Document of Learning

don’t even know how eminent is in three days… between soccer, field hockey, and all the other talons homework we’ve had, i’ve finally gotten the chance to work on my speech. if you have any comments i would appreciate if you write them below

here’s my eminent speech draft:

Eyes open and closed, all I saw was the color red, the pulsating of all blood vessels in my body, my heart skipping a beat as the blade of my skate skims the playing surface when I step onto the ice, scanning the crowd and spotting my son amongst the sea of American and Canadian colors, hearing the final words of the national anthem being sung with Canadian pride. I felt truly blessed to have the support of an entire nation and particularly my son. My son is not fond of hockey, so for him to come out and support the team and most importantly the country truly made me feel blessed. This was going to be a big game against the Americans as it always is, but the stakes were higher today. The team that wins this game wins gold at the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympic Games. I wanted so badly to win this game, for myself, my team, and my country. We had a winning streak to keep alive, and we had to keep our Nation believing in us. Most importantly, we had to win for the many young female hockey players that look up to our team as role models. These young girls may one day aspire to become a team member and a representative of the sport and our country. we need to prove to them anything is possible if you put your mind to it. Back when I was young, people used to tell me girls don’t play hockey, but now it seems natural for a girl to walk into the rink with a hockey bag on her shoulder! Every child has the right to play no matter what their gender, where they are born or how much money they have. We will win this for those who don’t think they have the right to play, but they will; I’ll make sure of it. Puck drops in one minute, hope nothing hits the post.

amira brar


#Eminent2014 in Motion


The passage of autumn into winter in the TALONS classroom is marked by the arrival of the Eminent Person Study and culminating Night of the Notables. And while there is a great deal of tradition and meaning transmitted down through years to the current group of students undertaking the project, the chain of cultural transmission is captured in the chorus of individual goals, reflections in progress, and documents of learning blogged as the project unfolds.

While everyone fulfills the same few tenants of the study, the learning that takes place – collectively and individually – is largely a personal affair, one that is handed down from year to year in links and digital portfolios. And as the individual lessons of the study accumulate, so does the culture at the heart of the TALONS classroom congregate in RSS and digital artifacts.

Thus we can look back in the Notable class of 2009 astride our own, with Saskia’s learning center, one which still resonates today:

I left out postcards for people to write to Zahra Kazemi’s son: Stephan Kazemi. These I made from her photographs as a reference to the postcards she herself created (mentioned above). I wanted them addressed to her son for several reasons. By having people write about what they thought of Zahra Kazemi, I was honouring his mother and his own struggle to find justice for her. At the same time, it also showed him just how much his help made a difference to my project. Eleven people ended up writing postcards and I hope that when Stephan Kazemi receives them, they will make him very happy.

The sentiments of Raiya, a year later, looking back on her turn under the lights, echoes in this the fall of 2014:

Night of the Notables left me awestruck, amazed, and inspired. I realized that all my pre-N.O.T.N. stress was well worth the great moments that came with it. For me, some of the more memorable moments of the night were the ten minutes we were all getting a pep talk from Mr. J, the five minutes we were all singing the same familiar notes of “Don’t Stop Believing”, and those three seconds of dead silence after your speech, followed by the thunderous cheers from your classmates. The energy from that night will stick with us our entire life.

The TALONS newly departed, too, leave their thoughts to frame this year’s experience:

Slide11I always get the most peculiar tickling sensation in my tummy after late nights with TALONS. I don’t know if it’s those shooting stars or the fact that these late nights are way past my bedtime, but it’s always a rather homey feeling that curls around my chest when we join hands, all tired and warm from the long day.

But each of these predecessors merely sets the stage for the voices that are lent to this chorus across the TALONS blogs this fall. Newly migrated to a new domain – - each of the blogs is collected and syndicates in a steady feed of interviews, and speech drafts, and learning center floorplans. The results represent a new generation’s perspective on a timeless aspect of the program, which by changing stays the same.

And so this year we’ve been able to travel with Julia to SFU, and glimpse the individual learning on a field trip to a local university:

Before events happen, I usually have this weird distorted vision of20141030_101631 (1)what will happen. On this trip, I had some educational expectations and such. Something I really wanted to get as much as I could of was experience. Experiences are as valuable as any research, and going to an environment I hope to return to as a university student, I hoped to absorb as much as possible. Some aspects of the buildings themselves were how they were all made of cement. It made for a quite gloomy yet professional feel, and looked quite impressive from a distance. It would feel great to walk across the serene pond, down the massive steps, and graduate. There was also a pyramid in a clearing that could only be the pyramid of life, and I questioned it no further. Experiences demand to be felt, and I was entranced.

We’re introduced to fellow grade nine Emma M’s look back on her speech, and see the evolution of the draft(s) that brought her there:

Oh eminent speeches.

I have written many speeches, however I always stress about them and slightly go crazy yet end up finishing with flying colours. People say I’m a good public speaker, and I think that I’m good at it, just when I get up to speak I don’t know if it’s nerves or adrenaline running through my veins. As well, once I finish the speech I don’t speak for a while because all I’m thinking is “Wow, I just did that.”

Sensing the permanence of the blogged reflection, by taking stock of her grade nine speech Nazlie offers some advice to her future self:

I presented my speech on monday, which I am really proud of myself for. I’m usually not the best with public speaking, but I feel like I did pretty well and I am less nervous to present in front of groups of people, especially the classroom. I think I have a pretty good technique for staying calm whilst presenting now, which is something extremely useful that I have gotten out of this project so far. However, I have miserably failed to follow through with my goal of time management, I left my speech to be written on the last weekend before I presented. Personally this wasn’t a big problem for the outcome of my speech, but I still believe it would’ve been more efficient for me to have written at least some of it the weekend before. I literally spent 2 weeks brainstorming and then ended up doing something completely different from what I brainstormed. So, Future me, who will probably look back at this post a year from now and feel terribly embarrassed, PLEASE brain storm and do some speech writing on the same day, preferably 3 weeks before NOTN, so then you won’t have to spend all day on Sunday and Saturday before the big day writing your speech based off of brainstorm-notes and then end up realizing, on the 3rd speech you’ve rewritten, that there is a way better POV to use. Please.

While attending to her own project, grade ten Jessica takes the opportunity to shine some light on Nazlie’s speech, as well:

SFU trip with TALONS

I also want to comment on Nazlie’s project. I recently heard her speech on the woman who runs Rookie. It blew me away. During her speech, she didn’t ever really move, using no body language to aid her, however it worked in her favour. I believe this is because her speech was formed as a letter to her eminent person and letters are not often associated with body movement. She caught my eye because she spoke with such passion in a way that was relatable, and because she was talking about body images and the affects society have on us.

But as the project marches on, Alison takes a moment to forecast her goals for Night of the Notables:

Compared to last year, my learning center is not so complex and it occupies more space. Also, visitors will have to directly converse with me for information about my person rather than reading off a board or by looking at pictures. Although the idea may be more simple, I think I will be equally or even more busy than last year, but I look forward to it! I hope that this learning center idea will be successful and entertaining on the night of while showing the true eminence of Niccolo Paganini to the guests!

While Lyle shares his interview progress with the Reddit community:

If you recall from last year, my interview requests crashed, burned, asked me to tell their wives they loved her, and then convulsed wildly until their vital signs were zero. I believe this was because I was overly optimistic about securing an interview with my person himself and so did a pretty half-hearted job of seeking interviews from anyone else. In short, I was fishing with a line instead of a net.

This year however, my interview request was fired out to a potential audience of almost 60, 000 people, all who are knowledgeable or at least interested in graffiti. Where did I find such an audience?


Joanna shares her successful interview attempt, as well as her results:

So this year, I was extremely lucky to get an interview on my first try, with none other than Margaret Sanger’s grandson, Alexander Sanger, who also happens to be the Chair of the International Planned Parenthood Council.

Talking with Mr. Sanger has really made me feel like I know Margaret Sanger a bit better- questions such as the one I asked about her personality are really going to help me be in character on Night of the Notables, and being able to see this woman from a family members point of view gave me quite a bit of insight on her private life. I also got the chance to learn about some of her lesser known beliefs, and this knowledge prompted me to look into her accomplishments outside of the legalization of contraceptives.

While her sister shares another draft of her speech speech draft, along with the following caveat

The first thing I did for my speech was pretty much a free-write. The free-write is below. I will be posting my speech draft #2, which will actually have a semblance of organization, in a different blog post. The transitions are in bold because I had already decided where I wanted to start and end, so those are parts that won’t change much. You’ll be able to tell that they don’t fit with the free-write, because they were created separately.

Emma F in turn sketches out the broad strokes of her turn as Frida Kahlo:

Although I have chosen not to illustrate a specific ‘snapshot’ moment or event in my speech, I have instead decided to address the concept Frida’s balance of surrealism and reality within her paintings. Although many have labelled her as a surrealist painter, she has incorporated so intimately the realities of her suffering in her work, which makes it difficult to dismiss her paintings as purely imaginative of dream-like. Of course it is necessary to acknowledge that there is a spectrum of realism within her paintings, from her most literal reprentations of people and still life to her most extravagant otherworldy images, but both polar opposites hold meaning and relevance in her life. Thus the ‘surreal’ paintings that she created still were rooted in the very real aspects of her experience.

And Jenny anticipates the Big Night:

Today the grade ten afternoons did a run through of our speeches. The result made me ecstatic! Our. Speeches. Will. Be. Awesome. Glorious. Magnificent. Superb. Spectacular. Terrific… etc. etc.

By Wednesday night, another cohort of grade tens will have passed across the stage which marks their true arrival as the program’s seniors. One of the TALONS pillars will have passed into recent history to be filed among the notables that have gone before, all to act as prelude for the grade nines who will inherit the honour next year.

BibBLOGgraphy – Hedy Lamarr


By doing this project I have found many good cites about my eminent person: Hedy Lamarr. I have decided to share with you five that I found the most helpful. I probably used over twenty-five cites total, but I found that some didn’t have as much information/pictures as these ones.


First website:

Information about the website: This website gives you lots of information about her invention. There isn’t much about her personal life, but it’s really easy to understand how her invention works and how it was made. I like the website because it tells you everything you need to know about her in several paragraphs instead of forty.


Second website:

Information about the website:  Of course, Wikipedia. There was a lot of information about her personal life/movies she starred in. Go there if you are looking for the small details about her life in general. There weren’t many pictures and the ones that were there were portraits of her (but you could find way more like them by just searching in google). It’s an overall good source for information.


Third website:

Information about the website:  This was a really good website if you wanted to find pictures and quotes about/from Hedy Lamarr. There were over 80 unique pictures of her that you wouldn’t just find by searching “Hedy Lamarr” on google. Don’t go there looking for tons and tons of information about her because there wasn’t a lot, but it did give a brief biography and told you the essentials.


Fourth website:

Information about the website: The reason I chose this website to show was mainly because of the great video it has on her. A man (with a soothing voice haha) tells you about her life and her invention. It’s quite short but really interesting. Apart from the video there is also quite a bit of information on her.


Fifth website:

Information about the website (my personal favourite):  This is probably my favourite website because it literally has everyhing! There is actually so much on this website that it would take you 4 days to see everything (okay maybe not that long ;) ). There are so many pictures of her it’s crazy. I think one folder had over 900! It is also a great source of information. If you could only go to one website about Hedy Lamarr go to this one!

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Interviewing a dancer

Eminent is in three or so days, I’m a mix of emotions currently! Need to put them all aside temporarily and tell you all about my interview.

For my interview, I contacted my ballet teacher Laurel Cabrita. Ms. Laurel has taught me ballet for the past eight years and it is because of her that my studio has some of the strongest ballet technique from a non-ballet exclusive studio.

Ms. Laurel danced at the Pacific Ballet Theatre for six years. The company stemmed from the studio where she was taught.  Upon joining the company, there were about 12 dancers. Over her six years there, the company never grew bigger than 20 dancers.

This company was very small in comparison to national ballet companies. To add some perspective, the American Ballet Theatre (ABT) where Misty Copeland dances currently has 16 principal dancers, 7 soloists and 59 corps de ballet members.  Because of its size, the Pacific Ballet Theatre’s selection of dancers may be affected less by shape than a national company.

Many companies, especially national companies, tried to aim for a Balanchine body. A Balanchine body has long legs, long arms, a long neck and a short, thin torso. This was mainly to create a look of unison within the dancers, causing no one to stand out in a good, or bad, way.

After talking to Ms. Laurel, I found out that body shape did affect and limit dancers, but not in the way I was expecting. Many of the root reasons for any body limitations were logistical and not aesthetic. Most common body limitations were height, weight, flexibility and ability.

For height, it affected partnering mainly. Going en pointe adds a lot of height to a dancer. Ms. Laurel, who was 5′ 6″, had to partner with males who were at least 5′ 11″ or else she was too tall for them, both aesthetically (with the partnering looking awkward) and logistically (not being able to spin properly because the male can’t keep her upright).

For weight, the two main reasons it limited was the strength of the males and how it affected health. If a dancer has heavy bones and muscles but doesn’t look heavy, she may not be able to be lifted by a male and therefore not able to do a pas de deux. If a dancer is overweight, and the extra weight affects their stamina and cardio vascular ability, then it is going to affect where they are in the company. When Ms. Laurel was in the company she was asked at least two times to lose weight. The directors never enforced it, but she was asked. There was only one girl in the company over the six years that was outright bulimic and anorexic. Some dancers took depositories, to make them go to the washroom, in attempts to lose weight, but it didn’t often last long. Many dancers smoked, sometimes even instead of eating but smoking was more common at the time. Teachers smoked in their classes. Of course, this was almost 35 years ago. Even over Ms. Laurel’s six years, the influence of weight got much better and has continued to get better after that.

Ability is the most limiting of the three, however some ability limitations could be altered slightly. If you aren’t the best turner, you probably won’t do Gamzatti’s variation from La Bayadere, which has saut de chats, double attitude turns and pique turns. Same goes for jumping. If you can’t jump, a jump section will be very difficult. Of course, you can train yourself to improve your jumps or turns. Some limitations you can’t really control is turn-out, flexibility and ankle strength.  Being someone with very little turn-out, I can say steps like en boîtés are very difficult. Variations with high kicks or ponchés would be difficult for people who have limited flexibility. Pointe work isn’t possible for dancers with weak, inflexible ankles or tight or weak Achilles tendons.

Even though all of this is true, ability comes over look. Maybe in a national company, if two dancers have the same technique and quality and only one has a Balanchine body, look will come into play. But if a dancer is amazing at portraying a character, it won’t matter if they don’t fit the image. Quality and technique can allow body image to become less important. Stage presence can help a dancer to go far.

In the end, what the dancer can do is all that really counts.

Document of Learning

It’s been a while since I’ve addressed my Eminent person on my blog, but not to worry, there has been quite a lot of work done behind the ‘screen’.

First of all, my speech draft has been written and posted below. I would still love some feedback although some more edits have been made as of now.

Also, I have secured an interview! I will be email interviewing Mr. Taras Gabora, an internationally renowned violin professor here in Vancouver. Unfortunately I won’t be able to receive any answers to my questions until December 2nd at the earliest because he is currently away at New York for a business trip. My interview post may be a bit delayed, but I hope the answers posted will prove to be a bit of a treat before or after the Night of the Notables!

Now, moving on to my learning center which will be the focus of this document of learning.

This year, I’m planning to keep my learning center clean and simple. Unlike last year, I won’t have a poster board, but instead I will be bringing in some items that are personal to my eminent person for display along with a fun interactive activity.  I have a classroom (room 214) as my learning center so it will be a bit easier to bring in some valuables without the worry of loss or damage. The first item(s) that I plan to bring in is a violin (or two). I will be bringing in my violins to represent Paganini’s own instruments, but to keep some suspense, you’ll have to come to my learning center to find out which violins I will be portraying and what their significance is to Paganini’s life. I will also be bringing in some of Paganini’s music that I own and visitors will be allowed to look through the music to observe some of Paganini’s technical challenges as well as his musical style and interpretation. Hopefully if technology allows, I will also play a soundtrack of the pieces he composed in the background, maybe striking a chord of inspiration in some of my visitors. Lastly, for my interactive activity I will have a third violin (which Vanessa G. graciously offered me to borrow) that will allow people to try out the violin. I will also have some easy music such as twinkle, twinkle little star set up on a stand so that there would be some purpose to the activity. Of course, I will be facilitating the activity, making sure that the guests know what they are doing and maybe teaching a few of the basics. Whether that person is playing the violin for the first time, the second time, or the 100th time, I think that it will still be an enjoyable interactive activity that fits in really well with my Eminent Person.

The layout for my learning center
The layout for my learning center

Compared to last year, my learning center is not so complex and it occupies more space. Also, visitors will have to directly converse with me for information about my person rather than reading off a board or by looking at pictures. Although the idea may be more simple, I think I will be equally or even more busy than last year, but I look forward to it! I hope that this learning center idea will be successful and entertaining on the night of while showing the true eminence of Niccolo Paganini to the guests!


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Eminent night is almost here, that means finalizing and finishing up all the small details in the next three days!  Here is a list of sources I used over the period of this project:

  • A brief letter from Sadako’s mother before her death in 1998. The letter was originally in Japanese, but an un-named source translated the letter. The letter was a touching tribute that allowed you to see how much Sadako’s death effected her mother and their whole family. Using this source, I was able to add ideas and really connect with Sadako for my speech. Seeing things from her mother’s eyes allows me to connect and collect information that any website online can’t present.

  • The online website for the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park and Museum. The website has a unique feature of allowing anyone from around the world to explore the museum and park from their computers at home. Simply by clicking on certain areas on the map, there pops up a very detailed description on the building and the history behind each and every building. I had tried to find a interview using the website, however still to no success.

  • Sadako and the Thousand Cranes was a book written by Eleanor Coerr. This book is one of the only books about Sadako in English in North America. The book is a detailed story about Sadako from the time right before her time in the hospital all the way up to her death. Reading this book alone could give me enough information on Sadako then searching through 20 different sources online. Although the book is written at a very basic level, the insight and information in the book was very useful for writing my speech.

  • The YouTube video above was the video I used to learn how to make a paper crane. It was essential that I learned how to make paper cranes as I wanted to teach people how to make them at my learning center. Highly recommend watching this video if you also want to learn how to fold a paper crane.

  • A basic biography on Sadako’s life. This link was mainly used when I was trying to find basic research on her life for my introduction post. The link has very good information about the monument in Hiroshima as well as the Peace Museum and Park. Information from this website was applied to my speech, learning center, and all blog posts.

  • I’m always confused as to why so many teacher’ don’t allow Wikipedia as a source, as the information and references on the bottom of the page are all helpful in research projects. Wikipedia was also one of the links I used in the very beginning when I didn’t know where to start off. All basic information about Sadako such as birthdate, date of death, siblings, etc were all on the Wikipedia site. Excellent site to gather information at the start of any project.

  • In the beginning of the project, I was confused about the causes of World War II and about the axis and allies alliances. Using this site, I was able to receive basic knowledge about the two sides of the World War and learn about what really caused the United States to drop the atomic bomb in Hiroshima.

More helpful links:

I actually got an interview!

If you recall from last year, my interview requests crashed, burned, asked me to tell their wives they loved her, and then convulsed wildly until their vital signs were zero. I believe this was because I was overly optimistic about securing an interview with my person himself and so did a pretty half-hearted job of seeking interviews from anyone else. In short, I was fishing with a line instead of a net.

This year however, my interview request was fired out to a potential audience of almost 60, 000 people, all who are knowledgeable or at least interested in graffiti. Where did I find such an audience?




Now, last time I used reddit for a TALONS project, it was for in-depth to find a mentor. It failed miserably – but no worries! This years reddit request required much less commitment from another user, and with just one post:


The post received mild success and I actually ended up getting three offers for interviews. I fired off questions to all of them yesterday, and so far have gotten one set of answers back. I also tailored some of the questions based on the information they gave me. The first person is a graffiti artist themselves, who declined to be identified. My questions and their answers are below:

1. As a street artist, what do you think is the difference between ‘street’ art and more conventional art?

The main difference between street art and conventional art is obviously the venue. If it’s not in the streets, it’s not street art. Another difference is motivation. While fame/infamy is certainly part of it, street art mainly focuses on sharing your art with the world. Some people try to make money off of it, but it’s based in the idea of giving your art to the world with no expectations of profit or recognition.

2. What is your opinion on the illegality of street art and graffiti?

Marking property that isn’t yours is a crime. There is absolutely no question about it. But think about how many billboard you see a day. Did you ever agree to let Coca Cola plaster your city with their logos? If companies are going to put up their ugly advertisements (some of which are actually illegal) then I’m going put up my art.

3. Is the process of becoming eminent as a graffiti artist different than with conventional art?

Most graffiti artists remain anonymous for their own safety. With a few exceptions, few graffiti artists are going to give TV interviews about their work. Fame/infamy can certainly be achieved in graffiti, but you’re known for your work and whatever name you choose for yourself. In conventional art, celebrity can certainly be achieved. You can look at a picture of Andy Warhol and know who it is but you’re not going to find any art depicting Katsu.

4. Are you anonymous to everyone as a street artist? Why do you think that being anonymous is something so many artists do?

Anonymity is for security first and foremost. Graffiti is illegal and broadcasting that to the world can get you in a lot of trouble. An artist may also choose to remain anonymous to let the art speak for itself rather than making themselves the focus. My close friends and family know that I do graffiti but I don’t go around telling everyone I do it.

5. What are current trends in the street art and graffiti world? Is it expanding or shrinking?

Graffiti has always been around in some form and always will be. At its simplest, it’s writing your name or drawing a picture on a wall. There have certainly been developments (wildstyle, stencils, electronics) but it all goes back to that tag. I haven’t seen much of an increase in people doing traditional graffiti lettering but street art is certainly expanding. Not everyone is going to want to risk their life by painting in a train yard but anyone can grab a marker and some labels and make sticker. There are a lot of casual street artists who aren’t too serious about it but if you’re doing traditional graffiti, you recognize the risks you’re taking and accept that as part of your life.

6. Are there still original ideas in street art? Or have things started to be recycled?

As mentioned above, there have been developments. People are experimenting with materials other than just spray paint and markers. Things like yarn-bombing, 3D installations, and projection bombing are all pretty new and it’s cool to see what new stuff people can come up with.

I will update if or when I receive more interview answers!


Eminent Speech Draft #2

So this is my speech so far. It’s  notably less than the free-write earlier, but it is still a bit too long. I’d like to cut out about a third of it by Monday, so comments and feedback are lovely!


They’re coming for me.
The FBI’s “Wanted” posters read “Angela Davis”, but sometimes it’s another black woman, unrelated to me except for our common oppressor. And what does this tell me? I’m just a stock photo that can be swapped out for the hundreds of others like me.
They don’t see me as a person. They see me as a problem. It’s easy to call me the problem: the authorities can distort my words, label me as a terrorist, and no one will stand up for me. I don’t need anyone to stand up for me.
I need someone to listen to me, and hear the real problem.

My hometown was bombed because of its black residents, my neighbors were beaten and stabbed for sending their black kids to a white public school. America may have abolished slavery, but racism still persists and claims lives.
America: the land of the free and the brave. We sure as hell aren’t free, but we are brave. Brave enough to see that this justice system is wrong. It undermines anyone who wasn’t white, lawful, straight and well-off.
Prison isn’t helping. We are locking up the problem somewhere we can’t see it, and it is still growing. We need to rehabilitate those with substance abuse problems, the illiterate, the homeless, the unemployed: not just push them under the rug to be forgotten.
I’ve been accused of kidnapping and murder. Neither of these charges is true. What I’m really being charged for is my battle to improve my country, my struggle to end oppression. I’m being hunted for trying to liberate America.

Until now, I’ve only dared to move at night, going to whichever house will hide me. But I don’t want to run anymore. I have nothing to hide. I’m proud of who I am and what I am trying to do. Yes, I am black! I am a woman! I am a radical thinker! I am Angela Davis, innocent of all charges! And I am not afraid!


Here is a list and short description of the websites and books that I used to research Gloria Steinem!

“Gloria Steinem.” Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation, 26 Nov. 2014. Web. 28 Nov. 2014.

Wikipedia is always a good place to start researching your eminent person. It gives you summary of their life and achievements, basic facts, history and other links to people/places/events related to the person.

“The Official Website of Author and Activist Gloria Steinem – Home.” The Official Website of Author and Activist Gloria Steinem – Home. N.p., n.d. Web. 25 Nov. 2014.

Sometimes your person may even have their own website. I used Gloria Steinem’s website to get a look on her career and to see if there were any books written about her. Luckily, there are a few about her, and I was lucky enough to read two of them and they are the following:

The Education of a Woman: The Life of Gloria Steinem

Heilbrun, Carolyn G. The Education of a Woman: The Life of Gloria Steinem. New York: Dial, 1995. Print.

The Education of a Woman, was written by Carolyn Heilbrun, who was actually a dear friend to Gloria. Although this book is has immense detail, it didn’t truly go in chronological order, so I found it dificult sometimes to follow along and know where I was in her life. However, if you want to focus more on her personal life (childhood, family, relationships) this is an excellent book.

Gloria Steinem: Her Passions, Politics, and Mystique

Stern, Sydney Ladensohn. Gloria Steinem: Her Passions, Politics, and Mystique. Secaucus, NJ: Carol Pub. Group, 1997. Print.

I mainly used this book because of a couple of reasons,

1) It went in chronological order (thank god)

2) The book had background information as well as information on Gloria

3) Did I mention that is was in chronological order AND included an index?

I found it very easy to follow and kept me interested. Definitely a must-read if Gloria is your eminent person, or interested in reading about her!

More helpful websites:

Above is a link to her “Bunnys Tale” articles from Show magazine

“After Black Power, Women’s Liberation”

Personally I can’t read about one person for very long, so luckily there is a HBO documentary on Gloria, however if you don’t have HBO “you can’t watch it” I won’t say, but there are other ways to watch it…. use the internet for good kids…

With great power comes great responsibility, use the internet for good :)

With great power comes great responsibility, use the internet for good :)



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Document of Learning

I remember 1 month ago exactly thinking to myself, “Wow there’s only one month until Night of the Notables!” now there is only four days. I’m not exactly freaking out, I’m just surprised on how fast time goes by. (OK maybe I am freaking out in an excitedly-nervous kind of way.)

For my document of learning I have decided to share with you my final copy of my speech. I actually learned so much about Hedy Lamarr by doing this speech. By looking at her through a different perspective, it was almost like learning about a whole new side to her. I was quite nervous right before my speech, it was actually really fun. Teaching my classmates about my eminent person made me feel like all my hard work of researching her and writing this speech really paid off.

Talking about writing the speech… I think I wrote about four versions of my speech for various reasons. First it was too short, then too long, then I didn’t like it, then it was too long again. I eventually wrote version I’m going to share with you right now.


Here is it:


A dazzling mind and a beautiful woman. She was so gifted, so smart, yet she always denied it.

Hedy Lamarr and I first properly met when she had come up to me and asked me about enhancing her upper torso. This was during a dinner party she was hosting. I had recently been researching female endocrinology and I guess she had read my recent article. We had been neighbours in Hollywood for quite a while, but we never really talked. We started talking and the conversation seemed to last forever. I found out so much about her parents and her life as a young child. She is the only woman I know who is fluent in 4 languages (!) Coming from such a beautiful actress as her, I would have never guessed. This is also the first time I’ve noticed how stunning she really is. Her long luscious raven hair frames her porcelain face beautifully. I guess that is why she’s known as “the most beautiful woman in films”

Not only is she gorgeous, she is extremely intelligent. The conversation ended up going into the direction of war and torpedoes. She knew so much! I was impressed. She told me that her ex-husband Friedrich Mandl had an interest in torpedoes and had shared his knowledge with her before she left him. She wanted to help the U.S military by contributing her idea about stopping the jamming of the US’s radio controlled torpedoes. But she was stuck and didn’t exactly know how to do it. 20 minutes later we came to the conclusion that the enemy would have a harder time intercepting signals if they were sent at different and changing frequencies. That way, the Allies would be able to send torpedoes without the Germans interfering with their courses. As soon as we realized this she ran off in excitement. I needed to know more about this amazing woman.

I found red lipstick smears on my car window later that night. Hedy’s phone number. Little did I know, that those lipstick smears would lead to the most incredible partnership and one amazing invention.

It has been about 1 year since World War II started. As a Jew and strictly Pro-American, Hedy was horrified by all the terrible things Hitler and the Nazi’s were doing to her friends and family back in Europe. I guess because they were being hurt and killed by the Nazis, she wanted to contribute and help the US win the war.

I called Hedy the day after the dinner party. She arrived at my house and said she had just auditioned for a new film called “Tortilla Flat”. I have seen almost all 11 of her films that she had a main role in. They were all amazing. We eventually revisited the conversation we had yesterday. We brainstormed different ideas of how the U.S. Navy could send the torpedoes with constantly changing frequencies, but we were once again stuck. Hedy suggested we take a break from this problem by asking me the play a piece on the piano. I decided to play her Sonata II. This was a long-time favourite and I had mastered it. Minutes later I had finally finished the piece. “Oh George, that was beautiful!” she said happily. But then, at the same time, our brains clicked. We can use the piano! “Hedy, are you thinking what I’m thinking?” I said. “George, I do believe I am.”

4 months later our project was complete with a patent that was granted under the name “Secret Communications System” She was so proud. Once we realized that we could use paper piano roll to change the radio frequencies simultaneously, then everything fell into place. A piano roll has 88 frequencies (because there are 88 black and white keys on a piano) that are changing constantly, so the enemy would never be able to jam the torpedoes. It was brilliant. Throughout the whole process she was determined and excited to help our country. It’s amazing. Well, she’s amazing.

Its 56 years later and I’m watching Hedy as she is walking down an aisle about to revive a belated award for her contributions. I George Antheil am not physically there, I died from a heart attack in 1959. All of our, all of her hard work is being recognized in this award. In World War II, the US Navy never did use our idea. They said to install the device into a torpedo would make it too large and bulky, plus it cost too much to produce. We tried to convince them for years, but nothing would change their minds. But Hedy isn’t receiving this award because our idea was never used. After our patent expired, other people’s patents have referred to our idea as the basis of their work. Now our idea is used in everyday necessities like Bluetooth and WiFi! All that hard work eventually paid off.

She floats down the aisle so gracefully. Even at the age of 83, Hedy still has so much elegance. A man from Electronic Frontier Foundation hands her a large silver award saying “Hedy Lamarr, for your contributions to the field of science and technology” There must be over 2000 people in the room clapping for her. I’m the proud one now. She stands there for a second and starts to make her speech. This is what she says:

“I never thought I would accomplish something like this. My parents always told me how smart and gifted I was, but I didn’t believe them. I chose an acting career over science because I didn’t have confidence in my abilities back then. Over time I realized that I was, well quite possibly smart and I could use that to my own, and to my country’s advantage. I wanted to figure out how to stop the jamming of torpedoes, but I didn’t exactly know how to. My good friend who passed away a few decades ago helped me invent what I am standing here being presented an award for. He provided the missing piece to the puzzle that created the final and beautiful picture.” She holds up the award and finally says “This one’s for you George”


I hope you liked it! :)