William Shakespeare- an eminent person’s introduction

We know what we are, but know not what we may be. –William Shakespeare. Fantastical tales of by tragedy, romance, comedy. Twists that make your heart skip a beat and make you live and breathe for more. Stories are a huge part of me and I am influenced everyday by intriguing tales. Difficult situations and tasks have me thinking “what would this fictional/idolized person do? How would they properly deal with this?” Events from books and shakespearestories pop into my head at random times and I soak up stimulating words into my personality and thoughts. My first taste of plays were more or less what everyone goes through “Romeo wherefore art thou Romeo” and of course “to be or not to be”. References to popular plays can be found numerous places, I have found, such as an episode of Gilligan’s Island. I have been interested in this playwright since elementary school, doing small projects one him when assignments arose and looking at some of the plays he wrote. As I looked more into plays as I got older, I discovered William Shakespeare and marveled at all the plays he wrote, and how interesting they all sounded. I can relate the pressure of producing play after play that must grip the audience to modern-day creative artists such as singer-songwriters and popular authors. Fans will follow your work if you constantly produce engaging material, but will fade out if you can’t create anything of interest. I imagine this bard was a hard-working considerate person who put effort and thought into his words, in plays and in daily life. This is how I would like to view myself as a person – thoughtful, not always throwing words around. Thinking more than speaking and organizing thoughts before putting them into words or writing can be helpful, and it is my belief that Shakespeare and I both reflect this. I have learned from him already that words are precious. William Shakespeare has managed to enthrall audiences for over 400 years, and that is quite a feat. I can strive to be like Shakespeare and leave a lasting impression on the world.

Eminent project looks to be a project that I can really learn from. Something I really want to dig deeper into is being effective and William Shakespeare is a prime example of having a long-lasting effect. By looking into his life, perspective and work, I think I can gain insight on how to speak better with words. Another important skill I hope to improve upon through eminent is gaining new perspective. Shakespeare was from 1600s Europe, so his way of life was very different from mShakespeare playsodern Canada. I hope to gain more insight through his eyes and through his expressions in his work. Perhaps the most important ability I hope to improve upon in this project is time management. For me, big projects have usually ended up as extremely condensed projects. I find myself placing projects that have an extensive amount of time in the background to make way for “more pressing” work, when really I should be chunking and tackling the big project at the same time. I know that time management is and extremely useful skill to have and I really hope to get better at it. A fear I have had with representing Shakespeare for eminent project is doing him justice. He wrote countless works – poems, sonnets, and plays – and I will try hard see him properly honoured.

Eminent Introductory Post: Sadako Sasaki

Another year, another stressful November to come. It’s that time of year again, the most talked about project in the TALONS program itself: The eminent person project. Coming back this year as a grade 10, I’m glad I know what to expect. I can gladly admit, I had no idea what I was doing last year, and sometimes I want to rewind and fix the mess that was my project last year. However, that was the past, and I have high hopes for myself this year. This year  I am really aiming to get that interview I missed last year, and to as always, improve on my public speaking. My goal this year is to definitely pay more attention to my blog posts. I feel like last year, I felt like the blog posts were small things that were in the background and boy did I feel bad when I got my mark back to see I failed.  I want to aim to exceed all my expectations as of right now. So back to the post, let’s get started! As you can probably tell from the title, my eminent person this year is going to be Sadako Sasaki.

” I will write peace on your wings, and you will fly all over the world”

Sadako Sasaki, an ordinary girl who dreamed of just making it day to day. Born on January 7th of 1943, Sadako was only two years old when the atomic bomb dropped by the United States exploded only about a mile from ground zero in Hiroshima. Sadako only an infant then, was blown out the window still living when her mother found her and they fled their home. Her grandmother ran back to the house to retrieve something, but was never seen again. Most of Sadako’s neighbours were killed, however, she was left almost unharmed, or how it seemed on the outside.

Growing up, she was the fastest runner in her class and was well respected by her peers. It was during an extremely important relay race, she felt dizziness, but she brushed it off thinking it was only the exertion from running the race that made her feel sick. However, the next couple races ended up with her out of breathe and close to passing out. At  the age of 11, she passed out after a race, and couldn’t get back up. She was taken to the hospital and diagnosed with leukemia. At that time in Japan, people call the disease “A-bomb disease” because it affected many children that survived the atomic bomb several years after due to radiation. Her family was told she only had close to a year to live and she was put in the hospital.

Sadako middle in the front row
Sadako middle in the front row

Shortly after, her best friend Chikuzo came to visit her at the hospital. That day, Sadako was given hope when Chizuko brought origami paper. Chizuko told her the old Japanese legend that if a sick person folds a thousand cranes, they are given one wish. Sadako ended up trying to fold cranes out of anything from medicine wrappers to paper out of the garbage. She never gave up and was cheerful until the end. On October 25, 1955 Sadako died peacefully with her family around her, in the hospital.

Hundreds of paper cranes (http://fc03.deviantart.net/fs70/f/2011/088/6/8/paper_crane_rainbow_by_fraeuleinamok-d3cs91c.jpg)
Hundreds of paper cranes (http://fc03.deviantart.net/fs70/f/2011/088/6/8/paper_crane_rainbow_by_fraeuleinamok-d3cs91c.jpg)

There’s been many versions of how many cranes she ended up folding. Some say she finished folding a thousand cranes, but the most famous version is from the book ” Sadako and the Thousand Paper Cranes” saying she folded a total of 644 cranes. Her saddened classmates ended up finishing the rest of the cranes and started a cause that raised enough money to build a monument in her honor. The monument is known as the Children’s Peace Monument located near where the bomb was dropped. Visitors all over the world still fold cranes to place beneath the statue reading the same wish engraved on the statue “This is our cry, This is our prayer, Peace in the world.”

Sadako and the Thousand Paper Cranes book (http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/1/13/Sadako_and_the_thousand_paper_cranes_00.jpg)
Sadako and the Thousand Paper Cranes book (http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/1/13/Sadako_and_the_thousand_paper_cranes_00.jpg)
Opening ceremony for Sadako's monument
Opening ceremony for Sadako’s monument

Sadako’s story has had a big place in my heart for the past six years. In elementary school, I knew nothing about the world war, however I remember reading “Sadako and the Thousand Paper Cranes” in fourth grade. It’s one of the only books that still stand out to me, and I even attempted to fold that many paper cranes in elementary school. I find that the connection between Sadako and I is actually strangely strong. During world war II, Japan and China were actually on opposite sides (Axis and allies) and I remember growing up and learning about the world war from my grandma who was alive during that period. I also visited Pearl Harbor on Oahu Island, Hawaii during middle school.  I feel like with some knowledge ahead of time, my eminent project may actually succeed and hopefully, even better than last year! We’ll just have to wait and see…

Dad and I visiting Pearl Harbor in 2011
Dad and I visiting Pearl Harbor in 2011

Eminent Person: Eric Carle

My eminent person is Eric Carle. He was one of my favourite authors when I was younger, and I still enjoy reading his books when I’m really really bored. I’m sure that he was also a part of many others’ childhoods as well. While I loved his books, I never really looked into Eric Carle himself. I’m excited to find out more about him.

Eric Carle

Eric Carle is a designer, illustrator, and author of children’s books, with his most famous work being, “The Very Hungry Caterpillar.” He has made various titles with an interesting art style. Eric was born in 1929 in Syracuse, USA. When he was six years old, he moved to Stuttgart, Germany, and was brought up there. He graduated from the prestigious art school, Akademie der bildenden Künste. His father was drafted into the German army in World War II, and, at the age of 15, Eric was drafted to dig trenches. He was always homesick for America, and dreamt of returning. Eventually, in 1952, he travelled back to New York with a total of 40 dollars in his pocket. He got a job as the graphic designer for the promotion department of “The New York Times.” Later on, he became the art director of an advertisement agency. Now, he has a wife named Barbara Morrison, and two grown-up kids. He spends his time between the Florida Keys and North Carolina.

HungryCaterpillar

His career as an author started when Bill Martin Jr, another author, asked Eric for a collaboration. The outcome was: “Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Did You See?” It was published in 1967 and became a best-seller. His first books alone as an author were, “1, 2, 3, to the Zoo,” and “The Very Hungry Caterpillar.” Eric Carle has a very unique art style. He cuts out hand-painted and layers it in a collage method to form colourful images. Eric’s books usually have elements of nature and education, but remain simple. Children often enjoy his books because there is often anadded layer. A different texture or design can let people experience the books in different ways. So far, Eric Carle has made over 70 books. He has also earned many awards from multiple national library associations, such as: The Laura Ingalls Wilder Award, Japan Picture Book Award, and the Kurt Vonnegut Jr. Literature Award. Eric Carle has even opened up a museum for picture book art in Amherst, Massachusetts called, “The Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art.”

Eric Carle Inspire

                     The reason I chose Eric Carle, rather than other authors like Dr. Seuss, Robert Munsch, or Roald Dahl was that he was the main author I read when I was just starting to read. The first time I really enjoyed reading was when I read “The Very Hungry Caterpillar.” The story was immersive and I felt a deep connection to the protagonist. I can still remember there being holes in the fruits to put your fingers through to make it look like worms were coming out. It’s not just that I like his books, but I also share an interest in making books and stories. I started to make picture books after reading Eric Carle, and comics after reading Jim Davis’ “Garfield” (Maybe next year? :O).I hope to learn something about the process that Eric Carle takes to create books to improve myself. Overall, I hope that this project goes well.

The Story Behind the Face

Her face was one known by many, iconic and beautiful in one of the most unconventional ways of her time. However, the tragic circumstances that led to her success are far lesser known, and despite this, the works created in this woman’s image have earned world-wide acclaim.

Meet Frida.

Frida-Kahlo-008

As a Mexican painter and a woman unafraid to speak her mind, Frida Kahlo dedicated herself to translating her reality to canvas. Kahlo’s paintings,  known widely for their symbolic nature, reveal her life in such powerful way, that the use of words can not articulate it with nearly as much depth. However, in explaining why this extraordinary woman has won me over as the subject of my Eminent Person study, I will attempt to do so. In this and following posts, her paintings will serve as an important element for me to observe Kahlo’s own artistic interpretation of her experiences, as well as complement some of the points I talk about here on my blog.

To start, we’ll go back about a hundred years to a small town just outside of Mexico City.

It is during the summer of 1907 when Frida Kahlo is born, just a few years before the beginning of the Mexican Revolution. Born into a family of two sisters in addition to her mother and father, Frida lived a typical life as any girl alive at the time, until she contracted Polio at age six. Although her condition left her with one leg thinner than the other, this health issue was nothing compared to the event that shaped the rest of her life and career in one fell swoop. As a teenager set on her path to study medicine, her plans and healths were compromised after she was involved in a tragic bus accident, which left her with countless injuries, including many broken and fractured bones and a punctured uterus. Although Frida may not have know it at the time, the following three months in which she was confined to her bed were some of the most pivotal moments of her eminence.

One of the first things that attracted me to Frida was her resilience, which is shown in how quickly she used artistic expression to cope with her feelings of isolation and pain following her accident. It is during this time that her interest in art was sparked, as she first began to paint on her body cast, and then moved on to a canvas fitted to her hospital bed. Despite the fact that her only artistic experience at this point was summed up in a few lessons as a child, she was not hesitant to teach herself. Self portraiture was her main point of interest, which later presented itself as one of the most prominent aspects of her work. Frida famously said, “I paint myself because I am so often alone and because I am the subject I know best.”

Frida-Kahlo-body-cast-2

Kahlo paints on her body cast.

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Kahlo’s painting titled Tree of Hope, Keep Firm.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

As you can see in Kahlos’ Tree of Hope, Keep Firm, her time in the hospital had a striking influence on the themes in her paintings. And this is only an example of many. The physical and phycological wounds that Frida Kahlo sustained from her accident provided inspiration, as she is often depicted being pierced with barbs or thorns, or somehow appearing as a victim or subject of pain. In addition, because her possibilities for bearing children were also compromised, images of fertility are apparent in her work as well, creating an interesting juxtaposition of birth and suffering.

What draws me me to Frida’s work during her recovery period is not only the sophistication of her technique, but how her work can only be fully appreciated once it is put into context. Those who have an understanding of Kahlo’s life are able to experience her art in a way more closely to how she herself experienced it. As viewers, we can only pin blind interpretations to her work until we see the source of inspiration, the artfully constructed fragments of experience that work to create an original image. I respect and appreciate Frida’s work for this reason, and especially admire how she persistently argued, contrary to the word of critics at the time, that her art was not surrealism or a representation of her dreams, but rather her own realities brought to light and amplified. Truly, what is more real than suffering itself, and the face that endured it all?

As Frida continued on with her artistic endeavours throughout her life, she continued to draw inspiration from her own relationships and experiences. In 1929, Frida married fellow Mexican artist Diego Rivera, which signalled the beginning of a very troubled time for the two of them. Their marriage was riddled with extramarital affairs on both sides, while Kahlo had intimacy with both men and women. Jealousy caused them to split apart and divorce, but they remarried later in life. Again, Diego is a prominent image found in Frida’s work, and as I continue on in this study, I expect to find many more symbols and nuances in her paintings that reflect her reality.

Frida's painting titled, Diego on my Mind

Frida’s painting titled, Diego on my Mind

After creating at least 140 paintings, and hosting her own solo exhibits in the United States, Frida Kahlo was on her way to eminence. Even after her death in 1954, her work stills lives on to be admired, but only became widely popular in the 1970’s and 1980’s. Today, we can see Kahlo’s face as a focal point for pop culture art, her mesmerizing features living on to fascinate more and more people. The mysterious nature of Frida’s paintings are also  what first drew me to her as a person of study, but I quickly realized that I knew nothing of this woman, or even her name. With such a rich perspective on her own life, I realized that knowing more about this was an extremely worthwhile cause, as well as a method to explore some of my goals in this project and beyond, including self reflection. I have found that it becomes so easy in school and in other aspects of my own life to speed through things that need to be done, and then move on to the next task without thought, and I hope to incorporate some more meaningful reflection into how I perform in my day-to-day life at school and at home. As the master of self-perception, I believe Frida can help me out with some of that.

In terms of this the Eminent Person study, self reflection can take form throughout and at the end of the project. As I am heavily involved in spoken word poetry, I look forward to exploring how Frida and I compare in terms of how we express our personal experiences through art, as different as poetry and painting may be. This is a point of interest that I believe will span the entire project, and help me in creating a relationship with Frida that is personal and valuable, providing context into what I create as an artist. It is my hope that through this connective process, I will then be able to embody Frida on the Night of the Notables in a way that feels true to what she stood for as artist, and to create a presentation that is honest to what I find valuable within Frida Kahlo’s accomplishments. For now at least, it is time to hit the books to find out more of this extraordinary woman, but what I look forward to in the long term is how I can represent Frida in a way that goes beyond just simply her face, and further into why the person behind it deserves eminence.

 

Eminent Intro Post

EMINENT PERSON – DAVID COPPERFIELD

There are amazing scientific minds in this world that are able to do unbelievable things. But even some of the world’s smartest mathematicians and scientists are unable to figure out how David Copperfield has done some of his work.  David Copperfield is a 58-year-old illusionist, and is also known as the most financially successful magician in history. He has sold over 40 million tickets which have grossed over four billion dollars, which is not only more than any other magician, but also any other solo entertainer in history.

David Copperfield’s real name is David Seth Kotkin, and he was born on September 16th,  1956 in Metuchen, New Jersey. (He named himself David Copperfield after the Charles Dickens novel).He started practicing magic when he was just 10 years old, and he performed in his neighborhood as “Davino the Boy Magician.”

David Copperfield playing with doves as a young whippersnapper.

As a child, Copperfield was shy and also a loner. He discovered that magic was a way for him to fit in, as well as a way for him to get girls. He was fascinated by Broadway as a teenager and would frequently sneak into shows. By the age of 16, he was teaching a course in magic at New York University.

David Copperfield performing for the 1977 ABC Special, “The Magic of ABC”

David Copperfield’s achievements span his entire life. When he was just 12 years old, he was admitted into the Society of American Magicians, being the youngest person to do so. When Copperfield was 21, Joseph Cates, was a producer of Broadway shows produced a magic television special known as the “The Magic of ABC” that was hosted by Copperfield himself. Since then, he has been in many more magic television specials which have earned 38 Emmy Award nominations, and 21 Emmy Awards. He has also received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, being the first magician to do so. He has also won 11 Guinness World Records (which includes largest collection of magic artifacts, which includes Houdini’s famous water torture cell). He has also received a Living Legend Award from the Library of Congress. Other winners of this award include Tiger Woods, Bill Cosby, Steven Spielberg and Muhammad Ali.

One of Copperfield’s most famous tricks, known as the “Laser Illusion.”

There are several reasons why I’ve selected David Copperfield to be my Eminent person. While it is true that I enjoy watching and learning magic myself, I will never be as talented as David Copperfield. I have chosen David Copperfield because of his incredible commitment. He has had a career in magic for over 30 years.  I hope that I will be able to commit to one field for that long. David Copperfield’s performances are also very entertaining and polished, and I hope that with this project, I might be able to learn how he practices his art, and if I can use the same techniques to help with my performances (regarding anything, not just magic.) I am also keen on trying to figure out how David Copperfield has done some of his work, as I am interested in magic and illusion as well.

I understand that there are some differences between the two of us, but overall I believe that we are not too different. We were both raised in first world countries, and we both share some common interests. I hope that with this project I am able to work on my public speaking skills and I hope to get to know a little bit more about one of the greatest entertainers on earth, David Copperfield.

Eminent Introductory Post

The catchy intro. You know it , everyone knows it. It has the word Bill multiple times, as well as the word science. Over. And over again.  He’s Bill Nye, everyone knows him. He’s the science teacher that didn’t make you fall asleep, and now he’s a activists that shuts down politicians like a windows reboot warning.BillNye-300-md

Born in 1955, November 27 Bill was introduced to a WW2 landscape, his father being a veteran who went through a Japanese POW camp. Now at 58 years of age, our beloved science guy started his career off in Boeing, where he starred in multiple training videos and developed  a hydraulic resonance suppressor for the famous 747 jet. These training videos were the start of his acting and teaching career. He then applied to NASA every few years, being rejected each time. So instead of pursuing his professional scientist vision, he became a writer and actor in a sketch comedy show called “Almost Live!”, where he earned the science guy nickname and occasionally played a speedwalking superhero.  After “Almost Live!”, he appeared in an animated “Back to the Future” series as Dr. Emmet’s assistant, where he would demonstrate the sciences that Emmet explained. This led to him starting up his own TV show, “Bill Nye the Science Guy”. For Nye, this is where it all took off. Over the span of 100 episodes, Nye taught some of the most important scientific topics for students, and became a staple item in any sane classroom. The TV cart in the room would always signify something incredible happening: Bill Nye would take over the class, and teach them via TV in ways that no other could. A career like this was a dangerous ones. There were already large companies that made science videos, but many children found them to be not even mildly entertaining. Nye approached it in an entirely different manner, and he luckily succeeded. Nye didn’t just make science simple, he made it entertaining. And although he no longer makes new episodes, his influence will still be around for decades to come as one of the best science teachers the world has come to know.

Bill_Nye_the_Science_Guy

Yet Nye is not just a quirky TV show host. He also has multiple scientific achievements. These include a sundial for the Mars Rover that could also calibrate colours, and for reasons unknown to me he holds a United States patent for ballet shoes.

As far as Nye’s similarities to me stretch, we are both: White, male, and atheist (agnostic in his case). This is close to what a particular socials teacher would call the “easiest difficulty setting”. Essentially, the whites hold almost all of the world’s political power, as do the males. Straight people are considered “normal”, and therefore often given more respect. The only part that could turn up the difficulty setting by a slight touch would be not being a christian. This is essentially the difference between “Thomas the Tank Engine” and “Dora the Explorer”. See, Dora has some Spanish thrown in. That stuff is crazy hard you know? Although Nye is playing life with what some consider to be the near ultimate handicap, he is still an incredible person. Me? Although I would like to be, I think that few could possibly achieve the level of enlightenment that Nye has reached.

However, I would like to believe that both I and Nye (that sounded really cheesy) have some connection on a slightly higher level. This would not actually be a profound love for science, since although I am very interested in physics, I try to avoid the rest of high school science courses. Nye on the other hand teaches pretty much everything. However, I quite like the fact that everything he does is based on pure, unfiltered logic. Although many of his TV show demonstrations could be considered as dumbed down, they still revolve around actual science, with no filler thrown in to make the concepts easier. Rather, he demonstrates them with physical examples that are a scaled down or expanded version of what is actually happening. Instead of just grazing what the topic is about, he actually teaches why and how through demonstrations that make sense.

In my previous years, from elementary school to early middle school, Nye was the best teacher that I could imagine. Instead of just reading from a textbook, he actually understood the concepts, and knew how to teach younger children in a way that they could understand. He’s taught not just me, but everyone, not only science but how to properly teach a class in an engaging and entertaining manner.

As for my goals in this project, I am hoping to renew a love for science. I found interest in the topic during middle school, but after starting in high school I have lost interest in a large portion of it, physics being the only part that I still truly enjoy. This is also one of my main learning goals for the entire year, as I am hoping to succeed in my physics 11 course, in an attempt to find a subject that I truly enjoy. I enjoyed it during the science 10 unit, and I am hoping to continue with it for the rest of my high school life. In the long run, I hope that this project will give me some more insight into scientific careers. I have been interested in entering some sort of engineering path, and with any luck, studying one of the most prominent modern scientists will help me gain insight as to what that would involve, and what options I have.

Eminent Person: Amelia Earhart

She was an American adventurer, aviator and author. The first female to ever fly solo across the Atlantic Ocean. She received many awards, set many records, and wrote best-selling books. And she is the symbol of perseverance and power in the American woman. This is Amelia Earhart

Amelia Mary Earhart was born on July 24th 1897 in Atchison, Kansas. Daughter of Samuel and Amelia ‘Amy’ Earhart, she was the oldest and she had a younger sister named “Muriel”.  Amelia was named after her two Grandmothers, Amelia Harres Otis and Mary Wells Earhart, which was a family tradition. When her sister Muriel was young, she wasn’t able to pronounce Amelia’s name correctly, so that’s how she got her nickname “Meelie”. Until the 7th grade, both Amelia and Muriel were homeschooled by their mother and a governess, and then when she was 12, she entered the public school system for the first time.

Amelia Earhart 1

When Amelia was 21, she took a course in Red Cross First Aid, and became a nurse’s aide at Spadina Military Hospital in Toronto during the First World War. The next year she enrolled at Columbia University in New York for a premedical course.

Amelia Earhart 2

Shortly after, she joined her family in California, where they were already living, and she took up aviation as a hobby. She would work odd jobs to pay for flying lessons, and then finally in 1922, she bought her first Kinner Airster, with the help of her mother and sister. But it wasn’t until 1928, when she was working at Denison House in Boston that she was chosen to be the first female passenger on a transatlantic flight by her future husband George Palmer Putnam. Later that year, she became the first woman to fly alone across the U.S. and back.

While Amelia was in LA, she became engaged to an engineer by the name of Samuel Chapman, but broke off the engagement on November 23, 1928. After, she began to spend a lot of time with George Palmer Putnam, and who proposed to her six times before she finally agreed. They got married on February 7, 1931.

It was May 1932, when she set out to fly solo across the Atlantic, and she became the first female to fly across the Atlantic. For that she received the U.S Distinguished Flying Cross, then after that it was record after record that she set. She became the first person to fly solo from Honolulu to Oakland and from LA to Mexico City, and Mexico to Newark.

Amelia Earhart 3

Because of all her record flights, she began endorsing athletic clothes for women and flight luggage.

In June 1937, she would start the first around the world trip. But on June 2, completing 2/3 of the trip, her and her navigator Fredrick Noonan disappeared. They took off from New Guinea headed to Howland Island when they vanished. There was a Naval, Air and Land search for Amelia and Fredrick, but to this day their fate is unknown.

Well since this is my first year doing eminent, I am a bit anxious for what it’s going to be like. I don’t have a lot in common with Amelia Earhart, but we both have a sense of adventure and I admire her as a symbol of perseverance and power in the American woman (or in my case Canadian Woman). She is a great role model and an amazing influence for the young women of my generation. I would like to improve my presentation and time management skills. I hope that this project will also teach me skills about researching. Also, after listening to some Grade 10’s and their past experiences, hopefully I can learn from their mistakes and take their advice for a successful Eminent Person Study.

First Post! (Introducing, Gloria Steinem)

“We’ve begun to raise daughters more like sons… but few have the courage to raise our sons more like our daughters.”

Gloria Steinem. American feminist, journalist, social and political activist and leader of, and media spokeswoman for the Women’s Liberation Movement in the late 60’s and 70’s. She co-founded New York Magazine and Ms. Magazine, helped create Take Our Daughters to Work Day and helped found Choice USA (Now known as URGE).

Currently 80 years-old, Steinem’s first big break was when in 1963, she went undercover as a Playboy Bunny at the New York Playboy Club. In the two articles titled as “A Bunny’s Tale” she uncovers the harsh work conditions, false advertising, exploitation and sexual demands of the Bunnies.

From there she spoke out about being pro-abortion, criticized the lack of Wonder Woman’s powers (Wonder Woman eventually got her powers back) and in 1972, she co-founded the feminist-themed magazine Ms. The pilot print run of 300,000 sold out nationwide in three days. It achieved over 26,000 subscriptions and over 20,000 reader letters within weeks. Steinem continued to write for the magazine until it was sold in 1987. This was just her journalism career.

She actively campaigned for the Equal Rights Amendment, as well as with many other laws and social reforms that encouraged equality between men and women. Helping strike down many long-standing sex discrimination laws such as those that gave men superior rights in marriage and unequal job opportunities. She went so far as to even testify before the Senate Judiciary Committee in favor of the Equal Rights Amendment in 1970. She helped find political groups such as the Women’s Action Alliance, the Coalition of Labor Union Women and the Women’s Media Center.

1968 was when she signed the “War Tax Protest” pledge, in protest against the Vietnam War and in 1969, she published the article “After Black Power, Women’s Liberation”. Along with her earlier supporting of abortion rights, these events were what catapulted her to national fame as a leading feminist.

She stated on the fact of being a feminism leader that, “I think the fact that I’ve become a symbol for the women’s movement is somewhat accidental. A woman member of Congress, for example, might be identified as a member of Congress; it doesn’t mean she’s any less of a feminist but she’s identified by her nearest male analog. Well, I don’t have a male analog so the press has to identify me with the movement. I suppose I could be referred to as a journalist, but because Ms. is part of a movement and not just a typical magazine, I’m more likely to be identified with the movement. There’s no other slot to put me in.”

So what is the connection between Gloria and I? We are both white women living in first world countries. We come from the same class of people and believe in the same ideas. However, we lived (and are living) in a different time. Women in the 60’s and 70’s experienced sexism and discrimination in all aspects in their lives. Job listings in the news would want only men to apply and the most common job for a women was a secretary or waitress. If you didn’t have a job, you were most likely married and being a loving house-wife waiting on her dashing husband to come home from work to present him a feast that you cooked all day for him. Sounds like a great life right? For me, absolutely not. Birth control and abortions were not spoken of and hard to come by safely. We weren’t allowed to acquire a credit card, line of credit, do jury duty or even get an Ivy League Education (Yale and Princeton didn’t accept female students until 1969, Harvard didn’t until 1977).

Now I can pretty much do whatever I want however I do run the risk of receiving death threats, twitter hate, public shaming, bullying, ostracizing and just pure hate. Sounds like fun to me!

I found out about what feminism is and women’s rights are when I watched a documentary on the Women’s Liberation Movement. I never truly realized what women had to do to get where we are today, and we still have a long way to go. I think my first experience of sexism was when I was in grade six. Hot summer day, and I who was 11 years-old decided to wear a tank-top combination of one over another to make the straps thicker than they were. This was also the time when I started wearing a bra. It was nude, so hard to recognize against my skin however stuck out if I didn’t adjust the straps well enough. Anyways, I was told to cover my shoulders because it was inappropriate and I was distracting the boys. So being the good girl who follows the rules, I did. I fought through the heat and continued to cover up but I noticed that three other girls in my class were wearing tank tops as well but they weren’t asked to cover up. So not only was a 11 year-old’s body sexualized by my principle but I also got in bigger trouble because I was more “developed” than most girls.

This started a gradual build-up to where I am today. I could say I’m a feminist because I do believe in the equality of the sexes on social, political and economic grounds but I think that doing Gloria Steinem as my eminent will help me learn even more about feminism and learn more about myself and my values/morals.

 

Gloria today, still looks great!

“This is no simple reform. It really is a revolution. Sex and race because they are easy and visible differences have been the primary ways of organizing human beings into superior and inferior groups and into the cheap labor on which this system still depends. We are talking about a society in which there will be no roles other than those chosen or those earned. We are really talking about humanism.”

 

The Pipes Are Calling Eminent Intro Post

My Eminent Person for 2014!!!

 

Jack Lee was born in 1957 in Portage La Prairie, Manitoba, his family moved to Surrey, BC when he was 2 years old. He started piping when he was 5 years old. Now a days he is considered to be one of the best bagpipers ever, if not the best. He has won all of the possible top solo bagpiping prizes at least once and he is the Pipe Sergeant and co-founder of the Simon Fraser University Pipe Band, the most successful Grade 1 (highest level) band from outside of the U.K. and Ireland. He has been featured in numerous documentaries, books and CDs. He has also been awarded an Honorary Doctorate Degree from Simon Fraser University and a Meritorious Service Medal by the Governor General of Canada.

 However I didn’t choose Jack Lee to be my eminent person based on the awards he has won or his celebrity status, I chose him because of his dedication to teaching and the preservation of the art of bagpiping. In my opinion this is what truly makes him eminent and sets him apart from other famous pipers.

 He is the manager and head piping instructor of Robert Malcolm Memorial Pipe Band, a youth and feeder band affiliated with the Simon Fraser University Pipe Band. He is a co-founder of Piping Hot Summer Drummer; the largest Piping, Drumming and Highland Dancing School in the world, he also travels regularly to teach at international piping schools. In addition to this, he is a private tutor for a select number of pipers that he invites to be his students. But Jack Lee doesn’t just teach his students about piping, he teaches them about life. He teaches the importance of hard work and self-discipline and how to win and lose gracefully. He has high expectations but he sets them in such a way that people are motivated to make themselves rise to meet them and he is a positive role model and mentor for thousands of young people who are participants in the piping schools he teaches at.

Piping Hot Summer Drummer School

Reflection on My Choice

  In reference to Mr. Jackson’s point about the imbalance of female and male eminent people and how we should make sure to look for and consider studying females in the same fields as well known eminent men.  I know eminent females are usually quite underrepresented in the eminent person project but the truth is eminent females are underrepresented in history. I am choosing to study a male bagpiper but as a female bagpiper I am also very aware of the underrepresentation of women in the piping world. Until quite recently there was very open discrimination against female bagpipers, women were not allowed to join bands or compete at high level events but I am happy to say that it is different now.  Another reason I chose Jack Lee as my eminent person is because he doesn’t promote discrimination towards gender, race, religion or class. If you want to learn and he thinks you have potential he will teach you.

In terms of the way this project relates to my personal learning goals throughout this year, I am continuing to keep my word from last year “Aspire” in the back of my head. I believe Jack Lee has done and continues to do way more than he and others ever thought possible or expected and I hope to do the same in my life. I really admire his leadership abilities and how he motivates people to be better. I also think the sheer number of people’s lives he has touched is incredible, because in the long run it doesn’t matter what you get it’s what you give.