Zip document of learning number 3

Hola reader(s),

As you know, I have now been working on Zip for a few weeks, which brings us to Christmas break! Unfortunately I am still struggling with the Zip work load this year, much more than I did last year. I did too much last year, so I thought that I was setting goals that were less ambitious… I was wrong. I am pushing through though, and should hopefully be done writing/editing my stories by the end of the break, so that afterwards can be dedicated to working on my presentation. The best part of Zip, is that I love my topic, and am very motivated to do it, but the worst part is how frustrating it is that I can’t spend all of my homework time, working on it. I want to finish it, but it is a lot to do, and I have other priorities. I also love the fact that not much research is required for this project. With all of the online searches that I racked up over eminent, Zip is a nice break. It is a chance to focus on the subject I find most interesting, within my favourite subject. Zip has been a fairly smooth ride, in terms of evenly spreading out the workload, but I am afraid that I haven’t put enough time into it. In the past, I have written short stories in the matter of a few days, but these ones took me almost a week each just to get a draft that I was really happy with. I’ve also been writing a lot more poetry, than I have stories lately, so quite frequently I start writing a sentence, only to realize that I am trying to rhyme it, or add alliteration etc; These are all unnecessary aspects to the kind of story I am going for.

Unfortunately I have to go catch a plane to Mexico now, but I’ll update you when I get back… Feliz Navidad

Zip document of learning – Numero dos


So, I have been working away at Zip all weekend, furiously trying to get to the point I had set out for myself in the beginning of this project, and I’m beginning to realize it is not possible. I am still in the midst of really writing my second story, which is taking WAY longer than I expected it to. This also means that the editing I was supposed to do on Friday, didn’t happen, and the peer editing I had planned for tomorrow probably isn’t going to happen either… ughhh. Unfortunately this means that I have to alter my schedule a bit, as I don’t have much time over the break to dedicate to this project. The changes are as follows…

Tomorrow (Monday) I will continue writing my second story, and complete it over the week.

On Friday, I will edit my stories.

Over the break I will ask a few of my peers (2-3) to edit my stories, and another few to select which one they prefer. I will be doing this over the break, as it would take away from my classmate’s zip work block success if I did it during school time.

Once we get back (and if I can spare any time during the break) I will work on my presentation of the project.

This should lighten my load a bit, as I have a lot of homework, and other things to do that relate to the Holidays.

Jingle Jingle!

John Maxwell Leadership Lessons

One of the major takeaways for me from the John Maxwell The 360 Degree Leader video sessions, was the “How to be Fulfilled in the Middle of the Pack” lesson. I, as someone with growing leadership skills, like to be recognized for my contributions. Sometimes I do extra work on projects, and tasks, for the intrinsic motivation of recognition. As John says, I need to start “Defin[ing] a win in terms of teamwork” rather than my own work. As I have been learning, delegation should be priority when I become stressed, or overworked, instead of trying to finish everything so that I get the credit. Henrietta Mears says that “The person who keeps busy helping the one who is below him won’t have time to envy the person above him.” In my case, I need to stop worrying about the people who hold the same position as myself (my peers) because of their instant gratification when they do things well, and instead start putting more of my attention on people below me, who’s voices aren’t heard as often. With the Talent Show coming up, this challenge is especially relevant. I will be working with Grade 9’s and 10’s on this project. It is my responsibility to have the grade nines prepared to lead the event next year, which means they have to know their tasks. Unlike most projects, I have to delegate work to the grade nines, and understand that they deserve just as much credit as myself on the night of. This isn’t my project, nor would it be the same if I did it alone. By measuring my successes based on that of my team, the successes will be a lot bigger, and I can have some weight lifted off of my shoulders. The job of the leader isn’t to complete all of the work, but rather know who would do the work best.

ZIP pidee doo dah, ZIP pideeday. I love writing, and Zip seems okay…

Hello TALONted readers, (although there may only be one of you… I don’t actually know who reads these.)

So, we have started Zip again this year, as I’m sure you got from the last post. I am researching how Freytag’s pyramid affects a readers understanding of a story. During our last work block, I started writing my first short story for this project! yipeee

During Zip, I hope to completely write two short stories, one with a Freytagged plot, and the other following a completely different structure. Since all of the research that I needed to do, was completed by Friday, I got the whole block to just write. I didn’t have much of a plan for what my story was going to be about, or who the characters were or anything, because most of my planning happens when my pen hits the paper (or my fingers to the keyboard in this situation.) I knew that it would be an adventure story, so that starting at the climax for my second story, would be easy to see. However, because I don’t read adventure novels, I found it really hard to find an original idea that wasn’t a direct copy of another book I’ve read. By the end of the block, I had written some 2000 unedited words about a young girl who gets kidnapped. I liked the plot of the story, and how it naturally grew suspenseful, but my words required a TON of editing. At this point, my first story is roughly completed, as I want to write both versions of the short story before fine-tuning more details. This is all so exciting to me!

I missed truly creative writing; this much freedom with my writing is bringing back a few memories of short stories that I wrote in grade five, and was so proud of! I wonder if I can find them in any of the old files on my mom’s computer… perhaps that would be a good part of my presentation, to compare deliberate rebellion against Freytag’s pyramid, versus naiveness, and see if it makes a difference in the overall flow of the story. Although there might be too many grammatical errors to even know what I was trying to say… We shall see.

Here We Go… Back at it Again With The Freytagging of 3D Triangles

Zip Proposal


“To what extent are the points on Freytag’s pyramid vital in the creation of a short story?”

Propose and Plan

I have always loved creative writing, so when the zip project was introduced, I saw it as an opportunity to pursue a passion of mine. I want to study short story writing, and the effect that Freytag’s pyramid has on the success of a plot. Specifically, I want to know: to what extent are the points on Freytag’s pyramid vital in the creation of a short story?

I have always loved reading, but when a book starts at the climax, I get particularly interested. I’ve only ever followed the structured pyramid that we are given in class, without question. However, I want to gain the skill of starting a plot at different points on the pyramid, or skipping over them entirely, and view the difference that it makes in a readers understanding of the story.

I have never been taught anything about starting at different parts of the pyramid, so I am walking on uncharted territory here. I know that books which start at the climax, drag readers in quicker, and are typically action or adventure genre stories. I don’t generally write action stories, because I prefer slower paced reading, and savouring the words on the page. It will be a challenge to write in a new style, and a different plot order, but I am up to it! I do a lot of creative writing, so that should help. I have also spent years studying Freytag’s pyramid, and thoroughly understand the structure. You must know the rules before you break them!

By the end of my Zip project, I hope to improve my short story writing skills, including but not limited to concision, and free writing. I also hope to better my understanding of the short story structure.

I will need help in the completion of my Zip project, mostly from my laptop,  but also from other living breathing humans. If need be, I can always contact my mentor from last year, Emma Fields, who is a skilled creative writer. Besides her, I can look to Mr. Morris for help, or even some of my past English teachers. I may also contact an author in our community to perhaps conduct an interview.

As for items that will be on my desk, my laptop and a copy of Freytag’s pyramid will definitely be present. And perhaps a cup of hot tea may join them occasionally. In all seriousness, I can look to the internet, or books for resources. Like during the Eminent person project, the library will be my new home.

For my final presentation, I think that I am going to record myself reading over the final draft of my short story. Depending on how long the story takes to read, I might also record the other story, which has a different Freytag structure to it. I may also include short video clips of my progress, without sound.



Thursday, November 30th: Choose my zip inquiry question, and begin proposal.

Monday, December 4th: Complete the proposal, and begin researching Freytag’s pyramid and alterations to it.

Friday, December 8th: Begin writing the short story with the regular format. Finish writing it over the weekend.

Monday, December 11th: Write the second short story using the same plot, but start at the climax, followed by the exposition/inciting incident/rising action, then the falling action, and the resolution.

Friday, December 15th: Edit both of the stories, and have three peer reviews completed on each story.

Monday, December 18th: Have three people who have yet to read my short stories, read the irregular format one and write a short summary about it. Have them read the second one and write another short summary. They will compare their understanding of each story, and which one was more effective at:

a) interesting them from the beginning

b) explaining all of the information needed to understand the plot

c) rank the stories on a scale of 1-10, choosing which one they prefer and why.

Friday, December 22nd: Reflect on my audiences choices, and consider why they made them. Did they prefer the story which I expected, or did they choose the other story? Is this because of my writing/would it change with other stories, or is this the general preference and understanding of our population?


Hello TALONted folks, here is my final eminent post, ever… my biBLOGraphy enjoy, and feel free to use these awesome resources for your future projects, or Julia CHILDish endeavours. Okay I’ll stop.

Works Cited

AreYouSavingDaylight. “Julia Child Burns Food.” YouTube, YouTube, 5 Aug. 2009,

This is another video of Julia Child making mistakes, which helped with my speech. However at the end, another man comes on the show, which didn’t really add to my presentation much. It did help me capture her joking behaviour though.

Bell, Emily. “The Legacy of Julia Child.” The Legacy of Julia Child |, May 2010,

This page, again had some baseline information, but also invited the idea of Julia Child’s humbleness, by referencing the quote “If pressed she would say ‘I guess I’m a pretty good teacher.’” Despite all of the accomplishments that Julia had made in the cooking world, she never referred to herself as a chef.

Child, Julia, et al. As Always, Julia: the Letters of Julia Child and Avis DeVoto. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2010.

This book contained the letters which Julia Child and Avis DeVoto sent back and forth to each other for years! This book spares no details, and let me meet Julia Child in a very personal way, along with one of her closest friends.

Child, Julia, et al. Mastering the Art of French Cooking. Vol.2. A.A. Knopf, 1983.

This recipe book was a collection of Julia and Simone Beck’s favourite dishes. I browsed it when trying to choose which dishes to make for my learning centre.

Child, Julia. Mastering the Art of French Cooking Vol. 1. Alfred A. Knopf, 2001.

Being the first of Julia Child’s cookbooks, I simply had to have this. It is a collection of some of her favourite recipes, in her classic longhand style. This book was on feature at my learning centre, and I used it when trying to find recipes to showcase.

denisbehr. “Julia Child – Favorite Moments from The French Chef.” YouTube, YouTube, 28 June 2015,

This video is a whole “The French Chef” episode, on how to roast chickens, and it was extremely helpful. This was the turning point in my project. After watching this on repeat, my accent improved a ton, and so did my knowledge on cooking chickens.

DeRevolutionibus. “Meryl Streep vs. Julia Child.” YouTube, YouTube, 13 Dec. 2009,

This was yet another video, comparing Julia Child to Meryl Streep, because I wanted to see how people of the past had imitated Julia Child in a way which was considered respectful.

GotGarlic, et al. “Omelet Ideas? – Discuss Cooking – Cooking Forums.” Discuss Cooking Cooking Forums RSS, 1 Aug. 2014,

This was “The Omelette Show” on “The French Chef”. I watched this video to gain some insight on Julia Child’s mannerisms and accent, as well as to have some classic Julia authenticity in my speech. I however, also had much better omelette skills after watching this.

Greenspan, Dorie, and Julia Child. Baking with Julia: Based on the PBS Series Hosted by Julia Child. Morrow, 1996.

This book had some of Julia Child’s recipes that were sweeter. I consulted it during some practice cooking for my learning centre.

Hunt, Kristin. “15 Fascinating Facts About Julia Child.” Mental Floss, 16 Aug. 2017,

This was a beautiful article containing fifteen hard to find facts about Julia Child. From her cancer, to her years as a spy, this went in to great detail about my Eminent person and was greatly appreciated to refresh my brain before Night of the Notables.

Jordan, Ellen. “Julia Child.” Coping with Cancer, 1997,

This website brought up the commonly avoided topic of Julia Child’s life, her cancer. Julia lived past her cancer, and didn’t mention it much because she had a “don’t let it feed on my attention” kind of mind frame. This helped me get to know my eminent person better.

“Julia Child.”, A&E Networks Television, 28 Apr. 2017,

Biography provided an extensive summary of Julia Child’s life, and her principle accomplishments. It was a great starting point for my research, being similar to a concise wikipedia page. This page introduced the idea that Julia had originally wanted to become a writer, and was eventually able to reach that goal.

pierqueer. “Julia Flubs Her Flip.” YouTube, YouTube, 14 Sept. 2011,

This is a clip from Julia Child’s potato pancake show, where she messes up when attempting to flip the pancake. It helped me master her “oh well” attitude that I had to embody a few times in my speech. I wanted to make my reaction to burning myself authentic, and this helped.

Shapiro, Laura. Julia Child: a Life. Lipper/Penguin, 2009.

This book was like Julia Child’s biography. It helped me learn more about her and Paul’s relationship, and I actually found it oddly entertaining.

slatester. “The Many Voices of Meryl Streep.” YouTube, YouTube, 7 Aug. 2009,

This youtube clip contains a variety of different accents that Meryl Streep has done in various movies, including a how-to for beginners. It was helpful for some Julia insight, but I only listened when she started using Julia’s accent. The rest I just tuned out.

TheVladbocean. “Julia Child The French Chef- Your Own French Onion Soup.” YouTube, YouTube, 12 Feb. 2013,

This is another “French Chef” episode, on Julia’s all-time favourite recipe, french onion soup. This video improved my accent, and helped me perfect the Julia mannerisms which I had to capture during my speech and learning centre. I made this recipe for my family, and I can understand why she loved this dish so much!

TVLEGENDS. “Julia Child – Archive Interview Excerpts w/ Kitchen Tour.” YouTube, YouTube, 7 Aug. 2009,

This is an interview with Julia Child from later on in her career. It helped me gain insight about the later parts of her life, and improved the validity of the information that I was able to share at my learning centre.

XxMerylStreepxX. “Julie & Julia: Meryl Streep Interview.” YouTube, YouTube, 3 Aug. 2009,

This is an interview with Meryl Streep, who played Julia Child in the movie “Julie and Julia.” I wanted to see if she ever gave tips on perfecting the accent of Julia, as I was terrified that I was doing it wrong. Unfortunately, she only occasionally switched into the iconic voice, so it wasn’t much help.



ps, enjoy the new layout of my blog, and savour the aesthetic!