domestic or external affairs, though united by a common allegiance to the Crown, and freely associated as members of the British Commonwealth.”

Sources:

https://canadianautonomy.webnode.com/the-halibut-treaty/

https://www.thecanadianencyclopedia.ca/en/article/halibut-treaty/

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Halibut_Treaty

http://www.treaty-accord.gc.ca/text-texte.aspx?id=103707

Socials Academic Controversy: Trudeau and Laurier

Is Justin Trudeau currently positioned to be Laurier’s successor?

L = Laurier T= Trudeau

 

Pro (things they have in common) Con (things they don’t have in common)
Immigration

  • Both in favour of immigrants coming to Canada
    • Wants to increase the population: in the case of L was to cultivate the land and in the case of T is to even out the wage gap
    • Believe in equity?
    • Cares for minority groups
    • Both achieved their goals
    • L = Was in huge support of bringing immigrants to colonize Canada West and promised free land
    • T = Welcomed 25,000 Syrian refugees although it was two months later than promised

Background and Culture

  • Both politicians and French Canadian
  • Catholic background
  • Similarities in education L = Law, T = Literature
  • Stressed importance of maintaining both the English and French culture

Sunny Ways

  • Both used lots of compromise to come to agreement of various conflicts
    • L = Manitoba School Question where L attempted to make the Catholics and Protestants happy
    • T= the 2015 debate where he used sunny ways and also in his platform when he was talking about positivity
  • Not very radical
  • Seeks to please everyone (ties into focusing on re-election as both set their platform on getting re-elected for the next term)

Rebuttal: T doesn’t focus on sunny ways as much as Laurier does because he sometimes makes a decision (arguable for the greater good). An example is the Pipeline issue where he didn’t really compromise with the Indigenous people.
Military

  • Strengthening Royal Canadian Navy
    • L= create a navy in 1910 which helped Great Britain in their war
    • T = promised more ships and patrols for navy however has yet to keep his promise
  • Peacekeeping nation (keeping peace in international conflicts)
    • Being supportive country allies but not fully being involved in the issue
  • Look to long term Canadian development

Foreign Relations

  • Tried to/keeps good relation with the States
  • Independent nation
    • L = pushed for independence and Canadian Confederation
    • T = Canada is making changes to the government system
      • Senate reform
      • Not depend on Britain as much?
      • Questioning why we have a monarch
    • L = tried to encourage free trade with the US
    • T = supports NAFTA free trade agreement
Background

  • L = was raised as a farmer (less introduced to the political scheme)
  • T = Raised in a family politicians (Pierre Trudeau)

Unity vs Diversity

  • L = tried to push for unity of all countries and strongly supported Canada’s independence
    • Style of compromise
  • L = loyalists although french born
  • T = post nationalism state
    • Advocates for diversity in a global setting

Different perspectives on society

  • L followed the ideals and views at the time: society has progressed since then and some of L’s values do not match up to T’s values
  • E.g.
    • L = raised Chinese Tax from $50 → $500
    • L = transferred Indigenous land to Western Settler Land

Focus on internal vs external threats

  • T focuses on protecting citizens internally (within Canada)
    • Social infrastructure and building on top of the essential needs of humans
  • L focuses on protecting citizens from external threats
    • Independant Navy (Navala act)

Rebuttal: Arguably, at the time L had to protect Canada to maintain its own identity. As Canada has a secure global standing currently, T can take more time into focusing on the living conditions of Canadian citizens (Pyramid)
Way of leadership compromise vs greater good

  • Although both have a certain degree of compromisation, sometime T is not all about compromise
    • E.g. For the Mountain Trans pipeline, he didn’t negotiate or compromise very much

Sources:

http://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/trudeau-speech-indigenous-rights- 1.4534679

Over 800 businesses slam Trudeau government’s purchase of Trans Mountain pipeline

http://www.thecanadianencyclopedia.ca/en/exhibit/sunny-ways/

https://trudeaumetre.polimeter.org/

http://www.elections.ca/content.aspx?section=res&dir=his&document=chap2&lang=e

 

 

Dear, Sir, John A Macdonald,

Dear Sir. John. A. Macdonald,

 

First of all, I would like to congratulate you on your investment towards uniting the colonies.

I have written this letter to ensure my support for the upcoming confederation conferences and to convince you where I stand in this issue.

I must admit, when I first entered political matters I was quite opposed to the idea you had with the other members of the Great Coalition. I vaguely recall our confrontation in 1861, and being described as “a Tory of the old school” by Sir, which I presume implies negative connotations to the fact that I belong to “the old fossil party”, otherwise known as the Family Compact. However, I can reassure you that I do not have the so called wealth to be part of the group of people that controls most of the judicial, legislative, business, and religious powers of Upper Canada. My failure of a business and my poor success as a lawyer is enough proof of this fact. Furthermore, members of the Family Compact are heavily against democratic reform and responsible government which I clearly stand for, and which is the purpose of me writing this letter to you now.

As you may already know, in 1861, I defeated the postmaster general of your party, and was elected as an independent candidate to represent the Northumberland West in the Legislative Assembly. However, after much thought, I have decided to switch my allegiance to stand under your Macdonald and Cartier party, mainly due to one reason. I, Cockburn, pride myself on being a strong nationalist and hope to see all political parties stand under one central government which will carry out acts that benefit all the nations as a whole. This is the very reason why I empathize with your need to unite Upper, Lower and the Maritimes of Canada for economical reasons and for fear of annexation from the South. Time and time again I have reconfirmed my support for you, and the case in 1862 with my support of the proposed militia act is evidence of such. Needless to say, I am strongly for confederation as I have great faith in you, your convincing arguments, and your determination to see confederation through.

What particularly intrigued me was the rep by pop system. Although I am no means a recognized politician, and others may not see me as an individual with great conviction, I write to convince you of the validity of the rep by pop system and its accurate representation of the people’s wants and needs. Furthermore, as I immigrated to Canada at a very young age and my childhood and education has thrived in the heart of Ontario, undoubtedly, I have the citizens of Ontario in mind when pondering about the future of this new confederation. Canada West outweighs the population of that of Canada East and the Maritimes, and this could be used towards our favour when discussing new policies and laws that could benefit Canada West.

Finally, I write to you to shed some light on our recent threats from the south. As you are well aware, there is great tension that is arising between the border that separates us from the power of the south. It is in my greatest interest to see the colonies unite and raise our defenses towards their motives to annex our land through what is called the “Manifest Destiny”. America’s civil war may be dying down, but in turn, they have turned their ugly heads towards the land that we hold as our own. They may seem divided, but we must not cast this aside as weakness; their military and their soldiers could roll into our land in a matter of weeks and destroy years of culture and heritage that we have built upon our land. While other politicians have been blissfully feigning ignorance of such threats, I trust that you see the great dangers that might be soon present if we don’t take action immediately. In this, I give my full support to unite all colonies and nations as one, and to protect our people.

Although I am from a small town of Ontario, and my opinion matters least among powerful politicians, I do hope that my leap of faith towards the confederation would give you some support and confidence to follow it through.

 

An union of all people of all lands is long overdue.  The time is now.

 

Sincerely,

James Cockburn

 

Sources:

http://www.thecanadianencyclopedia.ca/en/article/family-compact/

http://www.biographi.ca/en/bio/cockburn_james_11E.html

http://www.thecanadianencyclopedia.ca/en/article/james-cockburn/

Indepth Post #6: Only a month away

In-depth is a month away and I’m already writing my final post of the year! With April May Juneeeee going past quickly, I accomplished many things since my last in-depth post.

 

First of all, I put my vision for the night of in-depth together. I changed my original idea because it would take too much time with other peers which would be hard to organize. At the start of in-depth, I wanted to present my composition live with the help of my friends in the music department. For the instruments where I couldn’t get anyone in the school, I would ask my orchestra friends to play their parts individually, record, and put together to show on the screen at in-depth. However, I quickly realized that this plan was not realistic, mainly for two reasons.

 

Playing orchestral compositions take a lot of fine tuning as a collective group. In VYSO, it’s hard enough trying to play the piece perfect as a group, nevertheless filming the pieces individually and trying to put them together using my computer! There would be too many components for me to handle such as rhyme, tempo, dynamics, and more. Also, this would take too much time which is not feasible with all the work on my plate currently.

 

Second of all, asking peers to play live would be difficult, especially because there is a limit to how much I can control the stage environment. Plus, I know that they have lots of things on their mind, and many of them said that they would want to do it, but don’t have the time to do so.

untitled <– Alternate Plan

Now, my alternate plan is to bring down the orchestral composition to a quartet level. This would work, because although I focused on orchestra composition throughout my project, composing for a quartet would be almost the same thing! I meet with my quartet every Saturday, so I could ask them easily to practice it, and record the group to showcase on in-depth. I planned on recording the composition without me in it, just the 1st and 2nd violin and cello, so that on in-depth night, while this is playing behind be, I could play my part on stage!

 

Progress wise, I have already created the piece to show on the night of in-depth. I had already thought of my presentation idea when creating the piece, so I just composed for a quartet instead of orchestra.

 

Here is the preview for it here: Only 30 seconds because I don’t want to spoil the song

 

quartet-composition Click the link to look at the score!

(I cut the document to only show the 30 seconds)

 

However, here is the whole core (Which is where everyone’s part is one page for the conductor to look at). 1 minute and a ½ is pretty lengthy, so in total, it’s about 10 pages. You can find the link to the score down below.

Indepth Night Quartet Composition Score

 

Get ready for some fire, indepth 2018!

Dr. Frederick Banting and His Road to Discovering the Ultimate Treatment

The autobiography non-fiction book that I am reading about Dr. Frederick Banting is titled, Breakthrough: Banting, Best, and the Race to Save Millions of Diabetics by Thea Cooper and Arthur Ainsberg.  I am currently ⅔ finished and around my book!

 

“Which one should I have left, sir?”

This quote seems fairly unimportant at first glance, but once I read the background behind the quote, I immediately knew that it would be on this list. This took place in one of the earlier days of Banting’s life, during his service as an army medic in World War II. Banting was operating at one of the dressing stations in Lilac Farm, when the Germans were firing furiously at, well, at about anything. Banting had been hit himself in the arm and protested heavily when his commander told him to take the stretcher ambulance. Despite his orders, when the commander relocated to another dressing station for a brief time, he had to help the incoming stream of the injured asking himself, “Is this the face I am going to walk away from?,”. The answer was always no. Seventeen hours later when the commander returned, Banting was standing exactly where he left him. When he glared at Banting, Banting looked back without fear or malice and asked, “Which one should I have left, sir?” Banting’s dedication to his fellow officers is both admirable and stubborn, almost to the point of ignorance. Although his refusal to have his wound treated right away almost got his arm amputated, it also won him the Military Cross. Although Banting looks foolish for his impulsive actions several more times in the book, it just may be this stubborn character that eventually finds him the treatment for diabetes.

This quote shows the values of Canadians in times of need; leadership, innovation, resilience, and teamwork are only a prominent few among many. All this stems from that fact that Canadians feel a sense of duty to protect what they own, and the hardships shifted our values so that many civic nations bound together in a national crisis. As a nation, many volunteered and raised up to fight for their own country during the World Wars. We have a great sense of pride in being Canadians, and Banting showed us that despite his injuries, he was willing to stay and treat more injured people. This can also be connected to modern values of our time. Canadians often project the image of ‘peacekeepers’, which can be seen as both a positive and negative light. Canadian identity is a bit wishy washy; we have many common values, but no collective national interests to protect, which is why other countries view us as separate nations in one country. However, despite this, Canadians aren’t afraid to serve their country, and defend their own when it really gets down to it.

 

“He [Banting] had gone from being a country farm boy to being a medical student to being a decorated officer in the Canadian army and now he found himself unemployed and in debt, casting about for direction, plagued by resentments about the past, and paralyzed with fear about the future.”

I found this quote particularly interesting because in such a short time frame, you can really see how Banting progresses. If you compare this to a chart, I would imagine that it would look like an up, down, up down. Back in this era, it was hard for country farm boys to become medical students, and similar to modern day situations, it costed hard work and a lot of money. Banting himself only managed to attend medical school in UT due to his father’s graduating gift of $1,500. When he finally completed his courses, the country was at war, and he volunteered to serve in the army. After going through all sorts of trouble there, he became a decorated officer, only to come home and realize that he had no idea what to do next. I think Banting’s experience can resonate with many people because it shows that humans are creatures of habit, and when this habit is broken, we are often at lost for what to do. The determining point is how you adjust to this situation, and whether you have enough mind strength to push past personal doubts, find your identity, and recognize your presence in the community.

This says a lot about the values of the Canadian government and how they treated veterans in the past. Back then, veterans were honoured; the city held annual parades and built war memorials, but did not honour what the soldiers really wanted. JOBS. The aftermaths of the war were shocking and many soldiers who had survived the war couldn’t get back on their feet. They often felt lost in sense of direction of their life, could not find jobs to financially stabilize themselves, and many had post traumatic stress disorder from the war. Some even turned to alcohol and drug substance users to mitigate their stress in other ways. Banting was one of the people who went from being a highly respected officer, to a mere person with income rages of 4 dollars a day. Despite fighting so hard for Canada, Banting, and many others, were cast from the country when they needed the help back. Even today, many veterans are still not getting the proper acknowledgment that is due from the government. This quote allowed me to reflect on how much the veterans did for us, and how we could be improving their lives with sufficient funding and well managed senior homes.

 

“Diabetus [sic] Ligate pancreatic ducts of dog. Keep dog alive till acini degenerate leave Islets. Try to isolate the internal secretion of these to relieve glycosurea [sic].”

This quote is the most prominent two lines in the entire book so far; this would become the starting point of the cure for diabetes. What particularly captured my interest is that he thought of this idea at three in the morning, half awake and with extremely loopy handwriting. The fact that this single-handedly inspired him to discover a treatment for diabetes is astonishing because it shows how he accomplished such a feat with sheer will power, determination and strength of mind. Second of all, this also shows how progressive and smart Banting must have been to think of this kind of idea on his own (although there were similar discoveries in the past, Banting did not know about them). I can connect to Banting because once I have an idea down, I will do whatever I can to make sure it gets implemented or acted upon.

At the time Banting wrote these two lines in his black notebook, he was not aware that his idea was not original. Before Banting was Lydia de Witt who described the same idea as early as 1906 (63). As recent as 1916, in Rome, a physiologist also injected dogs with a pancreatic extract that normalized their blood sugar levels. This shows how Canada was detached to the rest of the world in an international level. Banting was not aware of these discoveries because these publishments had not been translated to English and brought over to Canada at this point. Articles between Canada and other countries were not interchanged smoothly till the later 20th century, and this could have stunted our country’s progress in a great array of genres. This could also have been detrimental to the career of many researchers as credit is often given to the first published successful experiment. Banting always said, “finding the discovery is not as important as publishing the discovery,”. If Canada and other countries are moving on to the post-nationalism stage, I think it is important to keep in mind that if so, scientists could then collectively contribute to cures for diseases such as cancer, at an international level.

 

“I’m more interested in finding a cure for diabetes than in reading about how others have tried and failed.”

This quote pertains to the conversation between Banting and Macleod when Banting visits his research university and proposes his idea to cure diabetes. What I found interesting is that from this quote I got two impressions of Banting. First of all, I can tell that he prides himself in being a smart person, almost to the point of arrogance. Macleod told him that many other researchers have tried similar methods, and although Banting did not know this information prior to their meeting, even after he found out, he thinks himself at a higher level then the previous researchers stating that he does not want to read the works of failed research experiments. Another impression of Banting is more positive; he knows that other people have failed, but it does not keep him doubting himself and his determination perseveres to continue searching for a cure for diabetes.

Ideas in the field of science in the early 20th century were not as advanced as that of modern day society. At this time, people valued researchers who discovered big ideas, and many scientists worked their entire lives to find little pieces of information, or mere clues that would confirm their theory. Although this is still the case in modern times, science has changed. In school we are only taught what is already known, and in most cases, aren’t given ample chances to think and connect pieces of information on our own. Science is the art of logic; many in our time believe that there is no imagining behind what is right and wrong, but if this was the case of many researchers before us, science would not have advanced. I think that Canadian values have shifted to limit ourselves to what we know and do not know, and in the case of science, this could be detrimental to our country’s progress.

 

“It was as if the dogs knew the importance of the work and willingly participated.”

This quote quipped my interest because Banting’s use of dogs for his experiments were morbid and terrifying. For each of Banting’s experiment, he used two dogs. One would be the donor, who would be ligated and sacrificed to supply to pancreatic extract for the second, depancreatized dog who would be the recipient. (87) Banting and his assistant Best, experimented on at least a hundred on dogs to finally see results. Going back to that issue about animals and their role in our life, this seems like a terrible but honest reflection on the kind of person Banting is, and is very controversy because he is experimenting on hundreds of dogs, to save hundreds of human lives. This changed my impression on Banting in quite the negative way and shows once again that even the most brilliant people can’t escape from mistakes in their life.

This connects to current events as well, specifically, the inquiry question that Melissa and Nicole brought up regarding animal testing. Using two dogs for every experiment, and having many experiment failed with the only result of a dead dog, needless to say, Banting and Best went through hundreds of dogs. Although some were found on the street, I think that this goes back to the conversation that many societies don’t value animals in a human’s life. The experiments were not well handled either, many of the dogs died from starvation as Banting had to minimize sugar levels, and this kind of lab setting is unseen in our time. That being said, it shows that the Canadian society has progressed enough so that this kind of lab setting cannot be administered. In modern values, we are working towards appreciating animals, only taking what’s needed and making sure experiment are approved for safe animal care.

 

Theme:

If one works hard enough at being persistent, eventually it will create opportunities for success.  

Banting on numerous occasions, demonstrated that he was a persistent individual. For example, when others told him that he could not survive in medical school due to his lack of background in his early years, persistence allowed him to graduate and serve in the Canadian military. He was persistent in continuing medicine, so when medicals advised him to amputate his arm after he was shot by a gun, he refused and eventually gained back the use of his arm. Even when Macleod was hesitant about granting Banting the lab to carry out his research on pancreatic extracts, he fought back with hard rebuttals because he was persistent in making his experiment a success. Although persistent can sometimes be seen as foolish, it created opportunities for Banting to work with others in the same work of field, and eventually lead to Banting’s discovery of the treatment of diabetes. I can connect to Banting in many different ways because we are both people who attain the mindset that enough effort will eventually lead to success. Furthermore, like Banting, I had the desire to pursuit a career in medicine from a very young age. Since medical school is something that requires a lot of persistence, reading about Banting allowed me to understand that if I want to survive through medical school, I need to be more persistent in taking charge of my own learning and to direct my path to where I want to go.

Sir. John. A. Macdonald – Worth A Long Second Look

Mr Morris

Humanities

April 20, 2018

Historical figures are often held at a higher scrutiny regarding their negative actions then positive as they affect a wider array of people’s livelihood. Recently, this sparks the debate over Canada’s first prime minister Sir John. A, Macdonald, who is receiving criticism for his promotion of the Indian act, and similar legislations, that goes against modern Canadian principles. Although some argue that Macdonald is rightfully titled as ‘Father of Confederation’ due to his resolution to unite Canada, those who call for the removal of Macdonald’s name and statue believe that his actions towards minorities, such as the Indigenous and the Chinese, are a direct insult to the multiculturalism that is prevalent in Canada today. Nevertheless, because of John A. Macdonald’s historical values that cannot be judged by contemporary mindsets and his strong effort to keep Canada a separate entity from the United States, his displays should rightfully remain in the public sphere.

Since values are determined by the wants and needs of society during a specific time period, one cannot judge Macdonald with current values, as when society progresses values change as well.  Although the Dominion of Canada had multiple misjudgements in its creation, one must note that “while Macdonald did make mistakes, so did [all] Canadians, collectively” (Gwyn). Macdonald cannot be used as a scapegoat for the thousands of other Canadians during the 1900s, who also believed that white supremacy was the fundamental basis of law, hierarchy and order in a society. Viewing Macdonald objectively as only a leader of this environment, his first priority was to Canada as a whole and to please Canadians in order to form a new thriving force. Since the majority of vote holders at the time were white, privileged men, it made sense for him to appeal to them in order to implement his big ideas. Like any other praised political leader, he was committed to the right values of society then, and worked hard to ensure that his actions reflected the people’s wants. Instead of seeing Macdonald as an obstacle to Canada’s acceptance of all ethnicities, one can view  Macdonald as a reference point of Canada’s progress and rapid changes in the Canadian zeitgeist.

Contrarily, others argue that John. A. Macdonalds’ public displays accentuate and glorify his negative values such as racism that don’t align with current Canadian values. However, Macdonald’s monuments represent moments in time that deserve appraisal from the public, most notably, his determination that kept Canada a separate nation from the United States. Macdonald was prime minister during the time labeled “Canada’s age of failure, [when] one in five Canadians left for a better life below the border” due to the poor economy (Gwyn). However, despite Liberal promise of a free-trade agreement with the United States, Macdonald’s strong resolution and vision towards Canada convinced Canadians to vote for him at the election of 1878. By keeping high tariffs, taxes paid by importers and exporters to have their products available internationally, he helped to promote the economy by forcing Canadians to buy domestic goods. Without Macdonald’s determination to prevent the free-trade agreement, Canada’s economic dependence on the United States would soon shift to a political dependence; the wealth of culture and diversity that can be seen in Canada now would have been lost. The statues of John. A. Macdonald honour his efforts in uniting Canada as an independent nation, and because this is still valid and of importance today, his figure should not be removed.

The Elementary Teachers’ Federation of Ontario states that the removal of Macdonald’s name from public schools is necessary for children to feel safe in their own environment, while others say that removal will prevent us from learning about Macdonald’s legacy as the father of confederation (National Post). However, when one understands that Macdonald cannot be judged with our current values, and that his determination stopped Canada from merging into the United States, it is clear the Macdonald should be a figure that remains in the public sphere. Sir. John. A. Macdonald made plenty of bad judgement calls, but just because the values of his time were different then now, hiding our past by removing his likeness isn’t helpful in the long term. As Canadians, we should be honest when looking past our history, and understand the sacrifice and efforts made to achieve Canada’s multicultural society. Similarly, while understanding Sir. John. A. Macdonald and respecting his endeavours, we can learn from his mistakes and make sure history does not repeat.

 

Additional Works Cited:

Press, The Canadian. “Ontario Elementary Teachers’ Union Calls for Renaming John A. Macdonald Schools.” National Post, 24 Aug. 2017, nationalpost.com/news/canada/ontario-elementary-teachers-union-calls-for-renaming-john-a-macdonald-schools.

Indepth Post #5: We’re almost there!

It’s so amazing to see that in-depth has already passed half way. At the beginning of this project, composition seemed like such a long road ahead of me, however, after composing some pieces of my own, I noticed that there isn’t anything hard at all. You just make music you like to listen to, and although it’s a bonus if others like it as well, essentially you should be the number one person who enjoys hearing your compositions.

Since the last in-depth post I have worked on many different things:

  • Most importantly, I have completed the thirty second preview to all three of my pieces – one is more in the 19th century era, one is modern, and one is a more lyrical composition (who says lyrical compositions can’t be played by orchestra!)
  • Composition #1: I added more dynamics and made the transitions between violin and viola less forced.
  • Composition #2: This one is really choppy transitioning to when the trumpet comes in, but I purposely did that so that it would be surprising. Most of the modern orchestra pieces I have listened to tended to do that as well, maybe to escape the very rhythmic and repeating-melody scheme of the classical compositions.
  • Composition #3: I started this one with a tune that came to me when I was, let’s just say I was a bit more emotionally unbalanced. It sounds a bit boring because the first twenty seconds are both solos so I’m considering adding some drum beat in the background.
  • I have annotated and analyzed Beethoven Symphony 9 which is a lyrical and flowy piece. I really enjoyed the fact that the notes are moving, which basically means that you hold the beat of the note for as long as you can before you have to move on to the next note.
    • E.g. playing the E for two beats, I can hold it for the whole two beats or drag it out until my note imposes on the note after it. Hold it for two beats and cut it off right before the third beat.

Composition #1:

e

Inspiration: I played the orchestral piece Phantastiche Symphonie in my orchestra, and took inspiration from there. It starts out with a dramatic beginning, and evenly thins out to the melody, which will be more evident if I decide to lengthen this piece to 3 minutes.

Composition #2:

e

Inspiration: This tune just came to me right before falling asleep. It started out with a voice recording of me humming, which you don’t want to listen to, but I think progressed very nicely!

Composition #3:

e

Inspiration: Starts out as an argument between the oboes and the clarinets (which I purposely chose because they are very similar and from the same family but also very different – kinda like siblings :). Then the rude awakening of the loud bass drum comes in, which is to signal my mother stepping into the scene.

For my next steps, I will start a poll on Google Docs and ask my friends to vote on their favourite composition. On the poll, I will label each 30 second preview with the inspiration I had for each of them. Afterwards, I will take the composition preview with the most votes, and finish the piece for a total of three minutes over April. The first two weeks of May, I will ask my band and orchestra friends to be recorded on screen, and edit the video so that it plays the composition featuring all the different players. (A better description of my finished product will be explained on blog post #6.) Although I am only allowed to show one minute and a half on in-depth night, I can post the rest of the composition on my post.


 

Since my last in-depth post, which was a month ago, I have only met with my mentor as he was busy at a music camp for all of spring break. However, during our last session, he told me that my first composition and my second composition sounded ready to play, which was a compliment that I haven’t heard yet! One criticism was that I should keep in mind the level of skill the performer is at (in composition two, the trumpet part does go up pretty high) but we resolved this because I will be asking the trumpet player from the VYSO to play the part and I know that she is capable of playing the part. Secondly, he asked me to ____Furthermore, he offered me advice on the third composition by suggesting that I start with two solos which “call to each other”. This basically means that both soloists play the same melody on their respective instruments, but change the notes or key signature to make it more interesting and surprising to the audience. The result is an echo. Since I have already used the “echo method” in my second composition, I decided to change it up and compose the two solos so that they would clash one another, kinda like a fight. My inspiration for this is funny and very reflective of my emotions because I was in an argument with my sister when I decided to compose this section.

My mentor also taught me some tips for minor harmonisation techniques.

  1. Using primary chords and secondary chords (diminished and augmented) make a nice whole tone that sounds really pleasing to the ear because the notes compliment each other
  2. Creating patterns with chords, but with a progressive top notes can sound messy, but if used correctly, they create a dynamic change in the music
  3. A lot of modern composers try using more creative harmonisations. These include adding “colour notes” such as sus4 or a two in the chords, borrowing chords (which are chords that aren’t part of the key signature of the piece), and using clusters. I admit that these all sound very messy, and I haven’t figured out a way to use them correctly, but hopefully I can learn this at my next mentor session.

Below are the questions linked to Ms. Mulder’s blog post!

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

One unique learning opportunity that my mentor provides to me is to make my own decisions and make judgements based on what I think sounds good versus my mentors. In order to to this effectively, even if I follow my mentors suggestion, I return to the original composition if I decide that the changes made don’t sound very good. I try to keep the mindset that although my mentor has more experience, I don’t have to stick to his feedback and can formulate my own opinions to the music I create.

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

This past month, the main skill that I was taught were ways to harmonise and use “echos” effectively. In order to reinforce my new learning, I took initiative to include some of this in the compositions that I created afterwards, which allowed me to practice skills that I learnt in theory. The main new learning that I am constantly doing is learning how to compose, and I try to do composing 2 – 3 hours every week to refine this skill.

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

In order to accelerate my learning, my mentor has been encouraging me to move at a faster pace when I compose. This essentially comes down to looking for more ways to get inspiration from other sources. Some ways I have been doing this is to listen to more music, watching YouTube videos on my keyboarding, and asking my teacher to teach me advanced harmonizing between different instruments (I already learned basic harmonizing). I also started to experiment composing in the modern genre, although it’s not really my style because the sound turns out pretty messy, I had fun trying it out.  

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

After 5 mentor sessions, my mentor and I have a routine to follow at each of our hour sessions. First of all, my mentor hears the pieces that I have worked on for the two weeks we haven’t met, then we discuss the pieces and my mentor gives me feedback. Then, I adapt to the feedback and go over some of my compositions making the changes. We both listen to the piece again and decide if it sounded better before and after the changes were made.

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

My mentor and I already had a positive student-teacher relationship before he became my mentor for in-depth, therefore, I feel more comfortable with approaching him about challenges and obstacles. His humour, which allows me to have a great time during our sessions, combined with his amazing ability to understand music make for à great learning environment. Although I am only considering music as a hobby down the road, our mentorship will be an great experience and hopefully, I can apply his teachings to my students later on.

  1. What are you learning about one another?

We are both people who like to chat during our mentorship sessions, and I particularly find his humour very pleasant. I am careful not to steer the conversation away from composition too much as I have limited time with him due to our busy schedules. One thing he’s probably learned about me is that I’m afraid of making mistakes, and this could have intervened with my composition process because that is all about trial and error. He constantly asks me, “How do you know if a piece is perfect?”.

AprilMayJune here I come!

Socials DoL 2: Inquiry Question Residential Schools

To what extent were the impacts of the Residential schools felt in the Aboriginal community and how or how not is the government attempting reconciliation towards Aboriginals who were sent to Residential school?

To answer my inquiry question, I made a short video!

The script is below in case anyone wants to follow along.

Script

Notes

Sources:

https://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/national/commissions-report-puts-canada-on-brink-of-a-historic-reckoning/article24825565/

http://indigenousfoundations.arts.ubc.ca/the_residential_school_system/

http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/a-timeline-of-residential-schools-the-truth-and-reconciliation-commission-1.724434

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vdR9HcmiXLA

http://www.aadnc-aandc.gc.ca/eng/1100100015657/1100100015675

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2015/jun/06/canada-dark-of-history-residential-schools

Socials DoL 1: The October Crisis

“There is no core identity, no mainstream in Canada. Those qualities are what make us the first postnational state.”

-Prime Minister Justin Trudeau (2015)

 

Definitions (Google):

Identity: The fact of being who or what a person or thing is.

Mainstream: The ideas, attitudes, or activities that are regarded as normal or conventional; the dominant trend in opinion, fashion, or the arts.

Postnational: Postnationalism or non-nationalism is the process or trend by which nation states and national identities lose their importance relative to cross nation and self organized or supranational and global entities.

 

Choose an event from Canada’s past or present (social, political, environmental, or economic) and describe / illustrate (show cause and effect) how this event influenced / influences all four of the quadrants. Provide images / primary source evidence where possible.

The October Crisis, which occurred on October 5th, 1970, between the FLQ (Front de Libération du Québec: Quebec’s most radical separatist group) and the Canadian government politically, socially, environmentally, and economically shaped Canadian identity. During the October Crisis, four FLQ members kidnapped British trade commissioner James Richard Cross, and in exchange for his freedom, demanded the release of “political prisoners” of the FLQ who were charged with crimes committed in the name of the Front, a payment of 500,000 dollars, and the publication of the FLQ manifesto.  When these demands weren’t met, the FLQ group resorted to “kidnapping Pierre Laporte, the Quebec minister of Labour and the government’s senior Cabinet minister” (CBC). These series of events impacted Canadian identity the most politically as it invoked the War Measures Act; socially as it bridged the gap between French and English nations and later, proper acknowledgement of Québécois; economically as it incorporated Quebec economy into Canada; and lastly, the impact terrorism causes on the environment.

Québécois holding up signs for independence fueled by the FLQ (Civics Google)

Although the FLQ acts of 1960 didn’t affect the environmental aspect of Canada’s identity as much as the other quadrants, there were still environmental consequences left behind by terrorism that shaped Canada’s identity. It was difficult to find evidence of environmental destruction that directly impacted from the October crisis, however, common side effects of terrorism include pollution and waste, toxic dust and fumes from military trucks, graffiti, and overall, negative changes to Quebec. As a country that is viewed externally as ‘peacekeepers’ or ‘environmentally conscious’ people, this shows once again that a nation’s identity, and within it one’s values, are fluid and vary between different people.

The origins of the crisis was mainly due to strong nationalist discontent by separatist Quebecois, however a big factor which triggered the October Crisis was rising unemployment and the Canadian government’s attempt to control Quebec’s economic resources. Before the 1970s, Quebec’s economic advances were not spectacular; it did not take part in the automotive or electrical appliances industry growing in Canada, therefore, there was a low employment rate. Furthermore, as so many of these new industries were focused on Ontario, “a higher proportion of Quebec industries were low productivity activities that could not pay high wages” and Quebec workers earned significantly less compared to the rest of the Canadian population (Canadian Encyclopedia). During the 1960s, a quote of 5-20 % of the Quebec economy belonged to French Quebecois, and the rest, a minimum of 80% was in the hands of English corporations. The Quebec party worked hard to create funds such as the Societe generale de financement, which was made to support Quebec businesses who were in difficult situations. When the Crisis occurred in 1970, Robert Bourassa, who was the Quebec premier at the time, stated that, “[Quebec’s] economic recovery, the foreign investment, the 100,000 new jobs, all that has just gone up in smoke” (CBC). However, in long term, the October Crisis has changed the Quebec economy positively. Although it’s a stretch to state that the October Crisis improved the wage gap between the Quebec and the rest of Canada, it certainly helped to incorporate the Quebec economy in Canada affairs instead of regarding them as a separate nation.

At this time, there was still an ongoing debate between the anglophones and the Québécois in regards to equal human rights across all Canadian citizens, and from third party sources, this event could seem like a further social split between the two nations. However, the October Crisis actually connected the different traditions between the Quebecois and the Anglophones, which opened doors for a more diverse Canadian culture. I believe that Canadians take pride in being a society that welcomes other cultural groups, and diversity is a common value for the majority of Canadian even for today. Additionally, this event was significant because the fear brought by the FLQ terrorist acts caused people to bond together and become more united as a country. The October Crisis was perhaps the most influential factor in lessening the hostility between the two nations in Canada.

“Just Watch Me”

-Pierre Trudeau, Prime Minister

Out of all the quadrants, the October Crisis impacted the political aspects of Canadian identity the most. First of all, Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau gained support from many Canadian Citizens for the way he handled the problem. This cannot be included as a factor that fueled Trudeau’s other political successes, however, his increasing authoritarian streak may have given him the necessary rally and confidence he needed to initiate the 1982 Constitution Act. Furthermore, his success in maintaining order during crisis’ in his political career, may have given some Canadian citizens confidence towards Justin Trudeau, our current Prime Minister. Also, the October Crisis was the first domestic use of the War Measures Act, which suspended Canadian civil liberties in peacetime. The Act was in favour of the majority of the population, and later, this led to the creation of the Emergencies Act, a more refined and limited version of the War Measures Act. As a nation which holds peace and freedom in a high regard, the enacting of the War Measures Act points out the extremity of the October Crisis. Most importantly, the government acknowledged the French nation as part of the Canadian Confederation and gave Quebecois more equal rights in terms of respect for their language and traditions. This contributes to the diversity in Canada we see today, and the inclusion of all different cultures. This event was significant to Canadian history, as it stimulated Quebecois to act or negotiate political differences without violence, and gained approval from the general public towards political leaders which solidified unity in Canada.

“A newsboy holds up a newspaper with a banner headline reporting the invoking of the War Measures Act on Oct 16, 1970, following the kidnapping of British diplomat James Cross and Quebec Labour Minister Pierre Laporte by the FLQ” (The Global and Mail)

 

Does your event represent a step towards creating and maintaining a coherent Canadian identity, or does it move Canada more clearly in the direction of Trudeau’s discussion of a “postnational” state?

Best demonstrated under the socials aspect of Canadian identity in question one, the October Crisis was one of the most influential events in the 20th century in creating multiculturalism and our bilingual state; few of the main core values of Canadians today. Furthermore,  the October Crisis was a key event to restating Canadian identity because it allowed Canadians to understand that identity is fluid, and it is shifting. Personally, I believe that becoming too involved in Canadian identity does more harm than good. Obviously, becoming part of Canada’s goals and values positively unifies Canadians, but looking at events through the perspective under one label as “Canadians”, may have negative impacts. For example, the Canadian government under the label of “peacekeepers” are quick to point out acts of terrorism in under countries, and that terrorism in Canada are influenced from external sources. But under this pretense, we fail to adjust and change with the shifting Canadian identity. Before the October Crisis, the government did not implement actions regarding the visible divide between the French and English. However, the October Crisis allowed people to “examine closely what happened in 1970, to see how fragile Canada’s democracy was in the face of homegrown terrorism directed at our beliefs about ourselves and our defining institutions” (The Globe and Mail). Canadians pride themselves on having equal human rights, freedom, peace; but the fact that acts of terrorism were committed in the name of unequal treatment of people living in Canada reshaped Canadian identity. The October Crisis forced Canadians to open their eyes to different nations that make up their identity, which was beneficial to Canada but did little to impact the rest of the world; eventually this bridged the gap between the two nations and solidified Canadian identity.

A couple watching armed soldiers circle the city (The Sun)

 

In your opinion, is there any value in trying to define a specific Canadian identity, or should we abandon this idea towards a more open and global idea of nationhood? Why?

The essential thought behind the idea of a more open and global idea of nationhood can be once again, linked back to Justin Trudeau’s statement on postnationalism. When Charles Forman, a journalist from the Guardian, mentioned Trudeau’s quote to Michael Bach, Germany’s minister for European affairs,”[…] was astounded […] as no European politician would say such a [radical] idea” (The Guardian). Like Bach, the idea of a global nation may seem far-fetched to many people, but in reality, something we are already working towards. Canadian identity is made up of different civic nations inside Canada, which are made up by a diversity of unique people brought together by their belief in their principles, in society’s principles. This is present in all countries; for example, as unified as America may seem, there are still a diversity of culture noticed due to the immigration population and the mix of racial ethnicity. In fact, there is no ‘specific’ American identity, and although they pride themselves as being ‘one’, they are merely a collection of people, all with different values and interests, separated with the rest of the world by physical borders. Likewise, Canadian identity, and the identity of other countries, will continue to exist as long as borders exist, and the word countries exist, because they remain as a physical attachment that everybody longs to be part of. Nationalist pride seems unimportant in times of crisis’; however, pride unifies people, and unified people can statistically, perform at a higher rate which ultimately increases independence in a nation. If we can stretch this concept to world pride, then potentially, we can move past the idea of specific identities and focus on more important problems unified by the entirety of the world. In fact, the values that most Canadians stand for, are often the values of many others in the world, and are not limited to Canadians only. There is no value in a specific Canadian identity, because ‘one’ identity does not every exist in a country, and although it may seem unrealistic now, we should embrace the fact that we are all part of a much bigger picture, and that everybody’s unique identities build a global nation.

 

Sources:

http://www.virtualmuseum.ca/edu/ViewLoitDa.do;jsessionid=AC795E538B7C5B7D3AC799BEC921F608?method=preview&lang=EN&id=21594

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2017/jan/04/the-canada-experiment-is-this-the-worlds-first-postnational-country

http://www.thecanadianencyclopedia.ca/en/article/economic-history/

http://www.cbc.ca/history/EPISCONTENTSE1EP16CH1PA4LE.html

http://www.thecanadianencyclopedia.ca/en/article/october-crisis/

http://www.historyinanhour.com/2013/09/06/the-october-crisis-a-summary/

https://www.therecord.com/opinion-story/6937715-pierre-trudeau-and-canada-s-october-crisis/

https://www.theglobeandmail.com/opinion/the-october-crisis-40-years-later/article1380587/https://sites.google.com/site/grevencivics/home/the-october-crisis

 

 

In-depth #4: Long Talks and Self-Realizations

“I think good music is music that people like to listen to, and even if that’s only one person, it’s still enough.”

Jiwon Hwang

Nearly 2 months have already passed since the start of in-depth! Due to my busy schedule, in-depth is becoming a challenge to work on everyday, nevertheless, I “try” to dedicate at least 30 minutes to add to my composition. Spring break is also coming up soon, so I’ll have some more time to work on my in-depth.

Upon the 2 month mark, I decided to check in with my in-depth contract timeline in more detail to see where my progress should be at for month of March, and make any necessary changes. After comparing my stage of development to my schedule, I noticed that I am actually one week ahead! Yay! When I planned out my original schedule, I made sure to remember that I have a busy life, therefore, I would need lots of time to compose the 3 different styles of orchestral composition (8-12 bars for each). It turned out that I was absolutely right; my first composition took me 3 whole hours to write 9 bars, which is one solid week if I work on it everyday for 30 minutes.

My slightly adjusted schedule:

March 4th Orchestral Composition 1 and 2 are completed (8-12 bars)
March 16th Orchestra Composition 3 completed (8-12 bars)
Spring Break Choose my favourite composition and continue to develop and add to the piece (20 bars)
April Extend my composition to 2 minutes worth and fine tuning
May Filming the piece (I need help from other people who play the different instruments so this is going to take a while) + Finishing touches

 


 

I’ve reached two main roadblocks during my time composing: lack of inspiration, and technical difficulties. My “composer’s block” (I don’t know if that’s a thing but, yes, I took it from “writer’s block”) have proved to be especially difficult because I was giving myself a set time to work and stop. The reason I gave myself a 30 minute per day is because once I started to work on my composition, there was no stopping me. One time I worked on my other piece (this wasn’t orchestral composition it actually had lyrics added as well), and I worked on it for 4 hours straight! However, I noticed immediately that if I just sat down and tried to force ideas for music out of my head, the piece never worked out. To solve this problem, I decided not to worry about my composition, and leave it be. I would get random inspiration in gym class outside, or someone singing a catchy tune, so it became a habit for me to just write down, using music five lined paper, whatever ideas that came to my mind. I even hum to myself with a self-recording app on my phone so that I could go back to the tune when I actually sat down to compose.

My next challenge was with technology, and the website, flat.io, that I’m using. Although it’s a great tool to use, some of the sounds produced by the website is not accurate to the instrument that I’m composing specifically for. For example, flutes and oboes do not sound the same at all, but in my piece right now, it sounds exactly the same due to the website I am using. This doesn’t create a problem for me in terms of the right pitch and tune, but it creates an obvious difference in the overall feel of the piece. All the notes sound very separated, and even the tremolo, which is supposed to be quite soft and vibrating, sounds very static and separate in the piece. This can’t be fixed, but I know the general tone of how it’s supposed to sound, and will use my prior experience to help me dictate how the piece should actually sound like.

 

However, on a more positive note, I have also progressed quite a bit during the last few weeks. Here are some of the things I managed to accomplish so far:

1. Compositions

My mentor pointed out to me that he can’t judge my composition because really, nobody can. Usually composers get recognized when the people listening to their music, thinks the music is good or something they’ll want to see more of. In a way, all music that is made and published are out there for the public to “judge”, and even then, one can argue that music could be made for the sole purpose of the creators pleasure. Therefore, he told me that as long as I like the music, it’s enough for the skill level I am at currently.

My first orchestral piece:

 

My second orchestral piece still needs a little bit of tune up but I will post it early next week.

Random inspiration tunes that came to me in the middle of chemistry class… or before bed (I sing the tunes on a self-recorder so I won’t forget, please excuse my horrible singing)

 

2. Notes

In addition to my compositions, I have analyzed a piece of music by Vivaldi – Spring. I think the music contrasts with my Berlioz piece as it is more lighthearted, and this allowed me to approach music in a new light. The melody is very “chirpy” (you’ll get what I mean if you listen to the song) and a nice fresh of air against all the chords in the Berlioz piece.

Sources: www.youtube.com/watch?v=-4kTei0XrCs

 

Ms. Mulder’s questions about my mentorship:

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

This question is similar to the one I answered for my last in-depth post, but I noticed that this problem is a common occurrence. The fact that composition is such a stylistic, opinion based concept makes it harder for my mentor to provide feedback. Although he can give me helpful pointers on my ability to transpose or harmonize music, all the technical stuff, I think that he finds it difficult to tell me what he honestly feels about my music due to his politeness. He has been my mentor for violin for a long time, almost 6 years now, but this is the first time where we sat down and discussed my composition. One of my goals for the next mentoring session is to break this boundary between us by asking some more probing questions and asking for advice. I know 100% that he has the ability to really dive in my composition with me, and I would like to hear his opinion little bit more.

 

2.What is working well? Why?

My progress in composition in two months is absolutely amazing! I think my prior experience in music really helped me here, I’m almost sure that nobody can do composition unless they’ve played or heard music before. My mentor told me that I’ve worked very hard on my composition and analyzing what makes a good composition, and that my hard work is paying off! This made me especially happy and I love that my mentor and I have such an easy and positive relationship. I think the biggest reason on why out mentorship works is because there is no miscommunication between us. I always double check our meeting time, have material and questions ready for my mentor ahead of time, and take notes during class of important things he mention. Likewise, he always gives me his undivided attention during out mentorship session.

 

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

With composition, there are literally a hundred different ways this project can run. I’m still slightly confused as to what I exactly want to see in my final product, so I’m having a little bit of trouble telling my mentor exactly the things I want to learn from him. In order to make this happen, I’m going to spend my spring break carefully deciding how I want to present my final topic, and organize a checklist of things I would like to discuss with my mentor regarding my product.

 

My goals for my in-depth post #5 just before spring break are:

  1. Ask for orchestra friends for some tips regarding their musical instrument
    1. Range
    2. Style
    3. Tempo
  2. Write my 3rd orchestral composition in the style of Bach (8-12 bars)
  3. Branch out from just orchestral composition: I started out with the broad idea of composition, and I narrowed down my field to orchestral composition because that’s what I am most familiar with. However, the other day, I was looking at some of the songs that Melissa composed, and I thought it looked very interesting! I already composed two songs using a piano and music five lined paper, and added lyrics! My plan is to post those composition, along with my 3rd orchestral composition, for my 5th blog post.