Honoré Gabriel Riqueti, comte de Mirabeau, Long Name, Long Story

Hello everybody.

I am Honoré Gabriel Riqueti, comte de Mirabeau, but you can just call me Mirabeau. I was a noble but after my reputation was abolished I am nothing. Sigh. Everyone hates me now, judges, adversaries, and for what? I had like three women who liked me, come on I barely interacted with them. That should be their fault. It was them that liked me anyways. But who cares about that anyway, phhssshhh, not me, right, just out of the dungeon and once again I am an independent man…. Living off gambling and welfare, man this sucks.

But I still have to figure out how I can regain my mojo…. I know I can, I have all the right tools to recreate myself to the peoples liking, morals and all. Though with the revolution rising up, maybe I can somehow use it to my advantage. Maybe if I somehow make my way into the National Assembly and help ‘em out, I bet I could even become their leader. I was a noble and an excellent orator, there would be no way for them to deny me! I am a genius and an asset to them.

Wait a minute… I remembered one of my fellow nobles who was close to the king. They needed an inside man for the National Assembly, someone to let them know about what the common folk were plotting, a spy almost. If I could somehow get back to him and let him know that I would be capable of the job, it would be like killing two birds with one stone. To be fair I couldn’t care less about who wins the revolution anyways. Yeah, I’m really liking the idea of this.

I mean, as long as I manage to keep a low profile I bet I can make it all the way to the top and become their representative or something. It’s all in the bag. Check it.

I am the greatest.






Military School Graduate

October 28, 1785

Today I, Napoleon Bonaparte, graduated from military school with  the rank of second lieutenant in the artillery. I was able to complete the two year program within one year, and now I am ready to take up my new duties in the military.

I have recently been hearing talk among the people about uprisings and riots directed towards the monarchy. They do not like the way the king has been running the country, and want less division between the classes. Being a middle class citizen myself, I see their point, however their talk is unsettling.

I do not want to do anything that would jeopardize my new position as second lieutenant, so I plan to simply do as I am told and follow directions. I do not think anything will happen at the moment however, because people complain about everything and that doesn’t always mean an uprising is coming.

The military will likely keep me busy this next little while, but if anything newsworthy happens I’ll be sure to write about it.

-Napoleon Bonaparte

“Death is nothing; but to live defeated and inglorious is to die daily.” -http://www.military-quotes.com/Napoleon.htm

The Idea of Progress, Marquis du Condorcet

At last, the revolution has taken it’s first steps towards crushing the tyranny that has ruled over France for far to long. The monarchs that rule over us have been in such a high and mighty position that they seem to forget how to properly rule over a country, and are instead blinded by wealth and fortune. For a true France to emerge, we must abolish slavery,  and enfranchise the women. I have cultivated the Idea of Progress in my mind for years now, and I will finally have it put into place once the tyrants are overthrown. In my vision, the new France should be a rationalist society, where decisions are made based off fact and logic, not by personal opinions or messages from God. For a true France to emerge, we must turn to the most accurate forms of knowledge.

The kings rule has been that of a tyranny, and it must come to a stop. In my personal experience, my opinions have been covered up, and I have only been able to put my ideas forth in books, but not able to put them into place in our crumbling society. Should the revolution be a success, which I hope dearly it will be, I will make sure the people of France have an opportunity to see how a society should truly live.

Progress is what has kept man ahead of other races since our creation, and that is why we must keep cultivating progress instead of being kept in such an age, where we are ruled by the rich and stupid, while the smart and keen minded are left to be buried. To progress as a society, we must abolish slavery, free the women, establish provincial assemblies, and implement a universal public education. If we were to follow these guidelines, our entire country would be educated and have a free voice, meaning we would not have a small percentage of people capable of making decisions, but rather we would have thousands of intelligent minds. “I hope to see the bringing together of the best educated people of the earth into a Congress of Science.” (Citation no.3)  This is how we can make progress, and this is how we can turn France into a country of true and just power.


-Condorcet, Marie Jean Antoine Nicholas Caritat, Marquis de, Sandra Hinchman, Enlightenment Revolution

-Condorvet Marie Jean Antoine Nicholas Caritat Marquis, Maurice Lageux, Encyclopedia Agora, 2012




Madame Tallien

madame tallienAs a prominent aristocrat in Paris I am fascinated by the political action taking place currently. Although I can say I do not agree with the Kings decisions I do feel for the poor Queen. After meeting her she seems much alike myself, headstrong and impulsive but also kind. All the terrible rumours going around about things she said or did must be very irritating. At least she has a husband to go through it all with. Unlike my husband I’m sure the King is very supportive. My husband Marquis de Fontenay is not only mean and abusive but also ugly. As the young and beautiful daughter of the Spanish finance minister I could have had my choice of almost any husband but somehow I ended up with this greedy and irrational man. I can still do better than him! Not only do Marquis and I not get along we also have completely different points of view. While I believe that changes need to be made in our current society Marquis is a much more traditional thinker and believes no change is necessary. Luckily I am an independent women with my own opinions. The women who can’t even form their own thoughts without their husbands guidance are laughable. I on the other hand can sometimes be a little to independent, as my husband might say. Although I don’t depend on Marquis it is true I enjoy the financial security he can provide. In the future however I can see us parting ways, I’m not sure how I would feel about such an occurrence. As for the future politically I’m uncertain of what is coming. Whatever does happen I am confident there will be some kind of conflict!

In Depth Post – 04/06/14

Skateboarding has been a lot of fun, and I feel I’ve improved a lot over these few weeks.

Of course, finding a suitable mentor with time to mentor me, has always been a struggle. However, getting help from other sources, has helped me improve, when I couldn’t meet my mentor. Kyler, another student in the TALONS class, and a friend of mine, has been very generous to spend some time skateboarding with me, and giving me pointers on how to improve.

During spring break, we used his Go Pro camera to shoot us skateboarding, and it was a lot of fun. Finding time for mentors has only becoming harder as our whole family has become a lot busier, and Kyler has been a big help in improving my skills.

Link to Video


1. Kyler has shown me a lot of different styles of skateboarding, as well as introducing me to some large annual skateboarding events that happen in Downtown Vancouver. He has also introduced me to other skateboarding friends of his, and I hope that one of them can help mentor me, if they aren’t busy.

2. There are always new people I can meet, who can show new tips and tricks, but there also skateboarding events that I believe I can learn a lot from. The only thing is, the annual skateboarding day is in the summer.

3.  I don’t think I’ve seen many opportunities where I can accelerate my skateboarding, other than days where I just practice the skills and fundamentals. I don’t think a certain event, or one day can vastly improve my skills, instead it will be practice on a regular basis, and trying new things.

4. We can talk about anything, whether it be about school, music, or whatever we’re feeling. We don’t necessarily stay on a certain subject.

5. One reason I find Kyler’s mentoring more helpful, is that I am more of a visual learner. I like things being seen done, and then I will try to do that myself. The thing with Brad was, that I’d only see him every two weeks, and for two weeks, I would only have my memory and my mental notes, and sometimes I may forget. It’s a lot harder when I have to go two weeks straight by myself.

Kyler is a lot more available, which really helps because I can regularly see him, and check with him, if I am doing it right, and just more frequent lessons helps more.

6. I would think that being friends in class, we would know a lot about each other, but spending time 1-on-1 with him, it’s really nice getting to know more about his hobbies, what music he likes, and passions. One thing very interesting I learned was that he loves making videos, and especially acting and editing.

InDepth Post 5

Now that I have started doing some of my own choreography I am beginning to feel like my hard work and practice is paying off. I am still seeing my mentor Sarah once a week and am continuing to learn from her. Sarah has provided lots of learning opportunities that expose me to new learning such as group choreography assignments where we are given different topics or words to inspire us and work in large or small groups to develop our own choreography. Opportunities like this help me to push myself creatively and allow me to learn from and be inspired by the other people in my group. Some opportunities that help accelerate my learning are teaching my own choreography to other people. This means that I not only have thought out the combo or piece well but have a strong understanding of it that allows me to clearly explain the choreography to someone else. When I get together with Sarah we talk a lot about artistry and commercial dance. Sarah and I talk about avoiding over sexualisation in dance as over the last few years commercial dance has become increasingly provocative. Dance is more about the communication of an emotion or story than being provocative. Right now my ability to learn from Sarah and improve quickly is going especially well. I think the reason I am learning so quickly is because Sarah is such a wonderful and passionate teacher! It also helps that I am really enjoying this journey and am excited to learn and improve. I am learning a lot about Sarah as an artist lately. Even though I have had her as a teacher for a few years I am now paying closer attention to how she choreographs and moves. This is super interesting to me and very inspiring! I am very pleased with how my In Depth project is going and I am really excited for In Depth night to present what I have learned over the past couple months.

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In-Depth Update: Hullabaloo! (#4)

Three weeks today, Emma, Lyle and I, will be taking to the stage in Vancouver for the Youth Provincial Poetry Slam, Hullabaloo!


This is crunch time: where everyone is trying to write new poetry; workshop the delivery of the poetry; and then obsess about it incessantly. The team has been meeting up with Jacob (our mentor) twice weekly for the past few weeks, and as we get closer to Hullabaloo that frequency may even increase further.

Mentoring sessions with Jacob are a fascinating thing; it’d be interesting to record a session and then watch it later for reflective purposes. We discuss poetry first and foremost, but somehow all sorts of thing get jumbled in – business, philosophy, teaching, interpersonal skills, to name a few – Jacob passes on a lot of knowledge and wisdom in a very short amount of time. He also is completely shameless (in the best way). On the Sunday before school started back up, we met up at the Starbucks near Chapters at 7:30 in the morning. Upon Emma, Lyle and I professing we were still a little sleepy, he brought us out to the empty parking lot, and proceeded to force us all to run suicides.

Not my preferred morning wake-up call, but it was definitely effective.

Speaking of waking up: I would like to share something really wonderful with the world. It is a phrase, coined by Ms. Britta B (check her out on Twitter!), that you say every morning.

“My, my, my… what a day to be alive.”

The beautiful thing about this phrase is that you say it as angry as you feel, or as tranquil as you feel…


Or as happy as you feel.

Now this concludes the reflection portion of this post… however if you stick around for a little while longer, I would love it if you wanted to offer any sort of feedback on a poem that I have written. It is titled “Rainbows and Forgiveness” and it explores the idea that parents need not be together, but for the sake of the child, reconciliation is important.

I recommend you reading out loud, but the choice is 100% yours. Again, any feedback is appreciated.


Rainbows and Forgiveness

I am the most illustrious dichotomy there has ever been

a never ending bending phenomenon


my mom and dad named me roy

roy means red in gaelic

but for me roy has always stood for red orange and yellow

I am the perennial hello to faces pressed against rain streaked windows

made from two parents that individually represent the greeting to a new day

and the beauty of washing away and starting anew

since birth I have been made up of colours

and both of you, my progenitors from separate planets

need to see my light

because I know you can’t be near each other anymore

but I am not complete when you are driven apart


of the colours I am made of

blue is what I see in you dad

despite taking up two thirds of planet earth

you are smooth cool calm

simultaneously synchronized disparity and perfect tranquillity you have the capability

to be quiet

as an empty home or so loud it

feels I’m burning up at the edges

but you put me out before I catch aflame

I see myself in you easier than I see myself in a mirror

and so I can see you are scared: you hide mom away from me like she’ll shine the light on all your insecurities

and I’ll give away my love for you


I don’t believe in impossibilities but i do believe in exceptions

I am the immaculate conception between two primal forces

you gotta trust me when I say that if you make a leap of faith here I’ll catch you

when you are without mom you are always falling its hard to be brave when you’re always falling

rain is funny that way

but when you are with mom you are lighter than air

you fly upward

towards her

and maybe for a moment you can have a silent staring contest

you always break first


of the colours I am made of


you are yellow rays burnt red bright fire dire wrath

larger than life

you have never met me but your influence continues to shape me

everything turns around you

and despite the light that blinds you

you dare to give life a chance over and over again after all the mistakes

so please give dad a chance even after all the mistakes

mankind have an expression “to err is human, but to forgive is divine”

and as the greatest celestial being I know I have to assume that you will follow your own nature


of the colours I am made of

you mom and you dad represent pieces of me

fragmented possibilities of what i could be

dad blue

mom yellow and red

Your mere reconciliation brings new colour

into everything I am and everyone I touch

orange green indigo violet

of the colours I am made of

you represent the separate parts that are less than half of what was meant to be my destiny

I don’t ask for you to be together

only to put this beneath us

so we can go up, somewhere over the rainbow that I am

and see the joy that I can bring

when a family can overcome the tragedy of completely separate natures

at least, every once in a little while


you named me Roy G Biv

in French, it means regal

and so to live up to my name I promise

I do not blame anything upon you

I have an irrepayable debt to you, my parents

that will never be fulfilled

but… if I was born to be the most illustrious dichotomy

an apology, or a moment of generosity,

or a spoken-out loud affirmation that yes there was animosity but paradoxically

the sun chilled out

or the rain dried up any leftover tears

I the rainbow

would be the most proud son of the sun, there has ever been

(Thanks to Mr. Albright for giving an interesting idea about taking turns in a poem – it really helped this piece!)


In-depth Blog Post #5: Taking the Initiative

It’s been a while since I’ve blogged last; before spring break I believe.

Wow, the year is passing by so fast, and there are so many events and tasks I need to go to and do before my nest break. Oh man. April, May, and June will be something I’ll remember for quite a while (if it doesn’t kill me first).

So over the break, I was fortunate enough to meet with my mentor for an extra hour as he was busy during the second week of the break. The break gets really busy at his work, so having the opportunity to go while the workshop is closed is something I greatly appreciated from my mentor.

During this lesson, we took a step up as the next vehicle maintenance skill I learned was much more difficult than the previous mechanic skills I learned. And can not be done simply at home, as shop equipment is needed to lift the vehicle up and make sure it is safe to work on. My last session, we focused on the back of the truck (which is what we were working on) and had to fix the break pads. I can honestly say that this kind of maintenance needs higher level of experience and I could not work on the break pads without more knowledge. However, knowing how the break pads work will prove to be helpful in the future when I can hopefully diagnose the problem earlier and have more knowledge on car maintenance.  The break pads of a vehicle is quite fascinating, as I have come to a realization that the car holds itself up; every part is needed, as they overlap each other. Without a part, the vehicle would most likely have a problem. The break pads have two components: the primary pad and the secondary pad. The primary pad squeezes the disc of the break, with moves the wheel, while the secondary break acts as a wedge. The two pads work together constantly, and although made out of a solid material, ware down as they undergo constant stress of breaking. In the other hour, he taught me the different filters, parts I did not know about the car, and liquids the car uses. Every vehicle needs its own type of liquid, being different than the other. I thought that each car would tell the owner which item belonged to the car. However, mechanics have a computer which has records of a variety of vehicles, so they know which item goes with which car. To properly maintain a vehicle, owners need to study the cars they’re using to be able to maintain their vehicles properly.

Now to answer questions!

1. My mentor, like any other person, forgets. So my mentor likes to leave 10 minutes of every session to ask questions that Ii have or ask things I want to learn for next time. He gives me an opportunity to ask what I want to be taught,  and gives me suggestions of things I should look for on my free time to ask next time we meet.

2. I like to spend time to review things I recently learned. My mentor does not specifically gives me any sort of tests or anything, but before we start our sessions, he usually asks questions about what I learned at my last session. Mechanic skills can easily be forgotten, so reviewing daily is needed.

3. We can only meet so often, and my mentor knows that. So my mentor might have moments where he knows people who are giving workshops or lessons on these kind of things. Unfortunately, I have been too busy and crammed to attend any of these workshops and enhance my learning, but there are opportunities for me too meet other mechanics and learn different mechanic skills and learn in different ways.

4. When we’re together, my mentor and I have a lot of things to talk about. We usually find time to talk about the news, our days, what’s going on in our lives, but most commonly: movies. I cannot stress this enough. We both love movies. And it is quite ridiculous how many movies we both enjoy.

5. The fact that my mentor has time to show me things that he hasn’t planned to show me is probably one of the best things going on between us. He knows that there’s a lot of things I would like to know, and the fact that he’s that dedicated to me to spend extra time to show me these things makes me feel really good about my in-depth project.

6. We’re learning what kind of people we are. It is easier to have a conversation with my mentor at my sessions, and I feel comfortable talking to him now, as I am slowly finding out the person he is. He is so modest, never showing off the things he can do or the things he has accomplished. He’s very funny, which breaks the ice most of the time. I can see myself looking up to someone like this; with a great mind and a kind soul.

Until next time blog!

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In-Depth Post #5

So, in my latest circus trysts, I took an introduction to circus class during spring break. It was a basic run in silks, trampoline, and juggling. Somehow, I managed to sprain my thumb within the first ten minutes, but other then that, it was a GREAT class. My teacher was a girl called Holiday, and she was a great teacher. I really enjoyed the silks class, and they gave a really detailed instruction on how to juggle, not just with balls, with with batons and plate spinning and everything. Unfortunately, the sprain meant I couldn’t take my week-long circus camp later during spring break, but to make up for it. I am now signed up for a month-long silks class, and a swinging trapeze class. My silks class runs every monday, and the swinging trapeze every tuesday.

I’ve already had my first swinging trapeze class, and it was AMAZING!. My instructor is called Scott, and he has a very brusk, but efficient attitude to teaching. For the class, we did a ten-minute warm-up, then Scott got me started on the static trapeze and taught me eight basic positions to do in sequence. I ran through them once, then he pretty much told me that we were going to start in the air. There are two other people in my class, one who has being doing trapeze for about 6 months, and the other for a year. He got me to stand to the side and watch for the first time, and I was amazed. The trapeze is about twenty-five feet in the air, and they get it swinging until you are nearly horizontal. They have you harnessed, but it’s still pretty terrifying. I was very hesitant my first try, but Scott was really nice. You have to climb up a rope to the trapeze bar using only your arms and wrapping it around your feet. He harnessed em in and I climbed up the rope, and using it one of the other students pulled me until I got swinging. Then he taught me how to use my body to create momentum, then we ran through the routine, which involved hanging upside down, balancing on one foot, and lying down using only one foot to support yourself.

I ended up totally sore, exhausted, wishing I had worn leggings instead of  shorts, and now I understand why the other students were wearing bandages around their feet, because after climbing it twice, I had huge rope burn and I could barely put on shoes when we left. I can’t wait to try my silks class and continue my trapeze. I’ve got videos that I’ll post later, of trapeze and some old trampoline ones.

1. What kinds of learning opportunities does the mentor provide to expose you to new learning?

He’s been recommending what other classes, even single ones, I could take to improve my physicality or just to get more involved in circus. He was teaching me and my mom what kinds of clothing and equipment I should wear/bring to class. For instance, he told us that the best thing to wrap your feet in, if you want to protecting but still get a good grip in the bar, is poly-flex adhesive wrap, and the best place to find that is in tack shops, but in a pinch medical tape with do. He told me what kind of exercises I should to, such as pushups to work on my core and arm strength.


5. What is going particularly well in your mentoring relationship right now?

We really focus on the skills. Scott treats me the same way he treats his adult students, I really have to learn on the spot and pay attention, but focusing on the skills means I learn a lot more a lot faster. We cover a lot of material quickly, but he knows I have to practice before I’ll be able to perform it properly. He pushes me harder then I’m used to, but I appreciate it.

6. What are you learning about one another?

With Scott, he’s really about the teaching. He doesn’t stop so much to strike a conversation, or ask about your day, or even say “great job!” when you get the position right. With him, he basically teaches the position, corrects my form, and then we move on.  He’s learned that I need time to adjust to how hard the work is, and that I need to build up the muscle and get my body adjusted.

I will have the videos and pictures up within a week!

Crunch Time

Today marks three weeks until Hullabaloo, the provincial slam competition that Jamie, Lyle, and I (TALONS pride) are participating in later this month. At this point, our mentor Jacob is playing a very large role in supporting and coaching us so that all our poetry pieces are competition ready. I mention this a lot in my previous posts, but it seems that all my free time is filled with the writing of poetry, or collaboration time with the team. My main goal right now is to make Hullabaloo a success, and I am sure that the Gleneagle team is heading in the right direction.

The preparation for this competition has really been pushing us all to really delve deep into the refining of our poetic skills, and I don’t think it would be an overstatement to say that there has been a massive learning curve. I look back into some of my older blog posts and realize that my first slam was only a couple months ago, and soon we will be performing on stage with other poets from all over B.C.! Although we still have some work ahead of us at this point, I am excited to be able to have the Hullabaloo  experience this year, and hopefully in years to come.

For the competition, each of the members of the team will be performing three 3-minute poems, and as a team, we are doing three team pieces. I will be competing with a couple of new pieces plus one that I have already done at Café Deux Soleils, while Lyle and Jamie are both bringing new material to the table. In addition, as captain of the team, I will be competing in the individual stream as well, also called the Underground Indies, where one poet from each school team (16 poets) compete head-to-head. In this situation, two poets are chosen at random and each perform their own respective poems, and the winner is decided by applause of the other poets. Winner moves on and the loser is dropped from the Indies. The somewhat of a ‘poet battle’ continues until there are two poets left, in which case the ultimate winner is crowned Champion. There is one quite different aspect of this competition as opposed to the team stream, which is that the poet performs without a mic in 360 degree environment, where the audience sits in a circle. In the coming weeks, I will be working quite a bit on the adjusted delivery of my poems to fit these parameters.

Of course, all of the prep for Hullabaloo would not be the same without our superbly committed and encouraging mentor, Jacob, who is helping us through all of this. He did just win Hullabaloo last year, so I would say he’s the right guy to be talking to, and we are always happy to take advantage of all of his eternal wisdom. Our sessions have gone from curriculum based teaching to workshopping new pieces for competition as a team with Lyle and Jamie. Of course, we all fit in new lessons and poetry concepts to discuss and work on, one of the big ones recently being rapping. Yes, rapping.

We knew from the start that Jacob was a rapper before he was a poet, and I guess we all knew it was a matter of time until he would be developing us as young rappers as well. So after a very during morning at Starbucks, and after a quick and brisk run outside (not willful, mind you) we all shared the raps that we had chosen the past week and performed them for the group. To put this all in perspective, the reason we are studying rappers like Childish Gambino and Kendrick Lamar is to analyze their rhythm, flow, and use of sound devices like assonance and consonance. After watching a fair amount of these artists’ music on YouTube, I became really intrigued by the way that these rappers use their words to craft a kind of spoken word not so different from what you see at poetry slams. Before this experience with Jacob, I would not describe myself as a rap fanatic, but I find myself going back and listening to some of the works that Jacob had suggested. It has been a nice change from the regular poetry watching, to extend my learning in a way that I can already see my rhythm and flow improving in my pieces. Once Hullabaloo wraps us, I am thinking about writing my own rap piece, which I think will give me a new perspective on poetry writing and critique.

I am really enjoying the mentorship with Jacob at this time, because now that we know each other very well, he is able to challenge me in my poetry and encourage me to step out of my comfort zone (rapping was a first for me). He delights in the fact that he is discover some of my tropes in my writing, which is evidence of the amount of time that he spent working on poetry with me, helping me with writing and performance each week. But in addition to pushing us to be the best poet and leader I can be, he also is very big on encouragement and he lets us know when our efforts are paying off. He calls it slapping you on the face while patting you on the back: Jacob’s perfect balance of getting you to where you need to go while continually offering words of affirmation.

So in the coming weeks, I will be spending a lot of time with both the slam team and Jacob, really smoothing out our poems for competition. It has been a great experience so far, and I am ready to get down to work and make Hullabaloo great for everybody on the team, as well as our fabulous coach helping us along the way. With a lot of great support behind us, I don’t doubt that it will be a memorable time for all of us, and something to carry on with in the coming years of high school.



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  • 39
    I must say this: Hullabaloo 2014 was a unforgettable, wonderful weekend of unbelievably good poetry, city exploring, passionate finger snapping, and love. Yes, love, and here's why. If there was one thing I walked out with after Hullabaloo, it would have to a renewed appreciation for all of the high school poets and guest poets…
    Tags: poetry, hullabaloo, competition, will, lyle, poets, team, time, well, jacob