in-depth post six

In-depth post six

First off, I’ve made a fairly major change to my project. Until about early April I was working on my previous script and I was struggling greatly, It felt uninspired and my outline had fairly large gaps. I didn’t really have an idea for the ending. My major issue of the last few months has been writers block, and I believe this came from writing a script that I wasn’t necessarily enjoying/ a script I hadn’t fully flushed out the idea for. It is still a script I want to finish someday, but at the moment, I don’t really have an idea for character arcs or an ending, essentially, it’s not the right script to present as an example of my skills.

I’ve always found that we find inspiration in absolutely the strangest places. Since march, I’ve been contemplating writing a different script to present for in-depth, but I was very nervous to essentially bail on my last script idea. I’d been playing around with a basic genre outline and some characters, I wanted to write a “classroom drama” and explore the intricacies and simplicities of high school, but I wasn’t sure what the plot could be. In early April we had a “hold and secure” drill and inspiration completely struck, what provides great space for comedy and character growth then a crisis? That’s when I came up with the idea for secure my new script. I’ve made unbelievable progress on it, I’m already on my second draft and I feel like I could present it as it is (although I will continue to work on it). I actually haven’t had any major obstacles with this new script, it’s been a breeze to write and script writings gone from being something frustrating that I was avoiding to something I find myself doing in every spare moment, I’ve found it amazing what finding new inspiration can do. As well I’ve found that “secure” is a better representation of my new skills then my last script as it’s given me opportunities to use writing technique.

The basic plot of “secure” is that a class of English students have their first day back from summer turned completely upside down when the school is thrown into emergency lockdown protocol. But it’s so much more then just what you see on the surface, the characters are scared for themselves and their loved ones, creating tension and in-fighting between this newly bonded group of borderline outcasts. While it is extremely tense and even frightening at times, it does have more light hearted moments of comradery and comedy.

Evidence of progress (character traits for “secure” characters)

Michal, the main character, the calm one

Age: 16

Birthday: September 17th

Pronouns: he/him

Likes:

green

Science

pasta

Dislikes:

Tacos

Yellow

Cloudy days

Pullover sweaters

 

Lydia, main character, the smart one

Birthday: December 9th

Age: 16

Pronouns: she/they

Likes:

Cats

Coffee/tea

Action movies

Strawberries

Books/reading

Dislikes:

Heat

Wasps

Comic books

 

nick, side character “the worry-er, the one who gets things done”

Age: 17

Birthday: august  29th

Pronouns: he/him

Likes:

Robotics

Marine biology

All animals, especially amphibians

pizza

Dislikes:

Small spaces

Being still for too long

Coffee

 

Carlos, side character “ the class clown”

Age: 17

Birthday: march 2nd

Pronouns: he/him

Likes:

Orange

Oceans/lakes

Christmas (will start putting up decorations in October)

Dislikes:

Pears

Math

spring

 

may “the voice of reason”

Age: 17

Birthday: april  26th

Pronouns: she/her

Likes:

Reading

Skirts

Soccer

purple

dogs

Dislikes:

Pie

Reptiles

Writing

 

The antagonist

The antagonist isn’t so much a specific character as it is a situation, the characters have been put in a lockdown, this is what is causing danger and tension.

 

Plan to present my learning

I plan to do a script reading of part of the opening scene on stage in front of the audience. Several of my classmates have agreed to help me with my script reading as I think it will be easier for the audience to see my dialogue writing skills if each character is being embodied by an actual person. I think that a script reading will demonstrate my script writing abilities the best because it is easiest to judge how good dialogue (especially comedic lines) are when there read out loud. Also, during the script reading I will be reading the stage directions out loud as well. I think this format fully showcases my ability to write a script and the writing skills I have learned.

 

In-Depth 2022 – Final Blog Post #6!

In-Depth is almost over! It’s so crazy how fast it seems to have gone this year. 

 

For my final presentation this year on In-Depth Night, I’m going to be playing a song on the drums on the stage. After lots of discussion with my dad and thinking it over myself, I’ve decided to learn and play ‘Black Hole Sun’ by Soundgarden. Using a rock beat, the song allows for a lot of variation, experimentation with fills and cool rhythmic patterns and syncopation. (As well as its been song that I’ve loved for a while now). I plan to play along to a short 90 second clip of the song, this way I can also cut to parts that I enjoy playing or feel like showcase my skills better 

A big part of the presentation for me will be me being able to stay on beat with the song as well as performing in front of a larger audience. I’ve talked with my mentor about how it can be hard sometimes to stay on beat on stage when playing because of the loud music and the pressure of simply being on stage! One way that I’m trying to combat this is just practice. I’ve practiced along with the song on headphones, on speaker and played it through the drum amp as if to simulate what it might be like. I also am practice a lot more in front of my family so that I can get used to playing in front of an audience. I hope to work my way up so that I can play in front of neighbors and friends in preparation for the performance so that I at least feel confident in myself.    

 

Progress Report  

 

This week has been practice practice practice. I’ve been going over the song in my head, playing it on the car, and on the drums a lot more in my free time. Despite the repetition, I’ve had so much fun with the song and love figuring out rhythms with my dad or learning alongside with my brother. Who knew stage fright was such a big motivator! 

I’ve gotten a large portion of the song out of the way because most of it is this strange syncopated beat with the snare, crash and bass. I’ve learned how to do a beat with the snare by hitting it while open and then closing it for the next beat almost giving it a sst sound if that makes sense. I’ve worked with my brother (because now he’s just as excited as I am) to help figure out and learn some cool fills that he’s also learning. Together we’ve watched many covers of Black Hole Sun and pointed, paused and rewinded through some pretty sick covers on Youtube.  

To show my progress these past few weeks, I’ve included a video of my playing a short section of the beginning with a fill and open-closed crash cymbal.  

[due to the volume of my electric kit, inability to play in the evening, and the camping trip over the weekend that prevented me from filming over the weekend, I haven’t been able to film this portion yet, but I will be filming and posting the video Tuesday evening!] 

in-depth post five

Progress report

In the past few weeks I have been able to work more on my script and the development of characters. I’ve come up with ideas for the next few scenes and am starting to fall into a new rhythm using this new style of writing. Luckily, I am starting to work with a new script in my drama class that is a similar style to the script I am trying to write, so I have been able to look to that script (she kills monsters, written by qui nguyen) for pointers on formatting and dialogue patterns.

I have been doing more research into writers block and how to overcome obstacles when writing, I have found great articles from other writers about how they work with writers block, so far, some tips I’ve found that are helpful to me are:

  • whenever you finish a scene, make sure that you write a few lines of the next scene. This way you’ll hopefully be thinking about what to put in the next scene more and will hopefully be more eager to go back and finish the next scene.
  • Write in a different font then you usually do, this can help give you new perspective
  • Whenever you run into an issue, read back through the last few sentences, often any plot issues only started a few sentences prior.

I have been fortunate to not run into many new frustrations, other then my mentor will be quite busy for the next few weeks, so it might be difficult to schedule our next meeting. Other then this issue, I haven’t come across many new obstacles which is giving me more time to work on old obstacles such as writers block and grammar.

 

Evidence:

Scene three

(back in lians dorm room. They’re sitting awkwardly in a circle. No one is talking) 

 

Lian: so… 

Ryan: I don’t like this. I want nothing to do with it, this feels more sketchy then an actual pyramid scheme 

Atheyllia: autumn. Explain her plan 

Autumn (pacing nervously): I don’t know all of it, I mean. Your not going to like it  

Ryan: are you involved in criminal activities? 

Autumn: not yet… technically 

Athyllia: Jesus Christ autumn! 

Autumn: hey! I haven’t done anything wrong 

Lian: (quietly) lets hear her out. 

Ryan: what is wrong with you two today! 

Autumn: we don’t have a heck of a lot of options right now Ryan 

Ryan: what does that mean 

Autumn: with one heist, we could have the unheard-of gift of financial stability straight out of collage 

Athyllia: I’m listening 

Lian: wait. What do you mean, heist? 

Autumn: oh, yeah. Surprise everybody, that’s the plan 

Ryan: that is a terrible plan!! 

Autumn: well, I wasn’t the one who came up with it! 

Ryan: no, but you’re complicit! 

Autumn: yeah, that’s true. 

Lian: autumn, when did you find out that she’s planning a heist 

autumn: yesterday, she called me after we left 

Ryan: and you never thought to tell us! 

Autumn: no! Because I knew you’d react like this! 

Ryan: you still should have told us! 

Lian: I’m going to be honest with y’all. I’m kind of down to do a heist 

Ryan: your crazy 

Autumn: she’s done this before. 

Ryan: still 

Autumn: we won’t get caught 

Ryan: you’re not just crazy. Your bad people 

Lian: Ryan, c’mon, one bad thing, then, you could afford the PHD you’ve always wanted. Maybe even an apartment. 

Ryan and athyllia, in unison: (ryan) no way! (athyllia, quietly) I’m in, lets do this  

Ryan: what! 

Athyllia: are we robbing a big brand store with a rich CEO? 

Autumn: he’s a billionaire 

Athyllie: so… we’re like robin hoods, stealing from the rich? 

Autumn: if that’s what you need to tell yourself 

Ryan: but robin hood gave to the poor! 

Lian: we’re poor 

Ryan: ok… you’ve got a point  

Autumn: so you’ll hear her out 

Ryna: ok! Ok. Fine. You wore me down. I’ll hear her out 

Autumn: wooo!! We’re gonna be rich! 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  1. What kinds of learning opportunities does the mentor provide to expose you to new learning?

My mentor offers me many resources from her university level script writing classes. Especially text book chapters from this course, this exposes me to new learning and new ways of practicing and expressing my learning. She also uses her own knowledge to offer up exercises that can strengthen my writing abilities.

  1. What kinds of learning opportunities exist to reinforce new learning?

I think that writing shorter one scene scripts could help me to use all of my new skills quickly, and it could help me be able to see the flow of a beginning, middle, climax and ending.

  1. What kinds of opportunities exist that might accelerate learning?

I think that asking people to act out scenes of my play could help me to accelerate my learning by helping me study the natural flow of dialogue, and then use this in my writing.

  1. When you get together what do you talk about?

We typically talk about new skills that I can learn, what my script is about and we often talk about films/shows/plays that use the skills I’m learning so that I can learn more about how my new skills are applied.

  1. What is going particularly well in your mentoring relationship right now?

I think we understand each other fairly well and have an effective mentor mentee relationship that allows us to get a lot of work done per meeting.

  1. What are you learning about one another?

We knew each other last year, both through in-depth and through our drama class, so I already knew a bit about her, but I think that I’m learning a lot more about the vast extent of her skills in this field. I think she is learning more about my interests and eventual life goals in a writing field.

In-Depth 2022 – Blog Post #5!

My dad enjoys using different ways of learning whether it be by preexisting media, or opportunities to learn on your own. One way that my mentor uses other media to expose to new learning is videos. When we are looking at a complicated newer drum beat or fill, we sometimes look at covers on YouTube. This helps a lot because we’re watching someone who has practiced it play it, and sometimes they’ll also explain the rhythm as well. I’m able to learn by watching someone else play other than my dad and see their take on it as well. We’ve also looked at songs on YouTube when looking for songs to play, learn and for ideas on where we want to go next. My dad also provides opportunities for both instructed and self-guided learning. All the practice sheets that you’ve seen are an example of guided learning, where I have a set plan given to me to practice. The video that you saw in the last post was an example of self-guided learning, where my dad said to find a song that I liked and experiment and play around to learn.  

 

I think that some big opportunities that reinforce new learning is performances and having others around you that also play music. One benefit of having a larger family is that there’s always someone around to listen to you play. When I play, I’ll sometimes ask my brothers or mom to listen. This helps a lot with adding that pressure when playing, and also having something to work towards, like “I’m going to practice this one song really well so that I can impress my brothers”. My brothers also play different instruments, so I also enjoy playing along with them to different songs that we like. It helps me learn how to play along with other instruments, and also practice my improvising and beats while riffing.  

 

One tool that definitely accelerates learning is one I’ve mentioned, pressure. The pressure of playing in front of your family member, playing along with your brothers, or even playing at In-Depth Night is a scary motivator. Though it’s probably not a good accelerator in learning to use all the time, it really helps with buckling down and getting through it. Another accelerator in learning is also interest or passion of course! The best opportunity to accelerate your learning is to learn about something that interests or excites you. For example, the songs that I’ve been playing recently have been some of my favorite songs like Lucy Dacus and Lizzy McAlpine. I love to get on the drums and learn a new beat so that I can play along to songs that I like, or finding songs on Spotify and YouTube that I want to learn for inspiration.  

 

When my dad and I have our mentoring sessions, we usually try to keep our conversations on topic to drumming. A lot of what we talk about is why are we doing this, how does this help with drumming, sometimes about my dad’s previous experience with drumming. I love talking about music with people, whether it be about their favourite music or trading songs that we like. Even when we’re not having a mentor session, I often find myself talking to my dad about a song that I want to try, or what songs we could do next. But we don’t always talk music and drumming during meetings. Because of how busy I am, I don’t get a lot of time to talk with my dad during the week. So when we have meetings, it sometimes nice to just talk for a little bit about our day or what else is going on.  

 

One part of the mentoring relationship that I think is going well is the mutual excitement for music and learning. My dad really enjoys learning new songs, and playing along with music as much as I do. This helps because then he kind of understands where I want to go in my learning. For example, he understands that for the In-Depth song, I want to do something challenging and exciting because he knows I love being challenged with new material. I also know that my dad likes teaching to songs that he knows sometimes, so I look for older songs that I know and that he likes too. It also helps to be with someone who wants to learn and play music just as much as you do, the energy match! 

 

I’m learning that my dad really enjoys playing music, and even what kind of songs he’s into. Before, We didn’t really talk about music together because we didn’t really have any musical interests in common. My brother Hayden had more in common because he played the drums. However when I started getting into drumming and even bass guitar last year, we were able to connect more on that level. I got to know my dad more in terms of his music taste and even just the talks that we had during meetings. In turn, my dad’s also learning about my music taste through the songs that I’ve wanted to play.  

 

Progress Report

The past few weeks in terms of In-Depth have been pretty eventful. In the first few weeks, My dad’s health problems have been pretty evident and it was difficult for him to sit and rum with me. We mostly talked about what songs I wanted to do next and what we were thinking of preparing for In-Depth Night. I did a lot of my own learning as well while talking with my dad and experimented with songs and improvising.  

I used a lot of online media for when I was learning new beats or rhythms when my dad couldn’t show me. This was a nice change of pace as it allowed me to be more creative and adventurous with my learning as well as the internet had a lot of cool rhythms that my dad didn’t even know. Despite this I think that my learning slowed down a bit as well for a bit. In no way was it my dad’s fault, more so it was my own. Without having regular meetings, and getting more involved with sports, Easter preparations and what not, I had a hard time finding time for music at all. I also was feeling a bit down and not really in the mood to sit at the drum kit.  It wasn’t until a week or so before Easter where I started to get back into more drumming, even piano and bass! I big cause for this was, like I mentioned previously, my brothers and family! Everyone as feeling better since Easter was soon, and my dad was feeling much better. I started playing along with them more, making me more excited and ready to learn more. I had so much fun riffing with them that it got me back into the swing of music.  

My dad and I have started working on In-Depth Night Preparations. We’ve been brainstorming a lot for what song I want to preform. Some big factors that we’ve considered are time length, content, and most importantly if I’d enjoy learning and playing it too. A few songs that I’ve considered are sometimes way too long and hard for me to find a good snippet to play, or I like playing them but they don’t showcase my learning very well. The reason I don’t have a video to show progress this time is because not only the slump I was in, but also the deciding on what I want to start learning. I know that I have to choose a song and can’t decide forever, but I also want to be a good song. Instead of a drumming video for today, I wanted to show you two of the songs that I wanted to try learning. One of them is Body to Flame by Lucy Dacus. My reasoning behind this one is my love for Lucy Dacus, but also that is has some super cool rhythms and fills that I want to try. The other is Wipeout by Surfaris. My dad and I listened to this one and agreed that it would be really cool to play. It has some awesome sixteenths and would be a cool challenge to try and take on. I supposed we’ll see in a month and a bit whether these end up being my final song! 

 

Body to Flame

 

Wipeout

 

In-Depth 2022 – Blog Post #4!

What has been my most difficult mentoring challenge so far?  Why? 

I think that the most difficult mentoring challenge for me so far has probably been communicating properly during our meetings. I find that during my mentor meetings, I feel the pressure to have to fill up every silence or keep the momentum going to the point where I’m overcompensating. Whether it be talking too much and not letting my mentor speak, or stumbling over my words and not making sense, it doesn’t really make for a productive conversation or meeting. The problem with this is that the more I do it, the more I get nervous about it, and speaking from experience, it’s pretty hard to learn when you’re nervously trying to keep someone occupied the entire time. I also think that the mindset that I have wherein I think it’s completely on me to keep the other person going so that they feel that their time is worth it is also a little bit harmful. I’ve learned that a mentorship is very much a partnership and not everything is up to one person. In the end, I think that it’s just a matter of calming down a bit before or even at the beginning of a meeting with small conversation (even if it is my dad, the mentoring ‘atmosphere’ of the meetings make me nervous). A lot of it is just in my head so I recognize that slowing down and taking the time to think isn’t going to hurt or disappoint anyone.  

 

What is working well? Why?

On part of the mentor meetings that I feel is working pretty well is practice sheets that we’re working on. A big concern that I had at the beginning of learning the drums was how I was supposed to practice. When my dad and I dug through my brother’s old drum sheets and found a series of exercises, they were life savers! Not only do they help me practice getting on the drums, but they also help out a lot with learning how to improvise and building your own rhythms. I also really like how they give my mentor and I a place to start off at the beginning of every meeting. A lot of the easy rhythms are basic and give us a direction to point the meeting in whether it be me needing to work on something, or an activity/song that includes a rhythm that I really enjoyed playing. Having a recurring starting point that can vary meeting to meeting is really handy for getting the conversation flowing.  

 

What could be working better?  How can you make sure this happens?

I think that we could definitely get better at having goals for each meeting that we have. I have very vague goals that I set for myself for sections of In-Depth, but even that I feel isn’t enough. By having a specific goal set for each meeting, the direction is clearer, and we have almost a set destination that we know we want to work towards. I also think that making goals with your mentor and discussing what you might want to work on or learn that day is really good because it brings both of you onto the same page. It is much easier to learn when both partners know where they are headed. Whether it be learning a new song or fill/rhythm, my goal setting could definitely be improved. To make this happen, I can easily set goals before I have my next meeting and discuss them with my mentor and my plan for goal setting. By telling my mentor, both of us can then remember it for future meetings.  

 

My Progress So Far…

There were a few challenges with meetings these past few weeks. My dad’s asthma had gotten pretty bad which caused us to have to delay a lot of our meetings. However, using the practice sheets and playing around on my own, I was able to still learn a lot even by just talking with him outside of meetings about the drums. Communication outside of meetings has really been key the past month or so because of my dad’s breathing, and I think us working together to be more talkative and transparent really helped 

This week and past Spring break has been a lot of experimenting with the drums! After learning the basic drum beat to a song and seeing how it fits with the Rocky theme, and then practicing all the smaller rhythms on the practice sheets, my mentor and I discussed just experimenting with music that I liked and playing along using what I’ve learned. At first, it was pretty strange just listening and improvising music on the spot, but I found that it was a lot of fun! During spring break, I put on a few of my favourite songs and tried playing along and making up my own fills. I thought it was the coolest thing! Below I took a video of a song that I had tried once before, and used made up fills using my practice sheet, and a sort of messy modified basic rock beat from the Rocky song before. My playing is still pretty all over the place but playing along to one of my favourite songs made me so happy I didn’t even notice.  

 

in-depth post three

Progress report.

I have started work on the actual play, which is very exciting! Over the past few weeks I’ve had a chance to start creating an outline for the play as well as getting a start on the first few scenes first draft. I’ve been doing lots of research about the differences between writing for theatre (what I’m doing for my in-depth) and writing for film, through this research I have also learned about proper dialogue formatting conventions and what details you need to have in a theatre script. My meeting with my mentor have gone quite well, so far we have discussed the differences between film and theatre, how to write an opening scene and use an opening scene as an effective tool to set the story, how to properly format a script/ what percentage of the script should be dedicated to the opening, rising action, and conclusion.

I have become slightly frustrated by a bit of writers block, getting a new project started is always difficult, especially considering how different this style of script is from what i would usually write. I’ve found that getting over the obstacle of the first scene has been the most difficult, now that I’ve gotten passed that writing the outline has gotten easier.

 

Evidence of progress

 

Scene one act one  

Lian, Ryan and athellyia sit together in a sparsely decorated dorm room, lian is sitting on the floor, the other two are on chairs. 

Lian 

Well, that’s it, I drained my bank account today, spent my last dollar on ramen of all things  

 

Ryan 

You get paid Friday, you’ve already paid your rent, if you need help buying food you can just pay us back later, your being overly dramatic 

Aethylla 

 

Ryan’s right lian, you’ll be fine, you’ve got us! 

 

Lian 

And I’m grateful of course, but I’m sick of living paycheck to paycheck, there has to be a better way, right? 

 

Ryan 

I think that’s just how collage works? If there was a way to cheat the system someone would have figured it out ages ago 

(autumn enters, holding a pizza box) 

 

Autumn 

Sorry. Traffic was a nightmare, but I brought pizza 

 

Ryan 

We all live on campus autumn 

 

Autumn 

Right. Damn, I forgot I can’t use that excuse anymore. But I still brought pizza 

 

  Aethylla 

I- 

 

Autumn 

I know, I know, your not a pizza person, I picked you up wings 

(she throws a takeout pox to Aethylla) 

 

Autumn (continued) 

Now what were you guys talking about before I got here, you looked really intense 

 

Lian 

I’m broke, like, zero dollar net worth 

 

Ryan 

So is every other collage student, you point was…? 

 

Autumn 

Not every collage student is completely broke  

 

Ryan 

Sure, some people have rich parents, but most of us are poor, you know, I think the government keeps collage students under funded so that later in life they can force us into the capitalist machine that we call- 

 

Autumn 

Some girl in my geology lecture had a Prada bag 

 

Lian  

Damn, I wish my parents were rich  

 

Aethylla  

(quietly) I’m sick of carrying a shopping bag to all my labs  

 

Autumn 

No, that’s my point, her parents are poor too, actually, her dad is dead and her mom is out of the picture, she’s basically self made, she said she’d tell me how to do it  

 

  Ryan 

That’s an MLM 

 

Autumn 

I don’t think it is  

 

  Ryan 

What’s your evidence? 

 

Autumn  

 

She’s not some forty year old trying to sell me lip gloss 

 

Lian 

At this point I say we hear her out, I need the money  

 

Ryan 

Don’t you dare join a pyramid scheme  

 

Lian 

Hey, I’m not saying we join a pyramid scheme, I’m just saying we hear autumn’s friend out  

 

Aethylla  

I’m with Ryan, what if you guys get involved with something illegal  

 

 Lian 

One could day that the prices of education that’s required to survive in modern society is illegal 

 

Ryan 

They have a point, I mean, just hearing this person out couldn’t hurt, right? But if I get pyramid scheme vibes, we leave 

 

Autumn 

I can live with that. She said I could come by her dorm room if I wanted, lets go. 

(lian, Ryan and autumn get up and exit stage. Leaving Aethylla sitting on a chair in the middle of the stage ) 

Aethylla  

Come on guys? Really?! Ughhhh. 

(she runs off after them) 

 

 

Questions about mentor

What went particularly well during your mentoring sessions?

My mentor is extremely talented and knowledgeable in this area, her ability to explain these concepts to me has been extremely helpful and I feel like I am grasping the concepts quite well

 

 

What learning challenges emerged?

I found it difficult to balance time for script writing and research with my other school work and hobbies.

What did you do to hold yourself accountable for the learning?

I set aside specific times on a weekly basis where I dedicate my time and energy to learning about script writing, since I have this time scheduled it is easier to track my progress on this project and there for hold myself accountable.

 

 

What three strategies could improve the quality of your mentoring interactions?

Firstly, I think discussing more what we plan to do in the next meeting could help, often I haven’t properly researched the questions I should be asking my mentor before our meeting. Secondly we should definitely work on planning our meeting further in advance, as our last meeting was quite spur of the moment. Third of all I might try to make and then share a more in-depth meeting schedule, so that there is a clear order of what we should be work on.

 

 

In-Depth 2022 – Blog Post #3!

What went particularly well during your mentoring sessions? 

I think that one part of the mentoring sessions that went well was the back and forth between myself and my mentor. Of course, I don’t specifically mean in the sense that we had good conversations, but more in the context of teaching. For the mentoring sessions, it isn’t just one person talking and teaching while the other person is silently listening. This helps a lot with learning because I can ask questions if I don’t understand something without abruptly interrupting the other person. It is also nice because we are both contributing to the progression of the learning, and not relying completely on one person to carry the conversation. At the same time, we also were able to find a comfortable balance between staying on topic and making small conversation about other topics as well. This way it makes for a more relaxed and comfortable/safer environment where I feel I can ask questions or be okay with making mistakes. I think that this stems from good communication during the meeting. It helps a lot that me and my dad are more familiar with each other, so communication becomes a bit easier. However, it is a bit strange at times as we don’t typically have conversations this long. Despite this, since the first meeting, I think that we’ve gotten into a really good groove of being able to teach, learn and talk about the drums during the sessions. 

 

What learning challenges emerged? 

I would say that one big learning challenge that I faced with learning the drums is practicing and balancing my learning with other aspects of my life. This is something that I think I’ve struggled with for quite a while. I found that it was difficult to remember to practice and make time for practicing amongst the other instruments, sports, extracurriculars and schoolwork that I had to do. I think that a lot of my struggles with this stem from problems surrounding time management. This became very evident when I reached third meeting and realized that I had not done much practicing during the week. This especially is a learning challenge because it prevents me from getting better and improving week to week.  

a. What did you do to hold yourself accountable for the learning? 

Once I realized that I wasn’t doing well on the practice front, I made sure to tell my mentor. One, to say sorry for not putting in the effort that they were putting in, and two, so that we could double back on what we were learning last week without starting anything too new. This was very helpful as my dad and I were able to sit down and talk a bit about how I could plan and schedule my time so that I had enough time for all my activities. We talked about setting specific days that will be my practice days and having certain times that I can practice at without my brothers playing instruments as well.  

 

What three strategies could improve the quality of your mentoring interactions? 

  1. I think that to improve the mentoring interactions, we could have a set day and time for sessions. It’s been difficult with all the new activities that I’ve been picking up in and out of school, as well as the varying times that my dad gets home from work and how tired he’s feeling during the day. We’ve been kind of fitting in time wherever we can get it, so the uncertainty of the meeting times have made the communication and planning for each one a bit last minute or rushed. By setting hard times per week, we would be able to know exactly when and be more prepared.  
  1. I think that we could have a list of goals/tasks for each meeting that we want to cover. This would be something similar to a lesson plan! I find that sometimes our meetings, although educational, jump all over the place between topics. To organize the learning and clearer communication, we could have a simple list of goals for each session that can somewhat guide our plans for the day.  
  1. I think that to improve our mentoring interactions, we could set meeting days to weekends instead of weekdays. I found that my dad, at the end of the workday, is tired, hungry and not in the best mood to sit down and teach the drums. Even on my long days when I’m at school from 7 until 5 can tire me out and then we’re both a little ready to collapse into bed! By having them on the weekend, we’ll both be refreshed and readier to learn than we would be during the week 

 

Progress Report  

This week was a bit of and adjuster for my learning. I think that despite all the different activities during the week, I was able to learn and work on a lot of different skills! 

This week, I learned a few more rhythm practices. After practicing and working on the ones from previous weeks, we learned a few more complicated and ‘free-er’ ones. These rhythms are different beats, often including a dotted note and even rests between them. I found that this really tested my ability to clap out and read musical notation as some of the rhythms were a bit complex.  

A ‘paradiddle’ was one of the newer and important parts of the learning these past few weeks. This a drumming pattern that can be done on any part of the drum set, using the patter ‘right, left, right, right, left, right, left, left’. For now we’re learning it slowly on the snare.  

I struggled a lot with holding the drum stick correctly. There is a certain way you have to hold it up the stick where you’re gripping with two points of your finger, and letting the others curl and support so that it’s loose. I kept having to go back and check my hold, and would sometimes have to stop to re-adjust it. I found that I also asked my brother for help on holding the stick and that seemed to really help.  

I was also able to start learning a song this week! We chose a song that had the simple rock beat that we learned last week, and yet still had a few new aspects that we could learn as well. The song “Eye of the Tiger” by Survivor uses a simple tock beat, as well as the iconic beginning part using a hold on the crash cymbal. In between verses and choruses and verses, they use fills that my mentor said I could try improvising as well.  

These next few weeks for homework, I’ll be working on the new rhythms and song. I also want to get better acquainted with holding the drumstick 

 

[insert video, can’t upload yet because I can only play drums during the day]

in depth post two 2022

In depth second blog post “act one, scene one”

Progress report:

In the last few weeks I’ve completed several tasks, firstly, I met with my mentor for the first time. We discussed the different types of script writing and screen writing vs. Play writing, and decided that for the sake of this project and my goals, I will be focusing more on play writing. We discussed in this meeting the key difference between the two types of script writing and how they apply to my project. As well, in the past few weeks, I have decided on the genre of play I will be writing and the theme. The genre will be a comedy, as they are an area I have an interest in writing in the future, and also I have experience acting in comedic based plays. There plot of my play will be a comedic take on a heist of sorts, this basic plot will definitely require some revisions, but at least I am starting to get some character ides on paper as well as ideas for the climax of acts one and two. Luckily, at this point in my project, I haven’t run into any obstacles, I am having a great time planning out my characters and plots.

Since my first blog post, there has been a relatively large change to my project however. In my initial learning contract, some of my personal criteria had been at least 3-4 main characters and 6+ side characters. After meeting with my mentor and reading through many of the references that she supplied me with, this quantity of characters would be impossible for the length of play I am planning to write. I am making adjustments to my personal criteria, and that is to have 1 main character that the play centers around and 2-4 side characters that will be flushed out. My mentor warned me against more characters as “even if they’re mainly there for comedic purposes, all characters need to be useful to the plot” (my mentor, Michelle). Having more than one, or possibly two main characters would not allow for all of the characters to be useful to the plot, and six side characters would be almost impossible. This is the only major change to my project at this time.

 

Evidence:

I have, of course, had to cut some characters, which is difficult however, after some work I have come to my final list, bellow are the characters and some of their likes and dislikes, their main role in the play, and their archetype.

Lian, the main character “the brains of the operation, the dreamer”

Age: 19

Pronouns: they/them

Likes:

The color blue

Reading

Sweaters

Movies

Bugs

Dislikes:

Disorganization

Spaghetti

Water color painting (accidentally drank water color painting water as a child)

 

 

 

 

 

Kelsey, the antagonist

Age: 22

Pronouns: she/her

Likes:

Sports

Bright pink

Conning people

Cats

 

Dislikes:

Rule followers

Romance

Tea

Strawberry jello

 

 

Ryan, side character “the voice of reason, the cynic”

Age: 17

Pronouns: he/him

Likes:

Robotics

Coffee

Baseball

Math

Marine biology

 

Dislikes:

Stairs

Cheese puffs

People who don’t like green apples

Pineapple on pizza

 

 

Autumn, side character “ the risk taker, the rebel”

Age: 18

Pronouns: she/her

Likes:

Halloween

Dirt bikes

Astronomy

Sunflowers

 

Dislikes:

Pumpkin spice

Pears

Chemical smells e.g. Nail polish

 

 

Aethylla “the one who doesn’t wanna be there, the innocent”

Age: 20

Pronouns: she/they

Likes:

Science

Reading

Skirts

French cuisine

 

Dislikes:

Pizza

Ducks

Flowers (pollen allergies)

 

  1. How did your mentor gain their experience/ expertise?

My mentor has gained experience by taking many creative writing and directing classes at Gleneagles, and has taken university courses in creative writing and screen/script writing.

  1. What were those experiences like for your mentor?

They really enjoyed their time working as a student director in the drama department, and have learned a lot from they’re time at university.

 

  1. What wisdom have you gained from your mentor so far?

I’ve learned a lot about the writing field at large, and how different screen writing and play writing are. I have also learned a lot about character development

  1. What have you learned so far, in terms of facilitation strategies, that might contribute to your own development as a mentor?

My mentor often checked throughout our meetings to make sure I was following everything she was saying, she also provided me with many great resources.

 

Resources

The creative writing text book used by UBC class 206 screen writing

 

 

 

In-Depth 2022 – Blog Post #2!

My mentor, my dad, was able to gain experience in both a learning/school environment and a more experience based environment. By being involved in school music, he was able to gain percussion skills in school band, jazz band, stage band and even in a jazz combo. During school and stage band, he was able to learn from a teacher in a traditional learning environment, all the basic skills and knowledge that he needed to progress. In a more advanced jazz band and combo, he learned different ways/styles he could apply the skills he acquired while also working more closely with other people. After being in a school environment, he progressed his learning and fine tuned his skills in a band with other people outside of school and as an adult.  

Throughout his music experience in high school, my dad really enjoyed improving his skills. The advantage of being in music programs in school was that he was with a lot of likeminded people and had access to resources and opportunities to showcase and build on his skills. He says that he loved working on his drumming and seeing his progress in the accomplishments he shared with other members in his bands. To this day he remembers going to Ottawa with his school jazz group and winning their category when he was in high school. On the other hand, he sees the experience he’s had with his band now a lot more of a social, fun and relaxed way to  develop his expertise. He really enjoys the songs that they played, and the performances that they had gave him goals and something to work towards.  

One bit of wisdom that I gained from my mentor was the role of the drums and that in relation to other instruments. He talked a lot about how the drums lead a band in music, similar to the bass guitar, and how it includes a lot more improvisation than one might think. He shared that learning how to drum starts with very basic skills, and that working up to more advanced sounding beats takes time. He believed in letting the learner choose and direct the learning so that it was more enjoyable for them by asking what I wanted to learn next and letting me choose songs that I want to play. It was also very cool to see how he taught by stacking skills on top of one another so that I could learn each as a whole and better understand them all in unison.  

One facilitation strategy that my dad used was giving the mentee a structured choice. This way when the mentor is delegating, the person still has a straightforward path that they’re following, but is able to make it more personalized to them. Related to this, he also gave slight homework or practice to work on. Having sheets with practice problems or rhythms was really helpful in improving until the next meeting. He also didn’t just sit at the drum kit and explain the drums to me, he let me sit down and learn as we talked. I found this to be very helpful because I was engaged and able to learn by doing. One aspect that he set before the meeting even began was having hard start times and schedules to have our meetings. This way we were able to both be prepared and in a learning mindset before starting the session. One last important strategy that I noticed he used was making sure I was following along by making time for questions. This was extremely helpful as falling behind is the worst feeling especially if the mentor is already two steps ahead.  

 

My Progress So Far…

This week I learned a lot of cool and interesting new skills! After talking with my dad a bit on the goals of the project and what we both wanted to get out of the project, we talked a bit about the drums as an instrument and its role in music. He taught me how to hold a drumstick and that the hold you want on it has to be loose yet controlled so that you’re able to hit the drums with force. I also learned about the different ways you could hit the drums, I didn’t even know there were different ones! He told me about the different ‘beats’ that you can use when playing, for example the simple rock beat that I learned. I found that I had to ask questions to understand what was going on or how to do a skill, for instance when I was learning how to play the rock beat. I found that it was easier to learn by stacking the different drums on top of each other. I would play the 16th notes on the snare first, then the bass on the 1 and (a) 3 beats, then the snare on 2 and 4. We dug through my brothers old beginner sheet music and found a sheet that I could practice on for the week. The sheet had the different and simple beats (quarter notes, eighths, triplets and sixteenths), and all the different stickings to practice (Right Hand, Left Hand etc.). After that he also told me to choose a song for next week that included the simple rock beat that we could work on next time.

 

Image of the practice sheet 

Video of the Basic Drum Beat. Uses snare, high hat and bass drum.

In Depth 2022 – Blog Post #1!

Hello! 

This blog post is the first of many more to come surrounding my In-Depth Project this year! Follow me as I take you along on the five-month long journey of my In-Depth. 

 

What is In-Depth?

 In Depth is a five-month long project run by TALONS, centered around learning a skill of the learners’ choice. Throughout the duration of the project, they will regularly meet with a mentor/expert on their skill and increase their knowledge and skill on their subject. Near the end of the project, each person will create a final showing of their learning to share with the rest of the class on In-Depth night.  

 What Am I Doing for In Depth?

For In Depth 2022, I will be learning the drums! My goal this year is to really get an understanding of the drums as an instrument and learn how to play and create my own lines and rhythms.  

I will be starting my In Depth with first learning a bit about the instrument itself. What are the pieces of a drum kit called? What is its history? With this baseline knowledge, I’ll be able to have a good foundation for learning with my mentor. I then want to start learning a few small and easy rhythms from my mentor. Another small skill or piece of information that I want to ask my mentor about in the beginning is also how to practice! Anyone can give me a piano or bass guitar and know to practice scales or arpeggios, but with a drum I am absolutely lost. I think a good place to start would be to learn a few practice exercises, this way I have a very clear outline in my head of what to do when I sit down at a drum set. I need to be able to know how to sit at a drum set, how to hold the sticks and how to move around and with it. From there I can more difficult rhythms and fills and challenge myself with harder songs or exercises. Near the end of my project, I plan to choose a few songs that I will prepare for my final show of learning. I then want to piece this and a few clips of me drumming to show my progress from the beginning to the very end.  

(a copy of the brief timeline for my project)

Contact and find mentor (paperwork) 

Learn history behind the drums, research based learning 

Week 1 
Contact and find mentor (paperwork) 

Learn history behind the drums, research based learning 

Try small easy rhythms on the drum set 

Week 2 
Contact and find mentor (paperwork) 

Learn history behind the drums, research based learning 

Try small easy rhythms on the drum set 

First meeting with mentor 

Week 3 
Contact and find mentor (paperwork) 

Try small easy rhythms on the drum set 

Work on practice exercises 

Learn posture and proper technique 

Week 4 
Meeting with mentor 

Work on practice exercises 

Learn harder rhythms and fills 

Learn posture and proper technique 

Week 5 
Learn harder rhythms and fills  Week 6 
Meeting with mentor 

Learn harder rhythms and fills 

Week 7 
Practice, Practice, Practice, learn new rhythms and fills  Week 8 
Meeting with mentor 

Practice, Practice, Practice, learn new rhythms and fills 

Week 9 
Practice, Practice, Practice, learn new rhythms and fills  Week 10 
Meeting with mentor 

Practice, Practice, Practice, learn new rhythms and fills 

Week 11 
Practice, Practice, Practice, learn new rhythms and fills  Week 12 
Meeting with mentor 

Practice, Practice, Practice, learn new rhythms and fills 

Choose final songs 

Week 13 
Practice, Practice, Practice, learn new rhythms and fills 

Practice final songs 

Week 14 
Meeting with mentor 

Practice, Practice, Practice, learn new rhythms and fills 

Practice final songs 

Week 15 
Practice, Practice, Practice, learn new rhythms and fills 

Practice final songs 

Week 16 
Meeting with mentor  

Continue practicing my chosen songs, try a few new concepts and rhythms myself 

Week 17 
Continue practicing my chosen songs, try a few new concepts and rhythms myself  Week 18 
Meeting with mentor  

Continue practicing my chosen songs, try a few new concepts and rhythms myself 

Week 19 
Continue practicing my chosen songs, try a few new concepts and rhythms myself  Week 20 

Why?

This year, I decided that drumming was the skill I wanted to learn. Although I’ve learned piano and even bass last year, I have never played an instrument quite like the drums. Percussion instruments like the drums are a completely new world of playing music to me, and that’s so exciting! The fact that someone can put their emotions and feelings into hitting a few drums to create rhythms that are universal to everyone is so cool. Drumming was always something that my cousins or brother played, so I’ve grown up with the feeling of the thump of bass drum in my ear, but I’ve never played before. The farthest I’ve ever gotten was probably a few random and offbeat hits of the bass and snare along to a song that I was into at the time, even then, I’ve never stuck with it simply because I didn’t know how to. The drums are a powerful instrument! Playing an instrument so energetically and powerfully seems like such a blast! 

image of my brother/dad’s drum kit at home that I will practice on

 

My Mentor

My mentor this year is my dad, Rodney! My dad has played the drums for a very long time, throughout high school up to the present day. He played casually after high school, and as an adult in a band with his friends called ‘Just for Tonight’ who he’s preformed with a number of times. With experience in concert music, Jazz and rock and roll, he’s been able to explore different styles and types of drumming. We have an electric drum set at home, so this will make it easier to learn and play together.  

 

Resources

My Mentor won’t be my only resource for information this year. I also plan to use a lot of online websites and videos such as the ones listed below to learn a few skills. I am also very lucky to have a few leftover music sheets from my brother when he was beginning to learn the drums that he will let me use.  

Parts of a drum set

Famous female drummers

 

Progress So Far

I have done research already on the drums and its history already. I learned the parts of a drum by looking online and talking to my mentor. I was also able to watch a documentary with my dad on the drums and a bit of its history, background and famous players. I had my first meeting with my mentor to talk about dates for meetings and what the next few months or weeks of learning will look like.  

drum set labelled

 

Thanks for stopping by and I’ll see you in the nest post. Until next time!