Hola mis Amigos — in-depth blog post: my successes, failures, and plans moving forward!

Hello my friends,

We are approaching in-depth very quickly, and with just a month left, it is crunch time! I have met with my mentor four times since the last post, and I intend to keep a similar speed leading up to in-depth. I have remained with my schedule of about 6-7 hours every week, although I am not quite as far along as I expected to be by this time. Luckily, I don’t have to worry too much about the actual night this time, as I will not have a learning centre (which generally take over twelve hours for me to sort out.) I will continue to work on the actual project, until May long weekend. Most TALONS will be away on an adventure trip, so I will have a bunch of extra time that week, without classes. I will spend that time completing the video which I hope to share on in-depth night. 

According to my original plan, I had hoped to interview a native Spanish speaker, and film it to share on in-depth night. I’ve talked to a few of the Spanish speaking international students, but I’m not really great friends with any of them. They have all wished me luck on my project, but apparently aren’t that interested in being in my video. I understand their point of view, no matter how much it affects my project. I might still do this video with my mentor, however I think I will opt for a different idea. 

My new plan, is to film myself talking about the process of my project, but in Spanish, or do a Spanish video lesson. I’d rather do the video lesson, and make it interactive, however that doesn’t really show off any of the skills I’ve learnt throughout these months. I need to find a way to make this fun and interesting, while still sharing what I’ve learnt. This is proving to be a lot harder than my learning centre last year…


Since the last in-depth blog post, I have finished my second Spanish research project, where I studied the influence of the legendary Spanish author, Isabel Allende. You should all check out some of her works. I also started watching, learning and reflecting on each episode/lesson of the BBC Spanish series “Mi Vida Loca.” It is a series which simulates travelling to Spain, where no one seems to speak a word of English. The narrator is a little phrase book which talks to you, and explains what happens in English. This helped me with my studies on different dialects, and allowed me to practice Spanish in a semi-realistic scenario. 

I have completed the lessons on Duolingo, and have also been working away with a grammar resource, although it wasn’t in my original goal plan. 

Finally, I’ve been working on unit four of Rosetta Stone for the past little while. I still need to finish units 4, 5, and 6 before in-depth night, which I’m sure will be the root of my stress. 

Anyhow, I will leave you to decipher the Spanish status report down below, which I completed with my mentor. Even though I doubt anyone takes the time to read the Spanish reports, they are helpful for me. 


Yo completo buscar por informacíon de mi segundo projecto. Estoy estudiando la influencia de Isabel Allende, creo que sí ella escribe libros muy bien. Usted mira los libros de ella. 

Yo veo “Mi Vida Loca” BBC videos en la telévision. Es como estoy viajando a España, y no personas hablan inglés. The narrator es un libro pequeña. Él habla inglés y español.  Está muy bien por qué yo estudio dialectos diferente. Me puede

practicar Español en un scenario cerca de realidad. 

Yo completo Duolingo y estoy trabajando away with a grammar resource, although it wasn’t in my original goal plan. 

Finalmente, yo trabajo unido quatro de Rosetta Stone por un poco tiempo ahora. Yo necesito completir unidos cuatro, cinco, y seis antes in-depth. No está divertida creo que sí.

Yo necesito translate this into español para ti. No creo que sí personas tienen tiempo a leen mis statuse reportes. Está bien para mi. 


Aquí es la statuse reporte del orale


My Autobiography Check In — The PEI years

For the past few weeks, I have slowly been making my way through “The Complete Journals of L.M. Montgomery The PEI years, 1889-1900” published by Mary Henley Rubio and Elizabeth Hillman Waterson. I find this autobiography surprisingly interesting, and not nearly as dry as I had initially expected. I am currently reading year 1894, and am just over halfway through the book, with a goal of 22 pages per day. Some passages specifically resonated with me as a young Canadian, which is the perspective her journals are written from, since they started when she was just 15. 

1. a) “We are in a rough country— all woods; but oh, it does my heart good to see the spruces again” (93). 

    b) “A glorious day— fresh breezes, blue skies, blue waters” (95). 

    c) The maples and birches that met overhead were pale yellow and green and the field beyond was encircled by little, fairy like yellow birches” (103).

Montgomery was an extremely sentimental person, and she spent a great deal of time contemplating the natural romance of the outdoors. During her first trip on the CPR, she wrote extremely intricate details about the scenery, and how it affected her mood. Within twenty pages, the reader is transported across the country, along with it’s beautiful landscapes. Throughout the course of just ten pages, Montgomery writes about all three scenes found above. As a young Canadian who has travelled through quite a bit of this country, it is interesting to read about how much it has changed. She never once talked about the big skyscrapers of Toronto, or mentioned the congested traffic along the number one. The change which our world has experienced in terms of technology, is truly brought into perspective through Montgomery’s writing. I have also experienced similar sensations when overwhelmed by nature. I have basked in the sunlight, and pretended that I was entirely alone in the world, and Montgomery did the same, only she needn’t pretend. 

2. “Non scholae sed vitae discimus” which is Latin for “we learn not for school, but for life” (109).

This is the Latin motto which her school’s banner proudly displays. She mentions that her friends don’t like the motto, as it implies that they enjoy learning. Montgomery however, confides that she truly believes it and it’s implications. She, as do I, enjoys learning. She also however, finds that school can sometimes make learning a task, and that one could learn the same amount by simply venturing into the world on their own. This is the most relatable piece of content that Mongomery ever uttered as far as I’m concerned. I believe that the people who are meant to do great things, could and should learn those things on their own. If one is truly destined to do something amazing, I feel that they could do that with passion and devotion. Montgomery expresses similar sentiments, that perhaps school is designed for those not destined for greatness, but so that they can catch up to those ahead. This argument has strong political ties as well. Montgomery mentioned that none of her classmates agreed with her, or if they did they simply were saying so to get out of going to classes. This is interesting, as it leads me to believe that historically, Canada has been consistently left leaning in terms of politics. Our current prime minister represents the liberals, and Montgomery’s classmates express a left leaning bias, where school is necessary so that everyone can succeed. She would be an outlying thinker, with the belief that people should suffer on their own. 

3. “Dear old world you are very lovely and I love you. I am glad to be alive in you” (125).

Montgomery only ever thanks the world so openly like this when she fears that a good thing is to soon end. She says this on the last day of a summer vacation with her friends, with the uncomfortable looming energy of home responsibilities. I always feel this slightly subdued emotion of gratitude, in similar scenarios. I tend to take my time and saviour freedom like this during the last few days of a school break for example. I find it interesting however, that she thanks the world for her existence, as she is struggling internally while writing this. The possibility of moving away for college looms above her head, and her grandfather had just passed away. This represents the resilience that Canadians tend to demonstrate in times of recovery. We bounced back from many darker parts of history, in the same way which she does from her mental states. 

4. “Whenever I watch the spruces, especially in the dim twilight, they have a strange influence over me. All the happy memories of old days come back to me, all the vague, sweet hopes and illusions of childhood seem real to me once more” (128). 

While I don’t know that I could properly identify a spruce tree at first glance, I do know that I have similar destinations which represent childhood to me. Whenever I go to the creek behind my house, I am reminded of all the time I spent there exploring, and all of the memories I subconsciously created. I am reminded of a simpler time, when my most pressing concern was deciding what colour flower to garnish my hair with. This also applies to the way we look at history. Some people have the ability to see a primary source, and immediately empathize with the people from Canada’s history. Others don’t recall the “sweet hopes and illusions of [Canada’s] childhood, because they aren’t educated enough to understand the differing perspectives. 

5. “Oh, the world is so lovely now. It is the very prime of glorious springtide. […] Oh, it’s a dear beautiful world” (159). 

Again here Montgomery expresses a very blatant sense of gratitude for the world she was given. It is important to note that nearly a year later, she still believes that her struggles are worth it. She has this revelation right in the midst of spring, or in the changing of an involuntary clock. Despite her expressed favouritism for winter, Montgomery believes that she must accept the hurdles she’s been given and move on. Canadians are encouraged to do the same when faced with racism, sexism, or any other form of discrimination, as it will make them stronger. I related to this sentence, because I read it on a Friday night, and was extremely excited for the freedom of the weekend. It was also a beautiful day. 

From what I have read of this autobiography so far, Lucy Maud Montgomery is proof that every person has the ability to do great things, but also that not everyone has to do great things in order to be great. She was an extremely successful and inspiring person, because she wanted to be such. Some of her friends, who she writes about, are irrelevant to the course of history in the scheme of things. However, had Jack Laird or Pensie never existed, I highly doubt that Montgomery could’ve obtained such a status. While they didn’t become recognized, or do any “great things” they were still amazing people and should be recognized as such.

My JAM essay “Eey-I-eey-I-ohhh!”

Mr. Morris


April. 17 2018

Old MacDonald had a Country- but then Used it Mistakenly!

Why is it widely accepted that Canada’s father murdered his children, but hasn’t faced any repercussions? As with most big decisions, Canada’s opinion on the first prime minister is fairly controversial. Many Canadians believe that John A. MacDonald’s name, and statues should be displayed to remind people of the past, and prevent the same mistakes from being made again; others find what MacDonald stands for too painful, and wish for him to be removed from the public eye. In order to support all Canadians, statues and public buildings commemorating MacDonald’s name and face should be removed or altered so that everyone can feel safe in their own country, and so that Canadians can recognize the mistakes of their ancestors, and be willing to fix them.

MacDonald should be removed from the public sphere, because of Canada’s devotion to multiculturalism and acceptance of all people, while he stood for other ideas. Canadians come from all over the world, and it is the duty of every Canadian to make these people feel comfortable and welcome in their own country. The people of Canada “have a shared history, but [they] have more importantly a shared future, so let’s build a country on truth and honesty,” so that all Canadians can be included in the future, with disregard to the history (Bellegarde). There are people who live in Canada who are forced to visit a building everyday, which is dedicated to the man behind the murder of their ancestors; people are told to call this man father of the country they know and love. Removing the statues of MacDonald would begin to soothe the emotional burden which the indigenous peoples must struggle with everyday, and it would show that this country supports any and all.

Many people believe that by removing statues of MacDonald, Canadians are judging their past based on current beliefs, which is unfair if one considers the common values of the past. While this is true and fair, many outsiders judge with the belief that Canada agrees with its past decisions. This affects how people all over the world decide to live their lives. MacDonald’s opinions and choices however, are not representative of the majority of Canadian’s individual beliefs. MacDonald favoured one race over all others in a way which would not be accepted today; “[he] initially proposed to the House of Commons that [Chinese people] should not have the right to vote on the grounds that they were ‘foreigners’ and that ‘the Chinese [had] no British instincts or British feelings or aspirations’” (Stanley). Today however, the Chinese population makes up over five percent of all Canadians. So much of Canada’s current demographic, plus many more people who wish to live in Canada, are influenced by the widely accepted amount of support which Canadians allow their founding father.

While Canadians have an obligation to remember their past, they also must prevent forgotten ideologies from resurfacing. For the sake of comfort among all Canadians, and dismissal of judgement from other countries, it is Canada’s duty to remove the ideals of MacDonald from the public, and prevent the emotional pain he continues to induce. We cannot change the future by leaving our mistakes uncorrected.

In-depth week 11

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

Although it hasn’t actually happened yet, Señora Galliford has offered to set up a meeting between me and one of her native Spanish speaking contacts. This will allow me to work with different dialects in real life. I try to do work with as many different dialects as possible, but most online ones that I have found are Columbian, or occasionally from Spain, which is extremely challenging to understand at this point in my Spanish career. People from Spain use an entirely new pronoun when talking about a group of people with yourself included (similar to the English we). This would be fine, except every word that comes after we, is also altered because of the context. Basically, at this skill level, I should keep my distance from that specific dialect, to avoid confusing them. Señora Galliford has a few contacts, so she will try to find one who is available from a new country, who I may be able to have a conversation with over the phone.


2.   What kinds of learning opportunities exist to reinforce new learning?

Señora Galliford is a Spanish teacher, therefore she has access to lots of resources that I can use, that would otherwise be unavailable. I have been working on a few of the grade 11 units, through worksheets and online notes. I also have access to the school’s textbooks if needed. Finally, I have been watching TV shows on Netflix that are bilingual, to work on my project while watching television. This serves as a reinforcement for the Spanish skills I have.


3.   What kinds of opportunities exist that might accelerate learning?

In-depth is a project by choice. I decided to study the Spanish language because of a passion that I have, therefore I am motivated to work on it more frequently, and with more focus. I have been working at a seven hours a week speed, and have been extremely productive. I am right on the schedule that I set out for myself, which is fast paced and independent. This allows me to learn as I wish to.


4.   When you get together what do you talk about?

At our meetings, we usually start editing my blog post right away. Once that is complete, I ask some of my questions which I have collected through the past week or two, if we can’t meet twice for whatever reason. She answers my questions to the best of her ability, and then we turn to what I have been learning about. If there are any resources that Señora Galliford has on the topic which I am studying on Rosetta Stone, she shares them with me. Then, we usually part ways, unless either of us has more questions.


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

We have almost the same schedule, so its been super easy for Señora Galliford and I to meet on a regular basis. Unfortunately my Musical theatre schedule is changing pretty soon, so we might struggle to find a time to meet, but we will make it work.


6.   What are you learning about one another?

I have learnt quite a bit about Señora Galliford’s experience speaking Spanish. She mentioned her first trip to Mexico as the designated Spanish speaker, and how she has met some friends who she practices her Spanish with. It is interesting to hear about her experiences, because they are hopefully very similar to what mine will be like. I intend to use my Spanish in my day to day life, like I already do, once I graduate. Perhaps I will work with the language in my career, or I might have a close friend who speaks Spanish. On the other hand, Señora Galliford is learning more about my work ethic. I am passionate and devoted to this project, and I think she is seeing that. Last year, in Spanish nine I wasn’t really given the opportunity to shine. Hopefully now that she knows how I work, she will allow me more opportunities in my future learning process with this amazing language.


Status Report

Over spring break, I didn’t have much time to dedicate towards in-depth, but I did finish working on unit three, and did a couple of other activities including some Duolingo, and studyspanish.com. I also started the second research project; I had originally planned to have that done by mid April. I have been using the textbook which Mr. Salisbury gave me, as a handy guide, but it is still above my Spanish level at this point. I struggle to follow a few points that it addresses. However, in the back of the book there is an index which I have been using as most people use google translate. At this point, there isn’t much that I can update readers on, as it all sounds the same. However, I am currently learning about present participles, which are used when talking about an action that is currently occurring. You would use it to say, I am swimming, but not for I swim.


Statuse Reporte en Español

Over the break of primavera, yo no tengo mucho tiempo para mi in-depth, pero yo completo unido trés y mas actividades including some Duolingo, y estudiarespañol.com. Yo quiero completir mi research projecto segundo; I had originally planned to have that done by early April. Yo uso el libro de Señor Salisbury pero es muy dificil ahora. Otras personas usan google translate, pero yo uso the index al detrás del libro. No hay mucho mas para decir, pero estoy aprendiendo present participles. Usan cuando un ación that is happening ahora. Ustedes hablan “Yo estoy nadando” pero no “Yo nado.”

Canada: the Story of Us – Independent Investigation DOL

For this most recent inquiry project that I completed, I asked “To what extent did the ‘Battle of the Plains of Abraham’ affect French settlement in Canada?” Through the process, I learnt a lot more about the actual battle, as well as French settlement. However, I’ve also become more attuned to the fact that the world as a whole, has decided to neglect Canadian history. While there weren’t quite as many deaths in total, I believe that the seven years war meets all other criteria, to truly be considered the first world war. According to all of the sources I have viewed, a world war is simply a war fought between many different countries, or a few of the most powerful and populated countries.

One of the defining moments in the seven years war, which lead to Quebec going onto the hands of the British, instead of the French, was the Battle of the Plains of Abraham. This battle was fought just north of Quebec, in what is called the Plains of Abraham. The British leader in the battle was James Wolfe respectfully, and his rival opponent representing the French, Louis-Joseph de Montcalm. James Wolfe and the British had been inhabiting a space a few kilometres north of the Plains of Abraham, but were blocked off from Quebec because of the large St. Lawrence River. They tried to get the French to initiate the fight, but were only succeeded in being a nuisance by cutting off their weapon supply. After many failed attempts, the British were finally able to cross the river, and tried to sneak up on the French without notice. However, Montcalm received word of the invasion, and set up his troops for battle. The armies met on the Plains of Abraham. The French began firing while they stood 120 metres away. As they advanced, the British, under direction of James Wolfe, held fire, confusing Montcalm. Finally, while they were a mere 40 metres away, and the French were out of materials, the British began rolling volleys. This was an extremely successful tactic, and led to the French retreating, not without giving Wolfe a shot which would prove fatal soon enough though. Without the direction of Montcalm, who was also killed in the battle, the French eventually handed Quebec to the British.

Once the British held power of Quebec, and really Canada, they tried to become a united front. Their goal was to stand as a country of British people, who all spoke English and followed the same traditions. However they struggled, especially with the Quebecois people.

When the French finally surrendered, they sent a capitulation proposal, requiring a variety of things, including “that the inhabitants shall be preserved in the possession of their houses, goods, effects, and privileges, upon their laying down their arms.” When the British agreed, it was decided that Canada would be a multicultural, bilingual country, on the terms of that agreement. The Quebecois people were still forced to bow down to the king, and were strongly persuaded to follow the same religion. Many rules were set to try and convince the Quebecois to morph into the British. For example, nuns who treated Quebecois peoples were not allowed to discuss their religion in front of them. However, the Quebecois nation still stands today, as a separate culture from those who descend from the British. They have preserved their rights to traditions, religion, and lifestyle.

After the French surrendered, the population of French-Canadians did not grow as fast as before. While newcomers were welcome, many did not wish to come to Canada once discovering what had happened. This lasted a few years, but once the Quebecois people had established themselves as a separate culture, more French people started moving to Canada, leading to our booming French-Canadian population today.

From this information, one may conclude that the Battle of the Plains of Abraham, directly influenced French settlement in Canada, because the French surrendered. However, if the French had not surrendered, they may have fought for the land and either won, or lost. Both of these outcomes would have led to a wildly different political climate from what we have today.

That being said, in todays world the Battle of the Plains of Abraham wouldn’t be considered out of the ordinary, besides the fact that it occurred in Canada. People have wars all over the world, fighting for land, wealth, and power. And the same standards that stand today, existed during James Wolfe’s time; if one is caught fighting, especially when it leads to death, they will be punished. Because of the capitulation proposal, no Quebecois people were punished for defending their land in the battle, but they easily could have been should the proposal have been denied. While our world has changed drastically since the late 1700’s, we do still hold some of the same values in regard to war and fighting.


Some awesome websites I used for research :)