P.E.I May Want To Reconsider Their Views

I, John Hamilton Gray, as the son of a Loyalist refugee believe, contrary to popular views in PEI, that Confederation will be beneficial for our country and province. My father escaped from America posterior the revolution and came to the newly developing British North America. The ideas of confederacy and preventing the manifest destiny from coming true were still fairly new when my father first came to BNA. However, it was becoming apparent after the civil war that America’s armed forces were much stronger than anything in upper North America.

The first and most prominent reason for why confederation is a must is the great threat that is apparent from our neighbours who strongly believe in the Manifest Destiny, the driving force behind US expansion. P.E.I is such a small colony that it will take mere minutes for America to take over. Although the fact that going into confederacy with P.E.I being such a small colony is one of our colonies greatest concerns, I believe it is more important to keep our all BNA colonies safe from the Manifest Destiny rather than trying to all fight our separate battles, with England becoming less likely to protect us.

Another reason for P.E.I to head towards confederacy is our absentee landlord issues. Although it has been discussed that joining confederacy will only perpetuate this problem, I believe that under one nation we can work to improve each of our colonies as well. Although we are a smaller colony often overlooked because of our size, joining forces can only make us more powerful and give us access to greater resources.

With England and America becoming less willing to withhold free trade laws, it is a safer bet, in the long run, to create bonds with other colonies more local with us, such as the Maritimes. By connecting our colonies with the Canadian Pacific Railway we will be able to become stronger than ever before, with growing numbers and support for each other.

By joining together in one big nationhood, we can prove to our American neighbours, while still keeping our individual cultural identities, that we are strong and resilient and will come out victorious from this fight for land.






In Depth Post #6 – The real final one :(

In-depth night is approaching quickly and I feel a little nervous about performing a song that I’ve written in front of many people. As I said right from the start, I knew it would be more nerve-wracking to perform a song that I wrote versus a cover of a different artist’s song. Currently, I am practicing both songs that I’ve written so that I can pick which one I prefer to sing at In-Depth night. As well as trying to figure out places I can cut each song short that won’t affect the overall quality too much since we only have a minute and a half on stage. This has been more difficult than I thought it would be because the ‘bridge’ component of my songs are the main turning points that build up to a climax; however, the bridge is closer to the end of the song. Since the two songs I have written follow more of a storyline (more musical theatre based since that is the kind of music I’ve been most exposed to) rather than a typical repetitive pop song it is also hard to just cut out one of the verses.

Since I have been struggling with this I also wanted to create a backup plan so I have been writing two new songs that I could possibly perform at In-Depth night. Sometimes I find it easier to start with an end product in mind rather than trying to tweak a different product to fit what I need. I currently still really want to write a duet but have been struggling to come up with lyrics that I like/are powerful and not too cliche. If I don’t finish it by In-Depth night, I will definitely still be continuing trying to write one.

I am also going to be starting to write another solo song. My goal for that song would be to either make it short enough to not have to cut anything for In-Depth night, or to make a ‘full length’ song that is easily cuttable (a more current song/pop). For this, I will be researching about how current pop stars write their songs/the different song structures and subtle differences in formatting and things like that. Currently, the difference between theatre style music and pop style music that I know of is, generally, most of the theatre music I’ve heard tell the story how it is, with clever metaphors here and there, but they definitely follow a storyline and create lots of emotion for the performer and audience. This is because the purpose of a song in a musical is for when emotions are too strong to ‘just talk’ or convey with speech, the added melody creates an extra layer to emote with. Whereas in pop music, there may or may not be a storyline, generally there is a repeated structure (could be verse 1, chorus, verse 2, chorus, verse 3, bridge, chorus) or something along the lines of this.

I am very excited to continue writing my extra solo song and my duet, if I complete the duet in time I will be posting it on my blog at a later date!

“I’ve always used songwriting as a way to help me organise reality” – Jason Mraz

A Broken Hallelujah – Leonard Cohen

Quote Number 1:

“Well aware that most of the musicians engaged to accompany him mocked his lack of experience and felt no love for his gloomy melodies, he preferred to record his own tracks alone in the studio, singing and playing guitar by himself and allowing the sound engineers to retroactively wed his work to that of the other musicians” (32).

This year for my In Depth project I chose to do songwriting. This quote is very relevant to me because my mentor made it very clear during our first meeting that song-writing is an experiential thing that should be done for oneself, not others. This ‘wise nug’ has stuck with me throughout my learning when I decide to share it with others. Much like Leonard Cohen at this point, I am not an experienced songwriter and although I do not feel as though I will be mocked by my peers, I still don’t feel confident in sharing my work. When I create recordings to track the progress of each of my songs, I tend to try and do it when no one is home to hear, similar to Cohen recording his tracks alone. This behaviour would not be put up with if Leonard Cohen wasn’t as talented as producers back then thought he was. This shows the values of society in producing good tapes that the public will enjoy, which would create more revenue. A genre of music has always been identifiable with specific periods of time, by studying each genre we can get a sense of the Canadian identity in each of those ages.

Quote number 2:

“And could I ask you, each person, to light a match, so that I could see where you all are? Could each of you light a match, so that you’ll sparkle like fireflies, each at your different heights? I would love to see those matches flare” (34).

This quote intrigued me because I read it to be a metaphor rather than just talking about a match. I’m not sure that this is what it was meant to be but what I took it as is that the match represents individuality and diverseness. Although not explicitly stated, this quote could have a deeper meaning as such that Leonard was accepting of everyone through the line “each at your different heights”. I think when he said “I would love to see those matches flare” he could mean he would love to see everyone feel inspired tonight by his performance. Many people, even Cohen’s own singing partners scoffed at him for telling a crowd of 6000+ people a “goodnight story”. This shows that there was already a divide in the Canadian identity at this point about equality. Most people nowadays in Canada support uniqueness as our country represents multiculturalism. This obviously wasn’t the case in the past, but this little passage of reading has shown some form of evolution in our Canadian values.

Quote number 3:

“It’s good to be here alone in front of six hundred thousand people. It’s a large nation but it’s still weak. Still very weak.” (38)

This quote was a little surprising for me to read because it surprised me that a public figure such as Cohen would announce something like this, especially when still very new in the music business. It is admirable to see that he says what he needs to say, and refreshing for the listeners because they had something actually substantial to listen to that night. While discussing Canadian identity in class we were having a hard time deciding on what it truly meant to be Canadian. We thought that part of this could be due to the fact that maybe there is no certain way to define a Canadian since we are all so unique. By Cohen stating this he is strengthening our argument that in a large nation such as Canada, we will still be very weak if we all cannot relate to one thing, this one thing must be the acceptance of diversity otherwise Canada will break apart at its seams.

Quote Number 4:

“On the dais, rabbis and community leaders sat gravely, ready to chastise Cohen for his impudence. But Cohen was gone” (87).

This left the chapter off at a really intriguing point. I tend to usually not want to continue reading a book unless the chapter ends off on a hook because I lose attention quickly. The line “but Cohen was gone” represents running away from problems. Much like in Romeo and Juliet when Romeo was forced to flee, running away from problems is an initial reaction that many people have. This relates to Canadian identity because it shows how our values have developed. Nowadays, chastising people for their actions isn’t how to deal with conflicts. We can deal with conflicts in judiciary ways rather than violence in the community.

Quote Number 5:

“It was like a sudden attack of amnesia […] I couldn’t learn what I had been able to do naturally” (143).

This was super intriguing for me to read because I could relate to this on some level. When I was younger I was able to do things better than I can do them now. Although, this doesn’t feel like it was a sudden attack of amnesia, it has more to due with I don’t practice those skills as much as I used to. Although not clearly directly related to the Canadian identity, this is still a powerful statement in that as Canadians we are always changing and must be open to personal change as well. Although it may be frustrating if you have decreased a skill level in a certain area; however, Cohen obviously still had a very successful career so as Canadians we are understanding and accepting of people’s faults.


So far one theme that I notice throughout this book is a forefront when discussing Canadian identity, multiculturalism. The fact that everyone is different and should be not only accepted for their differences but praised and loved just the same. Although as cliche as that sounds, this book presents it in a way that isn’t straight up. It explains the struggles Cohen faced as an upcoming musician and although he was different, he didn’t change his ways to fit other people’s wants, he made other people want what he already had. This message is also something that we learn about in our everyday lives ever since we are little; be kind to others and appreciate each others differences, because our differences is what makes life interesting. This book does a good job of capturing this idea of appreciating diversity, which is what Canada is known for doing.

Fulfilling our Canadian Duties: Macdonald Must Stay


Humanities 10

April 18th, 2018

Fulfilling our Canadian Duties: Macdonald Must Stay

The deeply rooted struggle to find our Canadian identity can be dated back to John A. Macdonald, one of Canada’s founding fathers, and his controversial yet progressive ideas. As Canadians, it is our duty to learn about the past in attempts of learning about what it means to be Canadian, and bettering the future. Many people consider Sir John A. Macdonald to be a progressive person who thought much ahead of his time by including women into future voting systems, while others see him as a Prime Minister who abused his power to create discriminatory laws mainly against Chinese and Indigenous peoples. Regardless, by understanding the fact that one cannot judge past events with present values and that the country’s past cannot be overlooked, Macdonald’s legacy possesses a place in the communal sphere.


By understanding that John A. Macdonald’s actions were intended to benefit the people of Canada, one realizes that past events cannot be judged with modern principles. John A. Macdonald’s efforts to create Indigenous Residential schools was to maintain the greater good of society in mind, and that his goal was to tie the Indigenous peoples into civilization. Macdonald, by our principles, can be considered a racist for his role in the Indian Act, a continuous topic of disputation of laws that Indigenous peoples had to abide by, but “so were most Canadians back then” (Hopper). When studying the creation of Residential schools, it is important to recognize that John A. Macdonald meant well. One of the purposes of creating Residential schools was to make it easier for the Indigenous peoples to find jobs in the community. His efforts to create one larger society shows that principles are constantly evolving with the community, therefore an individual shouldn’t assess past events with contemporary ethics.


On the other hand, some argue that since society doesn’t operate under the values of the past anymore, modernizing communities should be welcomed to ensure the maximum comfort for everyone. While it is true the contentment of each member of a community is important, the freedom to learn about the country in which one lives is equally if not more critical. From being Canada’s first Prime Minister, to creating a railway that bonds together the coasts of Canada, Macdonald is undoubtedly most responsible for the creation of Canada. Some youth today still use race as a way to show superiority, stating offensive claims such as, “go back to reservation [if you hate Canada so much]”, but the youth population cannot learn about Canada’s past mistakes and wrong-doings if they are pushed under a dust mat (Dimaline). By removing Macdonald’s contributions from the public demographic, the licence to learn willingly is minimized, especially for those who come from a more poverty-stricken background. Private sectors aren’t always accessible to everyone. Does this mean that Canada’s past should be diminished because of one’s economic class? The removal of John A. Macdonald’s figure from the public sphere has many negative repercussions on the future of Canada since the purpose of studying history is to be able to recognize wrongdoings and take preventative measures for the future to avoid repeating the past.


The case for Macdonald’s removal from the public sphere stands with the convenience of the people; however, his stance in the public sphere is important in such that it is necessary to keep Canada’s future as the number one forefront. Furthermore, coming to the comprehension that determining whether an event of the past was morally right shouldn’t be reached using the current standards, and the importance of acknowledging a country’s past leads to an overall deeper understanding of history; because of this, the purpose of learning about history is what makes it vital that John A. Macdonald’s name stays in the public scope. As individuals living in Canada, we must grow an understanding for Canada’s past in order to celebrate successes, learn from mistakes, ensure history doesn’t repeat, and make our country not just survive, but thrive.

In Depth Post #5 – The Final One :(

  1. What kinds of learning opportunities does the mentor provide to expose you to new learning?

Claire is very open and willing to share her songwriting experiences. This is very helpful in terms of being able to learn by listening to others share their stories to do with something we both share a passion for. She also provides me with suggestions of musicals that she has really enjoyed listening to especially because of the lyrics. These have helped me to learn more about lyricizing and what kinds of lyrics are intriguing. Similar to this, she has provided me with names of specific artists (such as Sara Bareilles) who really pour their hearts into their music. Her lyrics are very true to who she is and she really doesn’t hold back on what she wants to say. Which at times can be shocking to listen to, but I think is really admirable because of her strong carisma to just say what she needs to say.

  1. What kinds of learning opportunities exist to reinforce new learning?

One of the opportunities that exist to reinforce my new learning is being able to share my songs with other people as well. By sharing my work with others, I can gather all kinds of feedback and pick and choose which ones I want to work from (especially since some are contradicting of each other sometimes). This is really helpful but can also be a setback sometimes. Like Claire said right from our first meeting, everyone will have different opinions of something so what other people think of personal work shouldn’t be held at the highest level of importance. Songwriting should more so before for oneself.

  1. What kinds of opportunities exist that might accelerate learning?

The fact that I can just write songs at whatever pace I want to right them has really been able to accelerate my learning. I may start one song but then lose inspiration while working on it and attempt to try writing a different song. It makes it easier for me that I don’t have to complete certain tasks before others and completely just work at my own pace. This has really helped me develop a self awareness of how much time I will spend working on my songs. As well, I think that spacing out the writing of one song, for me at least, has been more troublesome than trying to write it all in one or two sittings. I tend to either lose my inspiration as to why I started writing that song, or I lose my train of thought and don’t know how I should continue if I space out my writing too much. This has helped me be able to have a longer time to digest my writing after completion and make any changes if necessary.

  1. When you get together what do you talk about?

Our meetings tend to start off with a small question period where I will just ask any questions that I have developed between our meetings. She will answer any of my questions and sometimes that will spark more questions for me and we will continue this conversation. After this is done, I show her what I have been working on during our last meeting and now. She then gives me pointers on things she would do or how I can expand on what I’ve been doing and such things like this. This feedback is what we work from for the rest of the meeting.

  1. What is going particularly well in your mentoring relationship right now?

Currently I think that our communication is really strong and that our mentor and mentee relationship is not too formal that I don’t feel comfortable to share my work, but not too casual that we are unfocused. I think that the fact we didn’t know each other well but we were in Musical Theatre together was the start of our mentor/mentee relationship. She was always one of the people that I looked up to last year in Musical Theatre and a leader amongst the group, so when we started this project I was/am really excited to be able to work alongside her and get to know each other better.

  1. What are you learning about one another?

Claire and I are learning more about each others learning styles and how we can make our meetings run to make sure that we can both get the most out of them. This hasn’t been all that challenging because we have similar learning styles and interests. When I ask a question about lyricism and musical theatre, Claire is able to create long conversations about what was once just a simple question. This is really great because I find it to be similar to the TALONS learning environment in many ways.

As for a progress report update, I’ve written a new song! Here is the link to it:

Over spring break I wasn’t able to work on In Depth that much during the first week, but I was able to make up for my missed work during the second week. Currently I am still trying to decide on song titles, although I’ve had a brainstormed list for quite a while now. Sometimes I find that song titles are harder to decide than pieces of lyric because I feel like once I set a song title I shouldn’t change it (I think I might have decided on “Angel In Disguise” as my title as of right now). However, as I am writing my song since I am the one creating it I feel free to experiment with different lyric bits in different positions. For example, in a couple of sections I had a completely different idea for lyrics but then thought of words that would rhyme and decided to go with the rhyming words to try and give the ear the comfort of hearing words that rhyme. For example my original idea for the ending of the chorus was, “Yeah who you are is perfect in everyway”. I thought this was EXTREMELY cheesy so I wasn’t really sure how I felt about including this lyric, but at the time it was my only idea. I wrote this down knowing that I would probably come back to change it later. I thought of a word that would fit my rhyming scheme (apologize was the word), and changed the lyric to, “Who you are is not something to apologize for”. Although, still a little cheesy, I thought that at least it fits my rhyming scheme and at least it is sending an important message.

Sometimes I will think of completely unrelated pieces of lyrics that I think would be really great for a different song and write them down so that I can try and use those for inspiration for another song. I was working on a duet for a little bit but then I ran out of ideas for some lyrics, I decided rather than just sitting with my notebook in front of me forever, I tried to write a different song (which is the song above).

This song was fairly easy to write, mainly because I had a lot of ideas for lyrics. Before constructing a melody to match with my lyrics, I wrote down all of my lyric ideas so that I wouldn’t forget any and so that I could pick and choose which ones I wanted to place where. I found this more helpful than what I usually do (construct both the lyrics and melody at the same time) because this way I can really focus in on the lyrics and the storytelling before adding melody to them. This helps me to work towards my goal in my IEP, to become better at compartmentalizing. By breaking tasks into smaller chunks I find it easier to stay concentrated, and often my results seem more focused rather than scattered.

DoL #1 – Uprise of Women in Parliament

Event: 1916 – Women win the vote in Manitoba, Saskatchewan, and Alberta

Suffrage meeting sign publicly posted. Image Courtesy of thecandianencyclopedia.ca

1893 Petition by Woman’s Christian Temperance Union. Image Courtesy of thecanadianencyblopedia.ca







1893 Petition by Woman’s Christian Temperance Union Image Courtesy of thecanadianencylopedia.ca










Choose an event from Canada’s past or present (social, political, environmental, or economic) and describe / illustrate (show cause and effect) how this event influenced / influences all four of the quadrants. Provide images / primary source evidence where possible.

This was a huge step in the social aspect of women being equal to men. Although, giving women the right to vote took a long time to spread all throughout Canada. Women who lived in Quebec didn’t receive the right to vote provincially until 22 years later. Most women won the right to vote in Federal elections in 1918; however, Asian and Indigenous men and women were still denied this right. Although Canada was not the last country to allow both women and men to vote, we were definitely not the first. This was one of the first country wide feminism acts seen in Canada. The “woman suffrage movement [started] in 1817 under the leadership of Dr. Emily Howard Stowe,” an enduring advocate of women’s rights at the time. Because of the discrimination she faced when wanting to enter med school because she was a woman, she became even more persistent in achieving her dreams. Her fear that all of the Canadian colleges that called her a mere woman were right, drove her to eventually start a Women’s Medical College. There she also established the Women’s Literary Club, and Dominion Women’s Enfranchisement Assn. Much work was to be done to pass bills in Canada to create a more equalized place for men and women to live, many of which were denied before being accepted years later. Women were slowly allowed out of their homes and into society as women’s rights became a more prominent topic that was addressed. Posters for suffrage meetings for women to attend and petitions to sign became popular in many provinces of Canada. This acceptance of the right for most women to vote provincially in 1916 in the provinces Manitoba, Saskatchewan, and Alberta inspired other provinces to do so as well, and was one of the first steps in getting us to where we are today.

Gender representation has been a huge issue in Canadian politics and has affected the lives of many women living in Canada. The first woman to be elected for the House of Commons was in 1921, her name was Agnes Macphail. The portrayal of females have increased greatly since women received the right to vote, however only make up 88 out of 338 members in the House of Commons. Even in 1916, when most women were given the right to vote in Alberta, Manitoba, and Saskatchewan, there was still discriminatory laws against Asian and Indigenous women living in the areas. This new idea that women should be given the right to vote greatly impacted the government because the number of people who were capable of voting almost doubled. As seen 5 years later, the first woman was sworn into government and was a member of the House of Commons for 19 years. This, what seems like a small act now of selecting one women to be in parliament, was a huge movement back then. This has greatly impacted our society today. If Agnes had been different, and had done something wrong while serving her time in the House of Commons, everything could have changed. The entire uplifting of women could have been diminished if Agnes made too many mistakes in her career. Today we are still fighting for the importance of women in society, and women in parliament, and Agnes Macphail being elected for the House of Commons was a huge step in this long fight for equality among people.

Interestingly enough, two out of three of the provinces that first passed a bill to say that most women were allowed to vote (Saskatchewan and Alberta) were just founded as provinces of Canada 11 and 8 years before, respectively. One might infer that this could have been to increase the population in Saskatchewan or Alberta since they were both relatively new provinces. By women winning the right to vote in certain places, this called for movements within the workplace as well. In 1920 a bill was passed to support women in the workforce with opportunities for work. In 1901 women made up 13% of the total amount of people working in Canada. This has massively increased since 1901. This rise of women in society would cause the work industry to enlarge since a larger population of people are allowed and interested in working. According to statistics Canada, in 1953 the participation of overall women was 23%. This rise in women involvement in government affected the labour market greatly, and is still affecting our workforce today.

Does your event represent a step towards creating and maintaining a coherent Canadian identity, or does it move Canada more clearly in the direction of Trudeau’s discussion of a “postnational” state?

This event has created a closer equality between men and women in today’s society. Although, there is still a lot to do; our society has much improved from where we started. I think this event promotes a more coherent Canadian identity because with a lesser divide between men and women, Canada has the ability to come together as one country. In many cases, men are still seen as the dominant gender of the two; however, in the Federal election in 2015, in the five leading parties, 33% of the participants were women, and 26% of the seats in the House were filled by women. These are the highest number up to date. As time passes and feminism begins to be a topic discussed in schools and homes, I hope these numbers will steadily increase until there is no differentiation between men and women in politics. In order for Canada to be even close to being a nation, everyone in Canada must share some similar belief/ideal. This means that women must be taken into consideration as well which is why this event put Canada a step closer in having one coherent identity.

In your opinion, is there any value in trying to define a specific Canadian identity, or should we abandon this idea towards a more open and global idea of nationhood? Why?

Diversity amongst people is what makes life interesting and it is important to appreciate the fact that everyone is different; however, I think there is a benefit in coming together as one team, under one umbrella. On a soccer team for example, a wide variety of skills/abilities/backgrounds is appreciated and sometimes makes the best type of teams; however, notice that no matter how different everyone is on a soccer team, it is still defined as a team. I think the same could apply to Canada, just on a larger scale. Nationalism is thought to be the cause of many wars, and a hate driven concept that causes whole countries to dislike other whole countries. Gustavo De Las Casas states that, “Nationalism is a feeling of unity with a group beyond one’s immediate family and friends. In and of itself, it is not conducive to disastrous wars” (foreignpolicy.com). Possibly in excess amounts, nationalism could be dangerous; however, a lack of nationalism can also be detrimental to the flourishing of countries. In extreme cases, such as the Axis powers, there was an abundance of nationalism resulting in hate towards others who had differing opinions/views. Although more evidently detrimental than the lack of nationalism that Canada seems to have at the moment, both are not the healthiest options. If we continue to see Canada as a bunch of broken cultures just merely related by where we each live, areas of Canada will become too independent from other areas of Canada, potentially breaking Canada into separate countries. In the extreme case this could result in civil war, but more likely a lesser feeling of community throughout, possibly leading to less fulfilling lives lead in Canada. In my opinion, there is a fine balance that needs to be found in all countries between pride in being who they are, and hating others because they are not the same.














Socials Blog Post #2 – What is the story of my homemade violin?

Inquiry Question: What is the story of my homemade violin?




  • What type of source is this? 

My homemade violin is a primary source as it is the original object that is personally significant to me.

  • Who created it?

My dad and I created/built the violin. However, the wood came from BC and the tools we used came from a company called Stuart McDonald.

  • When and where was it produced?

This violin was constructed in my house in 2013/2014. As said above, the wood to make the violin came from BC, and the tools we used came from a company called Stuart MCDonald, although they were originally made in China.



  • What other events or developments were happening when the source was created?

I was a member of the Coquitlam Youth Orchestra and the conductor had advised me to get a bigger violin, which ultimately caused me to ask my dad if we could get one.

I was deciding whether or not I should take an exam, and decided that I wanted to, so I needed to start practicing on a bigger violin to ensure that it wouldn’t be an awkward switch a couple weeks before my exam.

I had just gotten a new violin teacher and she also mentioned to me that my arms length is too long for the violin size that I had and I should upgrade to a full size violin. This is another reason why I asked my dad if we could get one



  • What do you notice that is important about this source?

I notice that there is a few spots of wear and tear on my violin from me using it. I don’t play on this violin as often anymore so I didn’t see a reason to replace the strings. You can see that on some of the strings there are places where the coil is stripping off because of my fingers over the years. It is evident where I played more on the strings. You can also see that the paint/violin stain has faded a bit on the neck of the violin due to my hand rubbing against it while playing. There are also places on the body of the violin that have small paint inconsistencies that weren’t there when my dad and I first made the violin.

  • What is interesting?

If I look inside the violin, I see the tag I made with mine and my dad’s names on it as well as the years the making of this violin took place (and some music notes and decoration because I thought I was really artistic).

  • What can’t you explain?

There are a couple small brown blotches on the tag inside the violin that weren’t there when the violin was finished in 2014. That means that something must have changed (directly caused by me without noticing, or by external factors such as weather) in order to have created these blotches. However, I can’t explain what caused them because I am not sure when they first appeared or what they are exactly.


Inferences about perspective:

  • What groups might the creator have belonged to? Why do you think they made the source?

If historians were to find my violin and analyze it, they would imagine that either my dad or I played the violin since the tag inside is very unprofessional and wouldn’t be resold to other people. We made it because I asked my dad if I could buy a full sized violin (because I was just moving from a 3/4 size), instead of buying it, we made one. Saving money was not the purpose of making our own violin because we had to buy lots of specialized tools so the prices were similar; however, both my dad and I learned a lot of new skills from making the violin and got to spend lots of bonding time working on it.

  • Who was the audience?

I was the intended audience for this project because I had been playing violin for 7 years and needed a bigger size violin because my old one was becoming too small.

  • How might the background/values of the creator and audience have influenced this source?

My dad and I both like to build things and we both can spend lots of time focusing on something if we are actually interested in it. My dad is an engineer, which doesn’t necessarily directly apply to building a violin, but his math skills definitely were used. As said above, I had been playing violin for 7 years by then and my dad had a background in music when he was a kid, he also really enjoys listening to classical music and got me interested in playing violin in the first place.


Inferences about inquiry question:

  • What can you learn from examining this source?

From examining this source, I learn that my dad and I have a close relationship as well as we both enjoy music and building things.

  • Does it help you answer your inquiry question?

Yes, this violin is the object that is personally significant to me and sourcing it has helped me realize why we made it.

  • Does it confirm, extend, or contradict what you know?

It confirms what I knew about the making of this violin because I was directly involved in it.

  • What further questions do you have?

We have moved around the sound post inside the violin several times trying to find the tone that I like the best, however we are still moving it around. I think that on every violin there will be a different sweet spot where the sound post goes to make it sound the way the player wants; however, I wonder if there is certain measurements (cm away from the outer edge etc.) that will guarantee a rich tone?img_5200

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