In Depth 2k19 Blog Post #2

A little more than two weeks have gone by and quite a bit has happened. I had my first mentoring session; I met my mentor, learned how to pronounce her name, and got a sense of her teaching style. Additionally, my mentor also got a chance to grasp how much I knew about Japanese. Having someone to critique my pronunciation in a one-on-one setting is quite effective for my grasp of the oral language. Not only that, my mentor is quite straightforward and tells me directly whether I’m pronouncing a word right or wrong. Anyway, here are some of the things we discussed and went over.

  • Hiragana and the pronunciation of the syllabaries. I already learned hiragana on the side before the meeting, however, so we were able to skim over that rather quickly.
  • Common phrases and pronunciation. We went over pronouncing common useful phrases, such as asking for what something was, greetings, parting phrases, and thanking someone.
  • Vocabulary. My mentor brought flashcards with pictures associated with basic vocabulary words. I knew a few vocabulary words right off the bat, but I learned a dozen or so new vocabulary words.

Progress Report:

On the side, I have finished learning the kana (hiragana and katakana). I can’t write them quickly, but like writing in general, constantly writing in the language is better than reviewing flashcards over and over again, so only consistent practice and time will tell. My understanding of the yōon, or kana diphthongs, has been improving, but is still a work in progress. Here’s what yōon basically is.

き is pronounced ki, while や is pronounced ya. Therefore, one might assume きゃ is pronounced kiya ( two sounds, ki and ya). However, the second syllabary is a small や so きゃ is actually pronounced kya (one sound, kya). This is what yōon is. It is a bit confusing at first, but through simply writing out kana consistently, my understanding of the yōon has gotten much better.

Due to an extended break on kanji for learning the kana, I have fallen a bit behind on my kanji studies. However, I plan to ramp up the intensity so that I can still finish memorizing the writing and most common English translations of the kanji before the date listed on my contract. For immersion, I’ve managed to fit in some active immersion, giving all my attention to a Japanese show for half of an hour everyday. Partial immersion or having the language play in the background while I work on other tasks is going as usual. While I understand very little of what I actually hear, I occasionally catch words and phrases, which allows me to get a basic understanding of the context of what I hear.

How to have a Beautiful Mind:

How to Agree:

According to Edward De Bono’s How To Have a Beautiful Mind, a person could act in a way that I could strongly disagree with. However, “that person may be acting ‘logically’ within his or her ‘logic bubble'” (p. 7). Similarly, my mentor’s ideas on learning Japanese were quite different from mine. I favored more of a high input, unorthodox method of learning the language that allowed me to start learning the language in the language as soon as possible, while my mentor favored using a workbook and different episodes to teach common phrases using roumaji, the roman alphabet. However, I realized that her experiences with teaching Japanese inevitably shaped the way she thought language should be taught, creating her own “logic bubble”. Her students were predominately adults who simply wanted to know a few phrases to say in Japanese and didn’t really care about fluency in the language. I considered this and tried to find similarities in our views, and I found out that both of us agreed on speaking the language as soon as possible. This allowed me to agree with my mentor.

How to Disagree:

Mentor: Let’s work through these worksheets.

Me: Are these for hiragana?

Mentor: Yes

Me: I’ve actually already learned hiragana on the side.

Mentor: Okay. Can you write these in hiragana?

(…)

Mentor: Do you want to take these worksheets?

Me: I think I’ll be okay. From my experience, I’m finding my method of reviewing hiragana to be quite effective.

Mentor: If that’s what works for you.

Since I had already learned hiragana, I found that going over these worksheets would not be a very effective usage of our mentoring session. De Bono states that “when [I] disagree”, I should “do so politely and gently rather than rudely and aggressively” (p. 26). By not aggressively stating my opinion and presenting a logical reasoning using my personal experiences, I disagreed with my mentor in a way that didn’t negatively impact our relationship while also positively impacting our session by not wasting time.

How to Differ:

Me: You stated earlier that konichiwa meant hello for first time greetings and good afternoon.

Mentor: Yes

Me: You also told me that konbanwa is the only phrase used in the evening when greeting someone.

Mentor: Yes

Me: So if it’s your first time meeting someone, but it’s the evening, Wouldn’t I still used konichiwa because it’s my first time meeting that person?

(…)

Mentor: Yes. You would use konichiwa, not konbanwa since it’s your first time meeting that person. This is the first time someone has asked me that.

I shouldn’t differ just because I think my opinion is superior to someone else’s. However, “there are times when only one of a different set of opinions can be right” (p. 39). Such was the case in my mentoring session. Whether I thought konichiwa or konbanwa was used for first time greetings in the evening was not a matter of opinion, but a matter of fact, since only one option could be right. Therefore, in this case, I had a reason to differ to clarify what my mentor said and make sure I didn’t walk off with a misunderstanding.

Well, that’s it for this time. さよなら。

ZIP: The Final DOL

My inquiry question is “what makes an effective short horror film?”. Initially, I chose this question because I have a fascination with horror films. Ever since I was a child, I was interested in how horror films could make me feel so scared of something that had always been so familiar to me. For ZIP, I wanted to create this feeling myself and present it through a medium that I enjoyed tinkering with. Surprisingly, my question has not changed throughout the process of my inquiry. About a week ago, I considered narrowing my question to “what makes an effective short, found-footage horror film?”. However, after finding some information that made me question my decision, I decided to stick to my original question. My question stayed the same because the question is just the right size. It isn’t so broad that I am forced to narrow it down, nor is it so narrow that I need to make it broader. Due to this, I found enough information from my research to create my artifact, so there wasn’t a need for me to change my question.

Through ZIP, I expanded on multiple skills. One skill I expanded on is my researching skills. This year, I researched effectively and managed to finish my research in less than a week, a drastic difference from my research last year, which took a couple weeks. Additionally, I improved my synthesis skills. By having an inquiry which requires me to create an artifact, I forced myself into synthesizing the information on my notes into practical information that I could apply. Then, I synthesized the practical information into my actual artifact, my short horror film. Furthermore, I improved on my filming and editing skills. I took many ambitious risks in my filming, such as filming while moving for the first time, and I applied various effects while editing my film, such as turning a day scene into a night scene. As a student, I can use my researching skills for note-taking in future classes, while I can use my synthesis skills in all my future classes, whether that be incorporating literary elements into creative writing or writing a science report using information from various sources.

I learned a lot about what makes an effective short horror film, but I do not have an answer to my inquiry question. Simply put, there is not a single answer to my question. Horror is subjective, and there isn’t just one way to achieve the feeling of horror. A gory scene of splattered blood and guts can achieve the feeling of horror, but so can objects randomly moving around in a room. The effectiveness of a short horror film is not determined by the amount of gore or how superstitious your film is. Rather, the effectiveness depends on how well these elements are executed. However, there are some universally applicable short horror film tips. For a short horror film, and short films in general, keeping the film simple is very important; there is no need for lengthy takes and visual effects unless it is relevant to the plot. Additionally, maintaining a feeling of unfamiliarly and the unknown adds to the effectiveness of a short horror film. According to Hari Hara Sudhan, a film critic, “an unknown rat is scarier than a known snake” (Sudhan, 2017). Once we see something, our survival instinct towards it lowers, and we feel less afraid about it. This is the reason why monsters rarely make an appearance in the first half of a movie; it simply wouldn’t be effective for the monster to make an appearance so early. By keeping things in the unknown, the film maintains a feeling of suspense and builds up to the climax. To conclude, there is not a true answer to my question, but there is universal advice that a filmmaker could follow to increase the effectiveness of their short horror film.

My final learning artifact is a short horror film that I created myself. It demonstrates my learning by synthesizing my research into my film. By implementing my learning into an artifact, I am able to prove that what I did was more than just regurgitate information found on the web. Additionally, my artifact connects to my core competencies.

  1. Think critically, creatively, and reflectively to explore ideas within, between, and beyond texts

During my research, I thought critically, creatively, and reflectively to explore the various ideas and information I encountered. Ultimately, my task was to create a short horror film myself, so during the research process, I critiqued different ideas and explored the possibilities that came with each idea I encountered. Midway through my research, I considered the idea of creating a found-footage film. However, I discovered that many filmmakers advised using found-footage as a medium if the effect could only be accomplished through that specific point of view. After critiquing and reflecting on the idea, I finally decided that since I could achieve the same effect without using found-footage; I would not use the idea and stick to what I planned originally.

Exploration of different ideas.

Exploration of different ideas.

Exploration of found-footage idea.

Exploration of found-footage idea.

  1. Explore the relevance, accuracy, and reliability of texts

I explored the relevancy, accuracy, and reliability of texts. When it comes to anything creative in general, such as filmmaking, there’s always a level of subjectivity. Thus, in my research, I encountered both contrasting and similar ideas. For example, one source told me that if the horror movie was not achieving its effect, I should “just ratchet up the intensity” and add lots of gore (Dowd et al, 2015). Meanwhile, in another source, I was told not to “focus on the story” as “gore is not the point” (Frank, 2016). These two answers weren’t wrong; they were simply two different solutions to the same problem. Deciding which one to choose forced me to explore each of the source’s relevance, accuracy, and reliability, which involved me looking up the authors of the different articles and searching up their credentials. If the author’s information was not available, I would simply continue my research, see if similar opinions popped up, and go with the popular opinion.

https://film.avclub.com/how-to-make-a-good-horror-movie-9-lessons-from-the-gen-1798277684

https://film.avclub.com/how-to-make-a-good-horror-movie-9-lessons-from-the-gen-1798277684

https://www.funsizehorror.com/community/5-tips-for-making-a-short-film

https://www.funsizehorror.com/community/5-tips-for-making-a-short-film

  1. Use writing and design processes to plan, develop, and create engaging and meaningful texts for a variety of purposes and audiences

To create my artifact, I used a variety of writing and design processes to plan, film, and edit my short horror film. First, I brainstormed some ideas and put them on a word document.

Exploring different ideas.

Exploring different ideas.

Next, I picked one specific idea and started going into the details, such as where I wanted to film, how many actors I needed, whether I was going to have a monster, etc.

Planning the film.

Planning the film.

Then, I storyboarded my film, drawing scenes and figuring out the best angle to shoot for each scenario. Basically, I drew out my scenes in a “comic book” style with a scene in each box and a short description below.

Afterwards, I filmed my scenes, and then got right to editing. Editing was where my film really started to get developed. In the case of creative writing, one uses one’s writing to create effects, such as expanded moments, suspense, and a dramatic climax. For video editing, I can literally stretch clips to slow down movement and make expanded moments, which in turn allows me to build up suspense. I could also add a dramatic sound effect to make my climax more apparent.

By using these different writing and design processes, I planned, developed, and created an engaging and meaningful artifact.

I consulted a variety of resources for my inquiry. However, a lot of the sources gave me identical information. Here are my top five resources that gave me unique and useful information that I incorporated into my short horror film.

Science Focus

This source gave me an answer to my question from a scientific point of view. By providing me with the science of fear, I could start brainstorming ideas with information to back me up.

Fun Size Horror

A lot of other sources gave me great tips, but a lot of the tips were geared towards longer horror films, not short horror films. By giving me some tips on making a short horror film, this source gave me practical information that I could incorporate into my own film.

B&H Photo Video

Not only was the information in this source easy to digest and understand, it was also easily applicable. The video went over makeup, costuming, lighting, atmosphere, and showed me the “how” of doing things rather than just telling me “what”.

Rain Dance

This source gave me some great tips on creating the feeling of fear. It addressed some common mistakes amateur horror filmmakers made, such as overusing the jumpscare and adding too many sound effects. The trick was to keep things simple and realize that sometimes something as simple as silence could easily build up enough suspense.

Author Stream

This is a very concise source, but the information it gave was invaluable. By equipping me with the knowledge of how different transitions, such as cut and fade to black, were used and what effects they achieved, I could confidently edit my video knowing that the transitions I applied would give me my desired effect.

Initially, I thought I would not have any more questions since I thought my inquiry question was pretty straightforward. However, throughout my inquiry, I asked myself more questions than I actually answered. Horror is a surprisingly broad genre, and even within it, there are subgenres, such as psychological, slasher, found-footage, possession, urban legend, and “cat and mouse” horror films. This leads me to have questions about what makes an effective psychological short horror film or what makes an effective found-footage short horror film? As cliché as this sounds, horror is a world of possibilities; there is just so much you can do in this single genre. This motivates and excites me to research more about this genre as a whole, as well as look more into the different subgenres and find my niche.

Well. That’s it. The moment I finish typing this sentence, ZIP 2019 will be over.

In Depth 2K19 Blog Post #2: The Journey Begins

For my last year (oh my, time went by fast) of In-Depth, I would like to learn Japanese. More specifically, I have set the rather ambitious goal of being able to read, write, and speak in the language.

I have a myriad of reasons of why I want to learn Japanese. First, I want to be able to speak a language confidently other than English and Korean. Despite learning French in school for many years, I don’t feel comfortable speaking the language even for basic phrases. If all my knowledge about a  language is pedantic, and I can’t practically apply my skills, I can’t say that I really learned the language. Hence, I want to learn Japanese to gain the practical skills necessary to use the Japanese language in a way that goes beyond being able to memorize phrases on a piece of paper or being able to fill in the blanks on a Japanese grammar quiz. Additionally, I want to be able to gain an in-depth understanding of Japanese language and culture. Learning a language allows one to immerse oneself in another culture; languages make us adapt our mannerisms and characteristics to fit the language. Personally, growing up in a country with rather strong anti-Japanese sentiments, I want to know more about this culture that I was told to hate to gain a comprehensive understanding of issues from a different culture’s point of view. Finally, I have an interest in Japanese media, almost to the point of addiction. However, translated media just isn’t the same with certain details, jokes, and effects being lost in the translation process. By learning Japanese, I will evolve into a superior form, watch media without subtitles, and read the latest chapter a week earlier than the mere mortals who must rely on fan translated media.

My mentor this year is a Japanese person with a teaching certificate in Japanese from a college in Canada. I will not mention her name in this post as I have not yet asked for permission to use her name yet. She teaches Japanese to individual students while also teaching Japanese at a local community center. Our mentoring sessions will take place every two weeks, starting this following Monday. During these sessions, I will address the questions given in Ms. Mulder’s blog post while also asking lots of questions and asking for feedback on pronunciation.

Well, that’s it for now. For once, I want to be able to say, “I have no regrets,” at the end of In-Depth. Rather than setting another goal and getting disappointed at myself for not meeting it, I will do whatever it takes to meet my goal. It’s the last one, and there’s no redos. Let’s make it count.

ZIP: DOL #3

Describe the ups and downs you have encountered to date in your inquiry. Specifically, when you were frustrated or struggling in your inquiry, what did you do to address the situation?

 

To start off, let’s describe some of the ups so far. Personally, I think my research had been pretty effective. I managed to meet my goal of getting three more pages of notes, and now I feel more confident in my ability to create a short horror film than I was at the beginning of my inquiry. Additionally, I’ve been following my schedule and meeting deadlines so far. I finished my research, as stated in my schedule, and I am now moving on to brainstorming ideas and storyboarding them on paper to see how these different ideas look.

Let’s move on to the downs now. First, I’m finding it rather difficult to brainstorm ideas in fixed amounts of time dedicated specifically to ZIP. When I timebox an hour or more of time to work on ZIP and set myself a goal, such as finalizing what I want to do for ZIP, I often end up not meeting my goal. I might be able to think up of a clear idea of what I could do, but I end up doubting whether this is the idea I really want to do or if this is the idea that I really should be doing. It’s only much later, in the middle of the night (or early morning) when a light bulb switches on, and I open up my Word document, a dozen or more tabs, and start furiously typing an idea onto my Word document. In a nutshell, it feels like my creativity turns off when I most need it, and it turns on when I least need it. To address this, I’ve been being more flexible in my schedule. Rather than just setting an exact time for me to do only ZIP, I’ve been simply working on other work while thinking about ZIP in the background and fitting ZIP into time slots in my schedule.

For now, these are the main ups and downs of my research, but I predict that in the future, especially with filming and editing looming in the horizon, I will be meeting even more challenges and frustrations. However, rather than spending time worrying, I will try to take the sage advice of William Wordsworth and just begin.

ZIP: DOL#2

What is a specific source of information that you have found valuable in answering your inquiry question? How has it proved valuable? Explain.

One source of information I have found valuable in answering my inquiry question is the article found via the URL, https://www.funsizehorror.com/community/5-tips-for-making-a-short-film.

A lot of the information I found regarding my topic so far has been mostly general and repetitive, but this source was quite different. Instead of giving me the same five tips as all the other websites I researched, the article gave me practical advice that I could easily incorporate into my horror film. The fact that I can easily incorporate the advice given in the article makes it a great starting point in the creation of my short horror film and allows me to start incorporating concepts as I start thinking about ideas for my film.

Additionally, this article is very valuable since it has multiple links to other articles and videos on the website. If I’m curious about one of the five tips or just want to know more about a certain concept, I can click one of the links found in the article to find even more information. For example, when the article mentioned keeping my short horror film simple, I didn’t fully grasp what the article meant by keeping things simple, so I clicked one of the links found hyperlinked on the article to see a short horror film that used something as simple as a closet door to give the same feeling of dread found in high budget horror films. Not only did this give me great advice, the article also helped me stop overthinking about some of the aspects of the project. Due to my limited equipment and budget, which is basically nonexistent, I have been worrying about how I would make an effective horror film without the same effects of high budget films. With my newfound knowledge from this article, I have been able to stop worrying about my lack of funds. Instead, I can now focus on what I can do with my limited equipment and make the best usage of what I have from there.

 

ZIP: DOL #1

Record a journal entry of how you used one of our in-class focus blocks. What did you accomplish during this time? What did you struggle with? What might be your next step in your next focus block? Set a goal.

January 8, 2019

Yesterday, I had a day of research. After opening my word document, I immediately headed to the internet to get some information. A couple of Google searches later, I found myself with a number of articles that covered the essential components of an effective horror film.

Midway through my reading, however, I realized that I didn’t fully understand what made horror different from scary. Sure, I realized horror had a bit more of a shock element and could include gore that made the audience wince, but other than that, I didn’t fully grasp the meaning of the word “horror”. Hence, I explored the question, “What makes a horror movie, horror”, From this, I gained a new, critical insight. Horror is something people watch to see people like them experience things they would never experience themselves. While familiar things could be scary, they were seldom horrifying.

From there, I moved on towards the psychology of horror and what made things horrifying for people. I read a couple of articles and gained an understanding of my question through a scientific lens. I found it interesting to see what triggered the evolutionary feelings of horror and fear, and this unwittingly gave me some ideas for my own short horror film.

Surprisingly, I didn’t struggle with anything in particular. Unlike last year, where I had a hard time finding out where to start, this year, I jumped right into my research and tried a method that involved researching as much as possible about my question right away. The only “struggle” I can think of for the sake of this blog post would be that I didn’t know what made horror, horror, before I started my research, which made researching about effective horror films a bit difficult and made me take a few steps back and research this information.

For my next focus block, I intend to finish and post the doc of learning that I am currently typing up right now. I also intend to narrow my research a bit more now that I have some general knowledge regarding my question, and I plan to explore my inquiry from there. This goal, however, is pretty subjective, since there really isn’t a way to objectively measure this, so I will also set an objective goal. My goal is to watch at least two short horror films/trailers and take notes on what made the film horrifying for me. Additionally, I also plan to get at least three more pages of notes by the end of the day of my next focus block. Hopefully, by going at this pace, I will be able to finish my research by January 10th and begin planning the filming of my short horror film.

Notes:

zip1

ZIP Inquiry Proposal

My inquiry question for ZIP this year is “What makes an effective short horror film?”. Ever since I was a child, I was fascinated with horror films. Whether that be watching good, old horror films from the 2000’s under the covers of my blanket with the lights on and the volume turned off or reading the Wikipedia plots of horror films that I deemed too childish for an experienced horror film guru like me, I have always had an interest in horror films. Hence, when ZIP came around, I wanted to do something that involved filming, but I didn’t have a certain genre I wanted to focus on, so horror seemed like a viable and interesting genre for my film. I am motivated by my want to create something that can invoke a strong emotion like fear within my viewers. Additionally, I enjoy creating homemade films using limited equipment, and watching all the different parts of a film come together in a video editing software is a really satisfying experience for me.

Currently, my knowledge of effective horror films is quite limited; my knowledge of the different elements utilized in horror films is virtually zero. I do have skills and experience that might help me in my work however, such as my research skills, my independent learning skills, and experience creating a film for my ZIP inquiry last year. Also, I have been through a number of scary experiences, such as walking through a trail in the middle of the night or drinking spoiled milk, so I have a good idea of what something “scary” is, which is similar to horror in multiple aspects.

Realistically, I can approach some of my classmates who are familiar with filming and using a camera. Additionally, I could approach people who did a ZIP inquiry last year that is similar to mine this year in at least one aspect. Foe example, anyone who did a ZIP on making scary stories/films, short movies, or even script writing last year is a viable resource for me to go to. Likewise, anyone doing a ZIP similar to mine this year could and probably will be a valuable source of information. Also, while it might be difficult to get a hold of one of them, an alumni experienced in camerawork or an alumni who conducted a ZIP on a similar topic or aspect might be another great source.

Due to my ZIP being related to new media, such as filming, there is a plethora of resources that might be useful in helping me complete my inquiry. These resources could be anything from articles written by professional critics and directors, Reddit polls asking people what’s scary, videos on successful film making, videos on making your video more thrilling, videos on making an expanded moment on camera, professional horror films made by high budget studios, or YouTube videos of homemade scary/horror films. This influx of resources makes finding information related to my topic very easy, but narrowing down this abundance of information to get that golden nugget I need might prove to be difficult with so much information.

At the end of my inquiry, I plan to demonstrate my learning through a new media approach. After a brief (very brief) verbal introduction, I plan to show a short video that shows the highlights of my learning in two to three minutes. From my experience with ZIP last year, most people don’t want to sit and be forced to listen to me rabble on about concepts and theories , and the best learning is when you don’t realize that you are learning in the first place. Therefore, I plan on only including the major discoveries, challenges, difficulties, and the process of creating the actual horror film itself. Next, I plan to show my visitor the trailer or the actual short horror film, depending on how long the horror film ends up being. Hopefully, the combination of an audiovisual presentation embracing new media will make this presentation more interesting and engaging than the typical presentation format.

December/January

Sun Mon Tues Wed Thurs Fri Sat
 

 

21

Brainstorm ideas/write inquiry

22

Brainstorm/ think about ideas for film

23

Brainstorm/ think about ideas for film

24

Brainstorm/ think about ideas for film

25

Brainstorm/ think about ideas for film

26

Brainstorm/ think about ideas for film

27

Brainstorm/ think about ideas for film

28

Brainstorm/ think about ideas for film

29 Brainstorm/ think about ideas for film

 

30

Post proposal

31

Brainstorm/ think about ideas for film

1

Brainstorm/ think about ideas for film

2

Work on rubric

3

Work on rubric

4

Finish rubric

5

Begin preparation for research (stock up on articles, books, video links,, and films)

6

Research

7

Research

8

Research

9

Research

10

Research

11

Finish Research

12

Start drafting horror film

13

Drafting

14

Drafting

15

Drafting

16

Drafting

17

Finalize draft

18

Ask for peers to read script/feedback

19

Filming

21 Video editing 21 Video editing 22 Video editing 23 Video editing 24 Video editing 25 Finish up video and film/Start compiling resources 26 Finish presentation layout and finish putting all resources in USB drive to hand in

 

27

Sleep and catch up on homework procrastinated on

28

*PRESENT*

29

*PRESENT

30

WoE: Blog Post #2 – Style Analysis

How does Le Guin’s use of literary tools help or hinder the establishment of characters, conflicts, or setting in Chapter 1 of the novel?.

Ursula’s Le Guin’s usage of literary tools helps establish characters in Chapter 1 of the novel, The Wizard of Earthsea, in many ways. Le Guin’s story is unique in the regard that it introduces a whole new setting with new phenomena and new concepts, such as the islands of Gont and Roke. While this creates a sense of awe from the uniqueness of the setting, it also creates a bit of confusion as the reader doesn’t have as many things in the setting to relate to reality. All of this can be overwhelming for the reader, so Le Guin uses literary tools, such as foreshadowing to point the reader in the right direction. Using foreshadowing, Le Guin “spoils” that Duny, the protagonist, will become “both dragonlord and archmage”(1). This points the reader in the right direction by telling how the character will end up at the end of his development, while also leaving the reader with questions by not telling how the character will reach this development, giving the reader a sense of anticipation. Additionally, Le Guin uses figurative language, such as metaphors, to quickly establish Duny’s personality traits and upbringing at the beginning of the novel. By describing Duny as a “thriving weed”, Le Guin quickly establishes Duny’s wild upbringing and his untamed personality, something that can be easy to miss with all the details given about the setting(2). Finally, Le Guin’s usage of an expanded moment helps highlight the pivotal moment in the protagonist’s development when Duny and the goats come “charging down into the village (…) [ with Duny] weeping and bellowing”(3). At a glance, this scene doesn’t seem to have much significance, but through the expanded moment, the reader is able to see the contrasting emotions between Duny and the goats, showing how Duny’s own power leads to him being negatively impacted. To conclude, Le Guin’s usage of literary tools, such as foreshadowing, metaphors, and expanded moments, helps establish characters in Chapter 1 through clearing up areas of confusion, hinting at the main character’s development, and highlighting pivotal moments.

WOE: Blog Post #1 – Anticipation Guide

Of the statements given, the statement I disagree with the most is “light and dark are easy to identify in the world”. Unless this is a scientific question asking about the luminescence of objects, this statement is largely subjective, meaning that  the idea of what is “light” and “dark” strongly depends on whose perspective we are taking. In fact, light and dark are rather difficult to identify once it gets to a certain level. From personal experience, I know that something can be deemed both “light” and “dark”. When I was in elementary, a group of children would constantly single out an individual in a game of tag. From the teacher’s perspective, there was only “light”, a group of young children playing together. From the individual’s perspective, however,  there was only “dark”; he was being singled out and was forced to conform to the group’s atmosphere because of the idea that he must have fun too if “everyone” else was having fun. This shows that the definition of what is “light” and “dark” really depends on the individual’s perspective, not what truly is “light” and “dark, if there even is such a classification. Additionally, even if there was “light” and “dark”, there is no way of knowing which one something is since individuals will always apply their own personal bias to it. To put this into perspective, an individual from a Confucian society and an individual from a Western society will have very different definitions and standards of what is “light” and “dark” in terms of women’s rights.  This proves that what is “light” and “dark” is not universal, so differentiating between the two is not easy. Through acknowledging that “light” and “dark” don’t have one answer and by being impartial, however, we might begin to get as close as possible to what is truly “light” and “dark”.

360° Leader Blog Post

After about a week of being inculcated with John Maxwell’s ideas of a 360° leader, I have chosen six principles that I will be focusing on this year in TALONS.

Lead Up:

Principle 4: Do more than manage – lead!

Personally, I can relate to this. I tend to manage a lot more than I lead, focusing more on the tasks on hand rather than the members on my team who could solve that task. Leaders, on the other hand, think long term and are able to invest power in others. For TALONS this year, I plan to implement this principle by managing my relationships with my leadership event group members more carefully. I feel that having a positive and supporting relationship will allow me to delegate tasks to my team members, especially team members who might be younger or have less experience than me, without having to worry about it, essentially allowing me to lead rather than manage.

Principle 5: Invest in relational chemistry

By definition, this means connecting with my leader, which could be my teachers, but in broader terms, it could mean my peers in TALONS as well. Just by glancing over the questions on the leadership package, I realized that I knew little about my peers outside of TALONS. I didn’t know what they really cared about or what their outside interests were, so I would like to invest in relational chemistry to find out more about my peers. I believe that by knowing more and earning my peers’ trust, I will be able to work together with them effectively. Outside of TALONS, I want to invest in relational chemistry in cadets. As a section commander, it is my duty to give numbers, but I want to do more than what is required to make the life of my 2IC easier. By being as diligent as possible and by not lingering on past sentiments, I will be able to move on and allow my 2IC to be the best he is.

Lead Across:

Principle #5: Expand your inner circle of acquaintances

I chose this principle as from my point of view, I do not think I have an extensive network or a large inner circle of acquaintances. No one can climb Everest alone, and for one to find success, they need to learn to depend on the people around them or their acquaintances. Expanding my inner circle will allow me to depend more on other people and work more efficiently by making up for others’ weaknesses and by having others make up for my weaknesses. I plan to apply this is TALONS through the leadership and cultural events where I will try to get to know people in both grade nine and ten. I can also accomplish this by choosing a mentor I do not know. While there could be a bit of a “getting-to-know” curve at the beginning since I don’t know the person, I will be able to expand my inner circle by fostering a relationship with my mentor.

Principle #2: Put completing fellow leaders ahead of competing with them

I chose this principle because of my tendency to compete with the people around me. While I won’t go out of my way to make people fail or put them behind to lower competition, I usually don’t go out of my way to complete others either. In TALONS this year, I plan to apply this principle by focusing more on the development of the team as whole rather than focusing all my efforts on the individual portion of the team which I am responsible for. I can do this by helping around my leadership event group, especially the nines, and focus on completing them by equipping them with the skills they need to excel at what they do and giving them lots of opportunities to apply their own decision-making skills. Simply put, I will try to hold back and give them more leadership and autonomy rather than just telling them what to do for my individual benefit.

Lead Down:

Principle #2: See everyone as a “10”

I chose this principle because I tend to view people as they currently are instead of seeing them as who they can become. I think this is especially a problem when I am working with people who are younger than me or have a lower rank than me because I am unable to see what they will turn out to be. Due to my skeptical nature, I believe that this is a problem when I try to complete leaders as I cannot see them as a “10”, but only see them as a “2” or what they currently are. In TALONS this year, I want to implement this principle by giving my leadership group members, especially the grade nines, my trust. I will also see them for who they can become and recognizing their potential instead of seeing them for who they currently are.

Principle #3: Develop each committee member as a person

Although I tend to think long-term in my personal development, when it comes to developing other committee members, I tend to think short-term or the individual’s contribution to the group’s tasks in the next week or so. Due to this, I equip more than I develop, giving my committee members the tools necessary to complete the task at hand but contributing little to their personal long-term development. This year, I want to implement this principle by taking on a new long-term perspective on the development of my group members. Although there might be initial mistakes and complications at first, I believe that by not being too directive and giving my committee members space to make mistakes and learn from them, they will develop skills that will be transferable to other work and just their life in general.

By following these principles, I hope not to be a 90° leader nor a 180° leader, but a 360° leader.