The social lens is the most powerful lens for viewing George Lucas’ Star Wars: A New Hope because it reveals the intrinsic desire humans have for power and control. During the extent of the film, we see many examples that corroborate this statement. One thing that you may or may not notice is that most of the powerful characters in this film are human or human-like, either psychically or emotionally. To an extent, the more ‘human’ a character is, the higher they would be on the social hierarchy. We see this taking action right as the film starts; The four-legged reptilian creatures the Storm troopers ride at Tatooine or the fury Banthas the sand-people ride is both non-sentient beings that have been domesticated by humans or human-like species. Additionally, we do not see any non-human-like alien in a position of great power during the movie, with Jabba the Hutt being the only exception. Another thing that comes to notice with the social lens is that the dominant entity that reigns over the galaxy is run purely by humans. The Galactic Empires screen time has been dedicated to its very human leaders and its equally human soldiers. Here we see humanity at the top of the tower again. The entire system and military of the Empire consists of humans. Finally, the entire story is about the struggle of two human parties. Both the Empire and the Rebellion are shown to be made up of human members who fight for control. The humans, who are already at the top of the hierarchy, even fight between each other to elevate their parties’ control. These three points show that humans have a yearning for relevance and/or importance because they make us, the viewers, feel important and part of something bigger. From this I can assume that George Lucas’ film Star Wars: A New Hope was made with an intent to entertain and connect with us, the viewers. Empowering humans in the movie allows us to make better connections with the characters. Imagine if Luke was a cow, it wouldn’t be the same. Simply put, we as a species, is narcissistic. When authors like George Lucas writes these stories, they assume the intelligent life can only come int the form of species that look like, or are, us. From this, I can conclude, films and stories often depict humans or human-like actors and empower them to make the observer feel important and powerful.
I am an unnamed delegate from Newfoundland to speak upon the topic of military and defense. Regarding the American Civil War and the idea of manifest destiny arising from the South, the citizens of Newfoundland do not hold much concern. This is mostly due to Newfoundland being very isolated and protected by the expanse of the ocean, as the only mode of transportation is by boat. Additionally, we are under the protection of the British Navy. Another small factor is that Canada lies directly in between Newfoundland and the United States, acting as a sort of shield. On another note, later on during the Cold War, US relationships seemed more promising than Canadian relationships when speaking of military support. On the topic of Fenian Raids, we, again, are not heavily influenced due to the points mentioned earlier. However, some of our population do derive from Irish descent and are looking for a method to show their loyalty to our colony by supporting confederation. Confederating will also mean that we would no longer need the aid of the British Navy to defend our lands. Additionally, being defended by a united army under the name of Canada would make it more intimidating for other countries to consider attacking.
I wanted to try something new this time, so here is a video:
After calculating my ecological footprint to the best of my abilities, I learned that I use up around 7.35 hectares of space on this planet. After comparing with some of my peers, I came to the knowledge that I was using about as much space as everybody else. For example, Jerome had 8.35, Shubham 7.05, and Dylan with 9.7 hectares. I hear that some others had double digits. I don’t know their exact numbers, but I know Kimi and Val had a higher number. The top actions that increased my footstep are (NOT IN ORDER):
- Taking long showers
- Owning and using a medium sized car
- Spending over an hour on my computer
- Using brand new clothes
- Eating non-local food
- Consuming non-free-range eggs
- Not wearing half of my clothes
- Using hot water
- Using things that produce garbage (e.g. snack wrappers)
- Needing a lot of equipment for my hobbies
Out of the 10, I think I want to improve on:
- Taking long showers – Focus on finishing the shower rather then thinking about other things
- Spending over an hour on my computer – Try to find other activities to do (e.g. going outside)
- Not wearing half of my clothes – Identify which articles of clothing fit, and try to go down the pile rather than hand pick
- Using hot water – use colder water in showers (this will also make me want to leave faster)
- Consuming non-free-range eggs – inform my parents about what they are and convince them to shift over to free-range
I chose these 5 because I think that they would be all reasonable to achieve and sustain.
- Taking shorter showers
- Wearing more of my clothes
- Using colder water
These changes were easy because they had quick simple solutions that was easy to incorporate into my everyday schedule.
- Spending over an hour on my computer
- Consuming free-range eggs
These changes were hard because 1) I use my computer a lot. It was hard to make a sudden shift of tuning it down to under an hour, so I will continue to attempt to decrease my hours gradually over time, instead. 2) Because I don’t go grocery shopping with my parents, I just have to teach them and hope they think the same way.
Obstacles & Plans:
Well, one of the biggest challenges was the usage of my computer. For the reasons mention earlier. Another strange impediment was with the shower. My shower is inconsistent with it’s temperature, so the most water is wasted while I try to not burn myself. This was easy to overcome as I learned to just undershoot the first try and slowly go to a decent temperature.
I plan to take the shower thing a step further and try to do all my showers with just a bucket of water. I remember that my friend once did that kind of thing years ago, and I want to give it a shot. Basically, you fill a bucket with water and only use that water when you shower. Additionally, I plan to attempt in decreasing my computer usage by 2 hours by trying to create other hobbies that I could do with my time.
In the beginning of this song, Hamilton and Burr return to New York after the war to continue their studies and become lawyers. It heavily focuses on expressing the rivalry between Burr & Hamilton and the ‘non-stop’ attitude that Hamilton holds, leaving Burr feeling left behind. Although Burr and Hamilton started working/studying at the same time, Hamilton improves rapidly and the spotlight of the story shifts to emphasizes the amount of raw ambition and pride Hamilton holds within his success, contributions and confidence.
Hamilton and Burr (and Livingston) work together as lawyers defending Levi Weeks in the first murder trial of the nation. And despite their clashing personalities, they are successful in defending their patient. Hamilton’s bold, open nature causes Burr to question him and why he works so hard for what he wants. Hamilton is then later chosen for the constitutional convention where he proposes and illustrates his ideas for a new form of government made with his beliefs in central democracy and justice. When Hamilton requests Burr to defend the constitution, Burr denies and conveys his ideologies to Hamilton. Although Hamilton is left without Burr’s help, Hamilton doesn’t give up. Teaming up with John Jay and James Madison, he writes 51 essays defending the document. This ‘non-stop’ attitude and hard work is noticed and Washington recruits Hamilton as his ‘right hand man’ put charge of the treasury. Things were not all good though, Hamilton’s behaviour resulted in the weakening of his relationships with Eliza (his wife), Burr, and Angelica.
Alexander Hamilton: Wants to push himself and better the nation in which he lives in with his abilities. Fears throwing away his shot and not making a difference. The song’s lyrics directly portrays Hamilton’s desires.
Aaron Burr: Wants to stand low and asses the situation before diving head in like Hamilton. Fear dying the early death of those who run their mouths. Burr’s passages express his ideologies and beliefs when he tells Hamilton that “I’ll (Burr) keep my plans close to my chest” (and) “Watching the tension grow”.
Angelica: Wants to move to London with her husband to live a comfortable life. Angelica’s lines declare this very clearly.
Eliza: Hamilton’s wife who wants Hamilton to be satisfied with how things are and have him stop pushing himself. Fears Hamilton losing his life. Her passages are all related to convince Hamilton that he has done enough.
George Washington: Recruits Hamilton as his right-hand man and in charge of the treasury. Most of George Washington’s lines are of him asking Hamilton to help him.
One of the things that is brought up in this song is the constitutional convention, and it took place during May 25 to September 17, 1787 and was held to discuss how to fix or revise the system of government they used at the time. In the song however, Hamilton, instead of revising the system, introduced his own to the convention. This is historically accurate, as Hamilton and James Madison took the convention as a way to restart rather than to fix up the government.
Emerging ideas and ideologies profoundly influence societies and events.
I chose this Big Idea because the whole spirit of this song is fueled by Hamilton wanting to push his beliefs and ideas and make the society better. For example, when Hamilton says “Burr, we studied, and we fought, and we killed for the notion of a nation we now get to build for once in your life, take a stand with pride I don’t understand how you stand to the side” he directly portrays how he doesn’t understand how Burr can just stand and watch with so much to be done. This ideology heavily influences Hamilton’s actions, pushing him to strive for success. Because of Hamilton’s non-stop ideals, events played out like they did. If Hamilton did not have this driving force, our society very much could have been very different.
Personal interest and Theme:
I found myself most interested in how Hamilton’s non-stop personality was portrayed. The tempo of the song and the way Hamilton said his lines were all very speedy and impatient in a way. That feeling of somebody putting so much effort into something was the most intriguing part for me. The line that resonated with me the most was when Burr said, “Hamilton wrote the other fifty-one!”. This stuck with me because it showed me how dedicated Hamilton was with his work. How he didn’t need to do it, but he did because it was important to him.
“Why do you write like you’re running out of time?”
“Hamilton wrote the other fifty-one!”
“I am not throwin’ away my shot!”
I think these three lines are best suited for the overall meaning of this song because they show how Hamilton works above and beyond and further it corroborates the songs title, non-stop. “Why do you write like you’re running out of time?” and “Hamilton wrote the other fifty-one!” express how Hamilton works constantly without stopping. “I am not throwin’ away my shot!” depicts the reason why Hamilton works so hard in the first place. It reasons that Hamilton is given this opportunity to impact the nation and now he has taken upon himself to make his colony the best it can be.
With in-depth just around the corner, I am working towards creating and finishing a final BIG project to make and eventually use for the central ‘focal’ or ‘main’ portion on my learning center. Recently in the last few weeks, I have been working on finding/identifying a genre or style that I enjoy using. A few days ago, I have decided and am currently experimenting with the surreal part of art. Here is the first experiment that I had/made today:
After making two or three more of these smaller experimental pictures, I intend to start planning and working on one or even two bigger projects (bigger as in it will take use of more photos or effects than the experimental ones to create something unique and creative). I think this tree picture was really a good edit because I used my own photo (the tree) and made something that I enjoyed and like the idea of.
For my learning center, I plan to have a timeline of the different edits I’ve made to show the gradual progress that’s been accomplished and ‘zoom’ into a part of the timeline to bold what I took away from that particular period. Additionally, I need to choose between an interactive part that either lets passerby’s try using photoshop or teaches them the simplest of photoshop knowledge (layers). Or perhaps even both.
Emerging ideas and ideologies profoundly influence societies and events.
‘Got a lot farther by working a lot harder’
The new ideologies of working harder for success has given Hamilton hope, motivation and support from others and himself. If this ideal was not widespread, Hamilton may have had a harder time reaching up to his desires.
Disparities in power alter the balance of relationships between individuals and between societies.
‘Started workin’, clerkin’ for his late mothers landlord’
The difference in power between the landlord and Hamilton (the money they had) may have triggered Hamilton to feel like an outcast from society. Cut off from people with little power to fend for himself.
Collective identity is constructed and can change over time.
‘In New York you can be a new man’
Although Hamilton had a bad start, the people around him say that in New York he can become a new man. Stating that although he is who he is at that time, it can change over time and work.
The physical environment influences the nature of political, social, and economic change.
‘The world will never be the same, oh’
Within a world that is very young, new systems, new ideals, and new economies will form. They say that the world will never be the same because of the new environment they are in which is brimming with opportunities to succeed.
Inquiry Question: What were the impacts of the fur trading industry (Hudson’s Bay, Northwest Company, and people) on the Canadian environment/landscape?
During the colonization of the New World by the Europeans, many settlers saw an opportunity of wealth and sought to find riches such as gold. To their surprise, they found something just as good; animal fur.
Fur played a huge part in the success of the new colonies. Bringing in a profit meant investments from Europe, which in turn translated to the growth of European communities in North America. But this seemingly endless supply of fur, was to no surprise, finite. Due to over trapping and hunting of fur, populations of beaver, and other fur bearing animals, were pushed to near-extinct levels. Hundreds of thousands of furs were exported to Europe each year. Thankfully, nearing the 19th century, the paradigm of fashion in Europe transitioned towards silk, relieving the pressure for fur.
Cause and Consequence
To look at WHY things happened the way they did, we must look at the wants and fears of the historical actors present during the events. Commonly, settlers sailing towards the great new land searched for a new life and opportunity. A more opulent life than to the one which they had left behind. Although they dreamed of success, they had rolled a dice. Accepted a gamble. They faced having to raise money in a young economy. These desires pushed the new citizens to search for a profit. And during that period, fur was plentiful, expensive, and accessible. A perfect calling for a business.
At first, the mark left by humanity was not noticeable. The colonies were small, and businesses small in number. But as time passed, more people got involved, more people joined in. And by the turn of the century, beaver populations are speculated to have dropped by 80-90%. The mass spread of colonization additionally brought a wave of towns, forts, and posts to a continent previously covered in flora and fauna.
To picture the amount of decrease in the population, the image below shows how long a line of 60 million beavers (estimated beaver population before fur trade) would be compared to the US-Canadian Border. Each Centimeter represents 1000km, each tick represents roughly the length of the border (6,400km), and the spikes you see next to the beaver image is just to conserve space on the paper.
Yeah, that’s a lot of beavers, but why does that matter? Of course there would be many of them! But if you look carefully, the part of the line highlighted in blue represents the same line of beavers at the start of the 19th century (or two of those if you are optimistic).
Continuity and Change
During the fur trade, the historical actors abused the natural resources and nearly depleted the populations of entire species such as beaver. Their wants and fears forced them to look upon money, and not the environment. We see a similar story today, with the constant use of different natural resources, burning up and emitting harmful substances into the air. If we take a peak into the past, we can see that businesses relying on the use of natural resources can alter the equilibrium of nature. The beaver is considered a “keystone” animal to Canada, providing and creating a suitable home to many other species (a key component to the ecosystem). An example of an abused “key” today is our air. Recently, I went on a trip to Korea, and there I witnessed the extents of pollution to the point were the Government had to send WARNINGS on your phone to NOT GO OUTSIDE.
To me this was an eye opener, we together, as a society, need to deeply consider the long term effects of the change we are capable of.
At first I thought this project was going to be simple, a nice easy DOL to end the week with. But it happened to become a lot bigger than I anticipated. I only had the chance to research about ONE animal (and topic). The beaver, which I thought to be the most important. But there are many other animals that were hunted during this time (e.g: Marten, Geese, Minks, Seals, Racoons, Otters, THE LIST GOES ON). Additionally, the question I wanted to better understand was not just about animals, but of the change to the environment as a whole. This would include things like new diseases carried by Europeans that harmed the communities and environments of the indigenous, to the change caused by the sudden eruption of human population.
However, with the research that I was able to complete, I can corroborate that the fur trading industry left a great mark in history. Rapidly changing the course of the continent by introducing new things, and taking away/decreasing important necessities.
Because I won’t be here next week, here is my in-depth blog early:
- What kinds of learning opportunities does the mentor provide to expose you to new learning?
On Friday, my mentor introduced me to the website – and magazine – Applied Arts and the illustrations and photography awards they hold. She explained that I could go onto their winning submissions gallery and find pieces of art that I enjoy and am interested in. By finding these photos/illustrations, together we can find out how the photo was made, the method used, and how I could learn it! So, over the course of this spring break, I have homework. Find submissions on Applied Arts that I enjoy and see best suited for me to learn how to do.
- What kinds of learning opportunities exist to reinforce new learning?
Because of this day and age, and the power of the online world, I have the ability to learn practically anything in a short period of time. Using the internet, I can reinforce new learning by synthesizing multiple approaches to one solution. This will assure that I not only know how to do something, but how the tools used to do it work, too.
- What kinds of opportunities exist that might accelerate learning?
Something that might accelerate my learning is the fact that Ms. Gilder is a very skilled person in the field of photography and people. And because she is such an experienced person, she as the ability to answer 99% of any questions I have related to her work. Another opportunity that may boost my learning are sketchbooks. Keeping a sketchbook with me all the time, and by continuously drawing and thinking of ideas, I can accelerate my learning experience by becoming more creative and generating better art skills.
- When you get together what do you talk about?
Last Friday, we talked about my mentor and her career. Because I didn’t really know her background and experience, we thought it was a good idea to spend a little bit of time talking about that. From that conversation, I got a general idea of what kind of thing she does. And I feel very comfortable giving the role of my mentor to her. Furthermore, she gave me a resource to look for inspiration – Applied Arts – and some homework (find pictures that I enjoy/want to learn how to take or make).
- What is going particularly well in your mentoring relationship right now?
Something that is working well is our interest. Well for me at least. I am always excited for my meetings and look forward to what I want to do or talk about. And my mentor always listens with interest and generosity.
- What are you learning about one another?
Ms. Gilder doesn’t really know too much about me. However, after this past Friday, I have learned a lot more about her. She is a very interesting photographer, having had her photos on around 200 billboards. She has many great achievements that I don’t know too much about, but the point I want to make is how I (now) feel very comfortable having her instruct me and guide me towards success.
I would post my progress, but the photo I’m working on contains my Father’s face and I don’t want to post that online (at least for now).