ZIP Doc of Learning #1

The biographical novel sets out to document this truth, for character is plot, character development is action, and character fulfillment is resolution.

Irving Stone

Last Friday was a ZIP work block and a not so productive one at that. I knew my inquiry question, and I was starting to read my first book. However, I couldn’t concentrate amid all the noises that crept up during the block. After 20 or so minutes and only finishing the prologue, I gave up and started to do some research. It might be bad luck, it might be just research skills, but I couldn’t find a website that has comprehensive information about PEE (PQS) or character building (list of key points to a successful character). Having no extensive knowledge, I spent the rest of the block, a short chunk of time, brainstorming what makes a good character.

The moral of this story is that we shouldn’t expect to find everything online. Something that is easy enough to do on our own should really be done on pen and paper. This way, we also have a more thorough understanding of the information.

For my next ZIP focus block, I will try to use different strategies such as going to a quieter corner/ library, listening to music (immerse myself in my own world), or doing things that don’t require as much focus (taking notes or brainstorming some more, perhaps). One goal to set might be to finish the first third of the book, or in case that is not working,  finalize a list of character traits and create an outline where I can fill out book and movie analysis.

ZIP Proposal

The area that I want to focus on for this ZIP project is character development and characterization in different medias. Characters are at the heart of any story (without them nothing will be happening!), and they have the power to move readers through connections. The effective characterization of characters is something that may indicate a good story, whether conveyed through books or other mediums. It raises the question, then, of:

What are the criterias for a successful character in stories, and how does different media (film, book) differ in their ability to develop characters?

I hope to get out of this project a thorough understanding of the elements in creating an intriguing story through vivid characters, as well as the knowledge of how written and visual works differ in their ability affect the audience and convey meaning. I will also have acquired more analytical skill in literature. I plan on reading at least 2-3 titles.

I cannot say that I am a seasoned reader and movie critic, but I love reading and know how to use various strategies to aid in my reading. I also have access to a lot of movies, since we have many subscriptions to various services, so it will be easier for me to find movie adaptations. I may need the librarian to recommend to me good books, focusing on character, with film adaptations.

I am not exactly sure right now, but I think I will demonstrate my learning by doing a presentation (more likely), or by writing a compare and contrast essay. I probably have to write something during the course of the project, but I don’t want to make that my final, simply because I will probably have to do another ZIP on essay writing.

Below is a rough draft of my plan: (subject to change)

  1. Dec 8-13: background research, select the first book and finish reading. Write character notes, analysis
  2. Dec 13-15: watch film/others and collect notes (compare/contrast)
  3. Dec 16-18: select second book and finish reading
  4. Dec 19: watch film, notes
  5. Dec 20-22: presentation/final project

All About VALUE INVESTING/BENJAMIN GRAHAM

HELLO,

In this post, I will go over some of the books/ websites that I found very useful in my research about Ben Graham (and value investing of course). I hope they will help you in your works too, just like how they had helped me.

Graham, Benjamin, et al. The Intelligent Investor: a Book of Practical Counsel. Harper Collins, 2013.

One of the best books possible for the beginning investor, this classic for value investing has gone through many editions. This current edition includes Ben Graham’s The Intelligent Investor from the 1970’s plus commentary by Jason Zwieg. Great easy to understand introduction to value investing.

Graham, Benjamin, et al. Security Analysis: Principles and Technique. McGraw-Hill, 2009.

The absolute classic. Sometimes hard to understand for the amateur, but otherwise an informative book as well. First book of Ben Graham, and the book where he proposed his ideas of value investing. Nowadays, people will pay thousands for the early editions of this book.

Lowe, Janet. Benjamin Graham on Value Investing: Lessons from the Dean of Wall Street. Penguin Books, 1996.

Detailed biography of Benjamin Graham. Provides quality information as well as historical artifacts (letters). Even provides some tips of Graham that was condensed from Security Analysis.

Smith, Gary. Money Machine: the Surprisingly Simple Power of Value Investing. AMACOM, American Management Association, 2017.

If you can’t understand The Intelligent Investor, or just hate long books with small print, this would be a book to check out. Author Gary Smith is someone that isn’t afraid to plainly expose the people who are wrong, even if they are Noble laureates. You will be guided through the ideologies of value investing with examples and savageness.

“Sharper Insight. Smarter Investing.” Investopedia, www.investopedia.com/.

The Wikipedia of investing, contains a lot of definitions for key terms, as well as value investing theories and lessons. It should be neutral, but I feel like it is a largely pro value investing website.

Mi, Zhou. Zuo Xing Fu De Tou Zi Zhe. Di Zhen Chu Ban She, 2007.

This is a book written by a family friend who follows the value investing strategy. She manages my family’s stocks for us, and she consistently outperforms the indexes and the market. This book is a thorough conversational walkthrough of the mindset and the principles of investing, and it is much more approachable than The Intelligent Investor, for example. Its simplicity is similar to Money Machine.

“Intensive Investing Education through Case Studies.” Csinvesting. N.p., n.d. Web. 03 Dec. 2017.

www.Csinvesting.org

This website have some good info, but a lot of it is not for beginners. Talks about a lot of theories. Also, it is sometimes hard to find what you are looking for as the titles and the tags are not very informative or relevant.


 

Lastly, this website: http://www.dataroma.com/m/home.php contains information on the portfolios of gurus like Warren Buffett and Michael Larson. It is also good to study what the pros are doing, especially if they are proven to be good.

Doc of Learning, and all my struggles

There are quite a few things that I want to talk about in this post, first and foremost my process of writing my speech. I will then go on to say a bit about my research and learning centre planning.


The highly technical aspects of my eminent person, Ben Graham, meant that my speech would have to center on his core contribution to the world, a stock investing principle. I had quite a bit of trouble deciding what I wanted to direct my focus. I knew that an informative speech is not what the audience came to hear, and I knew that because Graham is such an inspirational and compassionate person in sharing his ideas; I wanted my speech to inspire the audience. Ben Graham hoped to every day do

“something foolish, something creative, and something generous,”

and that is the attitude that I wanted to focus upon.

The final theme of the speech that I decided on was that value investing is the key to success both in the stock market and in life. Indeed, many things are interconnected and similar in many ways, and time-tested principles can often serve as an allusion to something else. I completed my speech, but the more that I practiced, the clearer I understood Graham’s perspective. I ended up rewriting a new copy a couple of days before NotN. My peers did not find any mistakes to fix, but again, as I read the speech over and over I discovered better ways to phrase some paragraph. I only wish I started sooner so I can incorporate those changes and have time to practice still. You can find both versions of my speech here.


My initial ideas for my learning centre is to make it like an office space. I knew that when Graham was young, he used to work posting stock and bonds prices on the walls of the trading centres. From that, I had the idea of posting stock prices and asking visitors what they would want to buy. I tried to use foam boards and push pins to resemble posting prices on blackboards, and put up multiple frames to make the space look more “professional”. Here is a video of the final result, versus the plan.

Tip:

  • Remember to make a list of supplies needed, and write everything down. I forgot to bring something and didn’t have time to put up other things.
  • Keep in mind that people WILL come and try to use their lockers when you just finished putting up paper on the walls.

 

Tri-Wise-Nugs Mono-Interview

  1. Do a lot of things early on in life like joining conferences and clubs to explore your interests. Identify why you loved the the things that you love, and find jobs that you believe would need those skill sets.
  2. Communication skills is one of the most important things that you could have for almost any job. It is also a transferable to any career, so you will never miss your shot even if you changed fields.
  3. Try and find a mentor when you are new to the job. A good mentor will help you through the challenges and teach you the basics until you can go off and mentor others. You can gain a edge over others this way, and also adapt into your position better.
Giphy.com

EMNent Speech Outline

Preposition: this is a speech given by graham in his late years

Hook: ? (something investment related) [try using a story/or question]

Body (rising action): explanation of value investing

  • Value investing vs. speculating (explain speculating)
  • What is value investing about? (1-2 POINTS)

These (climax): You need to invest in qualities of your life that is deemed valuable by analysis, because life is full of sheep like participants who follow the flock to do what all others do and believe in what others believe

  • Whatever you do, do it with a purpose and commit to it once you choose it

Conclusion: best of luck to you and every thing that you choose to invest in. I look forward to your name on life’s superinvestor’s list.

Value Investing, or How Not to Go Broke

Few outside the investment circle would have known him, but to those that lounge on Wall Street, it is as familiar as the names of George Washington or Pythagoras. He is Benjamin Graham, the father of value investing.

Graham was born in England, but he soon moved to New York with his two older brothers. His father died young at only 35, leaving his family in the care of Maurice Gerard, his uncle who is a civil engineer. Gerard quickly realized young Graham’s talents and nurtured them, later even becoming one of Graham’s first business partners. Graham then achieved the second highest score ever given on a national scholarship test and was accepted into the University of Columbia with a scholarship. He graduated the second of his class.

Upon entering Wall Street, he worked his way up, from the very basic job of posting stock listings to a highly respected investor. He used his natural talents of logic and mathematics to analyse the market and the companies behind them, opening a new path to investments. It is not just about looking at fluctuations and the DJIA, the company asset value, or insider information. By combining deep analysis into all parts of company data, he created a cult in Wall Street who followed his example to this day.

He had realized at the peak of career that he has a duty to pass on his knowledge and thinkings to those who need it. He went to teach at his alma mater, Columbia University, creating a popular course that many of the current world’s greatest investors sat through. His most famous student is perhaps Warren Buffett, with a net worth of 79.2 B dollars. Graham’s natural love of teaching able young minds and his talent for using examples and class debates to reinforce concepts made him a hugely popular teacher with many students travelling from remote places to see him. This group of students eventually became the Graham-Dodds ville, an intellectual village with many elites in Wall Street. The success of those who followed Graham can be clearly seen in Buffett’s 1984 speech of “The Superinvestors“. Graham’s brilliant theories in a world of chance helped many stand their ground even in crisis, and saved them from a fate of bankruptcy. He made his contributions to the economy by levitating investor’s faith in stock exchange after crashes and giving birth to many of the world’s greatest philanthropists. He ideas helped materialize the dreams of many who had nothing but their mind, their 200 dollars and their passion.

Logic and mathematical thinking has always been part of my approach on the world, and the investment community have always been a jewel that I want to explore. Growing up in a foreign country with a middle class family, Graham had learnt to be confident of himself and to believe in his potential to achieve. His generosity and air of positivity are things that I look up to. I believe that his ideas on investing will not just apply to the financial field, but also the lives of everyone influenced by him.

Giphy.com

Harrison Burgeron Film vs. Short Story

The film “2081” was a better medium for the story of Harrison Bergeron. This is mostly due to the fact that it is much more realistic and occur in settings that we can relate to. When reading the short story, “Harrison Bergeron”, we are not inclined to take the story and understand or apply it in our world because of the fantasy-like descriptions of Harrison. Instances like him carrying three hundred pounds, flying and “[abandoning] the law of gravity and the laws of motion,” decreased the effectiveness of the satire by stripping away connections to the real world. As readers, we create meaning both though the text and our previous experiences, so if we can’t make any obvious connections when reading, we take away less from the story. Besides that, the film conveys messages to us through imagery and sound. Harrison is seen with long hair, in a white suit carrying his handicaps on his shoulders. It is a familiar allusion to Jesus, who died for the redemption of his people, hinting that Harrison may be the only savior of his world. On the same level, sound was also used to the story’s advantage. We know that Hazel unconsciously hums the song that played during Harrison’s confrontation with the HG men. It makes us wonder whether she really remember Harrison’s tragic death. These kinds of references are never found in the short story, and they invite us to probe deeper into the tale. The film helps us know more of Harrison, George and even Hazel’s wants and fears, making it a superior medium for the short satire.

Sorry, I thought I posted it, but actually not. I found out when showing it to others at lunch on Tuesday. 

Racism.

The these in David Suzuki ‘s “Racism”, told through scientific discoveries as well as personal anecdotes, is that we should always stand up to bigotry. He states that we are otherwise tacitly supporting it, and soon, it will be our turn too if the practice of racism is not stopped. As a geneticist, Suzuki uncovered the ugly misconception behind racial discrimination, that for example, it was thought that all Japanese people hide treachery because of an action taken by a nation that Nisei and Sansei have never seen. Suzuki himself “[has] always been keen to inform people and raise the alarm about misapplication of the rules of hereditary”, and it may have changed someone as profoundly as the acts of kindness that he received from the Chinese cook or the RCMP (20). Bigotry is still in our lives today, even in this ideal world. In the news, we hear of stories of people being harassed for their ethnicity, and in schools, stereotypes restrict our potentials. Even as youths who doesn’t seem to hold a lot of say, Suzuki urges his grandsons and the readers to speak up about bigotry, because the cycle just might stop in our generation. It is when bigotry is the norm that it prevails. By stopping the “[people with] closed minds, ignorance, and fear of difference,” as Suzuki summed up, we can bring awareness to those who rejects or are oblivious of the past, to make them understand the damage it deals, and the fallacy of its origins (30).

English Post #2

From the firm and shocking TED talk, “The Danger of a Single Story”, to the tragic story of “The Metaphor”, I took away the idea that physical appearances or outward personalities are only single stories that need to be expanded, and that we need to seek out more stories and share them to the world so that people can be understood. In the story “Emil” by Stuart Mclean, we see the character Dave judging and squishing Emil into the general stereotype of homelessness. It is until later that Dave began to connect and understand Emil with the help of his wife. Morley, in this case, shows stories that fills the single story of Emil to Dave, helping Dave build compassion and empathy. “The Metaphor” by Budge Wilson brings a more stricken message. Miss Hancock’s makeup that is applied with “an excess of zeal and a minimum of control” along with her overly dramatic attitude that younger children delights over betrays her in front of parents and youth (215). The grade 10 class that Miss Hancock enters “white with tension and left it defeated” eventually pushed her to her end (230). Miss Hancock is a single story of a somewhat insane and childish teacher to her class, and Charlotte, as the only one to know the other side of the equation, of what a great teacher she could be, remains silent. To Charlotte, life’s most precious gifts are “the admiration of my peers, local fame, boys, social triumphs,” and it is not surprising that she is silent about her inner compassion towards Miss Hancock (227). If Charlotte and her classmates had had a more complete story of what success in life mean, and they can learn not just from watching adults in their shells, but connect with them and touch their hearts, it may be a different story.