ZIP Doc of Learning #1

Some of the resources I have used to get to where I am now, which is on schedule, are the notes that Mr. Morris has given me and these two websites and . This resources have taught me the key things I need to have an use to make a good argument which was my goal for this week. They have taught me how to properly take notes for the rebuttal and the best ways to persuade people using pathos, logos, and ethos. Plus I have already found out the question in which I will be arguing both sides for which is; Do UFOs actually exist? With this I will be arguing both sides for they do exist and the side for they don’t exist. This week I will be researching the side for they do exist and make my short argument for that. 

Juniors External Conflicts

One of the greatest external conflicts that Junior has is the fact that he is in poverty. The fact that he is in poverty constricts many things that he is able to do. He tells us about taking Penelope to his schools Winter Formal “The thing is, I only had five dollars, not nearly enough to pay for anything,” and he “lied about how poor I was,” (119). Since he is in poverty he not only doesn’t have the access to nicer things, he also doesn’t have access to the better respect from people. He is somewhat socially awkward and he is scared that if he tells people how poor he is then they wouldn’t like him. Poverty does not only effect him physically, for example not having access to food all the time. It also effects him mentally, because poor people are looked down upon in Reardan. The physical effects poverty have on him will be forever until his family or him gets a better income, but the mental effects have already started to go away. 

How to be a REAL Success

I think that the Relationship portion in How to be a REAL Success is important in TALONS because TALONS is usually focused around leadership, but as stated in the videos if you do not have relationships with the people you are leading then they might not want to follow. I have learned that making relationships in any place makes it easier for you to talk to the person about something, such as giving them advice. I have made so many relationships in every area of activity that I do and it makes it a whole lot easier to communicate with them. With my relationships in TALONS it helps me be open to ask when I need help. Having close relationships in TALONS is also a key actor for having an easy planned adventure trip. When you have a good relationship with the people in your adventure trip or retreat group, it makes everyone open to compromises and it makes the flow of planning smoother. At the beginning of TALONS I had no relationships to anyone, and now I am friends with practically everyone in the class. The people I have relationships with in TALONS are so amazing and they help me so much with many different situations. I am so happy that I made those relationships, and with the help and care I am getting from the people in them will help me be a success. 

ZIP Proposal

Inquiry question: What makes a good argument (debate wise)?

What would I like to learn: I would like to learn the key components to a good argument and how I can argue for both sides.

I chose this skill because I’ve never had the chance to learn about debate in class and I would really like to. In class discussions, there are arguments, but that is because someone disagrees with what someone else is saying, but there are no formal debates. I am excited to learn this, because whenever there is a discussion I always have to voice my opinion and when there is something that I hear that I disagree with my hand goes up and I am ready to say what’s on my mind.

I don’t have very much prior knowledge, because i never learned it before. A skill that I already have to help me is that I know how to argue, not formally but I know. I am also very persistent when I have an idea of what my side of the argument will be like, I consistently work to get to that. Even if there are facts from the other side that might shift some of the things I am going to say, I find a way to use what they gave me to help my side.

Skills I hope to learn: I hope to work on my persuasive, critical thinking, and reasoning skills. 

People I can ask for support: I hope that Mr. Morris will give me some time if I have questions, he has already given me somethings to help my research. Other then that, I am sure I will be able to find peers to help me. 

Other resources that can help me: There is always the internet as a resource. 

I was thinking about demonstrating my learning by finding a simple and short question that I could argue, and with that I would argue both sides and see how people would react to how I handled both sides. I would start off with the question and ask the class what they thought, then I would argue one side, explaining what I am doing as I go, and when I finish that side I would ask the class how many people agreed with me based off of my presentation and my facts. Then I would switch over and argue for the other side, and repeat what I did for the other side, then after I’m done I will again ask the class who believes me. If some people have put their hands up twice I will ask if anyone was confused about which side to believe and then why. All of this will be very short and within the time but it will really show how I learned what makes a good argument. 

If I split our time frame into thirds, the first third I can learn the basics of debate. The second third I can find the question I will be debating and start working on one side, plus I can get deeper into what makes a good argument. Then the third third I can work on the other side of the argument and start getting my presentation cleaned and ready. This will all be done in and out of class. 

Night of the Notables Assessment

  1. I think I met my goals, spreading awareness wise but the actual construction of my learning center I could have done much better. My learning center didn’t look nearly as pleasing as I hoped and I was a bit disappointed with myself. But when people started talking to me and asking me about my eminent person they were really interested with what I had to say and they left knowing a lot more about how body shaming affects society and what Ashley has done to stop that. I think I would plan out my learning center better to make it more visually appealing for the future. 
  2. I will always remember putting my research and my passion for what Ashley does to good use. Whilst researching for Ashley I grew this connection with her because I could really relate with her and when I told other people about her I could tell that they could really relate to her too. Spreading the awareness and my passion for it is something I will not forget. 
  3. I would really like to thank the grade 10s for leading the way and helping me when I needed it and Mr. Morris for making this project really quite memorable. 


“Ashley Graham (Model).” Wikipedia, Wikimedia Foundation, 2 Dec. 2017, 

Graham, Ashley. A New Model. Vol. 1, Rebecca Paley, 2017. 

“Turns Out, Jennifer Lopez Helped Launch Ashley Graham’s Modeling Career.” 

Hendrix, Kelsey. “Ashley Graham Stars in #ImNoAngel Lane Bryant Commercial.”, Sports Illustrated Swimsuit, 18 Sept. 2017, 


Night of the Notables Learning Intentions

Before the night of the notables I intended to teach people about body acceptance, what Ashley Graham went through and what she had learned, and how she is helping spread that awareness. Whilst Night of the Notables was going on, people came to my learning center thinking that my eminent person was just another model and they didn’t really see her eminence. Once I started talking about her and explaining her story and situations people really started seeing how relatable she is and how she has shaped society. They left my center not talking about Ashley Graham as a regular old model, but as a model who loves herself and tells others they should too. There are so many girls out there that are gorgeous but the listen to what society says is pretty and they think that since they aren’t that, that they aren’t pretty. While talking to some people how came to see my center, we moved away from just body size acceptance and started talking about plain old body acceptance. We talked about the model with a skin condition and the down syndrome model and how they all learned to love themselves no matter what other people said. What I think people got out from my learning center is that there are so many beautiful girls out there that don’t see there beauty because society puts this perfect girl imagine in their heads and they think that they aren’t all that so they aren’t pretty. This imagine doesn’t only effect big girls “It goes from big girls to little girls. It goes from Spanish girls to Black girls. It goes from White girls to young girls. It’s everyone in between,” (Ashley Graham in Glamour), so we all have to remember this and help spread awareness by loving ourselves and lifting others up and not pushing them down. 

Which statment do I disagree most with?

I disagree most with “A person’s responsibility to their family is more important than their individual goals (or dreams).” I disagree with this statement because your family should encourage you to follow your dreams and to achieve your goals, and in the end it may help your family. For example, say your responsibility to your family is to help support them because one of your parents, or guardians can’t anymore and your goal is to get an education and become a teacher. If people say that your responsibility to your family more important then your goal, and you focus on easy ways to support your family, such as waiting tables, it makes it harder for you to support your family without an education, plus you wouldn’t be doing something that makes you happy. In fact, by putting in that effort to get an education and get a job would make it easier for you to support your family, and you’d be dong something that is enjoyable for you. Plus it would help in the long run. 

Practice Interview: The Wise Nugs

  1. Follow what you love, not your plan. Sometimes the things that you end up loving are the deviations of your original plan.
  2. The best things about a career are the ones that require the most vigilance and responsibility. What you enjoy the most about a job have the biggest impact on others. Your enjoyment is another person’s need and requirement.
  3. Take time to reflect and think about your career. If there are changes you wish to see in the field, be that change. Don’t wait for others to make you happy, make yourself happy.

#Eminent2016: Why Bob? Why Now?

My goal is to try and stick to some sort of chronological ordering of the aging of Dylan in the images used in the creation of this project. Hence, this young shot of Dylan in his Greenwich Village folk days here at the outset of the project, moving toward his more current iterations as the study progresses.

Image courtesy of Rolling Stone.

After almost ten years at the helm of the TALONS annual Eminent Person Study, I decided to conduct my own study alongside this year’s classes. These posts will be collected here. 

Why Bob?

They say everything can be replaced

That every distance is not near

So I remember every face

Of every man that brought me here. 1

For a brief moment when I first thought that I would take on the Eminent Person Study, I initially declared my intentions to study Bruce Springsteen. In recent years my musical tastes and affection has leaned heavily toward the Boss, and I would relish the opportunity to delve deeper into his life and rock catalogue. But with Dylan’s recent Nobel Prize win I’ve been hearing a lot more Bob, reading various responses to his inclusion as the first musician to be awarded with the literary honour, and been coming reacquainted with my first true love (and one of Bruce’s, to boot).

Before Bruce, and Josh, and even Gabriel Garcia Marquez, there was always only Bob.

Why Now?

Image courtesy of Consequence of Sound

An artist has to be careful never to really arrive at a place where he thinks he’s at somewhere. You always have to realize that you’re constantly in a state of becoming, and as long as you’re in that realm, you’ll sort of be all right. 2

Back when I was in an older version of our district’s gifted program – the forerunner to TALONS that operated at Dr. Charles Best Junior High back as far as the late-nineteen seventies – our teachers would occasionally participate in the major projects with us: studying eminent people, or engaging in-depth studies to sing or sew, and creating their own inquiries, findings and meaning alongside us. This always seemed an exceptional example to me of what life might be as an adult: that we might go on, continuing to strive, and learn, and change markedly into our middle and advanced ages. But we haven’t much made or had the time to engage in these sorts of pursuits as TALONS teachers in recent years.

It’s true, two of us have completed advanced degrees, a PhD and an MEd between us, and we regularly share our personal and professional struggles and triumphs in blog posts and classroom conversations about the nature of lifelong learning and aspiration. But engage in a project directly alongside our students, we have not.

Additionally, TALONS seems to stand somewhat perched at a crossroads in its continued evolution. Having doubled a few years into our run as a two-teacher, twenty eight student cohort, there are now four teachers and nearly sixty students these days, two of them new to the program this fall; we’ve added courses in the senior grades, and are breaking new trails in Adventure Trips, and other aspects of our learning and organization all the time.

As well, I find myself nearly ten years into my career, with just shy of that time spent facilitating the TALONS learning across a variety of subjects. And with so much change arriving in the TALONS world, I feel compelled this year to strike out a little beyond my own comfort zone as an act of solidarity not only with my grade nine and ten students, but my new teaching partners. Our program is a place where adults as well as adolescents are challenged to grow and develop beyond what they may have previously thought  possible, and to be joining such a juggernaut of an ecosystem as ours must be an intimidating prospect.

Hopefully some of this process extends an invitation to them to join the ranks of public learning that makes our program unique, both for what it teaches the young people among us as well as those of us beyond the school.

But… why Bob?

It’s not a good idea and it’s bad luck to look for life’s guidance to popular entertainers. 3 

Around the time I was graduating from university, I had begun to play guitar with the idea that I might be able to expand the scope of my expressive capabilities into music. I would be earning my degree in Creative Writing (with a minor in French and an additional honours thesis on civil society and ideology around a Boy Scout summer camp that I had spent two summers interning for), and had written a roughshod novel during school, along with hundreds of other essays, newspaper columns, letters, and stories. But like Kurt Vonnegut wrote once, “virtually every writer I know would rather be a musician,” I had always been drawn to music, to the images and melodies that lit fires in undiscovered places in myself. And so I set about exploring my existing taste and experience in music through a borrowed acoustic guitar; when I moved home to Vancouver I bought my own and started unpacking the history of popular music from Elvis on forward.

I listened to the Beatles incessantly, and in chronological order. I watched the Anthology documentaries and began to untangle the thread of blues and rock that ran through Elvis, and Chuck Berry, and Johnny Cash. I began to see the tightly woven threads of the culture that connected Jack Kerouac and Alan Ginsberg to Jim Morrison, and back to Robert Johnson. I’d had some experience with each of these threads in isolation: I’d studied the Beats ravenously as an undergraduate; that hasty youthful novel written in my third year bore an inscription from one of Jim Morrison’s poems; and I could talk for hours about the complimentary and divergent aspects of the Beatles and the Rolling Stones’ early aesthetics.


Then my dad bought the Martin Scorsese documentary on Dylan, No Direction Home, and everything became obsolete. Here was the Rosetta Stone to synthesize and decode the American spirit that unified the story I’d been untangling for years. Here was an artist who defied category or classification, who by the time you had decided what to call him had morphed into something else entirely, who seemed to know his own voice and gifts so well for never claiming to understand them so much as he would never cease to explore their potential. With Dylan there were no lines, no titles, no boundaries, and I wanted that for myself.

I wanted, as I still do, to find what my vision and voice can see and say: to expand beyond what I’ve previously thought possible, and to create new ways of being for others to follow, which is Why Bob, Why Now.

  1.  “I Shall Be Released”
  2. No Direction Home
  3. Songwriters on Songwriting