ZIP Inquiry Proposal


Aloha! 你好! Bonjour! 안녕하세요! Hello!

Human language is a wonderful system. It varies around the world and every culture has its own unique dialogue. For my ZIP inquiry this year, I will be exploring the application of different languages in children’s movies and how it affects the realism and cultural recognition of the film. The inquiry question I am hoping to research is:

“How does the use of cultural language impact the authenticity and realism of children’s movies?”

I always enjoy watching children’s movies, because they tend to have a storyline simple enough to follow along and a happy ending. Disney movies are most commonly viewed by young kids, so most if not all of my research will be based around them. My goal for this project is to learn and understand the importance of cultural dialogue usage in children’s films, as well as research the inaccuracies the films would undergo if the traditional language is not used. In many children’s movies, characters are from different countries across the globe. Not only do they speak another language, but they also follow a specific ethnic lifestyle that may differ from us viewers. However, for the sake of understanding the movie, it is projected in the language most commonly spoken within our country: English. The downside of showing the film in English is that often the authenticity, or significance in some cases, is not being portrayed as much.

Currently, my knowledge of this topic is not very in depth yet. I am hoping to conduct research surrounding the topic of “diverse culture” found in children’s movies. Some examples I am thinking about using for my project are Moana, Mulan, and Coco. These are a few well-known Disney movies that clearly display cultural norms and ideas, and I am excited to delve deeper into the languages or special terms used to enhance the realism of the film.

By the end of this assignment, I hope to have learned how to acknowledge and appreciate the importance of diversity in language within films. I also would like to learn how to edit movie clips in such a way that exemplifies my main points. During my research, I can possibly approach digital media teachers at Gleneagle for support with video editing. I can also seek help from my peers, knowing that quite a few of them are experienced with technology. However, I believe my main resource will most likely be the internet (websites, YouTube videos, actual movies). It is common that people make video theories and analogies about specific children’s movies, and I figured they might be useful for my research.

At the end of my inquiry, I will demonstrate my findings with either a Pecha Kucha or video production. Most of my work will be shown visually, and I plan to explain the details of my project during the one on one presentation time that we are given. My schedule for this inquiry project is as follows:

January 6: Complete proposal and rubric, post on my blog

January 7 – 13: Research and take notes

January 14 – 18: Research, compile notes, start planning presentation

January 19 – 20: Decide and plan presentation (how I want the product to be)

January 21 – 27: Create and edit video or Pecha Kucha, review notes resources

January 28 – 29: Present!

A Wizard of Earthsea: Style Analysis

What stood out the most about Le Guin’s overall writing style in Chapter One of the novel?

In chapter one of Ursula Le Guin’s A Wizard of Earthsea, I notice that her writing style is quite “artsy”. She uses many literary devices, such as assonance, repetition, metaphors, and foreshadowing. The thing that stands out most to me is the use of descriptive language. Most places or events are described in such a detailed way. The extensive use of descriptive words makes the story come to life, and a specific image is painted in my head. However, as detailed as some parts are, Le Guin also leaves parts very vague. It seems as if she keeps the important information unclear and mysterious, yet gives all the details about something seemingly insignificant, like Duny’s aunt’s house for example. It was “low and dusky, windowless, fragrant with herbs that hung drying from the crosspole of the roof…” (3). Personally, I rarely read fantasy novels, so I am not familiar with how they are written, nor do I have any comparisons. This may also be a reason why I find Le Guin’s writing style particularly artsy.

A Wizard Of Earthsea: Anticipation Guide

“People are their own worst enemies.”

Whether we like it or not, the true enemy lies within none but ourselves. We are our greatest critics. Society certainly plays a role that helps determine what we think of ourselves, but the rest is up to us. What is the definition of an enemy? An impediment, possibly. Or someone that goes against our beliefs. The only person, however, who is really stopping us from making decisions is ourselves, and the only person who has the power to change that is also ourselves. Insecurities and overthinking often cause us to doubt our thoughts, which can lead to us losing confidence. Even if we hate to admit it, our external enemies are usually people who possess opposing qualities to us. They only become our enemies if we choose to perceive them that way. In other words, if we have the choice to decide whether someone is an enemy or not, we would obviously prefer to choose not. The only reason why we would be enemies with someone is if we both extremely disagree with each others’ viewpoints. Either way, it leads back to us and our own identities. Is it still possible for hatred to burn inside us because of another human? Surely. We can still have enemies other than ourselves, but the worst enemy, the harshest, the meanest, the most self-deprecating enemy is ourselves.

LACE Interview

For this assignment, I interviewed an architect, Mr. Jeff Chong, who also happens to be my friend’s father. The interview went very well, and I gained some knowledge about the technical details of becoming an architect. Whether it is starting off as a junior architect or already being an experienced architect, Mr. Jeff Chong outlined the major tasks and stages an average architectural designer would go through. These are three pieces of wisdom I took away from the interview.

  1. Open-mindedness can help lead to effective solutions.
  2. Our gratitude for our career often makes daily work more enjoyable.
  3. The satisfaction we get from our job often is caused by the satisfaction of our clients.

Film vs. Text

Kurt Vonnegut’s “Harrison Bergeron” is a story concerning a fictional future. All humans are made “equal” in intelligence, appearance, and opportunities by implementing certain limitations, such as handicaps. In the film 2081, directed by Chandler Tuttle, the same story is being told. There are, however, some minor adaptions to make the film more interesting. In my opinion, the most effective way for telling the “Harrison Bergeron” narrative is through the film, 2081. For this specific story, I find that the film portrays the message being sent more effectively. When watching a movie, we can add our senses, such as visually seeing things happen, and hearing the sounds that set the tone for the story. Whereas when reading the short story, we create the scenes in our imagination, which can sometimes be difficult if not much context is given. There is a scene in the film where George Bergeron has flashbacks to when his son, Harrison, is being dragged out of his house. Although the scenes are short and quick, we can see how George always thinks about that day. We can also see how the sharp noises from his handicap affect him, scattering the thoughts he has.

The music played throughout the majority of the film adds a lot to the story. The orchestra that plays during Harrison’s monologue creates a sorrowful atmosphere. When the Handicapper General, Diana Moon, comes to shoot Harrison, the clips are shown in slow-motion, and the music intensifies. This creates a suspenseful feeling for the watchers, more so than reading would. In “Harrison Bergeron”, Kurt Vonnegut attempts to expand moments with the addition of figurative language, which in most cases is helpful. However, his version of this story lacks crucial detail. For example, the orchestra does not play a big part, as it is just merely background music, and it the music does not get described. In another scene where Harrison is being shot by Diana Moon, Vonnegut states this occurrence in one abrupt sentence. I find it ironic how many moments of the story are expanded, yet the suspense and tension leading up to Harrison being killed is quite lacking. On the other hand, he may have written it this way to create an effect of a sudden, shocking death, which is the opposite of Chandler Tuttle’s 2081, where the musical intensity and slow-motion shots make the audience hold their breath. In conclusion, the most effective medium for telling the “Harrison Bergeron” story is through the film, as it amplifies the sensory experience the viewers go through.

Maya Lin

To fly we have to have resistance.” -Maya Lin



For this year’s Night of the Notables, my chosen eminent person is Maya Lin. She is an architect, designer, and artist. Maya Lin is an inspiration to me because I hope to become an architect like her someday, designing memorable structures. Her hard work and perseverance through university help her achieve national recognition. At a young age of 21, she was chosen to design what is now known as the Vietnam Veterans Memorial. Her passion for art is able to bring her to her full potential. All of Maya Lin’s pieces are based on a feeling, a vision. There are actually quite a lot of things that I share in common with Maya Lin, whether it being our passions or upbringing. She is Chinese-American, and I am Chinese-Canadian. There are many similarities in the style of our upbringing, as her parents are quite strict with academic studies and have high expectations for her, just like my parents do for me. I am interested in art and design; the emotions every piece of artwork portrays vary. I greatly enjoy the unique “vibes” that are given from modern designs. I have also made a chart that includes an overall outlook on our similarities:


Maya Lin                                                                                     Kailey Huang

Female                                                                                        Female

Chinese-American                                                                     Chinese-Canadian

English as first language                                                          English as first language

Artist/Designer                                                                           Artist

Libra (Sun Sign)                                                                          Libra (Sun Sign)

Has older sibling                                                                         Has older sibling


I think that Maya Lin and I share similar qualities, all of which related to the fine arts. She is an artist, and definitely has an eye for design. Despite the fact that I am not professionally trained in fine arts yet, I still believe that I have an intrinsic talent within the amaya-designrts category. Also, Maya Lin possesses a great talent for creativity and self-expression, typical of many accomplished writers, poets, actors, and musicians. I aspire to emulate these qualities.

Personally, my goals in TALONS run along the lines of learning to be in the moment. More specifically, learning how to truly feel your surroundings, and be a part of it. There is a certain emotion that is difficult to explain in words. Maya Lin’s goal, in general, is to let people have a different way of looking at their surroundings. She says that’s “art to [her]”. In her spare time, she goes outdoors to enjoy nature and be in tune with the environment. I admire that hobby of hers. To be completely honest, I have not thought about my speech outline that thoroughly yet. There are not too many barriers I have connecting to my eminent person. Other than the fact that she did not “realize” her ethnic identity or make it part of her image, there is not much else that is considered a barrier.

In the architectural design field, it is honestly very difficult to become recognized, unless you are exceptionally good at your job. Most of the time, you would actually need to join competitions or a variety of platforms to get your work noticed. Going to an amazing university and doing well in your studies definitely won’t cut it. Just like many other careers, you must step out of your comfort zone to be successful.

I believe that Maya Lin will most likely be remembered for the next 50 years. Again, this is just my assumption. She is not necessarily eminent enough to be a name that is remembered through many generations. However, the nice thing about being an architect is that your work will remain forever, or at least for a long period of time. Maya Lin did indeed leave a ‘ding’ in the universe. The architectural universe. Doing public art and architecture is challenging, even under the best of circumstances. For example, doing a work of architecture about the Vietnam War while the controversy was so frmaya-memorialesh made the task much more difficult. Managing these challenges as a young Chinese-American woman with no established firm or power base behind her seemed impossible. However, her design inspired interaction between viewers and the memorial. It made no political statement but commemorated the sacrifice and heroism of every service person.

Maya Lin is worth remembering because of her dedication. Something that will stick with me is the fact that she is truthful to herself and wants others to be as well. Another important point that I find worthy to teach others about is expressing yourself. When used positively, Maya Lin’s talent for self-expression can be a great inspiration force in the world, uplifting others, and bringing much success and happiness to herself and those around her.

“The role of art in society differs for every artist.”  -Maya Lin


The Danger of a Single Story

“The problem with stereotypes is not that they are untrue, but that they are incomplete. They make one story become the only story.”

-Chimamanda Adichie

I’m sure everyone has experienced either having someone make assumptions about them, or unintentionally making assumptions about someone else. Most of the time, these assumptions are based on the stereotypes society creates about a group of people. It may be strange to think, but I almost see these issues as irresponsible or unfounded empathy. I’m not sure if my explanation makes much sense, but I believe in some cases, we feel pity for others simply based on the incomplete and negative side of their stories. For example, when the writer told Adichie her story was not “authentically African”, he may or may not have realized how he was completely stereotyping her race. As he personally believes, or possibly what the society has taught him, African authenticity means poverty, starvation, and uneducated people. At one point, he even states that Africans are “half-devil, half-child”. This is only part of the evidence for how impressionable and vulnerable we are in the face of the stories we read/hear. It seems like it is close to impossible for us to erase single stories, as they will exist no matter what. The best way for us to “reject” them in our lives is to not become what others perceive us as (in a negative way). Instead, we should reflect on our own behaviors and understand how to be unaffected by the single stories we are told. We shouldn’t show a group of people as only one thing. Our society creates so many stereotypes for us to be brainwashed with, but to truly recognize someone, we must not have assumptions of others cloud our vision.

Revolution: Independent Novel Response

Character Motivations:

In Deborah Wiles’ Revolution, I have chosen a scene in Chapter 2 where Sunny and Gillette are surreptitiously swimming around an outdoor community pool. I am impressed with their bravery and guts to make such a rebellious act. It was at night when they sneaked in, meaning the pool was already closed to the public. They trespassed property, which I find is impressive, but also irresponsible. This scene reveals how recalcitrant both teenagers are. However, this does not imply they are bad children. Sunny and Gillette have bold personalities and often work well together. Sunny seems to have many judgments and opinions on the situations she encounters in life, but her weakness is that she usually keeps it to herself instead of speaking aloud. In 1964, especially her current household, it was also considered extremely disrespectful to talk back to any elders. The town of Greenwood, Mississippi is being “invaded” by African-Americans, who are almost a new species to Sunny. In this scene, Sunny fears the unknown boy who happened to be in the pool with her, unnoticed at first. The current “rumors” about the African-Americans coming to her hometown causes her to immediately yell “It’s the invaders! We’ve got to get out of here! Hide!” when the two of them discover a person in the pool at night (49). According to Sunny, the thing she wants most is for her mother to return. Her father recently brought home another family, consisting of Annabelle (her stepmother), Gillette (an older stepbrother), and Audrey (a younger stepsister). Sunny fears they will become her forever family and just wishes her mother could return from her “adventure”. While swimming and thinking about all her personal issues, Sunny’s external conflict occurs when she unintentionally exposes her and Gillette’s location by screaming. The moment she realizes there is someone else in the pool with them, her ear-splitting scream provokes the urge for the boy to scramble out of the pool and run. Unfortunately for Sunny and Gillette, they are caught by Deputy Davis. He then proceeds to interrogate them, but Gillette is able to talk their way out of a punishment. On their way home, Sunny persistently asks Gillette about the boy. He eventually gives in, stating, “Sunny, it was a colored boy” (52).

Character Development:

So far in the novel, Sunny’s character development is quite realistic. She doesn’t change much as a person yet since not much action has occurred. After the pool encounter with a colored boy, which I would consider as an inciting incident, she is immediately impacted. Realizing how real and sudden this invasion is becoming, Sunny finds the entire town feeling unsettled. She’s noticing behavior changes within the people she interacts with, and problems that arose in the church become controversial. I am both somewhat critical and satisfied with Sunny’s actions in this scene. I understand the confusion and insecurity she must feel in that position. The values from 1964 in Mississippi are most definitely different from the current values in 2018. Therefore, I cannot judge Sunny and how she responds to the invasion of colored people. Although, I would prefer for her to speak up more about her opinions. Most of the time, her thoughts are barely expressed. I only understand her perspective and personal views because I am the reader. I have only read a third of the novel so far, but regarding the first third I’ve read, I do not believe Sunny is someone we should emulate. She is a young girl who is still learning about changes and adapting to new environments. I don’t think her actions are something we should look up to. Possibly in the future, she is able to change and become an inspiring character, but for now, I believe we should not look up to her.

Personal Connections:

Personally, there aren’t many ways I can connect to Sunny in this particular scene. There have not been many situations where I am caught doing something rebellious and disobedient. However, it is easier for me to relate to Sunny internally. She is going through quite a lot, and she has internal doubt and conflicts she is dealing with. One of the things I can relate with her is adapting to a new environment. I know how difficult it can be to suddenly be in the same room with strangers and have to slowly come to trust them and call them friends/family. Also, everyone reacts to change differently. Like Sunny, sometimes my solution is to deny it even happening, hoping it’s unreal or just a rumor. Unfortunately, this usually is not the best approach to big changes in our lives. To be honest, I might have approached these conflicts in the same manner. I am naturally a more introverted, independent, and cautious person. In this situation, I might have also tried to forget about the insecurities I have about sudden or unwanted adjustments. In this novel, I hope that Sunny can overcome her fear of drastic changes and instead of avoiding them, she will learn to handle them with confidence and bravery.


“We do this thing. We open our hearts to the world around us. And the more we do that, the more we allow ourselves to love, the more we are bound to find ourselves one day.”                  -Stuart McLean

Emil is a homeless man living on the streets. He comes to meet Morley, a generous woman who is determined to help Emil. Morley impacts Emil’s life, and he unknowingly impacts hers too. Perhaps it is fated, or perhaps it is simply a miracle. In Stuart McLean’s “Emil”, Morley comes to understand that differences in social status does not determine one’s ability to be empathetic. The hard truth is, not everybody is empathetic. It is not always something that comes naturally to people. As you can see, Dave and others are not as understanding as Morley is regarding Emil’s situation. Dave says, “If he gets money, he buys cigarettes and lottery tickets. And I’m sure he loses the tickets. Why would you give someone money so they can throw it away on lottery tickets they are going to lose?” (114). Morley, on the other hand, gives Emil the benefit of the doubt. She puts in effort daily and attempts to make his life better. Those who place stereotypes of homeless people on Emil never get to understand and truly see through to his personality and interests because they already assume what kind of person he is. Morley decides to look past all the stereotypical descriptions and befriends him. She notices Emil’s passion for plants, and asks, “Do you have a garden?”, simply out of curiosity (116). This action may not seem out of the ordinary; however, for Emil, it means everything. His pure identity of being a gardener causes his friend, Morley, to want to see him. The real him. I believe this story displays a beautiful connection built up by empathy towards one another, regardless of their social class. Giving someone the benefit of the doubt, putting in an effort to understand them, being non-judgmental towards appearances are all things we are capable of doing. Help someone change their life for the better, because most of the time, it will change yours too.

Star Wars: A New Hope

When I view the film through the lenses, the one that I think is important to do a better understanding of the film is the gender lens because the gender lens is not usually a default lens that people watch a film through. My thesis statement is: Star Wars enforces stereotypical gender roles and applies them to the characters in the film. Most of the time people let the sexist lines/moments slip by without paying much notice. Again, the movie was produced a long time ago, which may be the reason why the norms and values are different from what they are now. We cannot judge the writer for the discrimination of women in the film. Their intentions are not necessarily bad; we shouldn’t be biased towards those from the past. The topic that I have yet to mention is about the droids in the movie. There are different views regarding their gender, as they could be perceived as either male or female. Some people say they are shown as male due to the male voice actors and body type. Others may think they are females because they (or at least C3PO) show emotion and are sensitive or cautious. This lens helped me see the following three things that I didn’t notice before. Firstly, females were barely portrayed in the film, as it is seen that Princess Leia was pretty much the only female role. Even so, she was belittled and underestimated by the male characters in the movie. Luke’s aunt was also seen near the beginning of the film, but she died shortly after appearing on screen. The only actions we saw from her were eating supper and talking to Luke’s uncle. Women were only supposed to follow a man’s command. It would seem disrespectful or appalling if they did not, which is exactly why Princess Leia is such a strong female character. Secondly, males were portrayed quite stereotypically. They were shown to not show much emotion. We can see that when Luke Skywalker finds out his aunt and uncle were brutally murdered. Without spending any time to grieve, he turned his sadness into anger. Men, stereotypically, are not supposed to be emotional as it is thought of as weak. Thirdly, although this viewpoint may be argued, I think most of the males in the film are quite shallow. For instance, Luke Skywalker as we all know is a good person. He treats Princess Leia with respect and listens to her. However, before meeting her, Luke could only judge her by appearance. He stated that he liked her, but he doesn’t know her personality yet. So basically, he fell in love because she was beautiful. The stereotypes of gender roles were also perpetuated by Han when he kept referring to Princess Leia as “sweetheart” or “sister”. Therefore, I see that this film might be about minority groups rising to power. Women, of course, being part of the minority. As much as Princess Leia is in power, she doesn’t get nearly as much control as a man would. I do not believe that the film overall is about gender roles or sexism. However, both factors apply to the movie and it would not be the same if it did not exist. Once you use the gender lens to view the film, you can realize how much gender plays a huge role. In the current day, there seem to be much fewer people who fall into the stereotypical categories of genders. We learn to share an equal respect for each other and not judge someone for being unique.