Socials Blog Post #1 – Historical Thinking

Concentrating our socials classes on the question, “Why do events happen, and what are their impacts?” will create deeper understanding of the cause and consequences our world has faced. By focusing on the domino effect, we will hopefully be able to eliminate any negative repetition, and find insight as to how to better the world of today.

When boiling down to the main purpose of studying history, one might say it is to learn from our past mistakes. By learning why certain events happen and how they affected our world, we can do just that. As an example, World War 2 officially began September 1st 1939. German soldiers invaded Poland under the instructions of Adolf Hitler. It is possible that there was no one single point in time when Hitler decided he hated Jewish people, but many events that led up to it. By studying the antisemitism in Vienna at the time when Hitler was growing up, we can provide ourselves with some insight as to what was the core cause of World War 2. It is no mystery to us that World War 2 left large aftermaths on the world, such as the rise of the Soviet Union and United States. However, merely studying World War 2 will not advance our society unless we take preventative actions. Many soldiers and regular innocent people died because of the hate countries had for each other. Being able to recognize why World War 2 started and the negative impacts hate has, will help our society recognize what actions need to be taken in order to prevent another World War.

By studying the cause and consequence of historical events, we can continue to improve societal issues, become better decision makers, and hopefully make the world a safer place for everyone.

In Depth Post #3

What went particularly well during your mentoring sessions?

I think that Claire and I clicked well and had good open communication. It felt a little awkward at first however, after a little while it started to feel more casual. When we started talking about song inspiration (around 20 minutes into the mentor session) the conversation continued well and I felt really comfortable. When we got to talking about storylines, and lyrics and how musicals portray this in a different way than pop songs (as an example), since both Claire and I love musical theatre this conversation was high energy since we were both passionate about the topic. Since we both have similar passions in music (musical theatre, singing, guitar) conversation flowed pretty naturally and I felt comfortable sharing my song with her.


 

What learning challenges emerged? What did you do to hold yourselves accountable for the learning?

One learning challenge that emerged from my mentor session with Claire was that songwriting is a very personal art. This makes it harder to teach and give feedback than learning guitar for example, since it is such a subjective thing.

However, Claire was able to provide me with some feedback as to what she would do if this were her song. One piece of feedback that I have been focusing on is finding a place where the storyline of the song could be expanded in order to make the song longer. Which I will expand on later in this blog post. We found that if she gives me tips as if this was a song that she wrote then she has more feedback to provide. She also emphasized that since this is my song, it is ultimately up to me to decide what I want to do with it.

Another topic that we could talk about in detail is how she starts writing songs and her inspiration. This will help me in the future when I start writing my next songs. This helped move along conversation/interaction, and learning once she ran out of feedback for my song. In addition to this she gave me some song artists suggestions to listen to if I want to possibly feel inspired to write. We found ways to give and receive feedback about my song as well as other topics to talk about that could possibly improve my songwriting process in the future.


 

What three strategies could improve the quality of your mentoring  interactions?

1. Prepare more questions in case there is a sudden lack of topics to discuss/feedback to give.

Although I came with a couple questions in mind for this mentor session, I used them all within the first 10 minutes because we are still getting to know each other so the beginnings of our mentor sessions are a little awkward. However, closer to the end of my mentor session, we had already covered the majority of what I wanted to accomplish so far in my In Depth project. It would have been helpful to have had a couple more probing questions to ask her in mind.

2. Taking notes while Claire is talking

This would prevent me from having to do extra work after my mentor session trying to remember specific details of things she said. Then at the end of my project I would also be able to look back and see my process made as well as the kinds of things I have worked on. This would also be useful while trying to write my next song because I could take the feedback from my current song and apply it to my next song as well.

3. Not feeling the need to fill every second with talking

When I’m not close with someone I don’t feel very comfortable sitting with them in silence. However, after showing Claire my song, she may need time to digest, analyze, and think, but she will not have the time to do this if I am trying to fill every second with some sort of conversation. This may improve as my mentoring sessions continue, however for right now I am going to try and keep this in the back of my mind when I have my mentoring sessions.


 

2 weeks have passed since my last In Depth post and a lot of work has been done but not much progress has been made. I spent a lot of the long weekend thinking about Claire’s feedback, trying to find a part in the song where I could expand the storyline and make the song longer. She gave me a couple of suggestions, but she also said, “Sometimes short and sweet is better. If you think this is all you need to tell this story, then that’s great too!” However, I did agree with her that it could be expanded. I tried to rewrite some parts, rearrange others, write free writes about this story to see what ideas could come from that. Unfortunately nothing seemed to stick out to me, and I have ended up with a bunch of scribbled out lyrics all over my notebook. Although I haven’t progressed my song much, I still feel as though I have made progress overcoming obstacles that at some points became a little frustrating. I started to think that maybe this storyline just really didn’t need to be expanded. Even if this may be true, I decided I wanted to continue to push beyond that point of frustration and continue to brainstorm ideas because it could only improve myself as a songwriter.

When I was sitting in english class last week (or 2 weeks ago?), and Mr. Morris was talking about Romeo and Juliet, he said the phrase, “written in the stars” because we had started talking about fate. This phrase immediately jumped out at me as a theme for a song. I have started carrying around my songwriting journal everywhere so that if I ever have an idea all of a sudden I can write it down for later. In my In Depth contract I stated that I am going to attempt to write a duet, I have a few ideas of how I want this to be the theme of the duet, however nothing is set in stone yet. I’m really excited to see how writing a duet will be different than writing a solo!

When I write, I write for me.

– Claire Lundin

In-Depth Post #2

Song writing is like… being possessed. You try to go to sleep but the song won’t let you.

– John Lennon

This year for my In-Depth project, my mentor is Claire Lundin a graduated Gleneagle Student. She has performed original songs at many Gleneagle events that I have attended, and each time she never fails to amaze me and inspire me to try writing my own songs! Claire has been writing songs even before she could actually write, always using it as a creative outlet and a form of expressing herself. When she was in middle school she joined a songwriting club and that was the first time she experienced sharing a song she wrote.

From my mentor I have learnt that songs that people write, are usually very personal. An important thing to understand is that not everyone is going to like the song that you write because everyone has their own personal opinions as well. No matter the reaction, you shouldn’t get discouraged because all famous singers have fans and people that dislike their music too! Songwriting shouldn’t just be for other people but more so yourself. I am hoping that I find it as a creative outlet and take to songwriting in earnest, similar to Claire. Sharing a song you wrote takes a lot of courage, and once you are able to build up that courage, most of the time reactions received from people are heart warming because it is often common knowledge that songwriting is a difficult task.

In the process of becoming a mentor, some facilitation strategies that can be useful to keep in mind that I have learnt so far are preparing questions. Questions are always a good beginning because they can be expanded on and they create a base point to start from to make things a little less awkward at first. First interactions are almost always awkward for me, so thinking of possible topics I want to bring up whether I am the mentor or mentee is useful because it helps my brain to know that I have ideas to talk about if there is awkward silence. As well as this, being as open as comfortable/possible is great because it builds trust which, I think, is a necessity to build any type of good relationship.

So far for my In Depth project I am right on my schedule. I just completed the first draft of my first song and I will update my blog once I have a video of it (sorry I can’t record it right now I’m sick). Personally, I find it easier to try and write the majority of the song in one sitting with a couple breaks. Although it is hard to start, once I started writing and getting into the flow of things I didn’t want to stop. However, I stopped when I ran into some writers block. I couldn’t think of a second verse so I just left my song at where it was and tried to come back to it another day. However, this was really difficult because I didn’t feel that same inspiration for the song as I did on the first day. As well as this, I didn’t write the song in order. If I thought of a bridge then I wrote the bridge first. This was advice from Mr. Jackson when Tori and I were writing our song for english last year. He said that if you find a song lyric that you like, start from there, it doesn’t matter if it is the start of the song or not. I found this really helpful because I didn’t find myself constricted to the sequence of the song. If I got stuck at one part, I skipped it and came back later. As well as this an important thing to understand is that the lyrics you write are never set in stone. My notebook right now is filled with crossed off sections, scribbles, and random ideas just from writing this one draft! I’m excited to see how this song will end up after the first draft!

Image Courtesy of udemy.com

 

Nurse, The Campaigner (ENFP-T)

In William Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet, the Nurse is a comical character who adds liveliness to the story. She is enjoyable to read about and her caring personality towards Juliet is nothing short of heart warming. The Nurse is outgoing, jovial, fun loving, and ultimately a caring mother figure for Juliet. These qualities are what possibly make her an ENFP-T Campaigner.

Campaigners are known for “enjoying the social and emotional connections they make with others” being “a true free spirit” and “taking in others’ thoughts and feelings” (16personalities.com). An ENFP’s qualities include being extraverted, having an intuitive energy style, following their hearts rather than a careful thought out plan, and being flexible. As readers can see in act 2.4, the nurse has no apprehensions about seeking out Romeo for a message about the wedding plans. This demonstrates her enjoyment of making social and emotional connections. When the Nurse says, “Ah, mocker! that’s the dog’s name” the nurse shows her ability to joke around with Romeo after just meeting with him. This is a good representation of her free spirit and outgoing nature. As said above, campaigners are generally great at “taking in others’ thoughts and feelings” (16personalities.com). The Nurse is definitely a mother figure in Juliet’s life since Lady Capulet is more distant from Juliet. As shown in act 3 scene 5, the only person who comforts and shields Juliet from her unfortunate fate of marrying Paris is her Nurse. When Capulet is yelling at Juliet and threatening to disown her the Nurse steps in and says, “God in heaven bless her!” (3.5, 169). This shows how the Nurse can see how Juliet is feeling and show enough care and love for her to put herself at risk by challenging Capulet. The Nurse follows her heart instead of a thought out plan which contributes to the reason why she is an ENFP.

Romeo and Juliet – Puppy Love

“Based on our readings so far, do you agree or disagree that Romeo and Juliet’s relationship is one of “‘infatuated children’ engaging in ‘puppy love'”?

To answer this question, I might have to try and answer the age old question: what is love? Now the dictionary definition is, “a feeling of warm personal attachment or deep affection, as for parent, child, or friend” (Dictionary.com). However, I think that love shouldn’t just be defined as a feeling but also an act of doing. It is one thing to tell someone you love them, but a completely different thing to tell someone you love them and actually follow through with actions by caring for them and putting their happiness over your own. I think that at first Romeo and Juliet’s feelings towards each other do start out as puppy love. An example of this is when Juliet is uncertain about Romeo’s devotion to her by saying, “Dost though love me? I know thou wilt say ‘Ay,’ And I will take thy word; yet, if thou swear’st, Thou mayst prove false” (2.2 90-93). This line is Juliet asking Romeo if he loves her. She knows that he will say yes, and she would believe him and trust him, but, if he swears that he does love him, he might be lying. This shows that because of Juliet’s uncertainty, thinking that Romeo may just be lying, she doesn’t have a lot of trust in Romeo. I think that an aspect of a good relationship is trusting one another, people who are in love do show trust in one another because they take time to build a strong base connection. Since Romeo and Juliet only met just days ago during the Capulet dance, there hasn’t been a foundation of trust formed. Another reason for why Romeo and Juliet’s connection is puppy love is because they experience this somewhat love at first sight experience. Although Juliet is still hesitant to marry Romeo shown to him by saying, “I have no joy of this contract to-night. I is too rash, too unadvised, too sudden, too like lighting, which doth cease to be ere one can say ‘it lightens'” readers can see that her thoughts about marriage do change after meeting Romeo (2.2 117-120). However, I don’t think that true love at first sight can be possible, but attraction or “puppy love” at first sight is. If Romeo and Juliet were truly in love, I don’t think physical attributes would matter as much as how much they care for each other and become dependent on each other. However, this puppy love may develop into real love as this story progresses.

To wat extent is Kulich’s gument that Romeo and Juliet should not be viewed as children effective, or even historically accurate?

Kulich’s argument that Romeo and Juliet should not be viewed as children should be viewed as historically inaccurate. Shakespeare’s inspiration for this play was a poem called The Tragical History of Romeus and Juliet, in this story, “Juliet is a young girl of 16, while Romeo is somewhat older” (The Generation Gap). However, in Shakespeare’s version of this, Capulet states that, “My child is yet a stranger in the world; She hath not seen the change of fourteen years” from this, it is evident that Juliet is only 13 years old, and that Capulet, her father, sees her as his child, too young to be wed yet. This isn’t just a parent being overprotective of their child either, in 1566-1619, the average marriage age was 27 (The Age of Marriage). The age of marriage also states that, “for most children, puberty came two or three years later than it does today”. For most girls, puberty starts anywhere between 10 and 14 (MedicineNet). This means that Juliet might not have even started puberty yet. The age of puberty for boys is even later meaning Romeo most likely hadn’t started puberty yet either. As well as this, both Romeo and Juliet still live which means that neither of their parents see reason for an arranged marriage, wanting to keep them as a child for longer. Therefore, Kulich’s argument that Romeo and Juliet should not be viewed as children should be thought of as historically inaccurate.

In Depth Post #1

Its that time of year again! We are a week into In Depth and I’m pretty excited to see where this year’s In Depth project will take me!

Image Courtesy of udemy.com

For my In Depth project, I have chosen to do songwriting. My In Depth topic this year was easier to decide on than last years, partially because I’ve already completed one In Depth project, but also because last year’s In Depth project encouraged me to chose this project. I have been interested in this topic for a while but I never have really sat down and tried to write a song except for one song that I have written with Tori for an english project last year. I figured that this would be the perfect opportunity for me to really delve deeper into songwriting. Listening to and playing music has been an important part to my life and I have always admired people who can write their own songs and perform them. In grade 6 when I started to teach myself how to play guitar I really enjoyed it because I could sing at the same time. I decided that one day I would become a famous singer songwriter and Beyonce would be my opening act. (As you can see I had some pretty big goals for myself :)) Although my goals have shifted quite a bit since then, I still want to experience what it is like to write my own songs and perform them. Another inspiration for this project was when I was at singing competition last year, one girl, around my age wrote her own song and performed it. It was a great performance to watch because the song obviously meant something to her so it was really in character and a job well done.


 

I haven’t secured a mentor yet for this project, but I have been contacting anyone I can think of who might be able to be my mentor for this project. Unfortunately, they were all too busy at this time of the year. I will continue to search for a mentor and hopefully I will find one very soon. I will be introducing my mentor in my next blog post once I have secured one.


So far for my In Depth project, I have done a bit of research about different kinds of song structures and different parts of songs. I have been keeping a song writing notebook/logbook with any small lyric fragments that have come to mind and will continue to do so. I will be deciding on a topic and starting to write my first song for my In Depth project this weekend.


 

Here are a few of my goals for this project:

  1. Learn about song structure
  2. Learn if different song topics fit better with different structures and why
  3. Learn about what makes a catchy song and how to use this information to write a catchy song
  4. Grow confidence in performing
  5. Learn about writing harmony lines and what makes a really good harmony line

Song writing is the most terrifying thing to me, because you are really laying your heart out there.

David Friedman

 

Zip Document of Learning #4

My inquiry question:

To what extent does the process of free writing affect the quality of finished writing pieces?

After having completed half of my story, I realized that the free writing process makes the story writing process easier to begin with, because when I start out writing a story I tend to have no clue where I want to start; however, after free writing I already have ideas written down they just need tweaking. With this in mind, free writing also creates a lot more work in the editing process because taking chunks of writing right out of the free writes means that most of it is anything that comes into your mind in the moment that you were doing the free write. Although, I haven’t quite finished my story yet so I don’t know how the free writing process affects the quality of finished writing pieces. I can see that it is positively affecting the connection between the ideas throughout my story and the flow, but I can also see that it may be negatively the quality of grammar in my writing. Editing my grammar takes a lot longer than thinking through and doing it correctly the first time. After I am finished writing my story I will give another update on this question.

 

 

Zip Document of Learning #3

So far in my zip project I have quite a bit of work to do to be caught up to where I was planning to be over the winter break. I wanted to be on the stage of practicing my zip presentation however I am still working on writing my short story and making my lesson plan. I have edited the portion that I have written once and come up with an outline for the rest of my story however, I would have liked to be done by this point so that I didn’t have to do a lot of work over the winter break. I fell behind in the 2nd last week before the break when I had a bunch of homework each night. I couldn’t find the time I needed for zip because other assignments were due the next day whereas zip I put as a low priority because it wasn’t due until after the break. This seemed like a reasonable idea when I had an extremely heavy workload that week because I couldn’t manage staying up an extra half hour after finishing all my other homework to do zip. However, now I wish I had done maybe 10 minutes of zip on some nights because I have a bunch of work to catch up on now. Although, I still think my original goal is possible to achieve in the time frame, I will just have to be extra diligent in setting up times for myself to work on zip. I am still enjoying my zip project a lot and I have learnt about other ways to pre write, such as, listing, outlining, drawing, brainstorming etc. I compared and contrasted each of them to free writing and decided that they each serve a different purpose. Free writings purpose is to bring unconscious ideas you may have into consciousness through a stream of consciousness, which means don’t stop writing no matter what during the time period. Whereas listing, for example, is more directed than free writing and before you make a list you should know your focus on the particular subject you plan to write about. Using more than one pre writing technique for one piece of writing is a good idea as well because you have a clearer idea of what you are going to be writing about which leads to more concise writing.

360 degree leader

I learned so many valuable concepts from John Maxwells, “How to be a 360 Degree Leader”, the one that I want to focus on for next semester in particular is expanding my circle. Although I probably don’t come across as a shy person, and generally I don’t think I am, but I may step back if something is really out of my comfort zone. I want to be able to stretch and rise to the challenge. Specifically, through my in depth project. This year for in depth I want to challenge myself to step out of my comfort zone and find a mentor in which I never knew before in any way because last year I knew my mentor because she accompanied me on a few of my violin exams so I was already comfortable reaching out to her. Choosing a mentor in whom I don’t know may be a challenge to find, but ultimately will be rewarding because I will learn to work through the awkwardness of meeting someone for the first time and having to build a relationship with them.

Zip – Document of Learning 2

For my document of learning this week I am going to post one of my unedited free writes that I did during Friday’s work block. The prompt I made for myself is, “create two story characters that sit in front/behind each other in the classroom.” This free write was for 15 minutes and I think this was one of the easier free writes since I was able to create a story line between the two characters, and each character could have their own story as well. At some point in my free write you may see, “Nice connection to your other free write Melissa wow go me.” This is because a different free write I did was about a boy who got into a car accident and has some short term memory loss because right before I did that free write I was watching a movie similar to that subject so the movie was on my mind while I was free writing. There are quite a few random sentences that have nothing to do with the prompt but that was because my brain strayed off topic for a bit until it was able to get back on track.

Free write:

She is perfect. The girl of my dreams, sitting in front of me in class. The way her eyes glistened in the sunlight that shawn in through the windows. The way her hair rested perfectly against her chair. Always politely raising her hand when she knew the answer, and she always did know the answer. She was the brightest of us, and to me, that was intriguing. Others made fun of her for always knowing the answer. I don’t know why, there was nothing to make fun of. Her voice is soft and easy to listen to. Blah blah blah i don’t know ahahaha the lights outside are really bright

When she walks down the halls, she sings, wonderful melodies fly through the air into my ears. Her voice is like a gift on Christmas day and I am so lucky to get to open it. The subtle bounce in her step is so energizing to me. Blah blah blha christmas is so soon I’m so excited blah blah blah blah blah christmas lights christmas lights christmas lights I’m going to get her a christmas gift a;owiejfa;woeifjo;aweif blah

But, I can only admire from a distance. Oh, I guess I should probably introduce myself, I’m Matt Inkson, and no one likes Matt Inkson. I am in 9th grade at INSERT SCHOOL NAME HERE BLAH BLAH BLAH BLAH BLAH BLAH BLAH sigh sigh sigh i want a cookie hm pomelo is yummy Melissa get back to ur story no no no no no no je veux dormir woot wooot

Ever since the car accident I’ve been known as that weird kid who forgets a lot of stuff. Nice connection to your other free write Melissa wow go me.

Ever since the car accident I’ve been known as that weird kid who forgets a lot of stuff. I remember that night quite clearly though. I remember, my mom was driving me home from karate lessons when a huge truck ran a red light and came zipping at our car. The last thing I remember before waking up in a hospital bed was her. Her glowing smile, her dark brown eyes, her rosy cheeks, all of it. Darnit the free write timer is at 2 seconds.