3 Wise Nuggs – Practice Interview

I was lucky enough to get 2 different interviews with kindergarten teachers from my old elementary school, one of them being my kindergarten teacher. From these 2 interview here are 3 wise nuggs that I feel were important parts of our discussion:

  1. Put yourself out there volunteering for the job that you want to do is important to make sure you are truly interested and care for it
  2. Don’t be too fixed on one career or plan, be willing to adapt and through those adaptions you might find something you love doing even more
  3. There is always something more to learn

Eminent Speech Outline

Speeches were my favourite part of eminent last year and I am excited to have the chance to share mine with the NotN crowd this year! So far this is my speech outline but I am still shifting a few things here and there because of the time restrictions being so short this year.

Exposition:

  • Sitting down to write her biography
    • Diving into a specific moment in Julie Andrew’s childhood
    • Stating age, where she was, what she was doing

Conflict:

  • Alcoholic stepfather introduced into her life
  • separated from her father whom she adored

Rising Action 1:

  • First time she is alone with her stepfather:
    • She was 9
    • “Come into bed with me, I’ll show you how I cuddle mummy”

Rising Action 2:

  • Experiencing voices in her head
  • Thinking she had went crazy

Rising Action 3:

  • When she was 16 her stepfather barging into her room saying “I really must teach you how to kiss properly
  • Spending what little money she had on tools to bolt her door shut to keep him out of her room

Climax:

  • seeing her half brother being beaten by her stepfather

Falling action:

  • How she felt about all of this

Resolution:

  • Problems don’t really get dissolved because to this day she still recognized these moments as unhappy times
  • “No one should feel that scared in their own home.”
  • Close biography that she is writing

 

 

Eminent is already here! – Introductory post

 

“It’s not enough to reach for the brass ring. You must also enjoy the merry go round.”

Image courtesy of pintrest.ca

Heyo towards eminent we go! This year for my eminent project I have chosen Julie Andrews. She is famous for the numerous amounts of musicals she has been in (Mary Poppins, Sound of Music), as well as many movies (Princess Diaries). She also writes children’s books alongside her daughter, Emma Hamilton. Not only is she clearly very passionate about the arts, but she stands up and advocates for the importance of the arts. Just recently, Julie Andrews and Emma Hamilton wrote a letter to Donald Trump who threatened to cut the budget for arts programs. I chose her because I have a passion for Musical Theatre and researching and analyzing her life will give me more insight on the challenges and rewards faced by people in the theatre industry . What I find really interesting about Julie Andrews is her passion and dedication to theatre and her optimism. In 1997 she got throat surgery to remove nodules in her vocal chords. “When she awoke, the angelic 4 octave soprano that delighted audiences in The Sound of Music, Mary Poppins, and Victor/Victoria was gone.” (People Movies). This was obviously very devastating to the theatre industry, but we can only imagine how devastating it was to Julie herself. For her whole life singing and performing had been her creative outlet, it had gotten her through some rough times throughout her childhood, and now her voice was gone. If that had happened to me I would be extremely upset too because much like Julie, singing is my creative outlet.

As for following her life path, I can’t see myself becoming a broadway star. Although I think that would be an amazing career to have. Every night having those bright lights shine on your face, blinding you, every night feeling that energy from the audience buzzing all around, that would be a dream come true. Opportunities like that don’t just pop up in front of you. You have to work extremely hard and take every chance you get. There is also a component of luck to it and being in the right place at the right time.

“When I’ve least expected it, an enormous opportunity or stroke of luck has crossed right under my nose. So I tell everybody, if you’re passionate about what you do and you love it, do it. But do your homework. Because you’ll never know when the opportunity is going to happen.”

However, I do see myself continuing to be a part of the Musical Theatre community and by learning about Julie Andrews I can learn about how life is on the big broadway stage, but also before she reached broadway what her life was like. Although maybe not a broadway star, I am looking to get inspired by her to find my voice becoming an advocate for the importance of the arts. Singing, dancing, and playing instruments have always been a way to express myself clearer. Sometimes words just aren’t enough and when that happens, I sing. The arts have been a really important part of my life, and will continue to be as I grow older.

A barrier I may face in connecting with Julie Andrews, much like a lot of other people’s eminent person, is we are not the same ‘social class’. I won’t have the same experiences as her or any famous person. Although, I don’t believe this will be a problem, I can also look at who she was before she made her big debut on broadway, and how she has developed and changed. Another barrier I may face is geography. She grew up in England during WW2. Her life situation growing up might be hard for me to relate to, although I have been to England a few times and it is a very old country and have visited very old cities there so I may be able to imagine parts of her life.

My intentions from this project are to learn as much about Julie Andrews life as I can, about the hardships she faced, about the wonderful experiences she had, but also to learn as much as I can about a life involved in the arts. Like I said last year in my eminent intro post, is I knew I either wanted to choose someone involved in music or the arts, sports, or a social activist. Since last year I did Christine Sinclair, I decided on music because that is a huge part of my life. I think through learning about someone else’s life in music I will learn about how I can achieve a greater understanding and enrich my passion.

A big part of the eminent project is public speaking and communicating with people, not only our eminent speeches, but on night of the notables, all night we are talking to other people as our eminent person. One of my goals on my iep is becoming more confident in public speaking. I believe that through this eminent project and with time, I will be able to do this. At Night of the Notables, you never know what kind of questions people may ask you so you have to be prepared for anything. This scares me because I like to know exactly what I am going to have to say before I start talking, however this will improve my public speaking skills.

When I went on the library trip, I was already fairly sure that I wanted to do Julie Andrews. However, having time to look for books about her and especially having time to read them while I was there was extremely helpful and good conformation for me that I wanted to do her for eminent. Because I had time to read the books while I was there, it gave me an idea of what type of information they had about her and how I could use them for gathering information about her. I found a lot of books about the Sound of Music and Julie Andrew’s life so I am excited to continue reading those! I think that the library field trip this year for me was more helpful than last year because I had a better idea of what was going to happen.

Although last year I was excited for eminent, I was definitely more scared than excited. However this year I am super duper excited for eminent and I am curious where researching Julie Andrews will take me!

Blog response #3 – Harrison Bergeron

In my opinion, the film 2081 was a more effective way of telling the narrative “Harrison Bergeron”. The film creates a sort of realism in the story because it has to be realistic enough that people can act it out, it also it gives me better visuals for what the handicaps look like.

In the story “Harrison Bergeron” written by Kurt Vonnegut Jr, Harrison is a 7 foot tall 14 year old who has the guts and the strength to rip off 300 pounds of handicaps with his bare hands, defy gravity, and jump as high as the ceiling. In a way this alienates the readers by making exaggerating Harrison’s super human qualities. However in the film 2081, there is no person who can physically do that so there is an added realism to it where we can see that Harrison doesn’t have these unrealistic qualities to him. Another difference between Harrison’s character in the story versus the film is his wants and motives. In the story, Harrison says, “I am the Emperor! Do you hear? I am the emperor! Everybody must do what I say at once!” (4). Whereas in the film Harrison says, “and I say to you, that if it is greatness we must destroy, then let us drag our enemy out of the darkness, where it has been hiding. Let us shine a light so, at last, all the world can see!” (11:42). We can see from this that in the story Harrison is more self centered and only concerned that he gets to show the world how great of a man he is. In the film, Harrison wants to expose Diana Moon Glampers for all the evil things she does which is why he broadcasts himself dying. He risks his life to show others that the government is evil. These are two different motives for the same actions and I believe the second one is more interesting for me.

However, I wouldn’t be able to appreciate the films story line and realism if I hadn’t read the story before hand so I believe rather one over the other they should come as a pair. Reading the story before watching the film let me be imaginative, thinking about what the handicaps could look like, how they were attached etc. I think the sequence in which we learnt the story of Harrison Bergeron (short story and then the film) led me to deeper thinking about each story line.

Blog Response 1 and 2 – “The Metaphor” and “Racism”

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?

A major theme I noticed throughout all of these short stories and speeches we read/listened to is that, when we push past stereotypes and value diversity that is when we can become an empathetic person. Empathy isn’t something we can acquire overnight. It takes a while for us to develop the skills needed to become a more empathetic person. Morley in Stuart Mclean’s “Emil” starts of, much like the rest of society, making inferences about Emil’s wants and fears. As she develops as a character I see that through giving herself another point of view, another side of the story, that she made false inferences. By the end of the story Morley, “spends another five dollars while she is grocery shopping. She buys a box of grape hyacinth bulbs and she plants them one night when Emil has left – thinking as she scrapes at the hard dirt in Emil’s box that they will come in the spring and surprise him,” (121). This shows that Morley has come to know Emil’s wants and fears and by doing so has created a more meaningful relationship than most of society is willing to create with a homeless person. As for Chimamanda’s speech, “The Danger of a Single story”, the name says it all. Single stories are in fact that, dangerous. They create a divide in our ability to empathize with others that are different than us, and they perpetuate stereotypes.

We can also learn from Budge Wilson’s “The Metaphor” that our actions, no matter how big or small, affect others more than we think. Although Charlotte should NOT be blaming herself for Miss Hancock’s actions. If Charlotte had tried to reconcile with Miss Hancock, or even just smiled at her, it could have had a big impact on Miss Hancock’s life.

By reading these stories I am becoming more aware of the single stories in my life and I have been able to learn from the characters, especially Charlotte’s, regrets. Even before reading this story I have always been a person who, when they walk down the street, they smile and say hello to the people they pass. Although I have been told that this potentially is putting myself in danger, I know that I always feel good when people who walk by me smile at me. From that personal experience I infer that others get the same feeling when they are acknowledged. Reading about Charlotte’s regrets, “Once, just once in this entire year, I could have smiled at her,” I receive the message that a smile does go further than one might think (231). By being able to decide what in my life is a single story, and finding ways to push past that, I hope to become a more empathic person.

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?

I believe through reading David Suzuki’s personal experiences I am more aware of how racial slurs and racism has affected people in the past, and is still affecting people today. Before reading this story, I knew that certain words are not okay to use because they may bring up traumatizing memories for people. However, I wasn’t really aware of the kind of racist acts that went on. While reading, I felt a bit of anger and frustration mixed with sadness and confusion, especially when I read the line, “So a nobleman would feel justified in considering all of his privileges a ‘birthright’, sanctioned not only by the law but also by biology. In the same way, the idea that a ‘woman’s place was in the home’ was defended as a reflection of biological difference,” (19). I think specifically this frustrated me because nobleman already had so many privileges that others didn’t, and with what people thought about heredity back then, now they were able to authorize their privileges too. What David Suzuki is trying to convey here is that, we are not born with hate, it is who we are influenced by when we are growing up that affects who we become. This is shown through him saying, “It’s funny how when we are kids, we don’t see the differences that adults do. We learn what to fear or hate from our parents or others around us,” (17). This is very similar to what Chimamanda said in her speech, “What this demonstrates, I think, is how impressionable and vulnerable we are in the face of a story, particularly as children.” This is such a significant idea because as people and story tellers we have the ability to influence a lot of people around us and we also have the ability to be influenced by others around us. We want to make sure that we are not perpetuating acts/ideas of racism, sexism, or other things that could potentially be harmful to others. I appreciate David Suzuki sharing his story because it has created an awareness of the very important and evident topic that is racism in our community.

Emil – Theme response

When we think of the word ‘homeless’ we may think of angry people who could never be happy with their living situations. Have we ever stopped to think that it is possible for them to be happy too? In Stuart McLean’s “Emil”, Morley realizes that privilege shouldn’t be the yardstick in which social hierarchy is measured. She is brought to understand that life is not just materialistic things such as how much money we have in our banks, but how fulfilling our life is too us. When Morley finds that it is Emil who has been stealing their neighbourhood plants, she is confused, because she knows that he only takes what he needs. She thought of the time when she gave Emil five dollars, but unlike the reaction she was expecting he said, “That’s too much” and gave her two dollars in change (111). However, instead of getting angry with him, she simply said, “Is that for your garden, Emil?” attempting to form a bond between them (115).  When Emil won the lottery, he could have taken it and changed his life to fit the materialistic standards of society, but he chose not to. He gave away 4500 dollars, misplaced 2500, and had 3000 left at the end of the day (118). “He didn’t just hand the money to anyone who walked by. He gave it to his regulars – people who gave him money. Or stopped to talk to him” (118). This shows that even without all these items that are thought to be needed in order to be happy, Emil wouldn’t ‘trade in’ his life for a new one. When Morley came to terms with the idea that you don’t need these ‘upperclass’ items to be happy she was able to empathize with Emil on a more personal level than she had originally planned to. Privilege can be deceiving, we cannot and should not assume people with money are happy. This heartwarming story goes to show that happiness should be our ultimate goal in life.

 

Reader Response 1 – Me and Earl and the Dying Girl

In this scene, Greg finds out that one of the people he used to be friends with has been diagnosed with cancer, and his mom forces him to call her. I am surprised that Greg gave into his mom and is trying to phone Rachel. (He had tried phoning her a few times already but Rachel didn’t want to talk.) Thus creating the main external conflict in this scene. Rachel is not convinced that Greg actually wants to be friends, but Greg thinks of a lie to persuade her. Although he is being dishonest, it just goes to show how far he will go to stay out of trouble with his mom, and that maybe he actually does care about Rachel. Greg is scared to connect to people, this is shown throughout the first third of the book by him saying, “You cannot become too deeply enmeshed in any one group.” [9] and, “The whole point is that you can’t be friends with anyone.” [10] Greg is not a good example of a socially responsible student. He is not, “Building relationships by being part of a group.” or, “Contributing to community and caring for the environment by being a part of a group.” [BC curriculum’s Social Responsibility Competency overview] So far, Greg hasn’t changed. The only thing that changed in his life is Rachel is diagnosed with cancer. This hasn’t affected Greg as a person yet. I wish the author implied that Greg was upset so that we could have seen a new vulnerable side of him. It’s hard for me to relate to Greg so far because we don’t have much in common. First of all if someone told me someone I knew had cancer, I would be crying. Rather than phoning them, I would go see them and I definitely wouldn’t make up a lie just to get them to talk to me. Greg isn’t a role model to me because he doesn’t really do anything with his life. I respect that he is attempting a new friendship with Rachel, but I don’t appreciate how he only talks to her outside of school because in school he doesn’t let himself be seen with anyone.

Looking Into the Eye of the Storm – Show Not Tell Writing

Original telling sentence – My friend was so mad.

Stem pours out of my friends ears as she stands only a few mere feet in front of me, glaring at my being with disgust. A look so icy cold it could freeze the entirety of Hawaii in split seconds. Every vein in my body tenses, each feeling the urge to pop. The distance between my friend and I, though a few feet apart, feels like only millimeters under the gaze of her dark, focused, laser beam eyes. I try and hide within my small, fragile figure. I soon realize there is no where to hide and I must face this storm head on.

TED Talk: How Stress Impacts our Bodies and Brains

My TED talk is on how stress impacts our bodies and brains. My main focus questions are “What happens to our bodies and in our brains when we are stressed?”, “What causes us to be stressed?”, and, “How can we relax?”. Throughout this ted talk we also explore a bit about what it feels like to have a panic  attack. It all starts with a tremble…

TED Talk notes (they are not in sequential order yet, see outline for sequence)

TED talk outline

TED Talk script

TED Talk presentation

TED Talk bibliography (arranged by last name of author)

 

Sight reading week/Concepts & Alternatives – In Depth post #6

This past week or so I have been really focusing my efforts on sight reading. This is something that a piano accompanist needs to be good at doing and something that I am very bad at doing. Throughout this week I got more comfortable with playing both chords and melodies. One thing that I found helpful to do is I would choose a song that I know the tune of but I don’t know how to play on piano, and then get the guitar chords and play the guitar chords that are written except on piano to improve the fluidity of chord changes and emotion through phrasing. So here are links to videos of me first time sight reading the chords to a song and singing it. It was really hard for me to make sure I only tried filming these once or twice because I would like the songs to be as good as I can make them, but I designated this week to sight reading so I can’t rehearse them over and over again, or else that wouldn’t be sight reading anymore.

I Will Always Love You – Whitney Houston

From the Ground up – Dan and Shay 


 

Concepts:

During the theory part of my mentoring session, whenever she is explaining to me something new, this week, I tried to clarify to make sure I understood what the concept was. For an example a concept would be transposition and the practical idea would be finding the correct interval or key to transpose it to. Another concept from my mentoring sessions are posture when sitting at the piano and the practical idea would be shoulders down, fingers bent. I never really thought of things in terms of concepts/practical ideas, but it helps to clarify possible misunderstandings, and it also helps in terms of organizing thoughts. Another example of a concept would be in my most recent mentor session she said, “You can find the correct chords to play by looking at the bass note and the treble clef note and then writing them as a chord, most of the time the bass note will be the root of the chord.” The concept of this is finding the chords of a piano melody while the practical idea is as she explained, how to find the chords.

Alternatives that my mentor has offered me include the kinds of songs I am playing. I had originally started out playing with easier songs and she said that it is good to start off easy and get used to the feel of things but also she thought that my skill level was above these songs and wanted to give me more challenging songs. Another alternative that she offered me is working a transposition week into my schedule. Knowing how to transpose at sight is a key component to being a piano accompanist so she thinks it is a very important concept for me to learn and skill to develop. I kind of combined it with this weeks sight reading week so the pieces I found had different chords than I was playing, but, I transposed one into a lower key and one into a higher key so that I could get used to doing both. I believe if I had a different mentor my project would probably look completely different, I had never planned on focusing on theory as much but now I am glad I did because I realize that theory is a big part of being a piano accompanist.


In conclusion, my in depth project is moving itself a long quite nicely, there have been some bumps in the road and I’m sure there will continue to be. Next what will happen is Jiwon and I will be starting to rehearse our songs for In Depth night together. I’m excited to see how now until In depth night plays itself out!