Independent Novel Study

Frankenstein by Mary Shelley

For my independent novel I have chosen Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein. It was written in 1817 when Mary was 18 years old, was anonymously published in 1818, was republished with Mary’s name on it in 1823, and is 209 pages long.


We start and end with a series of letters written by Captain Robert Walton addressed to his sister. The middle is Victor Frankenstein telling the story of his past, why he made his monster, and how he has vowed to find it and get his revenge.

In the first 70 pages in the book, the actions that impressed me was less from the character himself but more who he was talking about. Frankenstein speaks of the noble actions his father did before he was born.  

The action that impressed me the most was how even though his father had a more powerful position with the town, he still went out of his way to help a friend in need. Through that, it reveals how loyal, and determined he was. We see all this when “He lost no time in endeavouring to seek him out,” as “it was ten months before my father discovered his abode.” (pg. 32). He did not give up on his friend; he kept looking for him for months on end. He was determined to find his friend and he would not give up. He wants so badly to find his friend yet as the months go on he fears that he would not find him and that something bad has happened. He faces many external conflicts such as weather and terrain that is challenging to work with when searching for his friend. Being externally exhausted can lead to negative internal thoughts such as giving up and going home. 

I think the development of the character can be realistic but is also not. To explain my statement, I think it is realistic because there are people with higher positions that will go great lengths to help those who don’t ask for it. I also don’t think it is realistic because, especially now a days, people will try to help others, but they won’t go to the full extent. If there are too many challenges or the task takes too long to complete most people end up giving up. Most people also wouldn’t help people without being asked, now I say most because there are still people that do but it doesn’t happen often. I agree with how the character has responded and acted. I think we should emulate this character because he has been nothing but thoughtful, persistent, and caring throughout not only this scene but all the pages.  

Relating this back to TALONS, I can relate to this character on both the external and the internal conflicts. When hiking in TALONS on retreats or adventure trips, the terrain and weather can be highly unpredictable. Often, we can predict what it will most likely be like but sometimes nature can throw us curve balls. When the unexpected happens, we often take the surprise negatively. The rain, cold, and exhaustion get us wanting to turn back and give up on our trip. I know personally when the weather is rough, and I am tired, I am often wishing I was back home in my bed. If I was in his situation I don’t think I would be able to take the same actions as he did. If I knew a friend was in need I, first, most likely wouldn’t take any actions until my friend had asked for help, and secondly would not spend that much time searching for someone who may or may not want to be found. The approach I would take is wait until I see the problem or until I am asked to help, until then I would not do anything. If my help is needed I would find the quickest way to help, I would not spend ten months trying to fix their problem. Maybe in life or death situations but other than that. Even though I love all my friends dearly, I do not think I would be able to have the determination or commitment to spend that much time trying to fix a problem that is not my own and may or may not even be fixable.

Star Wars: Through Critical Lenses

George Lucas’s Star Wars: A New Hope 

While watching this film, there are many lenses that we could explore and look through. There are five lenses we can look through Social Power, Gender, Racial, Character/ Psychological, and Reader Response. When I view the film through the lenses, the one that I think is important to better understanding of the film is racial because most people see the easier and more abrupt flaws in this film through the social power and the gender lenses but while everyone is focusing on what can be seen pointed out in the movie, there are more silent flaws that aren’t pointed out. This lens helped me understand what opportunities people of different races got back in the late 1970s. 

The racial lens helped me see the following three things that I didn’t notice before. In the movie we see many different characters, but they were all either aliens, droids, humanoids, or humans. There were many different types of aliens, droids, and humanoids. When mankind is being displayed though, there is only one race. Caucasians are the only race of humans in the whole movie, there are no Asians, African Americans, or Latinos.There is not a single person in the movie that is of another race. The main antagonist, Darth Vader, is played on screen by David Prowse but the voice behind the mask is James Earl Jones an African American. This shows how they don’t use African American people on screen but will use then for other parts of the film. I do also have to consider the fact that this was made in 1977 where racial integration was still new so in some ways there is a bit more understanding to the lack of diversity. That does not dismiss the fact that they didn’t have James Earl Jones voice AND play Darth Vader. 

Therefore, I see that this film might be about how not only is the higher class in power, but the higher class is usually made up of the dominant race. In this movie race could also mean species, such as how the humans have more power over the aliens. In other words, Star Wars is a film that represents the fact that the dominant race will always have power over the minorities.  

Canadian Confederation Role Play

Final Address as John A. Macdonald

My fellow colonies, thank you for everyone’s input on the matter and we have been listening contently to what each and every one of you has said. On behalf of Canada West, our final thoughts on the matter are we think that joining the confederation of our British North American Colonies would be best for the nation. Based on what my fellow Canada West members have stated, confederating would be best for the nation because it would keep us safe from the Americans if they do decide to try and invade again, and frankly I myself am quite afraid of that happening. We could make a united military that could protect the boarder that separates us from the Americans. It would advance how we trade and the construction of the railway. By uniting our colonies, we could unite the railways, and by uniting the railways we could transport our good much faster.  

With this confederation we would also like to propose the idea of a double majority… uh yes right, a double majority government. Double majority would give the French the power they would not have if in representation by population. It will also ensure that everyone’s needs get accounted for. Also we would like to request the capital of Canada be in Canada West.

We have heard all of your inputs for the disadvantages of confederating, but here is a plus for you; if we confederate, it will cost you next to nothing. Since Canada West has the biggest population, it is also assumed that we have the most money, which we do, so we would provide the money and pay for almost everything needed. To show and convince you how important this is for our nation, Canada West wouldn’t even profit from any of it, all the profits go to you so you can thrive. This will balance out how everyone lives.

To conclude, Canada West believes confederation would be best for our nation. 

TED Talk

How should the rules of rugby be altered so the youth concussion rate decreases?

Video Link:


Independent Investigation #2 Inquiry

To what extent did the mass amount loyalists from America moving to the Maritimes have an impact on the British winning the war of 1812? 

Journal of Charlotte Secord 

April 8, 1782 

We have to flee, the Americans are executing all of the loyalists. Mother says we are going North where England is still in power. We will be safest there, there is no where we can go here anymore. The Americans are attacking us Loyalists. There are over 30,000 of us fleeing, the revolution has cost us our home.  

September 15, 1784  

We have just arrived at our new home, we are in a land they call Nova Scotia. We have also been given a new names, we are now the United Empire Loyalists, informally we are called the “King’s Loyal Americans”. Those of us who ran from the Americans aren’t the only ones who are here, there are also many black slaves here seeking refuge. There have been so many battles between the Americans and the Loyalists, father says he may have to join the army so we can keep this land. I don’t want to run away again. 

June 24, 1812 

America has officially declared war on Great Britain. James Madison had signed the declaration six days ago, I just received the news. For the past 32 years there have been constant battles between us and the Americans. Sadly we are going to be the most impacted, America is trying to take over our land and claim it as their own. We are in the most danger because we do not know when or where the Americans will strike next. I remember as a little girl I was called traitor by other Americans for staying loyal to England, we could be targeted for that. Most of, what is now Upper Canada, has mostly been settled by us United Empire Loyalists.  

June 11, 1813 

I have just received word that my father has been wounded at the Battle of Queenston Heights. Luckily my mother, Laura Secord, had warned the British army of the upcoming attack. Mother’s warning lead to the capturing of 600 American soldiers. The Americans thought it would be easy to take our land, President Thomas Jefferson even said that the conquest of Canada was “a matter of marching”. What he doesn’t know is a lot of us United Empire Loyalists served as fencibles, in the Provincial Marine, as provincial regulars, or with the sedentary militia. With the defence we have for Canada, I can see this war being a victory for us Loyalists. 

August 2, 1815 

What a joyous day it is, the war is over. The United States of America and Britain have signed The Treaty of Peace. By terms of the treaty, all conquered territory is to be returned. The thought of us being finally free is like a dream, the Americans can’t control us anymore. Moving here and working for this freedom was hard but I now see what we have done for our country. There were many soldiers lost in battle, but there would have been a lot more if it wasn’t for our help. We had many loyalists fight in the battles, including my father. My mother was a spy on the inside and I followed in her footsteps. My days as being a spy for Canada were quite enjoyable but they came with many risks, I am glad to not have to worry getting caught. I can able to live freely now. I truly believe that the loyalists, like myself, that moved to Canada, had a huge impact on the outcome of this war. I hope we get some credit in the history books, I think we deserve it. 


Charlotte Secord 

Historical Significance 

I think this is a important and significant question to ask about the past because in a lot of the main sources that we were given about the war of 1812 told a lot about how the British and how the Canadians who were already there helped in the war, but when talking about the American Loyalists all that was mentioned was that they moved to Upper Canada and that’s it. We don’t have any evidence if Charlotte Secord was a spy, but her mother did provide the British armies with information from the Americans, and her father did fight in the war. Since there was so many Loyalists coming up to live in Canada I thought they would have some impact on the war. Many of the Loyalists that came up from America had war knowledge with them but no one seemed to mention that when talking about the main people who fought in the war. 

Cause and Consequence 

My researched events happen the way they happened because when the Americans drove the Loyalists out, they didn’t know how much war knowledge was going with them, and the consequence was the Americans losing. A number of American Loyalists served as a soldier in one way or another, the Americans disregarded that though and sent them all away. The Americans pretty much gave Canada an army to protect themselves with, and army of about 30,000 too. Their disregard for the fact that many Loyalists having war knowledge lead to them losing the war. 

Cause and Consequence 

My researched events happen the way they happened because when the Americans drove the Loyalists out, they didn’t know how much war knowledge was going with them, and the consequence was the Americans losing. A number of American Loyalists served as a soldier in one way or another, the Americans disregarded that though and sent them all away. The Americans pretty much gave Canada an army to protect themselves with, and army of about 30,000 too. Their disregard for the fact that many Loyalists having war knowledge lead to them losing the war. 

Social Studies Inquiry Processes 

The conclusion I can reach about my question based on the information I conducted is even though they weren’t mentioned much in the textbooks, or videos we received as sources, the American Loyalist immigrants had a huge impact on the outcome of the war of 1812. Not only did they fight in the war, they fought with their minds as well, using past knowledge and trickery to move forward and win the war. The American Loyalists worked just as hard as the Canadians did for their land, maybe even harder. The American Loyalists provided knowledgeable soldiers and spies which helped win Canada the war. 

Ecological Footprint

In total, my ecological footprint was 7.08 hectares. When I compared with my peers their footprint was within one hectare of mine, there were only a couple of people that I asked where they had less then me. Mia had 6.7 hectares and she was one of the few that had less then me. Other people that I asked were Rowan who had 9.25 hectares and Dylan who had 9.7 hectares. I would say my footprint size is the average size or even on the smaller side of our classes footprint sizes.

The Plan:

The ten actions that are currently increasing the size of my footprint are:

  1. Having my showers be longer then 10 minutes
  2. Buying/receiving brand new clothes
  3. Having my room to person ratio 3:1
  4. Spending most of my travelling time with just family in my car
  5. Spending over an hour using an electronic device
  6. Using a car with four doors for most of my travels
  7. My family uses two cars
  8. None of the food I eat is organic
  9. Eating beef twice a week
  10. Eating non-free range eggs

The five actions that I will take to try and reduce the size of my footprint are:

  1. I am trying to cut my showers done to be less then 10 minutes. I believe the thing that is taking up the most time in my showers are washing and rinsing my long thick hair, but I am cutting about a foot of my hair off so I believe that will cut my time down. I chose this because I have always taken longer showers and I have been trying on cutting down y time for a while because it will save me a lot of water.
  2. I absolutely love going shopping and buying brand new clothes but after I do I throw away a lot of my old clothes and the cycle continuously happens every time I buy new clothes. I have been trying to find old clothes from around my house and make them into new clothes. I have been doing this for a while and it has helped me reuse a lot of old clothes that I would have thrown away. By trying to cut down on buying new clothes and reuse old clothes, this will save me money and help me to throw less clothes away.
  3. The travelling with just of my family in my car happens a lot throughout my week because I live quite a ways away I have my parents drive me to school 3 times a week. I bus home everyday after school, and I bus to school twice a week. I am trying to get to and from school independently as much as I can. Doing this will cut down the pollution that goes into the air, and it will also save my family money in gas money.
  4. Everyone in my family is very active and we all have places where we need to be, in many cases we have to have two people in two different places at the same time. We often need to use two cars to have this done, having me get myself to the places will help to make it so there always isn’t an absolute need for the use of two cars.
  5. My family doesn’t usually buy organic foods for most of the year. During the spring we do plant our own food and in the summer it is usually ready to harvest, so we do eat that but only when it is harvesting season. That is our organics, but we could eat more organics throughout the year.

To cut my showers down, instead of doing each action individually, I could combine steps. Buying less clothes and reusing old clothes will help me cut down on my shopping. Using public transit and carpooling will help me with travelling with my family only and with using two cars. Buying organic foods throughout the year and growing my own food will help with not eating organics.

The Reflection

Cutting down my showers was easier because I started combining steps and that cut out about 5 minutes of my shower. Over the time of when I started, instead of buying new clothes, I made three shirts out of old clothes and a pair ripped jeans. I have been using public transit much more then before and it has been helping not use personal vehicles for single uses.

The one change I struggled doing was eating more organic foods. Organic food are usually more expensive so my family didn’t get the chance to buy any organic foods.

Some of the obstacles that I encountered are the fact that these actions that I do are habits by now so it was hard to break my habits. The main obstacles that were most prominent was not having my long showers and buying the organic foods. The obstacle with not eating organic food is more because of cost of organic foods and the fact that my family wouldn’t buy organic food just for me.

The actions that I plan to take in the future are trying to continuously cut down my shower time, continue to take public transit, try to eat more organics, and keep in mind everything that I could be doing to lessen my ecological footprint. there are no specific steps I can take because steps are when I take the step then it will fix my problem, but all of these actions have to be continuous. The small steps I take such as continuously watching my shower time and continue to take public transit will help me start remembering good habits.

DOL – Hamilton; Who Lives, Who Dies, Who Tells Your Story

This song is set after Hamilton dies and it acts as the epilogue. All the people who have ever known Hamilton are there. They explain how Hamilton had helped them and their country. When they ask who will tell their story, Eliza steps in tells us what happens after Hamilton is gone. She lives another 50 years. In those 50 years, she interviews every soldier that fought by Hamilton’s side and tells their story, she reads every piece of writing he wrote, and through it all she had Angelica to lean on. After Angelica dies, she is buried near Hamilton in Trinity Church. Eliza still goes on, raising money for the Washington Monument in D.C. and tells Washington’s story, and she speaks against slavery. The thing she is most proud of is her orphanage, she established the first private orphanage in New York City. She raised hundreds of children and watched them grow up, in each one of them she see Alexander in their eyes. She always wonders what Hamilton could have and would have done if he only had more and she always questions if she has done enough in the amount of time she got. 
-George Washington: Ghost of Washington tells Hamilton, “Let me tell you what I wish I’d known” and Eliza, “She tells my story” 

-Aaron Burr: Introduced the presidents 

-Thomas Jefferson: Was hesitant to admit Hamilton’s work was amazing, “I’ll give him this: his financial system is a / Work of genius. I couldn’t undo it if I tried / And I tried” 

-James Madison: Admits “He took our country from bankruptcy to prosperity / I hate to admit it but he doesn’t get enough credit / For all the credit he gave us” 

-Angelica Schuyler: Thinks it unfair how “Every other founding father’s story gets told / Every other founding father gets to grow old” 

-Eliza Schuyler: Explains everything she did after she lost Hamilton she “stops wasting time on tears” 

-Marquis de Lafayette, Hercules Mulligan, and John Laurens: Eliza, ‘she tells our story” 

My song is more of a plot based song that wraps up the play, so it doesn’t really connect to the revolution as a whole. The most historical event that is mentioned in the song is when Eliza tells us about how she established the first private orphanage in New York City. This event stands out the most to be and I believe it is the most historical because Hamilton was an orphan and he had no where to go from a young age, and even though he went out as a great with many people by his side, he started with no one. Establishing this orphanage has Eliza thinking about Hamilton’s past and how she didn’t want other children to end up with the same fate. If there was an orphanage that Hamilton could’ve gone to when he was young, he may not have done the things he did, but he would’ve had someone to care for him, such as Eliza did for hundreds of children. 

Page Break 

The big idea that I chose for my song is Collective identity is constructed and can change over time. I chose this one because throughout the play, there were many people against Hamilton, mainly Thomas Jefferson and James Madison. By the end of the play though, through this final song they both admit that what Hamilton did for their country was unforgettable and unrepayable. They both hate admitting this and they wish they gave him more credit. 

What I find particularly interesting about this whole song is the fact that Eliza is going on about all these things she does but then still asks herself if there was anything else she could’ve done. The part I find particularly interesting is when Eliza asks “When my time is up / Have I done enough?” I find this part particularly interested because I feel this is a question we should always ask ourselves when our time is up. Our time can be up for anything, such as a project or a sports season. After either of those we could always ask ourselves if we could have done more. This is also a question I ask myself a lot when working 

”Who lives / Who dies / Who tells your story?” – Asks the question of, when we are gone, who will remember us and who will share our story with other people so we are never forgotten. 

“I ask myself, ‘What would you do if you had more-’ / Time” – In the following years after losing a loved one, their friends and family will think of all the possibilities they could have used and how they had so much more they should have and could have done. 

“When my time is up / Have I done enough?” – A question that we have all asked before, it makes us think back and think we could have done more. When we think about if we have done enough there are always thing that we regret not doing.

Final In Depth Post – It’s So Close!

This is it, my last in depth post for this year, the time has flown by so fast. I have learned so much from my classes and my mentor, I just finished up my classes last week and I am super excited to present what I have learned. Along with finishing up my classes, I have also been meeting up with my mentor and we have been discussing what the best ways to display my learning. My mentor likes the idea of how I am going to present (will be explained in the next paragraph). I would say one of my successes is how far I have come with my learning. I started knowing maybe two types of punches and one type of kick, now I know at least six types of punches and three types of kicks, so I have tripled my knowledge. A challenge that I definitely say one of my challenges has been meeting with my mentor, we both have very busy schedules and when we did meet it was for short amounts of time and the help with my techniques were minimal. I do hope to still continue to meet with my mentor until in depth night.

I am very excited for how I plan to present my learning. I plan to do a live performance, run somewhat like how I would learn in my class. Since I do only have a minute and a half I won’t do all the warm ups, just the moves. I hope to loud enough that I won’t need a microphone, but other then that the only other on stage materials I need is a bag and my gloves. I have a bag but I am not sure where I could hang it so that may be a problem but I am sure we will figure it out. in the minute and I half I am given I am hoping to explain what kickboxing is and show as many moves as I can. I will show each move as many times as I think necessary. The time constriction will restrain me to probably only do the two basic punches (jab, cross and hook), one basic kick (roundhouse), and one or two special moves (spinning back fist, spinning back elbow, or superman punch). I will also mention at the end of my performance that if anyone has any questions, they can feel free to ask if and when they find me.

Independent Investigation #1 Inquiry

What lead Europeans in the 17th century to desire beaver fur specifically? Why?

Fashion has been and is always something people are thinking about. Today there are many different stylImage result for men wearing beaver felt top hats in the 17th centuryes and trends that everyone wants to try. It wasn’t much different in the 17th century. In the 17th century keeping up with fashion trends was just as important to most people then as it is now. One of the essentials for men’s fashion from the late 16th century to the early 19th century across Europe was the beaver felt top hats. The pelts that these hats were made out of were extremely valuable and were treated like family heirlooms that were passed down from father to son. These hats weren’t just for the commoners either though, if a man had one of these it would show his social status. These fashion trends and social status markers resulted in a high demand for the beaver fur top hats and by the  late 17th century, beavers were practically extinct in Europe.

Luckily for the Europeans, North America provided an alternate supply. This supply had Image result for hudson's bay logobeaver pelts with some of the thickest fur in the word. These pelts were found in the Hudson Bay, and so in 1670, the Hudson’s Bay Company was born. The Hudson’s Bay Company did not make the hats themselves, but they were the main supply for the fur for the companies that did make the hats. Beaver furs were the top choice for the felt top hats not only for the thickness of the furs, but also because beaver furs are water resistant. Having a water resistant fur hat in a place with the same climate as England and Europe was extremely useful. Selling these beaver furs helped sustain the financial needs while Canada was in the making. 

This is an important and significant question to ask about the past because there are many furs that we have today that we would choose over beaver fur and we may sometimes wonder why the Europeans chose beaver. Today we would choose furs like fox or chinchilla for their softness and look. By asking this question it shows us why they did choose beaver fur, for it’s thickness and water resistance. We also learn that if the fur trade did not happen, we may have been in a financial issue while developing Canada.

I believe that my researched events happen because there was so much demand for the beaver felt top hats, that they practically wiped out the species in Europe and they needed an alternate source. If the demand for these hats weren’t so high, then they wouldn’t need to get an alternate source and then the fur trade with Canada never would’ve happened. The consequence for such high demand was the near extinction of beavers in Europe. There was some good things that did come out of this though, the fur trade sustained Canada. Since Canada was not Canada yet and was still a developing country, the money from the fur trades and shipping the furs off to Europe sustaiImage result for beaverned Canada financially while it was still being developed. 

Our lives and conditions are similar to those found in my research in many ways but I think the main way we are similar is the want to follow and be a part of the fashion trends. Today our fashion trends are short and come and go, this leads us to buying cheap clothes that are “in style” then but we can throw it away when it’s out of style. This isn’t the exact same as the lives of those in my research but in both cases we are impacting our world in a way. With the Europeans, they were wiping out a plethora beavers just for their hats. We are filling landfills with clothes that we throw away just because they are “not in style”. These aren’t exactly the same but the both have an impact on our world. The way it has changed is the fact that there is such a little demand for real furs now a days and that we have the technology to make other materials, that we aren’t hunting specific animals for a extended period of time. We are also more aware of how our hunting impacts the world.

In conclusion I now know that what lead Europeans to desire beaver fur was the desire to keep up with fashion trends. Their fashion trends were also quite practical, and that is why they chose beaver fur because for their environment the water resistance and the thickness of the fur kept the rain from soaking through.

Image result for men wearing beaver felt top hats in the 17th century

In Depth Week 11

Over spring break there were many opportunities that I took to accelerate my learning. I went to my classes three times a week and I met with my mentor as much as possible. When my mentor and I meet we usually talk about what I learned in class and he helps me improve my form. Right now he is mainly trying to help me with my roundhouse kicks as I don’t fully turn my body when I do them. There are other gyms that have kickboxing classes that I am considering attending to reinforce new learning.

The classes I have currently been attending I have been learning the basic moves such as: jab crosses, hook punches, upper cuts, front kicks, and roundhouse kicks (I had pictures of me demonstrating these moves but unfortunetly my files are bigger then the maximum capacity so I was unable to upload them). They have also taught me more complex moves such as the superman punch, spinning back fist, and side kick.

My classes run on a specific schedule yet we always do something different. We start off with a simple warm up to get our heart rate up, this includes jogging, burpees, squats, and crunches. These warm up help to work on our core, abs, arms, and legs. We do a simple stretch after to make sure we don’t pull any muscles. Then we get into the fun stuff, the kickboxing. This is where we do all of the punches and kicks. We have six rounds and in each round we have a different combo, a combo is a mix of moves. Round one is always jab cross which is the simple punch. Then for the next five rounds we will do combos like jab, cross, left hook, right roundhouse, right roundhouse. We do this combo as many times as we can in three minutes and then we move onto the next round. After we have done all six rounds we do partner work, one partner will hold up a target while the other punches. Once the partner work is over, we finish with cool down stretches.

This routine is always in this order but the classes are never the same because you get different combos every time. This routine is also just for this gym, when I branch out to other gyms I will most likely get a different routine.