Muhammad Ali Introductory Blog Post

“Only a man who knows what it is like to be defeated can reach down to the bottom of his soul and come up with the extra ounce of power it takes to win when the match is even.” – Muhammad Ali


Muhammad Ali is known for being the greatest boxer of all time, but he changed the world when it comes to religion, race, and politics. This is a compelling reason for me to choose Muhammad Ali as my eminent person for this year. Ali and I share some similarities and some differences, as shown below.

Muhammad Ali Jayden Singh (Me)
Racial Minority in America Racial Minority in Canada
Born in Louisville, Kentucky (1942) Born in Vancouver, British Columbia (2003)
Interested in Sports Interested in Sports
Gifted Boxer Gifted Learner
Islamic Not Religious
3x World Heavyweight Boxing Champion 3x Kahoot Champion


Muhammad Ali was a determined, hard-working, resilient individual. These are qualities that I hope to emulate in my life. Ali wasn’t afraid to speak his beliefs, which is a goal that I have for myself in this TALONS year. Although Ali and I share some similarities, we have some differences that I will need to address in my speech on Night of the Notables. For example, we are both racial minorities, but Ali grew up in America in the 1940s. The 40s were a time of racial segregation in America, which was much more difficult to live through compared to Canada in 2018. Ali was also Islamic and had much different religious views from me. I will address these differences by doing extensive research into Muhammad Ali’s upbringing and religious views in order to deliver an accurate portrayal of him on Night of the Notables.

Boxing was changed substantially by Muhammad Ali; Ali was the first fighter to win the heavyweight title three times. Ali was also interesting to watch both in and out of the ring due to his entertaining nature and the way he would interact with the media. The world as a whole was impacted by Muhammad Ali when he refused to serve in muhammad-ali-talkingthe military during the Vietnam War, citing religious reasons. Another explanation Ali gave for his refusal to serve was that he felt it was wrong to go fight in Vietnam while African Americans “[were] treated like dogs and denied simple human rights”. For his statements and refusal to serve in the war, Ali was arrested, suspended from boxing, and stripped of his boxing titles. Muhammad Ali never gave up; he wanted his heavyweight title back but feared losing to George Foreman in the championship match. Ali overcame his suspension by defeating Foreman and becoming the World Heavyweight Champion once again. Ali’s decisions will impact the world for decades to come thanks to other athletes who decide to stand up for their beliefs, like Muhammad Ali did. Unlike other boxers and athletes of the time, Muhammad Ali was not afraid to stand up to those in power, even if it meant losing some of his popularity, his titles, and his freedom. This is why Ali is worth researching and remembering. A piece of wisdom we can take away from studying Muhammad Ali is that by standing up for what you believe in, you can impact the world for generations to come.


My goal for the next part of my research is to look into what Ali’s upbringing and religious views were like so I can accurately represent him on Night of the Notables. I can’t wait for November 21st!

Danger of a Single Story

Only corroborating a single story can seriously impair our view on the world. One way we might begin to “reject the single stor[ies]” in our lives is to actively seek out other evidence and sources to confirm the story. You shouldn’t believe everything you hear without doing your own research first. Perpetuating a story without regard to its merit can create false stereotypes. Stereotypes are not always untrue, but they can make one story seem like the only story. For example, in Canada, Africa has a stereotype of being occupied with people “fighting senseless wars, dying of poverty and AIDS, unable to speak for themselves” (6:19). This may be true in some parts of Africa, but this stereotype creates an incomplete story. This particular story           can be offensive to some and prevent you from having amazing experiences. By actively seeking out more evidence, we can see that Africa is much more than war, poverty, and AIDS. We need to also be open to hearing multiple stories in order to reject the single story. Being close minded and only following one story can lead to incomplete stories, such as the Africa example given earlier. By gathering more evidence and not only listening to one story or stereotype, we can begin to “reject the single stor[ies]” and discover more about the world around us.

Novel Study Scene 1

The Great Gatsby Novel Study by Jayden Singh

Scene 1

Something that impressed me about Nick Carraway’s actions in this scene was how calm he stayed during the party, while others were very loud and obnoxious due to the alcohol. This scene revealed that Nick is a polite, intelligent man who is able to make friends easily. Nick wants to have a good time at the party and get to meet this mysterious Gatsby. We know this because Nick says, “As soon as I arrived I made an attempt to find my host, but the two or three people of whom I asked his whereabouts stared at me in such an amazed way,” (42). When Nick realizes that he was talking to Gatsby all along without knowing it, he fears he had made a bad first impression on Gatsby and wanted to apologize when he says, “I wanted to explain that I’d hunted for him early in the evening and to apologize for not having known him in the garden” (52). An internal conflict Nick is facing is agonizing over offending Gatsby by not knowing who he was while talking to him. The development of Nick Carraway by F. Scott Fitzgerald has been impressive so far. I’m only one third of the way through the book but I already feel like I know Nick and can empathize with him. So far Nick is someone we should emulate because he has been polite to everyone he has met and is well liked among those he has met thus far. A personal connection I can make to Nick’s conflicts is how I also worry about how I am perceived by those I look up to. Nick contemplates if he offended Gatsby during their first meeting, and I also tend to overthink my actions in the hopes of being seen as a nice person. I would have handled Nick’s conflicts the same way he did. Nick handled his internal conflict by apologizing to Gatsby for their first interaction, which made him look like a polite man and resulted in the two of them planning to go on a hydroplane the next morning.

Emil Blog Post

Who would have thought that a homeless man would change the lives of a family? In the short story Emil by Stuart McLean, we learn about a homeless man named Emil and how different people view his actions and his place in society. One of those people is someone named Morley, who is very sympathetic to Emil. Through interacting with Emil, Morley learns that when you treat others with respect and kindness, you will receive the same in return. Morley is kind to Emil throughout the story, even when others around her think “he’s retarded” (117). Morley gives Emil money even though he didn’t ask for any, and she treats him with the respect of a human by getting to know him. Emil recognizes that Morley is nice to him. When Emil receives ten thousand dollars from the lottery, he gives “Morley five hundred dollars” (119). Another character in the story, Dave, did not receive any of Emil’s money because Dave did not show respect to Emil. Dave misplaced a book Emil let him borrow and didn’t bother to pay Emil back. This lack of respect differentiates Dave from Morley. Dave didn’t respect Emil’s property, and thus, was not given any money by Emil. Morley talked to Emil and tried to help him, and in return Emil showed the same kindness to her.

Star Wars Blog Post

The lens that is the most important to view Star Wars through is the social power lens because the film can be seen as a revolution by the lower class, against the upper class. The lower class is the workforce, the people who live on Tatooine. These individuals make money off farming, smuggling, and slave trading. The upper class, or the Empire, controls the lower class through fear. This is similar to how the Americans feared the superior navy of the British before revolting. The Rebellion found a weakness in the Death Star, which made them no longer afraid of the Empire. The Americans were no longer afraid of the British Navy once they decided to fight on land instead of on water. In this way, Star Wars resembles the format of a revolution by the lower class. By watching Star Wars with this lens, I was able to see the similarities between the Rebellion’s fight against the Empire and America’s fight against Britain. I was also able to see the social hierarchy of the different races in the Star Wars universe. The humans are the highest tier because throughout the movie, there aren’t any derogatory remarks made to human characters in the movie. The next tier would be the humanoid characters. These characters are looked at as a more criminal race. We know this because Obi Wan tells Luke to be careful when going into the cantina bar filled with humanoids and other aliens, which is the next tier. The aliens that don’t look like humans are shown as monsters. They speak a language of growls and screams, like Chewbacca. Chewbacca is even called a “walking carpet” by Leia. The droids would be the next tier because they are sold and work like slaves. The third thing I saw when looking through the social power lens is how the government is portrayed. In this film, the government of the galaxy is the Empire. The Empire is shown as a government that controls through fear and violence. They spend most of their time on the Death Star, which shows that they value weapons and war more than anything else. Using all this information, I can conclude that Star Wars is about the oppression of the lower class by the upper class and government. In the film, the Empire threatens those without power and the characters that don’t look like humans are shown as dangerous or weak creatures. A thematic statement for Star Wars using the social power lens is, “No matter your status, you can rise above and change the way you’re perceived”.

Genetically Modified Cows TED Talk

My TED Talk question is, “should humans genetically modify cows?”. In this video, I will talk about how humans genetically modify cows, why humans genetically modify cows, and what people think about genetically modified foods.

*Sorry the audio is a bit quiet




Gray, Richard. “Genetically Modified Cows Produce ‘Human’ Milk.” The Telegraph, Telegraph Media Group, 2 Apr. 2011,

“Genetically Modified Cows Could Produce Tastier Beef.” Redorbit, 27 Aug. 2012,

“How to Make a GMO.” Science in the News, 11 Aug. 2015,


Funk, Cary, and Lee Rainie. “Public and Scientists’ Views on Science and Society.” Pew Research Center: Internet, Science & Tech, 29 Jan. 2015,


Independent Investigation 2

Historical Significance

My inquiry question is, To What Extent Did the War of 1812 Contribute to the Confederation of Canada? This is an important question about the past because this war shaped the country we live in today. Had this war played out differently, we might be living in America. Before the War of 1812, Canada didn’t have a lot of “nationalism”. The people who lived in the Canadian colonies usually did so because they had no other option. Many were immigrants from America that were forced out of the newly independent country. British loyalists and Native Americans that were pushed out of America, came to Canada. When the Americans started to attack the Canadian colonies, these groups of people (along with French-Canadians in Lower Canada) united to fight against a common enemy. On top ofup-and-low-canada this, the Canadians were heavy underdogs in this war. After the Siege of Detroit, in which the Americans surrendered, the Canadians felt pride for their home. As the Canadians continued to withstand the menacing American forces, Canadian nationalism grew. An example of this nationalism can be seen with a Canadian boy named Jacob Cline, who lived during the war. Jacob wrote, “The Americans were in high spirits, and when I said I was Canadian, one of the officers laughed and said, “You’ll soon be under the Yankey government, my boy.” I was sassy, like most boys of my age, and I said, “I’m not so sure about that.””. The question, To What Extent Did the War of 1812 Contribute to the Confederation of Canada, is important to ask because the way our country looks and acts today comes from this war. By learning the story of our nation, we can gain respect for important Canadians of the past and realize what it means to be Canadian.


Continuity and Change

There are many similarities between Canada today and the Canadian colonies before they confederated. One main similarity is the threat to the south, America. Before the confederation of Canada, the American North had just won the American Civil War. With this victory, there was some talk from American politicians about invading Canada. America had also canceled a treaty with Canada that allowed for free trade. This is similar to the relationship between America and Canada now. There are changes happening in the White House with President Trump and his trudeau-trump-1team. President Trump has also imposed new steel and aluminum tariffs on Canada. The U.S., Canada, and Mexico are currently trying to renegotiate NAFTA, which is the North American Free Trade Agreement. The U.S. has disrupted free trade with Canada, which is also what happened right before Canada’s confederation. Canada’s solution in 1867 was to confederate. When Canada united in 1812 they were able to hold off the Americans. Since Canada might have been in another war with America, politicians decided to unite again under one country. In 2018, Canada is already a unified country. However, Canada has united with Mexico and the European Union to impose tariffs back on the United States. Although there are many differences between the politics of today and the politics of the 1800s, a common topic of unity is consistent throughout Canada’s history.


Cause and Consequence

The War of 1812 was the result of conflicts between Britain, France, and America. The Napoleonic Wars caused napoleonic-warsBritain and France to stop trading with each other. Britain even stopped American ships from trading with Europe and took American sailors and made them work on British ships. This caused President James Madison to declare war on Britain. Madison and most Americans thought that Canada would be easy to invade, while still causing harm to Britain. In order to defend against America, the British-Canadians, French-Canadians, and First Nations allied. The Canadians were able to hold off the Americans until the Treaty of Ghent was signed in 1814. This war set clear boundaries between Canada and America. The war also proved that Canadians did not want to be Americans, as the Americans thought before the war. However, after the American Civil War fears arose that America would try to annex Canada. This was the same fear that Canadians had before the War of 1812. Britain was also becoming more reluctant to defend the Canadian colonies. America had also abolished the Reciprocity treaty that allowed free trade between America and Canada. The combination of these events charged the idea of uniting the Canadian colonies in one country. This unity had saved Canada from America before in the War of 1812, so there was reason to believe that confederation would give Canada strength. At this time Canada was divided into Canada West, Canada East, Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Newfoundland and Labrador, and Prince Edward Island. Canada West was the most populous of the colonies and was led by John A. province_of_canada_east_and_west_zoomMacdonald and George Brown. They agreed with the idea of confederating Canada, which meant that Canada’s most populous region supported confederation. Later, Canada East supported confederation, followed by the Atlantic provinces (except Newfoundland and Labrador until 1949). In the conferences between the colonies, the framework was set up for a new country. Although a major reason for the confederation of Canada was the American Civil War, the idea of a unified nation came from the War of 1812.


Social Studies Inquiry Processes

Based on the research I conducted, I can conclude that although the War of 1812 didn’t have much of a direct impact on the confederation of Canada, the war planted the seeds for a unified Canada. In the War of 1812, the reason for the Native, French, and British people of Canada to unite together was the common threat of America. This was the first time that Canada fought independently of Britain, even though Canada was still a British colony. During the war, Britain was occupied with their own war with France, so there weren’t many resources available for the Canadians. Canada mostly relied on the people who lived in the area to fight. When Canada was able to contest with the much more dominant Americans, Canada established itself as a formidable enemy. They were not Americans, and they were able to fight without much help from Britain. Canada was its own community that contained British, French, Native Americans, and former slaves. When these people united under one team, they were able to become a threatening force. For Canadians at the time, the War of 1812 was a little taste of what it would be like to be a part of330px-fathers_of_confederation_lac_c001855 a unified, independent nation. This taste was not forgotten in 1861 when America resurfaced as a threat to the people of Canada. This time, confederacy was established. Although the American Civil War may seem like the most obvious influence on the confederation of Canada, The War of 1812 spurred the idea of a unified, independent Canada.



Crossroads Textbook

Canada: A People’s History Episode 5: “A Question of Loyalties”



Ecological Footprint

My ecological footprint is 11.8 hectares. I compared my footprint to Kevin and Ashley. Kevin’s footprint was 7.05 hectares and Ashley’s was 11.43 hectares. The ten actions that currently increase the size of my footprint are:

  • My SUV
  • Spending more than an hour on the computer and/or watching TV per day
  • Brand new clothes
  • My garbage
  • Number of rooms per person
  • Travelling with my family in my car
  • Land used for recreation
  • Flush the toilet every time
  • Shower 3-6 minutes
  • Family washes the car every 3rd week

The five actions I will try and change are buying brand new clothes, reducing my garbage, travelling with my family in my car, flushing the toilet every time, spending more than an hour on the computer and/or watching TV per day. I chose to not buy as much brand-new clothes because I bought a lot during Christmas and spring break and I think I can cut back on the clothes I buy. It is reasonable to re-use some of my older clothes. I chose to reduce my garbage because it is easy for me to measure. I am the one in my family that takes out the garbage and recycling, so I can continuously monitor my waste habits. I chose to change the amount of time I spend travelling with my family in my car because my friend offered to let me carpool with him to school. I am going to let the “yellow mellow” because me and my sister no longer share a bathroom, so she won’t be flushing the toilet when I don’t. The last thing I will change is spending more than an hour on technology per day. I chose this one because I need to spend more time on my In-Depth (drawing comics) which doesn’t involve technology. I will reduce the amount of clothes I buy by wearing the same thing multiple times per week. I will reduce my garbage by eating less snacks with wrappers and more snacks that come in one big container. I will carpool with my friend and take the bus to school in order to reduce the time travelling with my family in my car. I will only flush the toilet every second time I go number one, instead of every time. Lastly, I will spend more time on In-Depth to reduce my technology usage.

One change that was easy for me to make was wearing the same thing every day. I planned out what I was going to wear for the week on Sunday, so that I could assure I was getting the most out of my clothes. Another change that was easy to make was letting the “yellow mellow”. It was simple to just not flush the toilet every time I used it and didn’t require a lot of effort. A change that was difficult to make was taking the bus. The bus comes very early in the morning which means that I have to get up early. I eventually got used to it though. Another change that was difficult to make was reducing my garbage. A lot of the snacks I usually take to school come in wrappers, so it was difficult to change my habits and find things that come in containers. I decided to start eating more nuts and bread that comes in one big package. One obstacle I encountered was finding time to wash my clothes. Since I was repeating the clothes I wore, that meant that I needed to wash them more. This extra washing would not be good for the environment. I had to find the perfect time when I needed to stop repeating clothes and wash them. Another obstacle I encountered was not watching a lot of TV. Watching TV right after school was a habit that I had to change. Instead of watching TV, I would start homework earlier, eat a snack, or play basketball. A step I plan to take in the future is to find alternative foods to eat that aren’t individually wrapped. Another step I plan to take is travrlling with my family. I can not only carpool with my friends to school, but I can also carpool other places that I may go to in the summer, such as the basketball court.

Hamilton DOL

A: Character Development

“History Has Its Eyes on You” takes place before “Yorktown” and after “Guns and Ships”. In the song, George Washington tells Alexander Hamilton about his first failed battle command experience. Washington explains to Hamilton that he has no control over the outcomes of battle, and history is watching they are doing. This song advances the plot by giving Washington a chance to speak to Hamilton and give him advice before Hamilton leads his first battle. Washington gives Hamilton this advice because both of them are about to enter the Siege of Yorktown. Washington has a lot of experience with leading battles while Hamilton has none, so this song allows Hamilton to gain some wisdom from Washington, before going into battle. Washington and Hamilton are the mainwashington-hamilton characters of this song because the song is a conversation between the two of them. Both characters want to be victorious after the Siege of Yorktown, and both fear making mistakes. However, Washington and Hamilton have very different backgrounds. Washington has lead successful battle, and unsuccessful battles. One unsuccessful battle that he has lead was the Battle of the Great Meadows, which Washington references in the song when he says, “I lead my men straight into massacre, I witnessed their deaths first hand,”. Washington surrendered this battle the French forces, and he does not want to see a similar situation happen against the British in Yorktown. Hamilton doesn’t have much experience in battle as he grew up in a poor area called St. Croix in the Caribbean. These different backgrounds create an opportunity for Washington to share some knowledge with Hamilton.


B: Connections to Historical Elements

At the beginning of the song, Washington says, “I was younger than you are now when I was given my first command. I lead my men straight into massacre,”. In this line, Washington isn’t exactly correct. Washington’s first command was actually successful and is known as the Battle of Jumonville Glen. In this battle, Washington lead his British forcesbattle-of-jumonville-glen into an attack on French-Canadian soldiers. The British killed the French commander, Joseph Coulon de Villiers. Although this attack was successful, the French retaliated and ambushed a British fort called Fort Necessity. This fort was poorly built by George Washington, which made the ambush easier for the French. The fort was in range of far musket fire and was subject to flooding. This caused many of Washington’s men to abandon him, while some of the remaining men died. We can see that Washington values these men who fought and died for him when he says, “I made every mistake, and felt the shame rise in me,”.  At the time of this battle, Washington and the British feared the French and Native Americans, which lead to the French and Indian War. “History Has Its Eyes on You” also connects to the “Collective identity is constructed and can change over time” Big Idea. The song talks a lot about how people are watching what’s going on in the American Revolution. The title of the song is one example of this, with another being when Washington says, “You have no control: who lives, who dies, who tells your story”. These people that are watching the American Revolution play out will tell the story of these events and create a collective identity for America during the revolution.


C: Thematic and Personal Connections

Something that if find particularly interesting about this song is how George Washington opens up to Hamilton about his past struggles. I would think that the best time to talk about how you lost your first battle and many of your men died, would not be right before a battle, but this is exactly what Washington did. Washington was supposed to be this fearless commander who would lead the Americans to victory. Instead, in this song he shows some of his flaws in order to offer some advice to Hamilton. The mentor-student relationship Washington and Hamilton have is a very strong one, and that relationship is showcased in this song. This relationship is one of the main themes of not just the song, but the entire play. One line that displays this theme is, “and felt shame rise in me, and even now I lie awake”. This line is said by George Washington at the beginning of the song. The line highlights how Washington is comfortable describing his darkest days with Hamilton. The friendship that Washington and Hamilton have iswasington-hamilton essential to this song and is touched upon a lot in the rest of the story. Another line that is essential to the story so far is, “You have no control: who lives, who dies, who tells your story”. This is an important line in the story because Hamilton is constantly trying to improve his story. He moves to New York and tries to work his way up the ranks in the American government. The Siege of Yorktown is Hamilton’s chance to gain a lot of popularity, but Washington reminds him that his legacy is not up to him. The line, “who lives, who dies, who tells your story” is the last song in the play and ties together one theme of the story, which is that you can’t control your own legacy. The third line that is essential to the song is, “History has its eyes on you”. This line is important because people are watching everything that is going on in Hamilton’s world. These people are writing down what Hamilton does, and that evidence is being used as pieces of history. In this way, history is watching everything that Hamilton does, and that is how we are able to watch/listen to Hamilton.