Socials Midterm

The first half of socials, to me, has been about asking questions. Our class has been very discussion oriented which is something I really enjoy. I love how it brings out the views and ideas of everyone in our class. Everyone has their own specific thoughts on a topic and so for my big idea I decided to focus on “Emerging Ideas and Ideologies profoundly influence societies and events” 

Big Idea

 

“Emerging Ideas and Ideologies profoundly influence societies and events”

Immediately when I this Big Idea I made a connection to our classroom. It may be small and insignificant but I remember when we were having discussions in our quads about politics. We all had our own ideas, some of which I thoroughly disagreed with and found completely wrong. I remember getting quite wound up after this discussion. After calming down a bit I felt quite foolish, how could someone’s ideas have produced such powerful emotions in me? I recognize that I overreacted quite a bit but it made me think about certain things after.

This must be the sentiment that causes war, I thought to myself. I thought about ISIS and the fight in the middle east, all of the awful things happening over there is in some way caused by different religious views. I thought about the English Civil War and how that was somewhat shaped by varying religious view (catholic, protestant.) Last of all I thought of how I felt after that discussion and made the connection. The big idea “Emerging Ideas and Ideologies profoundly influence societies and events” could apply to all of them, albeit in a smaller or larger sense.

This Big Idea also played a part in my eminent person study. An eminent person must be one who has changed the world for the better and so has profoundly influenced societies and events. Specifically, my eminent person was Ted Lindsay (if you want to learn more about him read previous blog posts) and he had an emerging idea or realization that hockey players were being treated unfairly and something must be done. After he stood up for the players and a union was formed the players were treated much better and the sport of hockey had been forever changed. You could say he had profoundly influenced society. 

How does this big idea affect me and you? Like I mentioned in my first and second paragraph most human beings have strong beliefs – whether that be religious or political or anything else for that matter. It is what makes us unique, sometimes however people can get contrasting beliefs which in drastic case can result in war.

Looking back on everything I wrote I realize I focused on the negative side of this Big Idea. I realize that many emerging ideas and ideologies that profoundly influence society and events aren’t negative. In fact most of them aren’t. Oh well, what’s done is done.

Content

The obvious choice of which Content my Big Idea ties into is “local, regional, and global conflicts.”  In my mind this is the most obvious choice considering what we are studying and the current events in the middle east. Also I think that the most interesting events in history revolve around conflict.

So far, our entire social studies curriculum has revolved around conflict. Whether that be our Columbus discussion or our mock trial of the king, even my eminent project talked about someone who resolved conflict. All things in life happen out of conflict and conflict is the main thing that, I believe, we’ve studied in socials 9 so far.

Our trial of the king has been one of the highlights of socials 9 so far. I thought it was a great way to interactively learn about the ECW. I learned more about the ECW through this then I would’ve through text books and notes. Through this I also learned about how much conflict can affect the lives of people. I thought of all of the innocent bystanders in the ECW, how their life would’ve been completely turned upside during or after the war. Then I reminded myself that these were also the men and women that had had their home essentially invaded by soldiers after the truly awful policies by James errr I mean King Charles. Which brings up my main question for this content “When/is conflict necessary?”

When/is conflict necessary?

One could say that learning about history is an effort to not repeat our mistakes made in the past. One could also say that wars have been one of the biggest mistakes of the past. But when (if at all) was war necessary?

Curricular Competencies – Stars

The three curricular competencies that I believe I have developed quite well are:

  1. Use Social Studies inquiry processes and skills to: ask questions; gather, interpret, and analyze ideas; and communicate findings and decisions
  2. Explain different perspectives on the past or present people, places, issues and events by considering prevailing norms, values, world views, and beliefs (perspective)
  3. Make reasoned ethical judgements about controversial actions in the past and present, and whether we have a responsibility to respond (ethical judgement)

1. The prime example of when this came to play in class was when we used CRAAP to find websites. (I believe this was a prequel to our ECW unit but I’m not sure.) We were charged with the task of using the internet to gather websites of which we thought fit into 5 categories. (To learn more about craap click hereWe then spent the next block analyzing our findings and narrowing down the list. We communicated in our groups on which sources we thought were the best.

2. This CC came into play on the first or second day of socials where we read an article about a murderous, evil man named Christopher Columbus. (See blog response to Christopher Columbus hereBefore reading this article I had thought, like many of my other classmates, that Christopher Columbus was actually a hero. He “discovered” America, this guy was a legend! After reading this article which had quite a different take on Columbus I realized that he was not so much of a saint. From the side of the slaughtered native americans Christoper Columbus was far from a hero. I had just looked at Columbus from a different perspective and it had opened my eyes. Our ECW unit also involved some of this.

3. My final CC was evident in many socials lessons and ties into CC #2. We used this in our Columbus talk and our mock trial of the king. I, a judge, had to make an ethical judgement about a controversial action in the past. Now, King Charles decisions aren’t as controversial as Columbus’s. He doesn’t appear heroic in the eyes of many anymore. However, I still had to make a decision which was life or death to a certain king. I think this CC is the most relevant in real life because making smart decisions can and will affect us forever.

Curricular Competencies – Wishes

The two Curricular Competencies which I feel need to be developed more are:

  1. Compare and Contrast continuities and changes for different groups during this time period (continuity and change)
  2. Assess how prevailing conditions and the actions of individuals or groups affect events, decisions and developments (cause and consequence)

1. So far, in socials, we have mainly focused on the ECW, along with a couple of other things. I haven’t had the chance to compare different cultures as we’ve mainly focused on one. I know we will be starting the french revolution soon and I’m sure we will compare it to the ECW as they are both uprisings. Then I will have a chance to Compare and Contrast continuities and changes for different groups during this time period.

2. We have touched on this CC a bit during our ECW unit with King Charles and seeing how his decision making went downhill when he knew he was losing the war. I’m looking forward to learning more about this in our french revolution unit.

General Wishes for Socials

  • More media in blog posts
  • More talking in class discussions
  • More on task during socials class

NotN Assessment 2015: My nurse dress was too long for my short body

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Eminent 2015 was, suffice to say, a crazy memorable roller coaster that will be remembered way past high school. Having been stressed about this project since November 2014, I was a lot more prepared this year than last year. Not only did I have a blast, but the latest I stayed up throughout the whole project was 10:45 (Nice time management Past Andrea). Let’s take a look back shall we?

It was the night before Eminent and I was getting ready for bed. As I glanced up at my clock. I realize it’s only 10:20. I guess managing your time really does pay off in the end. Fast forward seventeen hours and the end of the day bell rings. My friends and I look at each other before whispering “It begins”. Running around setting up chairs and learning centres, I was actually quite enjoying myself. It was still 4 o’clock and I was trying to live my last few hours as a free man happily. After finishing my learning centre set up, everyone is called for dinner in the TALONS classroom. I distinctly remember thinking “I’m not going to eat any food in case of throwing up on stage due to nerves” and I intended to stick to that plan. That is, until I saw the pizza boxes. Fast forward ten minutes and, you guessed it, I had eating my two slices and a box of fruit I brought from home. So much for that plan. Changing into my costume that consisted of a white dress with a red cross and a white undershirt, Past Andrea did not yet know she would spend a good portion of the rest of her night tripping on it as she was too short. The next hour or so was a blur. One minute I was drinking apple juice, and the next we were being called into the MPR to practice speech transitions.

Group huddle!
Group huddle!

Crowding around backstage, the tens form a group huddle to pump us up before the night. With some inspirational words and ‘TALONS’ on three, we split and get ready for the crazy ride ahead of us. Hearing the doors open and guests walk in, I remember the distinct feeling of realization hit me. This is really happening. Up until then, it had felt like I was living a dream and that soon I would wake up. With one final cheer, Connor walks through the curtains and onto the stage. Sitting backstage and hearing all the speeches before me, I could feel myself getting more nervous. Speech by speech passes by, all executed perfectly. I hear Tim’s voice ring out through the MPR and I know I’m next. Mentally preparing for the worst that can happen, time starts to slow down. Timothy walks in through the curtains and I can literally feel myself start shaking. The only thing that gets me to walk out on stage is the reassurance of Natalie who said I wouldn’t be able to see past the third row. As the curtains part and I

YES ANDREA
YES ANDREA

here ‘Awwwws’ from the crowd (thanks mom and Crystal), I step up onto stage only to realize that I COULD in fact see to the very last row (I later learned that the house lights were not turned off, cries). With my heart pounding as fast as I run to my fridge when I get home from school, I sit down at my desk and open my journal, beginning to recite my speech. The only thing keeping me going is the comfort of my mother closing her eyes and plugging her ears to not watch my speech. She was devastated when I asked her to do it, but upon further begging and fake crying, she agreed to not watch. However, during my begging I realized I had let something slip. I told her that a student informed I would not be able to see past the third row. The only thing Momma Shao didn’t know though was that it didn’t happen to be true. So low and behold, as I begin my first sentence, I witness my mom betray my trust as she pulls out a video camera. Unfortunately, there wasn’t much I could do but begin my speech. The first two sentences were shaky as I was still testing the waters. How loud would I need to speak? How much eye contact? Finding a balance I felt comfortable with, I was beginning to relax. While I was still nervous, I was actually slightly enjoying the experience. Wrapping up my speech, I look up to make eye contact with the audience when my biggest fear comes true. Making eye contact with my sister, my brain freezes on the second last sentence. Going blank, I begin to panic as seconds begin to fly by. Finally, after what felt like 27 centuries later (I was later informed it was actually only one second), my memory begins to function and I finish up my speech and walk back through the curtain.

I can’t explain the feeling of relief I felt through my entire body once I was backstage. I definitely think that the level of relief I felt is something you don’t get to experience many times in life, and I’ll definitely cherish it along with the memories.

Watching my classmate’s speeches was one of the highlights of my night. I was utterly blown away by the performances they put on and how well their speeches were written. I think my favorite speech of the night was Alyssa Turcott’s! The writing and acting really engaged me into her whole performance. Added with her costume and lovely voice, I was blown away.

Me chilling @ my learning centre
Me chilling @ my learning centre

With a final bow from the second half of speakers, we all rush to our learning centres for any last minute preparation before the guests come in. The hour and a half of learning centres was a giant blur as I engaged in conversations with alumni, parents, and fellow classmates. This year, I was incredibly proud of myself for my learning centre. If you read my last year’s NotN Assessment, you would know that I, unfortunately, lost part of my learning centre and was left with a couple of books and a trifold. This year, I was determined to go above my expectations for what I could achieve and to have less writing and more visuals. Brainstorming ideas for my learning centre wasn’t easy. If my eminent person was a nurse in the 1800s with little medical equipment, how could I somehow express my learning and growth if I could only use little supplies? After a couple days of thinking and researching, I realized that I could compare modern doctor’s offices to what Clara Barton worked in during the American Civil War. With a dotted line of tape down the

Field hospital
Field hospital

middle of my locker bay, and two signs stating ‘1861’ and ‘2015’, I began to build my learning centre. Focusing on field hospitals that Clara Barton worked in during the American Civil War, and the risks of diseases, I attempted to recreate a portion of what it looked like inside. Placing a makeshift bed to the side, I covered the floor with vials of medicine and an old lantern. With two signs briefly stating what I had recreated and basic facts of field hospitals during the civil war, I checked off visual representation and minimal text off my list. On the 2015 side of my learning centre, I decided to recreate a modern doctor’s office. An aspect I focused on in the 2015 half of my learning centre was comfort. I tried this by bringing in magazines, lollipops, toys and a carpet to put emphasis on how much has changed since 1861. My idea for this was to compare the rugged dull side of field hospitals to modern doctor’s offices that bring in unnecessary items like candy and toys for patients comfort. I believe it shows our growth in terms of supplies and treatment.

Modern doctor's office
Modern doctor’s office

Beside my table of magazines and candy was balloons of celebration and a table full of medical equipment. With a family friend who works as a full time nurse, I was able to pull some strings and bring in real medical equipment. This included a stethoscope, needles, various band aids and tensor bandages, and a nasal cannula. At the very back of my modern doctor’s office was a chair and makeshift pole which held the IV Bag. Overall, I am incredibly proud of how my learning centre turned out as it was way beyond what I imagined. It really helped to engage strangers into conversation whether it be about my eminent person or the medical field.

IV Bag
IV Bag

Thinking back on the whole night, I can’t pick out one distinct memory that comes to mind when I think of a main takeaway. While overcoming my fears of public speaking through my speech was an impactful and memorable experience, I’ll also never forget the feeling of nerves and excitement from everyone around me as we were getting ready to perform. The bonding moments I shared with my fellow classmates before the speeches to even after the curtains closed as I walked backstage will be a memory I will never forget. I think if I had to use a word to describe my 2015 NotN, I would use the word ‘whole’. Cheesy, yes, but also incredibly fitting. Mr. Jackson explained that our grade 10 speech was like a milestone we would never forget and even if we weren’t looking forward to it, we would always look back on it. While I thought this could never be true for a speech hater like myself, I can’t help but realize that Mr. J was spot on. While I was incredibly nervous in the moment, I do look back on it fondly. Even when remembering my slight mess up, I can’t help but think its all part of the process of growing. While I probably wouldn’t voluntarily present a memorized speech in front of that many people again, I definitely feel whole in the sense that I have completed a milestone.

Regarding some goals I set for myself at the beginning of the project, I can proudly say I completed all of them with joy.

  • Explore a subject I am actually interested in: Studying a nurse definitely opened my eyes to the medical field and the occupations surrounding it. While nursing may not be my ideal job, I would like to go into a subject math and sciences related.
  • Experience at least 2 interviews: Proudly checked off as I completed three interviews!
  • Manage my time acceptably and efficiently: Seeing as I went to sleep at 10:20 the night before eminent, I’m going to go out on a limb and say I managed my time adequately
  • Enjoy the first time experience of public speaking in front of a crowd: Weirdly enough, I get to check this off the list too as I actually enjoyed the experience and memories it brought.

As a wrap up to my Eminent 2015 journey, I would like to thank all of the nines, tens, and the teachers for their loving support, as well as Momma Shao. Thanks to the lovely grade nine project managers who kept the committee work going smoothly and to Ms. Mulder, Mr. Albright, and last but not least, Mr. Jackson for continuing to help put on the annual Night of the Notables. Thanks for reading!

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Andrea’s 3 Interviews!

One of the main aspects of eminent each year is the interviews you conduct. Last year, I ended up never getting one despite the numerous amounts of emails I sent out. Hearing about their own interviews from everyone else, I felt as if I had missed out on a crucial learning experience. That is why this year, one of my main goals was to find and complete two interviews. After sending out numerous emails that went unanswered and phone calls that were never returned, I ended up with 3 small but insightful interviews.

The first of my interviews was from Christine’s lovely mom, Gill McCulloch, who works as a Training Partner of the Canadian Red Cross. She offers first aid training and CPR classes to the public through her training agency, Safe + Sound First Aid Training Ltd. When I thought about interviewing Gill, I was looking for more information about the Red Cross in general rather than my eminent person as Gill doesn’t have any direct connections with Clara Barton. I asked her three different questions that I hoped would give me insight towards the Red Cross and its impacts: “What inspired you to work with the Canadian Red Cross?” “What is your job and what do you like about your job?” “What would you change about your job if you could only change one thing?” Her answers opened my eyes to what the Red Cross does and, specifically, the people who work with them. Gill’s answers provided evident proof that she loves what she does and is proud of all her services. Overall, her interview provided me with a lot more information on what the Canadian Red Cross stands for and the type of brilliant people that work with them!

What inspired you to work with the Canadian Red Cross?

When I decided to start my own first aid training company I wanted to provide training and certification that was recognized across Canada. I chose to become a Training Partner of the Canadian Red Cross and offer Red Cross first aid & CPR courses to the public. I became a Red Cross first aid instructor in 1999 and my company, Safe + Sound First Aid Training has been providing first aid and CPR classes to the public for 16 years. We are now responsible for all of the Canadian Red Cross national training contracts in the Tri-Cities area.

The Red Cross is the largest humanitarian organization in the world and National Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies exist in nearly every country. I am proud to be associated with an organization that is respected throughout the world for the work that it does, and because of its guiding principles which include humanity, impartiality, neutrality, independence and voluntary service (see below).

What is your job and what do you like about your job?

I am the owner and director of a first aid training agency called Safe + Sound First Aid Training Ltd. The thing I like most about my job is knowing that the training my company provides empowers people with the skills they need to act quickly and effectively in emergency situations in order to save lives. The thing I like the most is when one of our clients contacts me to let me know that they have given first aid to a person and in some cases saved a life using the skills they learned on one of our courses. One of my very first clients, a woman called Tracy took a Baby/Child CPR  course with me and then a few weeks later brought her newborn son home from the hospital. Her baby stopped breathing in the night and she managed to save him using the skills she had learned on our course. Another client was presented with a Red Cross rescuer award for giving first aid to an unconscious woman he found lying on the street. The woman had a serious head injury and when the paramedics arrived they told him that if he had not stopped to help the woman, she would have died. I know that my company is providing a useful service and helping to make our community safer. Stories like the ones above make me feel good about the work that I do.

What would you change about your job if you could only change one thing?

When you run your own business there is a lot of administration and paperwork to do. If I could change one thing, I would delegate the admin work to someone else so that I could spend more time researching health and safety topics, writing educational articles, speaking to kids in schools and the general public about safety issues and encouraging more people to take first aid classes. Almost anyone can learn first aid and there are few things that are more rewarding than saving a person’s life.

Fundamental Principles of the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement

Humanity

The International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement, born of a desire to bring assistance without discrimination to the wounded on the battlefield, endeavours, in its international and national capacity, to prevent and alleviate human suffering wherever it may be found. Its purpose is to protect life and health and to ensure respect for the human being. It promotes mutual understanding, friendship, cooperation and lasting peace amongst all peoples.

Impartiality

It makes no discrimination as to nationality, race, religious beliefs, class or political opinions. It endeavours to relieve the suffering of individuals, being guided solely by their needs, and to give priority to the most urgent cases of distress.

Neutrality

In order to continue to enjoy the confidence of all, the Movement may not take sides in hostilities or engage at any time in controversies of a political, racial, religious or ideological nature.

Independence

The Movement is independent. The National Societies, while auxiliaries in the humanitarian services of their governments and subject to the laws of their respective countries, must always maintain their autonomy so that they may be able at all times to act in accordance with the principles of the Movement.

Voluntary Service

It is a voluntary relief movement not prompted in any manner by desire for gain.

Unity

There can be only one Red Cross or one Red Crescent Society in any one country. It must be open to all. It must carry on its humanitarian work throughout its territory.

Universality

The International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement, in which all Societies have equal status and share equal responsibilities and duties in helping each other, is worldwide.

I decided my next interview was going to be an email interview. After web surfing and finding many biographies around Clara Barton, I ran into one relapsing problem: time gaps. Due to my eminent person living most of her life in the 19th century, most of the biographies on her were written in the mid-1900s. This meant that a majority of the authors had, unfortunately, passed away or were in their 80s-90s and had no emails. Trying to find a suitable interviewee, I sent out a couple emails to other authors who had written recent biographies on Clara Barton. Finally, after waiting a week or two, I sent out an email to Stephen Krensky, the author of the book “DK Biography: Clara Barton”. Fortunately enough for me, he was very kind and emailed me back! I asked him three questions as I knew he was a busy man: “What made you want to write a biography about Clara Barton?” “What was your main takeaway after completing the book?” “What do you think set her apart from other volunteering nurses during the American Civil War?” His short but insightful answers gave me knew knowledge on her volunteering work and leadership roles. While he didn’t personally choose to write a biography about her, Stephen Krensky did end up getting a positive takeaway from writing the book. While his answers didn’t give me any information on the Red Cross, it gave me a great deal on information on my eminent person herself, Clara Barton.

Screenshot (92)Screenshot (90)My last quick and short interview was from the Canadian Red Cross. I emailed them through their questions and inquiries email address and wasn’t expecting a reply as they are very busy. Fortunately enough for me, they were kind enough to take the time to reply. The Canadian Red Cross provided me with some great links filled with useful information regarding the Red Cross. They answered me the morning of Night of the Notables and from reading the links they sent me, I was able to answer tougher questions at my learning centre.

Screenshot (93)
Overall, I am extremely satisfied and proud of the interviews I conducted and completed this year and am very happy I got to experience interviewing for myself. The information all three of my interviews provided me with was crucial to the development of my learning centre and speech and I can’t imagine how different they would have been had I not gotten this information. Besides providing me with answers, the interviews also provided me with experience I can apply to my life in the future. Hopefully I can use my new found communication skills in a job or volunteering interviews.

As always, thanks for reading!

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Final Speech Draft!

Here is the final draft of my Eminent 2015 Speech! Thanks for reading!

August 16 1864

I see disfigured bodies everywhere. The glossed over looks on their faces, the raw wounds covering their bodies, and the punctures in their hope. No matter how many wounds I fix, how many cuts I stitch, and how many men I care for, there always seems to be more. The fortunate ones, well, they make it out alive with just an amputation. The even luckier suffer a swift end, dying as quick as the bullets tearing through their bodies.

I’m constantly surrounded by these physically and emotionally damaged innocent men and I can’t help but feel their struggles. I’m trying my best to stay strong and hopeful for them. What good would it do if I was also miserable? I sing to them, tell them stories, and comfort them, but I know I can achieve so much more, go above and beyond anything I’ve ever imagined.

We’re located hours away from the battlefield, but knowing I’m more useful out in the action makes this work seem almost petty. I know it’s dangerous, but I can run the risk. It makes no difference to anyone if I get shot or am taken prisoner.

I should be out in the front lines; helping those who face the most suffering.

It’s settled. Tonight at sundown, my drivers and I will travel to the battlefield with supplies to aid the fallen soldiers. It will be dangerous but I’m not worried for my own safety. I’m just playing my part in this war, a small price to pay compared to the sacrifices of each and every soldier who puts their lives on the line to keep our world at peace.

I must be heading off now as more soldiers are pouring in. Soon, I’ll be out of here and in the action.

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Political Cartoon (OpEd)

 

So it’s taken me a while to be able to upload my political cartoon, but here it is!

 

First, let me explain the plot of my cartoon. Sitting on the couch watching TV is an average, middle class couple. A commercial comes on trying to get people to donate to help others in third world countries get clean water. They both agree that everyone should have access to clean water. Outside the window, we see a couple aboriginal people protesting for more funding from the government so that they can have clean water. The couple sees them and yells at them as opposed to feeling sympathy.

 

Yes, donating to other countries is a good cause. That’s not what this cartoon is trying to dispute. The point of this cartoon is to show how insensitive and uneducated people can be when it comes to aboriginal issues in Canada. Problems occurring far away receive lots of attention and sympathy, while the same problems affecting Canadians go unnoticed or ignored. As well, it brings attention to the issue of lack of clean water on Canadian reserves.

 

Read this article to learn more about clean water issues on reserves: http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/clean-running-water-still-a-luxury-on-many-native-reserves-1.1081705

 

I don’t want to be like the couple on the couch. I want to be continually educated about these issues, and I want the government to start paying attention and helping fix these problems.

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    It is I, James Douglas, writing to you in the year 1856. There has been gold discovered in British Columbia! The news is spreading throughout all of the North America, and we're receiving a lot visitors - miners and the like - who are trying to find some of this gold. Now, I don't have…
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Let’s have a (political) party!

Over the past week or so in socials, we have been looking into different political parties and what their main narratives are. We categorized parties main interests into four sections: geography, identity, government, and economy. I personally studied the Green party for our projects.

The narrative that I find most compelling is government. Unfortunately, I didn’t have the chance to look too far into the different parties perspectives on this topic. I spent most of my time studying the environment and economy, but after talking to some classmates that got to research the government, I feel compelled to blog about it. If there seems to be information lacking, please know that it is because I am continually doing research and will have more fully formed opinions the longer I study the topic.

Government is where our society stems from. The laws that are passed influence our everyday actions. It can affect how we perceive our human rights, like the right to privacy. If you’ve been following the issue of bill C-51, you know that some people feel that it is effective in keeping our country safe, while others are concerned for their own individual privacy.

Depending on what the government values, people receive different opportunities. Some forms of government have it so that criminals can spend their whole life in jail with no hope of leaving. Others believe in rehabilitation and bringing them back into society. It changes what programs are offered to the general public.

Like I mentioned before, I did not have much opportunity to look into all the parties, so I feel that I can not accurately say which I agree with the most for this narrative. However, I can say that I agree with more of a left wing approach. The Conservative Party (right wing) seems to cater to the rich, and feels that the government’s job is just to keep criminals off the street. It is too old school, and I think we need something a little more forward thinking. Whether I would choose Liberals or NDP, I’m not sure.

If you can, make sure to vote in the next election!

Treated Unfairly Then. Treated Unfairly Now.

Before you start reading this post, I encourage to watch this poem that I am very fond of.

 

“Evaluate the impact of interactions between aboriginal peoples and European explorers and settlers in Canada from 1815 – 1914.” – PLO B2

Before this unit of socials began, I really didn’t have much interest in Canadian history or politics (sorry Canada). However, we have recently been focusing on the aboriginal history of Canada, and it has sparked my interest more than anything we’ve done in socials before.

As this is a topic that I haven’t looked into until recently, I have much to learn about it. My previous knowledge of aboriginal culture consisted of memories from my field trip to visit a longhouse in grade one. Throughout elementary school, they showed us artwork and architecture that belonged to the First Nations. In middle school I believe we read a couple books that had aboriginal main characters, thus we learned a bit about culture through that. So really, I only knew about the pretty side of things. They wouldn’t tell us about the murders and torture that made our country, since we were just little kids. Now that I am older I can educate myself.

In class the other day we read an excerpt from a book that talked about residential schools. I am appalled by everything I read, and have taken a step back to seriously analyze my actions and thoughts about the topic. All the cultures that were lost through these schools, all the people they dehumanized – it sickens me. Now, I still do not know too much about the topic of residential schools, so that is something that I plan on looking into.

I am very interested in learning about how our society and country treats aboriginal peoples in the modern day. Yes it is extremely important to learn about the past so that we can understand its impacts, but I want to know about right now. I’m so used to the Canada that allows me to have clean drinking water whenever I want, the Canada that keeps me safe and healthy, the Canada that caters to me. But I know that there are people living on reserves who don’t have that. I want to know why. I want to know what’s being done about it, if anything.

Through my studies of these topics I’m sure I will learn about many things: politics, finance, geography, etc. For once, this is a topic that I’m eager to dive into and uncover the (probably ugly) truths.

In Depth Post #7: The Creation of the Planets

So, on Monday night, I created Mercury, Venus, Earth and Mars. I think in the Bible, it took 6 days or so to create the Earth, but I made 4 planets, and it only took me about an hour.Of course, my planets are about the size of large buttons.

In this post, I’ll be talking about how emotions and diversions affect my conversations and progress with my mentor.

jpegEspecially in art, the following statement is particularly true: “When making choices between options that are basically identical we use our feelings to figure out which feels the best.” One example of this is when I was making decisions about how to place the buttons on my “Earth”. I had chosen two buttons; there was one for each side of the planet, as it was a 2D kind of object. I had chosen the colour blue because Earth is mostly covered by water. I think this is a pretty rational decision I made. However, I then had to decide which side of the button, (front or back) would face outwards. I ended up deciding to keep the front faces of the button facing outwards. This decision wasn’t really based on fact, as the buttons both had mostly flat back faces and were unpatterned on that side. However, I decided that I liked the patterns on the outside of the buttons (one was wood, and had lines from the wood it was cut from, and the other was plastic and had ripples) and kept them facing outwards because I thought it looked prettier, more natural and a bit irregular. So that decision was mostly based off of how the arrangement of the buttons made me feel.

Venus
Mercury
Mars
Earth
Earth

 

 

 

 

 

The criteria I use for stating feelings in the beginning of a conversation differs from situation to situation. However, it usually occurs when I already have a strong feeling or idea of how I want the art to turn out. I’m more inclined to state that I really like something rather than I don’t like something, so if I like something the first time around, I’ll state my feelings about it sooner. If I don’t like how something looks, I usually keep it around for a bit and explore other options before stating my feelings, just to give it a chance. For example, when I started creating my learning center display, I told my mentor that I would have a table at about waist height. Since my two main art pieces are hanging, I told my mentor I was struggling with finding a way to display them. I suggested that I had been thinking of hanging them off of a tri-fold display, but I wasn’t entirely sure how to do that. My mentor liked the idea of the tri-fold, because it was easy to transport and added enough height that my pieces wouldn’t be squished on the same level. After a trial and error process, we used bamboo sticks to stabilize the tri-fold and make beams to hang my art off of. In that case, I didn’t have strong feelings/ideas about the tri-fold before we started, so I stated my feelings about it later, after we had discussed the more objective pros and cons of our options. On the other hand, I had a pretty good idea of how I wanted the tri-fold to be coloured, so I stated my feelings right up front. I wanted it to fade from black in one corner to blue in the other, in radial gradient. This way, it related to both space junk and jellyfish habitat, with black for space and the deep ocean, and blue for the atmosphere of Earth and shallower ocean. I also tend to state my feelings up front when I have less time, and I certainly had less time for the painting. My mentor and I only got to the point of mixing our paint (using leftover paints from my mentor, of course) by the time I had to leave. We’re using a lot of multi-coloured scrap paint, which makes a gray base, and adding a dark, green-blue and a lighter purple-blue to get a blue/black colour. We also added silver paint to give it a bit of a shine.

I took a diversion in a conversation yesterday that is almost perfectly described in De Bono’s How to Have a Beautiful Mind. When finished with Mars, I took a moment to survey what I had left to do. Although we were still thinking about a different topic (we had been searching for materials, and came up with some stuff we didn’t think of using but looked really cool), I piped up with a provocative question: What can I do to make this wooden circle look weathered, harsh or old?

I was asking to learn about a skill or method, and also describing with both objective and subjective adjectives what message I wanted to convey. Old is a pretty objective adjective, because you can measure how old an object is. Weathered is a bit of both, because we perceive an item as weathered or new, not always depending on something we can measure, like its age. I would say harsh is a subjective adjective, because a situation that may seem harsh to one person may seem normal or pleasant to another. I think the diversion worked really well, because when I asked directly about what I could do to get to my end point, we were able to come up with some options and really quickly decide what we wanted to do. I used pumice gel to form a bumpy, rough surface on the planet, and let it dry with the Mars planet. This led to a conversation about weathered items, and in recycled art, how much you want to show of the original materials. Normally, artists try to hide the origins of their materials as much as possible, so that they can better control the message they convey with their art. However, with recycled art, the point of my project is to make people aware of the origins of my materials, and how junk items become meaningful. Thus, I show a lot more of the origins of my materials – for example, the button holes on Mars’s ice cap could have been covered, but I decided to leave them to let everyone see that yes, they are buttons. So, this diversion made my conversation a lot richer, and introduced me to new things that I otherwise wouldn’t have thought about.

Space Junk…coming soon!

I’m starting to think about writing my Artist’s statement, so keep an an eye out on my blog. I’ll post a draft and a good copy when I’m done.

Almost Over (In-Depth Post #7)

Even though this is post number 7, I will be basing the criteria off of Ms. Mulder’s post 8 blog.

So remember how last post I said I was doing a collaboration with Joanna and her cosplay? WELL I DID IT. Joanna cosplayed Loki at FanExpo, and while I’m sure she has posted many photos, let me just add one here.

Joanna Loki

I had come over a few days before to try out the makeup on her, so here’s what that looked like (aka attempt one).

joanna3

She had requested afterwards for the real thing to tone down the cheekbones a bit. Loki has amazing cheekbones, but it is important to listen to your client so I did as she requested.

Also, here is a picture of the makeup I did on my mentor during this time.

BritPinkAndBlack

The reason I like this makeup is because I was learning how to look at a picture and duplicate it. I don’t have original picture available at the moment, but my attempt was pretty close to the real thing. As you may be able to see in the picture though, I was slightly impatient and took the picture before the eyelash glue was fully dry.

Maybe you’re wondering, did she only do one makeup with her mentor these past 3-4 weeks?!?! The answer is no, I have done much more. The reason I do not have pictures of more is because I started learning a new makeup technique, which is called airbrushing. If you don’t know what airbrush makeup is, think of it as mini spray paint that you put on someone’s face. Out of my two attempts with airbrush makeup, none of these have been worthy of pictures. This is by far the most challenging part of this project that I have experienced. It takes so much care and practice to get the airbrush under control. Beauty makeup seems even harder to do with an airbrush than creative makeup, because you have to make sure everything looks seamless and feathery. Next week I plan on trying it again with a very elaborate makeup, so hopefully I can post some pictures of that later.

De Bono talks about interrupting, and when it’s acceptable. For me, I find that sometime it is helpful to follow the “interrupt at the right point and state you will elaborate later” method, because I easily forget things that I wanted to say. You don’t want to cut them off mid sentence, but if you can find a good moment you can find an appropriate time to say something. I have done this a couple times with my mentor just to connect what she was saying to a story.

De Bono also talks about attitude. One attitude that had been present with my mentor and I is an excited attitude. For example, when she found her old airbrush paints which she thought she had given away, she came in the room smiling and exclaiming how happy she was that she found them. Of course, I was super excited about this as well because it made the airbrush process much easier. Another attitude that has been present is an unsure attitude. By that I mean that it’s kind of awkward and cautious. This was mainly by me during the first few sessions because I did not know much and just wanted to do well. It involved me saying the phrase “is this alright?” quite a lot.

This is probably my last post for in-depth (maybe not if I have a super cool update to share), so thanks for reading!

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