ZIP- Document of Learning #1

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


Due to the fact I was preparing for an upcoming tournament all week, I didn’t much time to start researching on my ZIP project. Nonetheless, during the class time given, I wrote my proposal as well as research articles I could possibly use. However, during the research process, I realized how broad my topic was and there weren’t many articles specifically related to my project. Therefore, in order to overcome this hurdle, I decided to break down my topic into different sub-categories– liberals and conservatives. I broke this down even further to focus on how the language use differs in terms of social media, the Canadian Parliament, and the American political system. After narrowing down my topic, it became more clear as to what I should focus on when doing my research. Although I haven’t made much progress this week, I will definitely have more done by the end of next week. 

Zip Proposal

How does language use change in different political spectrums?

This year for ZIP, I decided to pursue in an area related to politics. Now, politics may sound like a topic in relation to social studies; however, the focus of my study will be related to the English language. Personally, I’m really interested in political issues and current events which is why I’m extremely excited to be tackling the idea of language use change in different political spectrums. On a scale of 1-10, my knowledge on this topic is at a two. However, there are a lot of people around me who do have a lot of information on language use in different political spectrums.

Image courtesy to The Biz Navigator

Therefore, I can use them as a “human internet” and ask questions about my topic. Another resource is the internet. Since humans do not have information on everything, I will also use the internet to gather information. Through the help of these two resources, I will have access to two different types of advice; opinions as well as facts.  

I decided to draw a mind map as well as write an essay to present my learning. The mind map will be used to highlight key factors of the different language uses in conservative and liberal spectrums. As for the essay, I will be explaining how language usage differs in terms of social media, the Canadian Parliament, as well as the American political system. Moreover, if time allows, I will to write a reflection paragraph to cogitate about my progress, struggles I have faced and overcome, as well as my satisfaction rate. 

By the end of this assignment, I will have expanded my knowledge on the different terms, words, speaking/writing styles, etc., in terms of language in different political spectrums. To be more specific, liberals and conservatives. Furthermore, through my final presentation, I hope to improve writing essays as well as drawing mind maps.  


Below is a chart for my schedule of learning:

Dec. 8, 2017 Post ZIP proposal on blog
Dec. 9, 2017 Complete a rubric; blog post #1
Dec. 11, 2017, Research language use in a conservative spectrum (social media); take notes
Dec. 13, 2017 Continue researching language use in a conservative spectrum (Canadian parliament); take notes
Dec. 15, 2017 Continue researching language use in a conservative spectrum (American political system); take notes; blog post #2
Dec. 16, 2017 Research language use in a liberal system (social media); take notes
Dec. 18, 2017 Continue researching language use in a liberal system (Canadian parliament); take notes
Dec. 20, 2017 Continue researching language use in a liberal system (American political system); take notes
Dec. 22, 2017 Blog post #3
Dec. 23, 2017 Use notes to create a mind map of the inquiry question
Dec. 27, 2017 Complete map   
Dec. 28, 2017 Finish half of paragraph #1 for essay
Dec. 29, 2017 Complete paragraph #1 for essay
Dec. 30, 2017 Finish half of paragraph #2 for essay
Jan. 3, 2017 Complete paragraph #2 for essay   
Jan. 4, 2017 Finish half of paragraph #3 for essay
Jan. 5, 2017 Complete paragraph #3 for essay
Jan. 7, 2017 Write a reflection paragraph

Eminent – Final Post

I can’t believe its already over. It seems as if yesterday I was freaking out about eminent.

This year for night of the notables, my preeminent goal was to show others the emptiness and struggles of a lawyer back in the 1800s and I think I did a fairly decent job in doing so. Back then, people didn’t have access to any electronic devices. In order, to show this, I purposely didn’t bring in many devices lawyers today would have access to. Furthermore, last year, I didn’t really have much communication with the visitors. Which is why this year, I decided to have more conversations rather than doing activities. 

Learning centre 2 minute video

(I realized after I arrived home that the top part of my learning centre had not gotten into the film)

For future learning opportunities similar to Night of the Notables, I’ll have a better idea of what to do, how to prepare, and ways to make my project look impactful. I really think that having two opportunities is not enough. I believe the third attempt is when we all start to get a grasp of what we’re supposed to do. Although a third opportunity may never arise, needless to say, eminent this year was definitely a success.

Alumni Raiya once said, “… those three seconds of dead silence after your speech, followed by the thunderous cheers from your classmates. The energy from that night will stick with us our entire life.” Last year when I read this quote, I had no idea what it meant and maybe it was because I was too nervous when presenting my speech. However, this year, I knew exactly what Raiya meant. I will never forget the roar of cheering and clapping coming from the audience after everyone’s speeches. It was as if each clap had lifted a weight off of my shoulders. Another unforgettable moment would be during the learning centre presentations. I came across an Asian-Canadian student whose dream was to become a lawyer in America. He told me that a couple years back, he had the thought of giving up because he was scared of the fact that his peers wouldn’t accept him for not being white. I told him that I had a really similar thought because sometimes I felt that the world was really biased towards white people. After about a 30 minute talk, he told me not to get swayed by other’s opinions and beliefs. Rather, I should only be striving to reach my goal regardless of the amount of competition. 


Overall, my project ended really successfully thanks to, 

The teachers – Ms. Mulder, Mr. Salisbury, and Mr. Morris for making this night possible.

My parents – for helping me get supplies and giving me a hand when I needed it 

The tens – for being such great supporters from beginning to end

The nines – for giving everyone encouragement and energy 


Compared to the amount of preparation, one night is not enough to deliver everything. Although eminent is officially over, who knows, maybe I’ll do a non-official eminent project sometime in the future. 

Eminent – Annotated Bibliography

During the process of researching my eminent person, Charlotte E. Ray, I came to the realization that there wasn’t a lot of information about her. I searched numerous libraries such as, the Vancouver Public Library, Coquitlam Library City Centre Branch, Coquitlam Public Library, and the Port Moody Public Library; however, I was out of luck. I couldn’t find a single book based on Charlotte E. Ray. The closest book I found was a book called Race, Law, and American Society: 1607-Present by Gloria J. Browne-Marshall; but, it didn’t bring up any new information about Charlotte E. Ray. Regardless, the book was extremely useful in terms of comparing and contrasting other lawyers of colour.
“Charlotte E. Ray.”, A&E Networks Television, 2 Apr. 2014,
This article was exceptionally convenient because it gave a timeline of Charlotte E. Ray’s life in chronological order. It starts off with a brief introduction of who Charlotte E. Ray is, and continues on by explaining her early years, her life as a legal pioneer, as well as her later life. Overall, the article was well organized, easy to understand, and it also provided me with a sufficient amount of information to tell the life story of Ray.
“Charlotte E. Ray.” Wikipedia, Wikimedia Foundation, 24 Oct. 2017,
Due to the fact I wasn’t able to obtain further information on Charlotte E. Ray, I had to use the “least trusted” website, Wikipedia, as my last alternative. Surprisingly, Wikipedia had new information about my eminent person other websites, books, or videos did not have. However, according to rumours, anyone is eligible to edit, add, or remove information. To make sure I wasn’t spreading false rumours about Ray, I had to check every single citation to make sure the information wasn’t flawed. Thankfully, it wasn’t. 
McHugh, Catherine. “Who Was Charlotte E. Ray?”, A&E Networks Television, 7 Mar. 2016, 
This article mainly focuses on Charlotte E. Ray’s significance and the impact of her achievement. Starting with her ambitious goals to her groundbreaking achievements, the article explains why she had broke the barriers of racism and opened the doors for females of colour who wish to excel in the same field. Unlike other websites, gave thorough explanations as to why Ray was so eminent. Because of this, I was able to analyze the key events that occurred during her time as a lawyer. 
“Ray, Charlotte E.” Contemporary Black Biography,, 2005,
Encyclopedia mainly focused on Charlotte E. Ray’s motivation and the process as to how she continued to fight for what she believed in. This article was exceptionally beneficial for writing my speech since I had no idea how to start. Near the end of the article, it states that Ray was a member of the National Association of Coloured Women. After reading the five words, a bell rang in my head to write my speech as if she was giving a lecture at one of the NACW conferences.
“Ray, Charlotte E. (1850-1911).” The Black Past: Remembered and Reclaimed, NDCHost – California, 2017,
Like other websites, also talked about Charlotte E. Ray’s life and her buildup to becoming the first female African-American lawyer. Compared to other websites, this article gave detailed explanations of her parents’ occupation, birth place, name, etc. Knowing her parents’ occupation was immensely beneficial when answering questions during the learning centre presentation. 
The Editors of Encyclopædia Britannica. “Charlotte E. Ray.” Encyclopædia Britannica, Encyclopædia Britannica, Inc., 28 Apr.
Britannica was the first article I used to gain basic knowledge on my eminent person.From her studies to the climax of discrimination and hatred she received as a female African-American lawyer, Britannica was what inspired me to choose Charlotte E. Ray as my eminent person. Though the article is short in length, it covers the most important events that occurred during her life as a lawyer. From her studies to the climax of discrimination and hatred she received as a female African-American lawyer, Britannica was what inspired me to choose Charlotte E. Ray as my eminent person. 
Browne-Marshall, Gloria J. Race, Law, and American Society: 1607-Present. Routledge,
Race, Law, and American Society by Gloria J. Browne-Marshall was the first resource I used for my project and I must say, it was extremely convenient comparing and contrasting female lawyers of colour to my eminent person. From property of ownership to education to crime and criminal justice to civil rights, the book touches upon many aspects that has affected a lawyer of colour as well as the differences from approximately 400 years ago to now. Furthermore, the author mainly focuses on the affirmed or rejected claims of racial injustice in the US Supreme Court. Due to the fact my eminent person, Charlotte E. Ray, was the first woman to argue cases at the US Supreme Court, this book gave me a lot of useful information about women in the Supreme Court which other websites did not have. 

Eminent – Document of Learning

Night of the Notables Intentions

Last year, I realized a lot of people chose well-known notables such as Elon Musk, Hilary Clinton, as well as Marilyn Monroe as their eminent person. Unlike them, I decided to shed some light on those who made great achievements but did not receive enough recognition. As for my eminent person this year, I decided to do Charlotte E. Ray, America’s first African-American female lawyer. As a person wishing to become a lawyer, I wanted to use eminent as an opportunity to gain basic knowledge in relation to law during the research process. 

Due to the fact not a lot of people were aware of who Charlotte E. Ray was, I wanted the audience to know three key facts after listening to my speech or visiting my learning centre. First, what kind of a person Charlotte E. Ray was. In terms of explaining who she was, I gave a brief description of her achievements during my speech. I also gave a thorough explanation of her struggles as a minority, how she dealt with the issues, and the outcome of her actions during my learning centre presentation.

Image courtesy to Wikipedia

Second, the difference between African-American lawyers in the 1870s compared to the early 1900s. Explaining the difference between African-American lawyers back in the 1870s compared to the early 1900s was not an easy task. At first I wanted to show the audience the difference between African-American lawyers in the 1870s as to lawyers in 2017, but I realized that Charlotte E. Ray had past away in 1911. Therefore, there is no way she will know how the world is like in 2017. In order to get my point across to the best of my ability, I explained the life of a female lawyer of colour in the 1800s as part of my speech, and the life of a lawyer of colour in the 1900s during my learning centre presentation. For those who missed my speech or weren’t too familiar with lawyers, I explained both of these stories at my learning centre and asked them about their opinions on racism and lawyers today.

Finally, I wanted people to know why Charlotte E. Ray’s actions have made such a big impact in society today. Back when racism was at its “peak,” a woman of colour had taken big steps to pave a path for other women of colour. A lot of visitors at my learning centre were curious as to why this step she took made her eminent. They asked questions like, ‘was becoming a lawyer an involuntary act or did she know she was going to make a change in the world?’ I gave a similar answer to almost everyone. I told them, Charlotte E. Ray didn’t face much discrimination until she became a lawyer due to the fact she grew up in a fairly privileged family. Of course, she was still considered a minority but compared to other Americans of colour, her family was more on the privileged side. It was when she became a lawyer she decided to take further actions to let her voice be heard. This is one of the reasons as to why she decided to join the National Association of Coloured Women.

Planning 10 – 3 Wise Nugs

I was really lucky to get an interview with a corporate lawyer, Mr. Ben Slager. Below are three wise nugs I feel affected me the most. 

  1. Be open-minded about what kind of law you’re planning to choose––whether it’s corporate, law and order, etc., choose one that suits your personality
  2. Your career choice is very fulfilling because you’re going to be continuously learning and growing
  3. It’s never too late to start preparing now

Eminent – Storytelling Arc

Charlotte E. Ray – Storytelling Arc

Exposition: Setting the scene by introducing who I am (my name), the date, as well as telling the audience that I had just applied for the to practice in the Supreme Court of the District of Columbia.

Conflict Introduced: Howard University has an articulated policy of acceptance of blacks and of women.

Rising Action 1: I became a teacher at Howard University’s Prep School in the Normal and Preparatory Department in order to take a step closer in achieving my goal.

Rising Action 2: I came to the realization that I wanted to register in the Law Department while teaching at Howard; however, the university is very well known for being especially critical regarding blacks and women. 

Rising Action 3: In order to disguise my race as well as gender, I applied for the Supreme Court of the District of Columbia under the name of C.E. Ray, so that my admission wouldn’t be constantly revoked.

Climax: March 2, 1872: I get admitted to practice in the Supreme Court of the District of Columbia. As a corporate lawyer, I don’t appear much in courts; however, in a case of Gadley v Gadley, I happened to be the first female to argue in the Supreme Court of the District of Columbia. 

Falling Action 1: People call me “the women General O.O. Howard,” the founder and first president of Howard University. They say I give clear incisive analysis of one of the most delicate legal questions– not copied from the books but from my own brain. 

Falling Action 2: I was said to be, “eloquent, authoritative, and one of the best lawyers on corporations in the country.” People admired me regardless of my gender or race.

Resolution: I was only able to practice law for a few years; however, becoming the first female African-American lawyer proves how powerful actions can be. I showed others that African-Americans have the capability to excel in this field. Regardless of racism being at its “peak,” I demonstrated that anything is achievable. 

Blog Response #3 – “Harrison Bergeron”

In your opinion, what is the most effective medium for telling the “Harrison Bergeron”  narrative: film or text? Explain your answer using specific details that relate to each version, as well as thoughtful reasoning.

Although the short-story Harrison Bergeron by Kurt Vonnegut Jr. may have been the original, I strongly believe the film 2081 was the most effective medium for telling the narrative. I found the text rather insipid and fast-paced; whereas, the movie portrayed the characters, the rising action, as well the climax with detail and emotion. The short-story doesn’t seem to have described the setting very vividly which results in the readers being confused where the scene is taking place, especially at the beginning of the story. For example, when “George and Hazel were watching television. There were tears on Hazel’s cheeks, but she’

Image courtesy to Wikipedia

d forgotten for the moment what they were about.” (1). The story straight-away jumps into George and Hazel watching T.V., but it never specifies where or why they were watching. They could’ve been watching from a superstore, a restaurant, anywhere. Maybe Vonnegut didn’t reveal the setting on purpose; however, this personally blocked me from trying to picture the scene in my head. Furthermore, in the short-story, there seemed to be no emotion in characters at all; especially George. When Hazel mentioned about society falling apart, George responded blankly, “What would?” (3). This quote shows, in the short-story, George doesn’t seem to care about his surroundings and his answers are very “normal.” However, in the film, George shows more interest and he expresses his feelings a lot more. For instance, when he’s watching Harrison on television, he gives a sigh of relief when the cable is connected again and shows great concern when the announcer reports Harrison has escaped from prison. 

Overall, I really enjoyed both versions of Harrison Bergeron and because I’ve always had bizarre thoughts and ideas about the future, the first sentence of the story really grasped my attention. 

An Introduction to Charlotte E. Ray

Extending from the 17th century to the 1960s, legally or socially sanctioned privileges were given to White Americans but denied to Native Americans, African Americans, Asian Americans, and Hispanic and Latino Americans. Slavery, Segregation, the American Indian Wars, immigration and naturalization law and internment camps were major racially and ethically structured institutions. Despite racism being at its peak, Charlotte E. Ray became the first female African-American lawyer in the United States in 1872. Her ability to demonstrate such skills proved that African-Americans could excel in the same field and opened the doors for future Asian, African, Hispanic and Latino Americans.  

Before the library field trip, I debating whether to do Charlotte E. Ray or Wan J. Kim, the first Korean-American immigrant to serve as Assistant Attorney General. However, after discovering numerous books about Charlotte E. Ray and her successes, I decided to select her as my eminent person. 


Similarities and differences:

Lauryn Lee Charlotte E. Ray
Female Female
Korean-Canadian African-American
Passionate about law Passionate about law
Wants to enter University of Toronto Faculty of Law Graduated from Howard University School of Law
Has only one sibling Had six siblings
Hopes to become an Asian-Canadian lawyer First African-American lawyer
Didn’t have to deal with discrimination Dealt with discrimination
Wants to practice law for a long period of time Practiced law for only a few years
Wishes to excel in corporate law Excelled in corporate law

Wanting to become a lawyer myself, I understand how tough it is to enter the law industry since racism and sexism still exists. However, Charlotte E. Ray, a women who dealt with even worse discrimination than anyone up to date, successfully became a lawyer and broke the barriers regarding race and gender. In order to apply for Howard University School of Law, Charlotte used her initials, C.E. Ray, instead of using her full name, Charlotte E. Ray. Some people assume the reason behind this was to disguise her gender as the university did not accept women into the program, but her real intentions still remain unknown. Nonetheless, she gained admittance to the program. Although discrimination isn’t as bad as it was back then, women of colour are still underrepresented at law firms. The percentage of women associates at law firms is 45.2% however, in terms of women and colour, this number drops to 13.1%. People can underestimate those of colour but they can’t underestimate true potential and skill. In order to overcome the barriers of race and gender, the only possible path is excel in a specific type of law, just like Charlotte E. Ray. 

Image courtesy to Black Then

Preparing to apply for law school is not something everyone does everyday. By researching more about Charlotte E. Ray, I  want to learn more about how she faced and overcame the barriers of discrimination. Moreover, I hope this project will help me be even more passionate about becoming a lawyer.

One of my IEP goals is to enhance my public speaking skills even further. Presenting a speech in front of 20-30 people at Night of the Notables will really have a great impact to improve my speaking skills. In the long-term, there may be a day when I will be defending the accused in front of perhaps 30-40 people. When the day comes, my public speaking skills would be better than ever.

Blog Response #1 and #2

Blog Post #1

What might you ‘take away’ from our discussions of Stuart Mclean’s “Emil” or “Safe Places,” Chamimanda Ngozi Adichie’s “The Danger of a Single Story,” or Budge Wilson’s “The Metaphor” this week? How might you apply this ‘take away’ to your life or passions, learning you have done in other classes, or significant events or ideas taking place in the world as a whole? 


Often enough, we judge others based on their physical appearance. Race, wealth, and gender are all factors that contribute to swaying our beliefs on how we view others. In Stuart McLean’s Emil, Morley’s first impression of Emil was not the greatest. “He looked frightening like Rasputin–bearded and dirty, wild and crazy.” (109). This reveals that, based on Morley’s description of Emil, he’s none different than the other homeless people. Furthermore, Dave says, “Why would you give [Emil] money so they can throw it away on lottery tickets they are going to lose?” (115). From this quote, we can see that Dave doesn’t really trust Emil in terms of handling money. Though it doesn’t directly state in the passage, the readers can infer that Dave has a strong opinion about homeless people. He pictures them as irresponsible drug addicts who lack common sense. I think that most of us can relate with Emil being discriminated against “superiors.” When I first entered middle school, my friend and I were the only Asians in our class and of course back then, no one really cared about gender, race, culture, etc. However, there was this one incident when my teacher showed the class a video on racism and it was then when I realized that the term racism existed. After watching the video, I became more self-conscious about my physical appearance. I started questioning myself, “Are white people really that remarkable? What do they think of me? Am I not good enough for them?” I started to become aware that many students actually got bullied for being Asian or African-American. Because these students looked different – because they weren’t light skinned, had bold eyes and a sharp nose – they were looked down upon. Judging someone by their outer appearance is definitely wrong; however, due to the fact that society has shifted everyone’s mindsets into thinking like that, it’s not something we can correct overnight.


Blog Post #2

What is the thesis of David Suzuki’s “Racism”? This letter could be a letter to you. What did you learn or ‘take away’ from his experiences? Do you appreciate his message? Why?

Racism is an on-going issue and like how I’ve mentioned in my previous blog post, it’s not something we can change overnight. The thesis of David Suzuki’s Racism is that our physical appearance should not affect one’s ethnicity. If it weren’t for David Suzuki, I would’ve never known about niseis, bigots, or Japanese Internment Camps. I’ve always known that racism was a major problem  but I would’ve never guessed for it to be a greater problem in the past. Having brown eyes doesn’t automatically put someone in a different category than a person with blue eyes. David Suzuki once mentioned, “It [is] racist to assume that because I [am] genetically identical to Japanese people in Japan, I too should be treated as the enemy.” (29). From this quote, I am able to take away that, racism has existed for the longest amount of time and many assume one’s race based on their outer appearance. I’ve lived in Canada for ten years now and when I was getting my Canadian citizenship approximately five years ago, I overheard a child behind me saying, “Mom, how can someone with black hair be a Canadian?” Back then, I didn’t know much about racism; however, now that I think about it, other than the fact that I look “Asian,” I too, can be a Canadian with black hair and brown eyes. Just because I have black hair doesn’t change the fact that I am a Canadian. Additionally, David’s friend called his dad a “[ch***]” and although it is a terrible word to say, I definitely believe that using a racial slur is appropriate in this context. (17). Using the racial slur made David Suzuki’s letter much more impactful and because he has faced these types of racial discrimination, using another word or even censoring the word would’ve taken out the complete meaning of the context it’s describing. Before reading this letter, I had no idea what a ch*** was; however, because Suzuki portrayed the word in such a poignant way, I learned to never use that word ever in my lifetime. Words strike harder than a bullet but it can heal better than a bandaid, at the end of the day, race doesn’t actually exist.