Introducing Mia Hamm

Mia Hamm playing for the U.S. Women's National Team

Mia Hamm playing for the U.S. Women’s National Team

I have played soccer since I was five years old; it has been a passion of mine for as long as I can remember. Ever since I was a child I’ve idolized professional the men’s soccer players that I’ve seen on television: Lionel Messi, Gianluigi Buffon, Antoine Griezmann, and many more. however, I have been especially inspired by the few female players that are given an opportunity to be in the spotlight. Mia Hamm is one of the most influential female soccer players of all time. Her passion and successes have encouraged me to become a better soccer player and teammate. At the age of fifteen, she became the youngest player to ever play on a U.S. national soccer team. During her 17 years on the U.S. women’s national soccer team, Hamm won the Women’s World Cup in 1991 and 1999 and won Olympic gold medals in 1996 and 2004. She also held the record for most international goals scored by any player until June 2013.

Mia Hamm working with young female soccer players through her foundation

Mia Hamm working with young female soccer players through her foundation

Mia Hamm will be remembered for increasing awareness for female athletes and encouraging young girls to pursue their passions in sports. In 1999, Mia Hamm founded the Mia Hamm foundation, which is dedicated to developing increased opportunities for young women to participate in sports. In 1996, Mia Hamm lost her brother to a rare blood disease called aplastic anemia. This tragedy severely impacted her life, and ultimately led to her creating the Mia Hamm Foundation which, along with supporting female athletes, promotes awareness and raises funds for families in need of bone marrow or cord blood transplants. Through her foundation, Mia Hamm shows us that she wants young women to have equal opportunity in sports and fears that girls will not have the opportunity to pursue their passions. She also shows us that she wants to help families with people who are suffering from blood related diseases and fears that other people will have to go through the grief that she did when her brother passed away. Although many people have heard of Mia Hamm, very few understand the extent of the impact that she has had on the culture of Western sports. As one of the most decorated female athletes of the century, Mia Hamm is the quintessential example of a strong, eminent woman fighting against prejudice to not only succeed but also to inspire others to do so as well.

mia-hamm-2“The vision of a champion is bent over, drenched in sweat, at the point of exhaustion, when nobody else is looking.”
– Mia Hamm

Mia Hamm hosting her annual Celebrity Soccer Challenge charity exhibition game to raise money for her foundation

Mia Hamm hosting her annual Celebrity Soccer Challenge charity exhibition game to raise money for her foundation

Mia Hamm and I share many qualities other than our first name. We are both very driven and passionate people who strive for excellence in whatever we do. Mia Hamm also has immense humility, despite her many accomplishments, and doesn’t like to talk about her successes, which is a trait that I share with her. Mia Hamm exemplifies many of my own personal goals in TALONS. Her determination to go against societal norms and expectations by choosing a career as a female athlete represents my goal to pursue my creative and unique passions as an autonomous learner rather

Mia Hamm and her brother, Garret

Mia Hamm and her brother, Garret

than just simply the grade 10 curriculum. Although Mia Hamm and I share many of the same passions and interests, her young life was significantly impacted by the death of her brother. I have never experienced such personal grief, so I will address this barrier in my speech I will be sure to use the information from the book that Hamm wrote to get insight into her emotions and experiences surrounding this tragic event.



The Danger of a Single Story Response

Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s “The Danger of a Single Story” reveals that stereotypes are incomplete assumptions often perpetuated in the media that people tend to blindly believe. Becoming aware of this issue is critical to developing an open mind and is necessary when creating our own personal values and beliefs. We may begin to reject the single stories in our lives by withholding absolute judgements until we have experienced the subject first-hand, or gathered information from several, trustworthy sources. When Chimimanda first moved to the United States, her American roommate was taken aback by her ability to speak English, her understanding of basic household appliances, and her seemingly Westernized taste in music. After spending a few years in the United States, Chimamanda began to understand why her hapless roommate would make such strong assumptions about her. She reflects that “if [she] hadn’t grown up in Nigeria […] [she] too would think that Africa was a place of beautiful landscapes, beautiful animals, and incomprehensible people, fighting senseless wars, dying of poverty and AIDS, unable to speak for themselves and waiting to be saved by a kind, white foreigner.” (5:44). This highlights the fact that Chimamanda’s roommate made assumptions about African people based on the portrayal of Africa in American media, such as charity advertisements. She admits that the only reason that she has an accurate idea of typical African cultures and lifestyles is because she had lived in Africa and experienced it herself. Chimamanda experienced the same problem from the opposite perspective when she travelled to Mexico. At the time, political tension between the United States and Mexico were high, and there were many negative stereotypes about Mexican people being perpetuated in the news within the United States. When Chimamanda arrived, she felt a “feeling of slight surprise.”, because the joyful, pleasant people that she saw didn’t match the prefabricated image in her head of the devious criminals and immigrants that she had heard about (8:42). This is another quintessential example of needing to witness a primary example of something in order to make an accurate judgement or assumption about it. In general, people make assumptions based on their personal experiences. As a result, the best way to get an accurate judgement of something is to experience it first-hand. That being said, it is unreasonable to assume that one will be able to experience everything that they will be judging in person, and as a result, they are forced to use other people’s accounts to create their own judgements and inferences. This becomes an issue because people can consciously or subconsciously alter the truth based on their own values and beliefs. Because of this, it is important to receive information from as many sources as possible to fully understand the objective data that you are making assumptions about.

Independent Novel Study Part One: The Catcher in the Rye

The classic novel, The Catcher in the Rye, follows the self-narrated story of a young man named Holden Caulfield. During the first third of the book, Holden’s attractive and self-satisfied roommate Stradlater goes out a date with Jane Gallagher, a girl whom Holden used to be very close with and whom he still cares about. While Stradlater and Jane are out together, Holden grows increasingly nervous about Stradlater’s intentions. When Stradlater returns Holden asks him persistently about whether or not he made any sexual advances towards Jane. He refuses to answer, and Holden finally snaps and punches Stradlater. I was not impressed by Holden’s impulsive decision to resort to violence while dealing with this conflict. Holden claims that he doesn’t remember the exact events that occurred when he decided to stand up and fight Stradlater. He explains, “This next part I don’t remember so hot. All I know is I got up from the bed, […] and then I tried to sock him, with all my might, right smack in the toothbrush, so it would split his goddam throat open.” (pg. 43). This leads me to infer that Holden has a tendency to release his pent-up emotions in a blind rage. This seemingly small and unimportant argument pushed Holden over the edge and caused him to break down after bottling up his frustration and discontent with his life and the people around him. Holden’s agitation about Stradlater and Jane highlights his innocence and sensitivity about sexual matters and relationships. While fighting after the date, Holden tells Stradlater that “he didn’t even care if a girl kept all her kings in the back row or not, and the reason he didn’t care was because he was a goddam stupid moron.” (pg. 44). Stradlater’s date with Jane doesn’t just make him jealous; it frustrates him to think of a girl he knows well being intimate with a boy she doesn’t know well. Holden believes that intimate relationships should happen between people who care deeply about and respect one another. This scene made me infer that Holden wants to be exposed to adult experiences, such as relationships; however, he fears to become disingenuous, or ‘phony’ as he calls it, and less emotionally invested in these experiences as he matures. In this situation, Holden is experiencing an external conflict with Stradlater because they do not share the same values and beliefs in regard to sexual relationships. That said, the reasons that their disagreement escalated into a physical fight are the many internal conflicts that Holden is facing, such as the grief he is feeling after his brother passed away and his overall discontent with his life. I believe that the development of Holden’s character is very believable. His brother’s death has seriously damaged his emotional and mental health, which somewhat justifies his reckless and emotional response to a sense of jealousy and injustice. That being said, I would have preferred it if Holden was able to release his emotions in a less harmful and more effective way, such as finding a friend or family member to talk to, although I understand this may be unrealistic due to his personality and the societal norms of the time that he lived in. Holden is not a character that should be emulated because he is dealing with emotional trauma and dissatisfaction with his life, which has caused him to make many poor, rash decisions. Despite this, I have found many personal connections to Holden’s internal conflicts. Although Holden is still a naïve teenager, he tends to see the world in a very ‘adult’ way. As a result, he is often brooding, sarcastic, and cynical about life in general. My parents have always deemed me as an ‘old soul’, and as a result, I also find myself viewing the world in a skeptical or pessimistic way in many situations. Additionally, Holden deals with his anger very impulsively, and I feel as though I often act rashly when I am upset as well; however, I tend to express my irritation differently than Holden as I tend to release my frustration verbally whereas Holden chose to use physicality. In conclusion, Holden Caulfield is an extremely emotional person who has experienced significant loss, which has caused him to release his anger very intensely. Nevertheless, he is still just an inexperienced teenage boy who is worried about growing up and losing his identity and genuineness.


People are born with the natural instinct to make assumptions about everything we encounter. Oftentimes, we make judgements about people that are unique or different. One group of people that are commonly misjudged due to their circumstance or appearance are homeless people. Stuart McLean’s Emil revolves around the relationship between a woman named Morley and a homeless man named Emil. Through their interactions, Morley begins to learn that happiness and fulfillment are subjective, and that we cannot simply judge a person by their lifestyle choice or outside appearance. Emil lives a minimalistic life; he doesn’t care about materialistic possessions or his appearance. Despite this, he is happy with what he has and is content with his living situation. Throughout the story, Morley becomes aware of this concept and learns that she should not judge Emil for his beliefs and values. We see evidence that Emil is content with his lifestyle when Morley gives him five dollars on the street and he gives her three dollars back, telling her ““That’s too much.”” (pg. 111). Even when he is presented with a much larger amount of money after winning the lottery, Emil still chooses to “[give] it to his regulars – people who [give] him money. Or [stop] to talk to him.” (pg. 118). Emil is not interested in having lots of money or owning a house and a car. In fact, when the television that Emil buys with his $10,000 are stolen from him he simply says, “It’s OK. […] The battery was going anyway, and it only got Canadian channels.” (page 120). When Morley learns that Emil is stealing flowers from gardens in the neighbourhood to create his own garden, she realizes that Emil find his happiness in ways that don’t revolve around money. After learning more about Emil’s values, she tries to improve his life in ways that he will enjoy. For example, buys him grape hyacinth bulbs for his garden such as the grape hyacinth bulbs and plants them in his garden, “thinking as she scrapes at the hard dirt in Emil’s box that they will come in the spring and surprise him.” (121). In conclusion, Morley’s relationship with Emil teaches her that we cannot judge people based on their lifestyle because success and happiness are different for everyone based on their values and beliefs.

Star Wars Blog Post

While watching Star Wars: A New Hope, I found exploring the plot through the gender lens to be extremely empowering. This iconic film depicts a microcosm of how women were portrayed in pop culture during the 1970s. Although Princess Leia is depicted as somewhat of a ‘hero’ throughout the story, many occurrences of unnecessary objectification are highlighted while viewing the movie through the gender lens. Princess Leia is objectified and romanticised by every man that she encounters during the movie. For example, when Luke sees Leia for the first time in the hologram projected by R2-D2, his initial reaction is to comment on her beauty, rather than the message she is carrying. Additionally, when Leia is brought to Governor Wilhuf Tarkin before her scheduled execution, he caresses her face and calls her pet-names such as ‘princess’ and ‘sweetheart’. This is a quintessential example of a strong woman’s abilities being overlooked due to her femininity and appearance. Furthermore, the condescending nature of many of the prominent men throughout the film brought to light the ‘glass ceiling’ that women in power face. Despite Leia’s intelligence and bravery in escaping her prison cell and the group of Stormtroopers unscathed, Han Solo reprimanded her for almost getting them killed, and told her to follow his directions from then on. This shows us that women in power are limited in their ability to fight for their rights and beliefs. As the only other female in the film, Luke’s Aunt characterises the stereotypical role of a woman within a family. Although she dies quite early in the movie, in the time that she is shown she can be seen cooking and cleaning whereas Luke’s uncle harvests parts of droids for a living. This perpetuates the idea that women should dedicate their time to completing household chores and taking care of her family while their husbands work and earn money. It is crucial to watch Star Wars from the gender lens to fully grasp the intentions of the film. I believe that the creators of Star Wars intended to go against the stereotypes and norms of female protagonist by portraying Princess Leia as a strong and courageous character who fights for what she believes in. That being said, there were still are many underlying themes of misogyny and sexism. For these reasons, I believe that Star Wars reveals the concept that women in power may be viewed as incapable or indecisive which drastically alters their ability to lead. However, there are also many stereotypes within this film that could be harmful towards men. For example, Han Solo’s fragile masculinity was detrimental to his career and his relationships with others. If I was to watch Star Wars: A New Hope again, I would scrutinize the plot for stereotypical male behaviour, and take note of the different ways that men are portrayed throughout the movie.

Confederation Roleplay Script

Good evening your Highness the Queen, Ladies and Gentlemen. I, Frederick Carter, am here to discuss the impacts of federalism on Newfoundland’s economy and government. Newfoundland is home to a multitude of cultures and political perspectives. Colonists and immigrants from Ireland, Britain, France, and America all find their homes in our beautiful colony. As you know, our political parties have been based on British law and politics. We have come to realize that Newfoundland requires a system of government that allows for our minority groups to be represented more equally in political decisions. One way to do this would be to allow individuals to be elected to government without loyalty to a specific political party. These individuals are often referred to as ‘loose fish’. The allowance for loose fish is not readily accepted within the Federal system. As mentioned, Newfoundland has so many different opinions due to our mosaic of cultures and backgrounds that there may be less issues with political deadlock, as long as loose fish are allowed. This is one of the reasons why confederation may not work well for Newfoundland.

Despite our variety of cultures and people from many places across the globe, our population is relatively low. With just over 160,000 residents, our population is much lower than that of Canada East and Canada West. We hope to promote a system that gives equal representation to each colony, despite its population; this is known as double majority. Because confederation does not agree with using double majority, we have reservations about joining this system of government. Newfoundland, as well as the other maritime colonies feels as though they are not being represented adequately in important political groups and decisions. The most political power is held by a small number of politicians. For example, the Great Coalition is made up of two representatives from Canada West and one from Canada East. These three representatives make political decisions that will affect all of Canada. We believe that this group may not be aware of the issues most important to people living in the Maritimes.

The people of Newfoundland would like to be able to make decisions independently that will have direct impacts on our government and economy. For example, we believe that our provincial government should have control of our taxation. We would like the money that we pay in taxes to be used specifically for issues affecting Newfoundland. We are concerned that significantly increased taxes imposed by the federal government would be used in order to pay for the debt in Canada East and Canada West at the expense of Newfoundland. Federal tariffs would be designed to protect mainland industries, and this will restrict our ability to buy and sell goods and services as we wish. Furthermore, we believe that the Federal government should have legislation requiring provinces to be responsible for their own debt – known as provincial debt clauses. As a colony, Newfoundland has worked diligently to maintain minimal debt. We do not want to take on the cost of repaying debt from the large populations of Canada East and Canada West. We do understand that there are some things that a federal government would be better equipped to control. We believe that defense should be run federally so that we can pool our resources and protect ourselves against the Americans and the Fenians. Newfoundland has a low population and is geographically vulnerable to attacks from Britain, France, America and Ireland. We need support from the mainland colonies to protect us from any possible attacks. These are Newfoundland’s thoughts and concerns with respect to joining the Canadian confederation.

Independent Investigation #2: To what extent did Tecumseh’s heroic role in the War of 1812 impact the future of the indigenous people of Canada?


Historical Sign Historical Significance:
Outline the focus of your inquiry and provide background knowledge. Why is this an important and significant question to ask about the past? Provide evidence from primary and secondary sources.

The focus of my inquiry is Tecumseh’s legacy from the War of 1812 and its impact on the future of Indigenous in Canada. Tecumseh’s role in the War of 1812 stemmed from his goal to stop American expansion into traditional First Nations territory and his fear of being driven off of traditional land. In the three years before the War of 1812, Tecumseh worked tirelessly to persuade Indigenous tribes living over an extensive territory south of the Great Lakes to join a large, pan-Indigenous military confederacy to defeat the United States and prevent them from settling in any more of their traditional territory. By June of 1812, Tecumseh was prepared to launch a war against the Americans; however, this was the exact time that the United States chose to proclaim its own war against Britain. Tecumseh saw this as an opportunity to fight for his people in an even larger scale battle with more military forces and support. To this end he travelled to Upper Canada and became the British army’s most important Aboriginal ally. Until his death at the Battle of Thames, on October 5th, 1813, Tecumseh remained one of the most important Aboriginal allies of Britain and Upper Canada. He played a key role in recruiting warriors to join the cause and fight alongside the British in the War of 1812.

Battle of Thames

Battle of Thames

Tecumseh’s legacy was one of power and respect. Unfortunately, no authenticated portrait of the great warrior exists. Furthermore, because of his lack of English and writing skills, there are only second-hand accounts of his words and deeds. But from what we know, Tecumseh was a remarkable physical presence that commanded enormous respect in both Indigenous and non-Indigenous settings. Sir Isaac Brock referred to him as “the Wellington of the Indians,” and declared that “a more sagacious or more gallant warrior does not, I believe, exist.” He was a warrior of great courage, admired by both friend and foe in a war-ravaged era.

Illustration of Tecumseh

Illustration of Tecumseh

Tecumseh was one of the most revered and respected Indigenous leaders and this legacy would endure for decades after his death. Immediately after the War of 1812, the British built and named a schooner after him. The 1820s were marked by songs and poems to Tecumseh, honouring his bravery and heroic demise. William Tecumseh Sherman, a hero in the American Civil War half a century later, was named after him. Robert Johnson, Martin Van Buren’s vice-president, ran his campaign in 1836 on a slogan about Tecumseh – ‘Rumpsey Dumpsey, Rumpsey Dumpsey, Colonel Johnson killed Tecumseh’. Furthermore, three future presidents – Andrew Jackson, William Harrison and Zachary Taylor- and a Presidential candidate – Winfield Scott – would launch their political careers based on the reputations they had gained by fighting Tecumseh and his allies. These events further demonstrate that Tecumseh’s lasting image had significantly impacted how First Nations People were viewed by both American and Canadian settlers.

Tecumseh’s prominent role in most of the large battles between Canada and the Americans significantly impacted the future of indigenous people in Canada. Britain was grateful for Tecumseh’s efforts in saving Upper Canada but this did not translate into fulfilling his wish of protecting his people’s land. Sadly, Tecumseh’s death and defeat marked the end of the native campaign to drive back white settlers. On a larger scale, the American victory cleared the way for the United States claim to the native interior of North America with more treaty negotiations following. This resulted in the loss of most of the woodland First Nations communities to the west. Tecumseh’s efforts did indirectly inspire other native resistance moments, such as the Black Hawk War of 1832 and the Second Seminole War, but neither were successful in advancing the Indigenous people’s cause.

Black Hawk War (1832)

Black Hawk War (1832)

British and American governors meeting to formalize the Treaty of Ghent

British and American governors meeting to formalize the Treaty of Ghent

Through the negotiations of the treaty terms the British did attempt to secure Indigenous lands for the First Nations but this was unsuccessful. Ultimately, Both the war and the treaty that was signed afterwards proved to be devastating to all of the eastern Indigenous nations. Instead of a country of their own as promised, the Indigenous people were further repressed. The treaty somewhat sarcastically promised “all the rights and privileges they enjoyed before the war” – in other words, their commitment and sacrifices were all for naught and the relationship of distrust was further forged.

This was a profound disappointment and loss for many Indigenous groups; despite their efforts, they had been unable to recover their traditional territory. In 1816, Indiana became a state and formalized processes to remove Indigenous peoples from their traditional lands and welcome new waves of American and European settlers. For Indigenous peoples living in British North America, the War of 1812 marked the end of an era of self-reliance and self-determination. Soon they would become outnumbered by settlers in their own lands. Any social or political influence they may have enjoyed through the war of 1812 had evaporated. Within a generation, the contributions of Tecumseh and his warriors, working together with their British and Canadian allies against a common foe, would be all but forgotten.

Through the final outcome of the War of 1812, we can see that despite Tecumseh’s incredible efforts and sacrifices in protecting Canada, his vision of an independent Indigenous nation was forgotten. The legacy that he had intended to leave in return for his work – a strong confederacy of First Nations tribes with their traditional lands protected – was disrespected and disregarded due to Britain’s fear of America and America’s need to expand their nation. Tecumseh’s heroic role in the War of 1812 could in some ways be seen as having a negative effect on the First Nations people of Canada. Their involvement in the War and fight against the United States seemingly made the American government less sympathetic to the Indigenous people and unwilling to come to more favourable treaty agreements.

When I began my research, I had hoped that Tecumseh’s heroic work would give settlers a more positive image of Indigenous peoples and offer a brighter future for the First Nations people of Canada. However, it seems that Tecumseh may have actually helped stoke the fear and misunderstanding of First Nations people. This may have ultimately led to the negative generalizations of all First Nations people and served as a catalyst for the demonization and dehumanization that First Nations people were faced with for many years to come. In this regard, the threat Tecumseh posed and the danger he represented was inherited by all Aboriginals at the time and arguably, all who came after.

This is an extremely important concept to reflect upon. Canada has dark past history of oppression and acculturalization of Indigenous peoples and we as a nation are just beginning our attempts to reconcile. Our nation’s failure to acknowledge the central role that indigenous people played in shaping our history plays out in aboriginal and non-aboriginal affairs to this day.


Continuity and Change:
How are our lives and conditions similar to those found in your research? How have they changed?

Since the War of 1812, many changed have taken place in regards to the treatment of First Nations peoples and their traditions and culture. The Government of Canada is moving towards the recognition and implementation of rights as the basis for Canada’s relationship with Indigenous peoples. It is a large process that restores lands, economic self-sufficiency, and political jurisdiction to First Nations, and develops respectful and just relationships between First Nations and Canada. Through a Recognition and Implementation of Rights Framework, Canada can continue along the path of decolonization, transform relations with Indigenous Peoples, achieve greater equality, address socio-economic gaps, and build a better nation.

Unfortunately, there are still many conflicts surrounding the use of First Nations traditional territory. For example, the Kinder Morgan Pipeline is a very contentious current issue in which the government has decided to build a pipeline through traditional First Nations land without the Indigenous people’s consent. Despite our actions and attempts at reconciliation, there are still many instances in which Indigenous people’s wants are being overlooked, despite the work they do for our province and our nation.

First Nations in BC protest against the Kinder Morgan Pipeline

First Nations in BC protest against the Kinder Morgan Pipeline

Ethical Judgement:
Is what happened right and fair by the values and standards of the time? How about from our current values and standards? Explain.

During the War of 1812, it was not uncommon or socially unaccepted to take land from First Nations people. As tensions in the American Revolution rose, the conflict between loyalists and patriots forced people to migrate up to Canada, directly into First Nations traditional territory. In this sense, the treaties signed after the War of 1812 that allowed America to take millions of acres of traditional territory from Canadian Indigenous people was not unethical. However, I believe that it was not morally correct for Britain to disregard Tecumseh’s fight to preserve Canada after his death. By the values and standards of the time, it was considered ethical to respect national heroes and people who fought valiantly for a cause. Tecumseh chose to fight for Canada with the hope of securing his people’s traditional land and should have been rewarded this for his sacrifice.

When looking at this issue with current values and standards in mind the mass appropriation of traditional Indigenous land appears immoral and unethical. Furthermore, it is unethical to allow someone to die fighting for a cause and not fulfilling their wishes in thanks. We have a moral responsibility to come to address what has become a stain on Canada’s history and international reputation. In addition, with the recognition of aboriginal rights in the Canadian Charter and in a series of recent court rulings, failure to respect the right of First Nations will not only effect the Indigenous people’s way of life but the lives of all Canadians.


Social Studies Inquiry Processes:
What conclusions can you reach about your question, based on the research you conducted?

Tecumseh’s true historical significance is derived from much more than his feats on the battlefield in the War of 1812. It was his statesmanship, diplomacy and charisma that convinced and motivated Indian braves throughout the length and breadth of the North American frontier to put aside their tribal differences and loyalties and join a pan-Indian Confederacy to take back the land that had been stolen from them through dozens of unscrupulous treaties. He also brandished a powerful vision and philosophy that combined spiritualism with militarism which still reverberates in the protests of modern day Aboriginal leaders and the Idle No More movement.

Unfortunately, what he represented also ignited the intense fear and subsequent dehumanizing of Indigenous people by the settlers that significantly impacted the future of First Nations people in Canada. It was his ideas, as much as his tomahawk and scalping knife, that made him an inspiration to First Nations people and dangerous in the extreme to non-Indigenous people.







Reducing My Ecological Footprint

The Plan:

In using the Ecological Footprint Calculator, I have found that my ecological footprint is 6.7 hectares. At first glance, I believed this to be quite a large footprint. However, as compared to Elaine’s ecological footprint of 7.45 hectares, Valerie’s 16 hectares, Kimi’s 12.45 hectares, and Jerome’s footprint of 8.35 hectares, my footprint seems to be quite small. That being said, there are many habits and actions that unnecessarily increase the size of my footprint daily. For example, I tend to take long showers and baths, which increases my water use significantly. I also purchase most of my clothing first-hand. Moreover, I tend to hardly wear some of the clothing that I own. One of the most significant additions to my ecological footprint comes from the fact that I usually travel with my family in my car. Not only that, but I also spend 30 minutes to an hour in the car daily, due to extracurricular activities. My extracurricular activities themselves are also contributors to my footprint. For example, the soccer fields that I practice and play at take up many hectares of land. Additionally, I need many different types of equipment to play soccer, such as soccer balls, nets, jerseys, cleats, and shin-pads. Another habit that has significantly impacted my ecological footprint is my use of technology. Due to homework and leisure activities, I tend to spend more than an hour on the computer daily. Interestingly, my diet contributes to my ecological footprint in many ways. For example, I do not grow my own food, which has many effects on my footprint. Furthermore, I do not only purchase organic or locally grown foods. These are just a few examples of how my actions impact my ecological footprint.

As shown by the examples above, almost everything I do impacts my ecological footprint in some way. There are many aspects of my life that with even the slightest change could significantly decrease my ecological footprint. By making an effort to alter the way I complete certain tasks I will reduce my ecological footprint while still completing all of my necessary daily tasks. First, I will take shorter showers and reduce the number of baths that I take. Through calculating my ecological footprint, I have found that the length of my showers has significantly increased my ecological footprint. I believe that simply taking shorter showers is a simply way to decrease my ecological footprint without significantly impacting my schedule. In order to ensure that I am taking shorter showers, I will set a timer before I get in the shower. Once the timer is done I must get out of the shower. This will force me to be efficient and stop wasting water.

Another action I am taking to reduce my ecological footprint is walking more. As many of my extracurricular activities are not located in the tri-cities, a large part of my ecological footprint can be attributed to transportation. Because of this, I will look to walk whenever I can rather than driving. I also chose to try and walk more because it will benefit my health and well-being while reducing my ecological footprint. In order to increase the amount of walking I do, I will give myself extra time to walk places such as the library, rec centre, and other places in my community.

Along with walking, I will also be looking to carpool when possible. As transportation was the most significant contributor to my footprint, I believe that it is crucial for me to find more economically friendly ways to travel. I chose carpooling because when I am driving I am usually travelling to and from soccer practice, which is located in Burnaby and New West, or soccer games, which can mean driving as far as Richmond and back. Carpooling with my teammates will be both very easy to organize and also a very enjoyable way to reduce my ecological footprint. I will organize a carpooling schedule with one or more of my teammates for my practices and games to ensure that I am able to carpool consistently.

When calculating my ecological footprint, I was surprised by how much my clothing impacted my total footprint. Because of this, I have decided to try purchasing more second-hand clothing items. Along with this, I will also be seeking more hand-me-down clothing from my sister and other family members. In order to purchase more second-hand clothing, I will go and look in many second-hand stores in the area to see which ones I prefer and could potentially begin shopping in consistently. I will also talk to my sister to see if she has any clothing that don’t fit her anymore that I could use.

Last, I will try and purchase more locally grown foods. I have chosen to do this for many reasons. First, I feel as though it is culturally important to understand what types of food are grown in BC and how they can be used. Additionally, purchasing foods made in BC supports local communities and farmers, which is very rewarding. There is a weekly market at the Port Moody Rec Centre that sells many different products that are grown and made in BC. In order to increase the amount of locally grown foods I buy, I will go to markets like this and look carefully in grocery stores to find as many products grown in BC as possible.


The Reflection:

After a week of making these five lifestyle changes in an attempt to reduce my ecological footprint, I have encountered many successes and challenges. One of the easiest changes to make was taking shorter showers. Although it took a few attempts for me to get used to it, the timer was a very effective way to force myself to be efficient. Furthermore, not knowing how much time I had left on the timer often led to me getting out of the shower before the timer was finished. I believe this change was extremely easy because the sole reason for longer showers is relaxation. However, taking shorter showers gave me more time to complete homework and other tasks which ultimately led to more opportunities to relax. In just one week of timing my showers I have decreased my time to five minutes. The steps that I plan to take in the future in order to continue decreasing the length of my showers is to decrease the length of the timer weekly, until I am able to shower in 2 minutes.

Another change that was quite easy for me to make was carpooling more often. As mentioned, I challenged myself to carpool as much as possible to soccer practices and games. One of my teammates lives nearby, and because of this we were able to create a weekly schedule in which we would alternate driving each other to and from practice. Both my parents and my teammate’s parents work, and because of this they were very willing to agree to carpool. That being said, taking their timetables into account while creating a carpooling schedule that worked for both families was quite challenging. Since we have organized the schedule it has been successful, and we plan to continue using it for the rest of the season. In the future, I plan to try and organize carpooling to all extracurricular activities and events.

Purchasing second-hand clothing as well as using more hand-me-downs from my sister and other family members has been very successful. Second-hand clothing is very easily accessible. I was able to go shopping for second-hand clothing with friends at many different stores. Furthermore, buying second-hand clothing is much cheaper than purchasing brand new clothing, which has made this change very easy. Additionally, receiving hand-me-downs from my sister and other members of my family has been very successful. Rather than getting rid of clothing that doesn’t fit, my sister has been able to give it to me. I have also found that sharing clothing has been a very effective way of increasing the wear of the clothing that we purchase. In the future I plan to continue decreasing the amount of brand new clothing that I purchase and continue to buy second-hand clothing.

Despite the successes that I have had in making changes to my lifestyle, I have encountered some challenges that I am working to overcome. The most difficult change to make has been walking rather than driving. Due to the location of my house, it is quite difficult and time consuming to walk to the places that I go on a regular basis. For example, it is not possible for me to walk to school as I would have to get up unreasonably early in order to get to school on time. Additionally, I play on the Burnaby District Metro Soccer club, therefore my practices are in Burnaby and I am unable to walk there. In attempting to increase the amount of walking I do, I have walked to many events in my community, such as my band concert at rocky point or to the Port Moody Rec Centre and library. I have found that in order to reach other destinations, such as school, I must walk a short distance and then take public transit. I understand that public transit is more environmentally friendly that driving in a family car, however I would still like to increase the amount of walking that I do. In the future I am interested to see how I can use biking as a source of transportation, seeing as walking was too time consuming for my lifestyle.

Another challenge that I faced was buying more locally grown foods. By going to the market and searching for BC grown foods at the grocery store I was certainly able to increase the amount of locally grown foods that I purchased and used. However, there are many products that are not locally grown that are a large part of my family’s diet. Because of this, it was impossible to completely remove food products that were not grown in BC from my diet. In the future I hope to slowly change my daily diet to focus more on the foods that are grown in BC.

I have found his experience to be extremely valuable. It is very interesting, and quite surprising, to see how my actions are influencing my ecological footprint. Furthermore, the process of making small changes and seeing the impact it has on my footprint has been very eye-opening and has given me new motivation to try and improve my lifestyle. In the future I hope to use this awareness to make more changes that will help me decrease my ecological footprint. Furthermore, I hope to raise awareness of the many changes that people can make to their daily lives to reduce their footprints as well.

DOL “Cabinet Battle #2”

Character Development


Cabinet Battle #2 portrays discussion in the cabinet of administration of George Washington between the Secretary of the Treasury, Alexander Hamilton, and Secretary of State, Thomas Jefferson, with Representative James Madison occasionally assisting Jefferson. Jefferson and Hamilton and discussing whether or not to give aid to France during the beginning of the French Revolution in 1789 and their potential war with Britain. They must persuade George Washington to agree with their perspective, as he is the one who will be making the final decision.

Jefferson starts the discussion by questioning the cabinet as to who aided the American Revolutionaries during their time of need; Madison answering France. Furthermore, Jefferson strongly believes that the Americans must stay loyal to the Franco-American Alliance, therefore they are legally required to give aid to the French. He then insults Hamilton, accusing him of being greedy and stating that he is disloyal. Jefferson also notes that he is Secretary of State, not Hamilton, implying that he should have more influence on this decision thatn the Secretary of Treasury.

Hamilton responds with a furious statement asserting that Washington would never agree with Jefferson because the new found United States are so young and are already unstable without involvement in international affairs. Hamilton then discredits Jefferson’s wish to uphold the treaty with France by arguing that the United States is not beholden to France because the king that signed the agreement, King Louis XVI, had been killed in the revolution.

Hamilton is cut short by Washington, who publicly denounces Jefferson’s idealistic approach to the problem. Jefferson is furious, and confronts Hamilton. He accuses himof abandoning Lafayette, who had aided the Americans during the American Revolution. Hamilton responds quickly, but Jefferson leaves the fight while he warns Hamilton that he is powerless without Washington’s support.

Washington’s decision to support Hamilton’s opinion seems to be the straw that broke the camel’s back as leads directly into Washington on Your Side. In this song, Aaron Burr, Thomas Jefferson, and James Madison’s frustration over Hamilton’s increasing power and influence leads them to search for evidence that implicates Hamilton on charges of speculation. It also demonstrates the frustration of the Democratic Republicans as Washington, who is supposedly non-partisan, favours the Federalists.


Character Development:

The characters included in Cabinet Battle #2 are Alexander Hamilton, George Washington and Thomas Jefferson.

From Left to Right: Alexander Hamilton, George Washington, and Thomas Jefferson

From Left to Right: Alexander Hamilton, George Washington, and Thomas Jefferson

Alexander Hamilton is arguing for neutrality in the French Revolution and France’s battle against Britain. He recognizes that it is extremely dangerous to supply military aids to France when they do not have an established monarch. Furthermore, he does not feel obliged to comply with the previously established treaty because King Louis XVI has passed away. Hamilton wants to put a plan into place that puts America’s safety and stability first. America has offered Hamilton an environment in which he is able to rise above his station and become a powerful influential man. I believe that it is for this reason that he is bias towards ensuring the protection of America over helping their allies and values self-preservation over a promise of questionable validity.

Hamilton fears trying to provide funds and military aids to France and as a result becoming too weak as a nation to sustain and protect themselves. When Hamilton says “If we try to fight in every revolution in the world, we never stop. Where do we draw the line,” he is expressing this fear and explaining that America needs to pick their battles wisely due to their fragility. As Jefferson states in the songs, Hamilton is ‘desperate to rise above his station’. He has fought to survive and improve his whole life, and because of this his wants and fears may be slightly self-centered. Jefferson accuses Hamilton of being selfish and disloyal in his wants and fears when he states “You accumulate debt, you accumulate power Yet in their hour of need you forget”.

Thomas Jefferson wants to support France in revolution and their fight against Britain through military aid. He believes that it is morally right to provide funds just as France supported America in their time of need. Jefferson fears losing France’s trust and breaking the Franco-American alliance. Jefferson was once an ambassador to France, therefore he has more of a personal connection with the country itself and the people in it. Furthermore, Jefferson was in Paris during the early stages of their revolution and believes that the French people were inspired to rebel by the Revolutionary War. This has given him a more personal experience in the French revolution and has led him to believe that it is only fair that they lend a hand. This personal connection to the French can be seen when Jefferson states “And revolution is messy but now is the time to stand. Stand with our brothers as they fight against tyranny”. On a larger scale, Jefferson fears Hamilton’s motives and increasing power in making decisions. He believes that Hamilton is self-centered and impulsive and is so desperate to improve his lot in life that he tends to be disloyal. When Jefferson says, “I’ll remind you he is not Secretary of State” He is trying to remind the cabinet that Hamilton should have less power in decision making than he does, because he fears Hamilton’s growing influence.

As president of America, George Washington was the only man that Hamilton and Jefferson had to convince to agree with their perspective. Because of this, his wants and fears played a significant role in the outcome of this discussion. After listening to both sides of the argument, Washington agreed with Hamilton’s plan and asked for a statement of neutrality to be drafted. George Washington wants to protect America by choosing a plan that is best for his nation. That being said, as a battle field general, the process of thinking an issue through for a long period of time was not a desired quality. Because of this, Washington had very strong acumen which allowed him to make his decision quite quickly. This can be seen when he cuts off Hamilton in the middle of his argument to declare his final decision. This reliance on ‘gut instincts’ to make decisions may have led Washington to be bias in his decision. One of Washington’s strongest, personal wants is to see Hamilton succeed. This may have impacted his decision to agree with Hamilton so abruptly in this discussion. Furthermore, Washington’s bias against Jefferson can be seen when he accuses him of being naïve by stating “frankly it’s a little disquieting you would let your ideas blind you to reality”. Washington fears making a decision that will negatively impact America. He understands that the United States are still weak, after just getting out of a revolutionary war. Furthermore, America was already in large debt to may foreign countries. Washington realizes this, and his understanding of this instability is evident when he states, “We’re too fragile to start another fight”.

Connections to Historical Elements:

Historical Events and Ideas:

There are many historical events that are referenced throughout Cabinet Battle #2. An understanding of the significance of these events is crucial in fully understanding the meaning of the song. The major historical event that Cabinet Battle #2 is about is the French Revolution. The French Revolution began in 1789 due to the people’s anger over the French monarchy and the poor economic policies of King Louis XVI. This revolt led to the redesign of the country’s political landscape and the uprooting of century old feudal traditions. The relationship between the American Revolution and the French Revolution is a quintessential example of how revolutions can impact more than just the country they occur in. The American Revolution didn’t only affect America, but it also affected France. Many French citizens saw the Americans as an example of a successful rebellion. This new idea that people with little to no power could come together to fight for their rights and freedoms inspired the French citizens to start their own revolution.

The French Revolution

The French Revolution


the Franco-American Alliance

the Franco-American Alliance

One of the most significant reasons that Jefferson believes that America should provide military aid to France was because they signed a treaty. There were actually two treaties signed between France and America on February 6, 1778. The Treaty of Amity and Commerce recognized the Unites States as an independent nation and promoted trade between the two countries, while the Treaty of Alliance established a military pact. Negotiated with the help of Benjamin Franklin, the Treaty of Alliance stated that if a war broke out between France and Great Britain during the War between the United States and England, France and the United States would aid each other as “good and faithful Allies”, as according to Article 1 of the treaty. The treaty also guaranteed that neither side was to stop fighting Britain or sign a peace treaty without the consent of the other nations. The Treaty of Amity and Commerce and the Treaty of Alliance are very historically significant as four days after Britain learned that France had recognized the United States as an independent nation, they declared war on France. After the Treaty of Paris was signed in 1783, there was debate over whether the Treaty of Alliance still applied. Hamilton argued that the French Revolution, in which the monarchy had originally signed the treaty was overthrown, rendered the treaty null and void. Hamilton’s opinion represents an interesting idea that when a sovereign ruler dies or is overthrown, their rules and agreements are insignificant and may be annulled. This seems ironic because much of Hamilton’s goal throughout his life and throughout the musical is to leave a legacy.


Proclamation of Neutrality

Proclamation of Neutrality

Last, After hearing both Jefferson and Hamilton’s opinions, Washington agrees with Hamilton and asks for a statement of neutrality to be drafted. The Proclamation of Neutrality was announced by George Washington in 1793. It stated that America would be neutral in the conflict between France and Great Britain. It also placed legal proceeding against any Americans who provided assistance to the feuding sides. However, the treaty wasn’t officially absolved by both parties until the Convection of 1800. Interestingly, in the beginning of the song, George Washington clearly states, “Remember, my decision on this matter is not subject to congressional approval. The only person you have to convince is me.” However, according to Artice I, Section 8 of the US Constitution, it is congress’ ability to call upon an army or military forces and declare war. This directly opposes Washington’s statement, and many people objected Washington’s decision because of this. In an attempt to mollify the people and defend Washington, Hamilton wrote a series of essays as Pacifus, that defended the Proclamation of Neutrality.

Socials Curriculum:

I believe that the Big Idea that is best suited for Cabinet Battle #2 is disparities in power alter the balance of relationships between individuals and between societies. The first example of this big idea can be seen in the conflicts that are caused by Washington’s influence on decision making in America. Washington’s role as president make his opinions superior to any other members in the cabinet administration. Therefore, it is crucial that his impartiality is not swayed by biases or personal connections with other political figures. Washington’s strong, ‘father-son’ bond with Hamilton has become the catalyst of new biases in his decisions, which has significantly impacted his relationship with other members of congress. Important members such as Thomas Jefferson, Aaron Burr, and James Madison are beginning to feel animosity towards Washington as they notice his ‘favouritism’ of Hamilton. An example of this can be seen when Jefferson concludes the Cabinet Battle by telling Hamilton “Daddy’s calling”, referring to Washington asking for Hamilton’s assistance. Although it is unclear as to whether Washington’s decision to agree with Hamilton’s was influenced by their existing relationship, the decision also significantly impacted Hamilton and Jefferson’s relationship. Hamilton and Jefferson are both very outspoken, and because of this their opposing opinions greatly impact the people of America. Rising tensions between them caused by Washington’s supposed bias created new the frustration in the Democratic Republicans, who believe that Washington was favouring the Federalists. Overall, Washington’s possible bias towards Hamilton created significant problems in many relationships between important political figures and groups in America.

Thematic and Personal Connections

Personal Interest:

            There are many reasons for why I chose to analyze Cabinet Battle #2. First, I find the use of a ‘rap battle’ to be a very interesting and impactful representation of a heated discussion in the cabinet administration. I also found the interpolations and homages to other songs to be interesting. An example of this can be seen when Hamilton says “Uh… do whatever you want, I’m super dead”, which is an homage to Griffin McElroy from My Brother, My Brother and Me.

I also chose to study this song because I found it interesting to compare Cabinet Battle #1 to Cabinet Battle #2. Jefferson’s argument is far more substantive than his presentation in Cabinet Battle #1, whereas Hamilton seems far more emotional and personal in this rap battle than his strong intellectual arguments in the previous confrontation. It has been interesting to look deeper into Hamilton and Jefferson’s wants and fears and make inferences on how their different motives and background have impacted their opinions.

After listening to this song countless times, there are many passages that have resonated with me for many reasons. I believe that when Hamilton states, “if we try to fight in every revolution in the world we never stop, where do we draw the line?” he is expressing a prominent idea in both the American Revolution and modern society. In the context of the Cabinet Battle, America must be careful in choosing their battles because they are quite weak and from their revolution. However, this question is still relevant today with the United States’ involvement in political issues and wars around the world.

Another interesting passage in the song is said by Jefferson. While arguing against Hamilton he states, “Desperate to rise above his station, Everything he does betrays the ideals of our nation”. Jefferson means to say that Hamilton’s rise from poverty is at odds with the predominant governing ideology at the time; however, by looking at the words used in the line we can uncover a different meaning. The definition of betray is ‘to unintentionally reveal’. So, if we look at this passage as saying that Hamilton reveals and embodies the true national values, we see that Hamilton’s ability to rise above his station in life through grit and merit represents the basic narrative at the heart of any contemporary understanding of the ‘American Dream’.


            There are many underlying themes within Cabinet Battle #2 that are essential to the meaning of the song. The first occurs in the introduction of the song, when George Washington introduces the conflict and declares “The only person you have to convince is me”. This line displays the importance of Washington’s opinion in this decision. Washington is the only person that Hamilton or Jefferson need to convince to agree with their opinion; however, Washington has a very strong bias towards Hamilton. Washington’s decision to agree with Hamilton highlights the theme that leaders with bias or personal opinions that conflict with their impartiality tend to cause bitterness in people or groups in power.

The next passage that represents an interesting theme is said by Hamilton in his argument. While explaining why it is best to remain neutral in the conflict, he calls the revolution “A game of chess, where France is Queen and Kingless”. Hamilton uses this analogy to explain that it is dangerous to send military aid to France because there is no monarch or sovereign ruler. This is a very interesting theme because it seems to relate directly to Hobbes’ idea that society should remain under one sovereign ruler, no matter how corrupt of a ruler they are, because people are naturally immoral. This line also shows the difference between Hamilton and Jefferson’s thought process. Jefferson is more loyal and focused on sustaining good relationship and alliances, while Hamilton thinks more logically and strategically makes decisions that will benefit himself and his people.

The last theme comes from a passage said by Jefferson. In an attempt to diss Hamilton he says, “He knows nothing of loyalty, Smells like new money, dresses like fake royalty”. This line shows that Jefferson believes that Hamilton should have much less power and prestige due to his difficult past and low social status from birth. Hamilton has worked his whole life to improve his social status and become successful. Despite this, many people, such as Jefferson, believe that he should doesn’t deserve his power. This line represents a theme that runs throughout the musical, which is the difference between ‘new money’ and ‘old money’. America represents a place where lower class citizens from Britain and other places in the world can come and improve their lot in life by working hard. This emerging idea and the possibility of ‘new money’ inspired many people. That being said, there was still a difference in how new money and old money were perceived. A person that came from a family of wealth and high prestige was still respected more than one that came from a poor family and earned wealth through hard work and determination.