Digit Lit Reflection


  • What are your thoughts on hybrid learning (in person and at home) compared to when you are in your learning groups (at school for all classes). Which format do you prefer, and why?

I think each learning schedule has its own benefits and it really depends on what classes I’m partaking in, or how motivated I am to be in that class. Overall though I liked hybrid learning more this year for the sole reason that I had time to sleep in when I didn’t have online class and being able to make lunch at home.  I find myself also working more efficiently at home compared to at school (excluding all group projects.) As I can freely move around and take breaks on my own time, and because I’m not distracted by any of my peers. Though I can’t compare this high school year to previous ones because as I’m writing this as I’m only a grade 9 but having shorter school days does put less stress on my body. Though some cons to hybrid learning are that I do get to spend less time with people I meet at school and some of the courses I took this year kind of only worked if I was at school in person, such as woodworking and foods.  Hybrid learning days also sometimes messed with my school schedule as I had a Y block when I didn’t have a B block, or if I had volleyball practice after school and I didn’t have a B block, etc. But I do prefer the hybrid learning days. One last thing is that hybrid classes also do reduce the risk of covid transmission.

Learning groups are great for getting to spend more time with everyone and it gives myself and everyone more time to get to know everyone, and this really helped in the TALONS program. However, learning groups did have the number of people in some classes halved which did make getting to know everyone difficult. Learning groups also works best for the more in-person focused courses. But after experiencing the hybrid classes, you do sometimes miss the extra free time at home.

Overall, I think both are fine with me, but I do prefer the hybrid learning days. However, a good balance of the two (this year it was half-half basically) is way better than just hybrid learning days by themselves or full days by themselves in my opinion.

  • How has technology benefitted you during the hybrid learning experience?

Without technology I wouldn’t be able to do any work at home, nor partake in any online classes, so without them the hybrid learning experience wouldn’t even be possible. I guess technology has benefited me in making hybrid learning possible and giving me the opportunity to spend more time chilling at home on the couch and on my chair. Without technology I wouldn’t be able to complete half of the assignments given to me at home, or just made most of them easier (I mean I’m not going to be writing essays by hand and looking through thousands of books for research does seem overkill.) I also couldn’t be a part of online meetings without my laptop.

And having technology during your other block at school also makes learning easier and more efficient as there’s more writing essays by hand there, and also, I’ve seen that TEAMS has been very useful overall at home and at school as you can hand in assignments there and your teacher can share important information at any time and it’s just convenient thing for everyone to have.

It also let me chat with my peers and friends while I was at home.

  • How has technology impeded you during the hybrid learning experience?

Even though technology were the thing that made learning from home possible, it does offer a lot of great distractions from what you’re supposed to be doing. I find myself playing games, texting others, watching movies, and browsing my phone during supposed school hours while I should have been doing schoolwork. Funny how technology made working from home possible but also impeded the same job it created.

At the school part of hybrid learning I also found myself not doing my work and doing something else on my electronics, but not as bad compared to at home as I didn’t have as much freedom, and I did have a teacher watching me.

Basically, it helped me procrastinate (a bit.)

  • Is there anything that you hope remains a part of school that was new because of hybrid learning after the pandemic is over and school returns to normal?

Shorter school days, or school starting later so I may have more time to sleep in. And maybe some half days because some days you do go to school, and you think to yourself “This could’ve been an email” or “I could have just done this at home”. I like the idea of packing the same amount of learning or even more into less time at school if that makes any sense.

The new use of TEAMS and those little programs that make learning a lot easier should definitely stay too.

  • Link to 2 Projects in school /TALONS that used digital technology and explain how the use of that digital technology enhanced your project. Ideas include In-Depth, Eminent, Zip, individual class projects in Talons or other subjects…

For my zip project I drew a short little illustrated story, digitally. I thought doing this project digitally instead of on traditional paper would not only help me learn digital art, but it would also be easier to share this assignment with others. So, I got my drawing tablet, and I used a program called Krita to create this mini story, and I think it turned out pretty well, and gave me the opportunity to add some colour to my story. Doing the project digitally on Krita also let me download a comic page template which made it way easier. Overall, I think deciding to do this project digitally really saved me some time, let me learn and gain more experience about digital art, and it let me add a bit of colour to the story.

For my in-depth project I did character design and drawing, digital technology let me meet with my mentor online and learn from her, and without all the online tutorials I wouldn’t have learned as much as I did, and I wouldn’t have improved as much as I did. I was also lucky enough to expose myself to the art of many other artists that shared their work online so I could learn from them and add some style or components that they incorporated into my art.

Thanks for reading!


Empire Questions for Discussion



Following today’s discussion of the ways in which we might witness a formal and informal empire in our modern world, I am interested to hear your thoughts on (any one of) the following questions:

  • What is an aspect of the Formal or Informal Empire that interests you? How does it “determine key outcomes in the dominated society”? Why does this attract your attention?
  • Who typically derives economic benefits, access to important resources, control of strategic military territory and other forms of power? In other words, what might we put in the _____ in the above diagram?
  • And finally, is it possible to benefit from the oppression of others and not be responsible for that oppression? If so, how?

Please respond to one of these questions in the comments below. If you are arriving at the post after many of initial posts and comments, feel free to reply, extend, challenge or continue dialogue with your peers by replying to their comment.

#Eminent2014 Self-Evaluation

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SFU- There and Back again

So it seems what I thought was my first blog post actually turned out to be a page. Oops. Oh well, I’ll figure that out later. Anyway, I finally figured out how to post- I know I know, I’m a genius. Okay back to the actual topic of this post. The SFU reflection. Thats what this post is going to be about. So yes, on… Lets see it was October 30th, thats right. We went to SFU on to see the museum, to go on a tour, and to have delicious nan bread- I mean Indian food. And, all importantly, to research our eminent person at the gigantic seven floor library there. As you probably know (If not check the random page/intro post on the tool bar) my eminent person is Diet Eman. Well the library wasn’t very helpful in that respect. Apparently my person is too obscure to even be in a giant seven story university library… No matter though, because coincedently, I have her autobiography here at home. However, even though the library didn’t have anything useful for my person exactly, it was so cool. I took tons of pictures of really old books with weathered spines and gilded covers… I was in my element it was beautiful.

The tour was cool, but there was a little to much concrete for my likeing. Actually, scratch little. It was all concrete. I mean, why not old fashioned brick? Why not gilded gates? Why not dark chestnut wood? Why concrete of all things? Sorry, I just have a thing with old fashioned buildings, they are so much more beautiful and interesting than modern ones in my mind. But it was also a lot of fun to just walk along the halls chatting with friends and getting to know one another a lot better.  Besides the look of the building, I learned a lot about the history of the building, what a university campus looks like, and how life on campus might go after I finish my four years at Gleneagle.

Moving on. The Indian food was great, it was a lot of fun to sit around a table with friends and just get to know everyone a lot better. Museum was cool, the first nations weapons were awesome, there were spears, arrows, bows, and all hand made too! If there ever were a break in to the university the museum would be a good place to barricade yourself. Or the kitchen.

Anyway, to answer the questions. I think I answered the learn question in the second paragraph or somewhere around there… What’s the theme of the trip? Hmmm… Well for me the thing that I had the most fun doing was making friends and bonding with everyone, even surpassing running my fingers over dusty old books in the library. Where to now?  Well, I need to read the autobiography that’s in my house and learn Diet’s story. That’s important. After that I should start thinking about my introview. I think Diet’s still alive it would be cool to interview her. Or someone who knew her well. I’ll think about it.

So, you’ve all been treated to a very long extended version of my trip to SFU! Yay! Hopefully I didn’t kill you all with boredom… That wouldn’t be good. And, for lack of a better conclusion, I shall say farewell and bring an end to this post.

Library Field Study at Simon Fraser University

Don’t be fooled by the title: Last week’s trip to SFU was more than just a “library field study”.

A selfie with Melanie!

Prior to our arrival at Simon Fraser University, I decided to participate in some TALONS bonding. I sat next to Melanie, a grade 9, and we both discussed our anticipations before the trip. We both agreed that we were looking for experience in a university campus. Our goal was to put ourselves in a university students’ shoes and explore the real-life schedule of a typical university student. In addition, we were hoping to feel less intimidated by a university campus, reassuring each other that we would be able to navigate through each and every hallway and classroom. Lastly, we took a “selfie” to capture our moment of bonding!

My view from the solo spot… I was lucky enough to be sitting by a window!
My view from the solo spot… I was lucky enough to be sitting by a window!

There were four main parts to the library field study: the solo spot, the Museum of Archaeology and Ethnology, the campus tour, and the SFU library. The solo spot is a common TALONS practice used for independent reflection and observation. Personally, I found it quite uneventful because of the lack of new discovery. Usually when we do this outdoors, I always find something very interesting about nature. I have the opportunity to inhale the scents of mother nature’s home while observing the different patterns of certain trees, plants, and sometimes animals. Here, at SFU, there was nothing to really observe other than the abundance of students passing through the hallway aiming to arrive at their class in 2.5 minutes. Looking back at it, it was actually kind of nice in a way because it gave me an opportunity to put myself in the students’ shoes, something I anticipated prior to our arrival.

IMG_1183Following the solo spot, my TALONS peers and I entered the Museum of Archaeology and Ethnology. Although this museum may not relate to everyone’s eminent person, it definitely relates to the units of study we will be addressing in Social Studies 10 next semester. Although the museum was small, it contained a variety of very unique art pieces, some of which I had the opportunity to touch! One particular item I generally enjoyed was the snowy owl because of its soft fur that was as white as pearls. Another artifact I loved was a calligraphy piece of Chinese writing. I was very intrigued by it because last year I studied the language of Mandarin Chinese for my in depth study and seeing the piece last week allowed me to think and reflect on how much I had learned during that 5 month period.

Before continuing, I would like to take a pit stop at the Himalayan Peak restaurant, where we dined. The Himalayan Peak offers fine Indian cuisine and excellent service. I enjoyed taking a small bit of India as well as continuing my bonding with my TALONS peers. Here is a photo:

Christal (left) and Andrea (right)
Christal (left) and Andrea (right)

After our eventful lunch, the TALONS class took a tour of the SFU campus, lead by Jamie’s sisters, Katie and Zoe. Katie led my tour, and she did an incredible job describing the SFU campus life and history. Katie walked us through the campus in such a way that educated me every time we took a stop. One event I particularly enjoyed was walking through the convocation stage and climbing the stairs to the “reflection pond”. I questioned the emotions I would feel during my undergraduate commencement.

A view of the reflection pond (featuring Emma and Eric!)
A view of the reflection pond



The final component of the day was the SFU library, named the W.A.C Bennett Library. I was not expecting to find much on Miranda Sings because of the fact that she is very recent. Nonetheless, I took a search through the library catalogue. I found no books on Miranda Sings (or Colleen Ballinger), however the library catalogue did say there were some newspaper articles available about her. This is where my search mission began. I travelled up to the sixth floor in search of at least one of the three newspaper articles offered. After half an hour of searching, I came out with no luck! I was very disappointed, however I knew that I could recover from this obstacle. I was not expecting for a breeze through this project… that would not be much fun, right?

Although I didn’t gain much from my personal eminent person study, I did learn what life is like in a university campus setting as well as some interesting facts about SFU. Although I did not find any books, I did widen my library research skills by searching for newspaper articles and helping my peers find books on their eminent person. To me, the overall theme of this trip was “connection”. Not only did I bond with my TALONS peers, I also found many relationships to past, present, and future topics of study TALONS has and hopefully will address in the near future. Thanks for taking the time to read through this detailed post, it’s time for me to keep researching and start focusing on my interview!


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Post SFU

Pre trip:

I went to SFU to find a book on the Spanish inquisition. More specifically, a book that depicts Ferdinand’s part in it. I will capture what I find through reading and a near- photographic memory.

Post trip:

I learned that other than being a great school, SFU hosts a fun population, museums, an extensive library, and the best Indian restaunt outside of India. The theme of the trip was mainly for learning and searching, but it also got me thinking about where I want to go after Glen eagle. Next is to read the book in the short term, and start looking for an expert to interview in the long term.

please comment and let me know for changes

Untill next time,


A Trip to the Library

The usually rambunctious TALONS gang turned their sights towards observation and research during our recent trip to Simon Fraser University, a trip with the broad goal to earn some insight on ourselves and our chosen eminent person. Within that goal however, I chose to focus on a few key points: to document my experiences in a way that could allow me to reflect and share with others, to gain some reading material on Frida Kahlo, and to fully immerse myself in the visual aspects of the university campus. Littered throughout this post you will find some photos of the TALONS group on the campus grounds, (eating, wandering, researching, or something of the like), which were taken with the camera on my mobile phone, one that I have been challenging myself to produce some decent results with. I am happy with the product, believing that it quite nicely conveys the grey and rainy atmosphere of the concrete city that is SFU, dotted with the brightness of autumn leaves or the obligatory Goretex rain jacket.


I mentioned earlier the notion of ‘visual immersion’ in terms of viewing and exploring the university’s grounds, and the reason for this has to do with my eminent person, Frida Kahlo. As what I would consider a master visualist, Frida had a unique, hauntingly poetic perspective of her world that flourished in her paintings and artistic works. Although some might consider some of her art tragic, I can imagine that she too was a woman of observation, of herself, her relationships, upbringing, and surroundings. Filtered through her creative yet radical mind, we can see her interpretations of these components come to life in her paintings, and my goal was to put myself in the place of the observer, as Frida might have done.

I took time throughout the day to note the architecture and landscape of SFU,  as well as how people interacted with their environment, whether it was an exhausted student napping on a study room couch, or the hooded heads of rushing crowds floating on overhead walkways. I found it interesting during lunch at an Indian restaurant, or during my urban solo spot, to find nuances in both the natural or industrial-looking parts of the campus that were reminiscent of Kahlo’s work. Looking through the artifacts of the university’s anthropology museum, I was reminded of Kahlo’s use of the traditionally bold Mexican colours and patterns in some of the First Nation and Aztec art, and I was struck by the idea that there is so much in our environment to relate ourselves to if we are simply looking for it. Frida Kahlo became a vessel of motivation in which I could experience this immersion of my surroundings as they changed throughout the day, from the museum, to campus gardens, to our restaurant, and to the library. I figure that if Frida Kahlo, someone so attuned visual stimulation, sought inspiration in relating what she saw around her and what she saw inside her, I could in a way replicate her methods of viewing and reflecting.

IMG_20141030_124200779   IMG_20141030_084943840IMG_20141030_101620264_HDR

Addressing my second goal of finding material on Ms. Kahlo, I found myself tasked with the job of locating the few relevant books I had searched online beforehand, and with seven floors and amongst the rows of meticulously organized spines, I was quite impressed when I found the Frida Kahlo a section: a collection of about six books. I decided to pick out two that appeared the most useful for research intentions, the first being an  extensive overview of her life and works. The second strayed a bit more from the general Wikipedia-type information and focussed on more interviews and psychological assessments of Frida herself, as well as personal accounts of people who knew her directly. The kind of information found in these respective books are notably different, but for the intentions of my project, I believe that they are equally important. As much as I would like to have a firm understanding of important events that took place in Frida Kahlo’s life, I am intrigued by how she functioned as a real, breathing human being, how she ticked, if you will. Often in the study of eminent topics or people such as Kahlo, it becomes easy to become wrapped up in the factual stuff, the date and time stuff, whereas my interest lies in humanizing her. If she is not a person who has flaws and idiosyncrasies, who copes with failure and all other human downfalls, how am I to relate to her? Throughout the rest of this project, I hope to build a well-rounded idea of who Frida Kahlo was, and in order do this, I will also have to dig deep into the sources that explore the emotional and psychological aspects of what made Kahlo the way she was.


The trip to SFU offered more than just a time for reflection and research, I also found myself really enjoying the company of my classmates and teachers. The rain never seemed to dampen our academic adventures, and as always, the notion of being out of the classroom  yielded enthusiastic results. After reading the introductory posts of other TALONS students, it has been interesting observing the processes of my peers as they too begin to unravel their own eminent person. Whether that meant leaving the library holding a book with a renewed purpose for the project, or by simply discussing our plans for Night of the Notables, this trip offered every person a different opportunity. At this point, I look forward to reading and hearing about how everyone is doing with their respective eminent persons, and it looks like I have some considerable reading ahead of me. Time to hit the books.





SFU Exploration

Hey everyone! So on October 30th, we, as a class, went to SFU for the day. We started with a solo spot, super cool, followed with us exploring the Museum of Archaeology & Ethnology. The museum was really interesting and I loved looking at all the aboriginal designs in the things like bentwood boxes. For lunch we went to an Indian


buffet place. The food was really good. Afterwards, we split in to two groups for tours. They were lead by Katie and Zoe Fajber, Jamie’s sisters. The tour was really interesting and it was neat to hear about different parts of the school. We ended the day at the library, where


I got a book called “Body Image: Understanding Body Dissatisfaction in Men, Women and Children.” The library it’s self was super interesting in how it was laid out and organized, as well as a little overwhelming with the sheer amount of books there.

I started the day with a plan to get a book and to bond with classmates. I also wanted to see the campus, especially because I am considering going there. I planned on taking loads of photos for both me and my blog.

Looking back, I learned a lot about universities and the opportunities they provide from both Katie and posters around the


school. I learned a little about university life from a student’s perspective as well. Overall the day was very inspiring in that it opened my eyes to a new world in a way, or at least a different perspective of the world. It gave me a look into the paradigm that is a post-secondary student as well as showed me amazing sights in the architecture and feel of the building itself. In relation to my word from the beginning of grade 9, open, it opened my eyes and mind to a new way of thinking and gave me another mindset to consider when I meet people.

For more photos, check them out in my flickr album.

New beginnings, new eminent, new reasons to procrastinate

Julie D’Aubigny: Opera Singer, Duelist, and lover of adventure – what more could I ask for in an eminent person?

Meet Madame de Maupin: a 17th- century bisexual opera star who could beat the greatest swordsmen in a duel. Born to a lower french aristocrat, she had a colorful childhood, learning to duel and ride. She was briefly engaged and met the King, but her fiance broke it off and sent her away to France, where she had a string of short affairs, including one with a murdering swordsmen, before happening to meet a young woman whom she quickly became enamored with. The woman’s parent’s decidedly did not approve and sent her to a convent. D’Aubigny promptly took the vows at the same convent and spent weeks coming up with an escape plan, before sneaking herself and her lover out and setting the convent on fire as a distraction. This affair ended months later when Julie became bored and left her lover. She escaped her trial for arson and spent the next few years travelling as an opera singer. Upon one such travel, one man made a derogatory comment of her and she instantly challenged him to a duel, which she one, stabbing him in the should. Later, in apology, she stayed with him in the hospital and became his lover instead. She died at the age of 33.

There are many more fascinating tales about her, such as how she crashed the ball of king Louis, dressed in men’s clothing and flirted shamelessly with the ladies, beat 7 angry suitors in a duel and got pardoned because the laws against dueling only applied to men. How she defeated men while singing embarrassing songs about them and when people doubted her gender, ripping open her blouse so they could “see for themselves”.

Obviously, I cannot fully understand her point of view, her being a minor french noblewoman and me, as a middle class Canadian. We both, however, share the same sense of adventure and hate of boredom. Both us are bisexual, and understand that sometimes cutting your hair or wearing the wrong clothes won’t make it easier for people to like you. We both are loud, proud, and often overzealous about things we are very passionate about. She, however, was of course an extremely talented singer and swords woman, and I don’t see myself mastering either of those particularly soon.

No matter what, I am super pumped to learn more about her and her story, and the scandalous tales that lie in between.