H.A. Rey

For my eminent project I will be researching H.A. Rey. This person is one of the author of Curious Gimageseorge, one of my most remarkable childhood books. Although each book has a similar pattern it always takes the reader on a different adventure. I always enjoyed reading this series again and again because I always found new ways to relate it to myself. I would always be eager to read these books during my liesure or at the Library. Unfortunately the series is discontinued. I hope I will learn about the author more in depth and how the story came about.

Hans Augusto Reys better known as H.A. Reys was born on September 19th 1898 and passed away on August 26th 1977. He is an illustrator and a writdownloader who was one of the authors for Curious George along with Margret Rey. H.A. Rey was born in Hamburg, Germany and met his wife in Brazil when Hans was working as a salesman and Margret had escaped from the rise of Nazism. They got married in 1935 after they were reunited when Margret left to study Arts. As a child Hans spent most of his time at the Hagenbeck zoo drawing animals. After serving in World War I, he had studied philology and natural science at the university of Hamburg. The first manuscript of Curious George was on the bicycle of Rey’s when they escaped Paris and arrived in Brazil in the 1940. The book was first published in 1941 where it was translated into multiple languages such including French and German.

While they were still in Paris, Hans’s animal drawing were noticed by a french publisher who insisted he write a children’s book. He first created Cecily G and the Nine Monkeys which did not become famous, but one of the characters wasdownload (1) an adorable monkey Named Curious George. Since the monkey beca,e a huge success the Rey family decided to write a series based off of the one character. Unfortuanetly World War II had forced them to flee Paris, a few hours before the Nazis captured the area. They had escaped to France and then on June 20 of 1940 they left to Brazil. On their journey they had a manuscript of the Curious George book late published in 1941. The book was a huge success, they had been ordered to create more stories which later included a new character, the Man in the Yellow Hat. Hans was responsible for the illustrations while Margret had worked on the stories. In the early editions, Margret’s name was included in the credits, but now she receives full credit for her work. He has written a total of 19 books and illustrated 8 books. They later moved to a house near the Harvard Square until the death of H.A. Rey. The legacy is still alive, there are stores and bookstores dedicated to this committed author.

There is a bunch of reasons why I selected this author. Although his books were not the firsts books I read, his books are the ones I could connect to and find interests the most. Curious George hadownload (2)s inspired me to be curious and not only me, but lots of other children of all ages. I find interest in this illustrator because I  loved to draw animals and other creatures when I was young too. I would take the characters from Curious George and make my own books sometimes. I hope to learn more of the inspirations and process of Curious George. I would also like to learn more about H.A. Rey’s childhood.

 

Introducing…

23 Sep 1969, Los Angeles, California, USA. Image by © Bettmann/CORBIS
23 Sep 1969, Los Angeles, California, USA. Image by © Bettmann/CORBIS

Angela Davis: Political activist, scholar, social justice extraordinaire – and still going strong. Here’s a little background info about her life and rally for social and political change:

Born 1944, currently 70 years of age. Angela lived in Birmingham, Alabama USA, an area well known for segregation and nicknamed “Dynamite Hill” for the bombings it went through. She grew up in a tight knit black community, surrounded by her mother and community leaders, all of whom were influenced by the Communist Party. She was also influenced by her professor Herbert Marcuse in university, where she was 1 out of 3 black students in her class. Her first encounter with the FBI was an interview after attending a communist-sponsored international event for a youth and students festival. She became an assistant professor of philosophy at UCLA but was fired for her political associations with communism. When it was ruled that she couldn’t be fired for her politics, the regents of the university fired her for “use of inflammatory language” in her lectures. She was later arrested and charged for kidnapping, conspiracy  and murder when a guns used in a kidnapping attempt were traced to be registered under her name.

Being a woman, Angela Davis got a lot of notoriety as one of the “Top Ten Most Wanted Women” on the FBI’s list.

However, she did not take part in the kidnapping and was cleared after supporters of her cause rose up in protest of her imprisonment. That was the defining moment of her career. After being in a US prison, her passion about the social justice system solidified, and she has committed herself to this work for nearly her entire life.

 

I’m hoping this project will lead me into learning more about justice, and the different ideas people have about it. As I learn more about Angela Davis’s work, I intend to be doing some work of my own researching who decides how the justice system works, how we are currently fulfilling “justice” with our justice system, and what challenges it faces and points that can be improved on. Because of my eminent person’s area of expertise, I will probably focus on prisons specifically. For the same reason I’ll look at racial discrimination and inter-racial tensions in the justice system.

The Ferguson shooting is an example of how, even now, unter-racial tensions are still very much present within the justice system.
The Ferguson shooting is an example of how, even now, inter-racial tensions are still very much present within the justice system.

If I have time, I may dig deeper into my own wonders about culture: how can we preserve it without singling out or stereotyping individuals based on it? Last year, Lyle’s word sonder tied into this topic really well – but more on that later.

 In some ways, Angela Davis and I are worlds apart, despite both living on the same continent. She’s black, I’m white. Nowadays we may not consider this to be that different, but as the Ferguson shooting proved, there are still many inter-racial tensions between black and white peoples. Also, in Angela Davis’s lifetime, she experienced the segregated schools and black/white zoning that was commonplace in the 50s and 60s. Black people were:

  • more likely to get arrested for the same crimes as white people
  • rarely ever got paid as much as whites
  • and were denied economic loans made available to white people

Our age gap also separates us, and I have both the privilege of being white and the era of equality. However, this supposed era highlights the similarities between us: we’re both female. Though more acceptable today, feminism is still a widely spread issue, and takes place throughout all genders (not just women). angela-davisquotecompositebymeOn top of this, we were both born into middle-class families, and while schooling was definitely more difficult for her due to segregated schools, we both have the financial stability to go to post-secondary schools. This obviously opens up a lot more options for a career, and intellectual discussion for society’s advancement.

We both want to make a positive change in the world; however, in different areas. Angela was very politically involved from a young age, being in communist youth groups and growing up with politics embedded in her family life. I’m not – I’m more into sustainability and the environment. It’s only recently that I’ve started to take interest in politics since I’m getting closer to the voting age, and of course Mr. J has helped me realize that we need more people to care about where the country is headed.

As Dr. Seuss said in The Lorax, “Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better. It’s not.”

 

My personal learning goals for the year are to broaden my horizons and take meaningful risks. I’m curious about the prison-industrial complex, and why it is easier to go to jail than get a public education. Seriously, does that sound right to you?

The prison-industrial complex is a termed coined by Angela Davis to describe the state of prisons in the US.
The prison-industrial complex is a termed coined by Angela Davis to describe the state of prisons in the US.

Eminent will help especially with developing me interpersonal and technology skills when preparing for interviews, and gathering resources and synthesizing information. I’m going to try and connect to more people this year, have more informal discussions with classmates, and reach a mutual understanding between my person and myself about how we relate to each other. Hopefully this project will lead to the discovery of new interests, and go in-depth on the passions I share with Angela Davis: equality and acceptance. I want to develop my understanding of  who I am, what I really believe in, and find or make a place for myself in the world – though I suppose that’ s more of a life goal than one for just this year!

Eminent Introductory Post

This is a fairly irrelevant introduction, but attempting to think of one, I immediately realized that maybe 50% of blog posts about eminent or in-depth usually note the fact that eminent and in-depth snuck up on them or ended unreasonably fast. This is probably because people have trouble figuring out what they want to say in the beginning. I’m sure somewhere among the expanse of my blog I’ve done it, and I’m pretty sure why I made this introduction to begin with.

huh (look at Alison’s post)

 

But anyways back on track, this year for eminent, I have decided to do the God himself (he might as well be) Subutai. Right now you might be asking yourself, “who is Subutai?” Well, this  is Subutai. Just look at this man, he has two feathers a top his head. TWO FEATHERS. One to raid your village and another to abduct your women. Look into the eyes of this man and tell me he isn’t eminent.

Subutai was born in 1175 in Mongolia, at least this is what scientists believe. He belonged in the Uriankhai clan, and was closely associated and good friends with Temujin, the young soon to be Genghis Khan. As a commoner by birth Subutai built his way up the food chain, taking every opportunity, rising up  and eventually claimed the highest possible position without being related to Genghis Khan by blood, a general. Subutai claimed his spot at the top of the food chain, literally being entitled as a “dog of war,” with full command of his own tumen (approximately one thousand men).

Subutai’s early years in a nutshell

When I said Subutai might as well be a God I was saying that in all seriousness. Not only was this man a general but a prodigious tactician. He knew the in’s and out’s of his opponents, devised strategies unimagined, on a complete other scale, ripping his opponents in half. His coordination was unmatched.  This man is considered the greatest general in history. By far.

Subutai’s successes was partially due to his respect for innovation and engineering. He holds the first recorded use of artillery in the west, in the battle of Mohi. Subutai turned around a fight that was pretty much already lost, but some how desolated the opposing forces, killing around 25 percent of the population and essentially deconstructed the Hungarian empire. The Mongols didn’t even expect a fight let alone expect to win. Considering the fact that the Hungarians were the ones tried to invade the Mongols, you could say the fight was not worth.

The fight starts with Subutai baiting the Hungarians to a skirmish on a bridge, meanwhile the other half of his troops are crossing the river through makeshift bridges. Once they cross the river, the Mongols collapse and encircle their camp. They use stone throwers and catapults and essentially eradicate the troops. Note that the Hungarians have about 10,000 more troops than the Mongols. This victory opened up Europe and made it vulnerable to a multitude of attacks by Subutai later on. This was a single victory that allowed Subutai to mow through the rest of Europe, until he was ordered to retreat  so he could make it to the coronation of Obedei Khan, the son of Genghis Khan.

Here’s a diagram!

Subutai went on to win sixty-five battles, conquering thrity-two nations and commanded the only force in history to conquer Russia. He was most also well known for operating campaigns that destroyed Hungary and Poland within a period of two days, with his forces spread hundreds of kilometers apart.

This man is a living legend, something about him makes me really exited. Maybe its my connection to cadets and the military, or just his “general” sense of badassness, because if any one is a badass, it is defiantly  Subutai and of course Samuel L Jackson. I guess I just enjoy studying the badasses. Recently I’ve become more fond with battles and strategy, and I fully believe Subutai will guide me into the that kind of interest.

As a child, the military  was always something in the back of my head, something I admired. Its quite nostalgic and sometimes I think that’s why I enjoy being in cadets, not that I plan to join the army, but I want to diversify my choices. So in a way, studying Subutai somehow lets me feel satisfied. As a goal, I would like to rediscover some of these attractions I had.

As another goal, the only thing I can hope for is to create a Godlike learning center for a Godlike person. Many ideas have came to me, and honestly after being so disappointed last year, I cannot possibly let myself do bad this year.  Also, my sister, who does commissions, is going to help me create an amazing costume and armour. Seems like a lot of work, but I am really looking to blow it out of the water this year. So until then, lets sit back and enjoy the show that is eminent person.

’bout to go in on this one

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.

ENE302.indd

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.

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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.