Last year, I found it was very easy to get an interview, this year… not so much!! I originally sent out quite a few emails and messages to people who work with Hayley through marketing, social events, and emailed just a general questions email they have on her official website. I also tried  to contact Hayley’s mom through Facebook messages, but since I’m not her “friend” on Facebook, she didn’t even open my message. Unfortunately I didn’t get any responses from any of the other people I contacted either. I’m not going to go into to much detail about what I sent them and what their names are, because I ended up getting an interview in the end. The night before eminent I was thinking about all the hard work I put into looking for an interview and I didn’t want that to go to waste. I was sitting on my couch watching the television while eating some chips with my favourite chip dip and scrolling through my twitter feed all at the same time! (so much multitasking) I came across a tweet from Wickenheiser about how all the teams attending Wickfest (a female hockey tournament held by Hayley Wickenheiser) and I thought I might as well send out a tweet (just one) and hope for a response. I waited a solid three hours and then heard the notification sound on my phone. I thought it was a text message (because ya know, so popular) but it was a twitter notification saying that Wickenheiser would be willing to answer a few questions from me if I emailed her! I was so excited!


I just searched twitter on my computer and it took me straight to this twitter account I made on November 10th just so I could tweet Hayley Wickenheiser. I forgot all about that account and it turns out that she responded to me that same day. I really could’ve gotten my interview way before eminent, but now I’m getting it after. Well, it’s better than no interview! But honestly I can’t believe I forgot about making that account and sending out that tweet.


I emailed her right away, but now just have to wait a few days for a response as she was busy wrapping up her tournament!

I will add pictures of the interview once I get a response (which should be within this week)!

amira brar

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Antoine Lavoisinterview

I got my interview done!!!

My mom was digging around and she found one of my dad’s friend’s colleagues, and we emailed him for an interview. He, luckily, accepted! (My mom and I had tried emailing 4-5 other connections but they had all refused interviews because they didn’t know much about Lavoisier and they thought they couldn’t do it)

So today (Dec 6th) I drove to good ol’ Richmond, BC.


Driving to Richmond

The person I interviewed was a chemist named Dr. Eben Dy. He received his Masters degree in Chemistry in the Philippines, and Received his PhD at Osaka University in Applied Physics. He has worked the National Research Council of Canada, and is considered an official chemist. Here is his Linkedin (He gave it to me, I swear I didn’t stalk him)

Here is the Question-and-Answer type of thing that I asked him (I wrote notes in point form and later made them into coherent sentences for the answers, by the way)

Eminent Interview Questions:

1: How much education/training have you received in the field of chemistry and how much did the thoughts you had towards chemistry change as you learned more and more? (Example: wasn’t interested at first, changed, etc.)

Richmond Library

Richmond Library

Mr. Dy was more inclined to physics in high school, but he still liked all of science. He thought it would be easier to find job in the field of chemistry, but jobs ended up being better in physics. Mr. Dy received his Masters in the Philippines, and his PhD in Osaka. He says his view of chemistry has broadened throughout the years, and he specializes in physical chemistry/chemical physics.

2: How significant was the introduction of chemical nomenclature to the world of chemistry? In other words, what would have happened if chemical nomenclature was never improved on by Lavoisier?

It was the foundation of chemistry; you could call it a building block of modern chemistry.

Me and Mr. Dy

Me and Mr. Dy

Before Lavoisier, there wasn’t a quantitative side to chemistry. Everything was more touchy/feely. A lot of new things that were introduced have to do with Lavoisier. When you start learning Chemistry, just like classification in biology, where there are kingdoms, genus etc, Chemistry is kind of like that in the beginning, but then becomes more quantitative and definite, and Lavoisier’s work laid the foundation. To sum it up, science became more quantitative thanks to chemical nomenclature and the law of conservation of mass.

3: Why is the fact that water is a compound, not an element, important to chemistry?

Fuels and sugars are hydrocarbons, which you can burn. If you put them in air/heat them up, they create CO2 and water. In the combustion of hydrocarbons, (In the early days people used vegetable oil and whale fat to heat things and for lamps; they’re both hydrocarbons) it’s hard to understand what is happening during combustion without realizing that water is H2O.

4: Is the phlogiston theory taught in college/university, and if not/so, what are some reasons why this now-defunct theory is taught/not taught?

It is no longer taught in college, just touched in college for historical purpose to show Lavoisier’s work was important.

5: After Lavoisier disproved the phlogiston theory, what inventions and innovations were made with combustion?

Everything involving combustion was influenced by Lavoisier. A good example is the engine. In an engine, there are pistons and cylinders. The pistons move; they are in different positions. They are all connected to a crank shaft, like bicycle pedals (this is why you need to understand how combustion works) and the piston moves up and down because of combustion. Engineers know how much air/fuel is needed, how much work combustion will complete/do with each cycle. (This much fuel + this much air + burn = certain amount of energy)This is also all synchronized. Chemical bonds release energy that can be used to do work. This is fundamental to chemical thermodynamics.



6: If Lavoisier hadn’t died in the French Revolution, what other contributions might he made?

He would’ve accelerated the growth of chemistry and contributed a lot more; maybe things that people that did 50-100 years after. Lavoisier was the basis of chemistry, and the earlier the foundations, the faster the progress of technology.

7: How does the water splitting experiment using the battery really work? Why do both sides need to be connected for this experiment to work?

You need to complete the circuit; a battery has positive and negative sides, and the electrons flow one direction. The baking soda helps conduct the electricity. The reason the water in the oxygen-containing tube is because there was a redux reaction with the copper. It goes into electrochemistry and is complicated, but what pretty much happens is the electricity provides energy for copper ions to react with the water. Electricity used to drive certain reactions (this is called an electrochemical reaction). In electrolysis, the negative side sends electrons from the positive side, making the negative side have hydrogen ions and the positive side have oxygen ions.

Mr. Dy worked in fuel cells, which was the opposite of electrolysis, so he explained that concept to me as well; The hydrogen and oxygen gases, along with an acidic base (electrolysis used a basic base, Sodium Bicarbonate) and the O2 splits into 2O, and reacts with the acid; the protons (H2) react with the oxygen gas, producing energy and water

Hydrogen and oxygen gases are in higher energy states (there is a potential energy difference) while water is at lower energy state (lower potential energy state) and you apply energy to split water.

Just like in a dam where water falls and makes energy, to make the water go back up, you apply energy.

By the way, the energy from chemical bonds is called chemical potential. Also,  a galvanic cell spontaneously reacts and generates electricity (fuel cell), while an electrolytic cell requires energy to be entered.

8: Without Marie-Anne translating works for Lavoisier (example: Henry Cavendish’s flammable air) would Lavoisier still have been able to make the contributions to the world of chemistry?

It takes several lifetimes for scientists to build up knowledge. Most progress happened in Europe, and it would be very hard to start from scratch. It was mostly one scientist building on the work of another scientist – disproving/proving theories and hypotheses. Without Marie-Anne, chemistry might not have progressed as fast as it did.

9: What other chemists were prominent during Lavoisier’s time?

He would’ve been the biggest/most prominent scientist in chemistry. In the very early days, chemistry wasn’t a science, it was alchemy. People had techniques (ceramics in Asia, etc.) but it wasn’t really a science in the sense because there was a superstitious aspect to it (lead into gold, etc.) . Lavoisier put things into black and white, and pushed science forward.

Mr. Dy could think of 1 scientist off the top of his head, who was Mendeleev (periodic table) – Lavoisier would’ve influenced him.

The basis of knowledge for chemistry was all mixed up; certain groups of know-hows with the knowledge of alchemy meant lots of misconceptions. As time passed, things got clearer.

10: What scientists have been influenced by Lavoisier or his works?

Every chemist, because he set the foundation for science; we study how matter changes, and that’s what chemistry is.



In conclusion, I think the interview was pretty successful, and I learned a lot of things, especially about fuel cells, and it was overall really interesting.

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Eminent Interview: Spooky Results

So unfortunately I couldn’t create this post earlier. I even mentioned making this post in my SFU trip post but because of delays here it is now. I was actually really hyped about making this post because of the initial results of my interview; however I was quickly disappointed.

So this is how my emails looked like. I’m not going to lie, I was really busy with making armour and other eminent things so I just used my email from year and tweaked it a little bit.

Hi __________, my name is James Situ, I’m currently in grade ten and in a gifted program called TALONS. TALONS focuses a lot on the autonomous learner model and interdisciplinary learning. Anyways in Talons every year we have a project Called “Eminent Person” where we chose someone of some kind of eminence or impact on the world and conduct an in depth study on them. I chose Subutai, merely because of his great achievements as a general. I understand you have some knowledge on Subutai, and I hope that maybe we could have a short interview over email or phone just to talk about your experience with him. Even if you might not know a lot about Subutai, your help will be greatly appreciated because I’m sure that you know that there aren’t a lot of other people out there who I can contact that know about Subutai. Please consider my request, if it interests you at all here is my blog where i post some of my work. If you are too busy or for any reason you cant have an interview with me, maybe you could refer someone to me that might know more about the topic. I only have a week and a half left so please respond soon! Thanks!

My hero… Kinda

Basically, I sent out over five of these emails, and  a couple tweets to various people. When I said no knows about Subutai, I was right because there was practically no one out there who had an extensive knowledge about  him. I ended up just contacting people who wrote short articles about him or people who know a lot about Genghis khan and might have known about my guy by some chance. This is the part that had me really excited. One of the emails I sent was merely  a shot in the dark. I sent an email to a best selling writer by the name of Tim cope. Tim is an Australian journalist and adventurer who wrote a bestselling book called, “On the Trails of Genghis Khan.” The email was sent at around 10 at night, and he immediately replied the morning after at around seven.

How I felt after seeing the email in the morning

That email in itself made my whole day better. Can you imagine the feeling of sending a request for an interview, and getting results the morning after? This guy is a best selling author too, so I really lucked out on this one. BUT, here is the plot twist. Immediately after getting the email back, I sent my questions through, and then I waited, and waited, and waited and still to this very moment he has not responded. So I went from being ecstatic and unbelievably pleased to bitterly disappointed.

How I feel now

The thing is, we had time to finish our posts to the coming Monday, so I just decided to be patient and I guess it came back to bite me in the butt. So here are my questions that I sent through, if it even means anything.

1. Why do you think Subutai is much more unrecognized compared to other famous generals? If Subutai was much more successful how come he doesn’t get a lot of recognition?

2. What made Subutai so unique and successful compared to other strategists and generals?
3. You know a lot about Genghis Khan, how was his relationship like with Subutai?
4. Was Subutai’s success dependent on Genghis Khan or vice versa?
5. What is his official name, I know him mainly by Subutai, but people also say Subudei or Subotai, so which one is his official name?

Thanks again, the help is much appreciated!

Some could argue the motto

While my interview was semi successful, I actually had a backup plan all along. I assumed that getting an interview would be hard, and I even thought that I would never get an interview, so I posted some questions on Quora and hoped for some answers. Quora is basically a website where you post questions that you want answered and people who are experts within that topic can answer your question. Its not all that accurate, because people can fake their identity on the website, but for the most part it is genuine.

Here are the questions and answers:

1. What made Subutai so unique and successful compared to other generals or strategists?

For  Starters that battle, one of the greatest crushing victories pulled off by a numerically inferior army in enemy territory. Kievian Rus and its allies had 50-80k troops compared to the 20k troops under Subutai/Subodai.
He wore the enemy out with a very long retreat and then crushed them so badly that the enemy losses were upward of 80% dead, mongol losses were minimal.

2. What was Subutai’s relationship like with Genghis Khan? Was Subutai’s success dependent on him or vice versa?

Very close. Actually their relationship started before they were born. I mean their family had very close relationship for generations.

Subotai’s success was partialy dependant on Temujin (later Genghis Khan) mostly until the death of the great Khan. However, One should mention his most successful military campaigns were done after Genghis Khan’s death.

On the other hand, Genghis’s success was mostly dependent on him as he was Genghis’s primary military strategist along with other 4 generals.

The first questions was answer by someone called, Shirinvas Swaminatan. I’m not quite sure who he/she is but this person is supposedly a nomad and knows a lot about history, Mongolian in particular. The other answer was from anonymous. Unfortunately I didn’t ask as many questions as I should have, and the people who answered seemed a little sketchy but I still got results so its all gravy baby.
The other part to this is that I put up the questions before the SFU trip so I never actually got to ask why Subutai is not that recognized. It still bugs me and I would really like to know, it’s just so puzzling and it is quite a mystery, not only to me. There are no results on Google and  no matter how  long I searched I still cant find a conclusion. One day I will find an answer, but until then the question remains, why does no know about Subutai?

The Bi’blog’raphy

With this final post, Eminent 2014 truly wraps up. It was one adventurous journey and it was definitely quite a big step out of my comfort zone. With so many new and fun experiences, I’m mildly reluctant to draw it to a close, but unfortunately as the saying goes, “all good things must come to an end.”

To finish it off, I hope you enjoy this short journey through my research path.

The best place to start of your preliminary research!

A list of Paganini’s compositions on Wikipedia. You may want to pick a few and listen to them on Youtube just to get a feel for his music.

Youtube, Caprice no. 24

Probably the best recording of Caprice 24 in my opinion. This gives you an accurate feel for Paganini’s music.

This resources is one of the most thorough biograpies of Paganini’s online, it also includes a timeline.

This contains a very short biography as well as a valuable list of the violin techniques that Paganini’s made or improved.,_Niccol%C3%B2

The best place to find Paganini’s compositions that you can download and print out. This source was used to aid the visuals of my learning center.

This resource is another biography, but it highlights Paganini’s effect on his audience and how they perceived him to be.

This movie may not 100% historically accurate, but it really helped me grasp Paganini’s character when preparing for my speech, and overall it was an enjoyable film.

This resource about Marfan’s Syndrome helped me imagine how Paganini played the violin and achieved some of his technical prowess.


This year, my research relied heavily on two books that I borrowed from my violin teacher

Paganini, by Leslie Sheppard and Dr. Herbert R. Axelrod, Published 1979 by Paganiniana Publications Inc, ISBN 0-87666-618-7, 703 pages

I would consider this book to be one of the most comprehensive biography of Paganini’s life, that is if you can find it! This book comes with many images which really helped me when I was thinking of my costume.

Paganini, his life and times, by John Sugden, Published 1980 by Paganiniana Publications Inc, ISBN 0-87666-642-X, 168 pages

I would consider this book to be a more abridged version of the first, yet equally valuable in terms of key points. Once again, it is not an easy book to find.

I hope this information helps future researchers!

Now this truly brings a close to Eminent 2014! Thank you to everyone who followed my posts and updates regarding this project. Although I won’t be researching another eminent person for school next year, I can definitely look forward to supporting the next TALONS class in their endeavors!

Eminent Interview (Sort of)

Unfortunately I’m still waiting on for an interview for my Eminent project. I’ve sent out a lot of e-mails to a bunch of people but nobody has responded yet. One person actually has accepted to my e-mail, but he unfortunately hasn’t responded to my questions yet. I’ll make sure to edit or make a new post if he does answer my questions.

I just sent a couple more e-mails to some more people I found on the internet that can answer any questions about magic. I’ll make sure I update this blog or create a new one if anybody answers back.

I actually did manage to ask a few questions to a magician named Jay Sankey. However, he said he’d only answer 3-4 questions, and when he did answer them the answers were very short and not very detailed at all.

However, it was still very cool that he answered because Jay Sankey is a Canadian magician that has created a lot of magic effects, some of which I actually use in some of my tricks. He’s known by a lot of famous magicians including Dynamo, David Blaine, and he even created effects specifically for Criss Angel. These are some of my all-time favourite magicians to watch. Even though the answers weren’t very detailed, I’m still glad he took the time to respond my messages because I’m a fan of his.

I e-mailed him the following questions and he answered them a few days later.

1. What attracts you to this kind of entertainment?
(Why do you love doing what you do?)
I love presenting people with real mystery.
​2. ​What do you think one of the biggest misconceptions about magicians is?
People think it is the trick that makes the magician. But it is the
3. How difficult is it to think of new illusions as a magician?
Do magicians create brand new illusions or do they use the same techniques they’ve used before?

5% of magicians create the magic performed by the other 95%. It is very difficult and requires strong imagination.

I wouldn’t like the interview above to count as my actual interview because I feel it was a little short and it didn’t give me a lot of information (although I’m still very glad he responded.) I’m going to wait until somebody responds and then hope they give me more information, as well as answer more of my questions. Once I’ve found a really good interview, I’ll make sure to either edit this post or create a new one describing the interview in detail.


Interview with Mr.Abbinante



As part of my eminent person study, I needed to obtain an interview from someone who could relate to Julia Child. I set out in search of someone who would have answers to my questions and who would give me a sense of what it was like to be in her shoes. My solution was Mr.Abbinante, the Culinary Arts Instructor of Gleneagle Secondary. On the day before Night of the Notables, I booked an interview with Mr.Abbinante, then during fourth block, we sat down in the school kitchen and I begun by asking my first question: How did he think Julia Child influenced cooking?

Well Julia Child actually had a huge role on society,” he says, “She was—let’s call it, in a women’s part of the chef or culinary arts—a real pioneer. She was well traveled; she spent quite a bit of time in France and Paris, so she knew all the chefs and she was  very highly respected…”

What he was saying had, indeed, come up in my research, so I happily listened as he continued.

“In the olden days, it was mostly men predominantly as chefs. But she was really well respected by chefs [such as] Jacque Papan, and a couple other chefs. She had her own program for many years and was very well versed in the world of cooking.”

I then asked him what he thought the first impressions of the people watching her on television of America would be.

“I think it was an instant love affair with her because the first thing was she was so passionate about cooking. She was passionate, she was a humble person, she was always willing to learn and take on more things…” he said.

All these qualities that Mr.Abbinante described truly helped me to understand what part of Julia Child her audience must have been drawn to.

As our conversation went on, I began to get into personal questions that may have been relatable to Julia Child herself since both she and Mr.Abbinante had shared the same career. I asked him about what had inspired him when he first started cooking.

“Well I came from a European background,” Mr.Abbinante said, “and so it really was the network of my family. My father was a very talented non-schooled chef, so waking up as an Italian young boy and smelling the fresh sauces and all the homemade baked breads that my mom and dad would bake really got me into cooking. And then just working in hotels when I was fifteen and catering got me into the world of cooking.”

I asked him my next question, which was, what was his favourite part about teaching Culinary Arts?

“I consider myself very fortunate in what my mentors and great chefs taught me. So it allows me to give back into the teaching aspect and to teach and shape young minds of the future, like I was taught…it’s a great thing to see these kids, mold them into the kitchen, see where they start, and then see where they finish. It’s very rewarding.”

I began to wonder if that may have been the point of view of Julia Child as well. Following that question, I asked him to think about what he thought his students’ favourite part about learning was.

I think what really excites our students is when they’re hands on. When they can start a product [from scratch] and finish with a great result, and then of course they get to taste it. It really gives them a sense of purpose, a sense of pride, and it teaches them, ‘geez, I learned something new here and I’m really enjoying it.’ “

This was exactly what I had hoped to hear, since it connected to the reason why Julia Child’s audience had been so inspired by her performance and her idea of enjoying working and learning.

I had heard that Julia Child had started cooking classes at the age of thirty-six, so she had been called a ‘late bloomer.’ My last question was about what Mr.Abbinante’s advice would be for people who still want to chase their dreams.

“I just entered the world of teaching here at forty, so you’re never too old to do anything. I’m doing University courses, I’m doing all these things… you’re always learning in life and it doesn’t matter what age you are. That’s a great thing about life; we’re always learning. So it’s very exciting [to be able] to challenge our new horizons. “

What a nice way to draw the interview to an end. I thanked Mr.Abbinante for his great advice and opinions, and got up to leave with my new found knowledge still buzzing around my head.

Document of Learning~ My Speech

For my Document of Learning, I decided to share my speech. However, due to the pressure of writing it and preparing my learning centre for Night of the Notables, I did not post a draft for my speech ahead of time. I have now come to a decision to post the final copy I wrote, along with the comments I received from the supportive audience. I am relieved to say that I presented my speech last week, and I am glad to say that I feel that I presented it better than how I had expected.  Please feel free to comment on my post with suggestions on my writing (since I am not posting the video of my presentation). Now let’s see what I, a dead chicken, have to say about the French chef Julia Child:

Lights, camera, action! I lay sprawled on the counter as a lady announces, “Julia Child presents, the chicken sisters! ” I listen to her voice; it’s quite funny compared to the other humans. She takes these long breaths between every few sentences and her voice is deep, yet I could only describe her form of speech as chirping. With her apron tied around her waist and a grin spreading across her lips, she introduces the six chicken carcasses lying on the kitchen counter as Ms. Broiler, Ms. Fryer, Ms. Roaster, Ms. Caponata, Ms. Stewer, and Old Madame Hen. She doesn’t even have mercy for the seniors. Well, now that the introduction is finished, I gather myself and try to look as presentable to the cameras as a dead chicken possibly can.

People of later years would grimace at the thought of the salmonella contaminating everything she continuously laid her hands on, which managed to be everything on set. But during this time period, everyone either did not know or was carefree about the germ theory. After all, on the French Chef, Julia Child made everything cooking related seem carefree and overall, enjoyable. Now that was a change compared to the old ways of American cooking, and change was a significant thing that Julia had brought back with her from France.

She waves her knife at each of us in turn, the risk of being the first victim dangling at her fingertips. “Today, we’ll be focusing on…Ms.Roaster!” Phew, I’ve been spared this time.

She scoops up dear Ms.Roaster, explaining how perfect her age and body are for the specific task she has in mind. The lady has so much knowledge about the perfect way to cook, as though she has had lots of experience. Well, of course she has. I’ve heard the farmer and people all over America tuning into her TV show, the French Chef, every week. This woman, standing in front of me, was imported straight from France where she had learned under master chefs. Apparently, very few women had attended the same cooking class as Julia, due to the sexism apparent at that time, but she easily proved that ladies could be equally as threatening and capable as men in the kitchen.

Julia props up dear Ms.Roaster, and chortles on about how, with her age, the tenderness of her body will be perfect for roasting. The back ground crew let out a laugh as she explains the price of another chicken and how it would be twice as much “expensiver.” Julia reveals a giant roll of string and begins winding it all over the chicken, around and around and around to hold up the legs and close the opening to the body.

I remember the farmer had said it should be an honor to have none other than Julia Child herself –television star, award-winning author, and all that jazz — use me as an ingredient. Well I don’t know about you, but I’m not looking forward to having my body dressed up to please a lady’s customers, even if she has won multiple chef awards, television awards and author awards for writing her own cookbook.

“If I can do it, then you can do it!” Julia encourages, smiling and continuing on to teach the art of food-making. She begins sliding the body onto a spit, the traditional, and her favourite way, to roast a chicken.

I’m beginning to wonder where I would be right now if her husband, Paul Cushing Child, had never introduced her to French cuisine. What was the big deal about Julia Child anyway? I mean how in the world had she influenced American cooking? What made her so…admirable? There’s another giggle from the camera crew as she accidentally makes a mistake. “This is my invariable advice to people,” she exclaims, “Learn how to cook—try new recipes, learn from your mistakes, be fearless, and above all have fun”

Fun? I thought this was her job. I thought you weren’t supposed to have fun while attending to anything mandatory that you must do. What was she showing these Americans who always called cooking a job. A job that was not meant to be enjoyed. It was meant to be finished, done, accomplished, complete, but not enjoyed.

I imagine the audience huddled around a TV screen, looking forward to how Julia Child would entertain them once more, and all of a sudden, I can see it. I can see why Julia had influenced the people around her. Was it the fact that she had followed her dream to France and won awards for culinary excellence? Or maybe it was because she had been distinguished for her t.v. success? There were many possibilities, but as I watched her perform on front of the camera, there was something even bigger, even more important that was not printed onto a certificate or branded onto a medal, that I noticed. There was something that was not physically seen, but more like felt, within the hearts and minds of the audience she cooked for. It was there alright though, it was there and it was left as a legacy behind her, a trail of Julia Child that America would never shake off.

What Julia Child introduced was something that defied those ideas written in people’s minds previously about the rules of cooking—she taught that you could be happy. Be happy, and enjoy cooking. People looked up to her for her cheerfulness, the way she could laugh at her own mistakes and continue on with a smile.

Maybe she’s not so bad after all…And on top of that, I’ve never been much of a cannibal, but I’ve got to admit…that chicken she cooked smells amazing. As she sets down the plate and walks over to the counter, she announces, “Now on to Ms.Caponata!” Well, now it seems like it’s my turn. My turn to be cooked by the woman who made a difference in the way of American cooking, by the name of Julia Child.


This was the constructive criticism I received after performing my speech:

  • A little quiet at times (speak louder)
  • Try to project voice to entire audience evenly while looking at one specific point

And my favourite piece of advice from Ms.Mulder

  • Dead chickens don’t move

Please feel free to leave advice in the comments. Thank you!

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    Night of the Notables~ An opportunity for Talons students to gather and prepare knowledge to share about the lives of whoever they find influential, and displaying their findings on a night dedicated to notable people. In preparation to this event, we were asked to choose a person that we personally found inspirational. During my search…
    Tags: julia, cooking, french, child
  • 38
        As part of my eminent person study, I needed to obtain an interview from someone who could relate to Julia Child. I set out in search of someone who would have answers to my questions and who would give me a sense of what it was like to be in her shoes. My solution was Mr.Abbinante,…
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Antoine Lavoisilearning Centre + Lavoisiereflection

*Please note that this was not written on the day the events took place*

D-5: Friday, November 28th, 2014

“1 new notification!” – Facebook

Facebook User —> Talons 2014-2015:

“Does anyone have any ideas for their learning centre?”

That’s when all the panic began.

I had absolutely no idea what I was going to do for my learning centre.

I mean, I could probably blow stuff up or something in the name of science, but I had a feeling the Talons teachers wouldn’t exactly be happy about that.

I had a skate meet tomorrow (aka D-4) so I decided that I would just go to sleep early. Hey, maybe an idea would appear while I slept!

D-4: Saturday, November 29th, 2014

I was freaking out at this point. The skate meet had completely taken all my energy away. Luckily,  my brain still worked. This night, I pretty much planned my whole learning centre. I decided that I would do a poster board and an experiment that I had found earlier. My learning centre didn’t seem to be that difficult to set up anymore!











I decided I would stop by at Staples tomorrow; my planning was complete.

D-3: Sunday, November 30th, 2014

I went to Staples. I bought things. I printed things. It was great. I convinced my dad to assist me in glueing/cutting/printing things because I am the messiest cut/gluer in the entire universe. You can actually tell which parts that I spray glued compared to my dad’s.

D-2: Monday, December 1st, 2014

At this point, I was crying because it was already December. I was only done one section of my poster board and didn’t have a clear idea of what I was going to put in the middle of the board. The experiment and other parts of my learning centre were luckily doing pretty well. My dad really outdid himself, and improved my experiment even more.

D-1: Tuesday, December 2nd, 2014

Let’s just say I successfully completed all segments of my learning centre to make a long story short.

D-Day: Wednesday, December 3rd, 2014

Morning: The 10s had gone downstairs to practice speeches, leaving the 9s in the room by ourselves.

Not exactly the greatest idea.

The nervousness was getting to all of us (I think it was just me though) and I proudly showed my fellow peers the amount of effort that I (and my dad I guess) put into my learning centre. It turned out that I used the same poster board and neon paper as Jackson Hamanishi! It was too bad he was on the other side of the floor for learning centres; we could’ve been twinsies!

I think I’ve kept y’all waiting long enough. Here are pictures of my learning centre!

Pre-NoTN Learning Centre

Pre-NoTN Learning Centre

My beautiful compounds

My beautiful compounds

Learning Centre!!

Learning Centre!!

Side 1 - portrait

Side 1 – portrait

Middle Table & Experiment

Middle Table & Experiment

Night of the Notables

^ from Flickr (I didn’t want to re-format it because I need to download it and stuff so just deal with it guys)

Poster board!

Poster board!

Me pouring liquids (TALONS flickr credits)

Me pouring liquids (TALONS flickr credits)

Me and Karolina's mom (from Talons flickr)

Me and Karolina’s mom (from Talons flickr)

I know it doesn’t look like much, but it was a lot, in my opinion at least.

My learning centre consisted of 4 main components. In the centre, of course, was my experiment. In my experiments, I split water into hydrogen and oxygen gases using a 9V battery. I had two apparatuses running; in one I caught the gases using tubes. The other I used pencils to conduct the electricity so you could see bubbles coming from the bottom of the lead. Here’s a link for more info: Picture of second experiment: (Hope the pictures clarify what I’m trying to say!) All of the people who approached my learning centre were intrigued (okay, mildly interested) in what was happening inside the two jars. I was more than happy to be able to explain to them what Lavoisier did for chemistry. A few people actually walked in/through my learning centre to admire my beautiful poster. Most of the people who did complemented the effort I put into it – examples include Mr. Albright, Azaly’s sister, and Zoe Fajber (alumna). A surprising amount of people were actually interested in what I had to say, which I didn’t expect, especially since Melanie was opening up a mini-Kenya the next locker bay down.

Night of the Notables

^ TALONS Flickr Creds; Melanie setting up a mini-Kenya

Her booth was literally never empty.

Anyways, as time passed on, the water in the tube that contained oxygen turned blue because the copper wire oxidized and the copper oxide spread throughout the water. But it was okay.

The second section to my learning centre was obviously the pictures attached to the lockers. I was able to use the portrait of Marie-Anne and Antoine to describe the role of Marie-Anne to people, and I briefly showed the people that came to my booth what other chemical contributions (hey, alliteration) Lavoisier had made. lavosierexperiment2 experiment3

^^ The pictures used for my learning centre

portrait <– portrait!


There was this one girl who was really young and probably couldn’t understand what the table said, but she seemed really interested in it.

The third portion of my learning centre was probably the least successful; the balls/molecules. I put them in front of my poster board for people to play(?) with, but apparently people thought that they would be cursed by the devil if they touched them or something. Maybe for next time, I should put them on the table along with the experiment, and maybe a sign saying ‘Play with me!’

The last and most important part of my learning centre was, obviously, the poster board. My poster board consisted of 3 portions; History, Contributions, and Legacy. For History, I put the major events of Lavoisier’s life and events that were happening around the world (US Constitution, Marie Antoinette’s death etc.) in two different colours (blue for Antoine, yellow for world) and put them in different fonts and cut them up so that they looked artistic and appealing. A few people actually looked at the history and I referred to it multiple times to show when Lavoisier was guillotined. The Legacy part of the board had 3 pictures and descriptions that explained how Lavoisier affected even more people. The pictures included the DuPont logo, a Japanese translation of his work, and a Chemistry textbook.

The final part of the poster, the Contributions part, was one of the most useful parts of my learning centre. There were 3 points on the Contributions side, and if I forgot to talk about something, I could easily refer to the poster to remember what I was going to say.

I think each part of my learning centre (except the compounds) fulfilled their duties well. The water experiment successfully drew people to my learning centre, the pictures provided extra information and set the mood of my learning centre, and my poster helped me inform people about Lavoisier.

Overall, I think my learning centre was a success, and I think I did a good job, since people usually don’t approach scientific notables that well because they find them boring or too informative.

To finish it off, here’s an early Christmas gift!



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Learning Center

Putting together my Learning Center was not an easy task to do. I had a lot of planning, which i found i did effectively, but my outcome did not come out the way i wanted.For my Learning Center i did it on Hans Augusto Rey, but more importantly Curious George. I found out that many people did not actually k10836167_889278097762859_1349057435_nnow the authors and thought it would be hard to grasp the attention of people with a title they don’t even know. I decided to use Curious George as my header, because everyone knows Curious George as it is one of the most popular children s’ books out there. I used yellow because yellow is the main colour used in Curious George.

For my spacing i had a corner where i could set up my tables and my book. The corner was alright, but you could only see half of a table from around the corner, i had many people just walk past mine to the person beside mine. Next year i am going to try and go for a more open wide area so i can bring in more visuals and make it more pleasing. I felt that for mine i did not bring in a lot of visuals. Although i did not bring in a lot of visual, i unloaded facts onto audience quite effectively.

10822220_889277827762886_3075527_n   Here is my a picture of the final outcome. As you can see i used 2 tables and the walls. For my presentation i had though of using a in real life power point. I had 8 sheets of paper basically outlining Hans life and dividing it into 8 main parts. As i flipped through each page, i had memorized a speech in which i would say. After i had finished presenting my power point i would bring in the book. I decided i would use the book as a majority of my visuals because there were so many things in the book i could bring up.

For my book i had something special in mind. I wanted to make my station interactive so i put a small interactive part into my Learning Center. Although it wasn’t much, it kept my audience focused. All i had was a quiz, it wasn’t one of the boring true or false, or the short answers test. It was the best sequencing test ever. I basically had my audience read 5 page of Curious George (read in less than 30 seconds) and then had them do the closed book test. It contained 4 pages of plots which they had to put in order. Everyone aced my test. Once they had finished with the simple test, i gave them 2 surprise questions. It was no surprise to me that no one got it right. the 2 questions were

1. Did you notice anything about Margret’s writing?

2. Describe Han’s drawing style.

Although these may seem simple it was not.

For Margret’s writing she uses the word George in every page. Only on a very rare occasion will you have no George. For Hans drawing style it is basically simple and colorful. Although the images are simple, he adds lots of colour to them.



My biBLOGraphy:

  • “Amelia Earhart: Image and Icon” By: Kristen Lubben, Susan Butler and Susan Ware. While this book had a lot of information, it was mainly the pictures that I used. There were many images that I was able to use as inspiration for my learning center, and even to build Amelia’s personality for my speech.